Annual Post Data Reports
Posted on February 26th, 2014
The Annual Post Data Reports have been sent to the Posts. The forms must be completed and returned to the Department Headquarters no later than April 15, 2014. Failure to meet this deadline may cause the 2015 Renewal Notices to be mailed with the incorrect information (post dues amount and the post dues mailing address).
The information on the Post Data Form is what is used for the National Post Locator, MyLegion.org and the Department Bluebook.
Please make sure information is correct and legible.
Urgent IRS Notice
Posted on February 25th, 2014
Just this week, the National Headquarters was learned that the IRS has a new form required for EVERY enterprise with an EIN. That means all corporations, incorporated and non incorporated posts and tax exempt organizations. Whenever there is a change of address or change in the person in charge, the new person in charge must now file the IRS Form 8822-B. This is a basic form that looks like a “Change of Address” form. What they really want to know is the NAME of the “RESPONSIBLE PARTY.” This could be the post commander or adjutant or treasurer, or whoever has a level of control over the funds.
This form must be filed by MARCH 1, 2014, if you have not told the IRS the identity of the Responsible Party and then again within 60-days of whenever your Responsible Party changes.
Click on the following link to access IRS Form 8822-B http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8822b.pdf
VA Announces Rollout of Secure Veteran Health Identification Cards
Posted on February 20th, 2014
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the phased roll out of newly designed, more secure Veteran Health Identification Cards. The new cards are distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel.
In addition to being more secure, the card has been transformed into a Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC). Similar to a typical health insurance card, the VHIC displays the Veteran’s Member ID, a new unique identifier, as well as a Plan ID, reflecting the Veteran’s enrollment in VA health care.
“VA is committed to providing high quality health care while ensuring the personal security of Veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “These new identification cards are an important step forward in protecting our nation’s heroes from identity theft and other personal crimes.”
The VHIC is personalized to display the emblem of the Veteran’s branch of service. It also provides features that make it easier to use, such as the addition of “VA” in Braille to help visually impaired Veterans, and the printing of VA phone numbers and emergency care instructions on the cards.
The card replaces the Veteran Identification Card (VIC), which was introduced in 2004. As part of a phased rollout, starting this month, the card will only be offered to newly enrolled and other Veterans who have not been issued a VIC. Then, in early April, VA will begin a three month effort to automatically issue the more secure VHIC to current VIC cardholders. VA recommends Veterans safeguard their VIC as they would a credit card, and cut up or shred the card once it is replaced. While not required to receive VA health care, all enrolled Veterans are encouraged to get a VHIC.
Enrolled Veterans can get more information about the VHIC by visiting their VA medical facility enrollment coordinator or the website www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vhic, calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387) or visiting their local VA health care facility.
Veterans who are not enrolled in the VA health care system can apply for enrollment at any time by visiting www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll, Calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387) or visiting their local VA health care facility.
COLA vote not quite enough
Posted on February 12th, 2014
Commander says Legion won’t rest until all planned cuts to military retiree benefits are off the table.
(WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2014) — American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger says he has mixed feelings about a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives that partially restores planned cuts in cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) on pensions for military retirees. By a vote of 326-90 on Feb. 11, the House approved an amended measure that would restore full annual COLAs for most working age military retirees. However, it continues to apply a controversial COLA cut to future pensioners who first enter the military beginning this year.
“What the House did is commendable on one hand and rectifies an unfortunate earlier move to restore full COLAs only to veterans with disabilities,” Dellinger said. “However, this action still falls short of reversing the COLA cut for all eligible military retirees, current and future. Again, as in targeting the Department of Defense for sequestration, this legislation places the responsibility for correcting a financial catastrophe – that is, the unruly national debt – almost solely on our servicemembers. While we applaud the House for taking another step forward, we will continue to push toward a full repeal of military pensioners’ COLA cuts.”
The bill in question, S. 25, is not law and may never be. The House and the Senate are expected to study the measure in conference when the House returns from a Presidents Week break on Feb. 25. In the meantime, the Senate is considering its own measures to repeal the COLA cuts contained in a budget and deficit reduction agreement reached by Congress last December. Since then, The American Legion has led the charge, joined by many other veteran and military service organizations, in opposing any benefit reductions for military retirees.
Contacts: Marty Callaghan:202-263-5758/202-215-8644, email@example.com or Craig Roberts: 202-263-2982/202-406-0887, firstname.lastname@example.org. A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Dellinger is available at www.legion.org.
American Legion Centennial Celebration Website
Posted on February 3rd, 2014
The American Legion National Headquarters has created a Centennial Celebration http://centennial.legion.org. All Posts are asked to go to the webpage and register your Post to the site. The Department of Texas currently only has 9 Posts registered.
The American Legion Centennial Celebration is not only about honoring the past 100 years of our history, but also preparing to continue our legacy of service. Events and activities at posts all around the world will showcase The American Legion “Still Serving America.”
Learn, join and give on new Legion app
Posted on January 27th, 2014
A new American Legion mobile app offers several reasons to join the nation’s largest veterans service organization, along with a direct route to join, renew, donate or find a local post from any smartphone or electronic tablet. The app is now available through iTunes and the Google Play Store. Download the app here.
The American Legion app is the fourth in a series of mobile platforms developed by National Media & Communications Division, which also produced The American Legion Claims Coach app for veterans filing benefits claims, as well as annual apps to promote and provide information about the national convention.
The new app, introduced to market last week, includes the following channels:
- Our Mission: The Legion’s role in advocacy, troop support, youth programs and Americanism is stated in simple terms.
