How to Start a Nonprofit Organization in New York

So you want to start a nonprofit in New York? Here is a step-by-step guide to forming a New York nonprofit organization

Welcome to our guide to starting a New York nonprofit organization. The purpose of this blog post is to provide a general overview about how to start a nonprofit organization under New York and federal (United States) law. There are many different types of nonprofit that you can form. These include 501(c)(3) charitable, educational or religious organizations, 501(c)(4) community welfare organizations, 501(c)(6) chambers of commerce, 501(c)(7) social clubs, 501(c)(10) lodge system fraternities and sororities and 527 political action committees, amongst others. If you are interested specifically in forming a New York 501(c)(3), it may be helpful please see our comprehensive guide to starting a New York 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which also includes free forms prepared by our firm for you to do so.

Before deciding to start a new nonprofit, be sure to understand that nonprofits, particularly those exempt from state or federal taxation, are very highly regulated — often more so than for-profits. New York nonprofits are regulated at the state level by the New York Department of State, the New York Department of Taxation and Finance and the New York Attorney General, amongst others, and at the federal level by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is the United States tax authority. The nonprofit market is also relatively saturated. According to data provided by the Division of Corporations of the New York Department of State, as of January 2020, there are over 257,000 currently active nonprofits incorporated under New York law, plus an additional 8,000 out-of-state nonprofits registered as foreign nonprofits.

If you’ve decided to start your nonprofit, it is important to plan ahead because the process can take a while. While incorporation of a New York nonprofit corporation can be completed relatively quickly, the process for getting recognized as exempt from federal income tax can take several months. It is not uncommon for nonprofits to receive federal tax-exemption 8 months after starting the incorporation process.

This startup guide will provide you the basic steps and resources to start your nonprofit organization in New York.

Steps to form a New York Nonprofit Organization

  1. Identify Organization’s 501(c) or 527 Tax-Exempt Classification;
  2. Name your Nonprofit Organization;
  3. Determine New York Nonprofit Corporation Type;
  4. Recruit Initial Directors and Officers;
  5. Determine Address for Legal Notices;
  6. Draft Certificate of Incorporation;
  7. Obtain Necessary New York Government Approvals;
  8. File Certificate of Incorporation;
  9. Draft Nonprofit Bylaws;
  10. Draft Nonprofit Policies;
  11. Hold Organization Meeting of the Board of Directors;
  12. Obtain a Federal Employment Identification Number (EIN);
  13. Apply for Recognition of 501(c) or 527 Federal Tax-Exemption;
  14. Register as a New York Charity; and
  15. Apply for New York State Nonprofit Tax Exemptions.
  1. Identify Organization’s 501(c) or 527 Tax-Exempt Classification

    When forming a nonprofit, we recommend starting by identifying the tax-exempt classification of the organization. The tax-exempt classification will drive the entire startup process. It will determine what legal documents should contain, and what paperwork needs to be filed. The purpose, activities, mission and vision of your nonprofit should all be consistent with its tax-exempt purpose.

    Common tax-exempt purposes are as follows:

    • 501(c)(3): Religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, or prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
    • 501(c)(4): Promotion of community welfare, charitable, educational, or recreational.
    • 501(c)(6): Improvement of business conditions of one or more lines of business.
    • 501(c)(7): Pleasure, recreation, or social activities.
    • 501(c)(10): Charitable, fraternal, sororal and other purposes within a domestic fraternal (or sororal) lodge system.
    • 501(c)(19): Post or organization of past or present members of the armed forces
    • 527: Directly or indirectly accepting contributions or making expenditures for political campaigns.

    For more information about tax-exempt purposes, you can refer to IRS Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for your Organization.

  2. Name your Nonprofit Organization

    New York requires the legal name of each nonprofit organization operating within its borders to be unique from all other legal entities registered in the state. The name of your organization also determines its brand.

    In deciding the name for your nonprofit, there are also certain special rules that need to be followed:

    To check if the name you want for your nonprofit is available, you can perform a name search on the corporation and business entity database of the New York Department of State, Division of Corporations. If another active entity is registered with the same or similar name, the name might not be “unique” (see rules above), and you may need to choose a different name.

    If you are unsure that the name you want for your nonprofit is available, you can submit a written request to determine name availability to by mail to Information Unit, New York Department of State, Division of Corporations, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231, or by fax to +1 518 473-1654. The department of state charges $5 to confirm if a name is available for use by your organization. A check or credit card authorization form should be submitted with the request.

