Rules for Overtime Have Changed…Nonprofits, Take Note!

Who’s been hitting the books? RBI’s Chris Smith has been, that’s who! He is always brushing up on new tax rules that will impact our amazing clients. He does the studying so he can keep you informed, up-to-date, and out of trouble with the IRS.

Here is a big change to the tax law in 2020 that impacts employers that Chris wants to share with you. Overtime rules have changed! The criteria for which employees qualify for being exempt has been updated, as of January 1, 2020.

First, let’s do a quick review about what it means to be “exempt” and “non-exempt.” If an employee qualifies to receive overtime pay, they are considered to be “non-exempt.” However, if they are not eligible to receive overtime pay, they are considered “exempt.”

Want to know if your employees will qualify as exempt or not in 2020? If so, here are the questions to ask based on two new rules from the IRS.

Here are the questions:

  1. Does your employee earn less than $684 per week ($35,568 per year)?

If your answer is no, your employee is considered to be non-exempt.

If your answer is yes, please review and answer question 2:

  1. Does your employee direct the work of 2 or more employees?

If you answer “yes” for both questions 1 and 2, your employee is considered to be exempt.

If your answer is “yes” for question 1 but “no” for question 2, your employee is considered non-exempt.

It’s important to know that this impacts all employers! Often non-profits are excluded from many tax changes, but this one impacts everyone! Nonprofits are NOT excluded from this change.

To give you some background, this change to the overtime rules was first proposed under President Obama, but they were held up in the court system starting in December 2016. The Department of Labor made the final changes on January 1, 2020.


We have included the details for these rules here if you want additional information:

  1. The “standard salary level” threshold for white-collar exempt employees will increase from $455 ($23,600 per year) to $684 per week ($35,568 per year). That means starting January 1, employers will need to pay overtime to employees who earn less than $684 per week ($35,568 per year).
  2. Direct work of 2 or more employees – This threshold applies to non-executive, administrative, or professional (EAP) employees (i.e., white collar employees) who earn at least $684 per week and whose primary duties involve performing office or non-manual work and include at least one of the duties of an EAP employee (e.g., directing the work of two or more employees). The duties test did not change from the current rule.

We’re so glad that Chris is always on top of what you need to know about your taxes for your business. If you have any questions about this new overtime rule, or any other tax questions, please contact RBI Services or Community First. We’re here to support you!

Human Trafficking… The Silent Problem

Attending a Passion conference in Atlanta, Georgia, changed the course of Heather Caleb’s life. “I was working as a nurse when I attended a conference where I learned about human trafficking, and I found myself unable to rest until I was doing something about it.” As a dedicated medical professional, Heather was outraged when she learned how many young people are impacted by human trafficking, a modern-day form of slavery in which one person or group sells or exploits another person through force, fraud, or coercion for sexual purposes, labor purposes, or organs. “I was really frustrated. I have five younger siblings and I realized no one was talking to them about this topic, and they didn’t know about it.” Heather, fired up and ready to take action, learned more about Richmond Justice Initiative (RJI). And at RBI, we are so thankful she did, because as their Director of Development, she is the octane in the RJI gas tank.

Recently human trafficking has been getting a lot of attention in the news. RJI was founded ten years ago in 2009, however, a time when there was not much awareness about human trafficking. At the time of RJI’s founding, only one other organization existed to address human trafficking but their focus was on aftercare of those victimized.

RJI is different because from the beginning, their focus has been on prevention and early intervention through education and increasing awareness. “RJI was founded with the mission to educate, equip and mobilize communities with the tools needed to end human trafficking.” Heather explained, “We not only prevent at-risk individuals from getting wrapped up in human trafficking, but we also can encourage those who are in these situations to seek help and empower everyone to take an active role in being part of the solution.”

“We have our Prevention Project ™ curriculum, which is age appropriate for middle and high school students so they can learn how to recognize signs of human trafficking in their lives or the lives of their peers,” Heather said. Students learn how to avoid hazardous situations and how to ask for help. By empowering students to become leaders, they can take an active role, too.

