Resources

CPA services provided by Contryman Associates, P.C., Investment Adviser services are offered through Contryman Wealth Advisors

Department of Labor Overtime Rule

Just 10 days before the implementation date, a federal judge in Texas put the brakes on the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new federal overtime rule, which would have doubled the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA’s) salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay. Twenty-one states filed an emergency motion for a preliminary injunction in October to halt the […]


Crowe Horwath examines tax implications of a Trump presidency

Firm details proposed corporate, individual, international, and estate and gift taxation policies CHICAGO (Nov. 9, 2016) – Following a lengthy and contentious campaign season, the American public has elected Donald Trump as president of the United States. It remains to be seen whether President elect Trump will preside over significant tax reform, but according to the following summary […]


Courtney Retzlaff Receives CPA Designation

          Courtney Retzlaff, Tax Accountant with Contryman Associates, P.C., has received her certificate and permit to practice as a Certified Public Accountant from the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy. As a Certified Public Accountant, Retzlaff has met the experience requirement, two years in public accounting, in addition to having demonstrated her […]


Julia Selko Completes QuickBooks® Certification to Help Local Small Businesses Better Manage Their Finances

Businesses looking for help with Intuit QuickBooks® accounting software can now get assistance from a local accounting professional. Julia Selko of Contryman Associates, P.C. in Hastings has completed Intuit’s coursework and examination and is now accredited as an official QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor® for QuickBooks. Intuit is a leading provider of business and financial management solutions […]


Beware Current IRS E-Services Phishing Scam

From AICPA It has come to our attention that a fraudulent email (see sample below) is being issued to tax preparers asking them to update their e-Services information. This email WAS NOT generated by the Internal Revenue Service. The links provided in the email are designed to capture e-Services usernames and passwords. If you engage […]


Contryman Associates, PC attend the Beta Alpha Psi “Meet the Firms” Event

‘Rachelle Bryant, Jenni Klingelhoefer and Katie Bierman attended the Beta Alpha Psi “Meet the Firms” event on September 30 at The University of Nebraska at Kearney. Students from the Accounting Department attended the event – many graduating in December 2015 and May of 2016 interested in full-time employment in public accounting. Others were exploring internship […]


Lexington Office Volunteers at Lexington’s Majestic Theatre

‘Team members from the Lexington office chose to volunteer at Lexington’s Majestic Theatre as their civic project. The Majestic Theatre is owned by Lexington Public Schools. The theater was purchased by the school board in 2012 to provide students with a hands-on, real-life learning opportunity. Students from middle school to high school were actively involved […]


Scottsbluff After Hours

‘The Scottsbluff office hosted a Business After Hours the evening of August 27. Approximately 70 community members and clients attended the event and enjoyed appetizers and beverages. Pictured: L to R Janice Rutter, Jada Thompson, Seth Covalt, Dan Charron, Molly Streff, Lisa Klein (not pictured: Danielle Kanack).’ – Jenni K


Kids Against Hunger Meal Packing Event

‘Team members from the Hastings location chose the “” meal packing event as their civic project for the year. In addition, they also plan to volunteer at the Kool-Aid Days event in Hastings. Thank you to Ellen for coordinating the event and to everyone who submitted proposals. Pictured left to right: Ellen Jank, Steve Groeteke, […]


Jeff Hodgen, CPA Earns Certified Valuation Analyst Designation

  Contryman Associates, P.C. is pleased to announce that Jeff Hodgen, CPA of Hastings, NE, has earned the designation of Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) through the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA). Requirements to earn this designation include maintaining current licensure as a Certified Public Accountant and completing NACVA’s comprehensive training program and […]


Lexington Farmer BBQ

Marlin Johnson and Jed German spend the afternoon grilling burgers for their many farmer friends in the Lexington area who are busy in the crops or hauling corn to the elevators. We appreciate all they do and want to say thank you!


Sales Tax Exemption for Agricultural Repair Parts

Effective October 1, 2014, sales of all repair and replacement parts used to repair agricultural machinery and equipment used in commercial agriculture are exempt from sales and use taxes. The purchaser must issue to the seller a properly completed Nebraska Resale or Exempt Sale Certificate Form 13, Section B, exempt category 2, to exempt the purchase from tax. […]


QuickBooks 2011 Sunset

Does your small business use QuickBooks for your bookkeeping and financial needs? If you work in QuickBooks 2011, be aware this version is scheduled to sunset on May 31. This means any add-on services such as payroll or online banking are discontinued. Give Contryman Associates P.C. a call if you have questions about upgrading.


