State legislature passes bill undoing NY’s new donor disclosure requirement

Form 990, an Internal Revenue Service form disclosing information about nonprofits.
Form 990, an Internal Revenue Service form disclosing information about nonprofits.
DINESH B RAUT / Shutterstock
Form 990, an Internal Revenue Service form disclosing information about nonprofits.

State legislature passes bill undoing NY’s new donor disclosure requirement

The legislation would reverse new rules that require charities to submit their annual financial disclosure reports to the Department of State.
June 23, 2021

The state legislature passed legislation earlier this month that would reverse a newly created requirement that charities must submit their annual financial disclosure reports to the Department of State.

The measure, which was sponsored by Assembly Member Amy Paulin and state Sen. Liz Krueger, comes after some nonprofits argued the new requirement was administratively burdensome and redundant as they file the exact same documents to the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau annually. 

Organizations such as Nonprofit New York also expressed concern that donors’ identities could be publicized via Freedom of Information Law requests without clearer confidentiality protections that exist for the Charities Bureau, which the bill also codifies. The Department of State has said it can publish documents and reports submitted to the agency if information that is inconsistent with an organization’s charitable purposes is uncovered, but would not share the names and addresses of individual donors. 

Last year’s state budget included the provisions that expanded nonprofit oversight under the Department of State, after rolling back more sweeping proposed donor disclosure requirements. Political advocacy nonprofits, filed as 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations, must submit financial disclosure reports to the agency if they’ve spent more than $10,000 in communications endorsing or opposing legislation, for example. Charitable groups giving in-kind donations of more than $10,000 to a 501(c)(4) organization must also file financial disclosure reports to the Department of State.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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