Vrakas CPAs, Here Are Your Articles for Wednesday, February 15, 2017
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Saved Articles

  • How to Be an Executor

    It may be your duty someday to carry out the final wishes of a family member or close friend. What are you responsibilities? Click through to find what you need to know as an executor, and where you can get help.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Is This Your Situation: Trying to Manage Seasonal Construction Budgets

    When the sun is shining and the temperatures are warm, it can be hard to remember that construction is largely a seasonal business. Click through to find out what happens in the dead of winter when you don't have work for your seasonal employees.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • How to Manage Overtime Under the New FLSA Rules

    LATE BREAKING NEWS: A November 22 ruling contains important changes to proposed rules on overtime regs.  Click through for the details on the rule that was to go into effect on December 1, and learn why that may not happen.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Congratulations to our Employees on Another Year!

    This past month Vrakas celebrated many work anniversaries. Congratulations to our following employees ... 

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • What's the Deal on the Earned Income Tax Credit?

    The earned income tax credit, which makes $55 billion available annually to the working poor, has been around since 1975, but is still often misunderstood. Click through to get the facts of this useful but complex tax break.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • 11 Fun Ways to Be More Active With Your Family

    Discover a number of fun ways to be more active with your family this spring and summer. Click through for a list of 11 great ways to spend more quality, family time together.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Local Entertainment And Events Calendar

    You’ll always know where the fun’s going on with our interactive local events calendar featuring social sharing, images, videos and ticket links. Click through to see what's happening or to add your own local events.

    Saved on 08-26-2017 - Remove
  • Working While Collecting Social Security Benefits

    Can you work while you're receiving Social Security benefits? Before you make a decision that could impact your future, it is important to know all the facts. Click through to learn more about Social Security rules for those still in the workforce.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Does Your Company Need Key Person Insurance?

    In business, it's hard to find time to consider something that isn't really urgent but that can be incredibly important. Click through to learn how to protect yourself against the loss of a top employee.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Why Is Padding Your Tax Deductions a Risky Proposition?

    Everyone does it, right? Padding your tax deductions may not seem like you're playing a game of Russian roulette, but the risk can be substantial. Click through to learn more about padding deductions and better solutions for your business.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Special Video Report: Know the Importance of Job Descriptions

    For businesses to survive and prosper, employees have to adapt quickly to changing situations. That's why it's more important than ever that job descriptions reflect employees' job duties. Click through to learn how to make sure management and staff are all on the same page.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Happy 45th Anniversary Vrakas CPAs + Advisors!

    Vrakas celebrated its 45th anniversary at the Westmoor Country Club on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Vrakas had clients, referral sources, business partners, colleagues, and more help us bring in this exciting accomplishment for our firm. 

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Special Video Report: Are Health Savings Accounts Right for You?

    Health savings accounts can be a helpful way to help manage healthcare costs, in conjunction with traditional insurance plans. The trick is knowing how they work. Click Full Article below for a video that explains some of the key details.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Uncover the Tax Basics for Charitable Contributions

    Everyone knows that charitable donations are deductible, but there are a lot of subtleties. Before you add up your deductions, make sure they're eligible. Click through for some basics on charitable giving.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Are Adult Children Responsible for Their Parents' Care?

    Are adult children responsible for their parents' medical care, not just morally, but legally? Click through to learn what the rules are if you're one of the many people who live in a filial care state.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Tips to Improve Company Morale

    Can low morale ultimately hinder your business from reaching its goals? Click through for simple and creative approaches to strengthen employee engagement.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Deciding How and Whether to Pay Bonuses

    Additional remuneration in the form of performance bonuses or incentive payments can help retain good staff. Click through to get details on choosing how and whether the incentive or bonus should be paid.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • How to Communicate With Your Staff

    The quality of your senior management's internal communication says a lot about your company. Click through to see plenty of ways to continue to improve workplace communication.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Tax Calendar for the Rest of 2017

    Although April 15 is the most famous, there are plenty of other tax deadlines both businesses and individuals need to know. Click through for an annotated list of taxes to be paid between July 1 and Dec. 31.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • What Dead Celebrities Can Teach Us About Estate Planning

    The news is always full of celebrities who die and leave their estates in a mess for heirs to fight over for years. Click through to learn how to make sure your heirs don't end up like that.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Guidance on Employee Use of Cell Phones

    The Internal Revenue Service guidance on the treatment of employer-provided cell phones as an excludible fringe benefit indicates ... Click on the article to find out! 

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Take a Look at the New HSA Plan Limits

    The Internal Revenue Service just announced the 2018 inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts, and they're up. Click through to see by how much and what other changes might be coming.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Retirement: Looking Beyond the Financials

    Everyone is concerned with saving enough for retirement, and rightly so. But there's more to creating a successful post-work life than having sufficient funds. Click through for some advice on the nonfinancial aspects of retirement.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Using Myers-Briggs to Help with Hiring

    Every company is looking for an edge in finding and hiring the best people. One key tool is the Myers-Briggs test. Click through to learn what this test can, and cannot, do, and how you should implement it.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Learn the Estate Planning Angle for 529 Plans

    Almost everyone knows that 529 plans can be a great way to save for college. In addition, they also have some powerful estate-planning features. Click through to learn the full story behind 529 plans.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Living Wills: Everybody Should Have One

    It's hard to contemplate, but there may come a time in your life when you can't make decisions for yourself. That's what a living will is for. Click through to find out how these work and why you need one.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Develop a Social Media Plan and Implement It

    Want your business to get found online? You don't have to be a Fortune 100 company to take advantage of social media. Click through to see how direct communication with customers has the potential to transform your business.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Take Advantage of the Small Business Administration

    What can the Small Business Administration do for your business? Probably more than you imagined! Click through for an introduction to the SBA and the many programs it offers to businesses like yours.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Get the Lowdown on Probate -- And How to Avoid It

    Almost everyone has heard the term "probate," but many have only a vague idea of what it means and all the steps involved. Click through for an introduction to the probate process, and tips on how to get through it or even avoid it entirely with trusts.

    Saved on 08-26-2017 - Remove
  • Know the Tax Rules for Part-time or Seasonal Help

    From resorts during the summer to department stores in December, many businesses need to hire part-time and seasonal help. Click through to learn about the special tax rules for these kinds of staffers.

    Saved on 06-11-2018 - Remove
  • Deciding Who Will Take Over the Family Business

    Although retirement is years away, you want to be sure your legacy lives on. Click through to learn why it's never too early to create a succession plan.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Does Your Organization Innovate?

     

    Should every company innovate? Absolutely!

    If not, you'll get left behind. 

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Welcomed D.C. Everest High School to Our Firm!

    Vrakas hosted an event this past month for the D.C. Everest High School accouting students. Michael Hanke, an accounting teacher at D.C. Everest Senior High, was awared a WICPA Educational Foundation Accounting Careers Awareness Grant for 2017. 

    Saved on 08-27-2017 - Remove
  • Getting a Break From a Spouse's Tax Error

    If you sign a joint return, the IRS may be able to collect any outstanding tax relating to that return from you -- even if your spouse was the one who reported incorrectly. Click through to discover the ways you can escape paying your spouse's tax.

    Saved on 08-27-2017 - Remove
  • Check Your Withholdings

    We all go into tax season hoping for good news, and that we don't have to write a big check to the IRS. One way to insure ourselves against unpleasant surprises is by checking our withholdings. Click through for some tips on checking your status.

