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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

5 Pieces of Life-Changing ADVICE from Brené Brown


Melissa Billing will be hosting the first meeting of the Building a
Better Broadus Book Club this evening at the office of Gardner &
Billing CPAs. Join us at 6:30pm for refreshments and to find out what
to expect from this not-your-run-of-the-mill book club. The first book
is "Dare to Lead" by Brene Brown. To get a taste of the kinds of topics
Brene discusses, check out this video of her in action...

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

New Book Club to Meet at Gardner & Billing Office

Melissa Billing, Chairwoman of the Building a Better Broadus Committee of the Powder River Chamber of Commerce, will be leading a new book club which meets monthly at our office. 

The first organizational meeting will be Wednesday, October 16th at 6:30pm

We hope you'll join in to explore leadership with the first book on the agenda "Dare to Lead" by Brene Brown. Discover how to inspire and be inspired in your business, family and social group as we dive into the tough topics that build community leaders.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Office Hours: Friday, October 4th

The office of Gardner & Billing CPAs will be closed from 11am-1pm on Friday, October 4th so that we may all attend the funeral services of a man that embodied the spirit of community. Ron, you will be dearly missed.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Building a Better Broadus Event

Tonight at the Powder River Historical Museum at 5:30pm
Stop by the Gardner & Billing CPAs banner to learn about the services we offer in our community

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tax Extension Deadline is Approaching

If you requested an extension to file your personal income taxes back in April, it's time to put it back at the top of your To-Do List.  

It's important to remember that an extension of time to file is NOT an extension of time to pay, so if you owe taxes, the longer you wait, the more additional interest you'll end up owing. 

The final filing deadline is October 15th or you'll also get hit with late filing penalties, so don't put it off any longer!  

We welcome new and existing clients to contact us with any questions you have!  We're here to help.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Start of 2020 UCR Registration Period is Delayed



If you operate a truck or bus in interstate or international commerce there is a federal law that applies to your business. The Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) program requires individuals and companies that operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate or international commerce to register their business with Montana and pay an annual fee based on the size of their fleet.

A "commercial motor vehicle" is defined as a self-propelled or towed vehicle used on the highways in commerce principally to transport passengers or cargo, if the vehicle:
  1. has a gross vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds or more;
  2. is designed to transport 11 or more passengers (including the driver); or
  3. is used in transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding.
To avoid delays, it is highly recommended that you register on-line. Go to https://plan.ucr.gov/ and follow the step-by-step instructions. Payments may be made on-line using MasterCard, Visa or e-Check.

Annual registration is typically scheduled to open on October 1st and registrants must complete UCR registration and pay UCR fees before January 1 of the registration year. After that date, the registration fee are still due, but a non-registrant may then be subjected to state enforcement action.

However, the start of the 2020 UCR registration period is delayed until further notice while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) completes its rulemaking process on fee levels for next year. A notice of proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on August 27.

Once the final rulemaking is published later this year, thereby officially establishing UCR fees for 2020, the UCR Board of Directors will recommend that states delay enforcement for three (3) months from the start of the registration period.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Full Time Hours

As of this week, our office goes back to regular full-time hours. We'll be open Monday - Friday from 8am - 5pm 
(closed for lunch between 12-1).

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Closed for Labor Day

The office of Gardner & Billing CPAs will be closed on Monday, September 2nd for Labor Day.  We reopen with full-time office hours which means we will now be open Fridays 
as of September 3rd. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Powder River County Fair

It's time for the Powder River County Fair! Drop down to the fairgrounds this week and check out the many activities and events happening this week in Broadus!



Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Audit Season

Have you recently been selected for a State Fund audit on your workers compensation policy?  State Fund conducts mandatory premium audits on all new policies after the first year of coverage.  After that, they randomly select roughly 25% of policies each year for an audit.  

If you have questions on a premium audit, we're happy to assist, even if we don't process your payroll regularly.  We can review your records ahead of time so there's no surprises and then handle the audit from our office so that you don't have to deal with the stress. So don't panic when you get correspondence in the mail with that dirty little word and don't hesitate to ask us for help. 

Here's some information from Montana State Fund related to premium audits:


Why a Premium Audit?  
The purpose of an audit is to ensure you pay fair and accurate premium for your business operations during the policy period. When you purchased your policy, premium was estimated based upon the type of work and the anticipated payroll you expected to have. A premium audit is conducted at the end of the policy period to obtain the actual business operations and records to determine your final premium. The result - whether a return in premium, additional premium due, or no change to your premium - is your assurance that you paid the correct amount.

Types of Audit
There are two types of audits. An on-site audit, also known as a physical or field audit, involves a visit to your business location by our representative to review your operations and records. A phone audit involves a review of operations and records over the phone. In both cases, you will be notified in advance to arrange the audit appointment. During the process it is essential to have someone familiar with your overall operations present to answer the auditor’s questions and/or complete any necessary forms. You may have the audit performed with your accountant or other third party, however they must be familiar with your operations, staff duties and be able to accurately answer the auditor’s questions.

Are you hiring independent contractors?
If you enter into an agreement with others to perform duties for you, you are required to maintain and provide the auditor access to the following records for each of them: 

  • A certificate of workers’ compensation coverage 
or  
  • An Independent Contractor Exemption Certificate (ICEC) issued by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
If you do not have documentation confirming others you paid to perform duties lawfully secured their workers’ compensation obligations, any payments made to these workers may be treated as wages when calculating your policy premium.  

