Return of a Lodge
On or before the fifteenth day of December in each year, the Grand Secretary shall forward to the Secretary of each lodge sufficient copies of blank forms for its annual return to the Grand Lodge. Returns are required from lodges under dispensation as well as from chartered lodges. [16-1.30]. (This regulation amended, effective 1/1/2005)
Immediately after the first day of January each year the brothers who were Master and Secretary, or acting as such, at the close of the preceding fiscal year shall prepare, or cause to be prepared, two copies of the form for the annual return of the lodge for the preceding fiscal year.
The information to be entered on the annual return of a lodge shall be initiations, passings, raisings, endowed memberships, admissions, restorations, demissions, deaths, exclusions for nonpayment of dues, expulsions, and suspensions giving names in full with the respective dates. Additional information may be called for by the Grand Secretary on forms. The annual return shall be prepared on a typewriter or computer printer in the manner called for on the form. [88-2].
Both copies of the annual return shall be signed by the then Master and Secretary, respectively, and under seal of the lodge. The original or electronic facsimile shall be filed with the Grand Secretary, and the copy shall be filed in the permanent records of the lodge. (This regulation amended, effective 1/1/2006)
It shall be the special duty of the Master and the Secretary of each lodge to see that the annual return of their lodge for each fiscal year is filed with the Grand Secretary in time to be received by him, in the ordinary course of United States mail by the succeeding fifteenth day of February. [20-1.4].
The fact that the annual return of a lodge for a fiscal year is not received by the Grand Secretary on or before the first day of March of the succeeding year shall be prima facie evidence of the delinquency. [41-10.8; 47-9.2; 20-1.4].
1. The lodge shall be assessed five dollars for each day it is delinquent beginning March first, which assessment shall not be waived, abated, or remitted, except for good cause by action of the Grand Secretary upon written petition therefor. [5-1.1].
A. Should the charter be arrested or suspended, or the Master or Secretary be suspended, upon proper application, and on making due return and payment of its dues, assessments, and penalties provided by this regulation, the lodge or the officers may be restored to its former rank and privileges by the Grand Master, and he shall report his action to the Grand Lodge.
The Grand Secretary, as soon after the fifteenth day of February of each year as practicable, shall examine the returns of the several lodges carefully and correct all errors found therein, communicating with the Secretaries of the lodges whose returns are not correct to obtain the information necessary to make such corrections. The Grand Secretary shall prepare therefrom such statements and statistics for presentation to the next annual communication of the Grand Lodge as will show the status of the membership, finances, and other details for the use of the officers, boards, commissions, and committees in their work. The Grand Secretary may refuse to accept a return which is not properly filled out, in which event the status will be the same as if the lodge had failed to file its return. [47-7].
At the same time the annual return of a lodge is filed with the Grand Secretary, the lodge shall pay in full the amount shown to be due to the Grand Lodge by its return.
1. If after inspecting the return, it appears that the lodge has paid too much or too little the Grand Secretary shall promptly make refund for overpayment or call upon the lodge for adjustment of underpayment. [41-10.8].
2. If the return is made within the prescribed time but the payment therein required is not made within such time, then the provisions of this chapter as to penalties and assessments for delinquent returns shall apply for the delinquent payment. [16-1.16; 47-7].
No lodge shall have representation in the Grand Lodge if its annual return for the preceding year has not been filed and the amount due thereon with all penalties and assessments fully paid by the day the annual communication begins.