When are nonprofits required to file IRS forms in mulitple states and how many do? (FAQ)

Most states require that nonprofit organizations engaged in substantial fundraising activities to file registration or renewal documents each year with a SCO typically part of the state Attorney Generalís office or Secretary of Stateís office. Some states, such as New York, also require organizations with substantial charitable assets (e.g., private foundations) to register and file annual reports. State requirements vary from state to state, as do the forms that have been developed to meet these requirements. However, there are many similarities in the forms as well.

The Unified Registration Statement (URS) was developed by State Charity Offices (SCOs) to limit the filing burden for organizations that file in multiple states. (Analysis of Form 990 data indicates that less than one percent of organizations do so.) The form includes virtually every question asked by the SCOs participating in the project. As a result, the form is slightly longer than many of the individual state forms.

Less than 1 percent of 501(c)(3) organizations register or renew their registrations in multiple states. The attached Excel table shows the distribution of organizations filing returns anytime between 1998 and 2000 and the number of states where they filed.

Added 06/04/2002 by tpollak, Modified 05/25/2006 by jauer


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