To obtain additional information regarding Independent Contractors and your responsibilities as the hiring agent, go to: erd.dli.mt.gov/work-comp-regulations/montana-contractor or contact the Montana Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) at 406-444-9029. The web site contains search options to assist you with confirming current workers’ compensation insurance coverage and/or ICEC status.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Independent Contractor Exemption Certificate (ICEC) – Frequently Asked Questions



Montana Workers’ Compensation Laws for Independent Contractors from the Department of Labor & Industry

What are Montana’s workers’ compensation laws for independent contractors?
The law requires independent contractors to obtain either an independent contractor exemption certificate or self-elected coverage under a Montana workers’ compensation insurance policy. Refer to MCA, 39-71-417.

What is the purpose of an independent contractor exemption certificate?
It allows an independent contractor to waive all their rights and benefits that would otherwise be provided by a workers’ compensation insurance policy. If an independent contractor were to suffer a work-related injury or occupational disease while performing the occupations specified on the certificate, they would not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The certificate concludes the person’s status is conclusively presumed to be that of an independent contractor. Refer to MCA, 39-71-417(7).

What is the purpose of self-elected workers’ compensation insurance coverage?
Self-elected workers' compensation insurance coverage provides wage-loss and medical benefits to an independent contractor should a work-related injury or occupational disease occur.

What is the risk of hiring an independent contractor without an independent contractor exemption certificate or self-elected workers’ compensation insurance coverage?
It would result in the state treating the independent contractor as an employee of the hiring agent. This means the hiring agent may be responsible for claims related to work-related injuries or occupational diseases and incur penalties from the Uninsured Employers’ Fund. Labor agreements and issuance of 1099s do not make a person an independent contractor.

Are there penalties for making a person obtain an independent contractor exemption certificate?
Yes. Montana law prohibits employers from avoiding their responsibility to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for employees. An employer may not require an employee through coercion, misrepresentation, or fraudulent means to adopt independent contractor status or exert control to a degree that destroys the independent contractor relationship. An employer who violates a provision of the law is subject to a fine to be assessed by the department of up to $1,000 for each violation. Refer to MCA, 39-71-419(2).

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Form 2290 Heavy Vehicle Highway Use Tax Return


If you have a vehicle with a GVW of 55,000 lbs or more that will be used on public roads and/or is otherwise required to be licensed, then you must annually file Form 2290 Heavy Vehicle Highway Use Tax with the IRS. If your vehicle will travel less than 5,000 miles for commercial purposes or less than 7,500 miles for agricultural purposes, you are exempt from the tax but still must file Form 2290 each year. Federal regulations require all states to verify payment of, or exemption from, the tax before issuing or renewing vehicle registrations. Before a vehicle is registered, the owner must provide proof this tax has been paid. This is done at the time of licensing at the county or in MCS when registering under the IRP. The reporting period is July 1—June 30 and returns are due annually by August 31.

Filing is now open for the July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020 period and Gardner & Billing CPAs are here to help! We can prepare your return for either paper or electronic filing.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Powder River County Centennial Week! Wishing you all a safe and spectacular 4th of July celebration! Our office will be closed on Thursday and Friday this week and will reopen with regular summer hours on Monday, July 8th.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Office Remodel

Earlier this year we completed a remodel of our front office and it's been so invigorating to have a fresh new space. If you haven't been in to see it, we welcome you to stop by for a visit!


Thursday, June 6, 2019

D-Day Anniversary

On this 75th anniversary, we proudly honor all who fought in the name of Freedom on D-Day. Remembering the ultimate sacrifice made by so many on this day in history...

Friday, May 31, 2019

Summer Hours

We start our summer hours next week which means our office will be closed on Fridays during the months of 
June, July and August. 

We apologize for any inconvenience and welcome you to call or visit us Monday - Thursday during the hours of 8am - 5pm (closed from 12-1 during lunch). 

Have a wonderful summer!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Memorial Day


In observance of Memorial Day, 
the office of Gardner & Billing CPAs 
will be closed on Monday, May 27th. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

National Small Business Week


 National Small Business Week seemed like a great time to share this link to the IRS Virtual Workshop on Small Business Taxes. This workshop is designed to help new and small business owners understand and meet their federal tax obligations. Everything from hiring employees, managing payroll and offering benefits. It's free and available to watch anytime on the IRS website.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Community Clean Up Day

In order that we can help give back to our community, we'll be closed Monday afternoon on the 29th so that we can participate in Community Clean Up Day. We'll be around town working on projects if you need to reach us! Thank you for your understanding and to those of you helping to make Broadus a beautiful place to live!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Extension Payments No Longer Necessary for Valid MT Extension

Since Tax Year 2017, you no longer need to make a payment to the MT Dept of Revenue by the due date of the return to obtain a valid extension.

All taxpayers can enjoy a six-month automatic extension. As a result, the department removed the extension checkbox and the extension line on Form 2.

However, the automatic extension to file is not an extension to pay.

If you pay all or part of your taxes after April 15, 2019, you will have to pay interest at a 5 percent rate on that amount.
If you file on extension, you may still want to make a payment before April 15 to reduce the interest you will owe.
When making such payments:
  • Choose “Payment with Return” on the Montana Individual Income Tax Payment Voucher or “Return Payment” if you pay via E-check, and
  • Report this payment on line 7 of the “Other Payments and Refundable Credits Schedule” when you file your return.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

MT Secretary of State Annaul Report Filing

Are you a business owner in Montana? All LLCs and Corporations must file an annual report with the Secretary of State each year to maintain active authority to conduct business in the State of Montana.  Late fees apply after April 15th, so now’s the time to get your filing completed.

Montana SOS allows filings with no changes to previous information to simply search their business, click to enter an expedited portal and pay without having to log in.  To change business registration details, you will be required to login or setup an ePass account and verify your authority.  

Visit the Secretary of State website to file your annual report.  If you have any questions, please call the Business Services office at (406) 444-3665.