    Saved on 08-27-2017 - Remove
  • Business Deductions You May Not Know About

    Whether you own a business or work for one, you need every edge you can get. Why pay the IRS a dime more than you need to? Click through for some business-related deductions you may not have known about but can start using today.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • IRS DEADLINE CHANGES BEGINNING JANUARY, 2017

    The IRS has put into place numerous deadline changes that will go into effect beginning in 2017. Please review the list to see how you might be affected.

    Saved on 08-27-2017 - Remove
  • What You Need to Know if You're an Executor

    Carrying out the last wishes of a friend or relation is a solemn duty. What exactly do you have to do? Click through to learn what it means to execute someone's last will and testament.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Is an ESOP an Option for Your Company?

    An employee stock ownership plan is just that — a way to give employees a piece of the company. It can be a great deal for staff and management, but the setup and rules are complex. Click through to see if an ESOP is right for your business.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Welcome to the Vrakas CPAs + Advisors' New and Updated Newsletter

    Welcome to Vrakas' new and improved firm newsletter! We plan to give you helpful information every two weeks. Click through to learn all about the valuable FREE information we'll be sending.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • What Every Employer Must Know About State Unemployment Tax

    The vast majority of employers in the United States must pay state unemployment tax, the collection of which is authorized by the State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA). Click through to learn more about SUTA and what it means for your business.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • How to Dress for Success in Today's World

    In past generations, office wear was a simple proposition, but today, guidelines for proper clothes are all over the place. Click through for some thoughts on dressing for success in these confusing times.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Adds New Employees

    Vrakas adds six new employees to the firm! Vrakas CPAs + Advisors brought back three interns who started as full-time staff accountants, two accounting support specialists, and a professional clerical staff member. Click though to learn more... 

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Making Sure Your Homeowners Insurance Is Up to Date

    If you don't review and update your policy regularly, you could miss out on some substantial discounts and overlook glaring coverage gaps. Click through to review scenarios to consider when taking a second look at your policy.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • How to Create a Mission Statement for Your Company

    It's wonderful when you read a firm's mission statement and it defines the business so well that it feels like strategy. How do you do it? Click through to read the five steps to creating a mission statement that's not generic, stale and completely useless.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Dress for Success: Is There Such a Thing?

    In today's casual world, can you really dress for success and encourage your staff to do so as well? Or is this a vestige of the past? Click through for some insights into office clothing in the modern world.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • How to Plan for Special Needs Children

    It's always a challenge making sure your children are taken care of in the event of your death — but's it even more critical when you have a special needs child. Click through for some advice on the special estate planning provisions these children need.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • What's Up With the 'Cadillac Tax' Provision of the ACA?

    It's an oft-quoted provision of the ACA: the so-called Cadillac Tax. But what exactly does it mean? Click through to learn what the deal is, to separate the facts from the rumors.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Welcomes New Employees!

    Vrakas keeps adding to the family! This past month Vrakas added two new employees - one to Vrakas CPAs + Advisors and the other to affiliate company, Vrakas/Blum Computer Consulting, Inc. 

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Alternative Minimum Tax: Know the Deal

    Is the most dreaded acronym not the IRS anymore but AMT? Alternative minimum tax is a different way of calculating your tax liability. Click through to get rid of the AMT willies.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • What's the Deal With Palimony?

    Marital property rights are in a state of transition, not the least because of recent developments regarding the rights of people who are not spouses at all but near-spouses. Click through to be privy to the debate on spousal rights.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Don't Forget Your Military Tax Breaks

    Whether you haven't yet filed taxes for this year or are already doing tax planning for next year, consider these often-forgotten breaks. Click through for an introduction to the tax benefits the federal government offers to military personnel.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • How to Get a Tax Break After a Disaster

    Each season brings its worries about potential natural disasters, including hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes and floods. But know that the damage is often tax-deductible. Click through to see what the IRS allows after a major loss.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Summer Outing

    Our annual outing is such a great opportunity for employees to spend time with one another doing something fun outside of the office. 

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • A Tax Essential: the Percentage-Withholding Method

    The IRS has developed multiple methods that employers may use to withhold federal income tax from employees' wages. One of those methods is done on a percentage basis. Click through for insights into the percentage-withholding formula.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • IRS DEADLINE REMINDERS

    The IRS put into place numerous deadline changes that went into effect in 2017. Please review the list to see how you might be affected and the upcoming deadlines.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • How to Avoid Micromanaging Your Staff

    You're a manager, and so you need to manage. But how much? Too many managers go overboard on the details. Click through to learn what some of the signs are that you're overmanaging, and how to stop doing so.

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • The Future of Work: Digital Transformation

    Digital transformation is impacting all aspects of our lives. The typical office worker is becoming a thing of the past. Click through to discover the future of work and your place in it.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • What to Do if Your Business Is Audited

    An eerie feeling comes over you when the IRS determines your business owes tax money. Click through to get the scoop on IRS audits of business tax returns.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Noncompete Agreements: Should You Insist on One?

    A noncompete agreement can help minimize loss if a competitor tries to lure one of your employees away. But there are limits to how these work. Click through to become aware of all the implications before you ask your staff to sign one.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Can You Trust the Cloud With Your Taxes?

    When it comes to taxes and other sensitive financial information, email is NOT the way to go. Click through to see how a secure cloud platform is the way to go to receive and review tax and other financial documents.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • We Believe In Making A Difference

    Vrakas is proud to support the community in a variety of different ways. For example, in May we participated in the annual Ronald McDonald “Tab Toss” for the fourth year in a row and we launched our first inaugural United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) campaign!

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • How Does the Gift Tax Work?

    Is it truly better to give than receive? Ask the IRS. Even if you give gifts to relatives and friends, the government wants its piece of the action. Click through for some details on the little-known gift tax.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Leave Your Estate to Your Grandchildren

    There may be reasons to skip your children and leave most or all of your estate to your grandchildren. This is possible, but there are pitfalls. Click through to learn about generation-skipping transfer tax.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Don't Try to Be Funny with the IRS

    It's OK to disagree with the IRS. In fact, there's even a formal appeals process. But don't try to pull a fast one. Click through to find out what the IRS considers a frivolous argument, which can lead to severe penalties.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Learn the Secrets of Key Performance Indicators

    How do you know if you're doing well? It's a more complicated question than you may realize. Click through to learn about the different ways to measure your company's performance, and which ones are right for you.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Don't Roll the Dice on Taxes and Gambling Income

    Gambling winnings are fully taxable and must be reported on your federal income tax return. Click through to see that it doesn’t matter what games you play -- you’re required to report all your gambling winnings and pay taxes.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Updates, Updates, Updates!

    Had to extend your taxes or your employee benefit plan? Make sure you have all of the information on the upcoming October 16th deadline.  

    Want to attend an informational seminar? Vrakas has two different events coming up - register today. 

    Saved on 01-17-2019 - Remove
  • Special Video Report: Avoiding Common Start-Up Problems

    Start-up businesses don't have a very high success rate, but that doesn't mean yours has to fail! If you start right, you can surprise all the naysayers. Click through for a video that outlines the hazards you face, and shows you how to avoid them.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • How Does the ADA Work?

    The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against a qualified person who has a disability. Click through to discover what's meant by the ADA's call for reasonable accommodations and who decides what's reasonable.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • How Do You Research Salary Rates?

