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State-By-State Initial Compliance - Pennsylvania

Initial Filings for Pennsylvania Nonprofit Organizations

For a general discussion on starting a nonprofit organization, please refer to our article, Starting a Nonprofit Organization.

To view annual filing requirements for Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations, refer to our annual filings page:www.hurwitassociates.com/l_s_annual_pa.php.

  1. To Incorporate in Pennsylvania

    a. Submit 2 copies of Articles of Incorporation (DSCB:15-5306) and Docketing Statement (DSCB:15-134A) to:

    Department of State
    Corporation Bureau
    PO Box 8722
    Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722
    Information: (717) 787-1057
    Fax: (717) 783-2244
    Web Site: www.dos.state.pa.us/corps/site/default.asp
    Filing Fee: $125
    Note: All incorporators must sign Articles of Incorporation.
    A P.O. Box alone is not acceptable for the registered address of the organization.

    b. The corporation must publish either the intent to file or the actual filing of the Articles of Incorporation in two newspapers. It is recommended that one of them be a legal journal, if possible. Proof of publication should be filed in the minutes of the corporation.

  2. To Obtain 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status

    Submit Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption to:

    Note new address:
    Internal Revenue Service
    P.O. Box 12192
    Covington, KY 41012-0192
    Information: (800) 829-1040
    Forms: (800) 829-3676
    Web Site: www.irs.gov/charities
    Filing Fee: $850 ($400 for IRS Form 1023-EZ)

    For more information on filing fees, see the IRS website.
    Note: Certain organizations, including those with gross revenues at or below $50,000 annually, may qualify to file the online Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption. For more information and to determine if you are eligible for this form, refer to the IRS website.
  3. To Register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and Obtain Corporate and Sales Tax Exemptions

    Submit Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Form REV-72 along with copies of the 501(c)(3) Determination Letter from the IRS, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, a current financial statement (or budget) and the most recently filed Form 990 (if available) to:

    Department of Revenue
    Bureau of Business Trust Fund Taxes
    Miscellaneous Tax Division
    Dept. 280909
    Harrisburg, PA 17128-0909
    Information: (717) 783-5473
    Web Site: www.revenue.state.pa.us
    Filing Fee: $0
  4. To Register with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations

    Within 30 days of receiving $25,000 in contributions or prior to compensating a paid solicitor to solicit contributions in Pennsylvania, submit Form BCO-10 and copies of the 501(c)(3) Determination Letter from the IRS, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and IRS Form 990 to:

    Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
    Department of State
    Bureau of Charitable Organizations
    207 North Office Building
    Harrisburg, PA 17120
    Information: (717) 783-1720
    Fax: (717) 783-6014
    Web Site: www.dos.state.pa.us/charities
    Filing Fee: $15-$250 (depending on contributions)
    Notes: If contributions under $50,000: Provide internally prepared audit with Form BCO-10.
    If contributions $50,000-$100,000: Provide compiled, reviewed or audited financials with Form BCO-10.
    If contributions $100,000-$300,000: Provide reviewed or audited financials with Form BCO-10.
    If contributions $300,000 or greater: Provide audited financials with Form BCO-10.

    Organizations that are not required to file an IRS Form 990 must file a Form BCO-23 to accompany Form BCO-10. Some organizations are exempt from filing Form BCO-10. Refer to the Department of State's website for a complete list of exemptions

    Note that organizations exempt from filing Form BCO-10 that are located in Pennsylvania, must still file an “Institution of Purely Public Charity Registration Statement” along with a fee of $15 and a copy of the organization's IRS Form 990.

Pennsylvania Employment Filings

If the organization will have employees, the following filing is also required:

  • To Register with the Department of Revenue and Department of Labor & Industry

    Apply for an Employer Account by completing the online Form PA-100.

    Pennsylvania Department of Revenue
    Bureau of Business Trust Fund Taxes
    PO Box 280904
    Harrisburg, PA 17128-0904
    Phone: 717-787-1064
    Web Site: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/employer_withholding/14495
    Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry
    Employer Services
    7th Floor, Labor & Industry Building
    651 Boas Street
    Harrisburg, PA 17121
    Phone: 866-403-6163
    Web Site: http://www.uc.pa.gov/portal/server.pt/community/employer_uc_services/10343
  • Important note about unemployment insurance: Many states allow nonprofit organizations to fund unemployment insurance benefits on a reimbursable basis. This method of funding unemployment insurance may require additional filings not listed here. Furthermore, electing this method may require the organization to register and file in paper format. Organizations contemplating this method of funding their unemployment insurance obligations should check with the appropriate state office administering the unemployment insurance in that state.

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