Students’ lives are changed for the better through the Prevention Project program. Heather stated, “In one classroom after the teacher had given an overview to the students about what they were about to learn through the Prevention Project curriculum, one boy stepped forward and privately told the teacher, ‘This is a conflict of interest, I don’t know if I can go through the program. Trafficking is my family’s business; my uncles are pimps.’ The teacher encouraged him to still complete the program, encouraging him to receive all the information and then draw his own conclusions.” After learning about the damage and pain that victims experience, and talking with members of his family who are “in the life”, this student decided he wanted no part in trafficking others. “Fast forward to his senior year, and this young man’s mother came to the teacher and said, ‘You’ve saved my son’s life! He is now applying for college, something he had never previously planned to do.’ Through the curriculum, we are not only preventing victimization, but are also preventing would be traffickers and would be buyers!”

After RJI’s prevention program was piloted in 2012 in Henrico County high schools, its participation grew by 1,000 students a year for the first few years. In 2018, the growth increased to 16,000 students, and this year, over 24,000 students participated. “It’s pretty amazing because we don’t have a marketing budget. But we are in eight different states with only three full time staff! We do it with the help of amazing volunteers, partners, educators and school administrators who are committed to the safety of their students.” RJI also provides in-depth training for teachers, counselors and other youth leaders.

Speaking events is another way that Heather and her team offer community mobilization and inform the general public about what human trafficking is, how they can prevent it, and how to decrease demand. If you want to invite one of the RJI team to speak at your church, civic organization or business, you can request a speaker at:

There’s a quote by Gary Haugen, the CEO and founder of International Justice Mission that Heather shared, “We can help the work of justice by preparing for a marathon, not a sprint.” She said that spirit keeps her going. “While human trafficking is getting a lot of attention right now, once others aren’t talking about it as much, what keeps me going is knowing that there are still people who don’t know how to recognize the lies of a trafficker, who need to be given information so that they can make the decisions that can lead to freedom. They deserve my consistent efforts to help.”

Meet Alexis, the Mastermind Behind the Web Presence Here at RBI Services

What do small businesses have in common with creatures that live under the sea? In order to operate effectively, they seem to need eight arms like an octopus! But of course most entrepreneurs have the standard two arms available. So what do you do as a small business owner when you need help? You reach out one of your two arms to a super resource like Alexis Chouinard with Chicklet Marketing.

The mission of Alexis’ company, Chicklet Marketing, is to provide exceptional value, quality, and services for small business marketing needs. “I have fifteen years of experience and training in the marketing field, so I use that to make your business become more profitable.” Alexis channels her experience and knowledge into creating the best first impression for her clients, including website creation. “I know as soon as their clients see their website, my client will be evaluated. Their potential clients will decide whether they want to do business with them right away. First impressions count! I help my clients create a website that will wow potential customers and give them a good impression about customer service, price, and quality. I make your business pop compared to the competition. It matters!”

Chicklet Marketing mostly supports small businesses. “I love helping them grow!” Alexis comes from a family of successful small business owners, so she understands the entrepreneurial spirit. “I love translating that spirit into a sleek new website or logo design for small businesses. I have a proven track record of increasing visibility and traffic through my online advertising campaigns, which means more profit for my clients.” Alexis helps clients choose a brand that will not only be unforgettable but also set up the same good first impression as their website. “You want to make sure potential clients know you and your company are the best choice for them.”

The biggest benefit Alexis brings to small businesses is peace of mind.

“I don’t care what time my clients call me,” she shared with us. “Last night, I had a client who called me at 10:30. She panicked and said her website disappeared! Turns out it was a simple fix which we solved in only ten minutes. She was so relieved!”

Let’s see if your average website hosting platform can provide that kind of service! And Alexis often beats the prices of other website hosters. “People are often shocked when they see how much I can save them.”

It’s hard sometimes for Alexis to talk about all of the services she provides when she attends networking meetings. “You only have a minute or two to share!” She described how she helps clients to brand themselves – or rebrand when needed. She also designs business cards, flyers and other printed materials. “Our print pricing is comparable to Vistaprint while having better quality and custom design!”