    Whether you're running a company or working for one, you want to know what the market rate is for people with a specific skill set and experience in a particular region. Click through to powershift your salary rate research chops.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Travel and Entertainment Costs: What Are the Rules?

    Yes, you get to deduct business-related travel and entertainment expenses, but as with so many tax provisions, the devil is in the details. Click through to learn how to properly deduct these expenses.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Permanent Life Insurance: Right for You?

    There are very few circumstances in which you will not need life insurance. Even single people use it to fund final expenses and medical bills. Click through for an overview of this essential financial product.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Estate Planning Is NOT Just for the Wealthy

    There's a common perception that estate planning is only for those with vast wealth. But that's wrong. Click through to get a deeper understanding of the importance of planning for even modest estates.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas CPAs + Advisors Sponsors 2016 Wisconsin Manufacturing Summit

    The Wisconsin Manufacturing Summit presented by the Independent Business Association of Wisconsin (IBAW) was held on Friday, September 16, 2016, at the Wisconsin Club. Vrakas CPAs + Advisors was proud to sponsor the event, alongside fellow sponsors Annex Wealth Management and Bank Mutual. Click through to read more

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • When You Should Take Social Security

    It's tempting when you reach your 60s to dip into Social Security as soon as you're able, but it may not be the best choice. Click through to learn more about timing your payments.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • The 401(k): Just the Beginning of Retirement Benefits

    Retirement plans are one of the most popular benefits companies can offer, and even small businesses can get in on the game. Click through for an introduction to retirement plans that are perfect for small businesses.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • When an Employee Faces a Wage Garnishment

    It's not your fault, but you're stuck in the middle: a court has ordered you to withhold wages from an employee's paycheck. Click through to learn how to keep this from getting messy.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Gyros for Heroes

    Vrakas held a firm lunch to raise money for the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight organization. In lieu of charging for lunch, a donation box was set out.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Community Involvement

    This past month Vrakas has been large and in-charge when it comes to sponsoring events with a meaningful purpose. 

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  • How to Pick the Right 401(k) Provider

    You're ready to provide a company-sponsored 401(k) retirement plan -- for yourself and your employees. How do you choose a provider? Click through to learn how to select a service provider for the long haul.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Tax Advantages of Investing in Real Estate

    One of the biggest real estate tax advantages for investors is deductions, generally geared to rental properties. Click through to get more details on what can be a long-term investment.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Are You Staying Connected?

     

    Are you on social media?

    If not, you're missing out! 

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Legislators Give Boost to Status of Freelancers

    Everyone talks about the "gig" economy, where workers are all essentially freelancers. But one city is reining in this "Wild West" system, and this may be a trend. Click through to learn about some new rules that affect the way companies and freelancers work together.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Cross-Border Tax Issues With Canada

    If you do business in Canada, you need to understand how the U.S./Canada Income Tax Treaty may affect your business. Click through to see how to capitalize on doing business with our largest and closest trading partner.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Make the Right Decisions on Retirement Plan Distributions

    We spend much of our lives putting money into retirement accounts like IRAs and 401(k)s, but when major life changes occur, we have to think about how that money comes out. Click through for some tips on doing this prudently.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Deciding Between an Audit and a Review

    What is the different between an audit and review? Which is right for you? These are subtle and complex questions. Click through to learn the difference and get some insights into what's right for your business.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • How to Get Copies of Your Tax Returns

    Sometimes you need copies of old tax returns. Your best bet is to save them, but sometimes they disappear during a move, for example. But all is not lost. Click through to learn how to get copies of old returns.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Social Security Taxes: The Basics Heading into 2017

    Social Security may be universal, but not every employer knows the details or is aware of its essential responsibilities. Click through for an introduction to key facts on Social Security and what you must do for your employees.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • How to Work With the IRS Office of Appeals

    Tax audits are rough, but you have recourse even if they don't end up in your favor. If an auditor rules against you, but you believe the ruling to be in error, you can appeal the decision. Click through for details on how to make an appeal.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Working Philanthropy Into Your Estate Plan

    If you've been a philanthropist in life, you'll likely want to keep giving after death. Estate plans can provide the ability to do just that. Click through to learn about incorporating charitable gifts into your estate plan.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • What Does ERISA Mean for Employers?

    The Employment Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, is an important consideration for employers. As an HR professional or company manager, you need to know at least the basics. Click through to learn more about this important topic.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • How to Leave a House to Heirs

    If you're a parent, you probably want your children to inherit your home. It's best to plan for it —via estate planning. Click through to learn the choices available to you.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Volunteers with Blessings in a Backpack for Second Year

    Vrakas held its annual volunteer day in support of Blessings in a Backpack Waukesha County to ensure impoverished elementary school children are fed.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Time to Think About Tax Scams

    Death and taxes are two of life's great certainties, as everyone knows, and along with taxes come tax scams, both new and old, every year. Click through to learn how to make sure you don't become a victim this year.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Wishes You a Happy 2017

    Vrakas wishes you much success and happiness in the New Year. As we reflect on 2016, we cannot say thank you enough...  

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • The Ins and Outs of Virtual Offices

    A significant proportion of your workers use technology to perform their jobs from home. Click through to see how virtual offices blend home and work to gain efficiencies that benefit both employer and employee.

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  • And the #1 Business of the Year is ...

    Vrakas sponsored the 2017 Top 10 Businesses of the Year event hosted by the Waukesha County Business Alliance and BizTimes Media.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You?

    As you reach your sunset years, you may want to remain in your house but still tap the equity you built up over the years. Click through to find out if a reverse mortgage can solve your problems and how to get started.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • The Rise of Robo Trading

    Robo investing is a relatively new form of algorithmic trading. Click through to discover how it's providing new and easily accessible ways for individual investors to enter the stock market.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • 2016 Vrakas/Blum Sage 100 User Group Conference

    Vrakas/Blum hosted its annual Sage 100 User Group Conference a few weeks ago. The event included speakers, a vendor trade show, breakfast, lunch, meet & greet with the Vrakas/Blum consultants, a raffle, and more... for FREE! 

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Attended the AICPA Employee Benefits Conference

    Vrakas Audit Managers attended the 2017 National Conference on Employee Benefit Plans hosted by the AICPA. 

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Watch Out for Reverse Mortgage Scams

    Reverse mortgages can be a great resource for older adults who want additional income for home care or other essential expenses. But you have to be careful when entering into an agreement. Click through to make sure you're not being cheated.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Welcomes our Newest Staff Accountant and Six New Interns!

    Vrakas welcomed our newest staff accountant and six interns to the firm this past week ... 

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Can You Leave Your IRA to Charity?

    Looking to give yourself a tax break and do some good? It's legal, and often advantageous, to leave your IRA to a charity. Click through to learn the rules behind this strategy.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Don't Get Caught by IRA Rollover Rules

    You have a lot of flexibility with an IRA, but there are some important, and rigid, rollover rules. Don't find yourself accidentally violating them. Click through for information on a rollover rule many investors don't know about.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • When Do You Need an HR Staff?

    When a business has only a few employees, it's easy to manage staff. But at a certain point, you need an HR manager in-house. Click through for some insights into when you'll reach that place.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • How to Choose a Financial Planner

    Financial planners advise clients on how best to save, invest and grow their money. Click through to see how they can help you tackle a specific financial goal like buying a house or getting a macro view of your money and the interplay of various assets.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Special Video Report: Estate Planning Is About Tax Savings and More

    Conventional wisdom holds that estate planning is just about making sure money flows smoothly to the next generation. But there's a lot more to it. Click through for a video that outlines the full range of estate planning.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Know All About Your Miscellaneous Deductions

    Miscellaneous itemized deductions are deductible only if they exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income. You need to make sure that these deductions are ordinary, necessary and reasonable in amount, says the IRS. Click through to get specific details.

