Instructions

Instructions

  • How do I get started?
    1. Click on the "Online Filing" button.
    2. Click on the "Register" button in the Mississippi Charities Registered Filer Login box.
    3. Enter data in the text box for verification.
    4. Complete the User contact information and select the "confirm" button.
    5. The system will send a temporary password to the email address entered on the form.
    6. Login with a username (email address entered on form) and the temporary password provided. The User will be able to change the temporary password during the login process.
  • Who should register as a user?
    The charity's contact person or third-party filer should complete the user screen for the organization. This is the person who will be contacted by the Charities Division for any questions and will receive all updates regarding the charity's registration. This person will need an email address in order to log into the online filing system and will be responsible for the signature verification process once the registration is complete.
  • What is a charitable organization and who needs to file an online application?
    1. Any organization determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be a tax exempt organization pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or
    2. Any organization which solicits contributions from the public to be used for charitable purposes. This includes health and welfare, benevolent, philanthropic, patriotic, educational, humane, scientific, public health, environmental conservation, civic or other eleemosynary purpose or for the benefit of law enforcement personnel, fire fighters, or other public safety organization, or any person employing in any manner a charitable appeal as the basis of any solicitation or an appeal that suggests that there is a charitable purpose to any solicitation.
    See Miss. Code Ann. Section 79-11-501.
  • When should an online charity registration be filed?
    A charity registration must be filed before any solicitations are made in Mississippi. The organization must renew the registration annually.

    *Note: Religious Institutions meeting the statutory requirements are not required to register. (See Miss. Code. Ann. Section 79-11-501.) Any organization unsure if they meet the definition of "religious institution" may submit a written request for an opinion from the Charities Division.
  • What is a solicitation?
    Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. Section 79-11-501(j), a solicitation is the request, directly or indirectly, for money, credit, property, financial assistance, or any other thing of value on the plea or representation which such money, credit, property, financial assistance, or any other thing of value or a portion will be used for a charitable purpose or will benefit a charitable organization.
  • What is a contribution?
    Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. Section 79-11-501(d), a contribution means the promise or grant of any money or property of any kind or value, including the promise to pay. Payment by members of an organization for fees, dues, fines, or assessments are not contributions.
  • What do I need to file the online Initial Registration Form?
    To file an initial online application:
    1. The charity's Employer Identification Number (EIN).
    2. A current list of the organization's officers and directors, including contact information - at least two (2) of the officers' addresses must be different from the charity's address.
    3. Signatures of two (2) officers - the President (or other authorized officer) AND the Chief Fiscal Officer/Treasurer. The same person cannot sign the registration form twice. A signature request must be sent electronically. Therefore, email address for the signers will be required.
    4. Copy of the IRS 990 (may not be applicable for first-time filers)
    5. A reviewed financial statement will be needed if the charity received more than $250,000 but less than $500,000 in contributions (government grants are excluded from this calculation). Or,
        An audited financial statement is required if:
      1. The charity received more than $500,000 in contributions (government grants are excluded from this calculation); or,
      2. The charity's fundraising functions are not performed solely by persons who are unpaid for such services.
    6. Copy of organization's by-laws.
    7. Copy of Articles of Incorporation or formation documents.
    8. Copy of IRS Determination letter (if applicable).
    9. Current copies of contracts with fund-raising professionals (fund-raising counsels and/or professional fund-raisers).
    10. A $50 filing fee payable with credit card or E-check.
  • What do I need to file the online Renewal for an Existing Charity?
    To file a renewal online:
    1. The charity's Employer Identification Number (EIN) OR registration number.
    2. A current list of the organization's officers and directors, including contact information - at least two (2) of the officers' addresses must be different from the charity's address.
    3. Signatures of two (2) officers - the President (or other authorized officer) AND the Chief Fiscal Officer/Treasurer. The same person cannot sign the registration form twice. A signature request will have to be sent electronically. Therefore, an email address for the signers will be required.
    4. Copy of the IRS 990.
    5. A reviewed financial statement will be needed if the charity received more than $250,000 but less than $500,000 in contributions (government grants are excluded from this calculation) Or,
        an audited financial statement will be needed if:
      1. The charity received more than $500,000 in contributions (government grants are excluded from this calculation); or,
      2. The charity's fund-raising functions are not performed solely by persons who are unpaid for such services.
    6. Current copies of contracts with fund-raising professionals (fund-raising counsels and/or professional fund-raisers).
    7. An Affidavit of Solicitation: if the charity files a renewal after the registration has expired, the charity will have to complete the Affidavit of Solicitation section on the registration form. The President (or other authorized officer) AND Chief Fiscal Officer/Treasurer must also sign the Affidavit of Solicitation.
    8. A $50 filing fee payable with credit card or E-check.
  • How to complete the Financial Report Section:
    Using the 990:
    Receipts and Income:
    1. Contributions: Page 9, line 1 (a) through (g)
    2. Other income: Page 9, line 2 (a) through 11 (d)
    Expenses:
    1. Program Services: Page 10, Line 25, Column B
    2. Administrative: Page 10, Line 25, Column C
    3. Fundraising: Page 10, Line 25, Column D
    Using the 990-EZ:
    Receipts and Income:
    1. Contributions: Part 1, Line 1
    2. Other Income: Part 1, Line 2 through 8 (Refer to organization's financial records)
    Expenses:
    1. Program Services: Part III, Line 32
    2. Administrative and Fundraising: Part I, Lines 10 through 16


    The State of Mississippi requires expenses to be allocated across three functions: (1) Program Services, (2) Administration, and (3) Fundraising.
    Financial Statement

    The income and expenses should be taken from the Statement of Activities.