Alexis went on to explain, “While designing websites and logos are my bread and butter, I also offer website hosting and maintenance, online advertisement campaigns, like Google Adwords and Facebook, branding materials, Gsuite setup, and optimization of your web presence.” Alexis believes strongly in providing maintenance for her clients. As she admits, “I’m a control freak!” While she laughs when she says this, she emphasizes that it is true. “I would rather protect my clients and proactively prevent issues. And my clients love it!”

Another important service Chicklet Marketing offers is security. As a subject matter expert in SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, which protects communications, Alexis has collaborated with RBI on an exciting development for our clients. This project is the creation of a secure client portal. “The portal will enable clients to share documents and messages securely with the RBI team. Security is so important for any business relationship, but especially accounting and insurance.” Having expertise with SSL helped Alexis develop the portal. “We use EV SSL certificates, which act as an insurance policy for secure transmissions.” What does this mean for our awesome RBI clients? When you share your documents and other sensitive information, you can rest assured your data is safe. It will save time while still preserving the important company and client bond we bring to you when we meet face-to-face.

In addition to creating the portal, Alexis and RBI have another common passion – helping nonprofits. “I love assisting nonprofits to create their websites by charging them less money,” she explained. She offers 25% off of her regular website design pricing for all non-profit organizations.

We at RBI know we can count on Alexis and Chicklet Marketing – and you can too! While she does just have two arms, she works as though she has eight – and maybe a few to spare!

Heather and Lauren

Baklava. This mouth-watering Greek treat is sweet and loved by many. But to Heather and Lauren James, baklava has an incredibly important significance – a perfect match. And that perfect match is arguably more sweet than the honey-soaked pastry!

By August 2015, Heather James had been through more than most teenage girls. A year earlier, her existing medical conditions worsened until she required desperate measures. And in November 2014, Heather received a double lung and liver transplant to improve her health.

At this stage in her life, Heather’s poor body was extremely sick and worn out. It was quite wonderful when she received the literal gift of life of these organ transplants. Her wonderful family, including her loving mom Lauren, stayed by her side, relocating from their home in Mechanicsville to Durham, North Carolina, where Heather had her surgery.

But life is complicated, and so was Heather’s medical recovery. After her surgery, her kidneys weren’t working. She went on dialysis a couple of days after the lung/liver transplant with the hopes that her kidneys would start working again. At the nine-month mark, however, Heather and her family were told that their functionality would not come back. They started looking into getting a kidney transplant. “It was a physically and emotionally tiring time,” Heather shared.

By the end of July 2015, Heather and her family started searching for donors. Lauren, Heather’s father Mark, and Heather’s brother Mark, all volunteered to donate a kidney to Heather. Initially though, Lauren had some concerns.

“I wondered if I were too old to donate. Turns out that’s a common misconception,” Lauren shared. To the family’s relief, they learned that there is no age limit to donating an organ. “We found a wonderful doctor we respected and liked, and he gave Lauren the green light to start the testing process.

In August 2015, Lauren’s phone rang. She and Heather were on pins and needles until Lauren excitedly learned she was a perfect match for Heather! Later that same day, the mother-daughter duo decided to go out to lunch and splurge with some celebratory baklava! Opa!

There were still some obstacles to face. Due to medical concerns, it was a long two years before Heather was ready. But in December 2017, Heather received Lauren’s kidney. No more dialysis!

And Lauren and Heather, who are even closer than most mothers and daughters, continue to celebrate life every day. “You learn not to worry about the small things. They don’t matter.” Together they volunteer time at the United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS, the nonprofit that makes stories like this one possible by matching donors with organ recipients. Along with Mark and Mark, even after experiencing some heartbreaking and scary times, Lauren and Heather truly know how sweet life is.

Checkpoint One

As soon as you step foot on the grounds at Checkpoint One, you’re welcomed into this incredible team with a joke, a warm welcome, and a hot cup of coffee. On the day we met with Andy Kaufmann and Kristen Fitzgerald, they made us feel at ease. And that’s the point.

