[inaudible 05:28] you give all of your board members your tax exempt forms, your federal reports, your financial reports, anything that is really needed to keep them up to date. Okay. Let’s go onto our compliance issues. And so we have here Compliance Carl, and he’s in charge or making sure everybody is taken care of. So the first thing in this issue is your filing with your secretary of state. And the majority of states, that is where you go to to form your nonprofit at the state level. For example, here in California you go to the Secretary of State. A nonprofit is considered a corporation, so you file as a corporation. And that is really where you want to start. In some states, and again, probably in most states, you will have an annual filing, which we’ll talk about in a little bit. The second one is your attorney general. You attorney general is the one who receives all the complaints about nonprofits. And again, you will have to register with them. It’s kind of a short, usually two to three page, document you can pull up from the website. Then you’re going to talk to what, here in California, is called the Franchise Tax Board, but in only other states it’s referred to as the department of revenue, and that’s where you send off so you can become nonprofit and have tax-exempt status within the state. And that way you don’t have to pay your taxes. Here in California, that means you are exempt from an $800 a year late fee. And then make sure that you are in compliance with which is referred to as the unified solicitation. And what that is filing in all states so you can fundraise. And fundraise includes not just your annual appeal letter that you may send to somebody, but if you have a donate button on your website. That leads to those states to know that your fundraising within those states. So again you might want to look and see if you have any out of state donors and how much you gain from them. It’s not a complicated process to be registered in all the states. It’s just very time consuming with the paperwork. And again, you also have to learn if it’s a one-year or a two-year renewal. And also, in your compliance, is that you need to be aware of your unrelated business tax. So if you sell anything that is not tied into your mission, an example would be a biotech lab here sold snacks and sodas, water to their members. That is not part of their mission, so that is considered unrelated business tax, and they pay tax on that. So again, you might want to check your states and see what is unrelated business tax and what you need to do with that. And also, employment. You have unemployment benefits that you may be responsible for. You may have to pay quarterly taxes or estimated taxes for your employees. So those are other things that you need to take care of. The last one that I would kind of really look into is that some states now and some districts, counties in states, ask you to register the police department, and that is to oversee any scamming that’s going on. So if you send out appeal letters, you may need to register and get a permit number for those type of things. It sounds like a lot of paperwork and filing, but once you do it the first time and you start doing renewals, it just really falls into place. And everything is now becoming where you can do online, which is very helpful. Probably another thing that you need to look into is your fictitious name in your community and if you need a business license. And depending on what your organization does, you may also fall under OSHA or Environmental Protection requirements. I’ll use again this biotechnology, here in my area, they run experiments, so they have to have a permit from the Environmental Protection, and OSHA has to come in, along with the fire department, and make sure that they’re set up and following all of their guidelines. So there we are. Next one is, this is just a little cartoon, this woman remember that she donated, but she’s not real sure how she has saved the children. This is not really a compliance, really what it is is just to remind you to always let you know donors’ money is being used. Sort of just a reminder, thank you, keep us in mind, and here’s what your dollars went to. Steven, do we have any questions right now?
Steven Shattuck: Not yet, but I just encouraged some folks to be thinking and sending those your way. So we’ll see what comes in.
Anne Davis-East: Okay. Great. So here are your ongoing reporting requirements. And as I said, secretary of state, a yearly or biannual filing. I’m going to use California as our example going forward now. So every year or biannually, nonprofit will file what is called a statement of information. That statement of information has a filing fee, of course, but what’s is going to ask, it’s going to ask have there been any changes. So has your registered agent, who is the person that receives all your information, all the state filing information reminders, if somebody for some awful reason decides to sue you or makes a complain to the attorney general, that person is the person who receives all of those mailings. So, as I said, the statement of information is going to ask if there’s any updates. It’s going to ask if you have a new mailing address. It’s going to ask for your board members and what the officers are. And I think that’s pretty much what they ask for. With the state’s attorney general, again here in California you file a return, and that return is going to ask pretty much the same thing about your board, change of address, any of that, but it’s also going to ask you what your activities were during the year to show that you are still doing what your original mission statement is. It may ask for some financials. Also, here in California, prior to the 30th of August every year, you need to send in if you’re going to be holding any type of raffle. Because as you know you need to file raffle reports prior and after you hold your raffle. So they’ll ask for that. The department of revenue, here in California, it’s the Franchise Tax Board, they will ask to see mostly your financials. So, again, you will be filing what is called a 199, which is our state tax return for a nonprofit. And we’ll go from there. I also want to let you know that both the secretary, the attorney general, and your department of revenue, donors can go to the website and search for your nonprofit, and they can find if you are in compliance. An example would be with the secretary of state, there is an organization that has not filed their statement of information, when you pull it up, it shows that they are suspended, which means, in California, they cannot accept donations. With our Franchise Tax Board, you can also search to see if they’re nonexempt. If they’re exempt, I’m sorry, if they’re exempt, it’ll show that and also as for whether to show that. With the IRS, obviously, we all know it’s our 990s, that we need to constantly bring up to date. Luckily, there are some, the 990-EZ should shortly be available online, so you can file that way. But it’s really important that you keep up with IRS regulations. They are always changing the financial threshold of what type of 990 you need to file. They’ll also be requiring new types of information. On the current 990 it will ask you do you have a conflict of interest policy. It will ask you if you have a whistleblower policy. It’ll ask you if you have a document retention and destruction policy. And they’ll ask you if you have a joint venture policy. So these are all things now that the IRS requires that nonprofits have. And a lot of it you can go straight to. So, Steven, do we have any questions?