  3. Determine New York Nonprofit Corporation Type

    Most nonprofit organizations in New York are incorporated under the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. Under the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law, there are two types of not-for-profit corporation, “charitable” or “non-charitable,” depending on the nonprofit’s purposes.

    The types of not-for-profit corporation and their corresponding purposes are as follows:

    • Charitable Corporation: Charitable, educational, religious, scientific, literary, cultural purposes or for the purpose of prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
    • Non-Charitable Corporation: All other non-pecuniary purposes, including civic, patriotic, political, social, fraternal, athletic, agricultural, horticultural or animal husbandry purposes, or for the purpose of operating a professional, commercial, industrial, trade or service association.

    New York requires certain nonprofits to be incorporated under a different law than the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. These include churches, temples, mosques and other houses of worship, which must be registered under the New York Religious Corporations Law, and universities, which must be registered under the New York Education Law. This guide does not cover the incorporation of these specialized nonprofit corporations, as the incorporation processes involved are very different.

  4. Recruit Initial Directors and Officers

    The board of directors of a nonprofit is its highest decision making body. It is comprised of a group of individuals, each with the title “director.” The business, operations and affairs of a nonprofit are managed by, or under the direction of, this board.

    New York requires directors to have certain qualifications (see Section 701 of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law)

    • Personality: Humans only. A corporation or other legal entity cannot serve as a director.
    • Number: 3 minimum.
    • Age: 18+ for most nonprofits, although all directors may be 16+ for certain specifically named youth organizations (such as girl scouts), less than one-half of all directors may be 16-17 for recreational or development and delinquency prevention nonprofits benefiting youths, and one director may be 16-17 for youth education nonprofits.

    In addition to recruiting the initial directors, you will also need to determine who will serve as officers of the nonprofit. Operating under the delegated powers of the board of directors, the responsibility of the officers are to manage the day-to-day operations and affairs of the nonprofit.

    New York also imposes certain requirements on officers (see Section 713 of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law)

    • Personality: Humans only. A corporation or other legal entity cannot serve as an officer.
    • Number: Should have president (or chair of the board), secretary and treasurer, at minimum; may have other officers as appropriate.
    • Age: No age requirement explicitly stated.
    • Multiple Offices Held by One Person: One individual can hold multiple offices, but cannot simultaneously hold the office primarily responsible for chairing board meetings (president or chair of the board) and the office primarily responsible for recording board meetings (secretary).
    • Employee Officers: An employee of the nonprofit cannot hold the office primarily responsible for chairing board meetings unless such an arrangement is approved by a two-thirds majority of the entire board.
  5. Determine Address for Legal Notices

    Unlike most states, New York does not require a nonprofit to appoint a registered agent to receive legal notices on the organization’s behalf. While a registered agent may be appointed if desired by the nonprofit, the New York Secretary of State must be appointed to serve this function, and will forward all legal related documents to a United States address specified by the organization.

    The address that the Secretary of State will forward legal notices is public information. Anybody who searches for the nonprofit in New York State’s corporation and business entity database will see the address. So, for privacy purposes, we normally recommend using an address you are comfortable with being made public, rather than a home address. P.O. Boxes and Virtual Mail Forwarding addresses are acceptable in New York.

  6. Draft Certificate of Incorporation

    The certificate of incorporation of your nonprofit is similar to its birth certificate. Once filed with New York state, the nonprofit is considered to have been created. It also serves as your nonprofit’s principal governance document, meaning that if there is a conflict between the certificate of incorporation and other internal governance documents, such as your nonprofit’s bylaws or policies, the terms of the certificate of incorporation will take precedence.

    The information identified in earlier parts of the process, such as your nonprofit’s tax-exempt classification, name, corporation type, initial directors and legal notice address will help you put together the certificate of incorporation. It is important to draft the certificate of incorporation to meet both New York and IRS requirements right at the start. If not properly drafted, the certificate of incorporation could be rejected when filed with New York state, causing delays. Even worse, even if accepted by New York state, improper drafting could cause your federal tax-exemption to be denied pending necessary amendments to the certificate (which can sometimes take several months if government approval is required).

    The New York Department of State, Division of Corporations, provides a basic form New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Certificate of Incorporation, as well as a set of instructions for the form. If completed, in accordance with the instructions, the certificate of incorporation should be accepted by the Department of State.

