Massachusetts Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

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

Not required



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

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

Not required



Massachusetts does not have a renewal requirement for sales tax exemption, but organization information most be kept up to date.

More information: Massachusetts Department of Revenue
4 File Massachusetts Annual Report

If the nonprofit was formed in Massachusetts (Domestic):

Agency:Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth
Form:

Annual Report

Filing Method:

Mail, in-person, or online.

Agency Fee:

$15 for mail, $18.50 for online.

Due:

Annually by November 1.

Law:

M.G.L.A. c180 § 26A (1933); 950 CMR § 106.13

Notes:
  • Anyone with authority may file.
  • Original signatures are not required.

If the nonprofit was formed outside of Massachusetts (Foreign):

Agency:Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth
Form:

Annual Report

Filing Method:

Mail, in-person, or online

Agency Fee:

$109 for online and $125 by mail.

Due:

Annually by two and a half months after the end of the organization's fiscal year.

Law:

M.G.L.A. c156D, § 16.22 (2004); 950 CMR 113.57.

Penalties:

$25 late fee.

Notes:
  • Anyone with authority may file.
  • Original signatures are not required.
5 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

Massachusetts Charity Registration

Agency:Massachusetts Attorney General - Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division
Law:

Massachusetts General Laws Ch 12, §8e and 8f; Ch 68 §18 through 35

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite: ACCESS PREMIUM DATA
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required? ACCESS PREMIUM DATA

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations: ACCESS PREMIUM DATA

Initial Registration

Form: ACCESS PREMIUM DATA
Instructions: ACCESS PREMIUM DATA
Filing Method: ACCESS PREMIUM DATA
Agency Fee:

Initial registration fee of $100 plus:

  • $50 Schedule A-2 fee for organizations registering before their initial fiscal year end date, or
  • $35-$2,000 (depending on gross support and revenue) for organizations registering in subsequent fiscal years
Due: ACCESS PREMIUM DATA
Notes:
  • As of September 2014, the Short Form PC is no longer being accepted as a registration document.
  • Note the list of attachments that first-time registrants must attach to the application. This includes disclosing contracts with professional fundraisers.
  • The President and another officer or trustee must sign. Signatures need not be notarized.
  • Some Massachusetts counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.

Registration Renewal

Form: ACCESS PREMIUM DATA
Filing Method: ACCESS PREMIUM DATA
Agency Fee:

$35-$2,000, depending on gross support and revenue.

Due: ACCESS PREMIUM DATA
Notes:
  • Attach a copy of your IRS Form 990
  • Charities raising $200K+ must submit a financial statement

Change of Fiscal Year

Form: ACCESS PREMIUM DATA
Notes:

Send a cover letter explaining the change in fiscal year along with the Form PC and a copy of the amended Articles of Incorporation.

6Maintain a Massachusetts Registered Agent

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in Massachusetts. 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 Pittsfield , MA to maintain compliance with the state requirement.

Harbor Compliance® proudly partners with the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network to provide insightful resources and compliance solutions to nonprofits in Massachusetts.



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