Steven Shattuck: Yeah. We’ve got a few here. It looks like some of the tax things you were talking about got some ideas for questions here. Daniel, in the chat room, was wondering if you have a tax return and a 990 form. Could you maybe talk a little bit about what forms specifically you do need to send in?
Anne Davis-East: Sure. With the IRS, Daniel, you file your 990, and that is your tax return. Some people really will say it’s not a typical tax return because you’re exempt. It’s more of an informational return. So depending on where you fall in your gross receipts will determine if it’s a 990-EZ, which is the postcard, a 990-N, or your full 990. And again, I would recommend going to the IRS website, which is irs.gov. When you get there you can search for charities up in the search box, and then you can ask a question, and it also has a wealth of information. You can also check, hit select check, and you can put in your nonprofit, and it will tell you if you’re still registering with the IRS. We’ve had some issues, as you know, that nonprofits have not filed their 990 returns for three consecutive years, and their status has been revoked. So this is kind of a good way to double check that you are all in compliance. Any other questions?
Steven Shattuck: Yeah. They’re starting to come in, Anne, which is great. Thanks to everyone for being a good sport about asking questions. One here from Chris. Chris says, “If our nonprofit organization holds a golf outing to raise funds for our mission, do you have to pay taxes on what was raised, since golf isn’t really part of their mission?” What’s the protocol there on those funds from a golf outing or a similar event?
Anne Davis-East: Those are considered, actually, part of your mission. That’s how you fundraise, so that’s considered a special event. If you sell anything, again that’s not, like your mugs or a hat or any of those things, that could be considered an unrelated business tax. I would suggest that you talk with your CPA, your accountant, or go directly to your department of revenue within your state and ask them. You also will need to check the IRS to make sure, and again your accountant, CPA, that if you hold an account there on occasion, well, not on occasions, but anything that goes above the estimated value sometimes is considered income to the winner, so you may have issue a form to them, and they would be responsible for paying taxes. One other thing that I mention is that a lot of your state, like from your Franchise Tax Board, or your comptroller, any of those, give free workshops and seminars both online and in person around these accounting issues. So you may want to go to their websites and look up and see if there’s one close by. If there isn’t one, you can always have them come to you, and as a good community outreach, invite other nonprofits to come and hear what they have to say. So always remember that your state and the IRS is there to help you, not to just constantly get on you for not doing something right. Okay. Next question.
Steven Shattuck: Yeah. You’re on a roll. We’ve got some good ones here, Anne. I hope you took your vitamins this morning.
Anne Davis-East: Yeah. Yeah.
Steven Shattuck: Daphne here is asking about joint venture policies. You mentioned that a little earlier. Could you explain and talk a little bit more about what that is?
Anne Davis-East: Yes. A joint venture policy would be if you joined, say McDonald’s, and you were going to do a fundraiser with McDonald’s. That’s a joint venture activity, and so the policy would say how the funds are divided, who is going to do the advertising, it just spells out what the partnership is going to be like. Again, Steven, I don’t know what the follow up procedure is, but I can always send you examples of joint venture policies that you can offer to the participants.
Steven Shattuck: Sure.
Anne Davis-East. Which would be, and we could do the same with the whistleblower and the document destruction and retention.
Steven Shattuck: Okay. Yeah. And we’ll definitely share your contact info to everyone so they can get a hold of you if we miss anything, for sure. All right. Great.
