The county Reflections awards ceremony was held Thursday, 21 April 2016. We honored 133 art entries with Awards of Merit, Awards of Excellence, or Outstanding Interpretations. Of the 58 entries that Harford County submitted to state, 16 received recognition at state. Of those 16, 4 were submitted to national competition. Harford County had 1 National winner, an Award of Merit, which was bestowed on Elaina Piccicuto for her entry in Middle School Literature. Elaina attends Edgewood Middle School. Across Maryland the winners at National PTA were:
Outstanding Interpretation (1st place in the U.S., only one per arts area):
Award of Excellence (2nd place in the U.S., three chosen per age division in each arts area):
Award of Merit (3rd place in the U.S., up to five chosen per age division in each arts area):
Next year’s Reflections Theme is "What Is Your Story?"
by Harford County Council PTA Treasurer, Bruce Butz (former Maryland PTA Treasurer)
The North Harford Elementary School PTA was proud to support several recognition
activities surrounding their designation as a 2016 Maryland Blue Ribbon School.
The PTA provided funding for many of the North Harford
teachers to attend the official ceremony in Annapolis
earlier this year. The PTA also purchased a permanent
sign for the front of the school to commemorate the designation.
by Harford County Council PTA Reflections Chair, Carol Ellis
Reflections: And the Winners Are...
Local PTA News: A Blue Ribbon School
Meeting and training. Click HERE for dates.
The Harford County Council of PTAs, Inc. was established in 1939 as a federation of PTAs in Harford County. read more
National PTA has defined advocacy as the act of mobilizing individuals and local PTAs to work with Maryland PTA and National PTA to improve programs and policies that benefit our youth. read more
Betty Bull Award
Treasurer’s Corner: End-of-Year and Summer Work
by Deb Dawson
The Betty Bull Award’s Committee, comprised of Sandra Monaco-Burton (HCCPTA), Carrie Jareed (HCCPTA), Michelle Bowditch (HCCPTA), Stephanie Flanagan (Fallston High PTA), Deepika Cantella (Fountain Green PTA) reviewed completed, redacted applications during April. Each reviewer worked diligently to score their applicants on a rubric. Individual judges scores were then combined, and recipients of the Betty Bull Award for the 2015-2016 school year were determined. The chair would like to recognize their time and dedication. Twenty applications (an increase of 18% over last year) were received representing all ten (10) of the county’s public high schools for the first time.
The 2016 Betty Bull Award recipients, in no particular order, each receiving a $500.00 check, are:
The Chair, along with the Harford County Council PTA Board of Directors, would like to thank the following individuals for their time in presenting the awards and recognizing the Betty Bull Award recipients:
Harford County Council of PTAs
every child, one voice
by Harford County Council PTA Treasurer, Bruce Butz (former Maryland PTA Treasurer)
Congratulation on the upcoming successful completion of another wonderful school year, but the Treasurer’s job is not yet finished. Before you know it, school will be starting once again. Whether you are continuing in your position as Treasurer or new to the position as local unit Treasurer, the following could be completed before the first general membership meeting of 2016-2017.
Personal Property Return
Did you remember to submit a copy of the Personal Property Return to Maryland PTA? If your local has not filed their Personal Property Return (mailed in mid-February), while the April 15 deadline has passed, this does not mean that you don’t still have to file. It is important to check to see if this was done, if not, do it now, even though the local unit will probably incur some late fees, there is still time. If you need to complete this form, please visit the website www.dat.state.md.us to check your status. Click on Business Data Search and then Business Entity Information to view your local unit’s general information, personal property filings and your status.
You don’t want your local unit to lose your incorporation status and have to pay another $100 to be reinstated. If your local unit has lost its incorporation status, you are putting your local in direct jeopardy. If you find that your local unit’s status has been forfeited, please contact the Maryland PTA office at 410-760-6221 to ask for a Revival Packet. Maryland PTA has a very specific form for our chartered locals, it is important that the local unit NOT use the form found on the Department of Assessments and Taxation website. If you require assistance in filling out any of these forms, you can contact the Maryland PTA office by e-mail at email@example.com.