    Newly formed organizations:

    Newly formed organizations and organizations filing for the first time which have not completed a ficsal year end at the time of the filing will insert zeros (0's) in all of the amount columns in section 5 of the initial registration. The fiscal year end will be the prior year, even though the organization my not have operated at that time. Therefore, the fiscal year end information will coincide with the information entered in the financial section.

    Example:
    If an organization was formed on January 1, 2016 and has a fiscal year end of December 31st, for the initial filing only, insert zeros (0's) in the amount columns in Section 5. The fiscal year to be entered would be December 31, 2015 to coincide with the 2015 information even though the organization was not formed until January 1, 2016.
  • How to request an Extension:
    Only organizations that have renewed their registration after July 1, 2016 and are currently registered may request an extension.

    Any extension request must be filed online and accompanied by the IRS Form 8868. The extension request MUST be made before the organization's registration expires.

  • Helpful information for newly formed organizations filing for the first time
    Before registering an charity, the following steps must be taken:
    1. Incorporate as a nonprofit corporation with the Business Service Division of the Secretary of State’s Office.
    2. Receive an E.I.N. (employer identification number) from the I.R.S.
    3. Prepare bylaws.
    4. Have an organizational meeting to install the Board, elect officers, and adopt bylaws.
    5. Open up a bank account for the charity
  • Who is exempt from filing the charity annual registration?
    Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. Section 79-11-505(1), certain organizations are exempt and not required to file an annual registration. A summary of these organizations include:
    1. Accredited educational institutions and foundations associated therewith;
    2. Fraternal, patriotic, social, educational, alumni organizations and historical societies who use only their memberships to solicit contributions;
    3. Persons who are soliciting contributions for specified individuals in need, if the solicitations are made solely by persons who are unpaid;
    4. Organizations which do not intend to solicit or receive and do not actually receive more than $25,000 per year in contributions;
    5. Organizations which receive allocations from registered united funds or community chests and receive less than $25,000 from other sources;
    6. All volunteer fire departments and rescue units which are chartered as non-profit organizations by the State of Mississippi;
    7. Any humane society which contracts with counties or municipalities for the care and keeping of strays.
    8. This exemption is granted under a very limited basis by Secretary of State rule or order only.


    An organization meeting one of the requirements above will need to file the online Notice of Exemption Form prior to any solicitation. This Notice of Exemption is a one-time filing. If your organization does not meet one of the above statutory requirements, a Charity Registration must be filed instead.

    What do I need to file a Notice of Exemption application:
    1. The charity's Employer Identification Number (EIN).
    2. A current list of the organization's officers and directors, including contact information.
    3. Signature of one (1) officer - the President (or other authorized officer). An email address for the signer will be required.
    4. Copy of organization's adopted by-laws.
    5. Copy of Articles of Incorporation or formation documents (if applicable).
    6. Copy of IRS Determination letter (if applicable).
    7. $50 filing fee payable with credit card or E-check


    Once an Exemption has been approved, any changes/updates to the filing must be filed online under the "Update to the Notice of Exemption" within thirty (30) days of the update/change.
  • How to File a Final Report
    Any charitable organization which for any reason opts not to renew its registration with the Charities Division must submit an online final report including the following:

    For Mississippi charitable organizations which have dissolved pursuant to the Mississippi Nonprofit Corporation Act:
    1. Audit/review if required by Section 79-11-507;
    2. 990/990EZ/990N;
    3. Articles of dissolution and certified minutes reflecting the dissolution;
    4. A list of officers and trustees of the corporation, including their addresses and telephone numbers; and
    5. A statement signed by an officer of the corporation providing details of the final distribution of assets.


    For all other charitable organizations which opt not to renew for any other reason:
    1. Audit/review if required by Section 79-11-507;
    2. 990/990EZ/990N;
    3. A statement signed by an officer of the charitable organization certifying that the organization has ceased charitable solicitations within the state.
  • Signature Verification Process:
    The form must be signed by two different officers, (1) the President or other authorized officer AND (2) Chief Fiscal Officer/Treasurer. The online system will prompt the user to send the form in an email attachment to each of the two signers at their individual email addresses to be signed electronically. The signature requests will expire after ten (10) days. To re-send a signature request, click the “Awaiting Signature” tab and then click “Send signature request” and enter the signer’s email address.

    Please note: The filing will be rejected if the signature verification request does not go to each individual signer at their individual email addresses so that the signatures may be validated.

    Once both signatures have been received, the user will receive an email with a link to the payment portal. The user may pay at that time or login at another convenient time. To pay for the filing by e-check or credit card, click the "Pending Payment" tab and follow the instructions.

    The filing cannot be submitted until the filing fee is paid.

  • Other Frequently Asked Questions:
    What if the charity's name has changed since the last filing?
    The charity will need to contact the Charities Division at charities.customerservice@sos.ms.gov or 601-359-1599 to officially change this information. The Articles of Amendment should be emailed to the Charities Division with the request to change the name.

    Can the information entered on the registration be saved and completed at a later date?
    Yes. To save data entered, click the “save changes” button at the bottom of the form.

    When will the Charities Division notify me regarding my registration?
    Once the registration is processed, the Charities Division will send an email regarding the status of the registration.

    Is there a time limit to complete the registration?
    Registrations which are started, but not completed, will be located in the "Resume Filing" tab. Registrations in the "Resume Filing" tab will be deleted in ninety (90) days if not completed.

*For questions, contact the Charities Division charities.customerservice@sos.ms.gov or 601-359-1599.