Legal and Tax Information for Nonprofits

Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-Profits
The IRS has in-depth information on various types of tax-exempt organizations.  This site gives details on how to apply for tax exempt status, how to conduct annual reporting and filing, and also provides tax forms for nonprofit organizations. 

The Tennessee Secretary of State: Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming
This website has a wealth of information and forms of interest to nonprofits.  Visit the Charitable Organization FAQs for an overview of registration requirements, fees, and application guidelines.  The Division will allow you to apply online or access printable forms through the Charitable Organizations Forms page.  Many forms and online services are also accessible on the Nonprofit Corporations page.

Office of the Attorney General for the State of Tennessee
The Attorney General’s website gives detailed legal information regarding nonprofits in Tennessee.  In collaboration with the Secretary of State’s office, they have created a Guidebook for Tennessee Nonprofits, which can be accessed by clicking our link or visiting the Reviewing Nonprofits and Charitable Trusts/Gifts page.  This page also provides links to instructions and forms for filing nonprofit affidavits, dissolutions, mergers, and sales.

A Guide to Starting a Nonprofit in Tennessee
A 28-page online publication created by United Way’s Center for Nonprofits and the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga.  It lists the steps to starting a nonprofit in Tennessee and provides links to tax information and state-specific legal requirements.

Your Nonprofit’s Tax-Exempt Status
Nolo Press, a well-known publisher of self-help legal guides, has created this page with links to several useful articles about applying for tax-exempt status, maintaining your status, and filing your 990s.  Legal Updates for Nonprofits, another page produced by Nolo Press, details legal changes affecting nonprofits over the years.

Help with Incorporation & 501(c)(3) Paperwork  The Foundation Center has compiled a list of resources that will help you fill out your start-up forms.

To view past 990s that have been filed with the IRS, try searching the Foundation Center’s 990 Finder Database.  Guidestar also a free search option that will allow you to search up to three years of 990 Forms.

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