OUR THOUGHTS ON:

New Changes to Charity Registration in Ohio

Not-for-Profit

By Maureen Thomas

The Ohio Attorney General will make on-line filing of charity registrations mandatory for nonprofits with fiscal years ending on or after November 30, 2011. In general, Ohio 501(c)(3) organizations and 501(c)(4) healthcare organizations must register under the Ohio Charitable Trust Act unless they meet certain exemptions. Out-of-state organizations may also be required to register if they are considered to be doing business in Ohio and have assets or a majority of their governing body in Ohio, or if they intend to solicit contributions from Ohio residents.

To ensure proper compliance, documents required to be filed with an initial registration include a Charitable Trust Registration form, articles of incorporation, by-laws or governing documents, and an IRS determination letter regarding tax-exempt status. After the initial registration, organizations must file an annual report for each year it has gross receipts of more than $5,000 or gross assets of more than $15,000. The report can be a Verification of Filing with the Internal Revenue Service if the organization files a Form 990. If the nonprofit does not file a Form 990, it needs to complete the Annual Report of Charitable Organization form. The on-line system prompts users and provides guidance on what forms and information must be submitted. Those nonprofits required to register in Ohio should visit the Ohio Attorney’s website at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/CharitableRegistration and select “File Online.”

Special features of the new online system include: email notifications of filing deadlines, changes in organizational information, invoices for fees due, and confirmation of filings. The best feature of the online program is that multiple representatives from an organization may register to receive updates and reminders, helping to avoid oversights and late filings during leadership transitions.

The website enables donors to confirm an organization’s exempt status and compliance with charitable regulations and to help decide how they would like to financially support the charity. Those nonprofits required to register in Ohio should visit the Ohio Attorney’s website and select “File Online.”

For more information, please contact your tax professional at Schneider Downs.

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