Anne Davis-East: Okay. Okay.
Steven Shattuck: Here’s one from Christine. Christine asks, “Is there a timeline when possibly all states will accept the URS form?” Any insights on that? Maybe you could talk a little bit about what that form is for people who are unaware.
Anne Davis-East: Right. What that form is, again, is to allow you to fundraise in any state, mostly out of your state. So what we would recommend, there is a book that talks about fundraising registration in the 50 states. It’s from Nolo Press, which is very good. Every state has their own way. There’s a unified, which some states take. And then other states, you have to send in additional paperwork, which you have to pull up from their website. Our company does those filings for you and then keeps you up to date when you have to refile. Again, it’s not a lot of work, just very cumbersome getting all the materials together. And the Nolo book goes through each state and tells you what is needed, what they accept, and what they don’t accept. Again, if you have a specific question or you’re looking into doing it, please get in touch with us, and we can walk through with you.
Steven Shattuck: Cool. All right. We’ve got one from Jackie here. Jackie’s wondering, “If you miss an official deadline for state filing by two months, should you wait until next year or should you try and go ahead and do it that year?”
Anne Davis-East: I would go ahead and file even if you’re two months. Again, here in California, which is my example, if you don’t file with the Secretary of State, say your statement of information, as I said, it’s a $25 filing fee, the state will send you a letter and will inform you that your $25 filing fee is now a $250 fee. And the longer you don’t bring it up to date, they will suspend you. So I would, even if it’s two, three months behind, I’d go ahead and send it in.
Steven Shattuck: Okay. Yeah. Send that in, Jackie. Don’t wait. Great. We’ve got some more here, Anne, if you’re up for it.
Anne Davis-East: Sure.
Steven Shattuck: Pamela, was wondering, Pamela is using a fiscal agent until their 501(c)(3) is finalized, and she wondering if she holds a raffle, is she going to need permits if it’s held in conjunction with someone else’s event. So it looks like they’re partnering with someone else until their 501(c)(3) is finalized. Is she going to still need the permits there.
Anne Davis-East: She is still going to need the permits. And I would suggest that she speak with her fiscal agent to see if the fiscal agent is the one who wants to file the permit or if they want her organization to.
Steven Shattuck: Okay. Great. We’ve got another…
Anne Davis-East: And I would…
Steven Shattuck: Oh, go ahead.
Anne Davis-East: One more thing is, with your fiscal agent, we highly recommend that you have a contract of an agreement with them that again spells out what they will be responsible for and what you will be responsible for. And that goes from their administration fees, do they divide the bank and interest or whatever between the two of you, but also how long they’re going to be your fiscal agent. A lot of organizations use it in their interim, but then they find that they’re fundraising, they raise quite a bit of dollars, but they’re really not getting those dollars back to them. So I would just really make sure then everything is written out.
Steven Shattuck: Cool. Great advice. Well, Chris here has another question about 990s. Chris says he knows that Form 990 asked, about whether you have assorted policies, but does the 990-EZ also ask about those? Follow up question is what if you don’t have those policies written up? What should you do with the EZ form?
Anne Davis-East: The EZ form, what it is is really just asking if you have those policies, and I don’t believe your asked that on the EZ form. You’re asked it on the long form. But it’s highly recommended that the board look into having those policies. It’s good governance. It’s a best practice. And in the long run it’ll save a lot of aggravation if somebody comes and asks for a document, and you just destroyed it, but you were supposed to keep it for seven years. So I would just go ahead and get those policies in place.
Steven Shattuck: Cool. Great. We’ve got a question here from Debbie, and Debbie was wondering about auction items purchased over their value. Is there a resource you could share or any advice about how to with that issues and what those require?
Anne Davis-East: I do, and if Kelly, is it Kelly that asked that question? I’m sorry.
Steven Shattuck: It was Debbie.
Anne Davis-East: It was Debbie. I’m sorry. If Debbie wants to get in touch with us, we’re happy to send her some resources that will explain how auction are handled.
Steven Shattuck: Okay. Cool.
Anne Davis-East: Generally, the rule is is that if it goes above what the item was valued at, it’s considered income. And also, another little hint is whoever donates the auction item, they don’t get the value of the item, you do.
Steven Shattuck: Right. Okay. Great.
Anne Davis-East: So, yeah. So if she wants to send us a quick email, we’re happy to send her some stuff.
