This is the best plan to follow when you are faced with the need for a checking account (the bank needs a federal tax number and your chartered partner doesn’t feel they can help you accomplish the task). What follows are specific instructions for units (Packs, Troops, Posts) to complete IRS form SS-4 as of 2004 (Application for Employer Identification Number (EIN)). Since 2004 the IRS online application process has become more complicated. The responses listed below no longer match up line for line, but do provide typical SS-4 responses for the IRS site.
Several options are available for fast processing at the end of this document.
Name of chartered organization (legal name of applicant) and unit designation; e.g.: First United Methodist Church Pack/Troop 151.
Normally not applicable
“Care of" name (Unit treasurer, committee chairman, or chartered organization representative).
Lines 4, 4a
Mailing address, city, state, ZIP code.
Lines 5, 5a
Address, if different from Line 4.
County and state.
Lines 7a, 7b
Name of principal officer, grantor, or general partner (use chartered organization representative or committee chairperson, and their tax ID number. Please Note: If you do not have the chartered partner’s tax ID number, leave it blank).
Important. Before you fill in Block 8a, Type of Entity, remember that the national office issues charters directly to local chartered organizations and not to units. Units should ask their chartered organization for permission to use their EIN if at all possible.
Block 8a Type of Entity
Most units will check one of three boxes:
a. “Church or church controlled organization”, if chartered organization fits this description.
b. “Other nonprofit organization (specify)”, if unit is chartered to a nonprofit organization other than a church.
c. “Other (specify)”, if chartered organization is not a church or other nonprofit organization – just put Boy Scout troop, Cub Scout pack, etc.
Once equipped with your EIN you are well on your way to getting a checking account established, but the bank will want some additional documents like minutes from your committee meeting showing who was voted to accept the role of treasurer and who has signatory authority. Other items include a copy of your charter and an official print out of youth and adults. The EIN, charter, minutes and roster are the items most frequently presented to the person establishing new accounts.
Banks offer commercial accounts and individual accounts. Your unit account would not be personal so therefore it falls under a commercial classification. The bank employee working in setting up your account is probably accustomed to commercial accounts but may not have dealt with unit accounts. This is why they often will request articles of incorporation, bylaws, officers, DBA and a host of other paperwork that you do not have. Don't worry.
Explain that this is a unit account for Scouts and most banks accept those items discussed in the first paragraph of this segment. If your explaination is not accepted please ask to speak with the branch manager or officer within the bank that can help render a decision. Of course, The Sam Houston Area Council does not dictate bank policy, but we can help explain your situation should there be any confusion at the bank. Please ask bankers to call 713-756-3318 for support.
Incidentally, some banks like Compass Bank offer free checking. If you know of others please advise and we will add them to the list.
If you have additional questions please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org