The IRS wants to know your name

Most of us would be happy if the IRS never knew who we are or where we live. But sometimes it’s a good idea to keep the government informed. If you or one of your dependents had a name change last year, you should notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) before you file your federal […]


No capitalization required – in this case

The IRS has concluded that amounts that a manufacturer paid to retailers to offset the cost of constructing display areas for the manufacturer’s products did not have to be capitalized. Under the facts presented in Chief Counsel Advice (CCA) 201405014, the manufacturer enters into an agreement to pay the retailers to maintain retail space that […]


Completed amenities were part of the contract

The Tax Court concluded in a recent case that a developer of a planned residential community did not have to recognize income under the completed contract method of accounting until the common improvements were completed. Shea Homes and its related entities developed large planned residential communities. Shea contended that final completion and acceptance under the […]


‘Momma Mia!’ ABBA admits to unusual tax planning

Björn Ulvaeus, founder of the Swedish rock group ABBA, has admitted that the quartet was looking to save “Money, Money, Money” in the late ’70s and early ’80s when they donned their trademark glittering hot pants, sequined jumpsuits and platform heels to take to the stage to perform hit songs like “Fernando” and “Dancing Queen.” […]


Nebraska Legislative Changes

Often when we talk of tax law changes the focus is on Federal law. Periodically, there are changes on a state level that are important as well but may go un-noticed except to people like your tax professionals. We’d like to alert you to some 2013 Nebraska Legislative Changes that may benefit you. Some highlights […]


Dehn Renter is Recertified as Valuation Analyst

Dehn Renter, CPA, CVA, with the accounting firm Contryman Associates, P.C., has received recertification as a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) with the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA). He has provided business valuation services since 1999. To qualify for recertification, Renter completed 36 hours of continuing professional education in specific business valuation related areas. […]


Seth Covalt Receives CPA Designation

Seth Covalt, a Tax Accountant with Contryman Associates, P.C., has received his certificate and permit to practice as a Certified Public Accountant from the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy. As a Certified Public Accountant, Covalt has met the experience requirement, two years in public accounting, in addition to having demonstrated his technical competency, through comprehensive […]


Kelly Hale Promoted to Tax Manager

Kelly Hale, CPA, a Tax Accountant for Contryman Associates, P.C., Certified Public Accountants, assumed the position of Tax Manager on August 1, 2013. After earning a Bachelors Degree in Communication Studies and Computer Science from Hastings College, Hale received her Masters Degree in Accounting and Financial Management with a CPA emphasis from Keller School of […]


Independent Contractor or Employee?

As the harvest season nears and many of our agricultural clients are utilizing temporary laborers for the season, Contryman Associates would like to stress to ALL business owners the importance of determining whether individuals providing services are employees or independent contractors. Treating a laborer incorrectly can result in the employer being subjected to back taxes, […]


Notice of Health Insurance Exchanges

As you may know, the health care law – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) – requires most individuals (including children and other dependents) to carry health insurance, beginning January 1, 2014. The law also requires the establishment of a health insurance exchange in all states by October 1, 2013. The goal is […]


Employer Pay or Play Mandate Delayed One Year – Impact on Employers?

In a blog post yesterday, Mark Mazur, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of Treasury announced that the Obama administration will, in the next week, be issuing formal guidance delaying health care reform’s employer pay or play mandate and the related employer and insurer reporting obligations (reporting by all employers providing group […]


QuickBooks® 2010 Sunset

Does your small business use QuickBooks® for your bookkeeping and financial needs? If you work in QuickBooks® 2010 or QuickBooks® for Mac 2010, be aware these versions of QuickBooks® are scheduled to sunset on May 31, 2013. What does this mean for your small business? If you only use the products saved on your computer, than you can continue […]


Lost tax-exempt status? How to get it reinstated

Smaller organizations that lost their exempt status for failure to file the required annual returns for three consecutive years can now retroactively reinstate the tax-exempt status. Over the past few years, the IRS has attempted to inform organizations of their filing responsibilities and the consequence of failing to file. Nonetheless, many organizations have failed to […]


Newly revived “charitable IRA rollovers”: Time is running out for 2012 tax savings

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) revives for 2012 and 2013 the opportunity to make tax-free IRA distributions (up to $100,000 per year) for charitable purposes. If you’re age 70½ or older, you can make a direct contribution from your IRA to a qualified charitable organization without owing any income tax on the […]


Why businesses should consider purchasing vehicles before year end

Business-related purchases of new or used vehicles may be eligible for Section 179 expensing, and business-related purchases of new vehicles may be eligible for bonus depreciation. But Sec. 179 expensing limits are scheduled to go down in 2013, and bonus depreciation is scheduled to disappear. So you might benefit from purchasing business vehicles before year […]


2013 Standard Mileage Rates Up 1 Cent per Mile for Business, Medical and Moving

The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2013 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2013, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 56.5 cents per mile […]


