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Everything posted by Tax_Counsel

  1. Tax_Counsel

    Can 4 people be the legal owners of a house in New York City?

    Yes. Whether that is a good idea is another matter.
  2. The problem is that while the court record is sealed it does not change the fact that you did plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge. The sealing of the record with the court and law enforcement means the general public can't see it and it does allow you, with some exceptions, to answer "no" to questions on employment forms that ask about convictions (assuming you had no other convictions, of course). It also means that the conviction may not appear on third party background checks that employers run on job applicants. But sealing it does not remove the conviction. And, signficantly, nothing in the law that provides for sealing of records that requires newspapers, web sites, etc., to remove the articles that they put up about the crime and conviction. So sealing the record is not a cure all for erasing all traces of the conviction. It would have been inaccurate for the article to read that you were exonerated of the charges because, in fact, you weren't exonerated. More serious charges were dropped in exchange for the plea on the misdemeanor charge. Dropping those charges is not an exoneration. It does not prove innocence. So the issue is whether the facts presented in the article were true. If the facts are true, then it is not defamation. (Libel is the written form of defamation.) Although the paper might have presented the facts differently to leave a better impression, there is no obligation for the paper to do that and the failure to do that is not defamation. The critical thing is whether the paper stated any facts that were untrue. If the answer is no, there is no defamation. Even if there was defamation, you have another problem. Colorado law requires that you file the defamation within one year from the date the defamatory statement was published. You said that the paper published the article 4 years ago. So it is likely that is too late now to pursue it. While some have made the argument that material left up on the internet is continously republished and thus the statute of limitation doesn't start to run until after the material is taken off line, so far no Colorado appellate court has ruled on that and it is far from clear that they would buy that argument. You can discuss that with a Colorado civil litigation attorney if you think there might be a defamation claim to pursue. Finally, note that you have to be able to pin point specific, actual damages you have suffered from the alleged defamation. You say it has ruined your career. Exactly what does that mean and can you prove that it was because of the false statement made in the paper rather than what is true: that you were accused of various crimes and ultimately plead plead to a misdemeanor charge? Can you prove how much in dollars you have lost as a result of this?
  3. Tax_Counsel

    Retaliation for Winning as a Pro Se litigant

    Considering that you have not given any facts as to what exactly this law firm has done to you that you think is retribution and "corrupt" there isn't anything I can suggest for you. The details matter. There are a whole lot of things the firm might do that are perfectly legal to do and would give you no recourse, for example. Then there are other things they might do for which you would have recourse, but that recourse varies significantly depending on what that is. Pretty much every litigator loses some cases. Not every client a lawyer gets has a good claim or defense, after all. I can't see many law firms getting so upset at losing a case, even when the opposing party is pro se, that they'd waste their time and effort in retailiation efforts.
  4. Trust law is state law. What doucar meant is that the duties of the trustee are determined both by the terms of the trust instrument and the applicable state trust laws.
  5. Tax_Counsel

    Incest or no?

    O.k., to start with your question is a little unclear since in your situation the girlfriend has two children, the daughter she had before meeting the boyfriend and then the baby she had with the boyfriend. That baby might be a girl and thus her daughter, and in that case it's not clear which daughter you are asking about. So let's make this more clear by giving names to everyone. Doing that, your question becomes: "So say Arthur got a new girlfriend, Brenda . Brenda has a daughter, Carol, and Arthur has a son, David. Carol and David are completely unrelated. Then the Arthur and Brenda have a child, Fred. If David was to have sex with Carol would it be incest?" The answer to that is that it is not incest under NY law for Carol and David to have sex because they are not at all related. The fact that Arthur and Brenda had a child together — Frank — doesn't change that. Carol and David are still unrelated. New York's basic incest statute reads as follows: "§ 255.25 Incest in the third degree. A person is guilty of incest in the third degree when he or she marries or engages in sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with a person whom he or she knows to be related to him or her, whether through marriage or not, as an ancestor, descendant, brother or sister of either the whole or the half blood, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece. Incest in the third degree is a class E felony." NY Penal Law § 255.25. Carol and David meet none of the relationships listed in that statute.
  6. Tax_Counsel

