Citizens Bank Minnesota Gives to Local Organizations

Citizens Bank Minnesota employees recently donated $7,313.51 to area nonprofits in the second half of 2022. Each year the employees choose who will receive the funds for that particular year. The funds are raised through Citizens Jeans for Change where employees can pay $5.00 every Friday to wear jeans to work, Hungry Hump Days where employees bring in snacks for purchase one Wednesday a month, as well as various employee fundraisers throughout the year. Proceeds were split among our branch locations and given to the Jaycees and Sertoma of New Ulm, Brown County Relay for Life, Brown County Food Shelf, Watonwan County Food Shelf, Sibley County Food Shelf, Optimist Club – Weekend Lunch Box program, Eden Valley Food Shelf, Cottonwood County Food Shelf, Watonwan Backpack Project, MN Lions Diabetes, Virginia Piper Institute for their cancer bags, and 2B Continued, a non-profit that focuses on suicide prevention and mental health awareness in young adults.

#WooHooItsWhatWeDo

Missy Visser of Citizens Bank give Jaycee donation to member, Nicholas Peterson.

Missy Visser of Citizens Bank gives Sertoma Club donation to member, Denise Fischer.

Citizens’ Bank Employees Spread Christmas Cheer

Citizens Bank Minnesota and its employees were excited to help organizations and families in need this Holiday Season. Our Main Office in New Ulm partnered with Brown County Family Services through their “Adopt a Family” program to help an area family by purchasing clothing, hats and mittens, a grocery card and household items. Our Watkins, La Salle and Ormsby locations were able to purchase needed items to assist six families. Our Lafayette Branch donated funds to Santa’s Closet and our Lakeville Branch participated as a Toys for Tots drop-off site.

Money was donated by employees, raised through a variety of internal fundraising events throughout our locations, and a bank match was given making it possible to donate over $3800.00 in gifts and necessities for these families and organizations.

We were happy to help these organizations as well as families who would have had an otherwise difficult time purchasing the needed items themselves. It was also a great way to remember what the Holidays are truly all about!

BANKING ON THE GO!

RESOURCES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS 24/7

Near or far there are many ways to deposit funds to your account!

Check out our instructional video on mobile deposit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDyL3y-yS8E

Click the link to view the video on ATM deposits here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYVYXWz3A-k

JOIN US FOR OUR HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSES

The holiday season is fast approaching and we are excited to spread some cheer to our loyal customers! Check out our schedule of events below and join us at the location nearest to you! 

New Ulm: Friday, November 25th, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Santa will be in the lobby from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Bring your camera to take a photo!

Lafayette: Friday, November 25th, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Santa Day: Tuesday, December 13th, 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM at the Lafayette Community Center. Bring your camera to take a photo!

Watkins: Friday, November 25th, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Santa will be in the lobby from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. (Includes a free printed photo with Santa.)

La Salle: Friday, December 2nd, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Santa & Mrs. Claus will be in the lobby from 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM. Bring your camera to take a photo!

Lakeville: Visit with Santa on Saturday, December 3rd, from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Bring your camera to take a photo!

Ormsby: Friday, December 16th, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

Visit with Santa at the Ormsby Community Center on Saturday, December 3rd from Noon – 2:00 PM. Bring your camera to take a photo!

We are collecting NEW hats and mittens at all of our locations for those in need. Donations can be dropped off during business hours from November 25th thru December 2nd. 

**2023 calendars will be available at all of our locations, while supplies last.**

Member FDIC

BANKING ON THE GO!

RESOURCES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS 24/7

Have total control over your card by utilizing Card Management within your online banking.

For more information on card management check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPIDIk5z7U4&t=5s

CITIZENS FRAUD NEWSLETTER – FALL 2022

We are excited to bring you our inaugural Citizens Fraud Update Newsletter! We will be putting together quarterly newsletters that feature information on fraud, how to prevent fraud, and highlight specific fraud scams that we have been seeing.

Click HERE to view our Fall Citizens Fraud Update!

Submitted by: Jennifer Wendinger, Citizens Bank Minnesota

BANKING ON THE GO!

RESOURCES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS 24/7

You can transfer funds 24/7 regardless of bank hours by utilizing online banking, our banking app, as well as Citizens-On-Call telephone banking.

For more information on online banking visit: https://www.citizensmn.bank/personal/online-service

For more information on mobile services visit: https://www.citizensmn.bank/personal/mobile-services

For more information on Citizens-On-Call telephone banking visit: https://www.citizensmn.bank/personal/extra-services/telephone-banking

EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) got all the attention when the CARES Act passed in March 2020, but there’s another COVID-19 response program that many business owners haven’t tapped into yet, that businesses that were ineligible in 2020 could be eligible now, thanks to retroactive changes to the program in 2021.

The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50% of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. Eligible employers can get immediate access to the credit by reducing the employment tax deposits they are otherwise required to make. Also, if the employer’s employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may get an advance payment from the IRS.

For each employee, wages (including certain health plan costs) up to $10,000 can be counted to determine the amount of the 50% credit.

Employers, including tax-exempt organizations, are eligible for the credit if they operated a trade or business during calendar year 2020 and experience either:

  1. the full or partial suspension of the operation of their trade or business during any calendar quarter because of governmental orders limiting commerce, travel or group meetings due to COVID-19, or
  2. a significant decline in gross receipts. 

A significant decline in gross receipts begins:

  • on the first day of the first calendar quarter of 2020
  • for which an employer’s gross receipts are less than 50% of its gross receipts
  • for the same calendar quarter in 2019.

The significant decline in gross receipts ends:

  • on the first day of the first calendar quarter following the calendar quarter
  • in which gross receipts are more than of 80% of its gross receipts
  • for the same calendar quarter in 2019.

