Updated Forms Effective February 1, 2020
Please note that, effective February 1, 2020, the Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts will require charities to use new and amended forms. Updated forms will be available on this page on or about January 16. Also, samples of the new and amended forms (see "Adopted Forms" not for official use), including redline changes, may be found on the Notice of Amendments to Regulations page.
Significant changes to the forms include:
- New Form CT-TR-1 must be filed annually by charities with annual revenue under $50,000; and
- The RRF-1 annual registration renewal form now requires reporting additional information, including noncash donations.
Links to topics below
When a charitable organization fails to submit complete filings for each fiscal year, its status on the Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts will be listed as Delinquent. If the delinquency is not remedied, the Registry status will be further changed to Suspended, and/or Revoked. A charitable organization that is not in good standing with the Registry of Charitable Trusts may not operate or solicit donations in California. (Cal. Code of Regs., tit. 11, § 999.9.4.) If your charitable organization received a delinquency letter it is because it has not filed one or more of the required annual reports with the Registry. The Registry's Delinquency Program provides guidance to assist delinquent charities and trustees.
Required Annual Filings
Depending on the gross annual revenue and other factors, some or all of these are required to be filed annually:
- Form RRF-1
- Renewal fees
- IRS Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF
Note: Form 990-N and Form 199/199-N are not required by this office.
Due Date for Annual Renewal Filings
Form RRF-1, with the applicable renewal fee, and IRS Form 990/990-EZ/990-PF are due 4 months and 15 days after the end of the charitable organization's fiscal year unless an IRS extension has been granted. A charitable organization that has been granted an extension of time from the IRS is not required to submit Form RRF-1 and the renewal fee until the IRS Form 990 filing has been completed. If your organization has obtained an extension from the IRS, please file with the Registry of Charitable Trusts, as one complete package, the IRS Form 990, a copy of the extension letter, the Form RRF-1, and the applicable renewal fees.
For your annual filing due date, click on your fiscal year ending date:
Your due date is June 15, or December 15 with IRS extension
Your due date is July 15, or January 15 with IRS extension
Your due date is August 15, or February 15 with IRS extension
Your due date is September 15, or March 15 with IRS extension
Your due date is October 15, or April 15 with IRS extension
Your due date is November 15, or May 15 with IRS extension
Your due date is December 15, or June 15 with IRS extension
Your due date is January 15, or July 15 with IRS extension
Your due date is February 15, or August 15 with IRS extension
Your due date is March 15, or September 15 with IRS extension
Your due date is April 15, or October 15 with IRS extension
Your due date is May 15, or November 15 with IRS extension
The Attorney General’s Office hosted, and has made available, a webinar providing step by step instructions for remedying a delinquent status. The webinar also includes the filing requirements, details about Form RRF-1, and how to check an organization’s status using the Registry Verification Search tool. Below you will find the video of that webinar. The video is also available on the California Department of Justice's YouTube Channel.
Renewal Forms & Links
Annual Registration Renewal Fee Report
Form RRF-1 must be filed annually within 4 months and 15 days after the end of an organization's accounting period.
- IRS Form 990 Series and Instructions
- IRS Form 4506 – Request for Copy of Tax Return
- The Registry's Guide for Charities Page
- Nonprofit Transactions Requiring Notice or Attorney General Approval
- Audit Requirements under the Nonprofit Integrity Act
- Executive Compensation under the Nonprofit Integrity Act
Laws & Regulations
Frequently Asked Questions
A charitable organization that has failed to file one or more of the required annual reports with the Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts (Registry) may be sent a delinquency notice. Charitable organizations and charitable trusts must file the Registration Renewal Fee Report (Form RRF-1) annually with the Registry. In addition, a copy of the IRS Form 990, 990-PF, or 990-EZ (collectively referred to as "reports") with all applicable schedules filed with the Internal Revenue Service must also be filed with the Registry.