    Car town claiming abandonment

    You were not in a tow away zone. The town had to give you some prior notice of the seizure prior to the tow to give you a chance to address the problem. If you were not notified in advance in some fashion you should be able to get a hearing on this and assert that you shouldn't have to pay anything for the tow and storage at least up to the point you were notified of the seizure because the town failed to give you due process. I successfully argued that when my city did the same thing (though I'm not in NJ). The problem is that you might end up still being held to at least storage charges while you battle this out if you don't get the car out. So the smart thing to do may be to pay the charges to get the car out and then pursue your challenge to the tow to seek a refund.
  7. Tax_Counsel

    Tax problems

    In practice it is not very easy to get awarded attorney's fees in a tax dispute with the IRS. Those limitations you referred to are indeed significant. On the flip side, it is also unusual for the taxpayer to get hit with the costs of the government if the taxpayer loses. In general, where the taxpayer does not have documentation of the expenses, the tax agency is not likely to get hit with costs of litigation for denying those expenses since it is the burden of the taxpayer to prove them. And proving them with any degree of accuracy is hard when you don't have the records. The federal statute allowing recovery of those kinds of costs from the government in a tax dispute is itself unusual; most states don't have a similar statute and so far as I can tell from a quick search the USVI does not have such a statute. There are certainly tax lawyers in the VI that could assist with this, but given the amount at issue it may not be very economical to hire one. It might be worth an initial consultation, though, to see what options there are and for some basic advice on how to proceed on this issue.
  8. Tax_Counsel

    I moved but what about my LLC?

    You may register your NC LLC as a foreign LLC in Indiana as one option. You must do that if you wish to continue using that LLC and operate it from Indiana. You also may transfer your NC LLC to become an Indiana LLC or other business entity. You may do that by creating the Indiana entity and merging your NC LLC into that entity. This has the effect of terminating the NC LLC and all the rights and obligations of the NC LLC automatically transfer to the new Indiana entity. That entity would be the continuation of the NC business. You could also dissolve the NC LLC and start a new entity in Indiana, but doing that would not continue the NC business. You might want to consult an Indiana business attorney to determine what is the best course of action for you and to help you with the steps needed to carry that out.
  9. The father and son have a lot of hurdles to clear on this one. The agreement for the sale of real estate should have been in writing; while in some cases a verbal agreement for the sale of real estate can be enforced, it's much, much harder to do. Here, at least during the time they were trying to get the wife/mother to sign off it, it appears they did not believe they had a contract, which is a problem for them. And even when they reach the point of believing they have a contract, they still have the issue of whether there was part performance to allow the part performance exception to apply. The father may have had the power to sell the property for the trust on his own, but he still owes the trust and its beneficiaries a fiduciary duty to get market value for the home; if he sold the home cheap to the son that would be a problem for him. The mother's attorney has a lot of things to work with to try to get the court to rule that the sale was invalid or that the husband owes her for her share of the home based on fair market value. I don't see the father getting away with shortchanging his soon to be ex-wife in this when the dust is all settled.
  10. Tax_Counsel

    DB 51

    All that the law requires is that you get minimum wage. As long as you are paid at least that then the employer is not violating any wage laws in reducing your salary. However, if you are a member of a union with a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that agreement might set out how the employer must set your pay.
  11. That's misleading as it implies that no oral contract for the sale of real estate would be enforced, and that is not the case. While nearly every state has adopted the old English statute of frauds which, among other things, requires that contracts for the sale of real estate must be in writing, in many states that rule is not absolute. A number of states provide judicial exceptions where in certain sitautions an oral agreement for the sale of real estate may indeed be enforced. The most common of these allows a party that has made either full or part performance (states vary on whether it must be full or whether part performance may suffice) of his part of the oral contract to sue on the contract. Idaho is one of those states: Bauchman-Kingston P'ship, LP v. Haroldsen, 149 Idaho 87, 92, 233 P.3d 18, 23 (2008). So while the general rule is that an oral contract for the sale of real estate must be in writing to be enforced, that rule is not absolute. Without more facts it is impossible for me to say whether the son might have a good case to make that the doctrine of part performance or some other judicial exception might apply to allow the contract to be enforced in this instance.
  12. He may sue his former employer for the damages suffered as a result of the assault. He may wish to see a personal injury lawyer about that. He may wish to follow-up with the agency that ruled in his favor on the wage claim to see what enforcement it will do of the order it issued. He might also sue the former employer for that, too and likely can simply add that to the personal injury claim. The former employer's statements to your creditors do not matter if the creditors take no action because of them. Your husband ought to meet with a personal injury lawyer to lay out what happened to get advice on how proceed. Many will give a free initial consultation.
  13. Tax_Counsel

    Right to Cancel?