Andy, Kristin, and Mary Margaret Signorelli established Checkpoint One as a safe space for military veterans and first responders, including firefighters, police, emergency room personnel, and other who deal with extreme stress on a daily basis and need to decompress. Ironically, these people who work hard to take care of everyone else in our community are some of the worst when it comes to taking care of themselves.

Andy knows this first-hand. A retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who served for more than twenty years, he experienced devastating stress that impacted his family, friends, and co-workers. Through his experience with his own stress, he encountered equine experience related to trauma and also yoga. He found both extremely helpful. After he retired in 2009, Andy accepted his next mission, to help other vets and personnel under extreme duress to change their lives through working with and healing through horses, yoga, and other activities. Andy became a Certified Equine Specialist and on the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) Military Task Force.

Andy met and joined forces with Kristin, a professional horsewoman. Not only has Kristin grown up with and loved horses for most of her life, she is also married to a former United States Marine. She is trained as a Certified EAGALA Equine Specialist and is additionally trained and qualified in E3A (Equine Experiential Education). When Kristin and Andy co-founded Checkpoint One in 2013 they brought Mary Margaret onto the team as she is an Equine Assisted Mental Health Professional.
When you arrive at Checkpoint One, you are greeted by a number of horses, ponies, and donkeys and a couple of cats, too. The Checkpoint One team lead the veterans and first responders to interact with the animals but they allow them to do so on their own terms. All of the interaction is done with people and animals on the ground, as no one gets on horseback. Andy, Kristin and Mary Margaret are just there to provide safety and some gentle guidance. In fact, there’s nothing the vets and first responders are required to do. They can come to Checkpoint One and never even touch a horse. If they do choose to interact with the horses, they often project their own issues into these interactions. This enables the participants to not only choose their activities, but also choose what they call the animals. The Checkpoint One team intentionally does not share the gender or the names of the animals with the participants. Why? Well, if they told the participants the horses’ names, it’s entirely possible that one of those names could be a trigger or remind a participant of somebody with the same name about whom they have a negative association. To avoid that, Andy, Kristin, and Mary Margaret allow the participants to call the animals whatever they want.
Why is working with horses such a powerful experience? Kristin and Andy explained that people and horses can recognize if someone or some animal doesn’t have an authentic connection. There is no “fake it” until you make it in the horse world. They pick up on energy. Andy told a story about how he had an encounter with a horse along with other veterans. All of them had mirrored sunglasses on and their arms were crossed. The humans had body language that was sending a pretty negative vibe. A horse that was there with them walked up to the men and kind of smacked at them with his nose playfully. He was saying, in horse language, “Open up, guys!”
Kristin said, “While office therapy has its advantages, there’s just something about being in nature that really can open up a lot of these folks.”

While serving the vets and first responders is their main mission, the team provides corporate and other organizational learning and growth opportunities. Trust-building and communication are some of the lessons that these company groups gain from their experiences at Checkpoint One.

In addition, Andy and Kristin are both yoga instructors. They have what they call their Yoga Barn, which is a pretty darn cool area. It’s a space where they can do yoga and help the veterans and first responders to relax, stretch out, and do the yoga exercises.
This is a team that’s always thinking about their next big steps. Currently the Checkpoint One team leases the farm but what they’d really like to do is purchase it. Eventually they will be raising money so they can make this dream happen. They are creating a labyrinth in one of the fields that will be so large that they’ll be able to take wheelchairs and people on horseback on its path. It’ll be the biggest labyrinth on the East Coast once they have completed it. They also want to expand and do more programs.
Checkpoint One got its name because many military people will describe the first step for a mission as “Checkpoint one.” Andy and Kristin adopted this term since this amazing non-profit is the place where many vets and first responders get started taking better care of themselves. It’s a fitting title because this is a team that doesn’t stray away from tough talk or tough topics with each other or with their participants. They speak authentically and transparently, and they also are very supportive of one another. Making veterans and first responders and workplace teams feel incredibly safe and like they want to take this first step towards a healthier life is an important task. It’s a pretty awesome group and RBI is incredibly glad to support their mission.