Consider the tax implications if you’re awarded restricted stock

In recent years, restricted stock has become a popular form of incentive compensation for executives and other key employees. If you’re awarded restricted stock — stock that’s granted subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture — it’s important to understand the tax implications. Income recognition is normally deferred until the stock is no longer subject […]


Make the most of depreciation-related breaks while you can

Many businesses may benefit from purchasing assets by Dec. 31 to take advantage of depreciation-related deductions that are scheduled to either disappear or become less favorable in 2013: Bonus depreciation. For qualified assets acquired and placed in service through Dec. 31, 2012, this additional first-year depreciation allowance is, generally, 50%. Among the assets that qualify are […]


Need to hire? Consider veterans

Veterans provide a valuable labor pool, full of highly trained, hard-working team players with strong leadership skills. There’s also a tax incentive: The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 extended the Work Opportunity credit through 2012 for employers that hire qualified veterans. It also expanded the credit by: Doubling the maximum credit — to […]


How to verify that a charity is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions

Donations to qualified charities are generally fully deductible, and they may be the easiest deductible expense to time to your tax advantage. After all, you control exactly when and how much you give. But before you donate, it’s critical to make sure the charity you’re considering is indeed a qualified charity — that it’s eligible […]


2012 may be the last year to use tax-free ESA funds for precollege expenses

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), like 529 savings plans, offer a tax-smart way to fund education expenses: Contributions aren’t deductible for federal purposes, but plan assets can grow tax-deferred Distributions used to pay qualified expenses (such as tuition, mandatory fees, books, equipment, supplies and, generally, room and board) are income-tax-free for federal purposes and may […]


Turning a business trip into a vacation

Bringing family or friends along on a business trip and extending your stay can be an excellent way to fund a portion of your vacation costs and save taxes. But if you’re not careful, you could lose the tax benefits. Generally, if the primary purpose of your trip is business, then expenses directly attributable to […]


Now’s the time for giving

For 2012, the gift and estate tax exemption is $5.12 million and the maximum gift and estate tax rate is 35%. Absent additional legislation, for 2013 the exemption will drop to $1 million and the top tax rate will increase to 55%. It’s difficult to predict what Congress will do between now and then, so […]


Crop Insurance Strategies for 2012

With the near record drought facing the United States during this summer of 2012, there will be large payouts of crop insurance proceeds. We are writing to inform you of the special tax election and strategies related to any crop insurance proceeds that you may collect for your 2012 crop. Normally, crop insurance proceeds are […]


Planning for the new 2013 Medicare taxes on higher-level earned and investment income

The health care reform legislation enacted in 2010 included two additional, and potentially painful, taxes on what many refer to as “higher-income taxpayers”. The first tax is anadditional Medicare tax on taxpayers with earned income in excess of certain limits. The second tax is a new Medicare tax on investment income, commonly referred to as unearned income. Click […]


2013 Notice of Tax Changes

After a weekend of intense negotiations, the terms of a fiscal cliff resolution have finally been successfully negotiated. Early on January 1, 2013 the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the “American Taxpayer Relief Act”. The President is expected to quickly sign and enact the bill into law. Following are many tax changes that […]


Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Home Improvements

If fluctuating energy costs and environmental concerns have you looking for ways to go green, the following energy-efficient home improvement credits may help. Making certain energy efficiency improvements to your home may also help lower your tax bill. $500 Credit for Basic Energy-Saving Improvements There are two different tax credits for energy-saving home improvements. The […]


End of the First-Year Depreciation Incentives?

Due to the recession, Congress dramatically increased tax incentives for businesses that expend amounts for capital equipment and certain building improvements. The long-standing Section 179 deduction was expanded to the current rate of $500,000 per year. Similarly, Congress added an incentive in the form of 100% bonus depreciation for many new (rather than used) asset […]


End of the First-Year Depreciation Incentives?

Due to the recession, Congress dramatically increased tax incentives for businesses that expend amounts for capital equipment and certain building improvements. The long-standing Section 179 deduction was expanded to the current rate of $500,000 per year. Similarly, Congress added an incentive in the form of 100% bonus depreciation for many new (rather than used) asset […]


Optional Standard Mileage Rates

The Internal Revenue Service announced an increase in the standard mileage rate used to calculate the deductible cost of operating a car for the second half of the year. The rate will be 55.5 percent per mile for all business miles driven from July 1 through December 31, 2011. This is an increase of 4.5 […]


Early Tax Planning for 2011

Short-term Tax Planning Strategies that May Help You Save on Your Taxes No one knows what future tax rates, deductions, and credits will be, so how can we help you develop a plan to minimize your federal income taxes when there are so many uncertainties? Last December Congress approved several short-term tax breaks. Contryman professionals […]


