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
Youth’s Benefit Elementary PTA and the YBES Gators have been busy! We began the school year with our first ever Back to School Social. Students, parents and staff members had a chance to get to know one another, complete a scavenger hunt for prizes, meet our mascot, Al E. Gator, and chat with our administrators. It was a great way to start the year for both new and returning students. In September, the PTA, in partnership with the Educational Foundation, held the 2nd annual Gatorthon. Students were sponsored and incentivized as they walked, jogged, and sprinted around the campus. They had a great time, got some exercise, and hopefully understood the importance of “showing up” to support the people and places we care about. We would like to thank all who helped us to make this vital fundraiser possible. With the generous donations of many YBES families and friends, we will be able to provide field trips, assemblies, technology, and much more. Other activities the Gators have enjoyed were Family Book Fair Day, Fall Bingo Night, and the National PTA Reflections Program. These long-standing YBES PTA traditions are always a great time and we thank our volunteers for coordinating the events. Thanks to our Box Tops Committee, who wrapped up the first contest with over 8,000 Box Tops collected and a $2,500 prize awarded to our PTA on behalf of one of our families! In November, we hosted our PTA Chalk Talk, where the guidance counselors provided parents with valuable resources on study skills and learning styles. In November and December they celebrated the holidays and Winter Break with a brand new event, the much anticipated Snowflake Ball. There was plenty of fun, games and yes, dancing! Our incredible volunteers and dedicated staff members and families have made this a fantastic year so far!
by Harford County Council PTA President, Sandra Monaco-Burton
From the Desk of the President...
Founder's Day will be March 10. Each unit should plan to send at least one representative to the event. Children are welcome (and we recognize their attendance during the evening). The superintendent, Board of Ed members, senior HCPS administrators, and representatives from county government will be at the dinner to celebrate YOUR achievements. Please submit any nominees for the MDPTA Life Achievement awards as soon as possible.
If you are following the school calendar, thanks to the snow days school will now be in session for March 21 and 22. If you applied for the 90-day waiver for your IRS 990 form (originally due on November 15), that February deadline is approaching fast! Don't forget to send a copy of the completed 990 form to Maryland PTA. For those of you with elections in May, do not forget to form your nominating committees no later than March (per our bylaws, committee should be formed no less than 2 months prior to your election). Also, please note that ALL positions are open at the end of a term, even if the officer currently holding a position wants to return. For example, if you have one-year terms, every office is open at the end of the year. A person may be able hold an office for two or three consecutive years, but they still need to "win" the election each year. (I know, I know most of us have trouble recruiting candidates, and there may be only a single interested candidate for a given position, but we must follow our bylaws.) I have seen a few announcements where PTAs are recruiting candidates only for those positions where the current officer is moving on. On that note: ALL HCCPTA officer positions are open, and election will be held at the general membership meeting on April 21. Please email Nominating Committee Chair Robert Reschly if you would like job descriptions or to nominate a candidate. We would love to hear your ideas on who should be working at the Council PTA level.
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Treasurer’s Corner: Fiscal Responsibilities
The year is rapidly winding down. June will be here before you know it. Let’s recap some important document requirements. Did you:
And finally a reiteration of the Sales Tax situation: PTAs are not collecting sales tax on items they sell unless the customer is paying the vendor directly by way of check, vendor’s website, or vendor’s credit card.
HB0232: “This bill exempts from the State sales and use tax sales made by a parent-teacher organization or other organization within an elementary or secondary school in the State or within a local school system in the State.” Passed July 1, 2013.
First Option: For now, in lieu of paying sales tax to the vendor, issue them a Blanket Certificate of Resale (located in Cash Encounters and the Sample Reports booklet). The use of the Certificate is limited to a $200 minimum purchase from the vendor. It is required that you have a Sales and Use Tax License. You will need to continue filing zero on your scheduled sales and use tax reports.
Second option: Pay the vendor the sales tax and then request a refund of that sales tax from the State on Maryland. This option would only be used for purchases under $200 or for businesses that will not accept the Blanket Certificate of Resale and only for items that the PTA is going to re-sell. You will need to continue filing zero on your scheduled sales and use tax reports. The State Comptroller's Office has posted some Frequently Asked Questions about Sales by Parent-Teacher Organizations and Other Organizations. Questions regarding these FAQs, or questions in general should be directed to the Comptroller's Office Taxpayer Center by calling 410-260-7980. Go to
http://taxes.marylandtaxes.com/Business_Taxes/Taxpayer_Assistance/Business_Tax_FAQs/Sales_and_Use_Tax/Parent_Teacher_Organizations_FAQs/ for more information. To clarify the Third Party section of the FAQ, the State Comptroller’s office states if the PTA is the point of sale, they are selling the items and the money is going into the PTA account, no sales tax would need to be collected. If the company is the point of sale and is collecting the money directly from the consumer, sales tax should be collected....The company, in this case, would be making a "donation" to the PTA with the % of sales agreed upon. The PTA should continue to use the Blanket Certificate of Resale until the State Comptroller has something more tangible to offer.
