Preparing and Finalizing Form LM-4 for Labor Organizations
Mar 6, 2020
Form LM-4 is for labor unions with annual receipts of less than $10,000.
If this applies to your organization, read on for some insights and pointers to reference while preparing and finalizing your labor union’s form.
The Form LM-4 is 3 pages long, making it the shortest of the labor organization annual reports (accessible here). The first page auto-populates based on the prior year form. Use Item 19 (shown on page 1) to provide additional information, such as explanations to the questions on page 2 or to inform the DOL of anything else that may be relevant (e.g., instituting an officer by means other than election).
Page 2 is the questions page. Here are a few pointers to consider when choosing your answers:
- Item 9 asks if there were any changes to the constitution or by-laws during the reporting period. If you select Yes, remember to attach two copies of your new, fully revised documents (not simply a description of changes). For local unions, this question is generally asking about your local union by-laws and not the constitution of the national or international union. Parent organizations submit constitution changes while local unions report by-law changes. Remember that unions should report changes only in the period the revised by-laws are effective which might be different than the period approved by your membership.It also asks about changes in practices/procedures. If you select Yes, you may need to file an amended Form LM-1, which may be triggered by changes to establishing membership qualifications or restrictions, levying assessments, authorizing disbursement of labor organization funds, and ratifying contract terms. Refer to the instructions to evaluate whether changes to practices/procedures during the year triggered this additional filing.
- Item 11 asks if the labor organization discovered any loss or storage of funds or property during the reporting period. If this occurred, answer Yes even if repayment was received or an agreement to make restitution occurred by year-end. Additionally, add a detailed explanation in Item 19, including a description of the loss and any means of recovery from the loss.
- Item 13 is provided to report the number of members. Total all categories of members (active, retiree, etc.) who pay any form of dues during the year except for agency fee payers and nonmember employees and enter in this line.
- Items 14 & 15 is provided to report the organization’s assets and liabilities. Be particularly mindful of the instructions for these liners. For liabilities, the instructions say to enter the total amount of liabilities. However, for assets, the instructions direct you to report the total value of assets. Most smaller unions have a checking and/or a savings account so these values should be reported based on their cash value. However, if your union purchased a laptop computer 2 years ago the cost at the time was $1,000; the value of the computer today is only $300; so you would report $300 for the laptop.
- Item 16 is provided to report total receipts during the reporting period. Remember, if total receipts are $10,000 or more, you should not be filing the LM-4.
- Item 17 is provided to report total cash disbursements. Along with the familiar expenses such as utility costs, office expense, payroll taxes and fidelity bond insurance, list the net payments to officers and employees (e.g., gross salaries less ay withholdings, etc.).
- Item 18 is provided to report the total payments to officers and employees. Unlike Item 17, report the gross payments to officers and employees (e.g., gross salaries before withholdings and other deductions), lost time pay, and any allowances paid. Also include disbursements incurred by officers or employees for conducting official business of the labor organization and disbursements which were for the personal benefit of the officer or employee.
Form LM-4 should be completed as accurately as possible. For the official instructions and to obtain more detailed information, please refer to the form instructions published by OLMS. If you are uncertain how to complete the Form or disclose unusual events or transactions that may have occurred during the reporting period, consult with a professional well-versed in the nuances of the Form LM-4.
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