South Carolina Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

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

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 South Carolina Corporate Tax Returns
Agency:South Carolina Department of Revenue
Form:

SC 990-T

Instructions:

There is no annual report for a domestic or foreign South Carolina nonprofit. You are required to file SC 990-T annually by five months and 15 days after the close of your fiscal year (usually May 15th) with South Carolina Department of Revenue; otherwise, the South Carolina Secretary of State may dissolve or revoke your entity.

Filing method:

Mail

Due:

Annually by the fifteenth day of the fifth month after the end of the tax year. 

Law:

S.C. Code § 12-20-20

Agency:South Carolina Department of Revenue
Form:

SC 990-T

Due:

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

Notes:

Only required if the organization has business income unrelated to its exempt purposes.

3 File South Carolina Corporate Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



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

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

Not required



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

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

Not required



Domestic and foreign South Carolina nonprofits do not have to file an annual report.

6 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

South Carolina Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Public Charities
Law:

South Carolina Code Annotated §33-56-10 and following

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Religious organizations
  • Political organizations
Notes:

Religious organizations and political candidates and groups are automatically exempt from registration.

Registration to Obtain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Educational institutions
  • Appeals for individuals
  • IRS tax-exempt organizations that raised less than $20,000 in contributions during the calendar year and do not use professional fundraisers
  • Membership organizations
  • Congressionally chartered veterans' organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Charities do not receive more than $7,500 in contributions during the calendar year.
Form:

Application for Registration Exemption

Agency fee:

$0

Renewal to Maintain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Educational institutions
  • Appeals for individuals
  • IRS tax-exempt organizations that raised less than $20,000 in contributions during the calendar year and do not use professional fundraisers
  • Membership organizations
  • Congressionally chartered veterans' organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Charities do not receive more than $7,500 in contributions during the calendar year.
Form:

Application for Registration Exemption (Renewal)

Agency fee:

$0

Due:

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

Initial Registration

Form:

Registration Statement for a Charitable Organization

Filing method:

Online or mail.

Agency fee:

$50 + $2 online filing fee.

Notes:
  • You must file either the registration or the exemption.
  • The CEO and CFO must sign.
  • Note the list of attachments that first-time registrants must attach to the application.
  • Late registration forms may result in a fine of up to $2,000 against the charitable organization.
  • Some South Carolina counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.

Registration Renewal
Annual Registration Statement

Form:

Registration Statement for a Charitable Organization (Renewal)

Filing method:

Online or mail.

Agency fee:

$50 + $2 online filing fee.

Due:

Renewal must be filed annually within 4.5 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then file by May 15.

Penalties:

Late registration may result in a fine of up to $2,000 against the charitable organization.

Notes:
  • The CEO and CFO must sign.
  • You must file an annual financial report with the Secretary of State. If this has not yet been filed, file it with your renewal.
  • The exemption form must be resubmitted annually.

Registration Renewal
Annual Financial Report

Form:

Annual Financial Report for a Charitable Organization 

Agency fee:

$0

Due:

Due annually 4.5 months after fiscal year end. So if your organization's fiscal year ends December 31, the report is due May 15.

Change of Fiscal Year

Agency fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Notes:

Email charities@sos.sc.gov to update fiscal year.

7 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

South Carolina Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Public Charities
Law:

South Carolina Code Annotated §33-56-10 and following

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Religious organizations
  • Political organizations
Notes:

Religious organizations and political candidates and groups are automatically exempt from registration.

Registration to Obtain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Educational institutions
  • Appeals for individuals
  • IRS tax-exempt organizations that raised less than $20,000 in contributions during the calendar year and do not use professional fundraisers
  • Membership organizations
  • Congressionally chartered veterans' organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Charities do not receive more than $7,500 in contributions during the calendar year.
Form:

Application for Registration Exemption

Agency fee:

$0

Renewal to Maintain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Educational institutions
  • Appeals for individuals
  • IRS tax-exempt organizations that raised less than $20,000 in contributions during the calendar year and do not use professional fundraisers
  • Membership organizations
  • Congressionally chartered veterans' organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Charities do not receive more than $7,500 in contributions during the calendar year.
Form:

Application for Registration Exemption (Renewal)

Agency fee:

$0

Due:

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

Initial Registration

Form:

Registration Statement for a Charitable Organization

Filing method:

Online or mail.

Agency fee:

$50 + $2 online filing fee.

Notes:
  • You must file either the registration or the exemption.
  • The CEO and CFO must sign.
  • Note the list of attachments that first-time registrants must attach to the application.
  • Late registration forms may result in a fine of up to $2,000 against the charitable organization.
  • Some South Carolina counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.

Registration Renewal
Annual Registration Statement

Form:

Registration Statement for a Charitable Organization (Renewal)

Filing method:

Online or mail.

Agency fee:

$50 + $2 online filing fee.

Due:

Renewal must be filed annually within 4.5 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then file by May 15.

Penalties:

Late registration may result in a fine of up to $2,000 against the charitable organization.

Notes:
  • The CEO and CFO must sign.
  • You must file an annual financial report with the Secretary of State. If this has not yet been filed, file it with your renewal.
  • The exemption form must be resubmitted annually.

Registration Renewal
Annual Financial Report

Form:

Annual Financial Report for a Charitable Organization 

Agency fee:

$0

Due:

Due annually 4.5 months after fiscal year end. So if your organization's fiscal year ends December 31, the report is due May 15.

Change of Fiscal Year

Agency fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Notes:

Email charities@sos.sc.gov to update fiscal year.

8Maintain a South Carolina Registered Agent

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in South 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 Charleston , SC to maintain compliance with the state requirement.


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