By: Ryan Taylor, CPA, Audit Manager | email
How much do you value the security of your data and documents? Is the email you send or receive secure? We at Gardiner Thomsen understand how important that security is to you, which is why we have recently put into place a new method of exchanging important documents and secure data with our clients.
NetClient Portal is a secure way for us and our clients to share information without the use of email. We now have the ability to upload documents to an online portal that is associated with a particular client account. Our clients will be provided secure access to this portal that will enable them to access the documents or files that we have uploaded to them. In return, our clients will also be able to upload documents to their portal that can then be accessed by our staff. We can exchange sensitive documents with you or files that may be too large to go through normal email exchanges.
We will be asking each of our clients to provide a person that we will setup with access to the online portal. A welcoming letter will be emailed out that will provide steps to setup an account and explain some of the features that will be used. We hope that our clients will value this new secure method of exchanging information and documents with us.
By: Dave Thomsen, CPA, Partner| email
Dave Thomsen celebrated his 30 year anniversary with Gardiner Thomsen on June 1st this year. However, he began working with Dan Gardiner’s previous firm in 1977….but who’s counting? Dave joined Gardiner & Company in 1983 and became partner in 1988. In recognition of Dave’s contributions and his importance to the company we became Gardiner Thomsen in 2003. Dave serves as the partner at our Lincoln office, specializing in farmer cooperatives and agriculture-related businesses. He is a licensed CPA in the states Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas.
Dave is a Cornhusker fan which comes as no surprise being a University of Nebraska graduate. In the fall, he cheers on the Green Bay Packers, and it is all about the Yankees in the spring. He is married to Sally and they have a son, Scott (and his wife Liz), and a daughter, Sarah. Gardiner Thomsen is fortunate to have a partner like Dave, and we look forward to the next 30 years…just kidding Dave!
By: Chuck Telk, CPA, Partner| email
The IRS continues to send out notices to cooperatives, indicating a problem with EIN’s and SSN’s on 1099’s issued for prior tax years. If not handled in a timely manner, these will eventually result in a penalty assessment, and in some cases, a direct levy of funds.
If you receive any IRS correspondence, please promptly forward them to our Des Moines office. In the case of these proposed potential penalty assessments, simple corrective action can usually avert the assessment of the penalty. Corrective action includes sending the patron or recipient a “B” notice and a W-9 form, which must be done within 15 days of the date of the IRS notice. The B notice must ask the patron or recipient to legibly complete the W-9 and return it to the cooperative. The notice must threaten back-up withholding if the W-9 is not returned to the cooperative. The B notice must be addressed to the patron or recipient identified by the IRS letter. Because of this, a generic letter is not sufficient.
With our response to the IRS, we will include 2 copies of these B notices along with a description of the remedial action taken. This is the prescribed IRS action to take to avoid the imposition of the penalty. In my experience, it works about 50% of the time. Further action is often necessary, including additional correspondence as well as direct telephone calls to the IRS, in some cases. While frustrating, persistence will pay off resulting in no assessment of penalty, and in such cases where a levy has been applied, the seized funds will be refunded. The best chance for a favorable outcome in the least amount of time is to forward any IRS correspondence to our Des Moines office, attention: Chuck Telk, upon receipt.
Gardiner Thomsen has joined the social media world of Facebook and Twitter. We hope that you choose to “follow” us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook. We love where we work and want you to know why! So far this spring the staff here at GT has had barbeques every Friday, a happy hour event at a local West Des Moines bar and even put in a garden with a wide array of vegetables…and we have pictures to prove it! We want to give you a look behind the scenes of this company. On our Twitter and Facebook page you will find posts ranging from important articles, funny photos of staff/managers/partners, and even a photo of Dan, Dennis and Mark Gardiner from early 1960’s for #TBT (throw back Thursday).
We are excited about this marketing tool and hope it helps us to stay connected with our clents. Our goal is to help you stay up to date on GT events as well as gain insight to the accounting industry as it applies to your business. If you (or your company) are on Facebook or Twitter, we would love to get connected! You can access easy-click links to our social media pages from our website www.gardinercpa.com, or simply search for “Gardiner Thomsen” from within the social media platform.
Did you know?
