What a Wonderful Vacation!

8 08 2018

Everyone loves a vacation.  Some are more special or unique than others.  That would certainly describe the most recent vacation taken by RBSK’s own Bob Blankman along with his wife Carol and daughters, Lisa and Megan.  They traveled to Italy for a very special purpose.

They left Indiana on June 30th arriving in Rome on July 1st.  The first part of the trip was devoted to excursions and sightseeing trips.  While in Rome, they visited the Catacombs, the Vatican, including the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, the Forum, the Spanish steps and the Trevi Fountain.  A side trip to Assisi was also included.

Then it was off to Tuscany for a wine tasting lunch on July 4th.  From there, they visited Sienna before traveling to Florence.  One of the highlights of the stay in Florence was touring galleries which included the original statue of David by Michelangelo.

Arriving in Florence was the ultimate goal of the trip.  For you see, Bob’s wife Carol is a two-time breast cancer survivor.  Almost 3 years ago she joined the Indy SurviveOars Dragon Boat Racing Team whose home is located at Geist Reservoir in Indianapolis.  This team traveled to Florence, Italy for an international festival for breast cancer survivors hosted by the International Breast Cancer Paddler’s Commission (IBCPC) on July 6th through July 8th.

The IBCPC Dragon Boat Festival is held every four years and is a non-competitive event geared toward teams of breast cancer survivors using dragon boat activities as post-operative rehabilitation.  Canadian sports medicine doctor Don McKenzie introduced dragon boat paddling as a form of rehabilitation after surgery about 20 years ago.  The IBCPC has a total of 129 teams from 17 countries spanning every continent.

The festival was held at Cascine Park, which is the largest public park in Florence and dates back to the 16th century.  The races took place on the Arno River which runs through the outskirts of the park.

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Following a couple of practice sessions and similar to the Olympics, the festivities began the evening of July 6th with a parade of nations through the streets of Florence.  The Blankman family can be seen wearing their parade shirts in the picture above.  A woman from each country carried their nation’s flag followed by the teams participating in the festival from that country.  Each team carried a banner indicating who they were.  A woman from the Indy SurviveOars group had the honor of carrying the American flag followed by 42 teams from the United States.  She was the youngest woman from the United States participating in the festival having survived breast cancer twice at the age of 29.  Pictured below are the Indy SurviveOars participating in the parade.

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The dragon boat races then took place on July 7th and 8th.  Dragon boats are over 40 feet long propelled by a coordinated crew of 20-22 paddlers, a drummer who keeps the pace, and a steerer who guides the craft.  There were enough women who made the trip to Italy for the Indy SurviveOars to field one full team but not enough for two teams.  So, some of the women were part of “composite” teams joining other women from other states or countries to form a full team for the races.  The Indy SurviveOars were a part of 3 “composite” teams joining other women from New York, Vermont and Australia.  Carol and 4 other Indy SurviveOars women joined a team from New York for their races.  Thus, there were 4 teams that included women from the Indy SurviveOars.

It really didn’t matter to the women which team they were on.  Their motto is “One Team, One Blade” with the blade representing the paddle.  This basically means that it doesn’t matter which boat you are in or where you are, we are all in this together.

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Each race consisted of 5 boats racing against each other in a heat.  Carol Blankman (second from the back on the left) can be seen in the picture above paddling with her team in one of the heats.  Each team raced twice each day.  Although this was a non-competitive event, as mentioned previously, once the women were in their boats and racing in their heats, it was very competitive.  Each woman in each boat gave their best effort to not only win their heat, but to also have the best overall time for the two days of racing.  The team consisting of all women from Indy SurviveOars finished 30th out of approximately 125 teams, 11th out of 42 US teams and 2nd among US Midwest teams.  This was their best showing in any of the 3 such festivals in which they have participated.  The picture below shows the view as the boats approach the finish line.

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The most beautiful and meaningful part of the festival occurred at the end of the second day of the races.  Every dragon boat racing event, including festivals, ends with a rose ceremony.  All the boats are linked together in the water, and each woman on the boats holds a rose while a brief talk is given or a short prayer is being said.  Then the roses are tossed in the water to commemorate and remember those women who have lost their battle with breast cancer or have had a reoccurrence, as well as all of those who have had the disease.

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For this ceremony at the festival, music was also playing in the background.  All 4,000 women in attendance wore the same pink T-shirts for the ceremony.  The women who were standing on the side of the river and not in the boats also tossed roses in the water.  It was a very touching and beautiful way to end the festival.

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What a wonderful vacation!!!

For anyone who may be interested in seeing dragon boat racing in person, the White River Alliance in Indianapolis is sponsoring an inaugural White River Dragon Boat Race on Saturday, September 29th.  The White River Races will begin at 8:30a.m. and should end mid-afternoon.  We hope to see you there.

 

 





Foreign Accounts Call for Specific Reporting Requirements

14 05 2018

Foreign Accounts Call for Specific Reporting Requirements

In an increasingly globalized society, many people choose to open offshore accounts to deposit a portion of their wealth. When doing so, it’s important to follow the IRS’s strict foreign accounts reporting requirements. In a nutshell, if you have a financial interest in or signature authority over any foreign accounts, including bank accounts, brokerage accounts, mutual funds or trusts, you must disclose those accounts to the IRS and you may have additional reporting requirements.

To do so, your tax preparer will check the box on line 7a of Schedule B (“Interest and Ordinary Dividends”) of Form 1040 — regardless of the account value. If the total value of your foreign financial assets exceeds $50,000 ($100,000 for joint filers) at the end of the tax year or exceeds $75,000 ($150,000 for joint filers) at any time during the tax year, you must provide account details on Form 8938 (“Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets”) and attach it to your tax return.

