How to Protect Your West Virginia 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 West Virginia Nonprofit Compliant
Maintain a West Virginia Registered Agent
Nonprofits that have incorporated are required to maintain a registered agent with an office address in West Virginia.
If the agent or the office address changes, you must file Form AAO with the Secretary of State to effect a change to the articles of incorporation. This form can also be completed online through the WV One Stop Business Portal. Paper forms can be submitted to one of the Business Service Centers found below. You can also contact each center for more information if needed.
One-Stop Business Center
1615 Washington Street East
Charleston, WV 25311
Phone: (304) 558-8000
Fax: (304) 558-8381
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8:30a - 5:00p EST
North Central WV Business Center
200 West Main Street
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Phone: (304) 367-2775
Fax: (304) 627-2243
Hours: Mon. -Fri. 9:00a - 5:00p EST
Eastern Panhandle Business Center
229 E. Martin Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401
Phone: (304) 356-2654
Fax: (304) 260-4360
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9:00a - 5:00p EST
File Required Periodic Reports
The secretary of state requires nonprofits to file an annual report each year between January 1 and July 1 for each year after the organization was formed. This form can be completed online through the WV One Stop Business Portal.
Although your organization is exempt from paying corporate income and franchise taxes, it still must file a yearly tax return by using form CNF-120. This form must be submitted to the address found below:
West Virginia State Tax Department
Tax Account Administration Division
P.O. Box 1202
Charleston, WV 25324-1202
Determine West Virginia Business Permits and Licenses
As a business operating in West Virginia, you will already have applied for your general business certificate after you applied for your EIN. To learn more about registering requirements, access the West Virginia Business Instructions Booklet.
If you will be operating charitable gaming of any kind (bingo, raffles, etc), you will need to apply for the appropriate license with the West Virginia State Tax Department.
If your nonprofit will be soliciting charitable contributions, it must register as a Charitable Organization with the West Virginia Secretary of State - Charities Division unless it meets specific exclusion requirements. Mail this form to the address found below:
West Virginia Secretary of State
One Stop Business Center
1615 East Washington Street
Charleston, WV 25311
If your organization will have employees you must register with Workforce West Virginia.
Workforce West Virginia
Status Determination Unit
P.O. Box 106
Charleston, WV 25321
For more information, you can call the Department of Commerce (304) 558-2677.
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.
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 West Virginia 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.