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  • What You Need to Know as an Independent Contractor

    In today's economy, there can be a thin line between being an employee or being an independent contractor -- but there are still important differences. Click through for key tips on knowing your status.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas starts 2017 Charitable Organizations Drawing

    Throughout prime time season, Vrakas is holding a weekly drawing to win a week of indoor parking. The money raised throughout the season will be given to charitable organizations. 

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • What to Do if You're Audited

    It's every taxpayer's nightmare: Your tax return has been selected for examination. Your response will undoubtedly be "why me?" Click through to get some tips on how to respond to get through this as painlessly as possible.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Time to Think About 401(k) Audits

    Vrakas is proud to audit over 60 employee benefit plans each year.  Our team's emphasis is to ensure your plan is being served by qualified professionals who not only can provide the compliance audit services that you require, but can also provide communication of audit results that go beyond the standard auditors' report.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • What Insurance Do Small Businesses Need?

    The world of insurance is a complex one, and it's essential to make sure your business is covered. Click through to learn the basics of business insurance so you can make the right decisions.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Joint Tenancy: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

    Couples and business partners take title to each other's bank and brokerage accounts, as well as real estate and other personal property. They are joint tenants with rights of survivorship. Click through to see what you should consider before entering such arrangements.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Ex-Spouses, Pensions and Social Security

    Dividing assets after a divorce can be difficult in the best situations, but when it comes to pensions and Social Security, it can be a nightmare. Click through for the "straight dope" on splitting retirement assets after a divorce.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • What Must You Disclose About Your Retirement Plan?

    Do you have a pension plan for your staff? If so, do you know what you must disclose to them? Click through to learn more about the regulations that govern retirement plan disclosures to make sure you're following the complex rules.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Sponsors The Women's Center: Futures Free From Violence Trivia Night

    Vrakas sponsored The Women's Center Futures Free From Violence team trivia night last week! October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time dedicated to commemorate lives lost, honor survivors, and recommit ourselves to the crucial work of breaking the cycle of violence. 

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Volunteer Day 2017

    This year marks the 10th annual volunteer day for Vrakas CPAs + Advisors. In 2008, Vrakas decided to set time aside each year for an annual volunteer day project. This year Vrakas supported Blessings in a Backpack for the third year in a row. 

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Want to Succeed? Become a Joiner!

    Becoming a member of professional organizations can help you strengthen your network, furthering your career. Click through to see how you can enhance your professional development through business associations.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • The Advantages of Diversity Training

    You're thinking of implementing diversity training to advocate workplace diversity. Click through to see how such programs lead to higher employee retention rates, improved morale, reduced lawsuits and improved recruiting.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • When It's Time to Take Money Out of Retirement Plans

    We spend much of our working life focused on how much we put into our retirement accounts. But eventually we have to focus on money coming out of the accounts. Click through for some guidance on the distribution rules.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • How Small Businesses Can Use Newsletters

    A newsletter is a cost-effective medium for building relationships with customers and prospects -- and even for recruiting. Click through to see how a newsletter can increase your awareness of your company.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Get the Inside Scoop on Annuities

    Annuities can be a good way to ensure a steady stream of income in retirement, but you need to do a lot of investigating beforehand. Click through to find out if annuities are right for you, and how to choose one.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • 328 Days Until Christmas

     

    The best part about the holiday season as an employee?

    The good 'ol annual holiday party! 

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Should You Consider Owning a Franchise?

    Maybe you're tired of working for someone else. But starting your own business can be risky. A middle ground for many is the franchise -- be your own boss, but with the backing of a big company. Click through to see if this is the right move for you.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Do It Right: Legal HR and Payroll Practices

    You could fill a bookshelf with all the rules and guidance on payroll and HR generally, and employers have to be vigilant. Click through for some advice on how to get started and remain on the right path.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • What's the Best Payday Frequency?

    Depending on local rules, you might have a lot of leeway on how often to cut paychecks: every week, every other week, monthly. What is best for your company and your employees? Click through for the options, and the advantages of each.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • The End of the 40-Hour Workweek?

    Ever since we were students in classrooms, our days have been structured around eight-hour blocks. But does that make sense? Click through to enter a discussion on whether we can set our own schedules.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • What You Need to Know About Basis

    The concept of basis is an important one, and in the context of inheritance, it's often misunderstood. What does it mean for estate planning? Click through for an introduction to how the IRS looks at the value of an inheritance.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • In Search of a Financial Advisor

    Almost everyone could use some help managing their money, from the modest to the wealthy. How do you find someone reliable? Click through for some insights into choosing and working with a financial advisor.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Benefit Transfers When a Spouse Dies

    A spouse dies. What happens to their benefits? This tiny question becomes quite giant when bills start piling up and you never had to pay any of them before. Click through to get some tips on how to handle this.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • How to Protect Your Estate From an Ex

    One of the most common motivations for using trusts is to minimize the risk that a future divorce will expose assets to the reach of your ex-spouse. Click through to become wise to practical steps to take to keep assets safe from your ex.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Are Accounting Changes Holding You Back?

    Break free with Vrakas CPAs + Advisors annual update on recently issued standards. 

    Join us for this informative session. 

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Announces Promotions

    Vrakas CPAs + Advisors is pleased to announce the promotions of Holly Breien, CPA, James Broughton, CPA, Michelle Pollack, CPA, and Scott Syrjala, CPA. 

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Exploring the Self-Funded Solution

    Employer self-funded health care programs offer portability, flexibility and customization. Click through to understand exactly what this is and how it can work for you.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Should You Put Your House in a Trust?

    Placing your home in a trust has advantages, like avoiding probate court, but there are a lot of details to get through. Click through to help figure out if this is the right move for you and what it involves.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • What to Know About 'Power of Attorney'

    A power of attorney allows you to appoint a person or organization to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so. Click through to discover the different types of powers of attorney with different levels of control.

    Saved on 06-12-2018 - Remove
  • Family Businesses and the Next Generation

    Having your children work in the family business is a great way to teach your kids about work ethic and money management, and to kick-start their retirement or college savings plan. Click through for tips on bringing your children into the family business.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • Cheers to 2018!

     

    Wishing every day of the new year be filled with success, happiness and prosperity for you. Happy New Year!  

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • What Is Your Business Worth?

    You've built a business, but you may not even know what it's worth. This can have serious implications, even if selling is not on the horizon. Click through to find out why a valuation is essential.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • Business Tax and Bad Debt

    Do you have a client or customer who won't pay? Even when all attempts to collect a bad debt have failed, the IRS may give you a break at filing time. Click through to see how to take that bad debt off your taxes.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • Who Needs a Business Valuation?

