Annual state and federal filing requirements

Your orchestra will be responsible for filing annual paperwork with both federal and state governments in order to remain in good standing as a corporation, even if you are operating as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The filing requirements described on this page assume that you have been granted your 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, so if your situation is different, you should check with the IRS and your state government to find out what your filing requirements are.

DO NOT FORGET TO SUBMIT YOUR ANNUAL PAPERWORK. You can lose your non-profit status and get charged substantial fees if you don't stay up to date on your paperwork.

Federal filing requirements

Every year (assuming your gross receipts are less than $50,000), you have to file the IRS Form 990-N e-Postcard. Your treasurer can file it online. This form is due by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your tax year. You should have specified your tax year in your 501(c)(3) application, and it should be written on your official IRS letter granting you 501(c)(3) status.

State filing requirements

Your state will most likely require you to file an annual tax form similar to the federal one mentioned above. In California, tax-exempt corporations with gross receipts of less than $50,000 have to file the FTB 199N California e-Postcard. Like the federal version, this form is due by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your tax year.

In California, newly-incorporated entities have to file a Statement of Information Form SI-100 within 90 days of their incorporation, and every two years after that. Check if your state has any similar requirements.

Also in California, if you do any fundraising or collect donations to support your organization, you have to report annually to the state Office of the Attorney General, which is responsible for ensuring that all charitable donations in California are being used legitimately. When you first start your organization, you have to file form CT-1 and pay a $25 application fee to be put into the Registry of Charitable Trusts. In subsequent years, you just have to file an annual renewal/report form, form RRF-1, which does not cost anything if your gross receipts are under $25,000. Like the other annual financial reporting forms, this form is due by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your tax year. Note that if you plan to conduct a raffle as a fundraiser, there is a separate, additional annual application and reporting procedure through the Office of the Attorney General.