Illinois Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

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

Not required



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

More information: Illinois Department of Revenue
3 File Illinois Sales Tax Exemption Renewals
Agency:Illinois Department of Revenue
Form:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Every 5 years from date of issue.

Fact Checked:7/20/18
4 File Illinois Annual Report
Agency:Illinois Secretary of State - Business Services Department
Form:

Domestic/Foreign Corporation Annual Report

Instructions:

No initial report is required.

Filing Method:

Mail or online

Agency Fee:

$10 + $1 filing fee.

Due:

Annually by the end of the month prior to the corporation anniversary month. Can be filed up to 60 days prior to the start of the anniversary month.

Law:

805 ILCS 105/114.10

Penalties:

$3 penalty if late.

Notes:

Cannot be filed online if:

  • The corporation owns property outside of Illinois and /or transacts business outside of Illinois.
  • There have been changes in authorized shares, issued shares and/or paid-in capital. The annual report must be filed on paper accompanied by the appropriate document(s) changing the authorized shares, issued shares and/or paid-in capital.
  • You need to enter more than six officers or six directors, you must file a paper annual report.
Fact Checked:8/6/20
5 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

Illinois Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Illinois Attorney General - Charitable Trust Bureau
Law:

760 Illinois Compiled Statutes § 55/1 et seq., Charitable Trust Act and Solicitation for Charity Act

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?Yes
Fact Checked:4/10/20

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • The University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University,Eastern Illinois University, Illinois State Normal University, Northern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, all educational institutions that are recognized by the State Board of Education or that are accredited by a regional accrediting association or by an organization affiliated with the National Commission on Accrediting, any foundation having an established identity with any of the aforementioned educational institutions, any other educational institution confining its solicitation of contributions to its student body, alumni, faculty and trustees, and their families
  • Fraternal, patriotic, social, educational, alumni organizations and historical societies when solicitation of contributions is confined to their membership
  • Persons requesting any contributions for the relief or benefit of any individual if the contributions collected are turned over to the named beneficiary, first deducting reasonable expenses for costs of banquets, or social gatherings, if any, provided all fund raising functions are carried on by persons who are unpaid, directly or indirectly, for such services
  • Any bona fide union, bona fide political organization or bona fide political action committee, which does not solicit funds for a charitable purpose
  • Any charitable organization receiving an allocation from an incorporated community chest or united fund provided certain conditions are met
  • A bona fide organization of volunteer firemen, or a bona fide auxiliary or affiliate of such organization, provided all its fund raising activities are carried on by members of such an organization or an affiliate thereof and such members receive nocompensation, directly or indirectly
  • Any charitable organization operating a nursery for infants awaiting adoption providing that all its fund raising activities are carried on by members of such an organization or an affiliate thereof and such members receive no compensation, directly or indirectly
  • Any corporation established by the Federal Congress that is required by federal law to submit annual reports of its activities to Congress
  • Any boys' club which is affiliated with the Boys' Club of America provided, however, that such an affiliate properly files the reports required by the Boys' Club of America and that the Boys' Club of America files with the Government of the United States the reports required by its federal charter
  • Any veterans organization chartered or incorporated under federal law and any veterans organization which is affiliated with, and recognized in the bylaws of, a congressionally chartered or incorporated veterans organization
  • Any parent-teacher organization that is controlled by teachers and parents of children attending a particular public or private school for which the organization is named and solicits contributions for the benefit of that particular school provided that certain conditions are met
Notes:

Fax a letter to the charitable trust bureau requesting exemption.

Fact Checked:1/8/20

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Religious organizations

Form:

Form CO-3: Religious Exemption Form

Agency Fee:

$0

Notarize:Required
Notes:

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

Fact Checked:8/15/18

Initial Registration

Form:

Form CO-1: Registration Statement

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15

Turnaround:

4-6 weeks

Notes:
  • President and CFO or another authorized officer must sign. They must be two individuals. Notarization of signatures is not needed.
  • Some Illinois 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.
  • Appoint a registered agent to receive legal documents in Illinois.
  • 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.
  • Appoint a registered agent to receive legal documents in Illinois.
  • Obtain certified copies of your articles of incorporation (including amendments) to file during the foreign qualification process. These documents must be dated within 90 days of the date of application for foreign qualification.
  • 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.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Illinois Secretary of State - Business Services Department.
  2. Submit a Registration Statement and all required attachments to the Illinois Attorney General - Charitable Trust Bureau.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. File foreign qualification documents with the Illinois Secretary of State - Business Services Department (The foreign qualification requirement may be waived by sending a letter to the department notifying them that the charity is not required to register with the Secretary of State).
  2. Submit a Registration Statement and all required attachments to the Illinois Attorney General - Charitable Trust Bureau.
Required Attachments:

  • IRS form 990
  • Audited financials (if applicable)
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts
  • A signed statement indicating no funds were solicited or held in Illinois at any time prior to registration
  • Certificate of authority to do business in Illinois
Fact Checked:4/14/20

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form AG990-IL: Illinois Charitable Organization Supplement

Instructions:

Small nonprofits who raised <$15,000 in contributions during the calendar year do not need to file. In contrast, large nonprofits will need to submit audited finanical statements.

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15

Due:

Due annually 6 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then renewal is due June 30. 

Due Date Extension:

Due dates can be extended for 60 days beyond the original due date by sending a letter including the name, CO number, and EIN number of the charity to the attorney general's office. If more time is needed, a second extension of an additional 2.5 months is available. When applying for a second extensions, charities must submit an unsigned AG990IL with "draft" written at the top, a letter requesting extension, preliminary income statement and balance sheet, IRS Form 8868, and the $15 renewal fee.

Original Ink:Not required
Penalties:

There is a late fee of $100.

Notes:
  • Include all required attachments, including finanical audit if needed.
Required Attachments:

  • IRS form 990
  • Audited financials (if applicable)
  • Professional fundraising contracts
Fact Checked:2/4/20

Change of Fiscal Year

Form:

Form AG990-IL: Illinois Charitable Organization Supplement

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

Send a letter indicating change of fiscal year and then draft AG990-IL (unsigned) and letter requesting extension.

Fact Checked:12/7/18

Cancellation

Form:

AG990-IL Charitable Organization Annual Report

Agency Fee:

$15

Notes:

To close out your registration, file a final annual report with "FINAL" written across the top and original signatures. Organizations must also provide a letter indicating that they wish to withdraw and proof of dissolution or withdrawal from the Secretary of State.

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

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in Illinois. 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 Springfield , IL 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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