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Tax_Counsel

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  1. Upvote
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from susanwilliams in Non-Profit Tax Question   
    What do you mean "offset" the 2020 dues? Who would get the money? And is the HOA actually recognized as tax exempt by the IRS? (Nonprofit is not the same thing as tax exempt.)
  2. Upvote
    Tax_Counsel reacted to RetiredinVA in Fedex driver tried to murder my dog   
    Why were the dogs outside when the delivery driver arrived.  It sounds as if he was familiar with your dogs and their behavior.  We had daschunds and found they are aggresively territorial.  A dog doesn't have to be large to cause damage.
  3. Upvote
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from susanwilliams in Rezone Lawyer Threat   
    They could sue you, but it would be easily dismissed because they have no valid cause of action against you. They might file suit against the county to contest the approval if they believe the approval was flawed in some manner. When they consult their lawyers they'll likely find out that their best shot is at convincing the county to reject your application during the administrative approval process.
  4. Like
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from pg1067 in Husband and wife   
    FYI there is one other category of non federal debt that may result in an offset against a federal income tax refund: state income tax liabilities.
  5. Like
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from 603Bushcraft in Being taxed for a state that I neither work or live in   
    The person at your company that made that statement doesn't understand the law or screwed up in stating what the law is. While state income tax law depends, of course, on the law of the state imposing the tax, it is the case in every state of the U.S. with an income tax that income from wages is taxed only by (1) the state of the employee's residence and (2) by the state in which the work was actually performed. If both your home state and the state where you did the work are different and both impose tax on that income, then your home state would provide a tax credit for the tax paid to the other state. As a result, in the end you only get taxed on any particular item of income from one state. So if your state has no income tax and you do all your work in that state, then you will pay no state income tax on your earnings. It is only the earnings you would have while working in state that does have an income tax that would result in state income tax for you.
     
    Now what the company might have been saying is that they will withhold tax from your pay for that other state, either because that other branch doesn't know the law or is simply not set up to not withhold for employees who don't work in that state. It can withhold tax from your pay and remit it to the other state as no law in that unnamed state likely prohibits that. That would then require you to file a return in that other state to get a refund of what was withheld. It would be a pain, for sure, but you'd not pay tax in that other state. You'd just be waiting to get your money until you filed that return.
  6. Like
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from hr for me in Being taxed for a state that I neither work or live in   
    The person at your company that made that statement doesn't understand the law or screwed up in stating what the law is. While state income tax law depends, of course, on the law of the state imposing the tax, it is the case in every state of the U.S. with an income tax that income from wages is taxed only by (1) the state of the employee's residence and (2) by the state in which the work was actually performed. If both your home state and the state where you did the work are different and both impose tax on that income, then your home state would provide a tax credit for the tax paid to the other state. As a result, in the end you only get taxed on any particular item of income from one state. So if your state has no income tax and you do all your work in that state, then you will pay no state income tax on your earnings. It is only the earnings you would have while working in state that does have an income tax that would result in state income tax for you.
     
