California Not-for-Profits Could Lose Tax-Exempt Status If They Don’t File Form SI-100

Not-for-profit organizations in California are facing complications from neglecting to file Form SI-100, Statement of Information.  

Form SI-100 is a one-page form requesting information about corporate officers, processing agents, and addresses. Several organizations have been suspended by the California secretary of state for neglecting to provide this information, while others have had their exempt status revoked by the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) in addition to being suspended.

Here’s an in-depth look at steps your organization can take to file early as well as filing requirements and penalties to know.

Filing Basics

Many organizations struggle with filing Form SI-100 because of the due date, which is based on the incorporation date and only required every other year—factors that lead to the deadline being missed.

How It Works

The form must be filed within 90 days of when an organization initially files its articles of incorporation in California. It must then be filed biennially during the applicable filing period thereafter. Credit unions and consumer cooperative corporations, however, are required to file annually instead of biennially.

The applicable filing period is determined by the month in which the articles of incorporation were initially filed. The period includes the initial filing month as well as the preceding five months.

Example

If ABC Corporation filed its articles of incorporation with California on August 15, 2014, the organization would have 90 days from that date to file an initial SI-100—making the initial filing deadline November 13, 2014. ABC Corporation would then have to file SI-100 again by August 15, 2016, or during the preceding five months.

Fees and Locations

Form SI-100 has a filing fee of $20. It can be filed electronically via the California secretary of state website, which also provides additional information about the form. 

Ramifications

If an organization fails to file Form SI-100 or misses the filing period, the California secretary of state may assess a penalty in the amount of $250. It may also suspend the organization, or the FTB may revoke the organization’s tax-exempt status for failure to file.

To determine your organization’s filing date or check your filing status, visit the FTB website. If your organization is listed as suspended, call FTB’s exempt organizations unit and ask for an explanation of the suspension. FTB’s website also provides a list of exempt organizations whose status has been revoked.

Penalty Responses

If your organization has been suspended, you can follow the following steps for the purpose of revoking the penalty:

  • File Form SI-100 with the California secretary of state as soon as possible via the filing website.
  • File the short version of Form 3500A, Submission of Exemption Request, along with a copy of your IRS determination letter. Note that in order to use Form 3500A, your California Forms 199 or 199N and 109 for all applicable tax years must have been filed, and any associated filing fees or taxes must have been paid.

If your organization’s tax-exempt status has been revoked in addition to being suspended, call your tax advisor for assistance, or start by filing Form SI-100 as explained above. You can then file the long version of Form 3500, Exemption Application. This application must include the following informational attachments:

  • Any amendments made to your governing documents, such as your articles of incorporation or bylaws
  • Your last three years of filed federal Forms 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF
  • Your IRS determination letter
  • Your FTB determination letter

Whether you’ve been assessed a penalty, suspended, or had your tax-exempt status revoked, your organization can contact a tax advisor for help filing the appropriate paperwork and taking steps to remediate the problem.

Next Steps

Failure to file this one-page report every other year can lead to additional filings and costs. It can also hold up possible grant receipts or applications, preventing you from accomplishing your mission. As an easy fix, take note of the due date for your Form SI-100 submission and assign a specific person at your organization to file the form on time each filing period.

We’re Here to Help

If you have questions about the form or other state and federal filings relevant to your not-for-profit organization, or if you’d like assistance navigating the filing process, contact a Moss Adams professional.