Coronavirus and Charity Registrations: Update for April 17, 2020

James Gilmer
Posted on April 17, 2020 by James Gilmer in Nonprofit Compliance.

State charity offices have been making rapid responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now concerned with the promotion of public health, these officials are taking steps that impact your nonprofit’s state registrations. In the interest of keeping our clients informed, we are sharing these updates with you.

IRS Form 990 Deadline Extended to July 15, 2020

This week’s biggest news comes from the Internal Revenue Service. Effective April 9, 2020, the IRS has extended the due date of Form 990 returns. Per Notice 2020-23, if your organization’s deadline for Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, and 990-BL falls between April 1, 2020 and July 14, 2020, your new extended deadline is July 15, 2020

For a full list of forms and filing deadlines affected, visit the IRS’s Taxpayer Relief page.

Because many state charitable registration due dates fall on May 15, 2020, organizations with tax years ending June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2020 should pay special attention. 

If you can safely do so, consider completing your 990 and financial statements by the original IRS due date to avoid late fees with state agencies. At this time, many states are still enforcing their original deadline. 

A Message to Current Clients

As your managed service provider, our top priority is helping you keep your state registrations in good standing. You can relax knowing that our team is working hard behind the scenes to file extensions on your behalf with minimal action required on your part. During these uncertain times, we’ll continue to monitor state-level changes and provide updates if they directly impact your registrations. 

Your state renewals still require Form 990 and financial statements, despite the extra time offered by the IRS. By completing these items proactively, you avoid the need to collect signatures on state applications at the last minute. It also allows us to submit your applications before the inevitable backlog that will happen at state charity offices.

We’ve built robust, proprietary software so that you have insight into critical deadlines. When you log in to your Harbor Compliance Client Portal, you’ll see updates on any outstanding applications in the Project Status module, and your schedule of due dates in the License Manager module.

Finally, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Compliance Team with any additional questions. 

Impact of Federal Extension on State Charitable Registration Deadlines

In previous updates, we reported that a handful of states independently granted automatic extensions to registered charitable organizations. Since the IRS announcement, several more states have followed suit. 

We are in the beneficial position of being in direct contact with state charity offices, even when public notices are not posted online. Below, we have compiled a schedule of state-by-state updates.

You’ll note that some states are not recognizing the federal extension at this time. Failure to submit the state renewal forms, Form 990, and other required attachments by the original due date is likely to result in late filing fees.

Disclaimer: The data in this table are current as of the date of this article. We make specific reference to the common deadline of 5/15/2020 for June and December tax year filers. Your organization may have reporting deadlines and circumstances independent of the general information provided to us by state agencies. 