Finally, if the aggregate value of your foreign accounts is $10,000 or more during the calendar year, file FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) Form 114 — “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).” The current deadline for filing the form electronically with FinCEN is April 15, 2018, with an automatic extension to October 15.

Failure to disclose an offshore account could result in substantial IRS penalties, including collecting three to six years’ worth of back taxes, interest, a 20% to 40% accuracy-related penalty and, in some cases, a 75% fraud penalty. For further information, contact us.





Free HRA Event – June 28th

22 06 2017

deadline

A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) commonly referred to as a health reimbursement account, is an IRS-approved, employer-funded, tax-advantaged employer health benefit plan that reimburses employees for out-of-pocket medical expenses and individual health insurance premiums.

Group plans don’t always fit small businesses. We have a better solution.

find out more

Join us, and our partners, TASC, on June 28th for an HRA Event. Learn more about how these plans could save you money on your taxes.

 

Register today!

 

Event to Take Place:

Wed, June 28, 2017

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT

 

RBSK Partners PC

224 N Broadway Street

Greensburg, IN 47240

 





So The Bank Wants a Financial Statement! Now what?

25 08 2016

Do you know the difference between an audit, a review or a compilation? Most business owners rely on CPAs to assist with determining what type of financial statement they need. Your banker or bonding company will often request a specific type of financial statement. If you would like an easy to read guide that describes the basics of financial statement preparation, RBSK Partners has a FREE Guide to Financial Statement Services: Compilation, Review and Audit. To get your FREE copy, simply go to the Assurance page of our web site. There are no forms to complete, just a link to the guide. Here is a shortcut to that page:  http://www.rbskpartners.com/assurance

Guide to Financial Statement Services





RBSK Hosts Student Day

10 08 2016

 

On August 9, 2016 RBSK Partners hosted its first annual student day.  Local accounting students were provided the opportunity to learn more about the accounting profession and about RBSK Partners.  We hope to continue our efforts to encourage students to study accounting and to grow the profession.   The day was enjoyed by all and topped off with a student favorite, pizza party.

 





Tressler Receives Health Care Reform Certification

30 06 2016

RBSK Partners is pleased to announce that Lisa Tressler, CPA, a partner at RBSK, recently received a Health Care Reform Certification, by successfully completing nearly 30 hours of continuing professional education focused solely on the Affordable Care Act.

The program provides in-depth knowledge and helps practitioners develop expertise related to the legislative and tax implications of health care reform. This program arms practitioners with the knowledge and tools they need to ensure client compliance with health care reform legislation.

The passage of ACA has created new mandates for individuals and businesses. Tax practitioners face an obligation to provide their clients with information and advice on complying with the new mandates.

Applicable large employers are now required to offer affordable health coverage that provides minimum value to their full-time employees and their dependents. They need to know how to calculate which employees are included in their employee count, the options for the state exchanges, and the penalties that are assessed if they do not comply.  All of this information, including how to fill out the related tax forms, is fully covered by the Checkpoint Learning Health Care Reform Certificate Program.

“2015 was a key year for health care reform, with regulations taking effect for the first time and requiring strict attention from both businesses and individuals,” said Ken Koskay, CPA, CFP, and senior vice president of learning solutions with the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters. “Participants in this certificate program are better suited to serve clients that need assistance with the Affordable Care Act.”

This certification provides practitioners with the expertise necessary to provide guidance to their clients on the Affordable Care Act, including employer and individual mandates, the net investment income tax, reporting requirements, understanding compliance, completion of forms and calculations, and health insurance marketplaces. It prepares professionals to consult with clients on health care reform issues – both tax and non-tax.

If you need assistance with any of the complexities introduced by the ACA, please call Lisa at 812-222-1510, or toll free at 800-676-7567.

LisaSM





Work Opportunity Tax Credit

25 05 2016

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is available for wages paid by employers who hire individuals from certain targeted groups of hard-to-employ individuals. The targeted groups are:

  1. Qualified members of the families receiving assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program,
  2. Qualified veterans,
  3. Qualified ex-felons,
  4. Designated community residents,
  5. Vocational rehabilitation referrals,
  6. Qualified summer youth employees,
  7. Qualified members of families in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP),
  8. Qualified Supplemental Security Income recipients,
  9. Long-term family assistance recipients, and
  10. Beginning January 1, 2016, long-term unemployed individuals.

An employer must obtain certification that an individual is a member of a targeted group before the employer may claim the credit. An eligible employer must file IRS Form 8850 along with ETA Form 9061 with their respective state workforce agency within 28 days after the eligible worker begins work.

For each group listed above, there are specific criteria that must be met in order to be certified as a member of that targeted group. The second page of the instructions to Form 8850 include these criteria. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8850.pdf

Recently enacted legislation extends the time for employers to submit these forms for various targeted groups who began working during various time periods as follows:

  1. An employer who hired or hires a member of a targeted group other than qualified long-term unemployment recipients (groups 1 through 9 above) and who began or begins work between January 1, 2015 and May 31, 2016 has until June 29, 2016 to file Form 8850 with their state workforce agency.
  2. An employer who hired or hires an individual who is a long-term unemployment recipient (group 10 above) who began or begins work between January 1, 2016 and May 31, 2016 has until June 29, 2016 to file Form 8850 with their state workforce agency.
  3. An employer who hires a member of any of the targeted groups who begins work after June 1, 2016 is not eligible for the transition relief and must file Form 8850 with their state workforce agency within 28 days after the eligible worker begins work.

 

If you have any questions concerning the WOTC, or if you feel that you may have an employee who qualifies for the credit especially during the transition relief period, we encourage you to give us a call.