    Every business owner has probably heard of business valuations, but may not be sure of the hows and the whys. Click through for an introductory explanation of why a business valuation may be right for you.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • The Pros and Cons of Becoming an ESOP

    An employee stock ownership plan can be just the ticket for the right kind of company. How does it work, and is it the right model for your business? Click through for an introduction to this popular method for owning a company.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • 5 Ways to Avoid Micromanaging Your Staff

    It's a difficult line to walk: you have to properly supervise your staff, but if you spend too much time guiding them in their tasks, you squash initiative and destroy morale. Click through for some tips to avoid the micromanagement trap.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • Getting to Know the Sharing Economy

    What's the sharing economy? It involves using online platforms to rent a spare bedroom, provide car rides or offer any number of other goods or services. Click through to learn more about what's often called the sharing economy.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • Keep Track of Paycheck Withholding

    You may want to check paycheck withholding, says the IRS. Withholding errors can lead to unpleasant surprises at tax time. Click through to consider several factors that may affect refunds or the taxes owed in 2018.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • Are New Sick Leave Rules Coming to Your Area?

    What seems like the mundane world of paid-time-off and sick-leave policies is receiving attention in the form of new regulations. Click through for some new rules in Chicago and Cook County -- they may come to your area next.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • Tips on Managing the Ubiquitous Form 1099

    In today's economy, it may seem that there's a thin line between your employees and your contractors, but there's a world of difference to the IRS. One important distinction is the tax form used. Click through for the Form 1099 basics.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • CPA Associates International Conference

    The CPA Associates International is currently hosting its international conference in Orlando, Florida. Vrakas Shareholders - Jim Holmes, Jayna Schultz and Mike Kuhn - are there representing the firm.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • The Complex World of Flood Insurance

    Many people don't think they need flood insurance, but they do. Others think they have it, but they don't. Flood insurance is a complex topic. Click through for an introduction to flood insurance that can save you a fortune.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • Happy Clients, Happy Business, Happy Life

    Vrakas CPAs + Advisors affiliate company, Vrakas/Blum Computer Consulting, Inc. (VBCC), hosted its annual User Conference on October 25, 2017. The event was nothing short of a giant success. 

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • Big Changes in Social Security and Retirement Plans for 2018

    Every year, the IRS and Social Security Administration tweak essential numbers for Social Security and retirement plans — and this year is no different. Click through for the need-to-know numbers for 2018.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • How to Calculate Severance Pay

    Severance pay is usually offered to employees after termination from their jobs. Though generally not required to provide it, companies often base it on length of employment. Click through to see how other firms handle this.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • Club Dues: Deductible Or Not Deductible

    The IRS distinguishes between dues paid to clubs, which often are not deductible, and dues paid to professional organizations, which are often deductible. 

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • Know the Ins and Outs of Joint Tenancy

    It can be a great way to own property, helping owners avoid probate and spreading both risk and reward. But there are some pitfalls and it isn't for everyone. Click through for the key points of joint tenancy.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • Bringing Holiday Cheer to Children in Need!

     

    See how Vrakas contributed to spreading joy to those in need this holiday season...

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • How to Hold Real Estate in Your IRA

    Traditionally, IRAs contain funds or individual securities, but it's possible to put other kinds of investments into these accounts, including real estate. Click through for some insights into the rewards and dangers of this strategy.

    Saved on 06-13-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Sponsors the M!L TALKS Series

    Vrakas sponsored the inaugural M!L TALKS series presentation presented by the Maverick Innovation Lab on Wednesday, November 30, 2016. 

    Saved on 08-31-2017 - Remove
  • Estate Planning: The PBS Way

    Whether it's from public television, your alma mater or a local charity, you may very well receive requests from organizations asking you to remember them in your will. Click through to find out exactly what this means.

    Saved on 09-02-2017 - Remove
  • Vrakas Wishes You Happy Holidays!

    Vrakas wishes you Happy Holidays with family and friends. Stay safe and enjoy your time off with those you love!

    Saved on 09-03-2017 - Remove
  • New Pension Plan Limitations Announced

    The IRS is taking into account cost-of-living adjustments on pension plans and other retirement-related accounts for tax year 2017. Click through for some good news for many who want to put away a little more.

    Saved on 09-03-2017 - Remove
  • How to Organize Vacation and Sick Time

    Vacation and sick time are among the most popular and common benefits you can offer your workers. But you do have a system for offering these days off? Click through to learn how to set up a fair and logical time-off system.

    Saved on 09-04-2017 - Remove
  • Government Makes Tax-Related Inflation Adjustments

    We're just on the cusp of 2017, and it's already time to think ahead to 2018. Wise taxpayers will take these changes into account now, as part of their financial plans. Click through to see what may affect you.

    Saved on 09-04-2017 - Remove
  • Know What's Up With the ACA

    It's one of the most discussed pieces of legislation passed in recent years, but many still don't know the basics of the Affordable Care Act. Click through for a review of the ACA's key provisions.

    Saved on 09-04-2017 - Remove
  • Facing the Emotional Side of Mergers

    Many articles and books have been written about how to do a merger, and many speakers have pontificated on the subject. Click through to see that the one missing ingredient is the range of emotions that accompany the transaction.

    Saved on 09-05-2017 - Remove
  • How to Put Together a Home Budget

    Get your financial life in control and organized. How? Create a budget. Click through to learn how to track your expenditures, identify spending habits and set goals for yourself.

    Saved on 09-05-2017 - Remove
  • Taking Care of the Family Business for the Next Generation

    In family-owned businesses, the family's wealthy and the company itself are bound together, financially and psychologically. Creating an estate plan is especially important in this situation, and complex. Click through to get a handle on your family business.

    Saved on 09-06-2017 - Remove
  • Thank You Intern Class of 2017

    And just like that the 2017 tax season is over! Vrakas would like to take a moment and say thank you to the incredible intern class we had this past accounting season.

    Saved on 09-07-2017 - Remove
  • Check Your Withholding Now

    With so many recent changes, two-income families and people who work multiple jobs should check their withholding amount. Click through to see if you're withholding the right amount of tax from your paycheck.

    Saved on 01-22-2019 - Remove
  • Business & Baseball

    What do business and baseball have in common to be successful? A deep bench of talented people that will help build a winning franchise.

    Saved on 01-22-2019 - Remove
  • Passwords: Making Them Hard to Crack

    Consider all the passwords you use, in your personal and business lives. Passwords secure all the resources on your computer and phone -- your email and important online accounts. Click through to learn how to choose strong passwords.

    Saved on 01-22-2019 - Remove
  • What to Take Out of Employees' Paychecks

    Employers are ultimately responsible for withholding taxes from their employees' wages. Therefore, it's important to understand which payroll taxes your employees should pay. Click through to discover the many different types of employee payroll taxes.

    Saved on 01-22-2019 - Remove
  • Are Annuities Right for You?

    Annuities are well-known financial products designed to fund a retirement. How do they work? And are they right for you? Click through to get the basics to help you decide if they fit into your financial plan.

    Saved on 01-22-2019 - Remove
  • Why Compensation Plans Are Your Key to Success

    You create a plan for marketing, a plan for sales, and a plan for technology. Make a plan for employee compensation as well. Click through to learn about this essential but sometimes forgotten business management task.

    Saved on 09-07-2017 - Remove
  • Consider Digital Assets in Estate Planning

    Who will let your professional online network know that you've passed away? How will your executor access your passwords and PINs? Click through to see the latest ruminations on estate planning for digital assets.

    Saved on 09-08-2017 - Remove
  • Homesharing for Seniors

    Today there are many options for senior housing. Consider intergenerational co-housing villages for folks who want to live with all age groups. Click through to learn about balancing a desire for privacy with a need for companionship and support.

