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Filing Requirements - Form 199, Exempt Organization Annual Information Return

Who must file

R&TC Section 23772 sets the requirements as to which organizations should file Form 199. Most organizations must file Form 199 if their gross receipts normally exceed the filing threshold. Other organizations are required to file FTB 199N, California e-Postcard, or not at all. The following organizations must file Form 199 every year regardless of gross receipts:

  • Private foundations.
  • Nonexempt charitable trusts described in IRC Section 4947(a)(1).

The following organizations do not file Forms 199 or 199N:

  • Churches, interchurch organizations of local units of a church, conventions or associations of churches, or integrated auxiliaries of churches.
  • Religious orders (such as Franciscan Friars or Sisters of Charity).
  • Organizations formed to carry out a function of a state or public body that is carrying out that function and is controlled by the state or public body.
  • Political organizations.
  • Pension trusts.
  • Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), formerly called education IRAs.
  • Qualified state tuition programs.
  • Subordinate organization included in the parent's group return.

The filing requirement for all other organizations is based on the normal amount of gross receipts.

Gross receipts

Gross receipts are the total amounts the organization received from all sources during its annual accounting period, without subtracting any costs or expenses.

Gross receipt average

To determine your gross receipts average, use the charts below.

Tax years 2012 and future

If your organization has existed: File Form 199 if the gross receipts threshold is:
1 year or less More than $75,000
More than 1 year, but less than 3 years More than $60,000 (average for current year and immediately preceding year)
3 years or more More than $50,000 (average for current year and immediately preceding 2 years)

Tax years 2011 and prior

If your organization has existed: File Form 199 if the gross receipts threshold is:
1 year or less More than $37,500
More than 1 year, but less than 3 years More than $30,000 (average for current year and immediately preceding year)
3 years or more More than $25,000 (average for current year and immediately preceding 2 years)

Extension of time to file

The extension allows you more time to file the return, not an extension of time to pay any taxes that may be due. We will grant an automatic 6-month extension to file a return if both of the following conditions exist:

  • Your organization is not suspended on the original due date.
  • You file your organization’s return on or before the extended due date.

Due date

The Form 199 is due every year by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your tax year. For example, if your account period ended on December 31, the Form 199 is due May 15 of the following year. If the due date falls on a weekend or state holiday, file by the next regular business day.

Due date chart

To determine your due date, use the due date chart. You cannot file the Form 199 until after your account period ends.

Income year month ending 199 current year due date 199 next year extended due date
January 06/15 12/15
February 07/15 01/15
March 08/15 02/15
April 09/15 03/15
May 10/15 04/15
June 11/15 05/15
July 12/15 06/15
August 01/15 07/15
September 02/15 08/15
October 03/15 09/15
November 04/15 10/15
December 05/15 11/15

Fees

Generally, if you file Form 199, you pay a filing fee with the return. The amount depends on when you file, and when you make the payment.

The fee is $10 if:

  • You file and pay by the original due date.
  • You file and pay after the original due date, but on or before the extended due date.
  • You file the return after the original due date, but on or before the extended due date.

The fee is $25 if:

  • You file by the original due date, but pay after that date.
  • You file and pay after the extended due date.

The following types of entities do not pay the filing fee if they check the box on Form 199 for the exemption to paying the filing fee:

  • Organization with exclusively religious activities of any religious order.
  • Exclusively educational organizations if the organization normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly organized body of students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are regularly carried on.
  • Organizations for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, if the organization is supported, in whole or in part, by funds contributed by the United States or any state or political subdivision thereof, or is primarily supported (50% or more) by contributions of the general public.
  • Organizations operated, supervised, or controlled by or in connection with an exclusively religious organization.

Penalties

Failure to File a Return -

An organization that fails to file the return on or before the original due date, or extended due date, is assessed a penalty of $5 for each month, or part of the month, the return is late. If the return is not filed by the extended due date, the automatic extension will not apply. The penalty may not exceed $40.

