All Posts in Category: Law Changes

New Jersey Charitable Solicitation Law Update

According to the Center for Non-Profits, the state association of nonprofits in New Jersey, effective May 1, the  New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs is requiring all annual charities registration renewals and extension requests to be filed through a state-run online portal. New Jersey requires most charitable organizations that solicit funds in the state to register and file annual financial reports. There are exceptions for small organizations that raise less than $10,000 annually and do not use a professional fundraiser, religious organizations, and educational organizations. The Center for Nonprofits has asked the Division to revert to accepting paper filings due to concerns about the online portal, including vague instructions, lack of available context-sensitive assistance, limited responsiveness to inquiries, difficulty in locating and uploading information, recordkeeping and processing backlogs at the Charities Registration office which can prevent access to key areas of the portal, and that it fails to meet the statutory requirement to incorporate Form 990 information by reference.

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Arkansas Charitable Solicitation Law Update

As of January 1, 2018, registration for charitable solicitation moved from the Arkansas Attorney General to the Arkansas Secretary of State.  The revised forms can be accessed at the Secretary of State’s website.

Further, the state changed its registration renewal deadline from May 15th (for calendar year groups) or 6 months (for organizations with a fiscal year other than calendar) to August 1st for all organizations.   The Secretary of State will honor any deadlines (extensions) previously granted for the first year of this transition.

A charitable organization that requires additional time to submit its renewal can still request a six (6) month extension which may be granted for good cause shown.   The extension request should be emailed to charities@sos.arkansas.gov.  In the subject line include the words “Annual Financial Report Extension.”   A copy of the IRS Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return (form 8868) may be sent along with the extension request but is optional.  The extension request can also be mailed to the SOS office.

The filing fees and deadlines for Fundraising Counsels and Paid Solicitors remain the same.

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Welcome Changes to Pennsylvania Fundraising Laws

On December 22, 2017 the Governor of Pennsylvania signed two bills into law amending the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act.  The new laws go into effect February 20, 2018.

Act 71: Under prior law, Pennsylvania required registered charities with gross annual contributions of $300,000 more to have an independent CPA audit the organization’s financial records. This was one of the lowest audit thresholds in the country. The new law does not require an independent audit until the registered charity’s  gross annual contributions meet or exceed $750,000. This will save many small charities thousands of dollars in audit fees that would not otherwise incur. Still, the higher threshold for independent audits does not mean that registered charities do not have to submit financial information. The new thresholds and requirements for financial reports required for charities registered to fundraise in Pennsylvania are as follows:

Less than $100,000: internally prepared, compilation, review, or audit
$100,000 to less than $250,000: compilation, review or audit
$250,000 to less than $750,000: review or audit
$750,000 or more: independent audit

 

Act 72:  To help charitable organizations comply with registration deadlines and, possibly, eliminate late filing fees, the annual registration statement will be considered timely filed if the renewal is postmarked on or before the deadline rather than by the date received by the Bureau. This aligns the Bureau’s filing requirements with the “mailbox rule” followed by the IRS and most other regulators.

This Act also provides the Bureau with more time to review and process registration filings submitted by charities, solicitors and fundraising counsels.  The number of days the Bureau has to review the filings has increased from 10 to 15.

Both laws will be applied to all registration renewals due February 15, 2018 and thereafter beginning with organizations whose fiscal year ended 3/31/2017 and has not yet refiled with the Bureau.  For organizations that are filing an initial application, the changes will apply for organizations that file on or after February 20, 2018.

Lastly, the Bureau revised the Charitable Organization Registration Statement and the Instructions.  Check the website (http://www.dos.pa.gov/BusinessCharities/Charities/Pages/default.aspx) for the August 2017 revised form which promises to be shorter and more user-friendly.

 

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