COULD THIS HAPPEN TO YOUR LOCAL?
The following statement appears on a local union’s web site: “Per IRS law, we are required to inform the membership of …. Local … that as of May15, 2012 this local lost its tax-exempt status with an automatic revocation penalty due to failure to not filing IRS tax returns for at least three consecutive years (2009-2013). The former treasurer did not file taxes for … local ….for at least 4 years.” Any national union can track compliance of their locals to ensure that one of them does not fail to timely file with IRS or the Dept. of Labor. In most cases, those two agencies notify the national union when there is a problem with one of the locals. But, as we all know, “stuff happens,” personal relationships can diminish any pressure on the local to comply, and if the union’s Constitution & Bylaws are silent then the union leadership lacks a heavy club to swing. Placing an internal obligation on every local and giving the National President power to act fast could help avoid these problems. (We deliberately omitted the identity of the local to save it any further embarrassment.) Don’t let this happen in your union because this is not the only union local that has lost its IRS tax-exempt status—not by far.