    If you are seeking federal tax exemption for your nonprofit, here are some additional considerations:

    • 501(c)(3): IRS requires 501(c)(3) specific language to be in the certificate of incorporation. You will want to ensure that language similar to that in Articles Third, Fifth and Sixth in the 501(c)(3) language suggested by the IRS are in the certificate. Additionally, our guide to starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in New York also contains a certificate of incorporation form, specific to New York, that contains all the requisite language.
    • 501(c)(6): New York State requires the following language to be in 501(c)(6) certificates of incorporation: “Nothing contained in this certificate shall authorize or empower the corporation to perform or engage in any act or practice prohibited by the General Business Law, Section 340, or any other antimonopoly or antitrust statute of the State of New York.”

    Finally, you will notice that the form certificates of incorporation contain language about receiving the consent or approval of certain New York government bodies. This is because certain activities are restricted in New York, and will require the approval of specific government bodies before they can be undertaken by a nonprofit. The government approval process is described below.

  7. Obtain Necessary New York Government Approvals

    Section 404 of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law requires nonprofits that engage in certain specified activity in New York to obtain approval from specific New York government bodies prior to filing a certificate of incorporation. The process generally entails contacting the requisite body or bodies, submitting the proposed certificate of incorporation, and sometimes significant negotiation with government representatives.

    A list of the most common restricted activities is as follows:

    • Section 404(a)

      Activity: Trade or business association.
      Contact: Office of the Attorney General, Antitrust Bureau, 120 Broadway, 26th Floor, New York, NY 10271; +1 212 416 8436.

    • Section 404(b)

      Activity: Institutions for children; care of destitute, delinquent, abandoned, neglected or dependent children; adoption services; establishment or operation of a home or shelter for unmarried mothers; residential programs for victims of domestic violence or the solicitation of contributions for any such purposes.
      Contact: Office of Children & Family Services, 52 Washington Street, Rensselaer, NY 12144; +1 518 473 7793.

    • Section 404(b)

      Activity: Establishment or operation of aged care accommodation; adult care facility; enriched housing programs; residences for adults or the solicitation of contributions for any such purpose.
      Contact: Department of Health, Division of Legal Affairs, Corning Tower, Room 2482, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12237; +1 518 473 3233.

    • Section 404(d)

      Activity: Operation of school, college, university or other entity providing post-secondary education, library, museum or historical society.
      Contact: Department of Education, Office of Counsel, State Education Building, Room 148, Albany, NY 12234; +1 518 473 8296.

    • Sections 404(o) and 404(t)

      Activity: Establishment or maintenance of a hospital or facility providing health related services or the solicitation of contributions for any such purpose.
      Contact: Public Health and Health Planning Council, Department of Health, Division of Legal Affairs, Corning Tower, Room 2482, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12237; +1 518 473 3233.

    • Section 404(q)

      Activity: Establishment, or operation of a facility for which an operating certificate from the commissioner of mental health is required by Article 31 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law, or the solicitation of contributions for any such purpose.
      Contact: Office of Mental Health, Office of Counsel, 44 Holland Avenue, Albany, NY 12229; +1 518 474 7700.

    • Section 404(u)

      Activity: Establishment or operation of a substance abuse, substance dependence, alcohol abuse, alcoholism, chemical abuse or dependence program or the solicitation of contributions for any such purpose.
      Contact: Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, Bureau of Certification, 1450 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12203-3526; +1 518 485 2250.

    Upon approval, the respective government bodies will provide a certificate or document to be appended to the certificate of incorporation.

  8. File Certificate of Incorporation

    Once the certificate of incorporation for your nonprofit has been drafted, and all necessary New York government body consents have been obtained (if any), the next step is to file the certificate with the New York Department of State, Division of Corporations.

    When filing the certificate of incorporation, you will want to simultaneously submit a written request for a certified copy. This can be done by attaching a cover letter requesting a certified copy of the filing, and stating the address you want the copy to be sent to. The certified copy will be required to open a bank account for your nonprofit, and also for New York and federal tax-exemption applications.

    Filing information is as follows:

    • By Mail: New York Department of State, Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231
    • By Fax: +1 518 474 1418
    • Filing Fee: $75
    • Expedite Fees (Optional): $25 (24-hour); $75 (same day); $150 (2 hours)
    • Document Certification Fee: $10
    • Payment Method: Checks or money orders may be sent if filing by mail; otherwise, to pay by credit card, attach the credit card authorization form

    While not required, we strongly recommend choosing the 24-hour expedited processing option. Otherwise, the filing may be in limbo for several weeks.

