In case you hadn’t hear, those telephone calls claiming to be from the IRS demanding you immediately pay back taxes are a scam.

January 9, 2017, 10:34 am
Wouldn't it be nice if the  phone id actually was that accurate for every call? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the caller ID was actually that accurate for every call? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The most frequent scam in 2016 was the phone calls saying “This is the IRS and if you don’t pay your past due taxes this instant we will send someone to your house to arrest you right now.”

There are many things wrong with those calls.

As a starter, your first contact with the IRS will never be by phone. You will instead get a letter explaining what the IRS thinks you messed up.

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Free resource explaining overtime rules

December 2, 2016, 8:36 am
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability has published a concise, free resource explaining many of the rules of overtime, especially in the context of the charity world.

You can find it here and get a copy merely by giving them your email address. Not to worry – I don’t think they are going to overload you with spam – I’ve signed up for several things from them and the only emails I get are for free resources and invitations to webinars that are actually of interest. Oh, and news that is of interest to those of us in the charity world.

Oh, did I say it was free?


What to do about the new overtime rules since they are on hold?

November 30, 2016, 11:00 am
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The new overtime rules were set to go into effect tomorrow, December 1. The rules are on hold as a result of an injunction issued by a federal judge. What should charities do about changes that have been implemented, or announced, or on the drawing board?

Two articles have some suggestions:

11/29 – Baltimore Business Journal – Plenty of questions still surround blocked overtime pay law – It is very uncertain how the new overtime rules will be handled. Article cites the CEO of an outsourcing and payroll company. His advice is stay tuned to developments. The rules could be implemented, overturned, or modified.

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More background on revision to nonprofit reporting

November 18, 2016, 11:19 am
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The new rules revising not-for-profit financial reporting are a significant change although they are not as dramatic as what we saw a long time ago with SFAS #116 and #117.

ASU 2016-14, Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-four-Profit Entities, was issued August 18, 2016. You can find the document here.

I will write a series of articles going into detail on the new rules. In the meantime, here are a few more articles providing background.

8/18 – AICPA – FASB’s standard Aims to Improve Not-for-Profit Financial Reporting – good overview of most changes

8/18 – Journal of Accountancy – FASB modifies not-for-profit accounting rules – High level overview. Article also provides some background on the process. Revision of GAAP to require operating measures is still under consideration but will be part of the next phase.

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Time to get ready for filing those W-2s and 1099s – You have less time to file in 2017 and penalties are worse

November 8, 2016, 7:29 am
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Congress requires W-2s and W-3s be filed with the IRS and Social Security administration by January 31 starting with reports filed in 2017. Previously, the deadline for sending reports to the government was February 28 by paper and March 31 for electronic filing.

The same, accelerated deadline applies for 1099s which have non-employee comp reported in box 7.

You can see more details in an 11/4 article at Forbes: Compressed Deadlines and Higher Penalties for Forms 1099 and W-2.

Penalties

In addition to the deadline for filing getting accelerated, the penalties for dropping the ball in 2017 are getting more severe.

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A completely different perspective on the crisis surrounding Wounded Warrior Project.

September 26, 2016, 9:53 am
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Here are a few articles which will give you a different way of looking at the recent publicity surrounding Wounded Warrior Project. I’ve been swamped by several major projects so haven’t had much time to write recently. Those projects are still not done so I won’t be able to spend as much time on this post as I would like, yet I want to get some comments online for those who have been following the story.

The biggest article is The First Casualty: A report addressing the allegations made against the Wounded Warrior Project in January 2016 by Doug White, published September 6, 2016.

There is a lot of information about the entire story which has received minuscule coverage. Here is my quick recap of his major points:

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After reading about the mess World Vision is in, ask yourself what you are doing to prevent a similar disaster from disrupting your programs.

August 10, 2016, 7:00 am
Question this manager is pondering: Do we have good enough controls to prevent this from happening in our field programs? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Question this manager is pondering: Are our controls good enough to prevent something like this from happening in our field programs?
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A few articles to follow up on the accusations a World Vision manager allegedly routed aid money to a terrorist organization.

  • Looks like the situation with the Gaza branch of World Vision could turn into an accounting argument.
  • Response from World Vision.
  • Other aid workers charged.
  • Finally, more questions for managers and finance teams to ponder.

A number of public comments on twitter are claiming the total budget for the Gaza branch is only $2.2M a year.

Some people making this comment usually continue the discussion by calling into question the entire set of accusations from the Israeli government because the current claim is the manager diverted approximately $7 million a year.

This position implies that accusations of diverting $7M a year when the budget is only $2.2M means the accusations are untrue.

8/8 – AP, The Big Story – World Vision: Israeli charges based on “huge gap” in numbers – Article points out the intelligence agency accuses the program manager of diverting food, agricultural equipment, and medical supplies in addition to currency. That means there was in-kind material as well as heavy equipment.

The accounting argument appears towards the end of the article. A Foreign Ministry representative is guessing that the stated budget does not include in-in-kind donations.

A World Vision representative in Germany says the budget of $22.2M for the Gaza office over the last decade does include in-kind materials.

So, we may wind up with this being an accounting issue in addition to a loaded political issue on top of an alleged defalcation issue carrying over into alleged terrorism funding issue.

8/9 – Al Jazeera – Christian charity ‘top of Israel’s target list’ – It will help you filter news you hear about the manager of the Gaza office if you keep in mind the visible political agenda you will see in much reporting.

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