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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Montana Secretary of State Annual Report Filing

To conduct business in the State of Montana, business entities such as limited liability companies and all types of corporations are required to register with the Montana Secretary of State.  Following initial registration, you must file an annual report for your business entity each subsequent year to retain active standing.  If you lose active standing, you may find it difficult to obtain financing, order inventory or continue to conduct business.  

There is a $20 annual filing fee and reports must be submitted by April 15th.  Reports filed after April 15th will pay an additional $15 late penalty.  If the annual report is not submitted by September 1st, the entity may be involuntarily dissolved by the Secretary of State and you will lose your authority to conduct business in Montana. 

Filing your annual report must now be done online via the Montana Secretary of State's Business Services page.  Paper filing is no longer accepted.  In order to log in to Business Services, you will need a Montana ePass login.  If you do not already have an ePass account, you can visit their website and "Create an Account." For step by step instructions on ePass and filing your annual report, we recommend this tutorial.  If you prefer to have an authorized agent complete your report, you may need to sign an authorization form.  

We are happy to assist you with your annual reporting or if you have questions on the new filing system.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Tax Season Update & Where's My Refund

We're entering the final weeks of our busiest season at the office and counting down the days until the deadline.  

If your return has been filed and you're wondering when your refund will come in, the IRS and MT Dept of Revenue both have online refund tools. Use the following links to check your 2017 refund status.  
IRS Where's My Refund
MT DOR Where's My Refund

If we're missing information needed to complete your return, the sooner we receive it the better. 

If you're waiting on us to finish your return, we thank you for your patience as we make our way through the files.  You should be hearing from us soon!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tips to Keep Off Winter Weight

Tax season often has us battling the urge to soothe our stress with comfort food. Here's some tips to fight winter weight!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

2017 Entity Return Filing Dates

Just a reminder that the IRS instituted new entity filing dates last year, which means that 1065 Partnership returns and 1120-S Corporation returns must be filed by March 15th.  1120 C Corporation returns have a new filing date of April 15th.  Extension Form 7004 should be filed if you do not plan to file your completed return by the due date. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Livestock & Personal Property (Business Equipment) Reporting Deadline

Just a reminder that the Montana Department of Revenue deadlines for Livestock and Personal Property (Business Equipment) Reporting are March 1st.  Reporting forms for Personal Property were not mailed out this year and filing must be done online via TAP to avoid a 20% penalty on the tax due.  

We are happy to assist you with filing or with any questions you may have. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

MT DOR Personal, Business & Commercial Property Reporting

The Montana Department of Revenue has mailed several notices in recent weeks related to property reporting.  Many taxpayers have found these notices confusing.  It's important to know which of these reporting types apply to you and what your requirements are in order to avoid either unnecessary reporting or penalties for failure to report.  

If you received a letter that indicates you need to "report your personal property (business equipment)" then this is mandatory reporting and must be submitted online by March 1st to avoid a 20% penalty on the tax due.  Personal property taxes (separate from real estate property tax) are billed and collected by the country treasurer.  This tax essentially replaces sales tax on items such as business equipment, machinery, agricultural implements and equipment, furniture, fixtures and all other personal property.  

In the past, this reporting has been mailed to taxpayers including a list of equipment previously reported.  The MT Dept of Revenue is no longer mailing these forms and reporting must be submitted online via TAP (TransAction Portal) .  If you have not previously used TAP, select the sign up now button.  You will need your personal property reporting account ID (found at the top right of your letter) and your EIN or SSN to set up your account.  Select either Business or Individual and then Personal Property Reporting (PPR) from the drop down list.  More information and tutorial videos can be found at

If you received a notice that "commercial property owners will need to report their income and expense data"  then this is voluntary reporting. MT DOR requests commercial property owners to report their rental income and expense information in order to collect data and develop typical rent ranges, expense percentages and capitalization rates for use in income models.  They DO NOT use this information to value your property individually, therefore you are not required to submit this reporting.  However, if you choose to submit this data, I could benefit your ability to appeal property tax values in the future.  More information and instructions for submitting this report online can be found at

