Getting Started as Treasurer -> 10 Useful Tips
Congratulations on your new role as Treasurer! Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Questions to Ask Your Outgoing Treasurer
As you transition into your role, here are a few questions you may want to ask:
Please visit our complete list of Forms and Templates (scroll down to Treasurer Tools) where you will find samples to help you revise or create an
Permanent Records & Records Retention
Treasurer Records should be kept for 7 years. Here is a sample Treasurer Binder cover page.
Here is a detailed Records Retention Schedule.
Your Permanent Records Binder for each year should include:
Your Monthly Records should include:
Good Standing & Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Federal Income Tax Exemption
All Virginia PTA units are covered under the umbrella of the Virginia PTA's 501(c)(3) non-profit status granted by the Internal Revenue Service in 1986. This group exemption (under number 3229) exempts your local unit from paying federal income tax on money earned, allows donations to be claimed as tax exempt and also allows your unit to apply for Virginia Sales Tax Exemption.
In order for the Virginia PTA to include a local unit under the group exemption, they need to be able to provide the IRS (if asked) with 5 current pieces of documentation that are required for all non-profits. When you provide those 5 items to the Virginia PTA your unit is considered to be in "Good Standing" and is therefore eligible to request a 501(c)(3) Unit Verification Letter from the Virginia PTA.
You generally request your 501(c)(3) Verification letter in November. You can give a copy of this 501(c)(3) letter to any sponsors, businesses or individuals making donations to your local unit so that they can claim their donation as tax exempt.
Abiding by federal guidelines is extremely important to maintain tax-exempt status and ensuring your PTA is financially sound. Here you’ll find basic information about maintaining your 501(c)(3) status.
Virginia State Sales Tax Exemption
Local units need a 501(c)(3) IRS Determination Letter (from the Virginia PTA) in order to obtain an exemption from paying Virginia sales tax. The Local Unit Treasurer can apply for and obtain a Virginia Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption Letter from the Commonwealth of Virginia by completing an online application. Your Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate is renewed every 5 years. Virginia PTA is registered under a consolidated or "joint" registration for solicitation of contributions with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and local units are included under that registration. The proof of chapter 5 compliance sequence number is #26006.
Completing an annual fincancial review and providing a copy of it to the Virginia PTA is one of the requirements to keep your unit in Good Standing and maintain your non-profit status. Your treasurer records also must be reviewed when a treasurer leaves office – before the new treasurer takes control of the books
Your Financial Review Committee should be comprised of three PTA members who are NOT authorized signers on your unit's bank account.
Ideally your financial review should be complete within 30 days of the end of your fiscal year (generally by July 30th) and provided to the Executive Board to adopt. This allows the incoming Treasurer to fully transition into their new role and allows the incoming Executive Board to use the valuable summer months to prepare for the coming year.
Please remember, at your first General Membership PTA meeting of the new fiscal year General Membership should review and approve the financial review. The president and treasurer that are in office at the time of the vote should sign page 1. Please email the entire financial review report and any additional information from the financial review committee or auditor to firstname.lastname@example.org. A copy should be placed in the minutes and records for that meeting by the Secretary and the Treasurer should send a copy to the Virginia PTA by October 31st at the very latest.
SAMPLE SUMMER Financial Review/BUDGET PLANNING CALENDAR
All local PTA units that have gross receipts of less than $50,000 must file an IRS Form 990N (e-postcard). If the PTA's gross receipts are $50,001 or more, but less than $250,000, the unit may file a Form 990EZ. If a PTA's gross receipts are over $250,000 they must file a full Form 990. If you fail to file taxes for 3 years in a row you risk losing your federal tax-exempt status.
You should strive to have your tax filing complete as soon as possible, ideally before the new Treasurer takes over the books (so by July/August). At the very latest you must have filed with the IRS within 5 months of the 15th day when your fiscal year ends (generally November 15th).
Please provide an copy of your 990 filing confirmation/acceptance letter to the Virginia PTA within 30 days of filing by either emailing the receipt or a full copy to email@example.com. Additional information is in the Local Unit Toolkit. Here are Instructions for filing your 990N as well as instructions to retrieve the confirmation/acceptance letter.
Many PTAs recognize the benefits that gift cards offer and are purchasing them for use in their programs. Inherent with the use of gift cards, however, is the potential for misuse, and occurrences of such problems are increasing around the state.
What Are Some of the Ways That PTAs Are Currently Using Gift Cards?
What Are the Potential Problems with Using Gift Cards in These Ways?
How Can These Problems Be Avoided?