Washington D.C. Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

This guide covers the required filings to maintain a nonprofit corporation in Washington D.C.. If you are looking to form nonprofit in Washington D.C., please visit our Start Your Washington D.C. Nonprofit guide. The steps below apply to nonprofits that are both incorporated and foreign qualified in Washington D.C.. 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:

The 15 day of the 5 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 Washington D.C. Corporate Tax Exemption Renewals
Agency:D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue
Filing method:

Online

Agency fee:

$0

Due:

Franchise tax exemptions need to be renewed every 5 years.

3 File Washington D.C. Sales Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



There is no ongoing filing to renew tax exemption.

More information: D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue
4 File Washington D.C. Two-Year Report
Agency:DCRA Corporations Division
Form:

BRA-25: Two-Year Report for Domestic and Foreign Filing Entity

Filing method:

Mail, in-person, or online.

Agency fee:

$80

Turnaround:

Online filings process in about 15 business days.

Due:

Your first report is due April 1 in the calendar year after registration. After the first filing, reports are due biennially by April 1.

Law:

D.C. Code Ann. § 29-301.01 et seq.

Penalties:

Late fee of $50.

Notes:
  • In person filing is subject to additional $100 fee.
5 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

District of Columbia Charitable Solicitation License

Agency:District of Columbia, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
Law:

District of Columbia Code Ann. § 44-1703 et seq.

Registration to Obtain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Charities that raise less than $1,500 in contributions per calendar year and do not use paid solicitors
  • Religious institutions
  • Educational institutions
  • Membership organizations
Form:

Basic Business License - Charitable Exempt Category

Filing method:

Mail or online.

Agency fee:

$0

Renewal to Maintain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Charities that raise less than $1,500 in contributions per calendar year and do not use paid solicitors
  • Religious institutions
  • Educational institutions
  • Membership organizations
Form:

Basic Business License - Charitable Exempt Category

Filing method:

Mail or online.

Agency fee:

$0

Due:

Biennially by the end of the month prior to your registration month. If you registered for the first time in September, your report will be due by the end of August two years later.

Initial Registration

Form:

Nonprofit organizations that solicit should apply for a D.C. Basic Business License for the Charitable Solicitation Category

Instructions:

First, you must foreign qualify in D.C..
Then, file the Combined Business Tax Registration Application (Form FR-500) with the Office of Tax and Revenue.
Then, all nonprofits then file the Unified Registration Statement (URS) along with a Basic Business License (BBL). That's right - even though your organization is a nonprofit you will need to obtain a business license in order to fundraise.

Filing method:

We recommend filing online.

Agency fee:

$412.50

Due:

You must register your nonprofit with the DCRA prior to soliciting charitable contributions in D.C. Soliciting includes requesting government grants from the District of Columbia or from the federal government located in D.C.

Notes:
  • Apply for a BBL in the "charitable solicitation" category
  • Carefully ensure you include all required attachments, including:
    • clean hands self-certification
    • tax number / certificate
    • certificate of occupancy (for D.C. premise)
    • formation documents
    • bylaws
    • IRS determination letter
    • certified resolution
    • solicitor information cards (optional)
  • Plan for 30-day turnaround from DCRA
  • Notarized signatures are not required.
  • Some District of Columbia counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.

Registration Renewal

Filing method:

Online

Agency fee:

$412.50

Due:

Biennially by the end of the month prior to your registration month. If you registered for the first time in September, your report will be due by the end of August two years later.

6Maintain a Washington D.C. Registered Agent

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in Washington D.C.. 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 Washington , DC to maintain compliance with the state requirement.


Nonprofit Compliance Solutions

Streamline your organization's compliance with our national turnkey solutions for burdensome government paperwork, corporate filings, and licensing.

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Fundraising Compliance

Learn how to stay compliant with charitable solicitation laws.

Read the guide
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