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To maintain your 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Public Charity in good standing in New York, follow this advice.


7 Ways to Keep Your Nonprofit Legal

In order to keep a 501(c)(3) nonprofit company in New York, you must:

Apply for a state tax exemption.
Tax-exempt organisations must file annual federal returns.
Keep a Registered Agent on file.
Request permissions and licences
Employees with Charitable Registration
Follow the Public Inspection Rules.

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1. Apply for a state tax exemption.

A. Exemption from State Income Tax

After receiving your 501(c) decision letter from the IRS, you may submit for state franchise tax exemptions using form CT-247.

B. Exemption from State Sales Tax

Fill out form ST-119.2 Application for Exempt Organization Certificate to apply for a sales tax exemption.

C. Property Tax Relief

To apply for a property tax exemption, go to the Office of Real Property Tax Service’s website and find the form that applies to your business.

2. Tax-exempt Organizations’ Annual Federal Returns

A. Federal Annual Returns

The IRS requires most tax-exempt charitable organisations to submit an annual return (Check the IRS website for a list of exceptions).

An organization’s yearly gross receipts dictate which form should be utilised to submit the annual federal return.

The IRS defines ‘gross receipt’ as “the total sums the organisation received from all sources throughout its yearly accounting period, before deducting any expenditures or expenses.”

For gross revenues of $50,000 or more, file Form 990-N.
$200,000 in gross income and $500,000 in total assets —- File 990-EZ
If your gross revenues exceed $200,000 or your total assets exceed $500,000, you must file a 990 form.

If you have any concerns, please contact the IRS at

(800) 829-3676 (Form related questions)
(800) 829-1040 (general information)

Q: When is the 990 form due?
A: Form 990 is due on the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of the organization’s fiscal year.

For example, if the fiscal year closes on December 31st, the form 990 is due on May 15th.

NOTE: If an organisation fails to complete Form 990 for three years in a row, it will lose its tax-exempt status.

B. Unrelated Business Profits

If an organisation earns more than $1,000 from a trade or company that is unrelated to the organization’s declared purpose, it must submit Form 990-T to pay taxes on that revenue.

If your organisation anticipates to pay $500 or more in unrelated business income taxes for the year, you must pay a quarterly estimated tax on the unrelated business income using Form 990-W.

3. Keep a Registered Agent.

Any organisation that has incorporated must have a registered agent with a New York office location. If you change your registered agent or their office address, you must submit a Certificate of Change form with the Secretary of State so that your Certificate of Incorporation may be revised.

Your company may be terminated if you fail to inform the Secretary of State of this change.

4. Obtain Permits and Licenses

Nonprofits in New York do not need a state-level business licence. However, you should check with your city or county clerk to see if there are any local restrictions you must follow.

5. Registration as a charity

Nonprofit charitable organisations in New York must register with the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau. Nonprofits may use the Charities Bureau’s website to complete their registration and necessary financial reporting.

6. Workers

If your organisation will employ people, you must register with the New York Departments of Taxation and Finance and Labor.

Registration is simple and may be done online. On the Department of Labor’s website, you may also find contact information for your business services’ field office.

7. Obey Public Inspection Rules

To comply with federal requirements governing 501(c)(3) organisations, you must make the following papers available to any member of the public who wants them:

Annual returns for your organisation may be filed up to three years after the due date (including the following Forms: 990-PF, 990-EZ, 990-T, and 990)
Any supporting documentation and attachments for the 990 forms listed above. For Schedule B, however, you simply need to indicate the kind of the gift and the amount given.
Official IRS documentation demonstrating that your group is tax-exempt.
Your organization’s exemption application and any supporting documentation filed with it (including Form 1023).

Your company is NOT required to share the following papers or information with the general public:

Any part of Schedule B of Form 990/990-EZ that names donors.
Anything deemed an adverse judgement, including past rejections of tax-exempt status.
Any extra information that the IRS is entitled to withhold, such as trade secrets, patents, and so forth.
Recommended: Post labour law posters at your workplace to educate your workers about their rights and to ensure compliance.


Q: Can I charge the general public for copies?
A: Yes, you may request a fair fee to get copies of required papers.

Q: How much time do we have to deliver the papers if they are requested?
A: It is advisable to complete these paperwork on the same day. However, if your organisation has restricted office hours owing to the time of year, or if you don’t have a physical office at all, the documentation should be produced within 14 days.

Q: Do I have to provide physical copies of the needed documents?
A: If a member of the public requests copies of papers, whether in writing or in person, you must provide them.

NOTE: Nonprofits should make these materials accessible on their website. Anyone who needs a copy of these papers may simply go to your website and read and/or download them. This will assist your firm in being compliant while also saving time dealing with these demands individually.

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