Easy Steps To Protect Your Oklahoma Nonprofit and Keep Your Nonprofit Compliant

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If you are starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Oklahoma, you have come to the right place. After following the easy steps for Oklahoma nonprofit formation, follow this guide to help keep your Oklahoma nonprofit compliant and protected.

In this guide we cover:

  1. How to Protect Your Oklahoma Nonprofit
  2. How to Keep Your Oklahoma Nonprofit Compliant

How to Protect Your Oklahoma Nonprofit

Get Business Insurance

As with any other business, there may be risks involved in running the nonprofit. Getting insurance for your nonprofit allows you to focus on your passion while minimizing your liability.

Here are some of the common types of insurance you may want to consider for your organization:

  • General Liability Coverage
  • Directors and Officers Coverage
  • Social Service Professional Coverage

Your coverage needs will vary based on your organization and the work you do.

Properly Sign Legal Documents

There will be times when you will be signing a document on behalf of your nonprofit. It is important that these times are easily distinguishable from when you are signing a document as an individual. If a document isn’t properly signed, you might suddenly find yourself personally responsible for something the organization should have been liable for.

To avoid such confusion we recommend you and all the members of your organization follow the following format:

  • The official name of your nonprofit
  • Your signature
  • Your full legal name
  • Your position in the organization

How to Keep Your Oklahoma Nonprofit Compliant

Maintain An Oklahoma Registered Agent

Nonprofits that have incorporated are required to maintain a registered agent with an office address in Oklahoma.

If the agent or the office address changes, you must file a change of registered agent form with the Secretary of State. This form can be mailed to the address found below:

Oklahoma Secretary of State
Business Filing Department
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 101
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For more information, you can call the Secretary of State at (405) 521-3912.

File Required Periodic Reports

There are 2 reports your organization must regularly file with the state:

  1. Renewal Registration with the Secretary of State
  2. Form 512-E with the Oklahoma Tax Commission

1. Renewal Registration with the Secretary of State

The renewal registration is due each year on or before the anniversary of the registration of your nonprofit.

For more information, you can call the Secretary of State at (405) 522-2520 or visit them at their website.

2. Form 512-E with the Oklahoma Tax Commission

Within four and a half months after the end of the fiscal year, you must file Form 521-E with the Oklahoma Tax Commission. This form can be mailed to the address found below:

Oklahoma Tax Commission
P.O. Box 26800
Oklahoma City, OK 73126-0800

For more information, you can call the Tax Commission at (405) 521-3160 or visit them at their website.

Determine Oklahoma Business Permits and Licenses

As a nonprofit in the state of Oklahoma, your organization will not need a general business license.

Your organization might need specific licenses based on the city and county you are in. Check out the Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s site for specific license requirements for your nonprofit.

Fundraising

If your nonprofit will be soliciting for funds you must register as a charitable organization with the Secretary of State.

For more information, you can call the Secretary of State at (405) 522-2520 or visit them at their website.

Employees

If your organization will have employees you must do the following:

  1. Register with the Oklahoma Tax Commission
  2. Register with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission

1. Register with the Oklahoma Tax Commission

File the Business Registration Application with the Tax Commission.

For more information, you can call the Tax Commission at (405) 521-3160 or visit them at their website.

2. Register with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission

To register with the Oklahoma Employment Security you must file form OES-1. This form can be mailed to the address found below:

Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
Attn: Employer Compliance
P.O. Box 52003
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-2003

For more information, you can call the Employment Security Commission at (405) 557-5330 or visit them at their website.

Public Inspection Rules for all 501(c)(3) Organizations

All organizations that have been granted the 501(c)(3) status are required to disclose the following documents to the public when requested:

  • Annual returns for 3 years after the due date (this includes returns like Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, and any Forms 990-T)
  • All Form 990 Schedules (except portions of Schedule B), attachments and supporting documents.
  • Application of exemption and all supporting documents such as Form 1023
  • The official paperwork from the IRS that shows that your organization has tax-exempt status.

The following do NOT need to be shared with the public

  • Portions of schedule B of Form 990/990-EZ that identify the contributors. (You only need to disclose the amount contributed and the nature of the contributions)
  • Any unfavorable rulings such as an earlier denial of tax-exempt status.
  • Any information the IRS has said you can withhold. This may include things like sensitive patents and trade secrets.

FAQ:

How long do I have to produce these documents if requested?

Ideally within the same day. If your organization doesn’t have an office or maintains limited hours during parts of the year, the information should be made available within two weeks.

Do I need to provide copies of the documents?

If someone asks for copies in person or in writing you must provide them with copies.

Can I charge for copies?

You can charge a reasonable amount for making copies of the documents requested.

NOTE: It may be easiest to have the documents available on your website so that anyone who requests copies can be sent to the site. This allows you to stay compliant without having to spend a lot of time dealing with document requests.

Annual Returns for Tax-Exempt Organizations

Most tax-exempt nonprofit organizations are required to file an annual return with the IRS (Check the list of exceptions).

Which form you should use to file the annual returns depends on the annual gross receipt amounts for your organization.

"Gross receipt" is defined by the IRS as “the total amounts the organization received from all sources during its annual accounting period, without subtracting any costs or expenses”

  • For gross receipts ≤$50,000 --- File 990-N
  • Gross receipts <$200,000 and total assets <$500,000 --- File 990- EZ
  • Gross receipts >$200,000 or Total assets >$500,000 --- File 990

For any questions, you can call the IRS at

  • (800) 829-3676 (Form-related questions)
  • (800) 829-1040 (General information)

When is form 990 due?

You have a little over 4 months after your taxable year comes to an end to file Form 990. It is due on the 15th day of the 5th month. So if your taxable year ends on Dec 31st, your form 990 is due on May 15th.

NOTE: If your organization fails to file form 990 for 3 consecutive years, it will automatically lose its tax-exempt status.

Report Unrelated Business Income

If your Oklahoma organization has a gross income of ≥$1000 from a trade or business that is not related to the stated purpose of the organization, then it must file Form 990-T to pay tax on that income.

If you expect to pay $500 or more for the year in taxes on unrelated business income, your organization must pay a quarterly estimated tax on the unrelated business income using Form 990-W.