Pennsylvania Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

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

Not required



Nonprofits are generally not subject to corporate net income taxes.

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

Form REV-72: Application for Sales Tax Exemption

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Every 5 years.

Fact Checked:7/20/18
4 File Pennsylvania Annual Report
Agency:Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
Form:

Annual Report

Filing Method:

Mail or online

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

By April 30 of each year where there has been a change in corporate officers during the preceding calendar year.

Law:

15 Pa.C.S. § 5110

Notes:

Annual reports are only required in years where there has been a change in the organization's officers.

Fact Checked:9/10/18
Agency:Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
Form:

Decennial Report of Association Continued Existence

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$70

Due:

The decennial report is due every ten years if no other filings have been made during the ten year period. The next report is due in 2021.

Law:

54 PA Cons Stat § 503.

Fact Checked:9/10/19
5 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

Pennsylvania Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations - Charities Section
Law:

10 Pennsylvania Statutes, Chapter 4B, § 162.1 - 162.7

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No
Fact Checked:1/16/19

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Any charitable organization which receives contributions of $25,000 or less annually, provided that such organization does not compensate any person who conducts solicitations
  • Educational institutions, the curricula of which in whole or in part are registered with or approved by the Department of Education, either directly or by acceptance of accreditation by an accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education, and any auxiliary associations, foundations and support groups which are directly responsible to educational institutions
  • Hospitals which are subject to regulation by the Department of Health or the Department of Public Welfare and the hospital foundation, if any, which is an integral part thereof
  • A local post, camp, chapter or similarly designated element or a county unit of such elements of any veterans' organization chartered under Federal law and any service foundation recognized in the bylaws of such organization; a bona fide organization of volunteer firemen; a bona fide ambulance association; a bona fide rescue squad association; or a bona fide auxiliary or affiliate of any of the above mentioned organizations (provided that all fundraising activities are carried on by volunteers, members or an auxiliary or affiliate thereof, and those volunteers, members or affiliates receive no compensation directly or indirectly for the fundraising activities)
  • Public nonprofit library organizations which receive financial aid from State and municipal governments and file an annual fiscal report with the State Library System
  • Senior citizen centers and nursing homes which are nonprofit and charitable and which have been granted tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 provided that all fundraising activities are carried on by volunteers, members or officers of the Senior Citizen Center and those volunteers, members or officers receive no compensation, directly or indirectly, for the fundraising activities
  • Bona fide parent/teacher associations or parent/teacher organizations as recognized in a notarized letter from the school district in which they are located
  • Any corporation established by an act of Congress of the United States that is required by Federal law to submit annual reports of its activities to Congress containing itemized accounts of all receipts and expenditures after being fully audited by the Department of Defense
Form:

Form BCO-9: Request for Approval of Exemption/Exclusion

Agency Fee:

$0

Law:

10 PA Stat § 162.6

Notes:

If your organization is based in Pennsylvania, it may still be required to file an Institutions of Purely Public Charity Statement.

Fact Checked:1/16/20

Initial Registration

Form:

Form BCO-10: Charitable Organization Registration Statement

Instructions:

Instructions for Registering

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15-250, depending on gross contributions

Notes:
  • Read the exemptions chart carefully and check to see if you still need to file the Institutions of Purely Public Charity Statement.
  • Note the list of attachments that first-time registrants must attach to the application.
  • Some Pennsylvania counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Fact Checked:2/22/17

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form BCO-10: Charitable Organization Registration Statement

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15-250, depending on gross contributions

Due:

Due annually 10.5 months after the end of the fiscal year every year.

Penalties:

An organization failing to file a registration by the due date must pay an additional fee of $25 for each calendar month or part of a month after the date on which the registration was due to be filed.

Notes:
  • The renewal due date is indicated on the certificate of registration you receive after your initial filing. It is based on your fiscal year end.
  • You must attach an annual financial report.
  • Even if you are exempt, you still may need to file annually under Pennsylvania’s Purely Public Charity Act.
Fact Checked:2/22/17

Change of Fiscal Year

Form:

Form BCO-10: Charitable Organization Registration Statement

Agency Fee:

Varies

Notes:

Fiscal year can be changed during the standard renewal process.

Fact Checked:12/7/18

Pennsylvania Institution of Purely Public Charity Registration

Agency:Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations - Charities Section
Law:

10 P.S. § 371. et seq.

Notes:

Organizations that are not required to register under the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act but meet the definition of a purely public charity, as defined in The Institutions of Purely Public Charity Act, should register as an institution of public charity instead of registering as a charitable organization.

Fact Checked:1/16/19

Registration to Obtain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Bona fide duly constituted religious institutions and such separate groups or corporations which form an integral part of a religious institution and are exempt from filing an annual IRS 990 Return
  • An institution of purely public charity which receives contributions of less than $25,000 per year provided that the institution's program service revenue does not equal or exceed $5,000,000
Form:

Purely Public Charity Registration Statement (Exemption)

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$0

Fact Checked:1/16/19

Renewal to Maintain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Bona fide duly constituted religious institutions and such separate groups or corporations which form an integral part of a religious institution and are exempt from filing an annual IRS 990 Return
  • An institution of purely public charity which receives contributions of less than $25,000 per year provided that the institution's program service revenue does not equal or exceed $5,000,000
Form:

Purely Public Charity Registration Statement (Exemption Renewal)

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually within 135 days of the organization's fiscal year end. The due date is May 15th for organizations with a fiscal year end date of December 31.

