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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Happy New Year!

As the days rush by and 2016 draws swiftly to a close, all of us at Gardner & Billing CPAs want to take a moment to wish you all a safe, prosperous and happy new year.  

In the words of C.S. Lewis, "you are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream" so, may 2017 be a year to achieve your goals and live your dreams! 

Our office will be open regular hours on Friday, December 30th and Monday, January 2nd. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

From Our Families, to Yours...

Wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday season, 
from all of us at Gardner & Billing CPAs!

Our office will be closed on Monday, December 26th 
in observance of Christmas Day.  
We will reopen with regular hours on Tuesday, December 27th. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Save the Date for the Family Business Workshop!!

Gardner & Billing CPAs are proud to help sponsor the 
Family Business Workshop
hosted by the Powder River Extension Office 

Family Business Workshop
January 24th, 2017 - 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Powder River High School Auditorium

“The Top Ten Mistakes That Break Up a Family Business!”
“We can prevent many daily aggravations and family business catastrophes if we learn from the mistakes of others. This eye-opening, fun filled presentation will highlight the top ten things families do that break up their business. We will discuss in-laws and out-laws, off-site family and estates, daily communications and important meetings. In this value packed workshop, you’ll receive take home tools to assist in the transition and succession of a family business. From conversations to contracts, from assumptions to clarification, from complaints to celebrations, we will open eyes and save fighting on the way to the funeral home.”

Presented by: Jolene Brown, CSP 
Family Business Consultant

$25 Registration per family business due January 17th, 2017
($30 at the door)

Register by calling the Powder River Extension Office at 436-2424
Payable to “Powder River Extension”, P.O. Box 200, Broadus, MT 59317
“Family business” includes spouses, partners, sons & daughters, in-laws – all involved in the family operation – you define!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Year-End Tax Tips

The end of 2016 is in sight, so you might want to consider dropping by the office of Gardner & Billing CPAs to see if there's any last minute steps to take that could improve the numbers on your 2016 return!  The following is an article by Daniel Hood from  that might give you some food for thought....

With Dec. 31 just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about next season – and to make any last-minute moves that might improve a client’s tax position.

With that in mind, here’s a list of tax tips for you and your clients to think about before the end of 2016, from the National Society of Accountants and others in the field.

1. First – what’s not changing: While President-elect Trump is in a strong position to enact his promise of lower tax brackets next year, it’s important to remember that the current income tax rates of 10, 15, 25, 33, 35 and 39.6 percent are still in effect for the tax returns being filed in April. The standard deduction amounts remain $6,300 single/married filing separately, and $12,600 for married filing jointly. The standard deduction for heads of households, however, rises to $9,300.

2. Deferring income:
If the president-elect does manage to lower and simplify the individual tax brackets per his plan, that means rates next year will be lower, so it might be worth it for individuals to consider deferring some income into 2017. That may mean getting a bonus in January, instead of December, or waiting to redeem a savings bond, or putting off debt forgiveness income.

3. Keep an eye on AGI: Since some tax benefits -- including itemized deductions, personal exemptions, and education and adoption credits -- get phased out depending on a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income, deferring income may also make sense depending on their current AGI.

4. New permanent incentives for individuals: The PATH Act of 2015 made a number of tax incentives permanent. For individuals, these include:
  • The American Opportunity Tax Credit;
  • The teachers’ $250 classroom expense deduction;
  • The ability to deduct state and local sales tax instead of state income taxes;
  • The exclusion for direct charitable donation of up to $100,000 from an IRA; and,
  • The 100 percent gain exclusion on qualified small-business stock.
5. New permanent incentives for businesses: The PATH Act of 2015 made a number of tax incentives permanent. For businesses, these include:
  • The reduced five year recognition period for S-Corp built-in gains tax;
  • 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements, restaurant property and retail improvements; and,
  • Charitable deductions for the contribution of food inventory. 
6. Max out retirement accounts: If a taxpayer’s employer offers matching, then maxing out contributions to a 401(k) is as close to a no-brainer as you can get – but even without matching, sequestering income in 401(ks), IRAs, Keoghs and the like is still a great deal.

7. Tax-loss harvesting: Even in the current bull market, a portfolio can contain some duds – but they can still be useful! Taxpayers with large amounts of taxable gains in 2016 may want to offset some of those by realizing losses on those duds to lower their overall capital gains exposure.

8. Be careful with mutual funds: Many mutual funds make capital gains distributions in December, so taxpayers will want to bear that in mind when buying or selling. That a fund is or isn’t planning a major distribution needn’t necessarily be a deal-breaker – but it may add to the eventual tax bill.