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Helping members in transition.

In October, TEI's Membership Committee recommended and the Board of Directors approved two changes to assist unemployed TEI members--extending the period during which an unemployed member may continue on the membership rolls and substantially lowering the conference fee charged its members in transition. In addition, the Board urged the chapters to evaluate their programs to help unemployed members.

Under TEI's By-Laws, an individual must be employed in the tax function of a profit-oriented enterprise in order to be eligible for membership. (Persons engaged in a public tax practice may not qualify.) For the past several years, however, TEI's practice has been to allow members in transition (i.e., between jobs) to continue their membership for up to two years ... specifically, the year in which they become unemployed and the following year. This relief from the active employment requirement is conditional on the member's paying his or her dues, but many chapters have complemented the Institute's policy by waiving of reducing meeting fees in respect of members who are temporarily unemployed.

During the Board meeting at the 2003 Annual Conference, the Institute's Membership Committee recommended that the "temporarily unemployed member," or TUM, period be extended to up to three years--the current year plus two additional years. This change is effective immediately.

The Membership Committee also recommended that, on a trial basis, the Institute lower the conference registration fee for members in transition. Specifically, the recommendation was to charge members in transition the reduced fee charged associate members ... $300 (as compared with $675). In making this recommendation, the committee acknowledged that the cost of attending the conference lies not so much in the registration fee as in the transportation and lodging expenses. It ultimately concluded, however, that if the reduced fee made it easier for some unemployed members to attend (to secure CPE or continue their networking), the change was worthwhile. The reduced fee will be reevaluated following the Midyear Conference.

Finally, the Membership Committee encouraged the chapters to consider whether their respective support for members in transition should be increased. For example, although most chapters have established employment committees, not all have done so. Chapters without active employment committees have been urged to consider ways to increase the scope and effectiveness of the committees. Similarly, chapters have been encouraged to consider whether there would be any benefit in establishing an unemployed member "support group." In addition, chapters have been asked to consider waiving local meeting fees (including pre-billing assessments) for members in transition or potentially subsidizing the unemployed members' Institute-level dues or a portion of an unemployed members' registration fees at Institute-level programs.
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Title Annotation:Recent Activities
Publication:Tax Executive
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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