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Fighting the Charges of a Speeding Ticket

Fighting the Charges of a Speeding Ticket

A speeding ticket is given to a motorist who has gone above or below the speed limit posted for a particular zone. There are many different innovations that keep track of the speed at which vehicles move on the road, and these can be the evidence that the authorities will use to bring the case to court. Although it is usually futile to try and get out of the charges, there are some ways that can help to reduce the charges or have them tossed out.

Advice

Many lawyers will say that in order to have a better chance of not being issued a speeding ticket one should be cordial to the officer or officers at the scene. It does not help to be rude or insulting when explaining one’s reason why there was an escalation or reduction of speed. First time offenders have a small chance of not being issued one if they are sober and earnestly state that they have good reason to be going too fast or too slow. Some reasons are acceptable, such as emergency cases, which will be immediately clear to the officer when the situation is explained. Another possibility is the lack of signs in the vicinity where the incident may have occurred. Even as one is charged with too much or too little speed, one can still have hope regarding having the officer speak well of the person during the hearing. A good way to improve one’s chances is to follow up the situation directly with the officer in charge and to continue to be courteous and friendly with him or her. One does not necessarily need to convince the officer to drop the charges, but it is important to point out to that the individual involved in the incident is a good person and that he or she has no intention of doing it again. If the speeding ticket hearing pushes through, complying with the court date is important, as it will show the sincerity of the person. Not appearing will only aggravate things and make the offense seem even bigger.

It is important to avoid going above or below the speed limits set by the state for each road and street. Traffic infractions such as these can be put down on one’s record and, for some states, will reflect in the in the point system that may be in place for each state. Some point systems accumulate the points and will eventually suspend the license of the driver. Other motorists prefer to keep their record clean with regards to traffic infractions because insurance rates will be increased by their company if they have had many brushes with the law. This is very damaging to the finances and can actually be a big motivation for drivers.…

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New IRS Guidance – The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

New IRS Guidance – The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

Section 45R of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) offers a tax credit to certain small employers including tax-exempt organizations that provide health insurance coverage to their employees. The credit is effective for taxable years beginning in 2010.

Section 45R was added to the Code by section 1421 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”), enacted March 23, 2010. In Notice 2010-44 recently issued by the IRS, the IRS provides guidance on section 45R and what requirements must be met to qualify for the credit. This article discusses these requirements as described in the Notice.

Employers Eligible for the Credit

An employer is eligible for the credit if (1) the employer has fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees (“FTEs”) for the taxable year, (2) the average annual wage of its employees for the year is less than $50,000 per FTE, and (3) the employer pays at least 50 percent of the premiums of the health insurance coverage for their employees. However, a federal or state employer is not an eligible small employer for purposes of the credit unless it is a section 501(c) non-profit organization.

Specifically, we can determine whether an employer is eligible for the credit by following the array of steps set forth in Notice 2010-44:

Determine the employees who are taken into account for purposes of the credit.

Determine the number of hours of service performed by those employees.

Calculate the number of the employer’s FTEs.

Determine the average annual wages paid per FTE.

Determine the premiums paid by the employer that are taken into account for purposes of the credit.

Determining the Employees Taken into Account for Purposes of the Credit

Generally, employees who perform services for the employer during the taxable year are taken into account in determining the employer’s FTEs, average wages, and premiums paid. However, certain individuals are not taken into account as employees for purposes of the credit.

Accordingly, their wages and hours are disregarded in determining the FTEs and average annual wages, and the premiums paid on their behalf are not counted in determining the amount of the credit. These excluded individuals include sole proprietors, partners in a partnership, shareholders owning more than two percent of an S corporation, and any owners of more than five percent of other businesses. Family members of these owners and partners are also not taken into account as employees. A family member is defined as a child, sibling, step-sibling, parent, step-parent, a niece or nephew, an aunt or uncle, or a son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law. Any other member of the household of these owners and partners who qualifies as a dependent for tax purposes is not taken into account as an employee.

Seasonal workers are disregarded in determining FTEs and average annual wages unless the seasonal worker works for the employer more than 120 days during the taxable year.

