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.





End of Tax Season Note from RBSK

21 04 2016

April 18th has arrived!  RBSK would like to take a minute to thank our colleagues, clients and friends for allowing us the opportunity to serve your needs.

We would also like to let everyone know that our offices will be closed Friday, April 22nd to allow our staff a well-deserved break.  We will be back in the office bright and early Monday morning.

Break





50 Years & 50 Gifts

5 02 2016

50 – It’s not a huge number. It’s not small either. I mean, who wouldn’t like $50 extra in their pocket? I know I would. 50 years in business is quite a milestone! That’s exactly what RBSK is celebrating – 50 years in business! What began as a sole proprietorship in 1965 has now grown to become one of the largest local accounting and consulting firms in Indiana.  To help celebrate that 50 years, the staff and partners of RBSK decided to have some fun with the number and give 50 gifts to represent those 50 years. Who better to receive those 50 gifts but the communities that we serve?

What fun we had buying those gifts – toys, coats, and even socks. If you weren’t involved in the buying process, then you had fun examining and, I’ll admit, playing with some of those toys.

Mary Harmeyer and I were very blessed to play Santa’s helpers and deliver toys. We delivered to Safe Passage in Batesville and to the Jennings County Coordinating Council.  We had a wonderful time meeting two women that are very enthusiastic about the services they provide at each of these organizations. They were very excited about the toys that we were able to donate.

Next up, John Seale was happy to deliver our winter coat donations to the Brookville United Way where they distribute these coats to those in need to help them stay warm. I’m sure they were greatly appreciated, especially these past few very cold days.

50 Gifts 3

Vince Rettig and Ron Knueven loaded up their sleigh to deliver toys to the Greensburg/Decatur County Cheer Fund. I think Vince had a hard time parting with those pink Barbie cars. But I know that the little girls that received them are sure enjoying them!

Rounding out our 50 gifts for 50 years was our 50 packages of socks donated to the Greensburg Community Bread of Life. Yes, I said 50 packages of socks. Not just plain white socks either. We had blue socks, black socks, socks with stripes and even socks with trains on them.

50 – It’s not a huge number. It’s not small either. But 50 years of getting to serve our communities has been a joy for sure.  We look forward to 50 more!

sm_christa

Submitted by Christa Dickson





Nick Wallpe Newest Partner at RBSK

29 01 2016

John G. Seale, managing partner at RBSK Partners, is pleased to announce that Nick Wallpe has joined the partner group as a principal owner. Nick joined the firm on a full time basis September 1, 2005.

Nick graduated from Ball State University with a Master of Science degree in Business with a concentration in accounting. Along with his CPA designation he also carries the CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant).  He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Indiana CPA Society.  Nick exemplifies the leadership characteristics, professionalism and technical skills necessary to be a principal owner and is committed to taking this important professional step in his career.

Nick and his wife Melissa, and their two children, Andrew and Abigail, reside in Greensburg.

RBSK Partners PC provides a wide range of services to individuals and businesses in a variety of industries. At RBSK Partners PC, we strive to meet each client’s specific needs in planning for the future and achieving their goals in an ever-changing financial and regulatory environment.

nick

Nick Wallpe, CPA





Did you say RBSK IT Road Show?

27 01 2016

Yes, that is what we have taken to calling our group of individuals in the IT Department here at RBSK Partners, PC. Ok, so it is really just a fun name we have given ourselves.  Our IT Department is actually made up of four individuals.  Three IT Consultants: Andy Koetter, Barry Bailey & Brian McReynolds; and our IT Administrative Assistant: (Me) Jennifer Gunter.

The members of our IT Department have been making appearances all month. We began our “Road Show” by speaking at the Optimist Club Breakfast on January 7th.  Our next engagement was at the Rotary Club Luncheon Meeting on January 18th.  Our most recent appearance was on the WTRE Chamber Chat January 25th.

We are having a great time meeting new people and getting the chance to inform everyone that we at RBSK Partners do more than the typical Accounting firm. You might be surprised to know that we offer computer services as well.  Our IT Department can help with all your computer needs.