    Your nonprofit is formed on the day the certificate of incorporation is filed with the New York Department of State. However, please be aware that incorporation does not automatically mean that the organization is exempt from state or federal taxation. Additional steps need to be taken to properly organize the nonprofit, and to obtain tax-exempt status. These steps are described further below.

  9. Draft Nonprofit Bylaws

    The bylaws of your nonprofit, along with its certificate of incorporation, articulate its internal rules and regulations. Until bylaws have been drafted and adopted by the nonprofit, anything not specifically addressed in the certificate of incorporation will be filled by the default rules provided under the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law.

    Below are some items you may wish to address when drafting bylaws for your organization:

    • Directors: How will directors be elected? What special qualifications do they need to have? How many will there be? How long will they serve? What happens if they need to be removed? What rights and obligations do they have?
    • Officers: How will officers be elected or appointed? What special qualifications do they need to have? What are their duties? What are their titles? How long will they serve? What happens if they need to be removed? What rights and obligations do they have?
    • Members: Will the organization have members? What is required in order to become a member? Are there different levels of membership with different privileges and obligations? What role does the membership play in decision making?
    • Committees: What types of committees will your nonprofit have? What is required for additional committees to be formed? Who is part of what committee? What role do committees play in decision making? What are their responsibilities? What are they prohibited from doing?
    • Decision Making: Where and when will meetings be held? How much notice must be given before a meeting? Who can call a meeting? What other procedures are necessary to call a meeting? How many directors (or members) must be present for decisions at a meeting to be valid (quorum)? Can decisions be made without a meeting? What number of votes are needed to make a decision at a meeting (or by written consent)? Can meetings be held virtually? Are there different votes required for different decisions? What happens if there is a deadlock in voting? Can directors (or members) vote by proxy?
    • Controls: Who is authorized to sign contracts? Who is authorized to sign checks? Who is authorized to exercise the nonprofit’s right to vote as a shareholder? If there are members, what are the procedures necessary for a member to exercise the right to inspect the nonprofit’s books and records?
  10. Draft Nonprofit Policies

    Together with the certificate of incorporation and bylaws, your nonprofit’s policies make up the operational manual for your organization. The policies for your nonprofit determine how decisions are made or actions are taken in relation to specific situations. They also address decisions, actions and prohibitions further down the chain of command.

    New York requires all nonprofits formed under its laws to adopt a conflict of interest policy (See Section 715-a of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law). The IRS also very strongly recommends that 501(c)(3) organizations adopt a conflict of interest policy, and has provided a sample policy in Appendix A of the IRS Form 1023 instructions.

    Nonprofits formed under New York law also must adopt a whistleblower policy if it has 20 or more employees and over $1,000,000 in revenue for a given year (See Section 715-b of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law).

    In addition to the necessary conflict of interest policy, and the possibly required whistleblower policy, other policies your nonprofit may wish to adopt include the following:

    • Document retention and destruction policy
    • Code of ethics
    • Compensation policy
    • Confidentiality policy
    • Financial policies
    • Investment policy
    • Employee handbook
    • Gift acceptance and refund policy
    • Travel policy
    • Expense reimbursement policy
  11. Hold Organization Meeting of the Board of Directors

    After your nonprofit has been incorporated, and you have drafted the organization’s bylaws, and all required or desired policies, New York requires your organization’s initial directors (as listed in the certificate of incorporation) to hold an organization meeting of the board. Section 405 of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law describes the specific requirements for an organization meeting, but in general, an organization meeting must have a majority of all directors present, and any director can call the meeting, provided that five-days notice by mail is given to all other directors.

    The meeting is called an “organization” meeting because its purpose is to “organize” a newly formed nonprofit. Essential actions and decisions in connection with organizing your nonprofit include the following:

    • Ratification of certificate of incorporation;
    • Adoption of the bylaws;
    • Adoption of policies;
    • Confirmation of initial directors as the current directors;
    • Appointing or electing officers;
    • Appointing members of committees, especially the executive committee, if necessary;
    • Authorizing the application for the nonprofit’s federal Employer Identification Number (EIN);
    • Authorizing the application for recognition of 501(c) or other tax-exempt status;
    • Authorizing the application for New York state and city tax exemptions;
    • Authorizing the registration as a charity in New York, if raising funds for charitable purposes in New York;
    • Authorizing opening of bank accounts;
    • Authorizing signatories to contracts and other documents; and
    • Ratifying the actions of all involved in setting up the nonprofit up until this stage.