Organizations exempt from the $10 filing fee are not exempt from this penalty.

Late Payment of Fee -

An organization that fails to pay the $10 filing fee by the original due date, or extended due date, is assessed an additional filing fee of $15.

Failure to Furnish Information -

In the case of a private foundation, we may make a written demand that a delinquent return or foundation report be filed within a reasonable amount of time after mailing a demand notice. The person who fails to file after such demand is subject to a penalty of $5 for each month, or part of the month (not to exceed $25), after the period expires. The penalty is in addition to the late filing penalty described above.

Entity ID number

If your organization is not incorporated or qualified with the California Secretary of State and you received tax-exempt status or filed returns with us, we would have assigned a 7-digit Entity ID number to your organization.

This number is on your exempt determination or acknowledgement letter we mailed to your organization when it received tax-exempt status.

California corporation number

If your organization incorporated or qualified with the California Secretary of State a 7-digit number would have been assigned to your organization. If you are unsure if you are incorporated or qualified in California, go to the Secretary of State's website and complete a business search using your organization's name.

Federal Employer Identification Number

Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity.

If you do not have a FEIN, you can obtain a FEIN from the Internal Revenue Service.

Account period

An account period (tax period / tax year) is usually 12 consecutive months. There are two kinds of account periods:

  • Calendar: This is a period of 12 consecutive months beginning January 1 and ending December 31.
  • Fiscal: This is a period of 12 consecutive months ending on the last day of any month except December.

Generally, your account period can be found in the following documents:

  • Your entity's bylaws.
  • Your application for California state tax-exempt status (Form 3500 or Form 3500A) or the letter you received approving your tax-exempt status.
  • The application, Form SS-4, your organization filed to obtain its employer identification number (EIN).
  • A copy of a prior year return Form 199 that you filed with FTB, or Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N that you filed with the IRS.
  • Exempt Organizations List

If this is your first year filing, your account period beginning will be:

  • Your date of incorporation/qualification if you are incorporated/qualified in California.
  • Your begin business date if you are not incorporated/qualified in California.

Account period change

Within the last year, you changed your account period ending date (also known as your tax year).

When you change your account period year-end, you file for a short period (less than 12 months) to establish a new tax year-end.

Subordinate organization included in the parent's group return

If your organization is a subordinate of a parent organization and is included on the parent's group return, you are not required to file the Form 199. The group return satisfies your reporting requirement. If you do not file as part of a group return you are required to file the Form 199 or 199N depending on your gross receipt average.

If your parent organization failed to include your organization in the list of subordinates provided to us, your organization will not be recognized that the filing requirement was satisfied. To resolve this, have the parent organization ask us to update our records by writing to the following address:

ATTN: GROUP TECHNICIAN
EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS UNIT MS F120
FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
PO BOX 1286
RANCHO CORDOVA CA 95741-1286

Private foundations

Private foundations must file a complete Form 199 and pay the filing fee regardless of the gross receipts amount received. Private foundations may complete SIDE 1 of Form 199 and provide one of the following as substitute information for Part II:

  • A complete copy of federal Form 990-PF, with appropriate schedules.
  • A complete copy of the current report filed with the Registry of Charitable Trusts (including federal Form 990)

Political or Legislative Activities by Section 23701d Organizations

The purpose of Form 3509, Political or Legislative Activities By Section 23701d Organizations, is to declare political or legislative activities carried out by a R&TC Section 23701d tax-exempt organization.

Who Must File

If during the taxable year, the organization:

  • Participated or intervened in any political campaign on behalf of any elective public office.
  • Contributed funds to support or oppose any individual public office candidate or any organizations formed to support or oppose a public office candidate.
  • Attempted to influence any national, state, or local legislation or ballot measure.
  • Filed a federal election Form 5768, Election/ Revocation of Election by an Eligible Section 501(c)(3) Organization to Make Expenditures to Influence Legislation.

Complete and attach Form 3509 to Form 199.

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