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From: "William L. Thomson Jr." <wlt@...>
Subject: Re: Tax return and accounting discrepancies
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2011 15:50:34 -0400
On Wed, 2011-03-23 at 15:23 -0400, Rich Freeman wrote:
>
> Is there a clear statement somewhere of the actual legal requirements?

Yes, visit the IRS and State of New Mexico's website. But anyone living
in the US should be aware of legal requirements for individuals, much
less business entities, be it for profit or not.

I spent time before providing such information and documentation. At
this time its not my duty or requirement to do such. Thus I will leave
that up to others, who's duty it is ;)

> I'd recommend just having a simple webpage that lists each
> requirement, and how it was met for auditing purposes - keep fluff to
> a minimum.

This stuff is not simple and it why the Gentoo Foundation should have a
CPA, long ago. An effort I was actively working on just like the bank
account and the rest.

> Is there any controversy over the requirements, or is there a
> consensus that we have a problem here?

I am sure the IRS and state of New Mexico would care the mandated
requirements are not being fulfilled.

> Certainly interested in an answer to this.  The way I read it was that
> sometime in the past there was a problem and the correction just makes
> the register reflect reality.  That might not be something we can fix.

At what point in the past? There needs to be specifics there, not just
some general statement. This is not anyones money, but alls money.
Therefore there needs to be accountability for all to see, and there
won't be any questions.

> Any suggestions as to solution?  Hiring a CPA as a part-time treasurer
> might be a solution - if we can afford it.

If the foundation wants to remain as such and have control over it's
assets and IP, remain a legal entity. Then it must retain a CPA, and
file the mandated annual reports and financial statements.

Back when I was on the board, I was talking to Danial about using his
CPA. Which given that Gentoo can afford to buy hardware, and received
$20k in donations last year. I think it can easily afford a CPA, which
is crucial to Gentoo remaining a legal entity.

> Not having time to submit a report is one problem.  Issuing checks and
> not recording it in the register is a different problem.  The latter
> is something we really can't accept.  I'm not sure that is the actual
> problem here.

There has been many problems.

> The lack of reporting probably stems from one of a few possible causes:
> 1.  There is not agreement the work needs to be done (perhaps rightly
> or wrongly).

Who is questioning the federal and state requirements? This is not
something to disagree on, and anyone who does disagree, clearly is
unqualified.

> 2.  There is not a clear and agreed-upon owner for the task.

Um, Treasurer.... That is an officer's role, title, and duties fall
within. Since the foundation has a horrible structure, Trustees end up
serving as officers. But that should not be the case. They should be two
different bodies.

> 3.  The owner has not carried out the task (which itself can have a
> few root causes).

Again this was the reason I resigned. I knew this was not going to get
done, and others were standing in my way of getting things done. Wasting
my time, giving me grief about various things, which ended up effecting
my behavior as frustration mounted up. 

I was accused of hurting Gentoo, suspended etc. All the while ignoring
major things that were even more harmful to Gentoo as a whole, both then
and now.

> One thing we should strongly consider is that if we don't have time to
> legally document an action, then we probably shouldn't perform the
> action. 

You have no choice on this stuff. You are running for the board and you
should know this stuff. Or not run for the board if you are not
qualified for such.

> If accepting a check involves 18 hours of paperwork, then we
> might consider whether the check ought to be accepted at all.

Then why does the foundation exist at all?

The flip side is how will that money be spent, and what impact that will
have over what period of time. You will likely find out that the benefit
completely outweighs the cost. Which is some what the entire idea behind
a non-profit foundation.

> Also,where possible we should do the paperwork first (update the total on
> the reports, then accept the check).

To someone who is familiar with accounting, doing those tasks is
mundane.

>  Kind of like stable the dependencies before you stable the package.

Some what, but if your unfamiliar with that process it could take
considerable time and been seen as a burden. While others just do it so
fast, its moot to them ;)

> A report is easy at the start of the reporting period - copy balance
> forward from last period, activities are all zero, end balance is
> equal to start.

Problem is neglect has gone on for so many years. Each year that passes
is just one more to play catch up up. Things were quite behind in 2008,
and now in 2011, only more so.

> Might not hurt to use something like Google docs with backups to
> facilitate/etc.

Thats pretty irrelevant, but many things could be leveraged.

-- 
William L. Thomson Jr.
Obsidian-Studios, Inc.
http://www.obsidian-studios.com



Replies:
Re: Tax return and accounting discrepancies
-- Rich Freeman
Re: Tax return and accounting discrepancies
-- Matthew Summers
References:
Tax return and accounting discrepancies
-- William L. Thomson Jr.
Re: Tax return and accounting discrepancies
-- Rich Freeman
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