Reprinted from FASNY Magazine with permission from Tim Hannigan, General Counsel
The tasks of a fire company board of directors vary depending on the type of political subdivision that has jurisdiction over the Fire Company. For “independent’ or “contract fire companies that contract with a Town, City, or Village, the job generally entails procurement of apparatus, PPE, insurance and all other things applicable to firemanic operations of the membership. Conversely, fire company boards in a Fire District with no contract generally focus their attention on the social and fundraising functions of the membership, only. Regardless of the type of authority having jurisdiction, though, certain duties of the fire company board of directors are the same. With the end of the calendar year upon us, now is a good time to review certain annual reporting requirements of the board of directors and the timing for such reports.
- DIRECTORS” NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION LAWS 519 ANNUAL REPORT.
This report must be presented at the annual meeting of the fire company. Generally speaking, the annual meeting occurs contemporaneously with fire company elections. The 519 report is designed to provide a status as to the health of the corporation in terms of finances and membership. The mandatory topics that must be covered in this report and reported to the membership are:
- a) The assets and liabilities, including the trust funds, of the corporation for the fire company’s fiscal year;
- b) Changes in assets and liabilities, including trust funds, during the fiscal year;
- c) All revenue or receipts of the corporation during the fiscal year;
- d) All expenses or disbursements of the fiscal year; oration during the
- e) The number of members of the corporation as of the date of the report and a statement as to whether such number is an increase or decrease over the prior year; and
- f) A statement of where the names and places of residence of the current members may be found
The law requires that the 519 report be filed with the records of the corporation and entered into the minutes of the proceedings of the annual meeting. The Fire Company Secretary can either attach the report to the minutes, or record an abstract of the report into the minutes. The report must be verified/approved for accuracy by the President and Treasurer, the Board of Directors, or the Fire Company’s independent auditing firm.
- DIRECTORS” NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION LAW 1402 (F) ANNUAL REPORT.
This report is required to be filed by Jan. 15 each year in the County Clerk’s office. Most of the contents of this report can be taken from the N-PCL 519 report referenced above. Like the 519 report, this report must also be verified. The mandatory items to be included in the 1402 report are:
- a) the names of the directors and officers of the corporation,
- b) an inventory of the property of the fire company;
- c) a statement of the liabilities of the fire company; and
- d) a statement that the corporation has not engaged, directly or indirectly, in any business other than that set forth in its certificate of incorporation.
- FOREIGN FIRE INSURANCE MONEY (2%TAX FUNDS) ANNUAL REPORT TO 0SC.
On or before Feb. 28 each year, the Treasurer is required to submit a verified report of the receipts, expenditures and balance relating to the use and application of foreign fire insurance funds (2% funds) received and disbursed by the fire company. Notably, this report applies to Benevolent Associations as well.
- CERTIFIED LOSAP REPORT
This report, required by March 31 each year, applies those fire companies that participate in a Length Award Program. This report is made by the fire its authority having jurisdiction. The report must list all volunteer members of the fire comp any and identify who has qualified for credit under the award program for the previous year. It is required to be certified under oath.
- FIRE COMPANY IRS FORM 990 RETURN OF ORGANIZATION EXEMPT FROM INCOME TAX
Commonly referred to as the “990,”this tax return is filed with the IRS on an annual basis on or before May 15, unless an extension of time is sought and granted. If your fire company has total annual revenues less than $200,000 and total assets at the end of the tax year less than $500,000, you may be eligible to file Form 990-EZ, instead of Form 990. Continuous filing of this return is critical to obtain and maintain federal tax-exempt status under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.