If you are launching a charity or trying to keep it compliant, it is important to understand the rules and regulations related to the Attorney General Registry of Charitable Trusts. The charity regulator referred to in this blog post os for charities in California, but other states have an equivalent regulator. This quick guide will explain the registration requirements, and provide helpful tips on how to best comply with these requirements.
How Charitable Trusts Are Defined and Managed.
A charitable trust is defined as a legal arrangement whereby funds or property held by one party are used for the benefit of another, but the Attorney General actually regulates all charities in California so don’t be thrown by the word trust in the name of the registry. The Attorney General Registry of Charitable Trusts is responsible for monitoring nonprofits and ensuring compliance with relevant laws pertaining to their management. Registration with the registry will set out rules about how charity funds must be managed. Additionally, organizations must submit regular filings to indicate continued eligibility with the registry and allow the regulator to ensure the activities of the charities are compliant with state laws and the public good.
Registration Requirements for Charitable Trusts.
To register with the Attorney General Registry of Charitable Trusts, organizations must submit a complete package of documents, which includes registration forms, articles of incorporation or organization, financial statements for the preceding year, and other specific forms depending on their activities. Additionally, the organization must appoint and approve a Board of Directors to oversee its operations. Furthermore, it is necessary that they demonstrate ongoing funding through grants and pledges going forward. By following these steps, organizations can be fully registered with the registry and gain credibility as a designated charitable trust.
Obligations of Tax-Exempt Organizations.
As a tax-exempt organization, certain obligations must be fulfilled to maintain exemption status. These include submitting regular financial statements and filing annual tax forms in addition to registration with the Attorney General. All organizations must keep detailed records of contributions received, a board of directors’ list and minutes of meetings retained, and evidence of operation as a public charity documented through approved activities and annual filings. Further, compliance with state laws requires that charities register with all governmental entities having jurisdiction over their activities in order to avoid possible penalties.
Filing Forms and Submitting Reports.
Nonprofit organizations are required to register with each state’s Attorney General Registry of Charitable Trusts or equivalent. All forms and reports must be completed accurately, thoroughly and timely in order to protect the organisation’s exempt status. Many states allow for the filing of documents online instead of mailing paper copies which can speed up the process and reduce errors. After submitting required paperwork, organizations should expect a response from the state that acknowledges receipt of the proceedings or offers requested guidance or amendments for submitted forms. The organization must make sure to file renewal paperwork in subsequent years to remain in good standing.