Third Option: Apply for your 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, PTAs have to complete the current year Combined Registration Application (CRA), which you may find here: http://forms.marylandtaxes.com/14_forms/CRA.pdf. After January 1, 2014, the 2014 CRA will be required and will be available at www.marylandtaxes.com. 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 PTAs 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) letter and letter from holder of IRS group determination, 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 be up for renewal. Also, please note that two individual 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 can be accomplished with a letter to the department.
Another reminder that if your local unit had gross receipts of more than $50,000, you are required to file IRS Form 990EZ and the accompanying Schedule A (Schedule B, C & G if necessary). This form was due by November 15. If you need to file this form, it is not too late. The fine is only $20/day. If your gross receipts were $50,000 or less, you were required to go on line at www.irs.gov and file a 990N with IRS. You may file a 990-EZ if you wish even if your gross income is less than $50,000. The Office of the Secretary of State is also requiring that you register as a charitable organization with them, or if already registered you must renew that registration by completing the Annual Renewal of Registration form and submitting the fee by the end of December. You must supply a copy of your 990-EZ. If you were not required to file a 990EZ with IRS, it will then be necessary to complete a COF-85 to satisfy the requirement. If your gross income was under $25,000, you should file the Exempt Organization Fund Raising Notice with the Secretary of State. See the Maryland PTA Forms & Instructions booklet. According to Maryland PTA Bylaws, you were required to submit the treasurer’s Annual Financial Report and the Financial Review Report for 2014-2015, reviewed by an auditing or review committee or an auditor, to Maryland PTA. This was due at the end of October. Please do not send a copy of this to HCCPTA.
A reminder also that payment for memberships sold should be made to Maryland PTA ($4.25/member) and to HCCPTA ($.50/member) by the end of each month. Don’t get confused. Pay them at the same time. Please do not pay Maryland PTA for any membership that you do not sell as they do not issue refunds. You must remit your membership dues promptly. Not reporting to Maryland PTA or HCCPTA the portion of the dues you collected on their behalf is withholding money that rightfully belongs to them and in the view of IRS is considered fraud. If you need to submit an IRS 1099 MISC for those individuals for whom you paid $600 or more this calendar year, you should order this form and the accompanying IRS form 1096 remittal form during December as the 1099 must go to the individual before the end of January. Please see Cash Encounters for additional information on this topic.
News from Youth’s Benefit PTA
by Kristen Loewe
News from North Harford Elementary School PTA
Edited by Tracy Worley and Sandra Monaco-Burton
Bruce Butz, Deborah Dawson, Kristin Loewe, Sandra Monaco-Burton, and Tracy Worley
For the past several years, the students at North Harford Elementary (NHES) in Pylesville have looked forward to a popular fall fundraising event, NHES Football Training Camp. This year was no different. Similar to a walk-a-thon like Laps for Learning, students solicited donations from family and friends before participating in a variety of non-contact football drills. On October 9 NHES students dressed in their favorite team colors and jerseys (lots of Ravens purple) and participated in 12 separate football drills. Parents and family members attended to help cheer on their favorite players, and students even had a visit from the Oriole Bird and Poe from the Baltimore Ravens, both of whom stayed to cheer on our students for the 40-yard race at the end of Training Camp! The entire North Harford community supported this year's event and sixteen local businesses sponsored t-shirts that were given to students who raised a minimum amount of donations. The 4th grade really embraced the Ravens spirit this year and decorated their classes and common area in purple and black, resulting in a three-way tie for the most-spirited class. This year's event helped to raise $9,000 that will be used to fund field trips and other activities for the students. Unlike other fundraisers that require students to sell items, all donations to NHES Football Training Camp are 100% profit for the school. In addition, it is a wonderful way for students, parents, and teachers to reinforce the importance of teamwork and physical fitness.
by Harford County Council PTA Treasurer, Bruce Butz
by Deborah Dawson
Harford County Council of PTAs
every child, one voice