A Champion for Others

Polished and stylish when preparing for a board meeting, Ariel McGuire looks cool and professional. But stick around and watch her when she is doing her side hustle and you might be surprised. This 20-something year old has a few tattoos that you can see when she is in the ring….she’s a Muay Thai martial arts fighter!  When she’s not in full-contact combat, this amazing young lady is involved in a much different type of fight. She’s battling for the lives of girls and women in a country over 5,000 miles away from home.

Born and raised in Virginia, Ariel graduated from university in 2014 with a degree in Religious Studies. In 2012, she traveled to Ghana to study. While there, this adventurous lady traveled through West and East Africa. Ariel lived and traveled in Southeast Asia from 2015-2016. While living in Thailand, she loved the culture.

“There were lots of markets and shops. I lived in the mountains,” Ariel said. “The people there are beautiful.”

Ariel was teaching English, but she was seeking out people to teach her the art of Muay Thai.

“I was on a mission and I asked everyone how to start Muay Thai lessons. No one could help until a friend introduced me to someone who was practicing.” Ariel was soon hooked.

She was also still passionate about helping people in other countries. In the summer of 2017, Ariel returned to work in Ghana.

Ariel said, “Through Global Leadership Adventures, I partners with [fellow co-founder] Fafa Nukunu. We created a new program together.”

On The Mother’s Heritage International (MHI) website, Ariel is described this way: “As a very curious, vivacious, and strong-willed young woman, her experiences over time have evoked a fervent belief and passion for education and empowerment of women. After seeing and experiencing first-hand the type of change that needs to happen in Ghana, paired with the ability to create it within reach, she jumped on the opportunity to create MHI with Fafa Nukunu.”

Lake Volta, Ghana, is plagued by child slavery. In the Lake Volta region, around one in three children are engaged in child labor. Ariel said, “When I arrived, I saw the homes for child slaves were only for the boys. I asked, ‘Why not girls, too?’

Ariel and Fafa worked together to make a home a reality for the girls, too. They founded MHI to be an agent of social change and refuge for at-risk girls in Ghana. They provide rescue and refuge for young female slaves, teach women self-sustainable vocational skills, support educational and medical missions, and offer community education outreach. The entire idea behind their organization is to provide a safe, healthy environment for growth and education for girls who seek refuge from harmful labor practices and treatment on Lake Volta. All of Ariel and Fafa’s social initiatives are efforts that work together to stop the cycle of forced child labor and create positive change for women in Ghana.

“My main takeaway is knowing we are making a difference,” Ariel stated. With the establishment of MHI in 2018, they have just gotten started.

“My vision for 2019 is to raise money to purchase land for a new home for the girls.” Ariel said the best way to contribute to MHI is to donate money so she and Fafa can purchase the land and the building materials they need for the new building. 

Another way Ariel is raising money for MHI is through her passion for Muay Thai. Ariel currently competes in Muay Thai tournaments in Virginia. Here at RBI, someone who is associated with insurance had one of his unfiltered ADHD thoughts and suggested to Ariel to have a fight card to benefit her nonprofit.  She thought this was a great idea!  Ariel’s fight to raise money for MHI will be happening on January 26 in Winchester, Virginia at 6 PM. To learn more, please go to  Ariel is kicking butt, both figuratively and literally!

Whether she’s grappling with a fighter in the ring, or she’s working tirelessly to give girls and women in Ghana their freedom, Ariel is the kind of contender we love to champion.

To donate to MHI, please go to their website at

Ten Big Changes for the 2018 Taxes

While you’re getting ready for the holidays, RBI’s Chris Smith is getting ready for tax season! He’s sharpening all of his pencils, and instead of sugarplums, he’s dreaming of W2 forms and 1099s.

We’re so glad that Chris is always on top of what you need to know to prepare your taxes, whether it is for your personal finances or for your business. Here is Chris’ list of the ten big changes for the 2018 taxes.