    He might be thinking of the federal law that covers many in home solicitations. See the FTC discussion of the rule for the details. The problem is that repair of personal property and deals involving real estate are excluded from the rules.
  14. Tax_Counsel

    Wrongful lease termination

    Is BCHA a government housing authority?
  15. To the extent you want that "kid" arrested for using your vehicle, understand that the cops and the prosecutor have the discretion to refuse to pursue a complaint for any number of reasons. Those reasons can include simply having bigger fish to fry or lack of resources. Moreover, as I read your post, my reaction is essentially what the cop and prosecutor seem to think: this is really a civil matter, not a criminal one. Given the relationship between your son and this other guy and what happened, I think he prosecutor would have a hard time proving all the elements of a crime out of this. I suggest you focus on the civil matter. That's where this one belongs, IMO.
  16. Tax_Counsel


    No rule says that the opposing party to the motion cannot change its mind and file a response opposing it. If the response is filed after the time the court allowed for it then the court may refuse to consider it.
  17. Tax_Counsel


    It means just what it says: the appellee takes no position with respect to the motion, which also indicates that the appellee (I'm assuming the government) will not be filing a response to your motion.
  18. Tax_Counsel

    Tax document signed by spouse

    Spouse #2 ought to pick a different place to pick a fight. What you describe is not tax fraud. In order to be tax fraud, there must have been a knowing intent to cheat the government. And if I assume that the return was an accurate one, there was no attempt here to cheat the government. Moreover, chances are that they came out better filing that joint return than they would if each filed a separate return. Finally, threatening to report this as a crime to gain leverage in the divorce might amount to the crime of extortion in some states. Spouse #1 won’t have any tax fraud charges brought against him/her under the facts you provided, so he or she need not worry about that. However, the tax preparer screwed up in transmitting that joint return without the express consent of each spouse and the tax preparer should also have known that the tax regulations would not allow Spouse #1 to sign for Spouse #2. The preparer could face fines from the IRS or be barred from preparing returns for this. I suggest the spouses use a different preparer in the future — someone who actually knows the rules would be a good choice.
  19. Tax_Counsel

    $50,000.00 gift

    The way federal gift tax works is that you may give gifts totaling $15,000 each year to each individual without any gift tax consequences at all (it used to be $14,000 but went up to $15,000 for 2018 because of an inflation adjustment). Thus Becky could give this year gifts totaling $15,000 to Carol, another $15,000 to David, and $15,000 to anyone else she wanted without any requirement to report the gifts and no gift tax to pay. This $15,000 amount is known as the gift tax exclusion. If you give someone gifts that exceed in total for the year more than $15,000 then the gifts that exceed the $15,000 gift tax exclusion is a taxable gift. For example, if Becky makes gifts totaling $50,000 to Fred in 2018, then she has made a taxable gift of $35,000 ($50,000 total gifts - $15,000 gift tax exclusion = $35,000 taxable gift). Once you have make a taxable gift to someone you must file a federal gift tax return (Form 709). The taxable gift first reduces your lifetime unified credit against federal and estate tax. For 2018 that credit is $11,180,000. It will go up each year with inflation, but unless Congress changes the law it will drop to something over $5.6 million after 2025. You reduce this credit with each taxable gift you make in your lifetime. Once the credit gets to zero, any additional gifts you make will result in actual gift tax to pay. If you don't use it all up during your lifetime then the credit you have left at death will be available to your estate to use for estate tax. This means that Becky's taxable gift of $35,000 will require her to file a Form 709 and reduce her unified credit if she has any left. She won't have any gift tax to pay though as long as her unified credit before this gift was at least $35,000. If it was less than that then some or all of the $35,000 will be subject to gift tax. So unless your father has already made about $11.2 million of taxable gifts in his lifetime he would have no federal gift tax to pay. He'd just file the Form 709, reduce his unified credit, and that would be it.
  20. Tax_Counsel

