Changes for PA Nonprofit Organizations

The Pennsylvania Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purpose Act (SFCP) requires organizations soliciting charitable contributions from Pennsylvania residents to register with the Bureau by filing a Charitable Organization Registration Statement (BCO-10). 

The Bureau revised Form BCO-10 in August 2017.  The form now provides more detail in some of the questions such as eligibility to file the short form registration.  Instead of just listing different paragraphs of the Act, as presented in the old form, the new form elaborates on what those paragraphs mean, making it easier for applicable filers to fill out this section. 

Also modified was the question asking if an organization is required to file Form 990.  The old form only referred to the Form 990, and the revised BCO-10 includes the rest of the forms from 990 series such as form 990-N, 990-EZ and 990-PF. 

And lastly, the new BC0-10 excludes four questions that existed on the old form.  The eliminated questions addressed whether a filing organization shares revenue or governance with any other nonprofit organizations, whether a filing organization owns 10% or more interest in any other domestic or foreign organization, or whether any other domestic or foreign organization owns 10% or more interest in a filing organization.  The fees and gross contributions thresholds have not changed with the new form. 

In addition to changing the BCO-10, the Bureau also released more detailed, line-by-line instructions.  Since the new form was released in August of 2017, the Bureau is not expecting filers to use the updated form immediately, and all 2016 returns can still be submitted using the old form.

In addition to the new form, there are two pieces of legislation being introduced pertaining to the BCO-10.  State Rep. Keith J. Greiner (R-Lancaster) introduced two bills to amend SFCP in late May. 

The first bill is aimed at increasing the charitable contributions received threshold for audit requirements.  Currently, if an organization received at least $300,000 in charitable contributions, it is required to have audit, and if an organization received between $100,000 and $300,000 in charitable contributions, it is required to have at least a review.  The new bill would increase the audit requirement amount to $750,000 and review requirement to $250,000. 

The second bill proposed by Rep. Greiner clarifies the rules of timely filing of Form BCO-10.  Currently, the registration is considered timely filed if it’s received by the Bureau on or before the due date.  This rule differs from the standard postmarked date that most other states use.  The legislation aims to change the interpretation of the Act and clarify that any registration postmarked by the due date will be considered filed timely by the Bureau.

Schneider Downs will follow the proposed legislations and post an update once more information is available.       

In the meantime, checkout the Our Thoughts for similar articles.  

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