State Normal Due DateCOVID-19 Extended Due Date Comments from State Charity Official
Alabama3 months after charity’s tax year endsUnchanged“The expiration dates are still in effect but we are willing to work with each charity in these uncertain times. Extensions can be requested if there is not an extension already in place.”
Alaska8/31/2020UnchangedNo plans to grant additional extensions at this time, but there are no late fees.
Arkansas6 months after charity’s tax year endsUnchangedHarbor Compliance note: Arkansas has not posted information on their website or responded to our inquiries. However, the state does not enforce penalties or late fees for filing after their deadline.
California5/15/20207/15/2020The Registry of Charitable Trusts does honor ALL IRS extensions. The new due date to file with the IRS will become the due date to file with the Registry. The Registry status will remain current unless the filing has not been received by the final IRS due date. Please wait until the 990 is complete and submit all of the documents together.
Colorado5/15/20208/15/2020All registrant reports and filings that were or are due to the secretary of state between April 1, 2020 and July 15, 2020 are now due by August 15, 2020. If you have any questions concerning these rules please email charitable@sos.state.co.us or sos.rulemaking@sos.state.co.us.
Connecticut5/31/2020Unchanged“It has no impact on our renewal dates. We are going to be very lenient with the assessment of late fees. Connecticut already has a 6 month extension for financial documents already built into the renewal date unlike other states. For example, a charity with a fiscal year end for December 2019 does not renew until November 30, 2020.”
District of ColumbiaBased on registration date of applicantUndefinedAny business licenses, professional/occupational licenses, vending licenses, etc. that expire during the declared emergency will be considered valid, and people will have until 45 days after the declared emergency is over to renew their licenses (90 days for special police officers). All late fees and penalties will be waived for those who complete the renewal within 45 days of the end of the emergency.
FloridaBased on registration date of applicantUnchangedIt does not affect the renewal application because the charity already has the opportunity to request the 180 day extension for the financials.
GeorgiaBased on registration date of applicantConditionalCharities with renewals due between 3/1/2020 and 4/30/2020 are relieved from the requirement to file financial statements when registering or renewing their charity registration so long as they file said financial statements not later than 6/30/2020. Charities that plan to use the extended deadline for submission under this order must be unable to meet the requirement due in some way to COVID-19 and must email the Secretary of State explaining the reason they could not meet the requirement and provide an estimation of when financials will be available.
Hawaii5/25/2020ConditionalAnnual reports are due within 10 business days of when the organization filed their Form 990/990EZ with the IRS.
Illinois6 months after charity’s tax year endsUnchangedHarbor Compliance note: Illinois has not posted information on their website or responded to our inquiries. However, the state requires two separate notices to extend beyond the regular due date.
Kansas6 months after charity’s tax year endsUnchangedHarbor Compliance note: Kansas has not posted information on their website or responded to our inquiries. However, the state does not enforce penalties or late fees for filing after their deadline.
Kentucky5/15/20207/15/2020The IRS extension is acceptable to our office for filing of Form 990.
LouisianaBased on registration date of applicantUnchangedLouisiana does not require the IRS Form 990 for annual registrations.
Maine11/30/2020UnchangedHarbor Compliance note: Renewal filings are due November 30 for all organizations. No information currently exists regarding extensions along that timetable.
Maryland5/15/2020UndefinedAnnual registration and reporting deadlines for charities and professional solicitors have been extended to 30 days after the state of emergency is terminated.
Massachusetts5/15/2020Undefined“At this point we haven’t set a concrete deadline but we are working on it. For now, we are expecting reasonable delays. Please keep an eye on our website for any updates.”
Michigan7 months after charity’s tax year endsUnchangedHarbor Compliance note: Recently, the state has been giving an additional month to file (licenses that expire 7/31 are now pushed to 8/30). This is not necessarily how they are treating all filings. Most organizations do not have a May 15 filing deadline in this state.
Minnesota5/15/20209/15/2020The Minnesota Attorney General is granting an automatic 4-month extension for any filings due between April 15 and July 15, 2020.
Mississippi5/15/20207/15/2020Charities with a 5/15/2020 renewal date are now automatically extended to a 7/15/2020 due date.
Missouri501(c)(3) organizations are exempt from registrationN/AN/A
NevadaBased on registration date of applicantUnchangedHarbor Compliance note: Nevada has not posted information on their website or responded to our inquiries. However, Nevada generally requires a filing of some kind by the expiration date in order to keep the registration active.
New Hampshire5/15/20207/15/2020If the entity has already filed an extension so that its due date is April or May, we will grant it until 7/15/2020, but the organization needs to notify us.
New Jersey6 months after charity’s tax year endsUnchangedHarbor Compliance note: New Jersey has not posted information on their website or responded to our inquiries. However, most organizations do not have a May 15 filing deadline in this state.
New Mexico6 months after charity’s tax year endsConditional“We simply request that an extension is requested on the orgs COROS page. Some organizations will not need an extension …some will. Requests can be done easily in less than 60 seconds on COROS.”
