Colorado Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

This guide covers the required filings to maintain a nonprofit corporation in Colorado. If you are looking to form nonprofit in Colorado, please visit our Start Your Colorado Nonprofit guide. The steps below apply to nonprofits that are both incorporated and foreign qualified in Colorado. Please note that this is a general list and may not be exhaustive or applicable to all nonprofits.

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1 File IRS Form 990
Agency:Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Form:

IRS Form 990-N, 990-EZ, 990-PF or 990

Instructions:

See Form 990 Thresholds to determine which form to file.  Then see Current Form 990 Series for instructions.

Due:

By the 15th day of the 5th month following the end of the taxable year.  For most organizations, the tax year ends December 31 so the Form 990 is due May 15.

Fact Checked:8/28/19
2 File Colorado Corporate Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



There is no renewal requirement for Colorado corporate income tax exemption.

More information: Colorado Department of Revenue
3 File Colorado Sales Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



Colorado does not have a renewal requirement for sales tax exemption.

More information: Colorado Department of Revenue
4 File Colorado Periodic Report
Agency:Colorado Secretary of State
Form:

Periodic Report

Instructions:

Instruction sheet

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$10

Due:

Annually by the end of the month of initial registration. If the Periodic Report is not filed on time, the entity will have an additional two months after the Periodic Report month to file a late Periodic Report.

Law:

C.R.S. § 7-90-501

Notes:
  • Can be filed up to 2 months early
  • Must be filed online and paid with a credit/debit card.
  • Anyone with authority may file.
Fact Checked:8/6/20
5 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

Colorado Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Colorado Secretary of State (Charities)
Law:

Colorado Revised Statutes § 6-16-104

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No
Fact Checked:4/10/20

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Charities that do not intent to solicit and receive and do not actually receive more than $25,000 in contributions during a fical year
  • Charities that do not receive contributions from more than 10 persons during a fiscal year
  • Religious organizations that are exempt from filing the IRS 990
  • Below college level educational organizations that are affiliated with a church or operated by a religious order
  • Political organizations
  • Appeals for individuals
Notes:

Exempt charities can file an optional exemption claim to have a public record of their exempt status created in the secretary of state's database.

Fact Checked:8/15/19

Initial Registration

Instructions:

Instructions for Registering as a Charitable Organization

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$10

Turnaround:

1 week

Notes:
  • Any charitable organization that (1) solicits contributions in Colorado, (2) has contributions solicited in Colorado on its behalf, or (3) participates in a charitable sales promotion must register in Colorado.
  • Any authorized officer must sign electronically.
  • After approval you will receive a registration number and a printable "certificate of registration".  You can view and print a Certificate of Registration from the summary screen of any registered group.
  • Some Colorado counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Before you Apply:

All Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • Appoint a registered agent to receive legal documents in Colorado.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Colorado Secretary of State.
  2. Create an efile account and submit an online application with all required attachments to the charities section of the Colorado Secretary of State.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Colorado. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the Colorado Secretary of State.
  3. Create an efile account and submit an online application with all required attachments to the charities section of the Colorado Secretary of State.
Required Attachments:

  • IRS form 990
  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts
Fact Checked:4/14/20

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$10

Due:

Renewal is due annually by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your organization's fiscal year, however, Colorado automatically grants a 3 month extension of this deadline.

Due Date Extension:

Due dates are automatically extended for 3 months after the original due date, but charities needing more time can request an additional 3 months extension by making a request online. For more information and detailed instructions, see this page.

Penalties:

There is a $60 fee for failure to file a renewal.

Notes:
  • Also file your annual financial report
  • Any authorized officer must sign electronically.
  • After approval you will receive a registration number and a printable "certificate of registration"
Required Attachments:

  • List of officers and directors
  • IRS determination letter
Fact Checked:2/4/20

Change of Fiscal Year

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

Immediately online

Notes:

Fiscal year can be changed online.

Fact Checked:12/7/18

Cancellation

Form:

Charities Registration Withdrawal

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

To close out your registration, file a withdrawal form with the Secretary of State.

Fact Checked:7/14/20
6Maintain a Colorado Registered Agent

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in Colorado. The registered agent is responsible for receiving legal documents such as service of process. Appointing a registered agent service is often preferable to listing an officer or director, as their information often changes. Consider using our registered agent service in Boulder , CO to maintain compliance with the state requirement.


Continue reading

Fundraising Compliance

Learn how to stay compliant with charitable solicitation laws.

Read the guide
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