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Attorney At Law

Legal & Accounting Information Online – Beware of ‘Accurate Misinformation’

Small offline businesses often operate on a shoestring budget, relying on getting by on personal credit cards and the like during slow times and trying to get them paid back down during the better times. Since almost every industry is cyclic in nature, this happens time and time again. As a result, small offline businesses often rely on the Internet for much of their legal, accounting and other needed information.
The risk these small offline business owners take is that they’ll often fall victim to ‘accurate misinformation’, a new phenomenon that has resulted from the world-wide scope of information online. The term accurate misinformation refers to information that is true and valid in the jurisdiction where it’s written, but is not necessarily applicable elsewhere. Hence it’s accurate in that locale and misinformation elsewhere.
Small offline businesses usually recognize that they can’t use the information from another country in their legal and accounting issues, but may well be misled by information applicable to only a part of the country they operate in. For example, rules pertaining to taxes, laws and by-laws can vary from state to state, province to province, department to department, and often even differ in each municipality.
Remember, small offline business owners and solo entrepreneurs are fairly savvy, or they wouldn’t be in business long in today’s challenging economic times. So most know to disregard the financial and legal information posted by non-professionals and that they should only follow the advice of licensed and accredited professionals. But they do run the risk of falling victim to accurate misinformation when it’s published by a legitimate professional, especially if the web page they’re reading doesn’t list the exact location of the firm or individual offering up that info.
As a small business owner you know you have to exercise caution and prudence in all aspects of legal and accounting practices – just be sure that prudence extends to avoiding accurate misinformation. No matter how tight the budget, find a way to get solid business, accounting and legal advice from licensed professionals in your own community – it’s the only way to be sure you’re operating in full compliance with the rules and regulations in place where your small business operates.…

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General Article

Bad Debts May Cause Bad Health

Bad Debts May Cause Bad Health

We all know about debt. Most of us have debt, and that may not be a bad thing, after all few of us can afford to buy a house without taking a mortgage. But debt can be bad when it gets out of control. Sometimes the debt is unexpected. We may suddenly receive a bill from the IRS and it might be for a hefty amount. If it looks serious, talk to a tax attorney.

But first consider the content of this article. It looks at debt, at what it can do to you and how you can seek to remove the debt and not suffer any bad health issues. You see many people who have debts and tax debts in particular, find that it impacts their health and that’s a double whammy.

The impact of debt

When your debts start to mount and you find it harder to balance your budget, there is a strong likelihood you’ll suffer an extra burden – your health may suffer. Stress is a common reaction to the worry caused by debt. And then the snowball situation kicks in. The more you stress the worse you sleep. Then a lack of sleep makes you irritable and your work suffers. You skip meals. You eat badly, you gain weight. Your body is run down. And this whole sorry saga began once your debts became too great.

The solution

In simple terms, if you reduce your debt or can manage it relatively easily, your health should improve. So by gaining control of your finances you may thereby reduce health problems related to this stress. But how is that done? Strangely most people think of reducing their debt by increasing their income; they take a second job, work harder and thus get more money. But that’s not the only way or necessarily the best option. And anyway, some people just can’t get a second job or work any harder.

Here’s the key

Virtually everyone can cut their spending. That’s the key. If you cut your expenditures you’ll have more disposable income and be better placed to reduce or eliminate your debt.

So make a list of everything you spend. Many people have no idea how much they spend in a week or a month. Write down everything you spend. Then look at where you can make cuts. Do you have to rent DVDs? Are you buying too much food? Can you cut your utility bills by using less power?

Don’t let your health suffer because of your debts. Change your financial position. Draw up a plan to tackle the problem. Fix the debt situation and you fix your health.

*This article does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.…

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General Article

6 Tips For Hiring a Good Income Tax Attorney Or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist

6 Tips For Hiring a Good Income Tax Attorney Or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist

While taxpayers are allowed to represent themselves before the IRS, many taxpayers seeking tax relief find dealing with the IRS frustrating, time-consuming, intimidating or all of the above. So they make the decision to hire professional tax help (specialized tax attorney, tax resolution firm, etc.) to negotiate with the IRS on their behalf. An experienced tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist (CTRS) who specializes in providing tax relief to individuals and businesses can help resolve tax problems at both the state and federal level. Before you hire a tax resolution professional, check out these top tips for choosing a good tax relief expert to help you resolve your IRS problems.

Understand the cost of going solo: There are many advantages to hiring an income tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist, but the greatest advantage is peace of mind and knowing that you are not taking unnecessary risks with your personal and financial freedom. Going in front of the IRS without a tax attorney is like defending yourself in a murder trial. You’ll get creamed. To paraphrase the wise old saying, “He who acts as his own tax attorney has a fool for a client.” Even if you can’t afford to pay your back taxes or have years of unfiled delinquent tax returns, a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist or tax attorney can help you settle your IRS debt by increasing your chances of resolving your back taxes and helping you qualify for a settlement where you only pay back only a fraction of what you owe.