  1. Standard deductions went way up.  Married filing jointly went to $24,000, up from what would have been $13,000.
  2. Personal exemptions have been eliminated.
  3. There are new tax brackets…the 15% bracket is now 12%, and the 25% is now 22%
  4. Estate tax exemption doubled – continuation of the road to eliminate the death tax.
  5. The child tax credit has been raised to $2,000 per qualifying child, those who are under 17, up from $1,000. A $500 credit is available for dependents who do not get the $2,000 credit.
  6. The deduction for interest is capped at $750,000 for mortgage loan balances taken out after December 15th of last year. The limit is still $1 million for mortgages that were established prior to December 15th, 2017.
  7. The itemized deduction is limited to $10,000 for both income and property taxes paid during the year.
  8. The employee limit for 401K and 403b plans went up $500 to 18,500.
  9. Phaseout limits were raised for those who have workplace savings plans and choose to not use or to do extra on the side.
  10. Phaseout limit for ROTH IRA’s has gone up.

So if you’ve read the list about, and any of these changes make you go, “Huh?” or cause you to lose sleep at night, please contact Chris and schedule some time to talk. He understands that as a small business owner or nonprofit president, you didn’t go into business for the financial work involved…He says, “We handle the financial stuff that overwhelms owners.” Chris also shares this advice to help out with your personal taxes. Sure, Chris looks out for small businesses and nonprofits too, but wouldn’t it be great to spend less time on your personal taxes so you can spend time on the things that matter, too?

That’s a gift you should give yourself for Christmas for a less stressful 2019!

Giving Tuesday? Giving Everyday!

On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, there’s a new annual tradition. Have you heard of it? It’s Giving Tuesday. Around here, our pants are fitting tighter after that big turkey feast the previous week, our thoughts are turning to buying a Christmas tree, and we start thinking about presents for the RBI gift exchange. Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving at the beginning of the holiday season that reminds us, while we’re recovering from the turkey feast and preparing for the holiday hubbub, to remember to give to our community too during this season of generosity.

At RBI, we’re all about Giving Tuesday. And giving Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and on the weekend too! Seriously, our driving force, the foundation of our existence as an insurance and accounting company, is so we can serve the underserved nonprofit community with the support they need. Many insurance companies shy away from providing insurance to nonprofits because while they may be high-risk and really need insurance, they don’t have a lot to spend. They’re called nonprofits for a reason!

But we at RBI are really grateful for Giving Tuesday because it serves as a reminder to all of us that we’re part of a larger community. The holiday season is about showing that we care. While we care throughout the year, the cold winter months make it a little harder to get from one place to another, doing the daily things we have to do. The holiday season and Giving Tuesday remind us that it’s not just all about walking around with blinders on as we go through our daily activities. We have this reminder that we can show our community that we care about everyone. Having a great holiday spirit during this sometimes bleak season – looking at all of the bare trees, trudging through snow, dealing with ice – brightens not only our own lives but also the lives of everyone we support.

While we care for many nonprofits, we wanted to check in with Rebecca Blackwell at the Sophie House and find out what Giving Tuesday means to their community. The mission of the Sophie House is to provide encouragement, supportive services, and housing to single women and single women with children that will move them from instability to stability.

When asked about the impact of Giving Tuesday, Rebecca shared, “The Sophie House relies on the generosity of our community to support the single women and mothers in our program. Giving Tuesday is a great way to give back to organizations that make a difference to you. After being able to shop and buy and save lots of money on the things we want to give during the holidays, we then have the opportunity to give back some of the money we saved while shopping, to a cause that makes a difference in the community and to us! Giving Tuesday makes a difference!”

As Board Members for Sophie’s House, we’re so grateful for the impact of Giving Tuesday! We believe in giving through monetary donations, but also through giving our time and energy. So when you’re considering trading in your work pants for stretch pants after Thanksgiving, and making out that long holiday shopping list, consider starting first on Giving Tuesday, November 27th, and make the season bright through a donation to your favorite nonprofit.