For additional information concerning the Personal Property Return, refer to the August 2015 edition of Maryland PTA’s Cash Encounters, page 42, or page 23 of the Maryland PTA booklet Forms and Instructions.
Effective July 1, 2013, all local PTA units in the state were no longer responsible for collecting and remitting sales tax on items sold at fundraisers. It is important that the local PTA unit continue to file and report $0 in taxable sales on your regularly scheduled Maryland Sales and Use Tax Return. Local PTA units are still required to pay sales tax on all items that they purchase, just as before, except for those items they plan to resell.
If items are being resold, the Blanket Certificate of Resale should be provided to the vendor. The Blanket Certificate has a $200 minimum purchase threshold. For resale purchases of less than $200, sales tax would have to be paid and then a refund requested from the Comptroller’s office. If a vendor uses their own Credit Card machine, sales tax will have to be charged to the customer.
A local PTA unit may apply for its own Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate. You are not permitted to use the School’s Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate. This exemption will eliminate any necessity to pay sales tax in the State of Maryland.
To obtain the Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate, local PTA units have to complete the current year Combined Registration Application (CRA), which you may find here: http://forms.marylandtaxes.com/16_forms/CRA.pdf. PTAs should complete all required sections and follow the Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate (SUTEC) checklist on page 4 for additional information required.
The checklist will help guide you in completing the application. Subordinate organizations, such as local PTA units covered by Maryland PTA's group determination letter must also provide a copy of the group determination letter and a letter from the parent organization on letterhead specifying that the particular organization is covered by your group determination. These letters can be obtained by contacting Maryland PTA. In addition to the 501(c)3 determination letter and letter from the holder of IRS group determination (mentioned above), the following information is also required:
The exemption will take approximately 6- 8 weeks to review and will be valid until 2017 when it will need to be renewed. Also, please note that two of your local unit officers will be required to provide their social security number for the application and will have to remember to have that number removed from the application when their term expires. This change can be easily accomplished with a letter to the department. For additional information concerning Sales Tax, refer to the August 2015 edition Cash Encounters, page 20.
Effective May, 1, 2015, your Maryland PTA insurance carrier became Knight Insurance Services, an insurance agency in business since 1922 and replacing BB&T. The cost of the insurance coverage for 2016-2017 is $204.00 payable to Knight Insurance Agency prior to July 1, 2016. A budget concern for the upcoming school year is an anticipated increase in insurance premiums for the following year.
It is time to take another look at the budget to determine if there is a need for any amendments that could be taken care of at your local PTA unit’s last general membership meeting. Remember that you may not spend more than your membership has approved. For additional information related to the Budget Review, refer to August 2015 edition of Maryland PTA’s Cash Encounters, pages 7-8.
It is time to think about who will be performing the financial review for your local unit’s 2015-2016 year. Are you willing to pay someone (an accountant or CPA) or a company to perform the review or will you use volunteers? Will you be able to find a person? If your review will be done by a committee – there must be at least three people. Please see National PTA’s Money Matters regarding what will need to be provided. According to Maryland PTA bylaws, each constituent organization must submit “a copy of its annual financial review to Maryland PTA” along with a copy of the Annual Financial Report by October 31 to remain in good standing. Please refer to Maryland PTA’s booklet Sample Reports, page 5 for a sample Annual Financial Report and page 12 for a sample Annual Financial Review.
In preparing for the audit make sure:
It is the Treasurer’s responsibility to forward all pertinent information to the financial review committee or auditor so that the review may be performed in a timely manner. And remember to present the financial review report to the board of directors at the first meeting following the review and again at the General Membership where your local unit’s President will ask that it be officially adopted by the body. For additional information concerning the Financial Review, refer to the August 2015 edition of Maryland PTA’s Cash Encounters, pages 29-31.
Next Year’s Budget Preparations
The summer month of July is the perfect time to establish a budget committee and prepare a budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2015-2016. Please include some carryover for 2017-2018. Remember that IRS requires that you use a gross budget and it must be zero balanced. Another IRS requirement is that you allocate money for leadership training.
