May 21, 2021
Last month, the NYS Council highlighted a new executive law effective 1/1/21 that would require nonprofit organizations to file certain financial documents with the Department of State. from our perspective the law is inefficient and redundant given the financial filings required of the same organizations by the NYS Charities Bureau. In addition, the law does not require the Department of State (DOS) to treat as confidential the name, address and other information regarding your donors to include how much money they contributed to the agency. Finally, the executive law requires agencies operating on a calendar fiscal year to report to DOS by 5/15. Given this last element, we advised NYS Council members to check in with their accounting firms as to how to handle this requirement. We also shared some information we received from our own accounting firm.
Update: A bill to repeal the executive law is moving and we need to support all advocacy efforts to get it passed in both houses. Please see the communication (below) from Nonprofit New York, an umbrella association representing the interests of nonprofit organizations around the state.
Please take a moment to act on the requests for advocacy (below) and let us know if we can provide any assistance to you or your colleagues!
Communication from Nonprofit New York:
Thank you for your ongoing support to repeal the new tax filing requirement for nonprofits registered with the Charities Bureau to now have to file with the Department of State. As an update, our legislation passed the Senate Finance Committee and is now before the full Senate. The Assembly sponsor has amended her bill slightly. The most important parts remain in place: it would still remove the redundant Department of State filing requirement and codify the Charities Bureau’s current practice of keeping charities’ donor information confidential. The amended bill removes the requirement that the Department of State maintain the confidentiality of charities’ donors, because the Department won’t receive that information in the first place. Those of us working closely on the bill, now called A1141A, support the new amendments.
Time is of the essence, and so we have updated the legislative memo of support (attached). Please continue to target the Assembly Government Operations Committee, specifically AM Zebrowski (contact information below) who will need to clear the bill before it can go to the full Assembly. We also need the Senate Finance Committee to vote on the amended version of the bill and are working with Senator Krueger’s office to get it back on the calendar.
For those concerned about the filing deadline, we have heard varying reports on whether nonprofits need to file with the DOS this month if their fiscal year ended on December, 31, 2020. For more information, contact the Department of State (firstname.lastname@example.org) or see the most recent legal alert from the Lawyers Alliance for New York.
Assemblymember Kenneth Zebrowski (Chair of Government Operations):
Albany Office: 518-455-5735
District Office: 845-634-9791
Sample messaging (phone and email):
Dear Assemblymember Zebrowski,
I am writing to you today from [YOUR ORGANIZATION]. We need A1141A (Paulin) passed this session, in order to avoid a redundant new tax filing requirement for nonprofits that we are unprepared for. Over 400 organizations from across the state have signed on in support of this legislation. This bill would eliminate a new, redundant Department of State filing requirement for nonprofits registered with the Charities Bureau. This pandemic year is a particularly bad time to impose new bureaucratic burdens on nonprofits. We urge you to please move this bill out of committee and pass it as soon as possible.
When you send a letter to Assemblymember Zebrowski, we would greatly appreciate it if you would ‘cc’ the NYS Council so we can keep track of our collective response. Also see attached MIS for the bill in the Assembly. Feel free to use it to draft your own Memo!
LET’S MOVE THIS BILL TOGETHER!