COVID-19 Charities Extension Deadline and Late Fee Refund Notice
Charity Renewal Deadline Extension
As you know, the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act, 10 P. S. § 162.1 et seq., requires organizations soliciting charitable contributions from Pennsylvania residents to register with the Department’s Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations (Bureau), unless excluded or exempted from the Act. Charitable organizations must annually renew such registration. The renewal date is based on the charity’s fiscal year end, with the renewal of each registration required to be postmarked by the 15th day of the 11th month following the close of the organization’s fiscal year. 10 P.S. § 162.5(a) and (k). No charitable organization may solicit contributions or have contributions solicited in its behalf before approval of its registration statement by the Bureau. 10 P.S. § 162.5(a).
Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the following charitable organization registration renewal deadlines, which fall during April, May and June 2020, are extended for three months, with the renewal of each registration required to be postmarked by the 15th day of the 14th month following the close of the organization’s fiscal year. The corresponding registrations of these charitable organizations will be extended by three months as well. The charitable organization registrations that are set to expire during that time frame are set forth below.
|May 31, 2019||April 15, 2020||July 15, 2020|
|June 30, 2019||May 15, 2020||August 17, 2020*|
|July 31, 2019||June 15, 2020||September 15, 2020|
* If the renewal due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the actual date will be the next business day. August 15, 2020 is a Saturday. Therefore, the renewal date is extended to Monday, August 17, 2020.
The Bureau encourages affected charitable organizations to renew on time if possible. However, this waiver will ensure that if a charitable organization which is responding to or affected by the COVID-19 emergency misses the deadline, its registration will remain active and it may continue to solicit charitable contributions from Pennsylvania residents for its charitable purpose.
Charities BCO-10 Online System
On March 20, 2020, the Bureau went live with an online system for filing initial and renewal registrations for charitable organizations (BCO-10 form). Here is the direct link: https://www.charities.pa.gov. The Bureau sent letters on March 17 to all registered charitable organizations announcing this new capability.
All users of the online filing site must register for a Keystone Login account before using the site. There is a link to do that on the same page: https://www.charities.pa.gov.
Both new and renewal registrations (BCO-10) may now be filed online. For renewals, the filer needs the code contained in the March 17 letter to access the renewal registration. If you are filing on behalf of an organization, you will also need this code.
New registrations do not require a code.
We encourage you to use the site and submit your renewal registration online, rather than by paper.
The extension of registration renewal deadlines (above) will create one minor issue when using the online renewal. The online registration is designed to automatically calculate late fees. If your renewal registration is submitted on time (e.g. by April 15, May 15 or June 15), you will not be charged late fees. If your organization utilizes the extension (above), your renewal registration will accrue late fees, based on the programming of the online system. The Bureau will refund those late fees to the credit card used to pay for the registration.
Late Fee Refund Procedure
As noted above, the Bureau will refund late fees paid by charities who file online and pay late fees, when they utilize the three-month extension. To receive the reimbursement for the late fee charges, follow these steps:
- Find and keep the email message from email@example.com acknowledging receipt of the online registration and the payment of fee (transaction receipt email).
- Forward your transaction receipt email to ST-Charity@pa.gov and change the subject line to read “REFUND.”
- After the Bureau calculates and refunds the late fee, you will receive an email with the details of the refund. This email will be sent to the email used with the credit card at time of payment.
The Bureau will process the refund within 15 business days. Please allow extra time for the refund to appear on your bank/credit card statement.