During the June virtual Training Tuesday session, American Legion National Judge Advocate Mark Seavey discussed legal issues regarding the Legion's Constitution and By-Laws, trials and Form 990.
Throughout the training, Seavey reiterated the importance for Legionnaires to read the 2022 Officer’s Guide and Manual of Ceremonies, as well as their department/post Constitution and By-laws. “Departments should put their Constitution and By-laws online,” Seavey said. “This allows members to understand what’s going on, what say they have, (and it will) cut down on questions that we (national) don’t have any ability to control.”
He too reminded listeners that the Officer’s Guide and Manual of Ceremonies provides a step-by-step guide on the practice and procedure in the expulsion or suspension of a member in The American Legion. “If you have a question about a trial, read this (manual) first,” Seavey said, adding that there must be 15 days between the time you served the person with their charges and the time that the next regularly scheduled meeting for that post is. “It has to be 15 days; don’t come to me with 14.”
As for the Form 990, “If you do not file Form 990 in a three-year window, the IRS can revoke your tax-exempt status,” Seavey said. “That means for the previous three years anything that went through your post, you will now have to pay taxes on. I have seen IRS bills come due to a post for over $200,000.” If a post needs to contact the IRS regarding this form, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All recorded sessions of Training Tuesday, which are hosted by the Internal Affairs and Membership Division on the last Tuesday of every month, are archived on the Training Tuesday web page. A July Training Tuesday session will not be held due to the National Membership Workshop taking place July 29-30.