New York State Registration and Reporting Requirements

Charitable organizations operating in New York State are required by law to register and file annual financial reports with the Charities Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office. PTAs, though, are exempt from this requirement. Should your PTA wish to receive confirmation of this exemption, you may file a registration form with the Charities Bureau to claim exemption from registration and reporting.

To claim exemption from registration, your PTA should complete Form CHAR410, check “Yes” in Part E (Request for Registration Exemption, attach Schedule E and check box 12 under both Part I and Part II on Schedule E. These forms then must be submitted to the Charities Bureau, along with copies of: (1) the school’s charter from the NY State Education Department and (2) a description of the relationship between the PTA and the school.

For instructions and a detailed explanation of these rules, see Form CHAR410i.

Federal Reporting Requirements

What to file:
If your PTA applies for federal tax exemption (obtains 501(c)(3) status), it must file an annual information return with the IRS. This return is called Form 990. There are several different types of Form 990, and the type your PTA will be required to file depends on its gross income and total assets:

  • If your PTA has gross annual income of $200,000 or more, or total assets of $500,000 or more, it should file Form 990.
  • If your PTA has gross annual income of more than $50,000 and less than $200,000 and total assets of less than $500,000, it should file Form 990-EZ.
  • If your PTA has gross annual income of $50,000 or less, it should submit Form 990-N.

When to file:
Organizations must file Form 990 (including the 990-N and 990-EZ) annually, according to their fiscal year accounting periods. Many organizations file the 990 forms to report on the calendar year accounting period (January 1 – December 31). Some organizations, though, establish fiscal year accounting periods that coincide with the natural operating cycle of the organization, and PTAs are among that group. PTAs operate on a July 1 - June 30 operating cycle; for that reason, their accounting periods should follow that schedule.

Form 990 is due on the 15th day of the 5th month after the organization’s accounting period ends. November 15th would be the date that PTAs operating on the school calendar cycle would need to file their Form 990s with the IRS. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, file on the next business day. A business day is any day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. If the return is not filed by the due date (including any extension granted), explain in a separate attachment, giving the reasons for not filing on time.

Where to file:
Send the Form 990 and Form 990-EZ to the Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Center, Ogden, UT 84201-0027. Form 990-N (e-postcard) is submitted electronically.

For more information about Form 990, see IRS Publication 4221-PC. You can access the various forms and accompanying instructions here.

Failure to file:

An organization that fails to file the required annual return for three consecutive tax years automatically loses its tax-exempt status. The revocation of an organization’s tax-exempt status does not take place until the filing due date of the third year. For example, if your 990 form was due on May 15, 2018 (for tax year 2017) and you did not timely file in 2015, 2016 or 2017, you lose your tax-exempt status effective on the 2018 due date.

Disclosure Requirement:

If your PTA obtains federal tax exemption, it has to make its application for exemption (Form 1023) and its annual information returns (Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N) available to the public for inspection.

Recordkeeping:

Your PTA has a responsibility to keep complete and accurate records of its activities and finances. This is necessary to ensure that that your PTA is able to properly carry out its activities, provide continuity as leadership and members change, and fulfill its state and federal reporting requirements. Accurate records of financial information are especially important. Make sure that your PTA keeps copies of all financial data, minutes of board and committee meetings, and governing documents (such as the Certificate of Incorporation and bylaws) in a safe place, where they can be easily located.