Repeal of Expanded 1099 Reporting Rules for Businesses

The President recently signed the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011 (the 1099 Act). This new act retroactively repeals the expanded Form 1099 information reporting rules added by 2010 legislation. The 1099 Act repeals the Health Care Act’s extension of the Form 1099 reporting requirements for payments made […]


2010 TAX RELIEF ACT EXTENDS BUSH-ERA TAX CUTS & OTHER TAX BREAKS, INCLUDES STIMULUS MEASURES

Congress has approved and President Obama is expected to quickly sign the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the 2010 Tax Relief Act). The 2010 Tax Relief Act extends for two years the Bush-era tax cuts, provides significant estate tax relief, and includes a two-year AMT “patch.” It also contains […]


Business Succession Strategies

Planning for an Inevitable Change What is a Succession Plan? Ideally a succession plan is a comprehensive plan for transitioning a business, its owner, and the owner’s family from the current ownership and management to one in which the owner is no longer involved. A sound succession plan should address: Converting business wealth to assets […]


U.S. Treasury Green Initiatives Include Changes to EFTPS Deposit Requirements

In recognition of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced recently that it will begin implementing a three-pronged initiative to increase the number of electronic transactions between Treasury and the public. In addition to greatly reducing costs, enhancing customer service and minimizing Treasury’s environmental impact, the move from paper […]


2010 Small Business Jobs Act

The recently enacted 2010 Small Business Jobs Act includes a wide-ranging assortment of tax breaks and incentives for small business, paid for with various revenue raisers. Here’s a brief overview of the tax changes in the new law.   Tax Breaks and Incentives Enhanced Small Business Expensing (Section 179 Expensing) – To help small businesses quickly […]


Estate Planning

With changes to federal estate tax laws expected soon Federal estate taxes and inheritance taxes can be devastating to small businesses, farmers and moderately well-off families, to name a few. However, with proper planning those taxes can be eliminated, or at least effectively managed. Additionally, a good estate plan will provide for goals to be […]


The Small Employer Insurance Credit

The IRS has recently issued tax payer friendly updates to the Small Employer Insurance Credit. Eligible Small Employers – To be an Eligible Small Employer, the employer must meet all the following requirements to qualify for the credit: Must employ no more than 25 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees during their tax year. Must pay […]


HIRE Act – Question and Answer for Employers

Under the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, enacted March 18, 2010, two new tax benefits are available to employers who hire certain previously unemployed workers (“qualified employees”). The IRS has provided clarification to this act, which we would like to pass on to our clients. The tax benefits available to employers are likely to […]


Dividends to Become More Taxing

The 2001 Tax Act changed the way dividend income was taxed, taxing it at long-term capital gains rates of up to 15% rather than ordinary income rates of up to 35%. This act is set to expire at the end of 2010, meaning this special rate for dividends is about to disappear. Without congressional action […]


The Small Employer Insurance Credit

The IRS has recently issued tax payer friendly updates to the Small Employer Insurance Credit. Eligible Small Employers – To be an Eligible Small Employer, the employer must meet all the following requirements to qualify for the credit: Must employ no more than 25 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees during their tax year. Must pay annual […]


Nebraska Withholding Legislation Changes

NEBRASKA Withholding  New legislation, effective Jan. 1, 2011, changes the filing deadline for submitting W-2 forms to the Nebraska Department of Revenue (DOR) from March 15 to February 1. Electronic Filing The legislation also lowers the W-2 electronic filing threshold from 200 to 50 W-2s. The legislation requires taxpayers to make their payments by electronic funds […]


TAX CHANGES AFFECTING INDIVIDUALS IN THE HEALTH REFORM LEGISLATION

This newsletter will give you a brief overview of the key tax changes affecting individuals in the recently enacted health reform legislation. Please call our offices for details on how the new changes may affect your specific situation. Individual mandate. The new law contains an “individual mandate”—a requirement that U.S. citizens and legal residents have qualifying […]


Health Reform Legislation

Tax Changes Affecting Small Businesses For owners of small businesses and their workers, the recently enacted health reform legislation has some key provisions. The major ones include: tax credits, excise taxes, and penalties. But whether a business will be affected by them depends on a variety of factors, such as the number of employees the […]


Payroll Tax Cut in the 2010 Tax Relief Act

The biggest new tax break for individuals in the recently enacted “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010” is the one-year payroll tax reduction. Under this new provision, which is intended to supplement income and boost economic growth, the payroll tax—which funds Social Security—will be cut by two percentage points during […]


Reinstatement of the Estate Tax in the 2010 Tax Relief Act

Before the recently enacted “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010,” there was no estate tax for 2010, but some beneficiaries could have faced higher taxes because there were less favorable income tax basis rules. Also, under the prior law, estate and other transfer taxes were scheduled to rise substantially for […]