During our Road Show we have had a few questions that have been asked frequently. People want to know how long your computer should last.  Obviously not all PC’s are the same.  As a general rule of thumb, a PC used in the business world should be replaced after 4 or 5 years.  Yes, they may still be running at that time, but probably not at their top speed or as well as they once did.  The fact of the matter is that technology changes and the needs of the software running on your PC requires more resources than they used to.

RBSK IT Road Show 2Another question we were asked on our Road Show was what we thought of Windows 10. With the release of Windows 10, we see good things.  The main thing you want to think about when considering upgrading to Windows 10 is to be sure the software you use for your business is compatible.  Software companies are not always on the cutting edge as you would think.  If the software you use is compatible, you are probably safe to move up.  Microsoft brought back a lot of the look and feel of Windows 7 that we like and some of the new features offered by Windows 8 that went over well.  As with any Windows upgrade there is a bit of a learning curve.  Overall, we like it.  We would caution you to be sure to take a look at the privacy settings while upgrading to Windows 10.  With the introduction of Cortana, Windows is asking for more approval to monitor how you use your PC to better assist you.  You do have the option to restrict that monitoring.  We recommend restricting that information.

We were also asked about backups and the cloud. There was a movie preview not long ago where the couple are discussing “The Cloud”.   One of them says “Nobody understands the cloud.  It’s a mystery.”  Well, that about sums it up for most of us.  We all know it is important to back up our data.  But do we want it in the illusive cloud?  The answer to that is “Yes”!  Backing up to the cloud is actually a good thing.  If you are running a business, the safest way to be sure your business can stay up and running in the case of a disaster is to backup to the cloud.  Backing up to the cloud means you are saving your data to another location.  So if your building blows away, you can still access your data.  Your building may be gone, but not your business.  You can breathe a little easier knowing that your data is not just out there in La La Land.  The backup software companies actually go to great lengths to keep your data safe by encrypting it so that no one can just happen across it.  Only you have the ability to access your data.

The last thing on everyone’s minds was about us individually. Who we are?  What is our background?  How long have we been in the technology field?  Well I mentioned at the beginning we are calling ourselves the RBSK IT Road Show.  If you have more questions, we can bring our Road Show to you.  We would love to hear from you!

SM Jennifer

Submitted by: Jennifer Gunter





RBSK Payroll Announces New Labor Law Poster Solutions

29 12 2015

RBSK Payroll will be unveiling a new Labor Law Poster Solution for clients as of the first of the year. Manager, Barb Bohman, CPA, CPP of RBSK Payroll indicates that labor law postings are an area of growing concern. This new program is designed to help our clients be in full compliance with the law.

For the new year, the federal government has announced an increase in the budget allocated for the Department of Labor (DOL). This will likely mean an increase in workplace compliance audits and more labor law poster audits with citations given for violations. Additionally, the 2016 DOL budget includes a $2 billion initiative for additional employer labor law posting requirements in selected states for Paid Leave.

Here is a description of the Labor Law Poster Solution.

Introduction

State and federal law requires employers to post labor law notices in the workplace. These mandatory postings include the OSHA Posting, Federal Minimum Wage, FMLA, USERRA and various state specific notices. Failure to post mandatory labor law notices can result in hefty fines and lawsuits.  We have made these state and federal notices available to you in laminated All-In-One State & Federal Labor Law Posters at wholesale prices. Please contact RBSK Partners for more information to order All-In-One State & Federal Labor Law Posters for your business.

Labor Law Poster

Labor Law Poster Update Service

Labor law postings can change at any time of the year, and it is the responsibility of the employer to stay up-to-date. CLICK HERE to review a list of State & Federal Labor Law Posting updates that have occurred since 2003. Let us take the worry and work out of keeping your business compliant!  Our labor law poster update services automatically keep you up to date with notifications of changes to the labor law notices affecting you.  When a change occurs, we will make sure that your posters remain compliant.

How does a Labor Law Poster Update Service work?