Determining the Number of Hours of Service Worked by Employees for the Taxable Year

An employee’s hours of service for a year include the following: (1) each hour for which an employee is paid, or entitled to payment, for the performance of duties for the employer during the employer’s taxable year and (2) each hour for which an employee is paid, or entitled to payment, by the employer on account of a period of time during which no duties are performed due to vacation, holiday, illness, incapacity including disability, layoff, jury duty, military duty, or leave of absence. Only a maximum of 160 continuous hours may be counted as hours of service worked by employees for periods of vacation, holiday, illness, or incapacity.

In calculating the total number of hours of service which must be taken into account for an employee for the year, the employer may use any of the following methods: (1) determine actual hours of service from records of hours worked and hours for which payment is made or due, (2) use a days-worked equivalency whereby the employee is credited with 8 hours of service each day, or (3) use a weeks-worked equivalency whereby the employee is credited with 40 hours of service for each week. The number of hours per employee cannot exceed 2,080 hours.

Calculating the Number of an Employer’s FTEs

We demonstrate by example. Consider an employer during the 2010 taxable year who pays 5 employees wages for 2,080 hours each. The employer’s FTEs would be calculated by multiplying 5 by 2,080 and dividing by 2,080, which equals 5 FTEs.

In some circumstances, an employer with 25 or more employees may qualify for the credit if some of its employees work part-time. For example, an employer with 46 half-time employees (meaning they are paid wages for 1,040 hours) has 23 FTEs and, therefore, …

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Tax Help News – How Obama’s Health Reform Means More Tax-Reporting Requirements For Your Business

Tax Help News – How Obama’s Health Reform Means More Tax-Reporting Requirements For Your Business

There’s been a lot of confusion about what is and what is not in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – otherwise known as President Barack Obama’s health care reform.

Of course, despite the rumor mongering that goes so well with contact politics, there aren’t death panels. But there is a big change to the way you do business and pay your taxes.

The U.S. Congress used the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to legislate a new tax-reporting requirement for companies. Here’s the kicker: If your business purchases goods or services valued at more than $600 from any other company or entity, you will be required to report the expenditure to the IRS and the vendor by using a Form 990-MISC.

In essence, this new requirement, which will be in effect for purchases made in 2012, forces companies to snitch on their vendors, informing the IRS of revenue streams as tiny as $600. Before we discuss whether this is effective tax enforcement policy, consider the practicality of the law: Do your have the time, and does your business have the resources, to file forms for each and every vendor to whom you pay $600 or more every year? The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is betting the answer is no.

In July letters to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Alan Einhorn, chairman of AICPA’s Tax Executive Committee, asked the government to repeal this new requirement.

“This expansion of information reporting may prove to be so burdensome to small businesses that we believe it will significantly contribute to hurdles to growth and formation that businesses face,” Einhorn wrote.

In creating this new requirement, the government’s logic here is pretty simple: Companies will have difficulty under-reporting income if all transactions above $600 are reported to the IRS.

But with companies receiving hundreds, if not thousands, of 990 forms every year, how can the reporting requirement work effectively when it’s surrounded by a new paperwork tsunami? In his letter, Einhorn described any annual reconciliation process as “mind numbing.”

He wrote: “The AICPA strongly supports the efforts to reduce the tax gap, but we believe the extraordinary burden in this instance far outweighs the potential benefit.”

Given the budget crunch the federal government faces, it’s not shocking Congress is looking to close that tax gap. But a policy such as this one – which is not only impractical but also pits businesses against their clients – has the potential to overburden U.S. companies at the same time these companies are struggling in an ailing economy.

Putting aside the practicality of this requirement, you as a business owner must prepare yourself for your new tax-reporting obligations. New tax requirements means more ways in which the IRS can penalize you for failure to report cash flow. Arm yourself with the knowledge of what you must do in order to protect the well-being of your business.