    Now what the company might have been saying is that they will withhold tax from your pay for that other state, either because that other branch doesn't know the law or is simply not set up to not withhold for employees who don't work in that state. It can withhold tax from your pay and remit it to the other state as no law in that unnamed state likely prohibits that. That would then require you to file a return in that other state to get a refund of what was withheld. It would be a pain, for sure, but you'd not pay tax in that other state. You'd just be waiting to get your money until you filed that return.
  7. Upvote
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from Dslyfe in Step parent visitation   
    The step mother would not have a right to visitation if it is not specified in the order. The issue would be whether under the current order he may allow his wife to spend time with the child during his visitation time. I suggest you see a family law attorney for a review of the order to see how that would go. You might need to modify the order to make it clear that if he's not there to take the kid during his visitation time that none else may substitute in during his time.
  8. Upvote
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from Stradog in Federal Gun Laws for Felons after 5 years?   
    The problem is that the comment in the article applies to only to persons convicted of state crimes, which the article did not make very clear. For someone that is convicted of a federal felony offense the state's action to restore state voting rights has no effect with respect gun rights. With federal convictions, only federal law may restore the right to possess a firearm, and currently there is no way for a convicted federal felon to do that. The U.S. Department of Justice explains that in its Criminal Resource Manual (CRM) section 1435.  Thus, if you are convicted of, say, federal tax evasion, which is a federal felony, you will be prohibited from possessing a firearm regardless of what the state does. As things currently stand, a federal felon needs a presidential pardon to get those firearms rights back.
  9. Like
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from hr for me in 401K Loan Dispute   
    Under the federal tax law, the employer may require in the plan documents that outstanding loans be repaid when the employee leaves the company or the plan is terminated. So whether you must repay the loan now depends on what the plan documents and your loan documents say. The plan trustee must follow the rules provided for in the plan. So read the plan and see what it says. If it does require that you repay it when you leave then the trustee must apply that rule and you are stuck with that. However, in the event that you cannot repay it, you can avoid the immediate tax consequences by rolling over the outstanding balance into an IRA or other eligible plan by the due date to file your return for the year, including extensions. So if you get an extension until October 2020 you would have that long to roll it over and avoid the income inclusion and early withdrawal tax. See the IRS page on Retirement Loan Topics.  If you need to get some other loan to cover the roll over that might still be a better outcome for you than the tax hit. 
     
    You could see a local attorney to find out if under your state's tort law you might have a claim here for negligence against Prudential. The problem that I see, though, is that if the answer is clearly in the plan documents it is likely that you would be expected to have looked at those and you'd have had the right answer. Since the plan documents should have been readily available to you, relying on the customer service people may not have been reasonable in the sense meant by the law. But you can discuss that with the attorney to see how that might impact things. Many civil litigation attorneys give free initial consultations, so you'd only lose a little time.
     
    In the end, though, if you can do the rollover, that's probably your best solution to this. 
  10. Upvote
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from Bschade3 in 401K Loan Dispute   
    Under the federal tax law, the employer may require in the plan documents that outstanding loans be repaid when the employee leaves the company or the plan is terminated. So whether you must repay the loan now depends on what the plan documents and your loan documents say. The plan trustee must follow the rules provided for in the plan. So read the plan and see what it says. If it does require that you repay it when you leave then the trustee must apply that rule and you are stuck with that. However, in the event that you cannot repay it, you can avoid the immediate tax consequences by rolling over the outstanding balance into an IRA or other eligible plan by the due date to file your return for the year, including extensions. So if you get an extension until October 2020 you would have that long to roll it over and avoid the income inclusion and early withdrawal tax. See the IRS page on Retirement Loan Topics.  If you need to get some other loan to cover the roll over that might still be a better outcome for you than the tax hit. 
     
    You could see a local attorney to find out if under your state's tort law you might have a claim here for negligence against Prudential. The problem that I see, though, is that if the answer is clearly in the plan documents it is likely that you would be expected to have looked at those and you'd have had the right answer. Since the plan documents should have been readily available to you, relying on the customer service people may not have been reasonable in the sense meant by the law. But you can discuss that with the attorney to see how that might impact things. Many civil litigation attorneys give free initial consultations, so you'd only lose a little time.
     
