This new addition to the Massachusetts PTA website is designed to provide you with information of use to you in running your PTA — a legal, non- profit, 501(c)3 organization. We will be providing you with information about organizational materials pertaining to non-profits, IRS information, and any other materials that may help you as you lead your organization forward.
If you find that there is additional information in which you are interested, please let us know and we will do our best to find an accurate and helpful source for that information.
Beginning a New Year
Here are a few ideas to keep in mind as you’re getting started …
- Make sure you’ve submitted your updated Officer and Chair Contact Form to Massachusetts PTA.
- Thank the outgoing president, talk about your PTA unit, and ask his or her recommendations.
- Finalize committee chair appointments.
- Meet with executive board members to discuss planning for the year and to set goals and establish priorities for your unit.
- Plan to attend training and leadership development events available from both state and national PTAs to all unit leaders, and to represent your local unit at state PTA events.
- Keep a binder or folder that contains bylaws, standing rules, the latest audit, minutes from last year’s board and membership meetings, and last year’s plan of work and budget. Consult the PTA Presidents Quick-Reference Guide included in the 2014-2015 Official Back-to-School Kit. If you have not received this please go to www.pta.org to order yours.
IRS Launches On-Line Workshop for Exempt Organizations
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has launched a new Web-based version of its popular Exempt Organizations Workshop. The free online workshop covers tax compliance issues confronted by small and mid-sized tax-exempt organizations.
The workshop, Stay Exempt: Tax Basics for 501(c)(3)s, consists of five interactive modules on tax compliance topics for exempt organizations:
- Tax-Exempt Status. How can you keep your 501(c)(3) exempt?
- Unrelated Business Income. Does your organization generate taxable income?
- Employment Issues. How should you treat your workers for tax purposes?
- Form 990. Would you like to file an error-free return?
- Required Disclosures. To whom do you have to show your records?
The modules can be completed in any order and repeated any number of times. The online training website does not require registration and its visitors will remain anonymous.
Are you or your tax professional interested in a three day seminar where you can get the latest word about tax issues from the IRS leadership as well as experts in the fields of tax law, compliance, and ethics?
The Importance of Being Accountable and Transparent
“Accountable” and “transparent” are two words that are important in accounting and financial operations. An attitude of open and full disclosure is important for nonprofit organizations. The more transparent your PTA, the better. The more information you provide—such as frequent treasurer’s reports, annual reports, and newsletters—the more you live up to your accountability requirement. Who are you accountable to? You are accountable to your members, your sponsors and other funders, the public, your community, and government regulatory agencies. And you are accountable to the good reputation that PTA has earned over its long history.
From National PTA, “Spring 2007 e-Finance Newsletter”
The 2014-2015 PTA Quick-Reference Guide for Finance is included in your Official Back-to-School Kit. The kit should have been ordered by your president at www.pta.org. The PTA Back-to-School Kit will also include PTA quick-reference guides on the topics of programs, membership, fundraising, advocacy, and communications.
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Each local unit PTA is required to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is also called the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). The IRS issued this number when you became a PTA. You must maintain the letter that the IRS issues with your PTA’s permanent records.
The Massachusetts PTA is required to report annually to the IRS a list of our affiliated PTA’s. If we ask for your EIN number, please help us by honoring our request.
501(c) (3) tax-exempt status
Each local unit PTA that is affiliated with the Massachusetts PTA and the National PTA is considered a tax-exempt or a 501(c) (3) organization. The Massachusetts PTA is the parent organization and the local PTA unit is the subordinate organization.
Many of the PTA’s in Massachusetts have a tax-exempt letter that was issued by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) or the Massachusetts PTA. The Massachusetts PTA now issues the tax-exempt letter as the IRS has stopped issuing them. If you do not have a letter for your PTA, please contact the Massachusetts PTA at firstname.lastname@example.org to request one.
The letter must be a part of your PTA’s permanent records.
IRS Filing Requirements
All 501(c) (3) organizations must file a tax return with the IRS. The return is due the 15th day of the 5th month following the close of your fiscal year. For example, if the last day of the fiscal year is June 30, then the form is due November 15. The gross receipts and total assets determine the form used to file with the IRS for the fiscal year.
|If your PTA’s gross receipts are:||Form to file|
|Normally equal to or less than $50,000||990-N|
|Equal to or more than $50,000 and less than $200,000 and total assets are less than $500,000||990-EZ|
|Equal to or more than $200,000 or more, and total assets are equal to or more than $500,000||990|
The National PTA Finance Quick Reference Guide included in the Back to School Kit is a great source of information regarding the filling out and filing of tax returns. The kit is also available online.
Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Charitable Organizations Filing Requirements
ALL 501(c) (3) organizations in Massachusetts are required to file a Form PC annually. You will include a fee with the form. The fee is a sliding scale based on the organization’s gross receipts.
The state requires that a either a Form 990-EZ or Form 990 also be included with the filing. The state will not accept the Form PC without it. Also, include a copy of your most current bylaws because the state needs a copy of your Articles of Organization and this is included in the bylaws.
If the PTAs gross receipts require the filing of a form 990-N with the IRS, you will need to submit a Form 990-EZ to the state. Your only need to fill out the 4-page form; you do not have to fill out any other schedules.
The Form PC is not difficult to fill out as most of the information comes from what is on the Form 990-EZ. The instructions for the Form PC make it easy to fill out.
The due date for the Form PC is the same date as the IRS filing.
If your PTA unit has never filed a Form PC or has not filed in a number of years, please do not panic, just contact the Massachusetts PTA at email@example.com and we will help you.
Massachusetts Tax Exempt Purchaser’s Certificate – Form ST-2
If you would like to make tax-exempt purchases, you need to complete the Application for Registration on-line through Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s WebFile for Business.
The subordinate organization’s federal identification number not that of the parent organization must appear on the application, you will need to use your own PTA’s EIN. If the information submitted is insufficient, The Department of Revenue may request additional information. Organizations must respond within the time limit specified by Department of Revenue. At some point during the process, the Department of Revenue will request a copy of your 501(c) (3) tax-exempt letter.
The link to Webfile for Business is https://wfb.dor.state.ma.us/webfile/Business/Public/Webforms/Login/Login.aspx
The National PTA and Massachusetts PTA portions of membership dues should be submitted to the Massachusetts PTA as soon as they are collected. They should not be part of your treasury. The Massachusetts PTA is required to submit dues to the National PTA monthly.
The IRS requires that membership information be maintained by the local pta unit and the Massachusetts PTA. Every PTA unit must submit a membership list to the Massachusetts PTA. The list should be submitted in an excel format and include the following information: name, address, phone number, and email. The Massachusetts PTA does not sell our membership lists and may send out occasional communications.
Per the local unit bylaws, each PTA must conduct an annual audit of the financial records. Many PTA units are not following this requirement.
Effective fiscal years ending in 2015, all local PTA units must submit a PTA audit form provided by the Massachusetts PTA. For the past few years, we have included the form in the summer leadership packet asking that you voluntarily submit it but next year it will be mandatory.
The Audit section of the PTA Kit explains the audit process. You can have an audit committee of three members but none of the members should be officers of the organization. The committee will need about three to four hours to perform the audit. The treasurer is present to answer any questions.
The ending balance of the prior year is the beginning balance of the current year. You will list the total of all expenses (expenditures) and the total of all income (revenue). Subtract the expenses from the beginning balance and then add the income to get an ending balance. You then compare the ending balance to your bank statement and the difference should be any outstanding checks.
If you have a CPA/financial person perform the audit, you can submit a copy of the report that they provide to the Massachusetts PTA.
Back to School Kit
In May of this year, Local Unit Presidents were asked to register to receive the kit. Many of presidents did register. If you did not register, please contact the Massachusetts PTA at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
There is a ton of information in the Back to School Kit. There is also an online version that is accessible by going to www.ptakit.org
To get to the finance information, click on the finance tab. There is a ton of information and resources. If you click on the resources tab, you will find templates and other documents that will help you.
Explore the website, as there is information on a number of topics.
PTA Credit Card
The Massachusetts PTA cannot endorse any credit card vendors. Our suggestion is to contact your local bank and ask them. Many banks allow you attached a credit card to the bank account.
7 Tips to Revive Your Fundraising Appeal
When it comes to a solicitation letter, every single word on the page counts. If your reader isn’t moved by what you say, or if your appeals have lost their appeal, go back to the basics. Read more, including 7 Characteristics of a Good Fundraising Appeal.
Adapted by National PTA from an article that appeared in the January 4, 2007, edition of the NPT Instant Fundraising e-newsletter