So as to monitor charitable contributions within Kentucky, state laws require registration of federally tax-exempt organizations, organizations held out to be established for a charitable or civic purpose, or organizations which suggest a charitable or civic purpose as part of a solicitation.
According to KRS 367.660, the following types of organizations are exempt from the solicitation requirements:
- An organization which solicits contributions from its members and their families only
- A religious organization which solicits contributions for religious purposes and propagation of its faith and tenets
- An educational institution which solicits contributions from alumni, faculty members, the student body and their families, or from corporations for the continuance of an established educational program
- A student group or parent-teacher association which solicits contributions for its campus or group-connected activities
These exemptions do not exempt such an organization from registering with the Kentucky Attorney General upon receipt of funds from Kentucky sources.
All federally tax-exempt organizations which receive funding from Kentucky sources must register with the Kentucky Attorney General’s office. According to KRS 367.657(1), every charitable organization required to file a Form 990 informational return must submit a filing with the Attorney General prior to seeking or accepting contributions. “Any person who knowingly violates any provision of… KRS 367.657… or who knowingly gives false or incorrect information to the Attorney General in filing statements or reports required by KRS 367.650 to 367.670 shall be guilty of a Class D felony.” KRS 367.990(10)(c).
There is no filing fee and registration provides a key benefit: registered organizations appear on the Kentucky Attorney General’s list of charities and the list of private foundations, if applicable. Listing on these state-run sites demonstrates to potential donors that the organization has been evaluated by the Kentucky Attorney General’s office.
Frequently Asked Questions
- May a Kentucky tax-exempt organization use a professional solicitor, or must it solicit contributions on its own?
- A professional solicitor, defined as “a person who for compensation or other financial consideration solicits contributions in this state, directly or indirectly, for or on behalf of a charitable organization,” may be used. There are additional registration and reporting requirements if a Professional Solicitor or a Fundraising Consultant – rather than employees or volunteers of the organization itself – are paid to solicit contributions. See KRS 367.650 – KRS 367.670. A Professional Solicitor or a Fundraising Consultant must already be registered with the Kentucky Attorney General and should be able to assist in any additional filings required by the Attorney General for using their services.
- Are there any filing requirements beyond the initial registration?
- “The Form 990 shall be filed with the Attorney General each year in which contributors are solicited in the Commonwealth at the same time the form is filed with the Internal Revenue Service. If a Form 990 is not filed with the Internal Revenue Service, a new notice of intent to solicit shall be filed with the Attorney General.” KRS 367.657(3).
Legal Services Offered and Cost
Register Non-Profit Organization with the Kentucky Attorney General
Legal fees: $300 flat fee
- Review of client’s information to ensure legal requirements are fulfilled
- Completion of Unified Registration Statement
- Filing of Unified Registration Statement, IRS Determination Letter, and Articles of Incorporation/Organization with the Kentucky Attorney General
- All postage and mailing charges
- Email confirmation of registration with the Kentucky Attorney General
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