North Carolina Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

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

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
2 File North Carolina Corporate Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



There is no renewal requirement for North Carolina corporate income tax exemption.

More information: North Carolina Department of Revenue
3 File North Carolina Sales Tax Returns
Agency:North Carolina Department of Revenue
Form:

Form E-585 (Sales Tax Refund)

Agency fee:

$0

Due:

April 15th and October 15th

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
4 File North Carolina Sales Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



More information: North Carolina Department of Revenue
5 File North Carolina Annual Report

Not required



More information: North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division
6 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

North Carolina Charitable or Sponsor Organization Solicitation License

Agency:North Carolina Secretary of State - Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division
Legal Notes:

North Carolina General Statutes §§ 131 F-2 to 131f-8. CSL Statute and Rule Reference

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Religious organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Any hospital licensed pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 131E or Article 2 of Chapter 122C of the General Statutes
  • Any noncommercial radio or television station
  • A qualified community trust as provided in 26 C.F.R. § 1.170A-9(e)(10) through (e)(14)
  • A volunteer fire department, REACT (Radio Emergency Associated Communications Teams), rescue squad, or emergency medical service
  • A Young Men's Christian Association or a Young Women's Christian Association
  • A nonprofit continuing care facility licensed under Article 64 of Chapter 58 of the General Statutes
  • Any tax exempt nonprofit fire or emergency medical service organization involved in the sale of goods or services that does not ask for a donation
Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Educational institutions

Form:

Questionnaire for Exemption Under 131F-3(4)

Agency fee:

$0

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Registration to Obtain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Charities with less than $25,000 in contributions in any calendar year

Form:

Request for Exemption Under 131F-3(3)

Agency fee:

$0

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Exemption Renewal

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Charities with less than $25,000 in contributions in any calendar year

Form:

Request for Exemption Under 131F-3(3) (Renewal)

Agency fee:

$0

Due:

Annually within 4.5 months after the organization's fiscal year end.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Initial Registration

Form:

Initial / Renewal License Application for Charities or Sponsors

Filing method:

Mail or online.

Agency fee:

$0-200, depending on contributions

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:
  • Note the list of attachments required.
  • The CFO / treasurer must sign and it must be notarized.
  • Some North Carolina counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Initial / Renewal License Application for Charities or Sponsors

Filing method:

Mail or online.

Agency fee:

$0-200, depending on contributions

Due:

Renewal is due annually 4.5 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, renewal is due May 15.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Penalties:

$25 for each month that passes after the due date. Capped at $900.

Notes:
  • Note the list of attachments required (including annual financial report).

Change of Fiscal Year

Form:

Initial / Renewal License Application for Charities or Sponsors

Agency fee:

Varies

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:

Fiscal year can be changed during the standard renewal process.

7Maintain a North Carolina Registered Agent

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in North Carolina. 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 Raleigh , NC to maintain compliance with the state requirement.


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