AG Grewal, Consumer Affairs Announce Voluntary Compliance Program for Unregistered 501(c)(4) Social Welfare Organizations
Through October 1, 2020, the Program Allows Eligible 501(c)(4) Organizations to Avoid Penalties for Past Failures to Register as Charitable Organizations

NEWARK – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs (“the Division”) today announced a temporary Voluntary Compliance Program to encourage certain 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations to comply with their obligations to register as charitable organizations with the Division.

Under the Voluntary Compliance Program, the Division will forego collection of penalties for past registration violations by certain 501(c)(4) entities that are subject to the registration requirements of the Charitable Registration & Investigation Act (CRIA), if they have failed to register as required but submit the required documentation by October 1, 2020.

The CRIA requires certain “charitable organizations,” including “social welfare” organizations exempt from federal taxation under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, to register with the Division’s Charitable Registration & Investigation Section. Under the law, social welfare organizations that engage in political activities without being required to disclose their donors to the general public—so-called “dark money” groups—may still be required to report their substantial donors to the Division.

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