Financial Issues for Local and State Union Officers:
Like all other employers, unions must issue W-2 [PDF] forms to their employees by January 31 of each year — notifying them of the amount of their earnings, tax withholdings, and certain benefits for the previous year.
Employers must make certain that these forms accurately reflect the amount paid to every employee.
(The sample W-2 Form provided here cannot be used for filing taxes.)
W-3 [PDF] forms are used by all employers — including unions — to summarize the information on W-2 forms for all their employees at year's end.
W-3 forms serve as a control sheet that tells the IRS how many employees you have and whether your W-2s are accurate. If you use a payroll service, the payroll service will provide both the W-2 and W-3 forms.
(The sample W-3 Form provided here cannot be used for filing taxes.)
Employers use W-4 forms [PDF] to collect the information they need to calculate payroll withholdings for their employees. Unions should ask their employees to complete W-4 forms every year.
[W-9 PDF] forms should be completed by companies or self-employed individuals that perform services for your union.
The forms provide data the union will need to complete IRS Form 1099-Misc. By completing the form, the signer stipulates that the information he or she has provided is correct.
IRS Form 940 [PDF] at year end is used to pay federal unemployment taxes.
IRS Form 941 [PDF] is used to report all taxable wages, withheld taxes, and employer's FICA liabilities for a specific quarter. It also records the deposits that unions have made against the liabilities.
The IRS uses the form to gauge whether the employer has made the deposits in a timely manner. The IRS is a real stickler on this form, and their deposits, so careful attention must be paid!
Form 941 Schedule B
The IRS uses Form 941 Schedule B [PDF] to tell when a union's taxes were due, and whether the payments were made on time.
Only unions that meet certain thresholds must use this form. Under current law, if the union's tax liability is greater than $2,500 per quarter, they must use this form.
IRS Form 941 C [PDF] should be used to correct mistakes made on Form 941.
IRS Form 990 [PDF] is the tax form used by unions that have $500,000 or more in assets and $200,000 or more in gross receipts for a tax year.
The 990 is due every year by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of the local’s fiscal year. For example, if the fiscal year ended on Dec. 31, 2011, the 990 is due May 15, 2012. The 990 cannot be filed until after the tax year ends.
Form 990 EZ
IRS Form 990 EZ [PDF] is the tax form used by unions that have less than $500,000 in assets and less than $200,000 in gross receipts for a tax year.
The 990-EZ is due every year by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of the local’s fiscal year. For example, if the fiscal year ended on Dec. 31, 2011, the 990-EZ is due May 15, 2012. The 990-EZ cannot be filed until after the tax year ends.
APWU locals whose annual gross receipts are less than $50,000 are required to electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard, if they elect not to file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ.
The e-Postcard is due every year by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of the local’s fiscal year. For example, if the fiscal year ended on Dec. 31, 2011, the e-Postcard is due May 15, 2012. The e-Postcard cannot be filed until after the tax year ends.
To file the e-postcard, visit http://epostcard.form990.org/
If a union has significant income from a source other than dues, it must complete IRS Form 990 T [PDF] to report that income separately from the dues it receives.
Locals that fall in this category are urged to contact a professional tax preparer or APWU headquarters for assistance.
IRS Form 1096 [form and instructions - PDF] is used by the local unions to summarize information for submission to the IRS about miscellaneous income paid the union during a tax year. It indicates the total dollar amount of all of the local's 1099 Forms (used to report miscellaneous income), as well as the number of 1099s attached.
It is used by the IRS as a Control Sheet.
(The sample form provided here cannot be used for filing taxes.)
IRS Form 1099-Misc [PDF] is used to report payments for all non-employee compensation above $600. It is used to show payments for people or companies that performed services for the union, and from whom the union did not deduct taxes. Instructions [st1099miscinstr.pdf] are provided separately.
The information for this form should come from a completed W-9.
(The sample Form 1099-Misc provided here cannot be used for filing taxes.)
Unions should use IRS Form 8109-B [PDF] when making payments for any type of payroll tax (i.e. Federal Withholding, Social Security and Medicare, Federal Unemployment, unrelated business income tax, etc.) at the bank or other financial institution.
It is important to record the proper tax period on the coupon, as hours of effort will be required to correct the problem if the wrong tax period is recorded by the IRS.
A better alternative is to pay taxes using the Electronic Fund Tax Payment System (EFTPS).
(The sample Form 8109-B provided here cannot be used for filing taxes.)
Local/Chapter Tax Exempt Status and How to Reinstate It
Recently the IRS has been updating its database and enforcing legislation passed in 2006 which requires the revocation of the tax exempt status of small organizations who have not filed report with the IRS (990) for three consecutive years. Prior to this statute being adopted, small non-profits did not have to file any reports to the IRS. The enforcement of this law has meant that a number of our smaller APWU locals have received notice that their tax exempt tax status has been revoked.
The bad news first. Revocation of your tax-exempt status means that your local would be subject to income taxes on your dues rebates and other receipts. Also, to reinstate your tax-exempt status, the local will have to pay a $100 user fee and file a fairly detailed tax form.
The good news is that you can have your tax-exempt status reinstated retroactive to when it was revoked. Which means your local will not be held liable for taxes during that period. The other good news is that you will have until Dec 31, 2012 to have your tax-exempt status reinstated.
To assist local officers, a PowerPoint presentation and the IRS forms are provided below.
This revocation of tax status information is provided for APWU locals and Retiree and Auxiliary chapters. If your local has received a notice for revocation of an ABA chapter’s tax exempt status disregard the notice because these ABA local chapters are not functioning. For active Retiree or Auxiliary chapters, the same procedures to reinstate the tax exempt status will apply.
If you have any questions about restoration of your tax exempt status, please contact Roosevelt Stewart in the Secretary-Treasurer’s Department.