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Starting the Year in Good Financial Shape is the Key
Posted On: Feb 22, 2023

Starting the Year in Good Financial Shape is the Key

Elizabeth Powell

January 17, 2023

(This article was first published in the Jan/Feb 2023 issue of The American Postal Worker)

Every new year brings new challenges – nothing we are not able to handle, some larger than we would like. However, we prevail and persevere nonetheless. Starting the new year ensuring all financial and legal requirements are fulfilled is the key. It keeps local and state affiliates from potential penalties and fines.

Compliance with Legal Requirements!

Local and state presidents’ and treasurers’ responsibilities include ensuring compliance with all legal requirements from the Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and State Workers Compensation Insurance.

The DOL requires local and state affiliates to have a Constitution and Bylaws; a fidelity bond covering 10 percent of liquid assets (National APWU strongly recommends 100 percent of bond coverage); elections at least every three years for locals, and four years for state affiliates; electronically file annual Labor Management (LM) reports; retain financial records for the current year and the last five years; and to preserve and retain Executive Board and General Membership meeting minutes.

The IRS requires local and state treasurers to electronically file the annual 990 report (990, 990-EZ, 990-N, including Retiree Chapters that handle their own funds). When processing payroll for local and state officers, a form I-9 (Verification of Employment Form) must be completed, W-9 (Tax ID for independent contractors if applicable), W-2, W-3, W-4, electronically file Form 941 (Payroll Taxes Deposited), ensure appropriate state and municipal or county taxes are being withheld and deposited, electronically file form 940 (Federal Unemployment Tax Deposited), and when applicable, issue form 1099 for non-employee compensation.

Lastly, it is a legal requirement to obtain Workers Compensation Insurance for your state. Local and state presidents should contact Annette August-Taylor, Executive Assistant to the Secretary-Treasurer, if you need assistance or training on any of the legal requirements, or Secretary-Treasurer training.

Understanding the Dues Check Off (DCO)

Dues Check Off (DCO) is the report local and state affiliates receive every two weeks. The DCO is the local finance income report. After the required National Per Capita dues are deducted, the remaining balance is deposited into the local or state bank account. It is important for local and state presidents and treasurers to review their DCO upon receipt. By reviewing it regularly, you are able to check for discrepancies, verify membership, as well as identify and understand the acronyms listed on the DCO. The following acronyms may appear on your DCO:

  • TR LOSS— Member transferred out of the Local/ State
  • TR GAIN—Member Transferred into the Local/State
  • CANCEL—Cancelled Membership
  • NO DED—No Dues Deduction
  • INCR—Increase In Dues Amount
  • SEP—Member Separated
  • NU EMP—New Member
  • RET—Member Retired

If you need assistance with your DCO, send an email to: or call 202-842-8505. Local and state presidents can also participate in the DCO Pilot Program. This is a voluntary program that allows the local or state treasurers to administratively input new member forms locally and perform additional administrative functions. DCO training is required to participate in the pilot program.

Secretary-Treasurer’s Conference and LM Report Training

March will be a busy month for Secretary-Treasurer’s training opportunities. Register early for the Secretary- Treasurer’s Conference, as space is limited. We recommend that local and state presidents and treasurers attend at least one Secretary-Treasurer’s conference per year. Dates and times for virtual LM report training will be provided to assist local and state treasurers to prepare to electronically file the required DOL LM reports. Please do not miss these training opportunities.

Mark Your Calendar!

March 31, 2023 is the deadline to electronically file DOL LM reports, and May 15, 2023 is the deadline to electronically file IRS 990 reports if your fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2022. NO EXCEPTIONS! 

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