Fact Checked:1/16/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Purely Public Charity Registration Statement

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15

Fact Checked:1/16/19

Registration Renewal

Form:

Purely Public Charity Registration Statement (Renewal)

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15

Due:

Annually within 135 days of the organization's fiscal year end. The due date is May 15th for organizations with a fiscal year end date of December 31.

Fact Checked:1/16/19
6 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

Pennsylvania Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations - Charities Section
Law:

10 Pennsylvania Statutes, Chapter 4B, § 162.1 - 162.7

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No
Fact Checked:1/16/19

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Any charitable organization which receives contributions of $25,000 or less annually, provided that such organization does not compensate any person who conducts solicitations
  • Educational institutions, the curricula of which in whole or in part are registered with or approved by the Department of Education, either directly or by acceptance of accreditation by an accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education, and any auxiliary associations, foundations and support groups which are directly responsible to educational institutions
  • Hospitals which are subject to regulation by the Department of Health or the Department of Public Welfare and the hospital foundation, if any, which is an integral part thereof
  • A local post, camp, chapter or similarly designated element or a county unit of such elements of any veterans' organization chartered under Federal law and any service foundation recognized in the bylaws of such organization; a bona fide organization of volunteer firemen; a bona fide ambulance association; a bona fide rescue squad association; or a bona fide auxiliary or affiliate of any of the above mentioned organizations (provided that all fundraising activities are carried on by volunteers, members or an auxiliary or affiliate thereof, and those volunteers, members or affiliates receive no compensation directly or indirectly for the fundraising activities)
  • Public nonprofit library organizations which receive financial aid from State and municipal governments and file an annual fiscal report with the State Library System
  • Senior citizen centers and nursing homes which are nonprofit and charitable and which have been granted tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 provided that all fundraising activities are carried on by volunteers, members or officers of the Senior Citizen Center and those volunteers, members or officers receive no compensation, directly or indirectly, for the fundraising activities
  • Bona fide parent/teacher associations or parent/teacher organizations as recognized in a notarized letter from the school district in which they are located
  • Any corporation established by an act of Congress of the United States that is required by Federal law to submit annual reports of its activities to Congress containing itemized accounts of all receipts and expenditures after being fully audited by the Department of Defense
Form:

Form BCO-9: Request for Approval of Exemption/Exclusion

Agency Fee:

$0

Law:

10 PA Stat § 162.6

Notes:

If your organization is based in Pennsylvania, it may still be required to file an Institutions of Purely Public Charity Statement.

Fact Checked:1/16/20

Initial Registration

Form:

Form BCO-10: Charitable Organization Registration Statement

Instructions:

Instructions for Registering

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15-250, depending on gross contributions

Notes:
  • Read the exemptions chart carefully and check to see if you still need to file the Institutions of Purely Public Charity Statement.
  • Note the list of attachments that first-time registrants must attach to the application.
  • Some Pennsylvania counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Fact Checked:2/22/17

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form BCO-10: Charitable Organization Registration Statement

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15-250, depending on gross contributions

Due:

Due annually 10.5 months after the end of the fiscal year every year.

Penalties:

An organization failing to file a registration by the due date must pay an additional fee of $25 for each calendar month or part of a month after the date on which the registration was due to be filed.

Notes:
  • The renewal due date is indicated on the certificate of registration you receive after your initial filing. It is based on your fiscal year end.
  • You must attach an annual financial report.
  • Even if you are exempt, you still may need to file annually under Pennsylvania’s Purely Public Charity Act.
Fact Checked:2/22/17

Change of Fiscal Year

Form:

Form BCO-10: Charitable Organization Registration Statement

Agency Fee:

Varies

Notes:

Fiscal year can be changed during the standard renewal process.

Fact Checked:12/7/18

Pennsylvania Institution of Purely Public Charity Registration

Agency:Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations - Charities Section
Law:

10 P.S. § 371. et seq.

Notes:

Organizations that are not required to register under the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act but meet the definition of a purely public charity, as defined in The Institutions of Purely Public Charity Act, should register as an institution of public charity instead of registering as a charitable organization.

Fact Checked:1/16/19

Registration to Obtain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Bona fide duly constituted religious institutions and such separate groups or corporations which form an integral part of a religious institution and are exempt from filing an annual IRS 990 Return
  • An institution of purely public charity which receives contributions of less than $25,000 per year provided that the institution's program service revenue does not equal or exceed $5,000,000
Form:

Purely Public Charity Registration Statement (Exemption)

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$0

Fact Checked:1/16/19

Renewal to Maintain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Bona fide duly constituted religious institutions and such separate groups or corporations which form an integral part of a religious institution and are exempt from filing an annual IRS 990 Return
  • An institution of purely public charity which receives contributions of less than $25,000 per year provided that the institution's program service revenue does not equal or exceed $5,000,000
Form:

Purely Public Charity Registration Statement (Exemption Renewal)

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually within 135 days of the organization's fiscal year end. The due date is May 15th for organizations with a fiscal year end date of December 31.

Fact Checked:1/16/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Purely Public Charity Registration Statement

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15

Fact Checked:1/16/19

Registration Renewal

Form:

Purely Public Charity Registration Statement (Renewal)

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15

Due:

Annually within 135 days of the organization's fiscal year end. The due date is May 15th for organizations with a fiscal year end date of December 31.

Fact Checked:1/16/19
7Maintain a Pennsylvania Registered Agent

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in Pennsylvania. 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 Lancaster , PA to maintain compliance with the state requirement.

Harbor Compliance® proudly partners with the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations to provide insightful resources and compliance solutions to nonprofits in Pennsylvania.



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Fundraising Compliance

Learn how to stay compliant with charitable solicitation laws.

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