Forms and Government Sites:
YOUR ORGANIZATION HAS LESS THAN $50,000/support annually (and is not a
church), remember to file your 990N every year -- click on this link.
(If your organization has more support than this, and is not a church,
it will have to file 990EZ or 990 - duh.)
- IF YOUR ORGANIZATION FORGOT and has lost
its exemption, READ REV. PROC. 2014-11
online or in PDF and hurry!
Easier to get reinstated if you do it within 15 months of revocation.
- IF YOUR ORGANIZATION WAS FORMED
(INCORPORATED) ALMOST 27 MONTHS AGO, HURRY
UP AND FILE FORM 1023 (or the new 1023EZ) AND READ REV. PROC 2013-9 SECTION 11 -- you MUST FILE
990N, 990EZ or 990 even before you get approved as exempt under
501c3. Be careful however -- if your exemption is retroactive and
you haven't filed the requisite 990N/990EZ/990 for 3+ years you might
also lose it it immediately.... this gets complex.
- IRS (general website), IRS
Forms and Publications (download -- you can fill in, save, and
print, or just fill-in and print.) Very useful: IRS
"Tax Information for Charities and Other Nonprofits" page.
See also the IRS' useful "Life
Cycle of an Exempt Organization." Lots and LOTS of other
useful and user-friendly information on searchable site including
FAQ on Form 990N.
to info on how to contact the IRS. ALSO if you are a
tax professional, don't forget this page with key resources and
PRIORITY PHONE NUMBERS.
- Apply for a tax
identification number (Form SS-4) ONLINE or by fax
- If you are a
lawyer, accountant, etc. representing an organization pursuant to Form
2848, remember to fax Form 2848 to 855-214-7519 if you are in Connecticut
(2016); better, check the fax number by going to www.irs.gov/form2848 and search
under “Recent Developments.”
- The rules you
live by: the
Tax Code (Title 26 of the US Code from Findlaw) (or official Title
26), including Exempt
Organizations subchapter F. Pay special attention to Sections
Remember to check
the official version
to make sure it's current. Check the text of the PENSION PROTECTION ACT (PDF) if you're
curious about the changes that went into effect in 2005 -- or view a summary of Act in text.
regulations. This is where you find the "fine print" on charitable
research stuff: Internal
Revenue Manual (exempt orgs. -- scroll down to 7.20 and following.), IRBs
Rev. Proc. 2013-9 (part of I.R.B. No. 13-2), Letter
Professional Education Materials (discontinued since 2004, but
still a good source of information) to find out what IRS Exempt Orgs.
is thinking; much more in the Electronic
- Legalbitstream and UncleFed.com - tax information, searchable
tax databases for professional research. Warning: the
search tool isn't very helpful if you know where you're going; the
scope may be pretty recent.
- Online Compendium of NPO
Regulations (ambitious site but pretty dated at this point!
Still, a lot has not changed.)
Department of Treasury Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines (PDF):
Voluntary Best Practices for U.S. Based Charities (making grants
overseas) (October 2006, 3rd or 4th revision) The Treasury says:
"If a U.S.-based charity follows these guidelines, and commits
resources to implement them effectively, there will be a corresponding
reduction in the likelihood of a blocking order against any such
charity or donors who contribute to such charity in good faith, absent
knowledge or intent to provide financing or support to terrorist
of Foreign Assets Control list of "specially designated nationals"
and "blocked persons" - potential terrorists or those who aid them, at
least in the eyes of the government.
- Connecticut Department of Revenue Services
- forms and tax information may be downloaded; Connecticut
regulations and other official publications are also now
Secretary of the State of Connecticut - downloadable nonstock
corporate forms AND forms to form a "religious corporation" -- in
general a CHURCH or other "house of worship" is going to use that form
instead of the nonstock forms.
STATUS: Secretary of the State Corporation Information Search
a/k/a CONCORD (consider "business" as including nonprofit
organizations) you can check
whether an organization is incorporated and when, filing history etc.
Not open in the middle of the night!
FILING: Secretary of the State of Connecticut - you can file
annual reports etc. online! (create a login and password first)
Attorney General's Office Public
Charities Unit page - download
solicitation forms or you can now apply for exemption from
registration, or register, ONLINE.
Corporation Act (current through 12/31/2014)
- Chapter 598,
Conn. General Statutes - religious corporations and societies (current through 12/31/2014)
Charitable Solicitation Act (current through 12/31/2014)
Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (current through 12/31/2014). This statute effectively
replaces the old
Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act, repealed by Public Act
08-06., eff. 4/08.
- National Association of State Charity
Officials (links to officials in every state; unified registration statement
for filing in many states -- such as when conducting online
solicitation OR link to e.g. networkforgood.org)
- Public Disclosure
regulation site (good summary of requirements created by Eric
Mercer) - or see the IRS online workshop/tutorial on required
disclosures workshop (WARNING!
starts with a voiceover); you can also download
Sources for Non-Financial Help
- Charitableregistry.com -
a commercial site that offers flat-fee charitable solicitation
registration in all states that require registrationU
- Used to be that Center for
Lobbying in the Public Interest had great sources of information on
lobbying, but the Center was absorbed by National Center for Nonprofits
in 2012 and the website is, IMHO, worthless on this issue. Looks
like a mobile-friendly newsfeed. Instead, use the wayback machine
to find the old
CLPI website from December, 2014. Not all sub-links may
work. Familiarize yourself with https://archives.org to find the
others! Also use the site of Alliance
for Justice, both great sources of information on the limits of
lobbying for nonprofits. See the CLPI letter from the IRS about grants to
organizations that lobby.
