How to Keep Your Alaska Nonprofit Compliant

Once you form a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Public Charity in Alaska, follow this guide to keep it in good standing.

(To learn about forming a nonprofit, check out our How to Start a Nonprofit in Alaska guide.)


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8 Steps to Keep Your Nonprofit Compliant

1. Apply for exemption from state taxes

A. State income tax exemption

Once your organization receives your 501(c) determination letter from the IRS, your nonprofit will automatically be exempt from Alaska state income taxes.

If you wish to seek a property tax exemption on behalf of your nonprofit, access the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development’s website for more information.

B. State sales tax exemption

Alaska doesn’t have a state-wide sales tax, but some cities and communities do. If your city has a sales tax, check with your local taxation department to see if they offer exemptions to nonprofits.

2. Annual Federal Returns for Tax-exempt organizations

A. Annual Federal Returns

Most tax-exempt nonprofit organizations are required to file an annual return with the IRS (Check the IRS website for a list of exceptions).

The annual gross receipt amounts for an organization determine which form should be used to file the annual federal return.

‘Gross receipt’ is defined by the IRS as “the total amounts the organization received from all sources during its annual accounting period, without subtracting any costs or expenses”

For gross receipts ≤$50,000 --- File 990-N
Gross receipts <$200,000 and total assets <$500,000 --- File 990- EZ
Gross receipts >$200,000 or Total assets >$500,000 --- File 990


For any questions, contact the IRS at

  • (800) 829-3676 (Form related questions)
  • (800) 829-1040 (general information)q

FAQ

Q: When is form 990 due?
A: Form 990 is due on the 15th day of the 5th month after the taxable year of the organization comes to an end.

E.g. If the taxable year ends on Dec 31st, form 990 is due on May 15th.

NOTE: If an organization fails to file form 990 for 3 consecutive years, it will automatically lose tax-exempt status.


B. Unrelated Business Income

If an organization has a gross income of ≥$1000 from a trade or business that is not related to the stated purpose of the organization, then it must file Form 990-T to pay tax on that income.

If your organization expects to pay $500 or more for the year in taxes on unrelated business income, your organization must pay a quarterly estimated tax on the unrelated business income using Form 990-W.

3. Maintain a Registered Agent

Any nonprofit that has incorporated must have a registered agent who has an office address in Alaska. If your registered agent, or their office address, changes, you must file Form 08-447 with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development so that your Articles of Incorporation may be updated.

If you fail to notify the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development of this change, your corporation may be subject to termination.

4. File Periodic Reports

The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development requires nonprofit organizations to file both initial and biennial reports. Initial reports may be filed online or via mail and must be filed within 6 months of your organization's effective date.

Nonprofits are also required to file a biennial report, which can be submitted online or via mail.

Failure to file the appropriate reports may subject your organization to termination.

5. Apply for Permits and Licenses

Alaska nonprofits will need to obtain a general business license from the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. You can easily apply for this business license through their website.

6. Register/Renew Charitable Registration

Charitable Alaska nonprofits will, at a minimum, need to register with the Alaska Department of Law. Registration and subsequent renewals can easily be completed through their website.

In addition, if your nonprofit will be hosting charitable games such as raffles or bingo, it must obtain a gaming permit. Also, you will need to register with the Alaska Community Foundation if you wish to participate in “pick, click, give” campaigns.

7. Register with Alaska Department of Revenue

If your nonprofit will have employees, you need to register with the Alaska Department of Revenue - Child Support Services Division.

Registration is easy and can be completed online or via mail. You can also check the Alaska Department of Revenue - Child Support Services Division for contact details.

8. Comply with Public Inspection Rules

To comply with federal regulations regarding 501(c)(3) charities, you will need to release the following documents to any member of the public that requests them:

  • Your organization’s annual returns for up to 3 years after the listed due date (including the following Forms: 990-PF, 990-EZ, 990-T, and 990)
  • Any supporting documents and attachments for the above 990 forms. However, you only need to include the nature of the contribution and the amount contributed for Schedule B.
  • Official IRS paperwork showing your organization is considered to be tax-exempt.
  • Your organization’s application for exemption and all supporting documents submitted with your application (including Form 1023).


Your organization does NOT need to share the following documents and information with members of the public:

  • Any portion of Form 990/990-EZ’s Schedule B that identifies who contributors are.
  • Anything considered to be an unfavorable ruling, which can include previous denials of tax-exempt status.
  • Any additional information permitted to be withheld by the IRS, including things such as trade secrets, patents, etc.

Recommended: Inform your employees about their rights and stay compliant by posting labor law posters in your workplace.


FAQ

Q: Can I charge members of the public for copies?
A: Yes, you are permitted to request a reasonable amount to procure copies of requested documents.

Q: If requested, how much time do we have to produce the documents?
A: It is ideal to produce these documents within the same working day. However, if your nonprofit has limited office hours due to the time of year, or you don’t have a physical office at all, you should produce the documents within 14 days.

Q: Do I actually need to provide physical copies of the requested documents?
A: If a member of the public asks for copies of documents, whether in writing or in person, you are required to make them available.

NOTE: We recommend that nonprofits make these documents available on their website. That way, anyone who might request copies of these documents can simply head to your website to view and/or download them. This will help your organization remain compliant and save time dealing with these requests personally.

To learn about forming a nonprofit, check out our How to Start a Nonprofit in Alaska guide.

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