Changes to the Florida Solicitation of Contributions Act

Charity Many changes were made to the Florida Solicitation of Contributions Act (the “Act”) in response to abuses in charitable fundraising and are intended to highlight the fundraising practices of charities. The goals of the Act are to allow charitable fundraising and also to protect the public by requiring full disclosure of the use of the funds.

One change that impacts all Florida charities that are subject to the Act is that the due date for filing the annual registration no longer can be extended. The Act also now requires most fundraising charities to have a Conflict of Interest Policy with an annual certification of compliance.

Charities should check the new requirements for financial statements and Forms 990. Depending on the size of the charity, the financial statement must be reviewed or audited, and the Form 990 must be prepared by a professional who prepares Forms 990 in the ordinary course of business. Larger organizations that spend less than 25% of gross receipts on program services are required to file additional, detailed financial disclosures.

In order to highlight the fundraising practices of charities, the Act also requires Florida to compile the information submitted by charitable organizations in a searchable database for consumers. Please let us know if you have any questions about the application of the Act to your organization.

About the author:
Jane D. Callahan is a shareholder in the Orlando office. She represents taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service to resolve tax issues at the audit and administrative appeals level, and represents taxpayers in the U.S. Tax Court and other federal courts. Ms. Callahan also represents a wide range of charities and other tax-exempt organizations, from their inception to handling tax and corporate issues.