Don’t be penny wise but pound foolish: Even when you know you need a tax attorney, it can still be a difficult decision to make when faced with their fees. However, know that not getting professional help can be even more costly. To get the help you need, you need to leverage the specialized knowledge that only an expert income tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist can provide. In many instances, retaining professional and reliable tax attorney and tax resolution services will often result in more affordable IRS payment plans and lesser tax penalties. However, when you owe back taxes and you need a tax attorney’s help to get the relief you want, the issue at stake is more than just what is on your balance sheet. Issues with back taxes and other IRS problems can be both financially and personally crippling – so you will want to resolve them swiftly and permanently.

Understand your tax settlement options: Your tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist should help you understand the process for resolving tax debt so that you have realistic expectations for solving your specific problem. Because the IRS has very strict guidelines governing eligibility for tax settlement, your tax relief professional needs to let you know up front what options are viable for resolving your specific IRS problems.

Know that every tax relief case is different: To get the help you need, you will need personalized attention rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to tax resolutions. Beyond being able to leverage the specialized knowledge only an income tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist can provide, you will want to choose a firm with extensive experience and an exceptional track record for success to help ensure your unique case is in good hands.

Look for a firm that offers transparency. It’s unfortunate that there are some firms out there that will lowball their initial fees – without letting taxpayers know about additional fees that may be involved further down the road. This is a popular tactic that firms use to secure a client. They start the process by quoting entry-level fees – intentionally leaving out the fact that the Offer in Compromise process can take up to 6-7 months. Because a high percentage of Offers are rejected by the IRS, these cases often have to go to the appellate level – at which point these firms will then turn around and hit the client with additional appellate representation fees. You will want to choose a firm that will help you understand exactly what’s involved with achieving a settlement for your specific IRS problem.

A tax attorney will keep you out of future IRS trouble: Hiring professional tax attorneyand tax resolution servicescan not only help you resolve IRS problems from the past, but it can also help you achieve permanent tax relief, making sure you don’t run into tax problems in the future.

For more information on how to get IRS tax relief, visit for a free tax relief consultation or call 866-IRS-PROBLEMS.…

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Civil Law

Ownership Cost for Vehicles: United States Supreme Court Affirmed Ninth Circuits Judgment in Ransom

In 2005 the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act or BAPCPA was passed by Congress and created the Means Test. The Means Test was created in an attempt to change a perceived problem with the bankruptcy system. The idea behind the Means Test was to take IRS standard deductions and compare them to the income of those in need of bankruptcy protection. The theory is that the Means Test would level the playing field and show if someone was spending too much money on housing, food, utilities, and if so, how much should they be spending to have money left over to pay their debts. The Means Test was designed to show that a person has disposable income to pay some of their debts back in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy rather than having all of the debts discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Since the creation of the Means Teses, many bankruptcy lawyers have included deductions in line 28 and 29 for “Ownership Deductions” even though the person filing for bankruptcy did not have a vehicle loan or lease for their vehicle. By taking this additional deduction a person filing bankruptcy can reduce their disposable income significantly and therefore have no disposable income available to pay their unsecured creditors.
On January 11, 2011, the United States Supreme Court upheld the Ninth Circuits judgment and held that the “Ownership Cost” in line 28 and line 29 of the Means Test may only be taken if the bankruptcy filer actually has a car loan or lease expense. If a person owns their car free and clear then they must not take the “Ownership Cost” deduction.
The issue in this case turns on the interpretation of the word “applicable.” What a mess one simple word could create. The moral of the story is when Congress is considering the language of laws to pass, they must make their intent clear and analyze each word they use when drafting new legislation. One word could make a huge difference. Contact one of our San Jose bankruptcy lawyers or San Francisco bankruptcy lawyers for more information about the Means Test.…

