The following guidelines provide background information on the most common types of filings and the related exemptions in New Jersey.
In this state, religious organizations are automatically exempt from charitable registration requirements. The religious exemption is not limited to IRS Form 990 Non-Filers, such as churches.
In this state, organizations that are required to register have the option of registering through the Unified Registration Statement, which is a standardized charitable registration accepted in many states. Using the URS, rather than a state-specific registration form, has pros and cons. The URS typically must be submitted by mail. This state has an online filing system and using that system may be more efficient than completing and mailing the URS manually. Additionally, information from the state- specific online initial registration can be used to auto-populate annual reports, saving an organization time in the future.
Initial Registration and Renewal
For organizations that are required to register, initial registration must include a copy of the organizations by-laws, articles of incorporation, IRS determination letter, and the most recently filed IRS form 990. Registered charities must renew their registration on an annual basis.
Some states require organizations to appoint a “registered agent” in the state as part of the organization’s charitable registration. This state does not currently have this requirement.
This state requires organizations to include specific statements whenever the organization is requesting donations (also called “charitable solicitation”).
Below is sample language to use with charitable solicitations in this state:
INFORMATION FILED WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CONCERNING THIS CHARITABLE SOLICITATION AND THE PERCENTAGE OF CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED BY THE CHARITY DURING THE LAST REPORTING PERIOD THAT WERE DEDICATED TO THE CHARITABLE PURPOSE MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY BY CALLING 973-504-6215 AND IS AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET AT:
http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/charfrm.htm. REGISTRATION WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT.
Religious organizations generally are not required to include this statement, but including some basic contact information in solicitations is often a best practice to build trust with donors and state regulators.
Depending on the type and volume of activities an organization has in this state, the organization may also need to register as an out-of-state business (sometimes called a “foreign business”) with the secretary of state or another state agency.
These foreign business registration requirements are separate from the charitable registration. Not every out-of-state organization needs to register. An attorney can assist the organization in determining whether its connections with this state are significant enough to trigger the foreign business registration requirement.
Examples of activities that might trigger this requirement include having employees physically located in the state, conducting programs in the state, and having an office in the state.
In this state, organizations that have received recognition of federal income tax exemption under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3) are automatically exempt from state income tax. Some organizations may choose to send a copy of their IRS determination letter to the state department of revenue to indicate the organization’s position that it qualifies for the exemption. Consult with an accountant or attorney to confirm.
It is also important to consider whether applying for sales and use tax and property tax exemption would be appropriate for your organization. More information about property tax exemption is available on the New Jersey Division of Taxation’s Property Administration Abatements and Exemptions webpage and its Nonprofits webpage. An accountant or attorney can provide specific answers to questions regarding your organization’s eligibility for exemptions.
This state does not have a corporate franchise tax.
Online Registration: https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/charities
Charities Registration Information: https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/charities/Pages/charities-registration- information.aspx
Wally Zimolong, Esquire
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