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Thursday, September 22, 2016

NEW FAFSA Deadline

Students and parents can now fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2017-18 year beginning on Oct. 1, 2016!

Things to Remember
  • Your student's FAFSA will need to be completed by the school’s priority deadline for priority consideration for scholarships and financial aid awards. For some schools this is Dec. 1, 2016.
  • You and your student will use completed tax information from two years prior when submitting the FAFSA. So, use 2015 tax information if your student plans on attending college during the 2017-18 school year.
  • If parents and students filed a 2015 federal tax return, they should use the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool to populate their income on the FAFSA. This will prevent having to submit a copy of the tax return to the financial aid office at a later date.
  • Newly admitted students who meet the Dec. 1 priority deadline will receive award notices before Jan. 1. Current students will begin receiving award notices before March 15.
  • Families who have experienced a significant decrease in their income since filing 2015 federal taxes are encouraged to contact the school’s Financial Aid office directly to discuss options.
  • Although borrowers will be able to accept PLUS loans earlier, the governmental website to complete the application, credit check and promissory note will not be available until the end of March. Financial Aid will notify PLUS loan recipients when the website is available.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Remembering the fallen...

A photographer documents the efforts of Ground Zero workers in the days after September 11th. Part of the Emmy Award winning web series, Remembering 9/11

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Major Deadline Changes for 2016 Tax Year

We want to keep you informed about some major changes coming in 2017.  As it turns out, tax year 2016 is the year of deadline changes!  The IRS has put several new and important filing deadlines in place for the coming tax season that have a BIG impact on both you and our office....

**1065 Partnerships**
New entity filing structures have been put in place for the 2016 tax year which has moved the due date of 1065 Partnership tax returns forward to MARCH 15, 2017. In prior years, 1065 filing was due by April 15th, so this new deadline means you have 30 fewer days to prepare your tax information.  Now is a good time to get your record up to date, so that you only have to finish the final few months to have your information completed. 

**1120 Corporations**
New entity filing structures have been put in place for the 2016 tax year which has extended the due date of your 1120 Corporation (C-Corp) tax return to APRIL 15, 2017.  However, it's still a good idea to have your tax information completed as early as possible! (1120-S Corporation filing date remains as March 15)
The filing date for 1099-MISC that reports non-employee compensation (NEC) has been moved forward to January 31st.  In previous years, the distributing deadline has been Jan 31st, but there was time to finalize and review, as the e-file deadline wasn't until the end of March.  This new deadline means there is an extremely limited amount of time to compile, issue, finalize and file your 1099 reporting.  With late and no-file penalty structures also changing (up to $100 per form), it is important for your business to remain in compliance. 

Form 1099 is required to be issued to individuals and LLCs who provided a cumulative of at least $600 in services for your trade or business throughout the year.  Those services may include rent, custom hire, repairs, payments made to independent contractors or payments to anyone with whom you split a portion of your crop or livestock sales.  You must also report payments (including those made to corporations) for attorney fees and veterinary services.  

If you want our office to prepare your 1099s, we need to start this process now in order to ensure timely filing, especially if we have to issue W-9s to request/confirm information from the recipients. Please take some time now to get us your updated records, or search for possible 1099 recipients to date.  We can then complete the record at the close of the year.  
The filing date for W-2s has been moved forward to January 31st.  In previous years, the distributing deadline has been Jan 31st, but the e-file deadline was the end of February.  Be aware that any changes, errors or omissions to the data received after Jan 31st will mean an amended W-2 filing. 

If you want us to prepare your W-2s and you have employee payroll information that has not been turned into our office on an on-going basis, we will need your payroll record immediately following the close of 2016.  If you have new employees that have not previously received a W-2, please provide the following information in addition to the payroll record:
·         Completed Form W-4        ~OR~     Employee Name, Address, SSN 

We hope you understand that the compiling, verifying and filing of reports, forms and returns takes time.  That’s why we appreciate having your information early enough to complete them for timely filing.   If you have any questions on these deadlines or processes, please give us a call at 406-436-2583 or 406-436-2855, or stop by our office.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

The office of Gardner & Billing CPAs 
will be closed Monday, September 5th 
in observance of Labor Day.  
Wishing you all a safe and happy weekend!