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Common Compliance Requirements and Deadlines for Connecticut Nonprofits

All nonprofit organizations are required to comply with various filing deadlines and requirements. These are the organization’s responsibility and should be monitored throughout the year to ensure deadlines are met and the organization remains compliant with all laws and regulations. Many of these filings can be completed online, which is the recommended method. Organizations should refer to their state websites to determine appropriate filings for the single audit, as requirements vary from state to state.

Below are some common filing deadlines for most Connecticut nonprofit organizations:

Connecticut Charitable Organization Registration: 

Should an organization wish to solicit contributions or fundraise in Connecticut, the organization must submit an annual Charitable Organization Renewal Notice or a Claim of Exemption From Full Registration Application Form before solicitation. The following Organizations may be exempt from filing as specified on the State of CT Department of Consumer Protection Website:

  1. Any duly organized religious corporation, institution, or society;
  2. Any parent-teacher association or educational institution, the curricula of which in whole or in part are registered or approved by any state or the United States either or by acceptance of accreditation by an accrediting body;
  3. Any nonprofit hospital licensed in accordance with the provisions of section 19a-630 or any similar provision of the laws of any other state;
  4. Any governmental unit or instrumentally of any state or the United States;
  5. Any person who solicits solely for the benefit of organizations described in Subdivisions(1)to(4), inclusive of this section, and
  6. Any charitable organization which normally receives less than fifty thousand dollars in contributions annually provided such organization does not compensate any person primarily to conduct solicitations.

For first-year filers, the organization must file a Full Requirement Initial Charity Registration Application. Thereafter, organizations must file an annual Charitable Organization Renewal Notice. The charitable organization registration is due 11 months after the organization’s fiscal year ends. The filing requires a fee of $50. If the organization is a non-exempt organization and reports gross revenues exceeding $500,000, the organization must also file a copy of its independent auditor report. If the organization reports gross revenues less than $500,000, no financials will be required after initial issuance unless the organization is being audited by the Department of Consumer Protection or if the organization is attempting to reinstate its status after lapsing. Typically, this application is filed with the state corporate filing. If an organization fails to file in the specified period, late fees of $25 are charged per month until the application is accepted.

State Single Audits: 

Organizations registered in the State of Connecticut are required to obtain a state single audit if the organization exceeds $300,000 in state-funded expenditures in its fiscal year. Below are the main filing requirements associated with the state single audit:

  • Appointment of Auditor: Should an organization need a state single audit, it must file an appointment of auditor form with the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM). This form should be completed and emailed to OPM no later than 30 days prior to the fiscal year-end of the auditee.
  • Interim Reporting: State grants often require monthly, quarterly, or annual reports to be submitted to the state. Organizations should refer to their grant agreement to determine their appropriate filing requirements.
  • Audit Report: The single audits are required to be submitted through the online Electronic Audit Report System within 6 months of the fiscal year-end. Extensions may be granted on a month-to-month basis by applying to OPM at least one month before the due date of the audit report.
  • Corrective Action Plan: Organizations are required to prepare a corrective action plan to address auditor findings included in the audit report. The corrective action plan addresses management’s planned corrective action to remediate audit findings. The corrective action plan is filed on OPM’s Electronic Audit Reporting System (“EARS”) and should be submitted when the audit reporting pack is uploaded.

Federal Single Audits: 

Organizations must obtain a federal single audit if the organization exceeds $750,000 in expenditures of federal awards during its fiscal year. Of note, oftentimes, state grants include federal pass-through dollars. The federal awards passed through the state to your organization must be reported on your federal single audit. Requirements for filing interim reports are dependent on the grant agreement as well.

  • Audit Report and Data Collection Form: The main difference between the audit report filing for state and federal single audits is that the federal single audit report is required to be filed within the earlier of 30 days after receipt of the auditor’s report or 9 months after the end of the audit period. The federal single audit report must be filed on the Federal Audit Clearinghouse (FAC). The organization is responsible for completing the data collection form and filing it by the appropriate deadline.

Form 990: 

All nonprofit organizations are required to file the Form 990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax to the IRS on an annual basis. There are three main variations of Form 990, as described below:

  1. Form 990: Must be filed by an organization exempt from income tax under section 501(a) if it has either gross receipts greater than or equal to $200,000 or total assets greater than or equal to $500,000 at the end of the tax year.
  2. Form 990-EZ: May be filed if an organization is below the thresholds noted for the Form 990. An organization may choose to file the Form 990 even if it is not required to.
  3. Form 990-N: Organizations may filed Form 990-N if annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less. Gross receipts are considered to be normally $50,000 or less if one of the following conditions are met:
    1. The organization has been in existence for 1 year or less and received, or donors have pledged to give, $75,000 or less during its first taxable year;
    2. Has been in existence between 1 and 3 years and averaged $60,000 or less in gross receipts during each of its first two tax years; and
    3. Is at least 3 years old and averaged $50,000 or less in gross receipts for the immediately preceding 3 tax years (including the year for which calculations are being made).
  4. Form 990-PF: Organizations that fall under one of the below categories must file Form 990-PF regardless of gross revenues:
    1. Exempt private foundations
    2. Taxable private foundations
    3. Organizations that agree to private foundation status and whose applications for exempt status are pending on the due date for filing Form 990-PF
    4. Organizations that claim private foundation status, haven’t yet applied for exempt status, and whose application isn’t yet untimely under section 508(a) for retroactive recognition of exemption
    5. Organizations that made an election under section 41(e)(6)(D)(iv)
    6. Private foundations that are making a section 507(b) termination
    7. Section 4947(a)(1) nonexempt charitable trusts treated as private foundations

If the organization receives unrelated business income, it must also file Form 990-T and pay any related taxes. Form 990 is due on the 15th day of the 5th month following the fiscal year-end. For example, organizations with year-ends on June 30 must file Form 990 by November 15. An automatic 6-month extension may be filed as needed.

Organizations that must file Form 990-T are expected to make estimated tax payments throughout the fiscal year if their estimated tax is expected to be $500 or more. Any taxes due must be paid in full by the due date of the return without extension. The organization may wish to make the payments using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (“EFTPS”).

Organizations filing Form 990-PF may wish to use the optional Form 990-W to determine the estimated tax liability. To make payments, the organization must use the electronic funds transfer.

Form 5500: 

Organizations with employee benefit plans must file an annual Form 5500 Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan (or 5500-SF if the plan qualifies) with all required schedules and attachments. This form is due within 8 months of the plan year-end, or an automatic extension allows for an additional 3½-months.

Organizations should continuously monitor their respective reporting requirements as these filings are the organization’s responsibility. If you have any questions regarding your organization’s filing and compliance requirements, please contact a Whittlesey advisor.

About the Author

Ashley Yanik is an Assurance Supervisor in our Hartford, Connecticut office with over 5 years of public accounting experience. She specializes in serving real estate and nonprofit clients. Ashley is a member of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants (CTCPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). She earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Accounting from the University of Connecticut.