Our Worry-Free Poster Solutions offer two easy ways to stay up-to-date with changes in mandatory federal and state postings. Both update services are backed by a $25,000 We Pay The Fine Guarantee! E-Update Service

Upon activation receive a laminated All-In-One State & Federal Labor Law Poster delivered to your location (optional).

  1. When a change occurs, we place a call to your business to alert you that a posting has changed and we email the updated posting straight to your inbox as a downloadable PDF file.
  2. Print the updated posting on your printer.
  3. Display the updated posting alongside your current labor law poster.
  4. Receive an updated All-In-One State & Federal Labor Law Poster every year on the anniversary of your subscription. Shipping & handling included.

E-Update Service

Poster Replacement Solution

Upon activation receive a laminated All-In-One State & Federal Labor Law Poster delivered to your location (optional).

  1. When a change occurs, we update our posters with the new mandatory posting.
  2. We mail you an updated All-In-One State & Federal Labor Law Poster. Shipping & handling included.
  3. Take down your current labor law poster and display the newly updated poster.

Update Poster Service

Both update services are pay-as-you-go monthly subscriptions that can be activated and/or cancelled anytime.  Please contact RBSK Partners to order the E-Update Service, Poster Replacement Solution or All-In-One State & Federal Labor Law Posters without an update service.

 

FAQs

Q. What Labor Law Posters are required for my business?

A.  Both state and federal labor law posters are required for businesses. If a business has one or more employees, it is required by the law to post federal, state and OSHA mandatory posters. More specifically, the following six postings must appear in each workplace location: federal minimum wage, Employee Polygraph Protection, OSHA, FMLA, USERRA, and EEO.

Q. Where should my business display these labor law posters?

A.  Labor law posters should be displayed somewhere apparent to all employees on a daily basis, such as a break room or main lobby. If you have multiple locations, then each workplace should display its own posters.

Q. When does my business not require a labor law poster?

A.  Although it is recommended, the following types of businesses do not need to post labor law posters:

  • Sole Proprietor without employees
  • Businesses with only contract employees
  • Businesses with an all-volunteer work force
  • Family owned business where all employees are related

Q. Do my posters need to be multilingual?

A.  If your business is located in one or more of the following states, you are required to post labor law posters in both English and Spanish: AZ, CA, FL, GA, NM, NC, NY, TX. If you do not fall into this category, it is not mandatory to display bilingual posters; however it is highly recommended if you happen to have Spanish-speaking employees. The All-In-One State & Federal Labor Law Poster is available in Spanish for all 50 states in the U.S.

If you employ individuals who speak a language other than English or Spanish, it would be recommended to contact Labor agencies to obtain labor law literature in the appropriate languages so that your employees are informed on their rights.

Q. How often do I need to update my labor law posters?

A.  Whenever Federal, State, and OSHA agencies make any labor law changes, it is vital to update your mandatory labor law posters to avoid receiving a violation. Very frequently, state and federal agencies may change these laws with notifying individual businesses, so it is important to stay up to date for any changes made.

Q. Do I have to change my posters every year?

A.  The frequency of Labor Laws varies by state. Employers must change posters when the State, Federal or OSHA agencies make legislative or regulatory changes.

Q. How do I know if my Labor Law Poster is up-to-date?

A.  Visit www.posterupdates.com for recent changes to State & Federal Labor Law posting requirements.

Q. What happens if my business is not compliant with labor law posting regulations?

A.  If a business is not in compliance with current federal and state labor law poster standards, they are in jeopardy of receiving a fine or citation. Additionally, keeping your employees in compliance with required postings, reminds supervisors of their obligations to uphold the law, and protect your workers from injury, discrimination, harassment, and other important State, Federal, and OSHA requirements.

Q. What is the penalty for failing to display Labor Law posters?

A.  Federal and State fines are imposed by various agencies. These fines may vary. Failure to comply with posting regulations can result in fines of up to $17,000 per location (29 USC Sec. 666(i) and 29 USC Sec. 2005). Examples of the most common fines are:

  • Federal FMLA $100 per offense.
  • Federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act Secretary of labor can bring court actions and assess civil penalties for failing to post.
  • The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) may bring court actions and asses civil penalties as well.
  • For failing to post the Federal OSHA Poster – A civil penalty of up to $7,000 may occur.
  • For failing to post the CAL/OSHA Poster – you can receive a penalty of up to $1,000 per violation.