At Tax Resolution Services, Co. we are dedicated to providing affordable tax help to businesses and individuals alike who find themselves in trouble with the IRS. For more information or to receive a FREE tax relief consultation, visit or call (888) 699-7630.…

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Self Employment and IRS Collections

Self Employment and IRS Collections

These days, there are a lot of people who are finding themselves self-employed in some way. There’s about 10 million self-employed workers in the United States alone and the number continues to grow every year. After all, with the job market the way it is, it’s a lot easier to try to work out your own business plan or do freelance work within your field. But when it comes to IRS collections, self employment can be a little tricky come tax time.

First you need to determine whether your status is self-employment. You are self-employed if you carry on a business as a independent contractor or a sole proprietor, if you are part of a partnership that carries on a trade or business, or you are just in business for yourself. Part-time work is included in this.

What falls into these lines of work can be a little confusing. While some things are straight forward, like if you write articles freelance for various publications; others can be tricky. Some internships that pay a stipend instead of giving credit will often give a 1040 form that has you down as self-employed. If taxes weren’t taken out of the stipend, you will have to pay them. Before taking on any job or internship, you should inquire as to what it is considered in case it isn’t obvious. There’s also some confusion over husband and wife joint businesses, depending on whether you are partners or one is an employee of another.

You must file an income tax return if your yearly earnings as a self-employed individual are more than $400. If you are running your own business where you are paying yourself, subtract your business expenses from your business income to figure out your end of the year earnings. The self-employment tax in the United States is currently set at 15.30% so you can get an idea of what IRS collections will be.

If you find yourself in need of tax debt relief after figuring out what you owe, you may want to look into getting help dealing with a payment arrangement. It’s also good to have a professional look over your papers before filing, because filing as a self-employed person can be very confusing if it’s not something you are used to. You don’t want to be taken advantage of in any way or lose out on deductions that can help you in the long run, or even turn you around from owing to getting a refund.…

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IRS Tax Relief – Why It’s Not Difficult to Get It

IRS Tax Relief – Why It’s Not Difficult to Get It

Are you one of those unfortunate souls who have unfiled tax returns and owes back taxes to the IRS and going through hell because you don’t know what to do? Don’t worry unduly because you are not alone. There are thousands of tax payers who are in the same boat who want to make those tax bills disappear and are looking high and low for means of doing so. What you actually need under the circumstances is IRS Tax relief. To do so however, you have to seek advice and assistance from a professional who is most probably the only person who will be able to give you the correct advice.

One mistake you should never make is to believe what the IRS says as gospel truth. They may not be lying outright, but did you know that it is possible to get those IRS chaps to back off so that you can pay the IRS only what is due and not some exaggerated figure they have conjured up to frighten you and make you cough up more? Those in the know will tell you that it’s not difficult to get relief from the IRS if you can forward your case through a tax attorney or expert who knows all the loop holes that can free a beleaguered tax payer. Make no mistake; they are masters at harassing and threatening the poor tax payer until he feels so intimidated that all he wants to do is pay what they want him to, just to get them off his back.

An expert on the other hand will look into your tax problems very carefully and take the fight into the IRS itself by showing them how wrong they are. When the IRS realize that they are not dealing with a scared amateur, but with someone who knows what he’s talking about the they will start backing off because its seldom that they too want to carry on a lengthy protracted tax fight. You should then be able to avail yourself and pay a much reduced tax without the additional fees and fines that they are known to add, hoping for an uncontested win.

Furthermore, when the IRS realizes that you have someone to champion you, they will also stop harassing you and you can then be on your way to settling all your tax debts and get whatever tax relief you are entitled to. One word of advice though; when you find yourself swimming in unknown waters and getting more and more entangled in the web called “tax”, seek help as soon as possible. Failure to do so will help the IRS to find more rope to hang you until you have no alternative but to pay the ridiculous fees and fines they have set out, and it would most probably be too late as well to obtain IRS tax relief for yourself by then.…

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The Tax Man Cometh – IRS Global High Wealth Industry Group

The Tax Man Cometh – IRS Global High Wealth Industry Group

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal discussed the new IRS’ Global High Wealth Industry Group. Over 1 year ago we warned readers of the new group when Commissioner Shulman announced its formation in an address to the American Institute of CPA’s during October of 2009. In his remarks, Shulman noted the need for a highly specialized audit unit to closely examine high-income taxpayers.

