Caution and Disclaimer: This resource is designed to be a primer on external reporting for small AVOs without complex activities. It should not be used as an authoritative reference and is by nature unable to cover comprehensively all possible reporting requirements that may be dictated by the specific activities of each unique AVO. The Internal Revenue Service and the departments of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognize small nonprofits often need assistance in determining what reporting needs to be addressed and these government bodies are willing to and can provide significant help. If there is any question by an AVO on what external reporting needs to be accomplished, contacting these agencies or consulting with a CPA or attorney is strongly suggested.
Overview: Depending upon the size (in dollars of gross receipts and assets) of and the activities conducted by an AVO, filing reports with government agencies or regulatory bodies may be required. This resource will resent the basic requirements universal to most small AVOs based upon "the letter of the law." Many small AVOs do need to file reports but are unaware and do not. It is often the case that a government agency will not discover this because the AVOs are so small and, quite frankly, in most of these cases the reports if submitted would just be filed away by the agency and no action is taken or needed in any way. However, technically the AVO is not meeting its responsibilities in these instances and at least on paper consequences do exist. This resource must take the approach of presenting what is required based upon absolute adherence to government agency requirements and cannot take the approach of presenting "short cuts" that often in reality work out for the AVO in the end.
Federal: Most AVOs do need to submit a simple annual online filing with the IRS only; some AVOs need to complete an annual tax return. If an AVO is conducting activities that unfairly compete with tax-paying businesses, depending upon the money made, a tax return might need to be filed and tax paid. These requirements will be covered in this section of our resource.
Pennsylvania: Some AVOs must file reports with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. These requirements will be covered in this section of our resource.