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State of California Franchise Tax Board

Suspended Exempt Entities

FTB or California Secretary of State can suspend an exempt organization for a number of reasons. Suspension affects an organization’s tax-exempt status. It also affects its ability to enforce contracts.

A suspended organization can get back into good standing and regain its tax-exempt status.

There are three primary ways an organization may become suspended:

  • Failure to file a Statement of Information with California Secretary of State's (SOS) office.
  • Failure to pay an amount due.
  • Failure to file any past due returns with us.

An organization cannot legally transact business, defend, or initiate an action in court, protest assessments, or file a claim for refund of paid amounts when we or SOS suspend it. It also loses the right to use its name.

An organization remains suspended by SOS until it meets all revivor requirements.

To verify an organization’s current status with us or SOS, go to kepler.sos.ca.gov. The website only lists organizations that incorporated or qualified with SOS.

Tax-exempt status revocation

We revoke an organization’s tax-exempt status the day either we or SOS suspend it.

Contract voidability

Contract voidability is when a suspended or forfeited organization loses its right to enforce its legal contracts. If an organization enters into a contract while suspended or forfeited and then revives its active legal status, it cannot enforce that contract unless it gets relief from contract voidability (RCV).

For more information about RCV, see Contract Voidability.

Suspended with FTB only

To reinstate an organization’s tax-exempt status and revive to good standing, file one of the following:

  • Form 3500, Exemption Application, with all required supporting documents and the $25 application fee.
  • Form 3500A, Submission of Exemption Request, if the organization has never received California tax-exempt status and has an Internal Revenue Service determination letter under IRC Section 501(c)(3), (4), (5), (6), or (7).
    • Organizations with revoked California tax-exempt status cannot use Form 3500A.

We treat the Form 3500 and Form 3500A as a request to revive the organization to good standing when we give tax-exempt status.

Once the organization is in compliance, we send a letter that indicates it is now in good standing with FTB.

Suspended with Secretary of State only

To revive, the organization must file a current Statement of Information with California Secretary of State (SOS).

A common interest development corporation must submit a Statement by Common Interest Development Association (Form SI-CID) with the Statement of Information.

Go to sos.ca.gov for these forms.

Once the organization is in good standing, SOS sends the organization a letter of proposed relief from suspension or forfeiture.

Suspended with FTB and Secretary of State

To revive, the organization should first follow the instructions for Suspended with Secretary of State only and then those for Suspended with FTB only.

To reinstate the organization's tax-exempt status and revive to good standing, it must file one of the following:

  • Form 3500, Exemption Application, with all required supporting documents and the $25 application fee.
  • Form 3500A, Submission of Exemption Request, if the organization has never received California tax-exempt status before and has an Internal Revenue Service determination letter under IRC Section 501(c)(3), (4), (5), (6), or (7).
    • Organizations with revoked tax-exempt status cannot use Form 3500A.

Once the organization is in compliance, we send a letter that indicates it is now in good standing with us.

California Secretary of State denies a revivor request from us if the corporation name is no longer available. They send a letter to them that advises them that the name is no longer available and that they must change their name.

Go to sos.ca.gov and search for name availability for information on how to change the corporation name.

After the name changes, the corporation must resubmit FTB 3557E, Application for Certificate of Revivor, to the address on the form.

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