California Court Upholds Attorney General's Demand for Donor Information

The California Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the position of the California Attorney General stating that charities located or doing business in California must provide a copy of their unredacted Form 990 Schedule B with their annual report filed with the Attorney General. The submitted information includes the names, addresses, and amounts of contributions for all donors.

This ruling raises concerns about donor privacy even though the Attorney General has asserted that the information will not be made public.

“Out-of-state charitable organizations that solicit contributions or do business in California should consider the effect of these disclosure requirements on donor relations,” says Paul Streckfus, editor of the EO Tax Journal. “All affected charities, including out-of-state charities, should review their donor confidentiality policies and disclosures to ensure that their donors are aware of California’s disclosure requirement.

Streckfus goes on to say, “Charities should continue to follow the Schedule B instructions and not include Schedule B filings with states that do not require it, as those states may inadvertently disclose the charity’s donor information to the public. Out-of-state charities not currently registered with the California AG’s Registry of Charitable Trusts that would like to solicit contributions or otherwise do business or hold property in California should consider contacting local counsel for advice regarding their activities within the State to avoid or minimize potential penalties.”

Source: http://eotaxjournal.com/eotj/

 


This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.

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