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Legal Counsel for Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector

Information and resources on nonprofit law & regulation

Illinois Registration and Compliance

Welcome to the registration and compliance page for Illinois nonprofit organizations. Below you will find information on initial filings required to form a new nonprofit organization in Illinois, annual filing requirements for existing organizations, and employment filings for nonprofits with employees. This page also contains a link to the relevant nonprofit statute for the State of Illinois. To navigate to one of these sections, click on the appropriate link on the left of this page.

Please feel free to call or email us if you have any registration, compliance or other legal needs or questions regarding your nonprofit organization. If you are forming a new organization, you may also be interested in the following additional resources:

Starting a Nonprofit Organization in Illinois: Initial Filings

1. To Incorporate in Illinois

a. Submit 2 sets of Articles of Incorporation (original plus a copy) to:

Secretary of State
Department of Business Services
501 S. Second Street, Room 350
Springfield, IL 62756

Information: (217) 782-6961
Web Site: cyberdriveillinois.com
Filing Fee: $50

b. After receiving the Certificate of Incorporation and a stamped copy of the Articles of Incorporation from the Secretary of State, the organization must file them with the office of the Recorder of Deeds of the county in which the registered office of the corporation is located. This must be done within 15 days of receipt.

Note: Refer to the Secretary of State's publication, A Guide for Organizing Not-For-Profit Corporations for more information.

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

a. Submit Form 1023 (501(c)(3) organizations) electronically at Pay.gov. Form 1024 (for other 501(c) organizations) should be submitted by mail to:

Note new address: 

Internal Revenue Service
TE/GE Stop 31A Team 105
P.O. Box 12192
Covington, KY 41012-0192

Information: (800) 829-1040
Forms: (800) 829-3676
Web Site: www.irs.gov/charities
Form 1023 Filing Fee: $600 ($275 for IRS Form 1023-EZ)
Form 1024 Filing Fee: $600

Notes: As of January 31, 2020, the IRS requires that Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, be completed and submitted online through Pay.gov. Applicants must have a Pay.gov account and payment of the user fee must be made electronically. There is a 90-day grace period during which the IRS will continue to accept paper versions of Form 1023. Learn more about IRS Form 1023.

Certain 501(c)(3) 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 our Form 1023-EZ FAQ.

b. 501(c)(4) organizations formed after July 8, 2016 must file Form 8976, Notice of Intent to Operate Under Section 501(c)(4), electronically within 60 days of formation:

Web Site: services.irs.gov/datamart/login.do
Filing Fee: $50 (This fee must be paid through the pay.gov website)

Notes: This filing must be completed by all 501(c)(4) organizations - including "self-declaring" organizations that do not file IRS Form 1024-A.
For more information about this filing, refer to the IRS website.

3. To Obtain Illinois Income Tax Exemption

501(c) tax-exempt organizations are automatically exempt from Illinois income taxes and need not apply for exemption.

4. To Obtain Illinois Sales and Use Tax Exemption

Submit Form STAX-1 Application for Sales Tax Exemption with a copy of the Articles of Incorporation; Bylaws; IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter; most recent financial statement; brief narrative describing the organization's purposes, functions, and activities; and, brochures or other printed material that explain the organization's purposes, functions, and activities to:

Illinois Department of Revenue
Sales Tax Exemption Section 3-520
101 West Jefferson St.
Springfield, IL 62702-5145

Information: (217) 782-8881
Web Site: www.revenue.state.il.us
Filing Fee: $0

Note: See Illinois Revenue's web page for nonprofit organizations and Publication 104 for more information.

5. To Register with the Illinois Attorney General

Submit Form CO-1 (Charitable Organization Registration Statement) along with required attachments to:

Office of the Attorney General
Charitable Trust Bureau
100 West Randolph Street
11th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601-3175

Information: (312) 814-2595
Web Site: www.ag.state.il.us
Filing Fee: $15

Note: For more information, refer to the Attorney General's Building Better Charities website.

Annual Filings for Illinois Nonprofit Organizations

1. Internal Revenue Service

Form: Annual Return Form 990
Due Date: 4 ½ months after end of fiscal year

Internal Revenue Service
Ogden, UT 84201-0027

Information: (800) 829-1040
Forms: (800) 829-3676
Web Site: www.irs.gov/charities
Filing Fee: $0

Public Charities: Refer to the IRS website to determine which form to file (Form 990, Form 990-EZ or Form 990-N).

Private Foundations: Submit Form 990PF, regardless of revenues.

Note: Effective for tax years that end July 31, 2020 and later, exempt organizations must now file their annual returns electronically, using an approved IRS 990 e-File provider. Note that some transitional relief is available to 990-EZ filers. In addition, some exceptions apply including when the organization is changing its name, filing a shortened period return due to a change in fiscal year, or has an exemption application pending. Refer to the Form 990 instructions for information on these and other exceptions. To learn more about this electronic filing requirement, read the IRS announcement. For a list of approved IRS 990 e-File providers, refer to the IRS' Modernized e-file Providers list.

2. Illinois Attorney General

Form: Attorney General Form AG990-IL
Due Date: 6 months after end of fiscal year

Office of the Attorney General
Charitable Trusts Bureau
Attn: Annual Report Section
100 West Randolph Street
11th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601-3175

Information: (312) 814-2595
Web Site: www.ag.state.il.us/charities/index.html
Filing Fee: $15

Note: A copy of the IRS Form 990 must be submitted with the AG990-IL.

Audited financial statements are required if gross contributions exceed $300,000 or the organization used a paid fundraiser that raised contributions in excess of $25,000.

There is a $100 late fee.

3. Illinois Secretary of State

Form: Annual Report for Nonprofit Corporations
Due Date: Annually before the first day of the month of incorporation

Secretary of State
Department of Business Services
Corporations Division
501 S. Second Street, Rm. 350
Springfield, IL 62756

Information: (217) 524-8008
Web Site: www.cyberdriveillinois.com
Filing Fee: $10

Notes: Late fee is $3.00

This report may be filed online at www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/business_services/annual_reports/nfp_instructions.html

Illinois Employment Filings

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

To Register with the Illinois Department of Revenue and Department of Employment Security

Complete the online Business Registration Application.

Illinois Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 19447
Springfield, IL 62794-9447

Information: (217) 782-3336
Web Site: www.tax.illinois.gov

Illinois Department of Employment Security
Revenue Division
33 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60603

Information: (800) 247-4984
Web Site: http://www.ides.illinois.gov/Pages/Unemployment_Taxes_and_Reporting.aspx

Note: Nonprofit organizations employing four or fewer persons in a given calendar year may be exempt from this requirement. For more information, refer to the Department of Employment Security's "Frequently Asked Questions for Employers".

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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Registration & Compliance Services

Hurwit & Associates offers comprehensive compliance and reporting services to nonprofit organizations and charitable fundraisers. We help clients remain in good standing with state corporate, tax, charities and employment offices throughout the U.S.

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