Tennessee Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

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

2 File Tennessee Corporate Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



Nonprofits are generally not subject to business, franchise, and professional privilege taxes.

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

Not required



Every fourth year the department issues new exemption certificates to nonprofits. No application is required, but organization information must be kept up to date.

More information: Tennessee Department of Revenue
4 File Tennessee Annual Report
Agency:Tennessee Secretary of State - Division of Business Services
Form:

Prepare your form online then print and mail.

Filing method:

Mail or online.

Agency fee:

$20 + optional $2.25 online filing fee

Due:

By the 1st day of the 4th month after the close of your fiscal year. Usually your fiscal year ends on December 31 and so your annual report is due April 1.

Law:

Tenn. Code Ann. § 48-66-203

Penalties:

No late fee. You will get a notice of pending dissolution or revocation and then you have 60 days to comply.

Notes:
  • An authorized officer, member, or partner may file.
  • Original signatures are not required.
  • If you need to change your registered agent, pay an extra $20 fee.
5 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

Tennessee Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Tennessee Secretary of State - Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming
Law:

Tennessee Code Annotated §48-101-501 and following

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Religious organizations
  • Educational institutions
  • Volunteer fire departments
  • Political organizations
  • Hospitals and nursing homes
  • Congressionally chartered organizations that submit financial reports to the Secretary of Defense

Registration to Obtain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Charities with less than $30,000 in gross contributions during the preceding fiscal year

Form:

Form SS-6042: Annual Request for $30,000 and Under Exemption

Agency fee:

$0

Notes:

Charities must register within 30 days if they exceed $30,000 in contributions.

Renewal to Maintain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Charities with less than $30,000 in gross contributions during the preceding fiscal year

Form:

Form SS-6042: Annual Request for $30,000 and Under Exemption (Renewal)

Agency fee:

$0

Due:

Annually within 6 months of the organization's fiscal year end.

Initial Registration

Form:

Form SS-6001: Application for Registration of a Charitable Organization

Instructions:

Filing instructions for registration of a charitable organization

Filing method:

Online or mail.

Agency fee:

$50

Notes:
  • The CFO and another officer must sign. Signatures need not be notarized.
  • Note the list of attachments that first-time registrants must attach to the application.
  • Remember to attach the Summary of Financial Activities form. If your nonprofit registers during its first year, it must file a quarterly financial report.
  • Some Tennessee counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form SS-6002: Application to Renew Registration of a Charitable Organization

Instructions:

Filing instructions for renewing registration of a charitable organization

Filing method:

Online or mail.

Agency fee:

$80-240, depending on gross revenue

Due:

Renewal must be filed annually within 6 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if yoru fiscal year ends December 31, then file by June 30.

Notes:
  • The CFO and another officer must sign. Signatures need not be notarized.
  • Remember to attach the Summary of Financial Activities form

Change of Fiscal Year

Agency fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Notes:

Send the state a copy of the short IRS 990 once it is available.

6Maintain a Tennessee Registered Agent

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in Tennessee. 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 Memphis , TN to maintain compliance with the state requirement.


Nonprofit Compliance Solutions

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Fundraising Compliance

Learn how to stay compliant with charitable solicitation laws.

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