    In the end, though, if you can do the rollover, that's probably your best solution to this. 
  11. Like
    Tax_Counsel reacted to Reverend Bob in Private travel in a privately owned automobile vs. Driving? Is it true I do not need anything to travel in my personal automobile?   
    Nothing about those cases is right. This is not something I get any joy in sharing on public forum, but it probably helps drive the point home. I used to believe exactly what those cases appear to prove. That there is some distinction in the law that exempts people requirements of using public roads if I am traveling, not engaging in Commerce. As a matter of fact I am philosophically in favor of lifting government impediments to freedom of movement, including driving a car. But what I want is not what is. I strongly encourage you to do what I only thought to do what I did not until I was in Pre-Law & studying for LSAT... That is to go look the cases up yourself. Just go down the list and read the full legal brief for each case. Without exception, you will find at least one of the following things is true: 
    -The Quote they use is from the dissenting opinion and not the majority opinion 
    -The quote comes from piecing together parts of sentences taken from completely different parts of the brief 
    - The quote is technically correct, but comes from a case that has nothing to do with a right to travel
    - The quote is technically correct but it has been taken from a sentence affirming in the negative (By which i mean a quote like "a right to travel freely and unencumbered..." comes from a statement that says "a right to travel freely and unencumbered is not overly-burdened by requiring a driver to demonstrate a level of safety and proficiency before using public roads") 
    -The quote they use comes from a real case, but the quote they cite is completely fabricated and nothing even remotely similar to the quote they give appears anywhere in the brief 
    -The Case they cite itself doesn't exist 
    -The case cited is a municipal  violation heard in a district court which means even if the quote was both accurate and in proper context (it never is. but even if it was) the scope of that court's jurisdiction is limited in rem and in personam (to the area within that court's district and to the individual named in the lawsuit.)  
    Also, as far as definitions go, you need to see if a given term in specifically defined in the applicable statute. Only if it is not would you generally want to use a legal dictionary definition. In cases where a legal dictionary is proper to use, ask yourself why they choose editions that predate the existence of mass produced, commercially available automobiles. Legal dictionaries don't put out new editions so you can keep on using obsolete editions. They put out new editions so the definition they provide matches the definition you are most likely going to be using in a court of law. 
    You quoted a 1914  edition of Bouviers. Ford had only started producing the Model T a couple years before that.... And  as a matter of fact even John Bouvier says the point of new editions of legal dictionaries is to keep up with changes in law and precedent. This comes from the Preface of the first edition of Bouvier's Law Dictionary, publiched in 1839: "…most of the matter in the English law dictionaries will be found to have been written while the feudal law was in its full vigor, and not fitted to the present times, nor calculated for present use." that preface continues to be included in every new edition of Bouvier's.... The most recent edition having been published in 2018... So the only reason someone would give you a 1914 edition definition, I would have to believe, was chosen because it hit the sweet spot only a couple years after the first internal combustion engine powered motor vehicle was created, but before the government would have had time to establish the kinds of regulations that the person who chose it wanted to pretend don't actually exist 
  12. Upvote
    Tax_Counsel reacted to adjusterjack in Death With Dignity Law   
    When I first got my hearing aids I was amazed at the sound of my feet on gravel, the sound of the wind, and peeing sounded like Niagara Falls.
  13. Like
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from pg1067 in Grandparents wont stop filing my children on their taxes   
    She can't stop the grandparents from claiming anything on their returns. For the years 2018 through 2025, as the tax law stands today, the dependent exemption is zero and thus there is no tax benefit for claiming a dependent. There are the child tax credits, however, and those credits do depend in part on whether the taxpayer would qualify to claim the kids as their dependents. All she needs to do is claim the child related tax benefits on her return that she qualifies to take. If someone else claims the same tax benefit for the same child the IRS will catch that on computer matching about a year after the returns are filed and spit out letters to each of them to start the process of verifying which one was entitled to those benefits. The one not entitled to it will have to pay back the tax they saved from the benefit, as well as interest and possibly a penalty, too.
     
    Note that if both of you file electronically and claim the same benefit(s) for the same person the IRS will reject the second filed electronic return. All that means is that the person with the rejected return will need to file on paper instead and wait about 4 weeks or so longer to get any refund check. That short delay is the only disadvantage to filing second. So no need for her to get overly worked up in January simply to file first.
     
    I'll not get into the details here of what the requirements are to claim the dependent exemption or the child tax credit. She can read those rules in Publication 501 (dependents) and Publication 972 (child and dependent credit). If she's interested in amending prior year returns she'd need to look at the prior year versions of those forms as the rules change a bit from year to year, especially the changes from 2017 to 2018 that occurred with the Republican Tax Act passed in December 2017. Note that it may be that the grandparents were entitled to one or more of the dependent exemptions they claimed during the years everyone was living in their home, so she'd need to read the rules carefully for those years. She can only amend returns as old as 2016 now and get a refund. It's too late for years before 2016 unless she paid that tax within the last two years.
  14. Upvote
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from FormerLegalSecy in In The News - Criminal Law vs. Religion   
    Religious practice trumps a statute (whether criminal or civil) when that practice is protected by the Constitution and the government lacks the compelling state interest needed to overcome that protection. For example, the Amish have a well established belief that goes against participation in Social Security programs. That belief is protected by the First Amendment and as a result the Amish legally do not have to pay FICA taxes nor do they claim Social Security or Medicare benefits. They are completely outside that system due to their religious beliefs.
     
