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

8 Ways to Keep Your Nonprofit Legal

In order to keep your 501(c)(3) nonprofit company in Rhode Island, you must:

Apply for a state tax exemption.
Tax-exempt organisations must file annual federal returns.
Keep a Registered Agent on file.
Submit periodic reports
Request permissions and licences
Registration and Renewal of Charities
Become a member of the Rhode Island Division of Taxation.
Follow the Public Inspection Rules.

Legal Help CTA
1. Apply for a state tax exemption.

A. Exemption from state income taxes

Once you obtain your 501(c) decision letter from the IRS, your organisation will be immediately exempt from RI corporate income taxes.

B. Exemption from state sales tax

Fill out the Application for Certificate of Exemption form to apply for a sales tax exemption.

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.


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 incorporated nonprofit must have a registered agent with a Rhode Island office address. If you change your registered agent or their office address, you must submit a Statement of Change form with the Secretary of State so that your Articles of Incorporation may be revised.

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

4. Submit Periodic Reports

Each year, the Rhode Island Secretary of State requires nonprofits to submit an annual report, which is due between June 1 and June 30 of each calendar year. You may quickly submit your yearly report online or by mail via the Secretary of State’s website.

Failure to submit the required reports may result in the termination of your company.

5. Obtain Permits and Licenses

The majority of NGOs in Rhode Island will not need a general business licence. You should, however, check with your county or municipal clerk’s office to determine whether any local permissions or licences are necessary.

6. Registration and Renewal of Charitable Organizations

Charitable Rhode Island NGOs seeking contributions must register with the Rhode Island Department of Business Securities Division through their website. This registration must be renewed yearly.

Furthermore, charitable trusts must register with the Attorney General’s office in Rhode Island.

7. File a tax return with the Rhode Island Division of Taxation.

If your organisation will employ people, you must register with the Rhode Island Division of Taxation.

Registration is simple and may be done online. On their website, you may also find contact information for the Division of Taxation.

8. 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.

Legal Help CTA