- How We Help: A brief explanation of the ways in which The American Legion fulfills its mission to assist veterans, military personnel, families and communities.
- Member Benefits: A listing of membership benefits, from discounts on hotels and prescription drugs to a one-year subscription to The American Legion Magazine.
- Find a Post: Search either by ZIP code or by simply allowing your phone to find your current location. American Legion post addresses, maps and directions are presented, as well as phone numbers and websites.
- Join: The app provides easy access to The American Legion’s online membership application platform and the ability join or renew using a credit card.
- The app offers easy access to The American Legion Charities mobile giving page and the ability to make fast, secure, tax-deductible donations.
- There is no faster, easier way to access American Legion Facebook and Twitter pages than through the new app. Under “Follow Us,” you can keep up with the latest news and information and jump into the social media conversation.
- A variety of photos and videos housed on the organization’s YouTube channel flow into the app.
- Anyone with a current membership number can easily renew with a credit or debit card.
- All three American Legion National Headquarters locations – Indianapolis, the Geiger Operations Center and 1608 K Street in Washington – are listed and mapped with contact phone numbers and website links.
Legion efforts influenced IRS DD-214 revision
Posted on December 13th, 2013
American Legion efforts recently were successful in getting the Internal Revenue Service to revise section 501(c)19 of the Internal Revenue Code requiring Legion posts to keep records on file of its members’ DD-214s – the separation document given by the military to prove honorable service.
The IRS had been fining Legion posts up to $1,000 per day for not keeping records of veterans’ DD-214s or other valid documentation. The Legion felt it was being wrongly targeted, resulting in the passing of three resolutions during its 2013 National Convention in Houston last summer that called upon Congress to look into the IRS’ field investigations into Legion posts, while lawmakers wrote letters to the IRS asking why inspectors were asking posts to provide discharge papers or service records during reviews of their tax-exempt statuses.
Earlier this month, Legion staff and legal representation met with four IRS officials – the only veterans service organization (VSO) to do so – during which time the Legion asked that the IRS agree to change its internal regulations and guidance to comply with the above three resolutions. The Legion explained that while it preferred to fix this issue administratively, rather than legislatively, both options are available to the organization.
The IRS complied. Effective immediately, DD-214s are only required if an agent “possesses information that contradicts documentary information provided (by the veterans service organization) or if the organization fails to satisfy a reasonable request…” If an agent requires proof of membership eligibility, he or she will first request four sets of documents before requesting DD-214s or other discharge documents.
The American Legion also requested that the IRS create a new position within the agency – an ombudsman serving as a resource for VSOs – and agree to appoint a VSO liaison in each district that will agree to attend Legion department conventions to provide training and personal assistance to any department that needs it. Types of assistance can include Form 990 completion, initial requests for nonprofit status, compliance measures, and any other IRS compliance or relationship matter with which posts or departments may need assistance.
Read the revised IRS guidelines – http://www.legion.org/documents/legion/pdf/dd214irs.pdf
IRS revises position on DD-214 requirement
Posted on December 11th, 2013
The American Legion recently reported that the Internal Revenue Service was fining Legion posts – up to $1,000 per day – for not keeping records of veterans’ DD-214s, the separation document given by the military to prove honorable service, or other valid documentation. The Legion felt it was being wrongly targeted, resulting in the passing of three resolutions during the organization’s national convention in Houston that called upon Congress to look into the IRS’ field investigations into Legion posts, while lawmakers wrote letters to the IRS asking why inspectors were asking posts to provide discharge papers or service records during reviews of their tax-exempt statuses.
The IRS has now revised its position on the DD-214 requirement in section 501(c)19 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Effective immediately, DD-214s are only required if an agent “possesses information that contradicts documentary information provided (by the veterans service organization) or if the organization fails to satisfy a reasonable request…”
If an agent requires proof of membership eligibility, he or she will first request four sets of documents before requesting DD-214s or other discharge documents.
Read the revised guidelines at www.legion.org/documents/legion/pdf/dd214irs.pdf
M1 Garand Ammunition Safety Message
Posted on May 31st, 2013
Please take a second to read this
A mishap occurred during the first week of May 2013 in which two M1 Garand Rifles blew apart. This occurred during the rendering of funeral honors at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery. As a result of this mishap two American Legion Members received serious injuries. This mishap was caused by the inadvertent use of .30 Caliber Grenade Cartridges instead of the .30 Caliber Blank Cartridges. The grenade cartridge generates more pressure than the blank cartridge and is not designed or intended to be fired with a blank firing adapter. The significant physical difference between the Blank Cartridge and the Grenade Cartridge is that the Blank Cartridge has 6 Crimps and the Grenade Cartridge has 5 crimps.
• Do not fire .30 Caliber Grenade Cartridge in the M1 Garand Rifle
• Only .30 Caliber Blank Ammunition Received from the U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command should be fired
• If an Organization’s Ammunition Source is unknown that ammunition should be inspected for the presence of Grenade Cartridges
If you have questions, please direct them to Mr. Robert Weissman, U.S. Army Armament Research and Development Center- (973) 724-3056, or email@example.com
New Texas Pin Available
Posted on April 15th, 2013
New Texas pin now available! Pin is: 1.125” X 1”
Please send orders and check to:
6428 Indian Path
San Angelo, TX 76901
• One pin: $2.25
• Five pins: $11.00 ($2.20 each)
• Ten Pins: $21.50 ($2.15 each)
I do not know what my status (health issues) will be for the Department Convention in Arlington or the National Convention in Houston so a mail order will be the easiest way to get these Convention Trading Pins to you.
Post 572 thanks you for your continued support.