    The above actions and decisions should be reduced to a written record called the “corporate meeting minutes,” which should then be filed and signed by the individual who was appointed to be the Secretary of the organization.

  12. Obtain Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

    All legal entities, including nonprofit corporations, in the United States must have an employer identification number, or EIN. The EIN is used in federal tax related filings, as well as many state filings, and will be used to identify your nonprofit from others.

    The EIN must be applied for by a “responsible party” who will serve as the main point of contact for the IRS in connection with tax related matters for your nonprofit. The responsible party must be an officer of the nonprofit.

    The process to obtain an EIN depends on whether or not the responsible party has a current United States tax-identification number, such as a social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). EIN application information is as follows:

  13. Apply for Recognition of 501(c) or 527 Federal Tax-Exemption

    Applying for recognition of federal tax-exemption is the most complicated step in the path to establishing your nonprofit. In 2017, the IRS determined that it would take an average of approximately 105 hours for a layperson to complete and file Form 1023, the application for recognition of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

    The application that your nonprofit needs to file with the IRS to obtain recognition of tax-exempt status depends on the specific tax-exemption your nonprofit will be seeking. The information for each application is as follows:

    • 501(c)(3)

      Application: Form 1023 or Form 1023-EZ (refer to the Form 1023-EZ Eligibility Worksheet to determine if your nonprofit can use Form 1023-EZ)
      User Fee: $600 (Form 1023) or $275 (Form 1023-EZ)
      Additional Information: Form 1023 Instructions; Form 1023-EZ Instructions

    • 501(c)(4)

      Application: Form 8976 (within 60 days of the nonprofit’s date of incorporation), Form 1024-A and Form 8718 (submit with Form 1024-A)
      User Fee: $50 (Form 8976) and $600 (Form 1024-A)
      Additional Information: Form 1024-A Instructions

    • 501(c)(2), (5)-(10), (12)-(13), (15), (17), (19) or (25)

      Application: Form 1024 and Form 8718 (submit with Form 1024)
      User Fee: $600
      Additional Information: Form 1024 Instructions

    • Other 501(c)s

      Application: Letter and Form 8718 (submit with other documents)
      User Fee: $600
      Additional Information: Letter should state the nonprofit’s EIN and describe its activities. The following documents should be attached to the letter:

      • Certified copy of the nonprofit’s certificate of incorporation
      • Nonprofit’s bylaws, stating date of adoption, certified by an officer of the nonprofit
      • For nonprofits in existence for more than 1 year, financial statements (profit and loss statement and balance sheet) for the current year and the three preceding years (or all preceding years if the nonprofit was in existence for less than four years)
      • For nonprofits in operation for less than 1 year, a current balance sheet and financial projections for two years
    • 527
      Application: Form 8871
      User Fee: None
      Additional Information: Form 8871 Instructions

    The time it will take to hear back from the IRS depends on several factors, including the application used, the current IRS workload, the complexity of the nonprofit’s activities and whether there are any red flags in the application requiring elevated examination by the IRS. In general, a majority of applications will hear back from the IRS between two weeks and ninety days for Form 1023-EZ, and between five to nine months for Form 1023, Form 1024-A, Form 1024, and letter applications. Form 8976 and Form 8871 are notification documents, and there is no need to hear back from the IRS regarding those forms.

    In preparing tax-exemption applications, it is very important to be honest, but also to be careful in what is being included inside. When examining the applications, the IRS is looking for reasons to deny tax-exemption, and any red flags could trigger extensive scrutiny (See: 15 Page IRS Information Request resulting from a badly written application – this is from publicly available documents from the IRS and the nonprofit in question is not our client). If the application is denied, the filing fee will be lost, and reapplying will be much more difficult than the first application.

    If you are successful, your nonprofit will receive a determination letter from the IRS confirming that your organization is exempt from federal income tax.

