Ohio Filing Requirements
Ohio’s Charitable Organization Solicitation Act (O.R.C. §1716)
Ohio’s Charitable Organizations Act requires every charitable organization that intends to solicit contributions in Ohio to register annually with the Attorney General’s Office Charitable Law Section. Charitable organizations that conduct bingo, instant bingo, or games of chance are considered to be conducting a solicitation and as such are required to register.
The following organizations are exempt from registration:
- any religious agencies and organizations, and charities, agencies, and organizations operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious organization;
- any charitable organization that meets all of the following requirements:
- it has been in continuous existence for a period of at least two years;
- it has received from the IRS a determination letter that is currently in effect, stating that the charitable organization is exempt from federal income taxation under §501(a) and described in §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
- it has registered with the attorney general pursuant to the Charitable Trust Act (filed a Form CFR-1); and
- it has filed an annual report with and paid the required filing fee to the attorney general pursuant to the Charitable Trust Act (Annual Financial Report).
- any educational institution, when solicitation of contribution is confined to alumni, faculty, trustees, or the student membership and their families;
- every person other than an individual, when solicitation of contributions for a charitable purpose or on behalf of a charitable organization is confined to its existing membership, present or former employees or present or former trustees;
- any public primary or secondary school, when solicitation of contributions is confined to alumni, faculty, or the general population of the local school district;
- any booster club that is organized and operating in conjunction with and for the benefit of students of public primary or secondary schools; or
- any charitable organization that does not receive gross revenue (excluding grants or awards from the government or an organization that is exempt from federal income tax) in excess of $25,000 during its immediately preceding fiscal year and does not compensate any person primarily to solicit contributions. If the gross revenue actually received during any fiscal year exceeds $25,000 the charitable organization is required, within 300 days after the receipt of the revenue, to file a registration statement.
To file, you must use the Charitable Organization Registration Statement prescribed by the Attorney General’s Office.
For first time filers, the registration statement is due prior to engaging in any solicitation. Thereafter, the annual registration statement is due on the 15th day of the 5th calendar month after the close of each fiscal year of the charitable organization or by the date of any applicable extension of the federal filing date, whichever is later.
ContributionsLess than $5,000$5,000 to less than 25,000$25,000 to less than $50,000$50,000 or more
Any organization that is required to register must also file an annual financial statement. The financial report can be either a complete copy of the organization’s annual federal return (Form 990), or a completed copy of the Attorney General’s Annual Financial Report of Charitable Organization.
There are no exceptions to filing the annual financial report for non-exempt organizations. Any organization that is required to register under the Charitable Organizations Act must file an annual financial report along with the registration statement.
Charitable Trust Act (O.R.C. § 109.23-33)
Ohio’s Charitable Trust Act requires every charitable organization (including 501(c)(3) organizations) that is established or active in the state of Ohio to register with the Attorney General’s Charitable Law Section by filing a Charitable Trust Registration Form (CFR-1/Green Form), along with a copy of the organizational documents. Any subsequent amendments to the organizational documents are also to be filed with the attorney general’s office.
The following organizations are exempt from registration:
- organizations which have registered with the attorney general’s office prior to November 19, 1975;
- any agency or instrumentality of a governmental unit of the United States, any state, or political subdivision thereof;
- parent-teacher associations, fraternities, alumni, booster or social clubs which are organized and operated in conjunction with and for the benefit of students of primary and secondary schools and educational institutions;
- organizations which are organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes. This includes churches and auxiliaries of a church, such as a religious school, mission society or youth group;
- educational institutions which maintain a regular facility and curriculum and normally have a regular body of pupils or students in attendance at the place where its education activities are regularly carried on;
- organizations which operate a hospital which is registered pursuant to O.R.C. § 3701.07;
- charitable remainder trusts, if gifts to such trusts are deductible for federal income, gift or estate tax purposes;
- charitable trusts which are revocable or which are subject to an unlimited power of invasion for purposes other than charitable purposes;
- charitable trusts which have neither assets nor a majority of the governing body within Ohio; or
- charitable organizations which are controlled by one or more of the organizations listed above. Control is defined as having the power to elect or remove a majority of the governing body of the controlled organization.
To register, you file a Form CFR-1 Charitable Trust Registration Form.
Registration must be completed within six months after the creation of the organization.
Any organization that is required to register must also file an annual financial statement for any taxable year in which the organization has gross receipts in excess of $5,000 or gross assets exceeding $15,000. The financial report can be either a complete copy of the organization’s annual federal return (Form 990), or a completed copy of the Attorney General’s Annual Financial Report of Charitable Organization. (See attached)
The financial report must be filed with the Attorney General’s office by the fifth month following the close of the organization’s taxable year. If filing a federal return, the filing deadline is the same as the federal, including any applicable federal extensions.
AssetsLess than $25,000$25,000 to less than $100,000$100,000 to less than $500,000$500,000 or moreLate fee
Whoever fails to comply with the registration requirements or fails to file a financial report is subject to fines ranging from $500 to $10,000 and may face up to one year of imprisonment.