The credit applies to qualified wages (including certain health plan expenses) paid during this period or any calendar quarter in which operations were suspended.

Qualified wages

The definition of qualified wages depends on how many employees an eligible employer has.

If an employer averaged more than 100 full-time employees during 2019, qualified wages are generally those wages, including certain health care costs, (up to $10,000 per employee) paid to employees that are not providing services because operations were suspended or due to the decline in gross receipts. These employers can only count wages up to the amount that the employee would have been paid for working an equivalent duration during the 30 days immediately preceding the period of economic hardship.

If an employer averaged 100 or fewer full-time employees during 2019, qualified wages are those wages, including health care costs, (up to $10,000 per employee) paid to any employee during the period operations were suspended or the period of the decline in gross receipts, regardless of whether or not its employees are providing services.

Claiming the credit

To claim the Employee Retention Credit, employers will report their total qualified wages and the related health insurance costs for each quarter on their quarterly employment tax returns, which will be Form 941 for most businesses. As mentioned, you can retroactively claim these credits by filing an amended Form 941 also knowns as a 941x. You must file the amendment within three years of the original filing deadline to claim these credits. It’s also important to note that nonprofits are eligible to claim the ERCs.

As with any tax related programs and credits, it’s important to consult with a tax professional and CPA. They can help guide you in claiming these credits and filing amendments.

Note there is a deadline to apply for ERC, beginning in 2Q 2023.

FAQS and more information: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-employee-retention-credit-under-the-cares-act#:~:text=The%20Employee%20Retention%20Credit%20under,financially%20impacted%20by%20COVID%2D19.

Submitted by Kyle Potswald, Lending Officer and VP

Member FDIC

#GetSmartAboutCreditDay

Credit can play a huge role in your life. Your credit score can be the difference in getting a loan and factor into what you pay in interest. Check out this great educational article from Experian.

TODAY IS THE DAY TO GET SMART ABOUT CREDIT – Rod Griffin

Today is National #GetSmartAboutCreditDay. Originated by the American Bankers Association Foundation in 2003, the goal of the day is to promote awareness of the importance of credit and the role it plays in all of our lives. Volunteer bankers work with students and young adults all over the country to provide basic knowledge about what it takes to have good credit and how to manage personal finances responsibly, and many other organizations have joined them.

Experian supports the effort to equip consumers with the knowledge to use credit as a tool to help achieve their financial goals and maintain good financial health. Whether you are establishing credit for the first time, or are working to improve your credit scores, here are 10 steps you can take to be successful in managing your finances wisely and building a positive credit history:

  1. Open a credit card account. If you don’t already have one, opening a credit card account or two can be beneficial. Because you choose how much to charge each month and how much to repay, lenders view how you manage credit cards as a key indicator of how well you manage your finances and how likely you are to repay debts on time. Using a credit card to make a small purchase or two each month and then paying your balance in full can help improve your credit scores a bit more quickly without taking on debt.
  2. Make all your payments on time. Your payment history is the most important factor in your credit scores. Even one missed payment can impact them substantially. Consider setting up automated bill payments to help make sure you never miss a due date.
  3. Keep your credit card balances low. Your utilization ratio is the next most important factor after your payment history. Utilization is calculated by taking the total of your credit card balances divided by the total of your credit card limits. The lower your utilization ratio, the better for your credit scores.
  4. Don’t charge more than you can afford to repay. Ideally, you should limit credit card purchases to only what you can afford to pay off each month. Paying your balance in full each month keeps you from accumulating revolving debt, helps you avoid interest charges, and shows lenders that you can manage debt wisely.
  5. Make a budget. Having a budget can help you stay on top of your finances by letting you have a clearer picture of where your money is going every month. It can also help you see where expenses can be trimmed in order to allow for more money to be diverted to savings accounts and paying off any outstanding debts.
  6. Set up an emergency fund. While not directly related to credit, having an emergency fund can have a big impact on protecting your credit rating by enabling you to continue making on-time payments when the unexpected happens, such as illness or job loss.
  7. Don’t borrow more than you comfortably afford. When opening a home or auto loan, it may not be wise to borrow the full amount you are approved for. The more you borrow, the higher monthly payments will be, and only you know if you can truly afford those payments comfortably. As a general rule, it’s always best to leave some wiggle room in your budget.
  8. Think twice before you cosign or open a joint account. Many people don’t realize that when you cosign for a loan or open a joint credit account, you are equally responsible for the debt. Even if you are not the one who is making payments or charges on the account, any missed payments, high balances or default will impact you as well as the other signer.
  9. Ask about having rent payments reported. If you are renting, talk to your landlord or leasing company. Your lender can report your positive payment history to Experian.
  10. Sign up for Experian Boost®ø. You can get credit for your positive utility, cellphone, and streaming service payments by having them added to your Experian credit report.

As part of our ongoing commitment to help consumers gain the knowledge they need to build strong credit and create a better financial future for themselves and their families, Experian is always looking for ways to engage with consumers. Among other things, we maintain a credit advice blog online called Ask Experian, where we answer frequent consumer questions and address various credit and financial topics. Experian also hosts a weekly #CreditChat on Twitter and has #CreditChatLive channel on YouTube.

Source: http://www.experian.com – Today is the Day to Get Smart About Credit by Rod Griffin

MEMBER FDIC

Checking Your Balance – Banking on the Go!

Check your balance anytime day or night! We have four easy ways to check your balance.

For more information about online banking visit: https://www.citizensmn.bank/personal/online-service

For more information about Citizens-On-Call visit: https://www.citizensmn.bank/…/extra…/telephone-banking

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