Nonprofit Compliance Resources

The nonprofit sector is highly regulated with many federal and state compliance requirements. Below is a list of several resources that can help your nonprofit meet its legal and accounting obligations.

Which Form 990 to File

The IRS has a helpful grid to help you determine which Form 990 is required for the size of your nonprofit. Click here.


The IRS has a website devoted to federal nonprofit compliance. Click here to learn how to maintain your tax-exempt status, avoid unrelated business income, lobby within limits and more!

IRS Master File

Did you know the IRS has a public record of every nonprofit in your state? They extract data monthly to update the Master File. The record discloses the nonprofit's Name, EIN, Accounting Period, Activity Code and more. Click here to access the file.

Form 1023 Checklist

What do you need to file your Tax-Exempt Application? The last two pages of the Form 1023 clearly outline everything you need. Click here and scroll to the end of the pdf.

Organizing Document and Policy Templates

While it is highly recommended to hire an attorney to draft nonprofit Articles of Incorporation, ByLaws, Conflict of Interest Policies and other organizational documents, Public Counsel has thorough templates for your reference. Click here to browse and review.

Prior Forms 990

Several websites, including the IRS, publicly disclose the Forms 990 for tax-exempt organizations. Guidestar, CauseIQ and Charity Navigator are a few popular sites for Form 990 research. To find your Form 990 and current tax-exempt status according to the IRS, click here.

State Nonprofit Associations

For many nonprofits, their state nonprofit association is their most helpful compliance resource. The National Council of Foundations created a map that provides the name and contact information for almost every state's nonprofit association. Click here.

State Filing and Compliance Requirements

Every state has unique filing and compliance requirements. In some states, every nonprofit that solicits charitable funds within the state must file an annual form and pay a fee. For a list of each state's filing requirements, click here.

How to Start a Nonprofit in California

California's Nonprofit Association provides a thorough list on how to file for tax-exemption within the state. Click here for more info.

Track Donations

It is important for nonprofits to keep track of the name, address and amount given by each donor. Below is a list of common types of software used to track donations:

Nonprofit Attorneys

Attorneys are the most qualified to assist your nonprofit with all legal compliance matters. Here is a list of attorneys committed to the nonprofit sector:

Nonprofit Accountants and Return Preparers

Nonprofits with gross receipts greater than $200K can reach out to The Little CPA, The Visionary Accounting Group, CNRG Accounting Advisory, LLC or their regional CPA firm for accounting services. Be sure to ask the firm about their nonprofit practice and whether they are familiar with your type of nonprofit,

Smaller nonprofits can reach out to Charity Accounting, Jitasa Group or nonprofit accountants in your local area.

If you want to search for a black CPA firm, click here.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. This business and websites listed are not endorsed by The Little CPA. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisers before engaging in any transaction.

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2) help my community make wise financial decisions.
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