Gardner & Billing CPAs are happy to be of assistance if you have questions related to these reporting requirements or if you need help with the online submission. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

"A Visit to Ireland"
An experience of Irish history and culture 
will be presented by Jessica Malone at the 
Broadus Senior Center at 1pm 
on Wednesday, February 21st.
All are welcome to attend.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

News from the Montana Dept of Revenue on Tax Reform Changes

The Montana Department of Revenue and the Office of Budget and Policy Planning are reviewing the federal tax reform bill (HR1) and its potential impacts on Montana’s tax system. With HR1 being the most significant federal tax reform in 30 years it will take additional time to sort through the bill.
One key provision of HR1 establishes a 20 percent deduction of “qualified business income (QBI)” from certain pass-through businesses. The department has determined that the QBI deduction is not an eligible deduction for Montana individual income tax purposes.
Individual Income Tax Return Changes

We have made changes to our Form 2 for the new Federal Tax Reform. 

The following changes were made to the 2017 Montana Individual Income Tax Return (Form 2) due to the recently passed federal tax reform bill (HR 1):

  • The department voided and reserved for future use:
    • line 35 on Form 2 (Tuition and Fees)
    • line 14 (Qualified Mortgage Insurance Premiums) on Schedule III (Itemized Deductions) because these two federal provisions expired at the end of 2016.
  • Line 3 of Schedule III (Itemized Deductions) was updated to reflect the new limitation used to calculate allowable medical and dental expenses. Medical and dental expenses are allowed for tax year 2017 to the extent if they exceed 7.5% of the taxpayer adjusted gross income.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

IRS Announces Tax Filing Season & Certain Refund Delays

IR-2018-01, Jan. 04, 2018                                                                            
WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service announced today that the nation’s tax season will begin Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 and reminded taxpayers claiming certain tax credits that refunds won’t be available before late February.

The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on Jan. 29, with nearly 155 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2018. The nation’s tax deadline will be April 17 this year – so taxpayers will have two additional days to file beyond April 15. 

Many software companies and tax professionals will be accepting tax returns before Jan. 29 and then will submit the returns when IRS systems open. Although the IRS will begin accepting both electronic and paper tax returns Jan. 29, paper returns will begin processing later in mid-February as system updates continue. The IRS strongly encourages people to file their tax returns electronically for faster refunds.

The IRS set the Jan. 29 opening date to ensure the security and readiness of key tax processing systems in advance of the opening and to assess the potential impact of tax legislation on 2017 tax returns.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that, by law, the IRS cannot issue refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. While the IRS will process those returns when received, it cannot issue related refunds before mid-February. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2018, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return.

The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they should keep copies of their prior-year tax returns for at least three years. Taxpayers who are using a tax software product for the first time will need their adjusted gross income from their 2016 tax return to file electronically. Taxpayers who are using the same tax software they used last year will not need to enter prior-year information to electronically sign their 2017 tax return. Using an electronic filing PIN is no longer an option. Taxpayers can visit for more tips on preparing to file their 2017 tax return.

April 17 Filing Deadline

The filing deadline to submit 2017 tax returns is Tuesday, April 17, 2018, rather than the traditional April 15 date. In 2018, April 15 falls on a Sunday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday – April 16. However, Emancipation Day – a legal holiday in the District of Columbia – will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Under the tax law, legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the filing deadline across the nation.

The IRS also has been working with the tax industry and state revenue departments as part of the Security Summit initiative to continue strengthening processing systems to protect taxpayers from identity theft and refund fraud. The IRS and Summit partners continued to improve these safeguards to further protect taxpayers filing in 2018.

Refunds in 2018

Choosing e-file and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund. The IRS expects more than four out of five tax returns will be prepared electronically using tax software.
The IRS still anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, but there are some important factors to keep in mind for taxpayers.
By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February. This applies to the entire refund — even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC.
IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2018, if those taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return. This additional period is due to several factors, including banking and financial systems needing time to process deposits.