Q. When are Labor Law posters updated?

A.  There is no set date for updates on posters, which is why having a monitoring and update service is so valuable for today’s businesses.

To learn more about RBSK Payroll visit: www.rbskpayroll.com or call 812.222.1559 for a Free Quote.

Barb 2013

Submitted by Barbara Bohman, CPA, CPP

 

 





What is Ransomware?

22 12 2015

Ransomware is one of the more dangerous types of malware. It can be downloaded from a compromised website or received as an email with a link or attachment. Once executed it can lock the computer or encrypt the files (documents, spreadsheets, PDF’s & pictures) on your computer and pop-up a message saying to recover your files you need to pay a ransom through some type of online payment method.

If your files have been encrypted, you are in trouble. Usually it is not possible to unlock the files because the decryption key is stored on the cybercriminal’s server. You could pay the ransom. I DO NOT recommend doing this. It does not guarantee that the criminal will unlock your files. The other option is to restore from a backup. This is one reason you should be backing up your important files regularly.

The first step in preventing ransomware from hitting you is to be cautious browsing online. Don’t open unexpected email attachments and be cautious when clicking on a suspicious web page or link. Installing a free browser extension like Web of Trust (www.mywot.com) will help you determine which websites you can trust when doing internet searches.

Add an extra layer of protection by keeping your computer Operating System up-to-date with the latest Security patches using Microsoft Updates and have anti-virus software installed and up-to-date to help protect from the latest viruses and malware.

Backup important files regularly either with an online service or to a local backup device. When using local backup devices, keep at least three backup copies of your data, each on a different media (hard drive, flash drive, etc.) and the third at an offsite location.

Andy 2013

Submitted by Andy Koetter, RBSK IT Consultant





Big changes to FAFSA

4 12 2015

Have a child going to college?  Big changes to the FAFSA were announced from the White House in September.  The changes become effective in October of 2016 and will have a big impact for families with graduates in the year 2017 and beyond.

The new method is referred to as “prior-prior-year” because student’s college financial aid eligibility will now be based off of a family’s income from two years prior to when a student enters college.  Students entering college in the 2017-2018 school year will be able to use income tax information from their parent’s 2015 tax return.  Also with the prior-prior-year method you will be able to file a FAFSA form as early as October (2016).

Currently a student’s financial aid eligibility is based off of the income tax return for the previous year, so the eligibility for school year 2015 – 2016 is based off the 2014 income tax return.  Aid can change throughout the college years with a family’s finances, but the first year of aid could be crucial in playing a part in where a student will choose to attend college.  With current deadlines for filing the FAFSA ranging from January – March, nearly 4 million students file the FAFSA before they have access to the latest tax return.

With these welcomed changes, it will help students determine the true cost of attending college much earlier in the process.  It means students will be able to apply for aid earlier and more easily, and make better informed decisions about where to apply and how to pay for college.

sm_christa

Submitted by Christa Dickson





Holiday Schedule

25 11 2015

The Holiday Season is quickly approaching.  RBSK Partners’ offices will be closed as follows:

Thanksgiving – Thursday, November 26th; Friday, November 27th.

Christmas – Thursday, December 24th; Friday, December 25th.

New Year – Noon on Thursday, December 31st; Friday, January 1st

RBSK Partners would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

holiday





RBSK’s Phone System Under Construction

23 09 2015

RBSK Partners will be undergoing a complete phone system upgrade on Thursday, September 24th. The current voice mail system will be inoperative starting today. The “switch over” will occur Thursday afternoon and should be fully operational by close of business. While we hope there are no missed calls, that is a possibility. Should you have a need to call RBSK during this time, please call as normal. If you have trouble completing the call, we suggest you try again a little later. You may also opt for email during this time.

 Once this new system is in place, we will be providing more information about the ways to call RBSK and our new listing of direct dial numbers.

 We appreciate your understanding and patience while we make these improvements.