- Council on Foundations - primarily a
resource for grant-making foundations
Nonprofit FAQ -- series of articles on issues affecting nonprofits,
now a project of the National Center for Charitable Statistics at The
Urban Institute in Washington, DC.
Law Prof Blog - what it sounds like.
Editors David K. Brennan and Darryll K. Jones with numerous
Bono Partnership Publications and FAQs - A host of articles on different topics offered by the Pro
Bono Partnership (see below)
- Fiscal Sponsor Directory
- directory of fiscal sponsors hosted by San Francisco Study Center
(publisher of Fiscal Sponsorship: 6
Ways to Do It Right) - a/k/a how to get grants if you are NOT a
separate nonprofit OR if you are awaiting recognition of nonprofit
Funding (Just to Get Started!!)
- The Pro Bono
Partnership offers general free legal help in NJ, NY and CT to "(i)
nonprofit, community-service organizations whose primary purpose is to
operate ongoing programs or activities that benefit low-income
communities or that otherwise serve the public interest and are (ii)
unable to pay for legal services without significant impairment of
program resources." You can also subscribe to a useful newsletter.
- Contact the
state's county bar associations to seek pro bono assistance (free legal
help for those unable to pay); the Connecticut Bar Association no
longer has a statewide program but provides links with phone numbers
to participating organizations.
Accounting Aid & Services, Inc. (CAAS) - pro bono arm of the
Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants, CAAS will provide
accounting assistance to qualified nonprofits ($100,000 annual income
is the ceiling)
- Connecticut Association of
Information about Nonprofits,
including Tax-Exempt Status
- The Connecticut
Council for Philanthrophy (formerly the Coordinating Council for
Foundations) -- Connecticut’s regional association of more than 90
grantmakers. The site includes a downloadable version of the "common
form" grant application which is accepted by many Connecticut
grantmakers. You scan view research on grantmaking and purchase
& Philanthropic Resource Center ("NPRC") of The New Haven Free
Public Library - a Cooperating Collection of the Foundation Center,
with free access to its database, FC SEARCH, at the Main branch of the
library (not online). If you are inclined you can subscribe to
the Foundation Center
online search yourself, but it costs $400-$1500/year. Not
sure if there is still a mailing list at NHFPL; you can try to email to
email@example.com or call
Carol Brown at (203) 946-7431 to get on the mailing list or for help.
of ALL community foundations serving Connecticut - -a good place
to seek help if you are a new organization OR if you are contemplating
a project such as a memorial fund or scholarship fund that may or may
not continue for the next 100 years....
- Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
- Community Foundation
for Fairfield County
- Community Foundation for
Greater New Britain
- Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
- Listing of Connecticut
chapters of United Way
- The Foundation Center - major source
of information for grantseekers; includes "foundation lookup" search
tool, links to common grant application forms, etc.
State Library - information on grants; links to many other sites
- Foundations Online - A Directory of
Charitable Grantmakers (offered by Northern California Community
Foundation) - This site lists grantmaking foundations, and it is
possible to access foundation grant guidelines, application
instructions, and deadlines.
- shameless plug (I can do this --
I'm not tax-exempt!) -- if you are an arts organization
(especially in the greater New York area) consider my shrewd, talented
(and nice) cousin Bryony Romer and her business Bryony Romer Consulting, which "provides development and
strategic planning services to small and mid-sized arts
organizations." Check out her website.
- IRS Exempt
Organizations Search (IRS searchable version of Publication 78 -
- Guidestar - provides information
from Form 990 - you have to "register" but it is free
of the State Corporation Information Search called "CONCORD" (it's
ok that it says "business") (use * as a wild card when searching a
- Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance
site -- Give.org - reports on nationally soliciting charities and
rates them on compliance with voluntary "standards for charity
- Look up a CT charity's filing status with the Public
Charities Unit online
at elicense.ct.gov. Doesn't mean the charity still exists,
though! For that you need CONCORD, and as for exempt status, the
an exempt organization can call the IRS Cincinnati office at
877-829-5500 (toll free) M-F, 8-5, with its name and EIN, and the IRS
will check its database and prepare a new letter and fax it to the
organization on the same day, with hard copy to follow by mail.
THIS INFORMATION IS
NOT PROVIDED AS LEGAL ADVICE AND CREATES NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT
RELATIONSHIP. NO ENDORSEMENT IS INTENDED BY ANY REFERENCES
HEREIN. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR OWN LEGAL AND FINANCIAL ADVISORS
BEFORE TAKING ANY ACTION. In compliance with regulations issued
by the Internal Revenue Service, please be advised that nothing on this
page was written to be used or may be used by any person to avoid any
penalties under the Internal Revenue Code.
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