When Does a Non-Profit File an Annual Report With the State of New Jersey?

By Kay Lee

State law governs the creation of and disclosure rules relating to various corporate and nonprofit entities that operate within state borders. New Jersey requires all business entities, both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, to file an annual report. How the nonprofit is organized will determine the agency to which an annual report is filed. The annual report is used by the state and the public to obtain basic information about the nonprofit organization. Filing the annual report is required in order to be considered an active business within the state of New Jersey.

Organization in New Jersey

Nonprofit organizations can also be a corporate entity. If a nonprofit wishes to operate as a corporation, thereby limiting the personal liability of the individuals creating and operating the nonprofit, the organization must determine the name of the nonprofit and draft the articles of incorporation and bylaws that will govern how the nonprofit is run. Additionally, a board must be appointed and an initial board meeting held. Once these steps have been taken, the nonprofit must file a certificate of incorporation with the state. Once the organization becomes a registered New Jersey corporation, the annual reporting requirement becomes effective.

Annual Report

New Jersey requires all nonprofit corporations, whether they are considered domestic or "foreign" nonprofits, operating within the state to file an annual report. In order to file the annual report for a nonprofit, you will need your New Jersey 10-digit identification number; month and year the nonprofit was formed or allowed to operate in New Jersey; and basic contact information for the nonprofit, such as address and contact information for the board of directors and the nonprofit’s registered agent. Annual reports must be filed online and the annual fee must be remitted online. For those filers concerned about submitting sensitive information online, the New Jersey Division of Revenue operates the secure website through which the information is submitted. Those without access to the Internet may request an exemption.

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Deadline to File

The Division of Revenue assigns filing deadlines to business entities as there is no one deadline for all businesses to file this report on an annual basis. This New Jersey agency will send the nonprofit a notice about three months prior to the annual report deadline. This notice will also contain the information needed to file the nonprofit’s annual report. If this notice is misplaced, you must obtain a new one by calling (609) 292-9292.

Late Filers

The State of New Jersey requires all business entities to file an annual report in order to be considered an active business. Technically, late filers will not be considered an active business. If a nonprofit fails to file these required annual reports two years in a row, its status in New Jersey will be revoked and it will not be allowed to operate within the state until the filing issue has been rectified.

Unincorporated Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofits are not required to organize as a corporation. If a nonprofit does not incorporate, it must register with the New Jersey Office of Charities Registration. The initial registration with the state will include the nonprofit's by-laws, IRS determination letter (which demonstrates it is considered a charity) and the most recently filed IRS Form 990. After registering, the nonprofit must then file annual reports within six months after the close of the nonprofit's fiscal year. Failure to submit the annual report on time will result in a monetary penalty. Extensions can be requested provided the nonprofit's gross charitable contributions exceed $10,000.

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Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation Act

Getting your charitable organization off the ground in Pennsylvania requires following state law. If you decide that creating a nonprofit corporation best suits your business goals, you need to be aware of the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation Act. This set of laws applies to all corporations that are organized in the state for a purpose other than generating profit and governs the business formation process. Understanding these requirements will help avoid delays in obtaining nonprofit status for your business.

What Happens When I Dissolve a Non-Profit?

When you dissolve a nonprofit organization, the steps you will need to take are similar to those for dissolving a for-profit organization; however, several additional steps are generally required by the Internal Revenue Service. Dissolution must be done in a manner that complies with the law to prevent directors and officers from being held personally liable for errors, oversights or potentially unlawful actions.

Tax-Exempt Status in Massachusetts

Massachusetts exempts certain nonprofits from having to pay corporate income, property and sales taxes. In order to qualify, your nonprofit must be formed under the state incorporation statute and must obtain federal tax-exempt status from the IRS. After the nonprofit is designated as exempt by the IRS, Massachusetts requires additional filings for each type of tax in which you seek a state exemption.

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