Green Skittles

The confusion was spreading across his face as Jimmy and one of his valued RBI clients sat across from one another. Jimmy’s client knew the importance of personal liability insurance but he wasn’t aware of professional liability insurance. And he had a question for Jimmy.

“Why do I need that?”

Jimmy froze for a second, and then a smile came across his face.

“Green Skittles.”

His client, clearly surprised by Jimmy’s answer, looked more puzzled. Jimmy confidently continued.

“Imagine that you are onstage talking with a huge audience of potential clients. As a business expert, they trust you and they are listening to everything you say. During this presentation, you tell your potential clients that what they need to improve their business is to eat Skittles. Lots of Skittles. But only the green ones.”

Jimmy’s client gave him a sideways glance.

“Um, OK!”

Jimmy continued.

“You keep telling the audience, ‘Eat green Skittles!’ After your presentation, many of the people listening run out, buy, and eat green Skittles. Soon afterwards, several people in your audience learn they are allergic to the ingredients in the green Skittles. They turn green and swell up like Violet Beauregard from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ Now these audience members are upset! As a business expert, you told them that they needed to eat green Skittles to grow their business. They ate Skittles based on your advice but all they did was grow big and green themselves! Other than getting Incredible Hulk auditions, they can’t work anymore! Now they are looking to sue you for providing advice that not only didn’t help their business but also caused them to have an allergic reaction.”

A light of recognition flashed across his client’s face.

“Ah ha!”

Jimmy smiled and continued.

“If you have professional liability insurance, guess what?”

The client smiled knowingly.

“I get protected from the green Skittles!”

Jimmy nodded. “You get protected from business advice you share that doesn’t work for your clients.”

As they talked, Jimmy thought to himself, “He gets it!” It was a great feeling.

And it is a feeling that Jimmy, Chris, and Tracie experience frequently when assisting clients at RBI services. The RBI Services team works together to answer questions for the entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and small business owners every day. With their years of experience, Jimmy and the RBI team know the insurance coverage people need. They recommend the insurance their clients need to be fully protected and will never try and sell you an unnecessary coverage. As Jimmy always, say, “We will find you the proper coverage at the best price.”

If you have any doubts or concerns about the insurance you and your business need, but feel unsure, Jimmy and the team are ready to put your mind at ease. Ask them any questions.

Using the green Skittles story, Jimmy’s client gained insight about exactly how professional liability insurance can keep him from legal scrapes while still being able to share his knowledge and wisdom with his client base. And Jimmy helped the client obtain the professional liability insurance that best suited his needs. That’s pretty sweet!

New Tax Law for 2018 to Negatively Affect Homeowners

The new Tax law for 2018 that will affect millions of Americans when the new filing season comes around. Many individuals love to use home ownership as an extra way to save money on their taxes. After all, this is a major incentive for people to purchase homes in the first place, to save money.  These changes are being brought about by longstanding provisions from direct and indirect tweaks that have allowed individuals to deduct home-mortgage interest on Schedule A.

With these new changes in place, the 32 million tax filers who received a write off on their home will fall to approximately 14 million. Not only will this stop a tax break, this will cause a rift in savings. These new changes have begun to stir the question of what is the best thing to do with your home financially if you can’t pay it off? Many are beginning to advocate for paying off the mortgage as soon as possible. This mentality of paying off a mortgage can help compensate for the lack of a tax break, as well as rising mortgage interest costs. Many married couples will feel the blunt of this new law due to limitations on number of returns received, not person in a house hold. There is a cap on deducting more than $10,000 of state and local income or sales and property taxes (SALT). If a married couple is filing jointly, this is the limit they must stick to when filing. During the 2017 filing season, a couple only needed write off’s totaling over $12,700 to receive the benefits of listing deductions on Schedule A.

For 2018 couples will have to claim one $24,000, nearing doubling the amount from the previous year. These new limitations are causing stress and concern for individuals worrying about their taxes.

Contact us through to talk to us about this and other tax changes, so we can make sure your 2018 filing is as smooth as possible.