If you have clients that are nonprofit corporations in British Columbia, now is a good time to make sure they’ve complied with the province’s Societies Act, enacted on Nov. 28, 2016. This legislation changed the way nonprofits are created and run in British Columbia, with existing corporations given a two-year window to transition completely to the new system. If your clients haven’t applied for transition yet, the clock is ticking. Failure to meet the deadline could mean the forced dissolution of the corporation or loss of its nonprofit status.
The Societies Act established a new online filing system, known as Societies Online. All nonprofit corporations in British Columbia must complete their transactions filings using this system. But use of the system is not automatic. It requires a transition application.
The transition application, which is available online, requires existing nonprofits to refile their constitutions and bylaws. Your clients’ nonprofits must also include information regarding the organization’s directors, the registered office address, and a statement as to whether the society is funded by members.
During the transition period, the nonprofit corporation can’t make any changes to their governing documents. Once this first stage of the transition is complete, your clients are still not quite done. Now they have to file their governing documents with the British Columbia Charities Directorate. This entire process must be completed by Nov. 28, 2018.
While you’re not responsible as an accountant for handling your clients’ filings, you can help keep nonprofit clients out of trouble by reminding them of the pending deadlines for transitioning to the Societies Online system.