Connecticut Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

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

A smiling woman in front of her computer.
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.

2 File Connecticut Corporate Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



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

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

Not required



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

4 File Connecticut Annual Report
Agency:Connecticut Secretary of State - Commercial Recording Division
Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$50

Due:

Annually by the registration anniversary date. 

Law:

Connecticut Business Corporation Act, Sec. 33-953

Notes:
  • Connecticut religious corporations and Connecticut statutory trusts do not file an annual report. 
  • Anyone with authority may file.
5 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

Connecticut Charity Registration

Agency:Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection - Public Charities Unit
Law:

Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-190a et seq.

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Religious organizations
  • Educational institutions using curricula that are registered or approved by any state or the United States or that have been accepted by an accrediting body
  • Parent-teacher associations
  • Nonprofit hospitals
  • Government organizations
  • Charities that receive $50,000 or less in contributions annually provided such organizations do not compensate any person primarily to conduct solicitations
  • Persons who solicit for exempt organizations
Filing Method:

Online.

Agency Fee:

$0

Law:

Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-190d

Notes:

Exemptions do not expire as long as the organization continues to qualify under the exemption criteria.

Initial Registration

Form:

Initial Charitable Organization Registration Application

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$50

Turnaround:

2-3 weeks

Notes:
  • Two authorized representatives must sign. Notarized signatures are not required.
  • Some Connecticut counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • If your charity meets the audit threshold, obtain an audited financial report to submit with your registration application.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • If your charity meets the audit threshold, obtain an audited financial report to submit with your registration application.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.
  • If you will foreign qualify in Connecticut, obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state to submit during the foreign qualification process. The certificate cannot be more than 90 days old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Connecticut Secretary of State.
  2. Submit a Charitable Organization Registration Application and all required attachments to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Connecticut. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the Connecticut Secretary of State.
  3. Submit a Charitable Organization Registration Application and all required attachments to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
Required Attachments:
  • IRS form 990
  • Audited financials (if applicable)
  • Either IRS determination letter or IRS form 1023/1024

Registration Renewal

Form:

Charitable Organization Renewal Notice

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$50

Due:
  • Annually within 11 months after the organization’s fiscal year ends. For example, organizations with December fiscal year-ends are due by November 30.
  • There is no official start to the renewal period, so renewals may be submitted as soon as financials become available for the most recently completed fiscal year.
Due Date Extension:

No extensions are available for charitable registration due dates.

Penalties:

There is a late fee of $25 for each month that passes after the due date. Registrations lapse 65 days after the due date and must then be reinstated.

Notes:

Renewal notices (forms) are sent in the mail approximately 30-45 days prior to the expiration date.

Required Attachments:

  • Audited financials (if applicable)

Contract Filing

Filing Method:

Email to dcp.publiccharities@ct.gov

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Due:

Every charitable organization which agrees to permit a charitable sales promotion to be conducted in its behalf, shall obtain a written agreement from the commercial coventurer and submit a copy of such agreement to the Department of Consumer Protection not less than ten days prior to the commencement of the charitable sales promotion within this state.

Law:

Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-190g

Notes:

Contracts, at a minimum, must include:

  1. The goods or services to be offered to the public;
  2. The geographic area where, and the starting and final date when, such offering is to be made;
  3. The manner in which the name of the charitable organization is to be used, including any representation to be made to the public as to the amount or per cent per unit of goods or services purchased or used that is to benefit the charitable organization;
  4. A provision for a final accounting on a per unit basis to be given by the commercial coventurer to the charitable organization and the date when it is to be made; and
  5. The date when and the manner in which the benefit is to be conferred on the charitable organization.
How to Apply:

The charity must be registered to solicit charitable contributions or otherwise exempt for the contract to be accepted.

Change of Fiscal Year

Notes:

Fiscal year can be changed during the standard renewal process. Submit the last 990 prior to change and include the short year 990 as well.

Cancellation

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

Closing a charity registration is optional in Connecticut. The state will accept a letter stating intent to withdraw, but charities can also simply allow their registration to expire.

6Maintain a Connecticut Registered Agent

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in Connecticut. 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 Glastonbury , CT to maintain compliance with the state requirement.

Harbor Compliance® proudly partners with The Alliance: The Voice of Community Nonprofits to provide insightful resources and compliance solutions to nonprofits in Connecticut.



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