    court ordered debt collection

    Sorry, but your sister gave the money to you, not your partner. Once you had the money, you could have done anything with it. When the FTB attaches your bank account, it steps into your shoes and can take the money to use it to pay the liability you owe, which I'm guessing is restitution from a criminal case or a tax judgment as those are the most common things the FTB collects. You can try asking the FTB to give the money to your partner, but I rather think it will not do that. Your partner can come after you for the $8,000, however.
  21. Texas does not have an income tax. As for federal income tax, the rate of tax you pay on capital gain from the sale depends on how long you have owned the property and what total income you have. If you have held the property at least one year you qualify for the lower capital gains rates. The maximum long term capital gain rate is 20%. If the buyer pays in installments that cannot all be paid in the same year as the sale, then the tax is spread out out over the years that the payments are made under the installment payment rule.
  22. Tax_Counsel


    In Kentucky, complicity means that the person is guilty of the crime committed by another “when, with the intention of promoting or facilitating the commission of the offense, he: (a) Solicits, commands, or engages in a conspiracy with such other person to commit the offense; or (b) Aids, counsels, or attempts to aid such person in planning or committing the offense; or (c) Having a legal duty to prevent the commission of the offense, fails to make a proper effort to do so.” Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 502.020. So if Bob rapes a child under 12 and Kevin is convicted of complicity in that crime, he is guilty of the rape of that child, too, and faces the same possible sentence. Rape of a child under age 12 is a Class B felony in Kentucky unless that child received a serious physical injury as a result of the rape, in which case it would be a Class A felony. The basic rule is that a Class A felony has a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum of 50 years, or life. A Class B felony has a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of 20 years. KRS § 532.060. But there are other factors that might increase the time, notably if the defendant is found to be a “persistent felony offender.” So the details of the defendant's crime and background matter. But in any event, it is pretty safe to say that if convicted of this offense, he or she will be spending at the very least 10 years in prison and it could be a lot more. In addition to whatever prison sentence the defendant gets, there may be restitution ordered, sex offender registration and restrictions, supervision after release, etc. Note, too, that child rapists tend to be considered the lowest of the low in prisons and are at risk of violent treatment from other inmates.
  23. I suggest you find another bankruptcy attorney. The one you had was evidently not very client focused and didn't explain things to you as he should have. When you filed the bankruptcy, there is an automatic stay that goes into effect that stops all creditor actions to collect the pre-petition debts you owe. That includes the property tax assessor. The county can ask the court for relief from the automatic stay and proceed with the sale, but until it gets that court approval it cannot sell the lien. It is not guaranteed that the county would get the relief. Not having seen the filings in your case I cannot say what the current status is nor how likely it is that the county can go forward with the sale. But you need to find out, and the only way to get that is have a bankruptcy lawyer review the case and tell you where you stand. Try to find a firm that is not in the business of processing as many bankruptcies as possible on the cheap — those bankruptcy firms do the least amount possible on the case and have little time to explain things to you. Find one that will actually take the time to explain things to you and will keep you informed of things.
  24. Tax_Counsel

    Common Law Marriage

    All well and good, but you misread the OP's question. She asked if that was the law in 1997, not 1977. While you have effectively answered that anyway, it is worth noting that her relationship apparently started after the 1987 change in the law.
  25. It's not required. But if you don't know what you are doing it can be helpful. Of course, you have to weigh the cost of that against the fine and possible insurance increase you face with this ticket. In the state of Washington the cop does not show up at court for traffic cases. The case is instead heard based on what the officer wrote in the citation that gets filed with the court. You may conduct discovery and get that citation and other information to help you figure out what, if any, viable defenses you might have. There are very specific rules that Washington has for the timing of discovery, when the hearing must be scheduled, etc. So you want to really do this right you need to get up to speed on the rules or get a lawyer. How much you need to do before court really depends on what defense(s) you think you might have. What did you have in mind for defenses?