Massachusetts Governor Signs Legislation to Increase Penalties against Noncompliant Public Charities, Fundraisers, and their Leaders and to Simplify the Public Charity Dissolution Process


On July 19, 2010, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed legislation that increases the penalties against public charities and responsible directors, trustees, officers, and other agents of charities that fail to file an initial registration or annual report to $50 per day, up to a maximum of $10,000. Additionally, this new law increases the penalties against charities, fundraisers, and each responsible officer or agent for fundraising violations. The law also simplifies the process by which public charities may dissolve. It appears to us that the purpose of this legislation is to encourage compliance with existing law, generate revenue, and make the dissolution process easier for charities in this difficult economic environment. Be aware that certain portions of the new law, as noted below, take effect immediately, with all other provisions becoming effective on January 1, 2011.

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