Click the image below to access the year-end finance presentation.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced it is offering up to $500 million through its 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates program. This program provides rebates to replace existing school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models. The online application window is May 20, 2022 through August 19, 2022.
To learn more about this opportunity, you can visit the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program website.
- Set EBD upload date
- Finish all the regular month HR stuff
- ATRS monthly
- ATRS quarterly
- State quarterly wage report
- 941 but don’t mail it yet
- 1099 processing (can stop after the work file is created)
- Clear 1099 year to date vendor file
- W2 create work file
- Balance w2’s (if you have a problem you may need to adjust your 941)
- Do calendar year-end process
- Close period 6
- Print and distribute 1099’s and W2’s before 1/31
- Finalize 941 and mail it before 1/31
- Transmit electronic files to social security and 1099 to IRS
- Transmit state taxes
- Do state income tax reconciliation report
- Later – ACA
APSRC has received several inquiries as to whether or not Act 914 of 2021 expands the tax-free exemption historically provided to public schools on purchases of instructional materials to now include the purchase of equipment required to make use of technology-based educational materials and software. It is my opinion that Act 914 does allow for the tax-free purchase of a Chromebook®, iPad® or other electronic devices required to make use of technology-based educational materials and electronic software. Act 914 went into effect on July 1, 2021.
Arkansas Code Annotated Section 26-52-437(a)(1)(D) in defining “Instructional materials” contained a specific exclusion for the equipment required to use the technology-based educational materials and electronic software, meaning sales tax was applied to the purchase of that equipment. Act 914 removed the “except for” and replaced it with an “and” to include, in the tax exclusion, the equipment needed to use the technology-based educational materials and electronic software already exempt.
Further, in looking at the Emergency Clause of Act 914, the legislature provided the following language to justify the emergency enactment of Act 914. “[D]ue to the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, schools in Arkansas have devoted an extraordinary amount of time, effort, and expense to purchasing electronic devices for use as instructional materials in blended and virtual learning efforts for students; and that this act is immediately necessary because its passage will prompt and enable schools across Arkansas to purchase electronic devices for the immediate need and benefit of their students.” Act 914.
Finally, in reviewing the State of Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration’s “What’s New in Sales Tax for 2021” DF&A describes Act 914 as follows: “Act 914 [E]xpands the existing sales and use tax exemption within Ark. Code § 26-52-437(a)(1)(D) regarding “instructional materials” purchased by public schools and public school districts to include equipment required to make use of technology-based educational materials and electronic software.
Because the sales tax exemption for the purchase of electronic equipment is new, school districts and charter schools may need to complete the SST Certificate of Exemption F0003. The certificate and the instructions on how to fill it out are provided on DF&A’s website.
A special thank you should be given to Senator Kim Hammer and Representative Brian Evans for sponsoring and passing this legislation.
For questions or concerns, please contact Michael Helms, Director of Legal Services, at 501-492-4300 or email@example.com.
The U.S. Department of Education’s recently updated the EESER Frequently Asked Questions document. The May 2021 updated FAQ document can be accessed by clicking here.
For districts that hold annual school board elections at the Preferential Primary on March 3, 2020
School districts that hold school board elections on March 3, 2020 will need to seek approval of the 2021-22 proposed budget at the December 2019 board meeting in order to meet the approval/publication deadline of January 3, 2020. The proposed 2021-22 budget of estimated expenditures should be prepared, approved by the school board, recorded in school board minutes, and published in the newspaper on or before January 3, 2020. It is suggested that the proposed budget be published at least one week prior to the legal deadline to allow for corrections if an error is printed.
As of July 1 ATRS rates have changed. Please make sure that you have entered the new rates in your payroll software.
The 2019 – 2020 Contribution Rates are as follows: Type of Contributions (Rate)
- Active – Contributory (6.25%)
- Active – Contributory & Noncontributory (14.25%)
- T-Drop (14.25%)
- Working Retiree (14.25%)
- Surcharge (2.00%)
APSRC offers a total Purchasing Card (P-Card) Program, which includes training; assistance with policies and procedures; and instructions for integrating with eFinance Plus. Sign up and earn an ANNUAL REBATE!
A P-Card is a financial tool which districts can utilize to save time and money. It is similar to a traditional credit card, but offers more control and security for the district.
Benefits to the P-Card Program
- Control how funds are used. Districts determine what merchant categories are approved.
- Control where funds are used. Districts choose the vendors with whom the cards may be used.
- Control when funds are available. P-Cards do not carry a revolving line of credit. They cannot be used until the district makes funds available. Districts set the available amounts and remove the remaining balances. Reduces paperwork and processing time.
- Purchase items or services without purchase orders and reduce the associated labor.
- The program can integrate with eFinance Plus.
- Customization. APSRC will help you set up the program to work best for YOU.
- Cards will be customized with each district’s logo.
- EARN REBATES. Districts earn an annual rebate on all purchases.
For more information, questions, or to complete an application, please contact Kathy Hanlon at 501-492-4300.
The Arkansas Department of Education has released a commissioner’s memo that provides clarification of Title I Methodology test submission requirements.
The new guidance states that the following LEAs are excluded from the Methodology Test submission requirement:
- Single School LEAs (K-12) LEA
- LEAs with only one school per grade span
- LEAs in which all schools are Title I participating.
Districts that are excluded will be required to submit a Supplement, Not Supplant Demonstration of Compliance letter. Click here to download the letter.
All LEAs will be required to upload either a Demonstration of Compliance letter or their chosen Title I Methodology into Indistar by October 15, 2018.
The deadline has been extended to give districts time to get the required signatures.
A copy of the Demonstration of Compliance letter and methodology examples are attached to the memo. Click here to access methodology examples.
Please contact Finance Director Ken Rich or any member of our finance team with any questions. You can reach us at 501.492.4300.