After refunds leave the IRS, it takes additional time for them to be processed and for financial institutions to accept and deposit the refunds to bank accounts and products. The IRS reminds taxpayers many financial institutions do not process payments on weekends or holidays, which can affect when refunds reach taxpayers. For EITC and ACTC filers, the three-day holiday weekend involving Presidents’ Day may affect their refund timing.

The Where's My Refund? ‎tool on and the IRS2Go phone app will be updated with projected deposit dates for early EITC and ACTC refund filers in late February, so those filers  will not see a refund date on Where's My Refund? ‎or through their software packages until then. The IRS, tax preparers and tax software will not have additional information on refund dates, so Where’s My Refund? remains the best way to check the status of a refund.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

MT Dept of Revenue Announcements for Income Tax Filing, Business Property & Livestock Reporting

Montana Department of Revenue has rolled out their new website and announced several cost saving measures that could impact the way you have traditionally completed your filings.


*2018 Income Tax Filing Options*


No Printed Booklets
To save taxpayer dollars and administer tax law within state budget constraints, the Montana Department of Revenue no longer prints and distributes income tax booklets.

E-Filing Options

We encourage Montana income taxpayers to file electronically. People can visit to find free e-filing options. New this year, Montana has joined the Free File Alliance, a coordinated effort by the IRS, state tax departments like the Montana Department of Revenue, and software vendors to offer free electronic filing options. This free electronic filing alternative replaces e-filing through the TransAction Portal (TAP) offered in previous years.

Download forms through MyRevenue

For taxpayers who prefer filing on paper, The department created a new website application called MyRevenue to help users easily find forms to download and print. MyRevenue provides a guided search, keyword search and a directory of all revenue forms and instructions. Users can access MyRevenue from the department's homepage at
For more information, visit, call (406) 444-6900 or email

*Personal Property (Business Equipment) Reporting*

Reporting forms will not be mailed this year and you will need to report your personal property (business equipment) online with TAP.

Personal property includes:
  • Business equipment
  • Mining and manufacturing machinery
  • Agricultural implements and equipment
  • Furniture
  • Fixtures
  • All other property not included in any other property class
Detailed lists of equipment by category can be found on the Personal Property Equipment List:
Furniture, Fixtures, and Miscellaneous Equipment
Heavy Equipment
Manufacturing and Mining Equipment
Farm and Ranch Equipment
Oil and Gas Equipment

Please note: Property that has been “depreciated out” for income tax purposes is still taxable for property tax purposes.
Any property you own, possess, or control at midnight on January 1 is taxable for that year. Please report your personal property in our TransAction Portal before March 1 to avoid a penalty equal to 20% of the depreciated personal property value.

One of our employees might visit your business, agricultural operation, or field site to make sure our information is accurate and answer your questions. 

Paying Personal Property Tax
The elected county treasurer in each county bills and collects personal property tax. The Department of Revenue does not bill or collect personal property tax.
*Livestock Reporting Deadline March 1*
The Montana Department of Revenue will be mailing 2018 livestock reporting forms January 8, 2018, to livestock owners who need to meet upcoming reporting and payment deadlines.

About 18,500 livestock owners who reported last year will receive reporting forms. All livestock owners need to report by March 1, 2018, any livestock they own as of February 1. Livestock owners can file online at or submit the hardcopy form.

"The department wants to make it more convenient for livestock owners to report their livestock and pay their fees," said Director Mike Kadas, Montana Department of Revenue. "The online system is efficient and secure, which makes it easier for livestock owners to do business in Montana."

Livestock owners who have not reported in the past need to report online or fill out a reporting form available from or their local Department of Revenue office.

Livestock per capita fees are due May 31. Livestock owners who do not pay their per capita fees when they report will receive their bill in early May.

For more information, visit or call us at (406) 444-6900.