Steven Shattuck: Kelly here was wondering what the pros and cons are of hiring a company to do the paperwork for you. Do you have any tips on choosing a vendor for that or outsourcing that in general?
Anne Davis-East: We get that question all the time. The first thing is we always say if you’re starting a new nonprofit, the IRS estimates that is takes 200 hours to fill out the paperwork for Form 1023. So if you have 200 hours of your time to fill that out, that’s wonderful. If not, sending it out to someone else who has done quite a few of them and knows the ends and outs and has direct contact with the IRS to ask for information, that is well worth the expense. And actually for anything. Your state filings are fairly simple. I would say anything that deals with the IRS, if it’s a unified registration, any of those type of things, or initially registering within another state, I would really look at outsourcing. They understand what the paperwork is, what’s entailed, know where to go to get the information. And again, we always recommend that you take whatever your hourly rate is times how many hours it’s going to take you to fill it out. If it’s within reason, go ahead and do it then if you have time, otherwise talk to somebody. And we do all sorts of ways of filing forms for people. So again, it’s just like hiring another consultant. If you bring in a consultant to do strategic planning for your organization, you use the same criteria.
Steven Shattuck: A question that kind of dovetails out of that. She’s wondering is there a difference between hiring an instate company versus an out of state company to do all that for you. Does it matter? Are there any special considerations you use there? Do you have to work with someone in state?
Anne Davis-East: No. We’ve done filings in all 50 states, and we also have clients in Mexico and Canada. So we work with everyone. I would say if you’re going to hire someone to come in and raise funds for you, and they’re out of state, that fundraiser needs be registered in their home state, but they may also have to be registered in your state. So you may want to see if that fundraiser is registered.
Steven Shattuck: Great. We’ve got a question here from Tom, a question about the 990-EZ form. What are the cutoff requirements required for staying within that form? I think he’s asking there about the differences.
Anne Davis-East: Right. So it’s, when you’re first filing, they just changed it. So I can’t answer that question off the top of my head. I’m going to have my assistant pull that information, and we’ll get right back to it.
Steven Shattuck: OK. Cool. Well, Anne, I think we exhausted all the comments in the chat room. I know we went a little over time. We said we’d do about an hour half.
Anne Davis-East: Right.
Steven Shattuck: So I’m going to give people a little bit of a last chance to send any questions. While we do that, Anne, I’m going to put your contact info on the screen here. Could you talk a little bit about how folks can get in touch with you and what kind of things you offer?
Anne Davis-East: Sure. So you can give us a call. Again, we’re on the West Coast, and you will see our phone number up on the screen. You can also send me an email at email@example.com. We are also on Facebook. We have a business page, Davis East Consulting, so please go ahead and like the page. And we post new things every single day. And what Davis East does is we work with nonprofits in all their filing documents. So we help you establish your nonprofit. If for some reason you have to dissolve, we will do your dissolution paperwork. We also write your bylaws, we’ll help update your bylaws. We write all of the policies that I spoke about. We also do ethical training to make sure that you’re working ethically with your organization and your board. So anything that has to do with compliance, to keep you legal, that is what we do. We do partner with a couple of attorneys and CPA accountants so we’re kept abreast with things that are coming out from their end, and if we have any legal issues, we’ll talk to them. So that’s what we do. We’re here for anything that you need. If you have just a quick question, please feel free to get in touch with us. We’re happy to help you and answer that question. So thank you and thank you all for the questions, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Steven Shattuck: You got time for a couple more, Anne?
Anne Davis-East: I’m sorry.
Steven Shattuck: Anne, do you have time for a couple more questions?
Anne Davis-East: Of course I do. I have a couple more.
Steven Shattuck: Okay. Yeah, we got a couple here from Daniel, and I want to ask them for him since he was a good sport about sending us some other questions.
Anne Davis-East: Okay.
Steven Shattuck: Daniel was wondering, “How long does it take to get a response to a 1023 application form?” Looks like he’s maybe waiting on that and not sure how long that’ll take.
Anne Davis-East: Daniel, that’s always a great question. According to our contacts, it can be anywhere up to 12 months to 18 months. But they do want you to know that you can fundraise in good faith, and as soon as your paperwork was filed and you received a letter that said they have received, which generally takes maybe 90 days at the most. You just make sure that you let you donors and your corporate partners know that it’s pending, and if there’s any problems or you were not accepting, that you will let them know. But in the meantime the IRS will let you fundraise in good faith. And I will say, Daniel, the other thing is that the IRS has three piles of their paperwork that comes in. One pile is that they have absolutely every single thing that is required for them, the addition on your 1023 financial statement is [inaudible 38:19]. That goes through at a quicker pace, obviously, than if you’re missing anything. So if at any time, if you’re doing a 1023 and you would like us to review, we’re happy to review that and let you know if you’re missing anything. We always want you to be in that first pile.
