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To: "William L. Thomson Jr." <wlt@...>
From: Rich Freeman <rich0@g.o>
Subject: Re: Tax return and accounting discrepancies
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2011 15:23:18 -0400
On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 3:06 PM, William L. Thomson Jr.
<wlt@...> wrote:
> I am still quite concerned and would like to know a reason why the
> Gentoo Foundation has not filed a state of federal tax return. I am not
> sure when the last time the Gentoo Foundation did file any returns, or
> provided required annual accounting information to New Mexico.
>

Is there a clear statement somewhere of the actual legal requirements?
 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.

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

> An almost $9k discrepancy where account balance has been off,
> unacceptable! That is really not good! Where did that money go? Did it
> exist in the first place? Does anybody have a clue?

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.

> Now here we are about 2.5yrs later, and still no tax return, and very
> shady accounting. It might be acceptable to others, but it surely is not
> to me. I hope Gentoo starts to keep an eye out if people have any
> qualifications for the roles and positions they fill. Given the amount
> of neglect, and lack of leadership all around.
>

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

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.

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).
2.  There is not a clear and agreed-upon owner for the task.
3.  The owner has not carried out the task (which itself can have a
few root causes).

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.  If accepting a check involves 18 hours of paperwork, then we
might consider whether the check ought to be accepted at all.  Also,
where possible we should do the paperwork first (update the total on
the reports, then accept the check).  Kind of like stable the
dependencies before you stable the package.  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.

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

Rich


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-- William L. Thomson Jr.
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-- William L. Thomson Jr.
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Updated Jun 18, 2012

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