Under Texas law, most charities or nonprofit organizations are not required to register with the State. Registration is required either with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) or the Texas Secretary of State, however, for certain law enforcement related organizations that solicit by telephone, public safety organizations and their solicitors, and veterans organizations and their solicitors.
Registration with the Office of the Attorney General or the Secretary of State does not imply approval or endorsement of the organization or its solicitor.
Registration with the Office of the Attorney General
The Texas Law Enforcement Telephone Solicitation Act (LETSA) regulates certain law enforcement related organizations that engage in telephone solicitation in the State of Texas. These organizations are required to file a registration statement with the OAG and pay a $50 fee. If the organization retains a commercial telephone solicitor, the solicitor must file a $50,000 surety bond with the Secretary of State at the following address:
Secretary of State
Statutory Documents Section
Austin, TX 78701
The OAG maintains a searchable reqistry of organizations registered under LETSA. Please note that the financial information presented in this database has been compiled from annual returns filed with the IRS. This information has not been independently verified or audited by the OAG , but rather represents self-reported figures by the organization. Registration under LETSA is does not imply approval or endorsement by the State of Texas, the OAG, or any other state office or department of the State of Texas.
Registration with the Texas Secretary of State
The Public Safety Solicitation Act requires certain public safety organizations, public safety publications and their solicitors and/or independent promoters to register, pay a fee and post a bond with the Secretary of State.
The Veterans Solicitation Act requires certain veterans organizations to file a registration statement with the Secretary of State and pay a fee. If the veterans organization uses a solicitor, the organization must post a surety bond with the Secretary of State.
IRS Form 990-PF Filing
The OAG maintains copies of IRS Forms 990-PF (Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947(a)(1) Nonexempt Charitable Trust Treated as a Private Foundation). In accordance with IRS rules, foundation managers must furnish a copy of the annual return Form 990-PF (and Form 4720, if applicable) to the OAG of:
- Each state required to be listed in Part VII-A, line 8a;
- The state in which the foundation's principal office is located; and
- The state in which the foundation was incorporated or created.
A copy of the annual return must be sent to the OAG at the same time the annual return is filed with the IRS.
To submit a Form 990-PF to the Office of the Attorney General:
- Attach a PDF of the Form 990-PF to an email addressed to: [email protected]
- Entitle the PDF the name of the private foundation, i.e., XYZFoundation.pdf
- Use the PDF/Foundation name as the subject line of your email.
- Do not include any other text in the body of the email.
- Do not submit copies of Form 990 (public charity return), Form 990-EZ, Form 990-T or any return other than Form 990-PF for private foundations.
- Do not use this email for questions or requests for information of any kind. If you need assistance, please call our office at (512) 463-2018.
- Once the Form 990-PF is submitted, you will receive an automatic reply indicating receipt of the return for your records.
- Do not also mail a duplicate hard copy.
If you are unable to submit the Form 990-PF by email, you may mail a copy to the following address:
Office of the Attorney General
Financial Litigation and Charitable Trusts Division
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548
Establishing a Nonprofit Organization in Texas
A nonprofit corporation is created by filing a certificate of formation with the Secretary of State in accordance with the Texas Business Organizations Code. A nonprofit corporation may be created for any lawful purpose. Not all nonprofit corporations are entitled to exemption from state or federal taxes. Forms and FAQs relating to forming a nonprofit corporation are available on the Secretary of State's website.
Exemption from Federal Taxes
Exemption from federal taxes is determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You should consult the IRS prior to filing a certificate of formation to determine what provisions should be included for the corporation to be exempt from federal taxes. Information on many aspects of starting and operating a tax exempt organization is available at www.irs.gov/eo. Information is also available in IRS Publication 557, "Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization." You may obtain the publication on the IRS web site at www.irs.gov/formspubs or by calling 800-829-3676. The IRS also maintains a toll free number for technical questions related to exempt organizations, 877-829-5500.
Federal Filing Requirement
Most tax-exempt organizations are required to file an annual return with the IRS (the Form-990 Series returns), which provides information about the organization’s mission, governance, and finances. The specific type of return required to be filed generally depends on financial thresholds set by the IRS. Organizations that fail to file an annual return for three consecutive years will automatically lose their federal tax-exempt status.
Small tax-exempt organizations whose gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less are required to file the electronic Form 990-N.