    Saved on 09-09-2017 - Remove
  • Vrakas CPAs + Advisors acquires the accounting firm of Radke & Schlesner

    We are pleased to announce that Vrakas has acquired the accounting firm of Radke & Schlesner, S.C. effective December 1, 2017.

     

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • How Do You Handle Sales Tax?

    Does your company need to collect sales tax on purchases made in and out of state? If you’re not already familiar with this process, it can seem complicated. Click through to better understand the basics of sales tax for your products.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Welcome, Robert!

     

    In order to better serve our valuation clients, we have added a new team member, Robert. R. Grey. 

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Know the Secrets Behind 'Miscellaneous Deductions'

    Tax breaks that don't fit into a particular category; what would you call them? Yup, that's what the IRS did -- miscellaneous deductions. Click through and see the one-hit wonders -- maybe you'll see a deduction you haven't considered yet.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Bracket Changes and More From the IRS

    Washington is abuzz with talk of tax reform, although there's no certainty what, if anything, will happen. But the IRS is proceeding, for now, as if 2018 will be business as usual. Click through for bracket and deduction changes.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Time to Think About 401(k) Audits

    The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) requires employee benefit plans with 120 or more eligible participants as of the first day of the plan year to undergo an annual independent audit.  

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Portability: Sharing the Estate Tax Exemption

    Portability is a generous estate and gift tax break for married couples. Click through to learn how portability can allow spouses to pass substantial assets to heirs free of estate tax.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • How Much of a Raise Should You Give?

    If you have good employees, how do you compensate them for their work? Click through for tips on how to give raises based on market averages while making sure your best people feel appreciated each and every payday.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Get a Tax Break From Past-year Losses

    There are many tax breaks out there, but some of them are a little harder to unearth than others. If you've had a year when deductions exceeded income, you may be entitled to a refund. Click through for an intro to the complex rules surrounding net operating losses.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • What The New Tax Law Means For You!

     

    It is important to be informed on how the new laws will affect you.

     

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Adult Children and Filial Responsibility Laws

    In some jurisdictions, special laws may require adult children to contribute to their parents' care if Medicare isn't yet applicable. But federal rules may actual block their enforcement. Click through to learn more about filial responsibility.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • What to Do After a Hurricane

    Did you just get through hurricane? Do you know someone who did? Now comes the time to rebuild and repair homes, businesses and communities. Click through for a helping hand to get you -- or your friends and family -- through the coming weeks.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Inherited IRAs: Not Safe From Creditors

    IRAs have many advantages, including legal protection from creditors when the owner files for bankruptcy. But there's a chink in the armor. Click through to learn about how the situation may be different with inherited IRAs.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Keep Your Homeowners Insurance Current

    Homeowners insurance isn't about buying it once and then forgetting about it. You have to repeatedly check it to make sure you're fully protected. Click through to learn how to stay current with your insurance.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Federal and Wisconsin Business Incentives For Manufacturers

    Vrakas CPAs + Advisors’ Tax Shareholder, Jayna Schultz, shares business incentives for manufacturers. Click on the picture to learn how these incentives might affect your business.

     

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • 6 Retirement Mistakes to Avoid

    It's a "don't let this happen to you" situation: finding yourself nearing retirement with not enough money. Click through to learn about the mistakes you need to avoid.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • How to Choose a Credit Card

    No single credit card is better than all others in all categories for all people. Click through to learn how to choose a card that best fits your spending habits and credit situation.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • What Does It Mean to Be a Fiduciary?

    You may have heard about arguments coming out of Wall Street and Washington regarding fiduciary standards and controversial changes in regulations. Click through to get the scoop about what it means to be a fiduciary.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • It's Time to Organize Your Estate

    No matter what age you are, it's not too early or too late to get a handle on your estate, to make sure it passes smoothly to your spouse, children, and any charities. Click through to learn how to get started.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • A Shrewd Way to Give: The Donor-Advised Fund

    Think of DAFs as halfway between a private foundation and a simple bank account. They can be very useful systems for the philanthropically minded. Click through to learn what DAFs are, and how they work.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Hobby vs. Business: Where Do You Draw the Line?

    You buy and sell rare stamps: Is this a business or just a hobby? The answer can be complicated. Click through for an introduction to IRS guidance on the differences between a business and a hobby.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Some Thoughts on the Future of Employment

    Work no longer requires large numbers of workers: technological progress has made farms and factories more productive than ever. What does this mean on the employment front? Click through to see our future as workers.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Life Insurance Trusts: Powerful Tax-Savings Vehicles

    If an estate is large enough, it can get hit by federal and state estate taxes. Fortunately, a life insurance trust can let you plan around these taxes. Click through for an introduction to this useful estate planning tool.

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • Vrakas Updates

    What's new at Vrakas? Well, a variety of events have been taking place. Vrakas Business Valuations is now hiring, Vrakas sponsored another event for a great cause and the firm brought back its summer picnic. Click on the picture to learn more >>>

    Saved on 06-24-2018 - Remove
  • 2018 Vrakas Golf Outing

    Sunny and 75° … Vrakas could not have asked for a more beautiful day to hold its annual golf outing!
     

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Understanding Your Payroll Tax Liabilities

    Although the payroll taxes you’re liable for as an employer may seem obvious, some taxes are not so easy to identify. Click through to learn the common and not-so-common employer payroll taxes, including associated liabilities.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Moving and Mileage: Roundup of TCJA Changes

    The new year brings a suspension of moving expenses, but higher depreciation limits for cars, trucks and vans. Click through for IRS information on tax reform changes to expenses for moving, mileage and travel.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Hobby vs. Business: What's the Difference to the IRS?

    It's an old tax question, but the answers don't get any easier: what is the difference between a hobby and a business? It's a subtle point, but an important one. Click through for insights into IRS guidance.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Supreme Court Ruling on Online Sales Tax Sows More Confusion

    The Supreme Court has ruled that a company does not need to have a physical presence in a state to be subject to its sales tax. Click through to find out what this really means, and who is affected.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Your House in a Trust: The Pros and Cons

    Trusts can solve a lot of estate planning problems, and you can even put your residence into one. There are a lot of advantages to doing this, but you need to know the details. Click through to get the scoop on a powerful estate planning technique.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Don't Try This at Home: Frivolous Tax Arguments

    We'll be thinking about taxes again before you know it! Laws change, but one thing that doesn't vary is the IRS's view of bizarre excuses. Click through to learn about frivolous arguments the IRS has no patience for.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Are You Maximizing Your Company’s Value?

    As a small business owner, your business is likely one of your most valuable assets and at some point you may want to either sell your business or establish a succession plan in order to preserve your legacy.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Do You Need to Hire a Business Consultant?

    Feel like you could use some advice? Sometimes, an outside expert can give you a fresh perspective on the management of your company. Click through to learn about cost-effective ways to leverage a business consultant.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Bitcoin: What's Happening?

    Bitcoin, the digital currency, has been in the news a lot recently. What's it all about and how does it work? Is it something you should invest in? Click through for a quick review about this controversial financial product.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Smart Practices to Ferret Out Fraud

    When you think about fighting fraud, you may consider hiring financial experts to help -- that's great, but it's not all! Click through to see why your first step should include everyday practices to discover whether your firm is experiencing fraud.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • How to Manage the Home Office Deduction

    Many people work at home in the age of the telecommuter. Do you fall into that category? Have the rules changed? What are the limitations? Click through for an introduction to this valuable but complicated tax break.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Should You Honor All W-4 Requests?