- Gardiner Thomsen has been around since 1964
- We have 37 employees and 4 offices throughout Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota
- We audit over 150 organizations, including:
- Over 100 farmer cooperatives
- Over 25 credit unions
- Over 10 local governments
- Our cooperative clients are spread across 7 Midwest states and California
- Our partners have over 175 years of combined experience
We may be quick to brag about the number of large organizations we work with; but we proudly serve all of our clients, regardless of size! Your continued patronage of our firm has allowed us to continue to grow. We believe our continued growth, focus on our specific client concentrations and retention of key staff have contributed to our success. We are very appreciative of your confidence in our firm and hope we continue to earn that confidence, as we strive to deliver the highest level of valuable service to your organizations.
By: Gardiner Thomsen CPAs | email
What we’ve seen in 2011:
- Most clients were more profitable in 2011 compared to 2010, and many reported record earnings. Higher commodity prices along with increased or steady grain and agronomy volumes meant sales dollars were also considerably higher in 2011.
- A range of margins in 2011: averages slightly higher than 2010; some of the best grain margins ever; agronomy margins as good as or better than past years and closer to historical averages.
- Excellent fall fertilizer season increased volumes, gross margins, and local savings.
- With higher grain prices, producers sold and storage income decreased, while a shorter, drier harvest season led to substantially lower and more “normal” grain drying revenues.
- With higher commodity prices, borrowing was up, contributing to increased interest expense.
- “Speed and space” construction continued. Many clients built grain storage at multiple locations.
- The increased presence of OSHA, and the costs associated with compliance.
- Increased use of accelerated depreciation rules to reduce current income tax liabilities, as well as more clients allocating the gross domestic production deduction (Section 199) to patrons as part of their year-end patronage allocations.
- Bigger, stronger balance sheets.
What we expect to see in 2012:
- Continued investments in grain and fertilizer facilities, the shuttering of inefficient/ineffective facilities, and increased OSHA compliance costs
- Less aggressive book depreciation, continued aggressive use of bonus depreciation, and increased use of non-qualified patronage allocations
- A slow-down of member equity revolvements/retirements, and the re-balancing of member equity and permanent equity (retained earnings)
- Use of Section 199 as a means of enumerating the member (allocating the deduction to the member)
- Continued efforts to mitigate price risk in agronomy
- More joint ventures, strategic alliances, and ramping up of merger talks again
- More difficulty in finding and retaining experienced staff (management, grain, agronomy, feed, energy and accounting)
- More fraud, larger companies, more employees, less loyalty, more perceived opportunity and rationalization
By: Gardiner Thomsen CPAs | email
Concerned about global warming and other environmental challenges, many businesses are going “green.” Besides being socially responsible, employers may derive some tax benefits.
- Mass transit passes – Employers may receive tax incentives for offering employees mass transit passes.
- Carpooling – Encourage employees to carpool in a company-owned “commuter highway vehicle.” As with mass transit passes, the maximum tax-free monthly benefit for 2008 is $115 per employee. Certain qualifications apply.
- Telecommuting – Although there is no specific telecommuting tax break for employers, employees may qualify for home office deductions.
- Hybrid vehicles – A company is entitled to a tax credit for buying hybrid vehicles or certain other vehicles using alternative fuel sources. The credit amount for a new hybrid vehicle may range from $250 to $3,400 depending on its fuel economy.
- Energy-efficient buildings – Owners of commercial bui
ldings can make their buildings more energy efficient and qualify for a special tax deduction if certain federally mandated standards are met.
- Energy-efficient equipment – Companies may qualify under Section 179 to deduct up to $250,000 of the cost of energy efficient equipment placed in service in the tax year beginning in 2008. A 50% “bonus depreciation” deduction is also available for new equipment purchased this year.
- Environmental clean-ups – Generally, these costs are treated as capital expenses, however a company may deduct certain qualified expenses for cleaning-up hazardous materials if the expenses were paid or incurred before January 1, 2008.
Many environmentalists don’t believe the tax code goes far enough to encourage “green behavior.” Members of Congress have discussed several new tax breaks such as incentives for wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. With the issue taking on such prominence today, is likely that tax breaks for improving the environment will expand or be extended in the near future. Consult with your tax professional to maximize the benefits for your company.