When preparing your budget for next year, don’t forget about your local PTA unit’s Bonding, Liability, and Directors and Officers Insurance for the 2017-2018 school year. This will be due prior to July 1, 2017, and you should plan on another small increase. For additional information related to Next Year’s Budget Preparation, refer to the August 2015 edition of Maryland PTA’s Cash Encounters, page 7.
IRS Requirements.Obtain and prepare IRS Form 990EZ and accompanying Schedule A (Schedule B if necessary) if previous three years' gross receipts average more than $50,000. This is an IRS requirement because we have a 501(c)(3) income tax exemption status. This form is due by November 15 for PTAs. If you do not meet the $50,000 criteria, you will be required to file the 990N online although IRS will permit you to utilize the 990-EZ if your income is less than $50,000. You do not have to wait until the deadline to file. This is a form that can be completed as soon as the your local PTA unit’s audit is completed. Don’t forget to send a copy to Maryland PTA. For additional information concerning IRS Requirements, refer to the August 2014 edition of Maryland PTA’s Cash Encounters, pages 23-24.
Charitable Solicitations Requirements
Local PTAs with income of $25,000 are required to register, or annually renew, their local PTA unit’s registration as a charitable organization with the Office of the Secretary of State and submit the fee by the end of December. For those locals who filed the e-postcard for the 990N, but had income of less than $25,000, Maryland PTA and the State’s Comptroller are strongly encouraging you to complete the Exempt Organization Fund-Raising Notice. hose locals filing a 990N with gross incomes of $25,000 but less than $50,000 may elect to submit a copy of their 990EZ or complete the COF-85 located on the Secretary of State’s website. Please be sure to provide Maryland PTA with a copy of your local PTA unit’s submissions to the Secretary of State. It is not necessary to wait until the December 31st deadline to submit this paperwork. The forms have changed and can now be filed with the Secretary of State electronically, but a copy of the actual filing must be sent to Maryland PTA. For additional information concerning Charitable Solicitations Requirements, refer to the August 2015 edition of Maryland PTA’s Cash Encounters, page 20.
Bank Account Signatures
Make sure that your local PTA unit’s financial institution signature cards are updated. It is a good idea to have three officers as signatories. Reminder that signatories cannot be related, and the Treasurer and one other person must sign all checks. Never sign a blank check.
While the Treasurer is assigned the duty of being the custodian of the funds of the association and accounting for these funds, all of the officers and chairmen have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the local PTA unit is maintaining proper financial records, depositing money in a timely manner, adhering to the budget and complying with all legal and reporting functions. Adhering to the policies and guidelines established by National PTA, Maryland PTA, and the IRS will help to reduce or eliminate questions about the management of the PTA and its monies. All persons handling funds and all persons signing the local PTA unit’s checks are liable for the use or misuse of the funds of the PTA. Responsible fiscal management is a must in all 501(c)3 organizations.
The local PTA unit has the responsibility to account to its membership for all monies. Every officer can be held liable for debts incurred by the organization. In other words, if funds are unaccounted for, bills still have to be paid. Companies can take the PTA and its officers to court to recover the money due to them. Your bonding insurance might cover embezzlement, but the local PTA unit must show it established and followed certain procedures. To lessen the likelihood that this problem might occur, put these policies into place at once:
For additional information concerning Fiscal Responsibility, refer to the August 2015 edition of Maryland PTA’s Cash Encounters, pages 1-4.
Mandatory Training Required
According to your bylaws, all newly elected Treasurers and one other local PTA unit Board member must obtain the mandatory financial training offered by either Maryland PTA or their County Council PTA. This must be completed within 180 days of taking office. This required training can be completed at MD PTA Convention or at a Council PTA Training opportunity. Check both the Maryland PTA and Harford County Council PTA’s websites frequently for training session opportunities. Maryland PTA may also offer several all-day Financial Training sessions as will Harford County Council.
Good luck! Have a great summer and a fantastic beginning to the new school year.