    Employees' W-4 forms show what they want withheld from their paychecks. It's their responsibility to complete the forms, but do you have to accept each form no matter what? Click through for some insights into your responsibilities.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Welcome to Vrakas

    We are excited to welcome Andrea and Nicole back!

    They both interned with the firm in the Spring of 2017 and joined Vrakas full-time as audit associates starting June 11, 2018.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Effects of Reciprocal Agreements on Your Business

    Do you have employees who live in one state but work in another? If so, they probably are covered by a state reciprocal agreement, which eliminates dual taxation. Click through to learn more about tax reciprocal agreements.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Great Organizations + Summer in Wisconsin = Golf Outing Season!

    Vrakas is proud to support some fantastic organizations by sponsoring their annual golf outings. 

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Baby on the Way: Knowing All About Maternity and Paternity Leave

    There's a good chance you'll eventually have to deal with some kind of parental leave in your office, whether it involves an employee or employee spouse pregnancy, or an adoption. Click through for some insights in creating a policy.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Umbrella Insurance: An Estate Planning Necessity

    Umbrella insurance is extra liability coverage if you're at risk of being sued for damages. Click through to learn how to protect yourself -- and your estate -- against libel, vandalism, slander and invasion of privacy.

    Saved on 01-26-2019 - Remove
  • Vrakas Adds Seven New Associates

    We are pleased to announce the addition of seven new associates! 

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • What's the Story on Tariffs?

    Tariffs have been in the news recently. What exactly are they? Tariffs are import taxes the government imposes, like a sales tax, on goods. Click through to see how and why governments impose tariffs.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • Is a 1031 Exchange Right for You?

    A properly structured 1031 exchange allows an investor to sell a property, to reinvest the proceeds in a new property and to defer all capital gains taxes. Click through to see the impact of tax reform on 1031 exchanges.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • Abusive Tax Shelters: Know the Score

    No one likes paying taxes, and we look for ways to minimize our tax bills. But if you're too aggressive, you can step over the line from tax avoidance to tax evasion. Click through to learn the difference.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • Vrakas Opens Second Location

     

    We are pleased to announce the opening of a new office branch in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • How to Seek and Secure Investors for Your Business

    Searching for investors will require a substantial amount of your own effort, time, money and energy. Click through to wisely and mindfully work on pursuing investors to have a higher likelihood of reaching your goals.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • Networking is Important for Everyone, at Every Level

    With business development a firm focus, Vrakas wanted to find a way for our young associates just beginning their careers to start building their professional network.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • Qualified Retirement Plans: Know the Rules

    Periodically, the Internal Revenue Service issues a notice describing changes in its qualification requirements for retirement plans, including deadlines. Are you up to date? Click through to see the list of required amendments.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • ACA Affordability Threshold to Rise in 2019

    One of the main requirements of the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate is that health coverage must be affordable, based on annual standards set by the IRS. Click through for the details on the 2019 increase for one of those standards.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • Beware the Taxes of Self-Employment

    You're self-employed if you're in business for yourself -- including a part-time business. That means you're also your own tax manager! Click through for a brief run-through of your tax obligations.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • REVENUE RECOGNITION – NONPUBLIC ENTITIES

    United States accounting principles require the adoption of a new standard on revenue recognition for periods beginning on or after December 15, 2018.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • New IRS Guidance on State and Local Taxes

    The IRS is taking a look at the deductibility of state and local tax payments for federal income tax purposes in the wake of tax reform. Click through for a snapshot on what's happening with this complicated issue.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • What Is the EITC -- and Does It Affect You?

    The earned income tax credit subsidizes low-income working families. It can be complicated, and many don't know how it works or whether recent tax reform changed it. Click through for the latest word on the EITC.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • Did you know Vrakas has upcoming Seminars?

    Vrakas has three upcoming seminars. Check out the article to learn more and register today! 

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • How to Handle Supplemental Wages

    Supplemental wages do not qualify as regular income and are subject to special withholding rules. Click through for an introduction to what items fit into this group, and how they should be taxed.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • Know the FMLA Notice Requirements

    To receive FMLA-protected leave, eligible employees must provide adequate notice to their employers. If they don't, the leave could be delayed or denied. Click through for details on FMLA notice requirements.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • Is a Franchise the Right Move for You?

    At one time or another, almost everyone daydreams about owning their own business. With a franchise, you can be your own boss, with the backing of an established company. Click through for an intro to this business model.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • What Is the Path to Profitability?

    Are you concerned about your profitability? Sometimes you have to look in new directions to improve your business. Click through for some insights into the analysis you should be doing to take your business to the next level.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • The IRS Looks Into Executive Compliance

    The IRS is taking a special look at the tax situation surrounding executive compensation. This may sound simple, but there are a lot of complexities you need to know about. Click through for an introduction to the key issues.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • How You Can Keep Your Finances in Order Year-Round

    Most of us don't get our finances in order until a life event is imminent — an upcoming wedding, the birth of a baby, a divorce, a financial audit or a natural disaster. Click through to get organized with a 10-step plan.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • Impact of the Wayfair Decision

    The decision opens the door for states to enact laws that require out-of-state sellers to register, collect and remit sales and use tax regardless of whether they have physical presence in the tax jurisdiction.

    Saved on 01-27-2019 - Remove
  • Property Taxes: How Are They Calculated?

    Understanding how property taxes are calculated is critical to making sure the appropriate rate is charged. Click through to determine whether you're paying the lowest taxes possible and maximizing your returns.

    Saved on 01-29-2019 - Remove
  • The IRS and Private Tax Debt Collection

    As we head into tax season, taxpayers should know that the IRS continues to use several private collection agencies. How may this affect you? Click through for the details on how the program works and what your rights are.

    Saved on 01-29-2019 - Remove
  • Is This Your Situation: Wondering Whether an Audit Can Benefit You

    Your privately owned business may not require a financial statement audit according to law, but that doesn't mean you should overlook it. Click through to learn why an audit can be a smart move.

    Saved on 01-29-2019 - Remove
  • Child and Dependent Care Credit

    You may be able to claim child and dependent care credit, which can put a lot of extra money into your pocket. But the rules can be complicated. Click through to help determine whether you might be eligible.

    Saved on 01-30-2019 - Remove
  • Opportunity Zones: Doing Well By Doing Good

    An opportunity zone, located in an economically distressed community, spurs investments via preferred tax treatment. Click through for an introduction to the specific conditions for this useful but complicated provision.

    Saved on 01-29-2019 - Remove
  • Vrakas Holiday Party

    To show our employees how much we appreciate them, the firm holds an annual holiday party to celebrate all of the past year’s successes and to the coming year.

    Saved on 01-29-2019 - Remove
  • Gather All Your Papers for Taxes

    Don't find yourself frantically searching for information you need to file your tax return at the last minute. Click through to reduce filing difficulties and possibly your tax bill by knowing what documents to have at your fingertips.

    Saved on 01-30-2019 - Remove
  • 2018 User Conference

    Each year our affiliate company, Vrakas/Blum Computer Consulting, Inc. (VBCC), holds an annual Sage User Conference. This year was bigger and better than ever!

    Saved on 01-30-2019 - Remove
  • 6 Key Facts About Excise Taxes

    Everyone knows about income taxes and sales taxes, but we tend to forget about excise taxes, because they're not obvious. Click through for an introduction to this important class of taxes, and see what's changed.