Unless specifically exempt from registration and reporting under the Supervision of Trustees and Fundraisers for Charitable Purposes Act (Government Code sections 12580-12599.8), all charitable nonprofit corporations, unincorporated associations, trustees, and other legal entities holding assets for charitable purposes must register and file annual reports with the Registry. Any charitable organization established outside of California, but is doing business or holding property in California for charitable purposes must also register with the Registry Trusts.
The Attorney General is charged with the general supervision of all organizations and individuals who obtain, hold or control charitable assets. The Attorney General has the primary responsibility for supervising charitable trusts in California, for ensuring compliance with trusts and articles of incorporation, and for protecting assets held by charitable trusts and public benefit corporations. (Gov. Code, § 12598, subd. (a).) The Registry of Charitable Trusts assists the Attorney General by administering the statutory registration and reporting program for all organizations and individuals that control and/or solicit charitable funds or assets in California.
The State Charity Registration Number is assigned to an organization by the Registry of Charitable Trusts at the time of initial registration. If the organization has received a letter from the Registry, the Registration Number is located at the top of the letter. The Registration Number is different from the corporate or organization number (entity id) and the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). The corporate or organization number is issued by either the CA Secretary of State (SOS) or CA Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and the FEIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Use the Registry Verification Search tool to view the reports that are on file with the Registry of Charitable Trusts. If the organization has received a letter from the Registry, the State Charity Registration Number is located at the top of the letter, and that number can be used to search for charity's records. The reports that are on file with the Registry will appear under the heading Annual Renewal Information.
The organization is required to file complete reports every year with the applicable renewal fee. If the Status is Rejected, Not Submitted, or Incomplete, complete reports were not filed for the year indicated. If the Status is Incomplete and the Complete 990 Attached field is N, it indicates that the IRS Form 990 has not been filed with the Registry for that year and is considered incomplete if the revenue amount for the fiscal year is over the IRS threshold for filing a return.
A screenshot of the Registry Verification Search details page is shown below for reference.
The Registry of Charitable Trusts is a separate agency from the IRS. Filing any version of IRS Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service does not mean that filing requirements are met with our office. We require a complete copy of the IRS Form 990, 990-EZ or 990-PF once the reported Gross Annual Revenue meets or exceeds $50,000. A complete copy must include all Schedules, both public and confidential. See California Code of Regulations, Title 11, section 301.
California Code of Regulations, Title 11, section 301 requires the filing of the IRS Form 990, 990-PF, or 990-EZ with the Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts as part of the charitable organization's registration and reporting requirement with the Registry. Third-party websites that scan informational returns (IRS Form 990) filed directly with the IRS do not fulfill the charity's independent obligation to file directly with the Registry. Registry staff from the Delinquency Program cannot utilize filings from a third-party online source to fulfill the organization's independent filing requirements.
An annual audit is required for organizations that report $2 million or more in gross annual revenue. For more information pertaining to the annual audit, please review Audit Requirements under the Nonprofit Integrity Act and our Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Nonprofit Integrity Act of 2004.
When an organization repeatedly fails to comply with the registration renewal requirements, a Notice of Intent to Suspend or Revoke Registration (ITS) is issued and late fees are assessed. The late fees cannot be waived and are calculated at $25 per month or partial month starting the 31st day after the 1st Delinquency letter was mailed. An organization must satisfy all the requirements of the ITS to stop the late fees from accruing.
*NOTE: Use of charitable assets is restricted to charitable purposes. Charitable assets cannot be used to pay Late Fees. Using charitable assets to pay penalties generally constitutes a waste of charitable assets and damage to the charity. A director that has committed a breach of fiduciary duty or breach of trust by allowing avoidable penalties to be assessed may be held liable for any damages to the charity. See, for example, Business and Professions Code, § 17510.8; Corporations Code, §§ 5210, 5231, 5239.
The documents filed with the Registry that are public filings include IRS Form 990, 990-PF, or 990-EZ, initial registration forms, founding documents (e.g., articles of incorporation), financial audits, and the annual registration renewal Form RRF-1. Please also note, the Registry does not make available for public viewing certain records and information submitted with the Form 990 and 990-EZ, such as the Schedule B, that are considered confidential documents.
