I have spent some time talking about the basics of treasurer’s responsibilities. I have an entire post on how easy and straightforward our tax reporting can be. Now we face a process change for our section leaders. Can the grizzled veterans of finance keep the drama to a minimum? Let’s find out.
There are new requirements to be a section in good standing. Rebates ($) are only sent to sections that are in good standing. The section leaders with fiduciary responsibility must sign the section agreement every year. The agreement spells out basic requirements of a section, so each leader should understand them. The sections must also prove they have filed the U.S. IRS paperwork (if subordinate to SWE and not their college or university).
Why are we requiring officers to prove you have submitted your tax documents? Because of mismatched consequences. When a section fails to meet their obligation to report to the IRS for three consecutive years, the IRS revokes the section’s EIN tax exempt status. This means that the section is no longer tax exempt and could be required to pay taxes on income/donations received. The section leaders who failed are gone and don’t bear the consequences. The new section leaders do; reinstating the EIN is a time consuming and expensive process. By tying IRS tax reporting to annual rebates, current leadership has immediate consequences. Why does the Society care about this? Because a 50% failure of our sections to comply will lead to suspension of SWE’s tax exempt status as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Your success and the Society’s success are concurrent.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Finance Committee is a standing committee dedicated to fiscal interests within SWE. If SWE finance questions arise, please email the SWE Finance Committee at email@example.com or visit us during our office hours. Office hours are generally held monthly and at Annual Conference. The Executive Council does not have to go it alone with our SWE annual fiscal process.