    Saved on 01-30-2019 - Remove
  • Payroll Cards: Know the Full Story

    Despite being a viable option for unbanked employees, payroll cards have garnered a controversial reputation, largely due to concerns over fees and compliance. Click through for answers to frequently asked questions about payroll cards.

    Saved on 01-30-2019 - Remove
  • Identity Theft: Stay Safe With Your Taxes

    Imagine being the victim of a tax-related identity theft, and then you find out that the perpetrator claims a fraudulent refund. Click through to learn how the IRS is battling this problem to keep you safe.

    Saved on 01-31-2019 - Remove
  • What to Know About the SEP-IRA

    Small businesses and self-employed workers can use SEP-IRAs to help save for retirement. They're powerful and flexible plans that many don't even know about. Click through to find out how one might work for you.

    Saved on 01-31-2019 - Remove
  • What to Know About Pensions and Taxes

    When you start a pension, you can choose to have federal and state taxes withheld from your monthly checks. Click through to see that if you withhold enough taxes, you won't owe money when you file your tax return.

    Saved on 01-31-2019 - Remove
  • Just What Is Blockchain?

    It's the latest buzzword—everyone is getting into "blockchain." But what is it, really? In brief, it's a cunning system that allows the creation of digital ledgers in a secure and yet decentralized financial system. Click through for a peek at the magic.

    Saved on 01-31-2019 - Remove
  • Welcome New Hires

    This past month we welcomed five new employees and five interns to our family!

    Saved on 01-31-2019 - Remove
  • Basis: The Essential Tax and Investing Term

    Basis seems like a simple concept, but as with so many tax issues, it can become complicated quickly. This is especially true after recent tax reform. Click through for the story of what has, and has not, changed.

    Saved on 02-01-2019 - Remove
  • Hunger Doesn’t Take Weekends Off

    Each year Vrakas sets time aside for its annual volunteer day. For the fourth year in a row, Vrakas teamed up with Blessings in a Backpack-Waukesha County to help pack bags which provides weekend food for elementary school children across Waukesha County who might otherwise go hungry.

    Saved on 02-01-2019 - Remove
  • Handling Taxes for Employees Who Are Not Regular

    Taxes may be pretty straightforward for your year-round 9-5 employees. But what about those who are part-time? Or seasonal? There are special rules. Click through to learn how to handle taxes for this group.

    Saved on 02-01-2019 - Remove
  • Tax Reform Expands ABLE Accounts, Saver's Credit

    The tax reform provisions introduced at the end of 2017 contained some provisions for the disabled, which allow them to put away more money in their ABLE accounts. Click through for the details on the more flexible arrangements.

    Saved on 02-01-2019 - Remove
  • How Does Crowdfunding Work?

    As an alternative source of finance, crowdfunding has huge potential to help startup businesses. Click through to learn how to grow faster and even test-market an idea or product without spending much money.

    Saved on 02-01-2019 - Remove
  • Is Your Homeowners Insurance Up-to-Date?

    You bought homeowners insurance when you bought your home, but then you probably forgot about it except for the bills, and that's a mistake. Click through to learn why you should continually review your insurance.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • Be Wary of Scam Artists

    By Tim Itzin, Audit Shareholder

    There continues to be an alarming growth in attempted fraud with respect to business checking accounts.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • What to Do with An Inherited Mortgage

    We may assume that when we inherit property, as from elderly parents, the mortgage is long paid off. But that's not always the case. Click through for advice on how to handle inherited property when it has a mortgage.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • How to Handle Disagreements with the IRS

    Even if you're mired in the tax audit process, the IRS doesn't have all the power. You have options when faced with disagreements with your IRS examiner. Click through for a look into the process and your options.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • New Hire Reporting: Are You In Compliance?

    You've added a new member to the team or rehired an employee. You've done the onboarding and made sure the employee will receive all the necessary training. But have you performed new hire reporting? Click through for details on this essential step.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • Holiday Fundraisers

    Check out how Vrakas has been giving back this holiday season! 

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • Employee Overpayment Can Lead to Problems

    You've overpaid an employee, causing the company a financial loss. Now you need to recoup the money. But there are important tax implications and some rules you have to follow. Click through to make sure you do it right.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • Alternative Minimum Tax -- What's It Like Today?

    The controversial alternative minimum tax has been around for years, even though politicians argue about it. Has it changed recently? Click through to see how the AMT may apply to you as we approach the next tax season.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • Happy Thanksgiving

    Wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving! 

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • Good Statements Get Good Loans

    Your ability to obtain a business loan will depend a lot on how prepared you are during your application process. Click through to learn how to improve your chances of getting the loan you need to grow.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • How to Handle Bad Debt and Taxes

    It's a problem almost every business has to face at some point: how to handle bad debt. Fortunately, the IRS may be able to give you a break. Click through for some help in taking care of this.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • Medical and Dental Expenses: What Can You Deduct?

    Yes, the tax code gives you some deductions for medical and dental expenses, but the rules can get complicated. Click through for an intro to this key deduction, to help figure out where the IRS draws the line.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Something You Need?

    Long-term care can range from assistance with simple activities to skilled care provided by nurses and therapists. Is it right for you? Click through for more details and to discover the variety of coverage options.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • Wishing You a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

    May every day of the coming New Year glow with good cheer, health, happiness and prosperity for you and your loved ones. Click through for a special New Year greeting.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • Do You Have to File an Information Return?

    If you made or received a payment in a calendar year as a small business or self-employed individual, you most likely are required to file an information return to the IRS. Click through to learn what this means.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • How to Work With OSHA After an Accident

    During the normal course of business, an employee may get sick or hurt -- at which point, you may need to complete OSHA Form 300. Click through for frequently asked questions about this form.

    Saved on 02-11-2019 - Remove
  • Vrakas Annual Summer Social

    Every summer Vrakas holds a Summer Social for accounting students looking for a spring internship. This year we had students attend from various universities, including UW-Whitewater, UW-Milwaukee and Wisconsin Lutheran College.

    Saved on 08-06-2018 - Remove
  • Celebrating Milestones

    At Vrakas we pride ourselves on the longevity of our employees. In January and February we celebrated numerous anniversaries. 

    Saved on 02-14-2019 - Remove
  • Wishing you a Valentine’s Day that has never been sweeter!

    From our family to yours, we wish you a happy Valentine’s Day. Click through for a special Valentine's Day greeting.

    Saved on 02-14-2019 - Remove
  • Artificial Intelligence: Has It Come to Accounting?

    Artificial intelligence has been much in the headlines recently, often in the context of self-driving cars or robots. But will it change accounting and finance? Click through to see how AI is already affecting your life and business.

    Saved on 02-14-2019 - Remove
  • How to Improve Your Credit Score

    Everyone talks about credit scores, and how they can make a huge difference in your life --  with home purchases, for example. But what really affects the numbers? Click through for some steps to take now to get on the path to a better score.

    Saved on 02-14-2019 - Remove
  • Trusts: What You Need to Know

    A trust lets you distribute your assets to others, while minimizing estate, income and gift taxes. Trusts have scores of uses for a variety of families. Click through for a basic primer on this essential component of estate planning.

    Saved on 02-14-2019 - Remove
  • Padding Your Tax Deductions? The Consequences Are Serious

    It can be a seductive trap: adding an item here or there to reduce your taxes. But even aside from the morality, it's illegal, and the penalties are steep. Click through to learn about the consequences of lying on your return.

    Saved on 02-14-2019 - Remove
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Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
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