Tax 990

Wisconsin Nonprofits
Registration, Tax Exemption, and Annual Report Filing Requirements

Wisconsin Nonprofits - A Guide to Registration and Tax Compliance

In order to start and operate a nonprofit organization successfully, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of the guidelines and requirements established by the respective state agency.

Here, you can find out how to start and register a nonprofit organization in Wisconsin, including obtaining tax-exempt status and the annual filing requirements, due dates, and penalties.

Requirements Registration Registration Annual Filing Annual Filing
With the State of Wisconsin With the Department of Financial Institutions Charity Annual Renewal Annual Financial Report Annual Report
Required Forms

Required Forms

Form 102 - Articles of Incorporation Nonstock Corporation Form #296 - Charitable Organization Registration Application Online Renewal

Form #1943

Form #1952

Form #308

Form 5 - Annual Report
Due Date

Due Date

Before establishing a Nonprofit entity. Before soliciting any contributions within the state. On or before July 31st within 12 months after the organization’s fiscal year-end Various based on when organization is incorporated
Filing Fee

Filing Fee

$35 $15 $54 N/A

Domestic Nonprofit - $25

Foreign Nonprofit - $80

Frequently Asked Questions


How to Start a Nonprofit in Wisconsin?

To start a nonprofit in the state of Wisconsin, you must follow these registration procedures.

Registration with the Department of Financial Institutions:

To register your non-profit organization in Wisconsin, you are required to file Form 102 - Articles of Incorporation Nonstock Corporation, with the state.

Typically, this submission should include the following information:

  • Name of the Corporation
  • Name and address of the initial registered agent
  • Mailing address of the initial principal office
  • Name and address of the incorporator of the corporation

In addition to these details, you must pay the incorporation filing fee of $35.

Registering a Charitable Organization:

As per Wisconsin law, nonprofit corporations must file Form #296 if they meet any of the following conditions:

  • Solicit or receive $25,000 or more in charitable contributions in a single year
  • Have any paid employees at your organization

Note: Nonprofits must complete this form even if they are registered outside of the state but need to solicit within the state of Wisconsin.


How to Obtain Tax-Exempt Status from the State of Wisconsin?

Wisconsin law requires nonprofit organizations to file Form S-103 - (Application for Wisconsin Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exempt Status (CES)) along with a copy of the IRS determination letter to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue in order to obtain an exemption from the Wisconsin sales and use tax.


What are the Annual Filing Requirements for Nonprofits in Wisconsin?

Annual Renewal:

The State of Wisconsin mandates that nonprofits renew their registration annually with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

Annual Financial Report:

The State of Wisconsin requires nonprofits to file financial reports annually with the Department of Financial Institutions. They must choose and file any of the following forms, whichever is applicable.

  • Form #1943 - Affidavit in Lieu of Annual Financial Report
    • A charitable organization that received $25,000 or less in contributions. OR
    • A charitable organization received less than $50,000 in contributions and solicited contributions only in the county where its principal office is located.
  • Form #1952 - Wisconsin Supplement to Financial Report
    • A charitable organization that files an IRS 990, 990-EZ, or 990 PF and doesn't qualify for Form #1943 must file this form.
  • Form #308 - Charitable Organization Annual Report
    • A charitable organization that does not qualify for Form #1943 or Form #1952 must file this form.

Annual Report

The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions mandates nonprofit organizations to file Annual Report using Form 5.


When is the deadline for Annual Renewal/Reporting with Wisconsin?

Annual Renewal:

The due date to file an Annual renewal with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions is on or before July 31st of each year.

Annual Financial Report:

The deadline to submit Annual Financial Reports to the state of Wisconsin is within 12 months after the organization's fiscal year-end.

Annual Report:

The deadline to submit the annual report depends on the quarter in which the organization’s anniversary date of incorporation/organization occurs.

Deadline for Domestic Nonprofits:

Date of Incorporation Due Date
January 1st - March 31st March 31st
April 1st - June 30th June 30th
July 1st - September 30th September 30th
October 1st - December 31st December 31st

Deadline for Foreign Nonprofits:

Qualification Date Annual Due Date
January 1st - December 31st March 31st


Are there any Penalties for Failing to Complete Annual Renewal?

If the annual renewal is not filed by the due date, the organization will be subjected to a penalty of $25 as a late filing fee.


How do I file an Annual Renewal, Annual Financial Report, and Annual Report with the State of Wisconsin?

Annual Renewal:

You can file an annual renewal electronically through the online portal provided by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

Annual Financial Report:

You can submit the annual financial report in any of the following ways.

  • E-mail:

    You can email your completed returns to [email protected]

  • Paper Filing:

    You can complete and mail your annual financial report to the below address.

    PO Box 7879 Madison,
    WI 53707-7879.

Annual Report:

You can complete the annual report on paper and send it by mail to the address given below:

State of WI-Dept. of Financial Institutions,
Box 93348,
Milwaukee, WI 53293-0348.

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