    In very limited circumstances, a nonprofit may “self-declare” federal tax-exempt status. However, doing so is not often advisable. Some reasons not to “self-declare” include the following:

    • Higher risk and vulnerability to IRS audits;
    • If the IRS determines that the nonprofit does not qualify as tax-exempt, higher risk of back-taxes and penalties being assessed from the date of incorporation;
    • No IRS determination letter to prove tax-exemption to donors; and
    • State tax-exemptions often require an IRS determination letter proving federal tax-exemptions.
  14. Register as a New York Charity

    Most New York nonprofits that are incorporated as charitable not-for-profit corporations must register with the Charities Bureau of the New York Attorney General. Most other nonprofits that will raise funds for charitable purposes from persons and entities in located in New York, or that will hold property for charitable purposes in New York, must also register with the Charities Bureau.

    Section 172 of the New York Executive Law and Section 8.14 of the New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law address registration requirements. Applicable exemptions to registration are found in Section 172-A of the New York Executive Law and Section 8.14 of the New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law. You must use the Charities Bureau website to register your New York nonprofit, or request a registration exemption:

    • Registration Form: CHAR 410
    • Exemption Request: CHAR 410 (Registration process will determine if nonprofit is exempt)
    • Registration Fee: $25; $0 if Exempt
  15. Apply for New York State Nonprofit Tax Exemptions

    Nonprofit organizations eligible for a number of tax-exemptions in New York State. These include exemptions from New York State corporate franchise tax (the tax New York levies on a corporation for the privilege of operating in the state), New York City general corporation tax (the NYC version of franchise tax), and property tax. Charitable nonprofits, particularly 501(c)(3) nonprofits, may also qualify for an exemption from New York State sales and use tax.

    There are no fees for applying for New York state tax exemptions. Information to apply for the various tax-exemptions available are as follows:

    • New York State Franchise Tax Exemption

      Application: Form CT-247: Application for Exemption from Corporation Franchise Taxes by a Not-for-Profit Organization.
      Additional Information: The following documents should be attached to the application form:

      • Certified copy of the nonprofit’s certificate of incorporation;
      • Nonprofit’s bylaws, stating date of adoption, certified by an officer of the nonprofit; and
      • IRS determination letter confirming that nonprofit has been recognized as exempt from federal income tax.

      By Mail: NYS Tax Department, Corporation Tax Account Resolution, W A Harriman Campus, Albany NY 12227-0852.
      By Fax: 518-435-2995

    • New York City General Corporation Tax Exemption

      Application: No form available. Prepare an affidavit, signed by an officer of the nonprofit, with the following information:

      • the type of organization;
      • the purposes for which it is organized;
      • a description of its actual activities;
      • the source and disposition of its income;
      • whether any of its income is credited to surplus or may inure to any private stockholder or individual; and
      • such other facts that may affect its right to exemption.

      Additional Information: The following documents should be attached as exhibits to the affidavit:

      • Certified copy of the nonprofit’s certificate of incorporation;
      • Nonprofit’s bylaws, stating date of adoption, certified by an officer of the nonprofit;
      • Nonprofit’s profit and loss statement (income statement), and balance sheet, for the most recent year;
      • IRS determination letter confirming that nonprofit has been recognized as exempt from federal income tax; and
      • Copies of all federal, state and local tax returns filed by the nonprofit for the three most recent years, if any.
    • New York State Sales and Use Tax Exemption

      Application: Form ST 119.2.
      Additional Information:IRS determination letter confirming that nonprofit has been recognized as exempt from federal income tax should be attached to the application form.
      By Mail: NYS Tax Department, Sales Tax Exempt Organizations Unit, W A Harriman Campus, Albany, NY 12227.

    • New York Property Tax Exemptions

      Applications: Form RP-420-a-Org (for property located inside NYC), Form RP-420-a/b-Use (for property located inside NYC), Form RP-420-a/b-Vlg (for property in villages that use the town or county assessment roll to determine village taxes), and Application for Exemption from Real Estate Taxation for Property Owned by Non-Profit Organizations (for property located inside NYC).
      Additional Information: For property outside NYC, both the “Org” forms and “Use” forms must be submitted, and in some cases the “Vlg” form. Attachments depend on the form used.
      By Mail: For property outside NYC, applications should be mailed to the office of the appropriate tax assessor, which varies by location. For property inside NYC, applications should be mailed to New York City Department of Finance, Commercial Exemptions – NFP 59 Maiden Lane, 22nd Floor New York, NY 10038.

This blog post is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, and should not be a substitute for legal advice. If you have questions or comments about the post, or would like to learn more about something in the post, please feel free to contact me.

Additionally, you may be interested in taking a look at my New York nonprofit law services.

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