State legislatures and charity officials had a busy spring. Several states made immediate changes to their registration procedures, while others, like California, foreshadow additional requirements to come.
Nonprofits should expect charitable solicitation registration requirements to change frequently. Organizations that handle their registrations in house need a way to stay informed. This edition covers updates in California, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, and Tennessee. For continued updates, please subscribe to our email list.
On July 1, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that California may not require the collection of unredacted Form 990 Schedule B from registering charitable organizations. Effective July 1, the California Attorney General Charitable Trusts Section no longer enforces the requirement per its website. For more information and ongoing updates, visit and bookmark this blog post.
On June 23, 2021, California Attorney General Rob Bonta publicly announced his sponsorship of AB-488. AB-488 gives the Attorney General new oversight of internet platforms, such as crowdfunding websites. The bill proposes to create two new groups of entities, “charitable fundraising platforms” and “platform charities,” both of which face the prospect of registration with the Attorney General as well as additional disclosure requirements.
Once passed, AB-488 would be the first bill specifically regulating internet platforms and therefore would mark a significant change in the current regulatory landscape. Harbor Compliance is monitoring the progress of AB-488 and will provide updates as relates to our clients and their partner law and CPA firms.
Visit the California Attorney General’s press release for more information.
Effective May 27, 2021, with the passage of 2021 House Bill 2079, the Kansas Secretary of State is no longer the registration body for charitable organizations, professional fundraisers, and solicitors. The Kansas Attorney General’s Office is now the registration authority.
The annual filing fee has been set at $25 for all registrations, which is a reduction from $35 for charitable organizations. With the change in reporting agency, organizations of all types should also be aware of the updated registration forms, charity search database, and mailing address for applications.
Notably, Kansas still requires paper applications to be mailed. Kansas remains in a minority of states requiring registration, but which do not use an online registration portal.
The New Hampshire Attorney General Charitable Trusts Unit has eliminated the requirement that out-of-state nonprofits must appoint a registered agent when registering to solicit. Out-of-state nonprofits now have the option of designating an agent, but the Charitable Trusts Unit will no longer reject Form NHCT-11 that does not list a registered agent.
While this is good news for organizations registering to solicit in New Hampshire, keep in mind nonprofits are required to appoint a registered agent in several other states. This may be to meet the requirements of either the charity official or the corporation authority.
For complete information about registered agent requirements when registering to solicit charitable contributions, visit our state-by-state guide.
Additionally, New Hampshire has moved to an online registration system for charitable organizations. In general, online systems offer faster processing time, but may increase the time learning a new system and entering data. For support with your state registrations, visit our Fundraising Compliance service page.
Earlier this year, New York (NYS) passed into law changes to Executive Law 172-B. These changes created an additional requirement for nonprofits registered with the NY Attorney General’s Charities Bureau to report the same information separately with the Department of State (DOS).
NYS has not yet clarified whether organizations with fiscal years ending December 31, 2020, will still be obligated to file with the DOS. We will update this article with relevant information as we learn it.
On April 30th, 2021, the Tennessee legislature passed SB0426/HB0820, which grants charitable organizations a reduction in registration fees for the upcoming fiscal year. Normally, Tennessee has a $50 registration fee and a renewal fee based on the organization’s annual revenue, but which can reach $240.
For the following year, the registration and renewal fee will be $10. The Tennessee Secretary of State estimates this will save registering organizations nearly $2 million.
Visit the Tennessee Secretary of State’s press release for more information.
Harbor Compliance tracks legislative changes and maintains regular contact with state agencies. We help client organizations achieve registration and navigate a changing landscape of at times complex requirements.
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