One year later, the group has started to make a name for itself and it isn’t a good one in some circles.

If you are a high wage earner and operate a hedge fund, make extensive use of trusts, have a privately held company, utilize flow-through entities or have offshore real estate holdings, be prepared for an audit. Those that are targeted can expect a particularly rigorous audit.

The new unit combines seasoned revenue agents (auditors) with offshore examiners and specialists capable of auditing every aspect of a person’s holdings.

Other developed nations are forming similar units. The IRS has suggested more cooperation in audits involving people that face taxes in more than one jurisdiction. In years past, individuals with assets in multiple countries could argue that their income was being taxed elsewhere. Those claims were often accepted as there was little cooperation between countries. That is starting to change

Given the IRS’ zeal for unreported offshore accounts and income, high wealth taxpayers playing the “audit lottery” may have more to worry about than audits. The IRS has also targeted people with unreported foreign source income and assets for criminal prosecution.

What should you do if targeted for an aggressive audit? First, have a heart to heart discussion with your accountant. If there is any risk of exposure, contact a tax attorney. Your tax attorney can then rehire your accountant under the attorney client privilege.

CPA’s do not enjoy the same confidentiality privileges that lawyers do. By having your lawyer hire the accountant, he or she is then protected by the same broad privilege as the lawyer. Nothing is worse than finding out your accountants were subpoenaed by the government and subsequently provided evidence against you. It’s not their fault; accountants simply do not enjoy a broad privilege.

Your accountant may be able to engage the IRS and defend the audit. If not, the lawyer can. Some CPA’s have experience in defending audits – it’s a special skill set – and others do not. If there is possible criminal exposure, leave it to the lawyers. Never be afraid to ask your lawyer or accountant for their experience in defending an aggressive audit. When it’s your liberty at stake, you want the best.

If the matter cannot be resolved at the audit level, you ultimately can take your case to U.S. Tax Court. You need a tax attorney for that. In one recent case we were able to reduce a $4 million dollar case to slightly more than $100,000, a forty-fold reduction. While many IRS auditors are aggressive, government tax lawyers do not like to lose cases and will often be more reasonable.…

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Learning to Trust After a Divorce

Learning to Trust After a Divorce

Learning to Trust Again

Depending on the depth and breadth of the circumstances of divorce, the determining factor in healing and learning how to trust after a divorce is one’s ability to draw from the well of self-esteem and self-confidence. The individual with a strong sense of self-esteem isn’t given to allowing one episode of betrayal to destroy an entire future.

The same is true of self-confidence. A self-confident person has the strength to move forward even as the battlements before them seem enormous. Learning how to trust after a divorce isn’t a simple as just turning a page in a best-selling book. There are well-defined steps that make all the difference in “how” you learn to trust again.

Steps to Restoring Trust

Most human beings are trusting individuals. When we meet a stranger on the street and open lines of communication, we don’t automatically form negative, mistrustful judgments. We rely on an inner sense of trust to guide us in any new relationship.

Yet, newly divorced individuals are reticent to step over the threshold to a trusting relationship. The extremity of betrayal damages that inner sense of trust, creating a handicap to moving on with our lives. Then, there’s the matter of trying to avoid mistakes of the past relationship.

The first step to restoring trust begins with trusting yourself. The situation is really lack of self-trust rather than trusting others. Ask yourself: “How Much Do I Trust Myself?”. Clearly, if you can’t trust yourself to make emotionally stable decisions, you won’t be able to trust in mutual decisions made in a new relationship.

Seeking A Soulmate

Not every person we meet can be a soulmate. Yet, we desperately seek a replacement to fill the void of the loss of a mate. It’s also important to address our role in the past relationship honestly and with courage. That’s the next step in learning how to trust after divorce. Don’t be in a hurry to find a replacement for your loss. Hurrying into the next relationship after divorce is a sign of desperation and emotional insecurity.

Discover for yourself how important your personal happiness is to your future and the issue of trust becomes less fearsome.…