If you are filing documents that you believe should be maintained as confidential, please separate the pages that contain confidential information and add a cover sheet indicating that they should be maintained confidential.
The Registry Verification Search tool allows a charity's public filings to be viewed and downloaded directly from the Registry database.
Contact your organization's tax preparer and/or attorney. Tax and legal professionals will often retain copies of prior filings and/or historical documents prepared on behalf of an organization. You can request a complete IRS Form 990 directly from the IRS with IRS Form 4506.
If an organization filed Form 990-N and cannot locate their accounting records or banking documents, they may need to request past statements from the bank(s). If the banking records are not available for the requested years, ask the bank to provide a statement on their letterhead indicating why the records are not available. The organization will also need to write a letter (on the organization's letterhead) explaining in detail why they could not locate their accounting records for the fiscal year in question. Both letters need to be submitted to the Registry for further review.
The registration and reporting requirements are not limited to entities that are tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Supervision of Trustees and Fundraisers for Charitable Purposes Act (Government Code sections 12580-12599.8) requires registration and annual reporting by all charitable nonprofit corporations, unincorporated associations, trustees, and other legal entities holding assets for charitable purposes.
With very limited exception, the Supervision of Trustees and Fundraisers for Charitable Purposes Act applies to any person/entity holding money or property for charitable purposes, including entities that are tax exempt under other subsections of section 501(c), entities that are not tax exempt, for-profit entities that hold assets for charitable purposes, and organizations established outside of California that are doing business or holding property for charitable purposes in California.
Regardless of an organization's exempt status, all charities are required to file Form RRF-1 every year until they are dissolved or withdrawn.
Please contact the IRS and/or the Franchise Tax Board, if applicable, for instructions on how to reinstate and/or revive your tax exempt status. The IRS and Franchise Tax Board are separate entities from the Registry of Charitable Trusts.
Regardless of an organization's activity level, all organizations are required to file Form RRF-1 every year. If the organization has been dormant and has not received charitable contributions of any kind during a specific year, that information should be reported on Form RRF-1 by indicating zero ($0) revenue for that year. Organizations must still provide the value of the total assets for each fiscal year.
If your organization no longer intends to operate, you may wish to withdraw or dissolve the organization. Please visit our Dissolution webpage for additional information.
Please visit our Dissolution webpage for additional information. An organization cannot dissolve until it has resolved all issues that lead to delinquency.
Please use our Contact the Delinquency Program form, or call the Delinquency Program at (916) 210-6400, extension 6. This is a voicemail-only system, with a turn-around time of two working days to respond to your request for assistance.
In either case, please include your name, the organization's name, State Charity Registration Number and/or FEIN, contact phone number, and questions/reasons for contacting us.
Documents and payments should be mailed together in one envelope. If the organization received a letter from the Registry, include a copy with your documents. Please write your State Charity Registration Number on any payments to prevent delays in processing.
Registry of Charitable Trusts Mailing Address:
Regular or Registered Mail:
Registry of Charitable Trusts
PO Box 903447
Sacramento CA 94203-4470
Registry of Charitable Trusts
1300 I Street
Sacramento CA 95814
The Registry of Charitable Trusts will revoke the registration of an organization if it continually fails to respond to Registry's delinquency and suspension notices. If an organization's registration has been revoked, conditional reinstatement is possible, but it must be reviewed and approved by the Registrar of the Registry of Charitable Trusts.
An organization that has had its registration revoked may file a petition to have it reinstated pursuant to California Code of Regulations, title 11, section 999.9.5.
A petition for reinstatement will not be reviewed until all of the following are submitted:
- All deficient filings and renewal fees,
- Proof of compliance with the requirements/good standing with the IRS, California Franchise Tax Board and California Secretary of State,
- An explanation of why the organization failed to comply with the registration and reporting requirements and failed to respond to notices from the Registry of Charitable Trusts, and
- An explanation that will provide sufficient assurance to the Registrar of the Registry of Charitable Trusts that the violations will not recur in the future if the petition for reinstatement is granted.