New York5/15/2020ConditionalThe Charities Bureau currently grants to all registered charities an automatic six-month extension of the deadline for filing an annual financial report. Therefore, for example, organizations whose year-end was June 30, 2019 are required to file their annual financial reports by May 15, 2020. However, any organization whose filing deadline, including the automatic six-month extension, falls after February 15, 2020 will be given an additional six-month extension to file its annual financial reports.
North Carolina5/15/20207/15/2020Every entity has the capability to extend their renewal requirements up to a total of 90-days. If all the extensions have expired, late fees will still incur. Harbor Compliance note: North Carolina already grants an automatic 60 day extension to all filers. An additional 30 days can be requested (until August 15 for calendar year organizations) by submitting Form 8868.
North Dakota9/1/2020UnchangedHarbor Compliance note: Renewal filings are due September 1 for all organizations. No information currently exists regarding extensions along that timetable.
Ohio5/15/2020UnchangedHarbor Compliance note: The state has issued only formal extension to filers with tax years ending 5/31/2019. We are monitoring communications from the Attorney General regarding organizations with tax years ending 6/30/2019.
OklahomaBased on registration date of applicantUnchangedHarbor Compliance note: Oklahoma has not posted information on their website or responded to our inquiries. However, Oklahoma generally requires a filing of some kind by the expiration date in order to keep the registration active.
Oregon5/15/20208/15/2020Our office is automatically extending the due dates for the CT-12/CT-12F/CT-12S annual financial reports and increasing the maximum extension period so that all reports that were or are due between March 15, 2020 and July 15, 2020 are now due by August 15, 2020. For those organizations that are eligible for a longer extension, please submit your extension request on or before August 15, 2020. For example, if your organization’s 2019 report is initially due on May 15, 2020, please file an extension request by August 15 if you would like to extend the deadline to November 15, 2020.
Pennsylvania5/15/20208/17/2020Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the following charitable organization registration renewal deadlines, which fall between April 30, 2020, and July 31, 2020, are extended for three months, with the renewal of each registration required to be postmarked by the 15th day of the 14th month following the close of the organization’s fiscal year.
Rhode IslandBased on registration date of applicantUnchanged“That is not an applicable factor to our process as we already do grant all charitable filers a filing extension upon request. Just email an extension request; either a form 8868 or a .pdf letter request will suffice.”
South Carolina5/15/20207/15/2020*For those organizations with a FYE of (for example) June 30 who extended the due date for the financial report from November 15, 2019 to May 15, 2020, they must file no later than July 15th and do not need to request that extended due date.For those organizations with a FYE of (for example) December 31 that are due on May 15, 2020 will need to request an extension or file one online only if you will not have the report filed by the federally extended due date. If the IRS extends again to August 15th we will follow suit.If a May 15th organization knows they need until November 15th to file the financial report go ahead and request the extension now, the extended date of July 15th does not extend the due date past November 15th. *Harbor Compliance note: South Carolina has two filings due each year, a registration renewal and an annual financial report. Registration renewals are not extended because they do not require financial information. Only the annual financial reports are extended.
Tennessee6 months after charity’s tax year endsUnchangedCalendar year filers can take advantage of Tennessee’s 150 day extensions, which can be submitted online. June fiscal year end organizations are currently not eligible for further extension until the Tennessee legislature resumes session in June 2020 and enacts changes.
TexasMost organizations are exempt from registrationN/AN/A
UtahBased on registration date of applicantUnchanged“We are working with organizations who expired April 1, 2020, and cannot file due to the Covid virus, but the Charitable Solicitations Act only requires a copy of the most recently filed IRS form 990. This means that the previous years 990 filing will suffice with any registrations that are past due or coming up.”
Virginia5/15/2020UnchangedOur renewal date and expiration date is still the same.
Washington11 months after charity’s tax year endsUnchangedOur office is taking into consideration the events that are occurring and are handling these as a case by case basis. When possible please proactively communicate regarding which organizations are having troubles submitting their renewals on time. Our office does provide online filing services at: https://ccfs.sos.wa.gov/#/Home to allow organizations to submit their renewals and other submissions with electronic signatures.
West VirginiaBased on registration date of applicantUnchangedFor organizations that currently have an extension or request one prior to their expiration date, will automatically get an additional 90 days from their extension date to file.
Wisconsin7/31/2020 and 12 months after charity’s tax year endsUnchangedWisconsin already gives 12 months for organizations to file their annual financial report. However, organizations that need additional time to file can submit a written request, which are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. There is a second filing due 7/31/2020 for all organizations, which can be done online and cannot be extended.

If you need assistance managing your state charity registrations, contact us.  For more updates, subscribe to our email list

From all of us at Harbor Compliance, stay tuned and stay safe during these challenging times.


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