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Family Law Attorney

Find Out What A Personal Injury Lawyer Does

A personal injury lawyer is a legal representative who offers legal advice and representation to people who feel they have been wronged in one way or the other. For instance, a person who is injured in the when a bus or any other form of public transport is involved in an accident can look for malpractice lawyers or a brain injury lawyer to sue the driver of the bus and the bus company for malpractice or negligence.
Lawsuits for personal injuries are meant to compensate the aggrieved party to address the injuries they suffered, whether physical, psychological or financial. The amount awarded as compensation is meant to help the person get onto his or her feet after the incident. However, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff because they have to prove that there was malpractice or negligence and that it was the cause of the accident.
The attorneys for the plaintiff must also prove that their client suffered some financial loses or felt physical and emotional pain due to the negligence of the defendant. That being said, getting a good car accident lawyer is very important. A good attorney is characterized by a larger number of wins compared to the number of cases lost.
When searching for good car accident lawyers in your area, you may want to consider asking your colleagues, friends and family for recommendations. Chances are that one of them has had a positive encounter with a good attorney in your area. Good attorneys when to settle and when to push a case through trial.
Some people often choose to settle for a large sum of cash while others want the case to go to trial to let the entire world know that the defendant is negligent of his duties and should not be entrusted with any duty that may risk the life of other people. When decided in favor of the plaintiff, defendants are usually required to pay an enormous amount of money as compensation.
Other cases that may involve a personal injury lawyer include injuries cause by negligence or general malpractice of medical practitioners. For instance, a patient might visit a doctor hoping to get better after treatment only to get worse without any reasonable medical explanation. In such cases, medical malpractice lawyers are usually brought in. The last decade has seen very many cases like this.
The increase in such lawsuits in the last decade can be attributed the no win no pay deal offered by law firms. In such deals, personal injury lawyers represent their clients free of charge pending the outcome of the case. If the case is decided in favor of the plaintiff, the personal injury lawyer gets his or her cut. This means that anyone can sue anybody of any company without spending any money.
When looking for a personal injury lawyer, you must do your research in order to find the best attorney in your area. An accident can make you incapable of going to work or take care of your children. Medical malpractice lawyers, car accident lawyers and malpractice lawyers are there to ensure that you get the compensation your deserve.…

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Legal Advice

The Legalizing of Marijuana in Washington State Could Still Lead to Prosecutions and Harrassment

On Nov. 6, 2012, the marijuana law passed in the states of Washington and Colorado, prevent users over 21 to be prosecuted for possessing no more than an ounce of pot. Many people in the cities of Seattle and Denver were dancing in the streets, lighting joints and bongs sometimes in the faces of news cameras, reporters, and even police officers. Citizens of those states were now free to use marijuana for recreational purposes without fear of arrest. Analyst estimated a legal marijuana market will be bring hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax for schools, healthcare, and government functions. It was a big win for people who believe that the criminal justice system has been unfairly targeting certain groups of people in the decades old “war on drugs.”
After the initial noise died down and the celebrations subsided, the complicated facts started to resolve. It is still illegal to smoke in public places and federal properties such as military bases and national parks. It will likely be a very complicated and messy task for each county to determine the acceptable number of licenses and permits to stores, growers, and processors that will meet consumer demand. Counties will need to figure out how they will monitor the quality and potency, and ensure it is not accessible to minors. It is also still illegal to casually grow and sell the substance. The new freedom to use cannabis will more than likely increase its demand, and according to basic principles of supply and demand, there will be a lot of people growing and selling marijuana illegally.
The biggest concern that people should have is the roll that the Justice Department will have in all of this. It is unclear how they will respond to the Washington and Colorado state laws that are legally streamlining a substance that, under federal law, is still very much illegal. While states have the ability to remove all penalties under their own laws for marijuana, the federal government will still have the power to raid the establishment of any state-licensed store or grower and prosecute them in federal court. Regardless of state licenses, permits, or even appropriate medical marijuana documentation, Washington state citizens still fear that their door might get kicked down by police in the middle of the night.
While the vote to legalize marijuana was a moment of celebration for many, its possession and distribution still remain consequential. It is important for users and future users to make sure they are complying with state laws to prevent needless legal entanglements.…

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General Article

Why Hiring a Tax Attorney is in Your Best Interest

Why Hiring a Tax Attorney is in Your Best Interest

Serious tax problems are just that – serious. They can be very difficult to deal with because the IRS has all the leverage in the case. The internal revenue code and accompanying regulations can be a real bear, particularly since you don’t understand them but the IRS agent you are dealing with does. This is why hiring tax attorney to deal with serious issues just makes sense.

Should you hire a tax attorney to deal with a $1,500 tax bill from the IRS? Probably not. You are going to end up spending more money in attorney fees than you will by just dealing with it yourself or paying the bill. Ah, but what if the tax bill you receive from the Agency is $25,000? Now we are talking about an entirely different game.

There are a couple of advantages to using a tax attorney in larger disputes with the IRS. The first is a simple one – you don’t communicate directly with the IRS. While avoiding personal interaction with IRS agents is certain a positive, the real value here is evidentiary. What you say is known as a “party admission” in courts. It can be introduced as evidence against you. Given this, IRS agents are trained to try to get you to say incriminating things. This is not an issue with a tax attorney. Why? They are not parties to the action and thus anything they say is not evidence. It may seem a small distinction, but it can be the difference between a successful resolution or a disaster.

The second benefit should be rather obvious at this point. You don’t know the tax code and regulations, but your attorney does. As shocking as it may be to most taxpayers, we actually have rights under the tax code. IRS agents aren’t going to tell you about them, but your tax attorney knows how to assert them and keep the Agency from running roughshod over you. Again, this is another key to obtaining a successful resolution in a case.

Debts owed to the IRS are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. This means you have no way of getting rid of them other than to deal with the IRS. If you have a significant debt, hiring an attorney to protect you is a very smart move.…