CPA & Business Advisory Blog

Ohio Attorney General’s Office Announces Reporting Changes for Ohio Charities

Posted on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 by

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has introduced a new online registration system for charities that solicit in the state.  The new system, introduced December 1, 2011, will streamline annual filings and enhance transparency and accountability within the charitable sector. 

Soon, all filings will be completed online through the new charitable registration system.  The new system will eliminate the need for paper forms, more accurately determine required fees and make reporting requirements in the state of Ohio more consistent with IRS filing requirements.  Mandatory online filing is effective immediately for all nonprofits with fiscal years ending after November 30, 2011.  Nonprofits with fiscal years ending prior to November 30 that have not yet filed may choose to use the new online filing system immediately, however they are not required to use it until their next fiscal filing period.

Who must register:  Any charitable organization required to register and file under the Ohio Charitable Trust Act, or under the Ohio Charitable Organizations Act, must complete an online registration and file online under the new system.  In general, Ohio 501(c)(3) organizations and 501(c)(4) health-care organizations must register unless they meet one of eight exemptions.  Out-of-state entities may also be required to register if they have assets or a majority of the governing body located within Ohio.  After registering, the organization is required to file an annual financial report.  Fees are based on the organization’s total assets.

Getting Started:  Representatives from each charity will need to create an account.  Visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/CharitableRegistration and select “File Online”.  Multiple representatives from the same organization are encouraged to register to receive email reminders and confirmations.  Users can be connected with multiple organizations, which will allow attorneys and accountants to stay in-the-loop for several organizations.

What information is needed to complete the online registration:  When completing your online registration, you should have a copy of your most recently filed IRS Form 990 on hand.  For organizations that have never registered or filed in Ohio before, additional documents will be needed to be uploaded or mailed to the Attorney General’s Office.  These may include articles of incorporation, bylaws, or governing documents, and a federal tax exemption determination letter from the IRS granting tax exempt status

Benefits of the new system:  Users will receive email notifications and reminders.  Having multiple users within each organization will ensure multiple representatives receive important notifications, such as filing deadline reminders.  Also, confirmations, invoices for payments not completed online and receipts for online payments will be sent via email.  Organizations can make immediate changes to their account whenever there is a change to the charitable purpose, contact information, locations, or other details.  All users will receive a confirmation email with any account changes.  The system will also allow enhanced public access to information about charities doing business in Ohio.

A user guide and tips and tools can be found on the Ohio Attorney General’s website at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/CharitableRegistration.

For questions on this reporting change or for more information on accounting for nonprofit organizations, contact a Skoda Minotti professional by calling 440-449-6800.

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