Electronic filing for LM-3 and LM-4 filers is now easier and more convenient than ever. Since 2004, Form LM-2 filers (unions with $250,000 or more in annual receipts) have been required to file their annual report electronically. Electronic filing has been and still is an option for Form LM-3 and LM-4 filers. Until recently however, electronic filers had to use cumbersome third party software, and purchase expensive digital signatures to file their annual report. We at the Office of Labor-Management Standards heard many complaints regarding the costs and difficulties of this system, and relatively few LM-3 and -4 filers used it.
OLMS has replaced this system with a free, secure, web-based electronic filing system called the Electronic Forms System (EFS), which requires no digital signature purchase and only a web browser and Internet connection to use. It has been available to LM-2 filers since October 1, 2010, and to LM-3 and -4 filers since May 1, 2011. With many LM-3 and -4 reports due before the end of March, this is the perfect time to register for and use EFS to file your annual report.
EFS is ideal if you are a smaller union with a computer and Internet access. The system features built-in, context-sensitive help, eliminating the need to flip through paper instructions. Key information from the previous year’s form is pre-filled into your EFS form. EFS has built-in math functions so you needn’t worry about rounding or math errors. Before you file with EFS, a verification step identifies all incomplete entries and errors. Once you transmit the form, it is received and posted on-line the same day, which greatly reduces the chances of late filing. You can easily save a copy of the report electronically for your records. EFS will save you time, paper and money.
To learn more about EFS, take a tutorial on how to register and use it, please visit http://www.dol.gov/olms/regs/compliance/efs/efshelp.htm.
John Lund is the Director of the Office of Labor-Management Standards.