Steven Shattuck: Right. Elaine was wondering if you knew how long it takes for them to respond once they’ve called. So once they call and ask questions, how long does it usually take from that standpoint? Do you have any idea there?
Anne Davis-East: I don’t have any idea. Again, it goes into a pile and is assigned. What you can do is look at the IRS website, and you can search to see where your application is in the process. And that should give her a little bit more idea of how long it will take.
Steven Shattuck: Okay. Cool. Jackie here was wondering, “What do nonprofits usually get audited for?” What are common reasons that a nonprofit gets audited for?
Anne Davis-East: So if the financials increase dramatically from one year to another, if the compensation to your board members or to your executive director again increases or is incredibly high, if you are the board chair, secretary, and treasurer, so those are kind of the big ones, kind of the red flags that they’ll look for. And they’ll also, you the 990, now, is more of a storytelling, so if you look at your activities, and again, they’ll see if it’s aligned with your mission.
Steven Shattuck: Okay. Cool. One question here from Ira. Ira’s wondering, “If an organization has no income and no expenses during the tax year after they incorporated, do they have to report any expenses and payments prior to the incorporation?”
Anne Davis-East: Not as a nonprofit. You would have to check with your state to see if they considered you a for profit corporation, and if that was the case, then you may have back taxes as a corporation.
Steven Shattuck: Okay.
Anne Davis-East: But if you continue not to have expenses or income as a nonprofit, you still should file your 990-N, which is the postcard because the IRS will look at you, you’re considered a nonprofit, you didn’t file, and they give you three years, and they’ll revoke your status.
Steven Shattuck: Okay. Daniel was wondering, “What do you have to do to update or amend you bylaws?” Are there any compliance things that you need to worry about there with regard to updating your bylaws?
Anne Davis-East: No. The bylaws is your internal piece on how you’re going to govern. So you can change your bylaws, amend your bylaws at any time. What you really follow is Robert’s Rules of Order on how to make motions and those type of things. But you should always look at your bylaws at least every three years to see if that’s still how you want to run your organization, the board. A lot of bylaws don’t reflect all this new technology that we have of smartphones and electronic voting and those kinds of things. So you may want to look and update your bylaws to reflect that.
Steven Shattuck: Okay. Great. Well, Mary had a question that had to do with that. Mary’s organization sounds like they’re going to change their entire mission and not just the bylaws. Is there anything to do there or does that just kind of fall into the same boat?
Anne Davis-East: It falls under the same boat, but I would also, when you do your 990 and all your other state filings, that you inform them of your new mission, and your mission was also part of your articles of incorporation, so you may want to check to see what your state requires you to do for that.
Steven Shattuck: Okay. Great. Well, I know you’ve answered a lot of questions, and you were definitely a good sport about it, Anne. Is it a fair statement to say that folks can contact you with any further questions if we didn’t get to them? Would that be okay?
Anne Davis-East: Yes. They certainly can, and we look forward to their questions.
Steven Shattuck: Well, good. This was a lot of fun. It’s been a while since we did a mostly Q&A webinar, but I think that you gave great answers to everyone’s questions, so thanks for hanging out with us for about an hour and sharing all your knowledge. It was a lot of fun.
Anne Davis-East: Oh, well, thank you, Steven. It was good. I’m looking for to taking some of your upcoming topics as well.
Steven Shattuck: Yeah. And just so everyone knows, we do do these webinars once a week. They’re totally free to register, totally educational. We’ve got some good ones coming up. We’ve got a great one coming up in June. Katie Miller is going to join us to talk about infographics and videos. Definitely check that one out. I kind of highlighted that one because it’s kind of an exciting topic. We’re going to talk about getting your board to fundraise a little later on this month. So check out our webinar page. Register for anything that you might find interesting there. Again, totally free and total educational. So check those out. Just so everyone knows, I will be sending out a full recording of today’s presentation along with Anne’s slides a little later on this afternoon. So look for those to hit your inbox in just a few hours here. So with that, I’ll let you all get back to your day, maybe get to lunch. So thanks again for hanging out with us, and we will talk to you next. So bye now.