Running a Nonprofit: Reporting to Your State and Local Governments

By Stan Hutton, Frances N. Phillips

An important part of being a nonprofit is making sure you file the correct forms with the IRS. However, your responsibilities don’t stop there. Different states and local governments also have certain requirements that you’ll need to follow if you want to run your nonprofit according to the rules.

You’ll almost certainly have reporting requirements for your state and possibly your local government, especially if you provide services under contract. Sometimes reporting to the state is as simple as completing a one-page form, attaching a copy of your 990, and paying a small fee.

More and more states (and some local governments) require registration for fundraising activities. Be sure to check local laws.

Some states require a separate financial form, although most follow the federal form closely. You’ll probably get all the needed reporting information when you ask for the incorporation packet, but if you didn’t or you aren’t sure, check with your state office that regulates nonprofit corporations. Find the appropriate office in your state by searching the web.