Georgia Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

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

2 File Georgia Corporate Tax Returns
Agency:Georgia Department of Revenue
Form:

File a copy of the federal form 990, 990EZ or 990PF. In additiion, if you file Form 990-T with the IRS (unrelated business income), then file Form 660-T with Georgia and attach IRS 990-T.  In addition, if you file Form 5500 with the IRS (pension / employee benefits plans), then file a copy with Georgia (the state requires a hard copy, even if you filed federally through ERISA).

Instructions:

Tax Exempt Organizations FAQs

Due:

4.5 months after fiscal year end. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then the filing is due April 15.

3 File Georgia Corporate Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



There is no renewal requirement for Georgia corporate income tax exemption, however, nonprofits must present their determination letter and other formation documents upon request.

More information: Georgia Department of Revenue
4 File Georgia Sales Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



Georgia does not offer general exemptions to nonprofits, and there will likely be ongoing filings for exemptions from specific sales.

More information: Georgia Department of Revenue
5 File Georgia Annual Registration
Agency:Georgia Secretary of State
Form:

Annual Registration

Instructions:

Reports can be submitted from January 1 until the deadline.

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$30 for online filing and $40 for mailed filing.

Due:

Annually by April 1.

Law:

Georgia Code § 14-3-1622

Penalties:

$25 fee for filing late.

Notes:
  • Annual registration filings made prior to January 1 will not be applied to the next annual registration period.
6 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

Georgia Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Georgia Secretary of State - Charities Division
Law:

Georgia Code Ann. § 43-17-5

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

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Educational institutions and those organizations, foundations, associations, corporations, charities, and agencies operated, supervised, or controlled by or in connection with a nonprofit educational institution, provided that those entities qualify for exemption under IRC 501(c)
  • Business, professional, and trade associations and federations which do not solicit members or funds from the general public
  • Fraternal, civic, benevolent, patriotic, and social organizations, when solicitation of contributions is carried on by persons without any form of compensation and which solicitation is confined to their membership
  • Appeals for individuals provided that 100% of proceeds are turned over to the named beneficiary and that if the contributions collected exceed $5,000, the person requesting contributions shall file a written accounting of funds with the Secretary of State
  • Any charitable organization which does not have any agreement with a paid solicitor and whose total revenue from contributions has been less than $25,000 for both the immediately preceding and current calendar years
  • Any local or state-wide organization of hunters, fishermen, and target shooters which has been recognized as an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) or Section 501(c)(4) of the IRC
  • Any volunteer fire department or rescue service operating in conjunction with a city or county government in this state and which has received less than $25,000 in both the immediately preceding and current calendar years
  • Religious organizations
  • Political parties, candidates for federal or state office, and political action committees required to file financial information with federal or state elections commissions
  • Local community and state-wide organizations affiliated with or acting on behalf of a registered or exempt state-wide or national parent organization by contract or agreement
  • National charitable organizations having a Georgia affiliate registered under this chapter need not register separately with the Secretary of State; provided, however, that all records of such national organizations which relate to charitable solicitations or charitable contributions shall be subject to such reasonable periodic, special, or other examinations by the Secretary of State
Filing Method:

Email to Charities@sos.ga.gov

Law:

Georgia Code Ann. § 43-17-9

Notes:

To claim an exemption, send the following information to Charities@sos.ga.gov:

  • Name of organization
  • Physical and mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Contact person
  • Email person
  • Which rule the organization is claiming for their exemption

Initial Registration

Form:

Form C-100: Charitable Organization Registration

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$35

Turnaround:

4-6 weeks

Notes:
  • Notarized signature of an authorized executive officer is required.
  • Some Georgia 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 Georgia, 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 formation documents with the Georgia Secretary of State - Corporations Division.
  2. Submit a completed Charitable Organization Registration form and all required attachments to the Georgia Professional Licensing Boards and Securities Division.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Georgia. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the Georgia Secretary of State - Corporations Division.
  3. Submit a completed Charitable Organization Registration form and all required attachments to the Georgia Professional Licensing Boards and Securities Division.
Required Attachments:
  • IRS form 990
  • Either audited financials, reviewed financials, or a financial statement depending on contributions received during the previous fiscal year (If no funds have been received or collected, attach a signed statement to that effect).
  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
  • Control person addendum and 10-year employment history for each control person

Registration Renewal

Form:

Charitable Organization Renewal

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$20

Due:
  • Biennially by the registration anniversary date. If you registered on January 15, 2020, your registration is due by January 15, 2022.
  • Renewals may be filed up to 90 days prior to the expiration date.
Due Date Extension:

Due dates can be extended by submitting the renewal form, renewal fee, and a letter that specifies the reason the financial statements cannot be filed and a date when such financial statements will be completed and filed.

Notes:

A renewal notice will be sent in the mail in the month prior to the expiration month. The notice should be returned with all required attachments and the renewal fee.

Required Attachments:
  • IRS form 990
  • Audited financials (if applicable)
  • Paid solicitor information (if applicable)
  • Citizenship affidavit

Contract Filing

Filing Method:

Contracts can be emailed to charities@sos.ga.gov.

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days.

Due:

Charities that contract with a commercial co-venturer for a charitable sales promotion should submit a copy of the contract within 30 days of the contract being signed.

Notes:

The agreement must be signed by an authorized representative of the charitable organization and the commercial coventurer and it must include, at a minimum, the following:

  1. The goods or services to be offered to the public;
  2. The geographic area where, and the starting and final date when, the offering will be made;
  3. The manner in which the charitable organization's name will be used, including the representation to be made to the public as to the actual or estimated dollar amount or percent per unit of goods or services purchased or used that will benefit the charitable organization;
  4. If applicable, the maximum dollar amount that will benefit the charitable organization;
  5. The estimated number of units of goods or services to be sold or used;
  6. 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 by which it will be made;
  7. A statement that the charitable sales promotion is subject to the requirements of this chapter; and
  8. The date by when, and the manner in which, the benefit will 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

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

Georgia does not track organization's fiscal years, but attach a cover letter to the renewal explaining the change.

Cancellation

Form:

Charitable Organization Withdrawal Form

Filing Method:

Mail or email to charities@sos.ga.gov.

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

To close out your registration, submit the withdrawal of charitable organization form.

7Maintain a Georgia Registered Agent

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in Georgia. 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 Roswell , GA to maintain compliance with the state requirement.


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