Outstanding filings due Nov. 1 for charitable organizations operating in Wisconsin

With the passage of Wisconsin Act 20, the oversight of charitable organizations operating in Wisconsin will be transferred from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS)—the old Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing—to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI).

All of the records and data will be moved from DSPS to the DFI effective Nov. 1. Due to this change, DFI is requiring all outstanding filings be completed by Nov. 1, 2013 or face automatic revocation of the organization’s charitable solicitation license. If this occurs, tax-exempt organizations will need to re-submit the entire application for a new charitable solicitation registration (Form 296 and attachments) as well as potential payment of late renewal fees and late filing fees.

Baker Tilly recommends that all Wisconsin Forms 1952, 1943, and 308 be filed immediately for years ending Dec. 31, 2012 through April 30, 2013.

As a reminder, the 2 page Wisconsin Form 1952 must have a completed Form 990 attached. The 4 page Wisconsin Forms 308 does not require the attachment of a completed Form 990 and may be the only option available if the organization cannot complete the Form 990 within the time frame discussed above. Where required, copies of the reviewed or audited financial statements must also be attached to each form.

Going forward

In previous years the DSPS has not issued any penalties or revocations of tax-exempt status for filing the Wisconsin Forms 1952, 1943, or 308 after the 6 month deadline. Discussions with DFI suggest that there is uncertainty as to whether DFI will adhere to the prior policies of DSPS. Given the uncertainty with this transition, we recommend that all Wisconsin Forms 1952, 1943, and 308 be submitted by their original six month due dates to avoid the potential issues mentioned above. For those organizations filing Forms 990-T and WI 4-T respectively, this change will not affect those due dates.