    As to use of illegal drugs, religious belief and practice can overcome criminal drug laws. Some Native American tribes have the right to use peyote, which otherwise would be illegal, for their religious practice. Of course, the tribes had been using peyote in a religious context well before it was banned, making the case it was truly a religious matter easier to prove.
     
    It becomes harder when a new religion pops up that no one ever heard of before and that religion has as a major part of it the use of illegal drugs. The suspicion will be that the claimed religion is merely a sham designed primarily to get around the prohibition of the drug. That makes it more of a challenge to the persons claiming it is truly for religion to establish that to the courts.
  15. Upvote
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from Ajleoso in Botched engine replacement   
    It's not really clear what caused the problems you had after you got the car back. But if the shop did not put in the replacement engine as promised or did a shoddy job of it then it breached the contract you had and you may sue for that. In a breach of contract case, the damages you may claim are known as expectancy damages. This means you are entitled to get the amount of money it would take to put you back into the position you would have been had the contract been performed properly. In Colorado you may sue for up to $7,500 in small claims court.. The Colorado courts have a small claims page to help you get started.
     
    Note that the shop cannot avoid liability here by claiming it knew nothing about it and that it must have been a side job by that now ex-employee. If that guy was an employee at the time and represented he was acting on behalf of the shop when he made the deal for the work then the shop is likely liable under the concept of apparent authority. You would want to sue both the shop and that employee to cover all your bases.
  16. Like
    Tax_Counsel reacted to pg1067 in Diving Accident   
    Sure it would have, but the question will be whether it was a reasonable option.  I think pretty much anyone would agree that making an indoor pond at a bar 8-feet deep would be an extreme and unexpected thing to do.  And, as I commented earlier in this thread, no reasonable person would behave so carelessly as to dive head-first into a two foot body of water.  Moreover, and possibly most importantly, what if a person who didn't know how to swim accidentally was pushed into the 8-foot deep indoor pool and drowned?  Making the darn thing 8-feet deep would be far more likely to result in injury or death.
     
    I'll bottom line it:  if you get any recovery beyond the no-fault medical payment coverage that the bar owner's liability policy presumably had, it will be a stark illustration of everything that is wrong with the tort system in the U.S.
  17. Like
    Tax_Counsel reacted to LegalwriterOne in Death of CHP officer by intoxicated driver   
    What he is booked for doesn't mean anything.  It's the DA's office that files charges, not the cops.
  18. Like
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from hr for me in Same name usage in logo   
    PRL Holdings has registered the stand alone mark "Polo" along with "Ralph Lauren Polo" in a number of areas that relate to fashion, not just clothes, but all kinds of accessories, watches, software related to fashion, and more. While there are firms that have registered the name "Polo" alone or with other words in very different industries totally unrelated to fashion, you are very likely to trigger a very expensive trademark fight with the company if you use that word connected to anything having to do with fashion, and particularly with selling clothes, and you may well lose that fight. I think there is a very good chance the company could show the public would be confused and think your product was related to theirs. Before you start selling your stuff with that name, I strongly suggest you consult a trademark lawyer first. You could find yourself liable for huge damages if you are found to be infringing on their mark.
  19. Upvote
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from PayrollHRGuy in Blame the Hurricane   
    Not just interest. There is also a late payment penalty that is also added, though if the installment agreement is entered into before the statutory final notice is sent the installment agreement will reduce the amount of the penalty. It works as follows. The basic late payment penalty is 0.5% per month of the unpaid tax. If the tax remains unpaid at the time the statutory final notice goes out and there is no installment agreement, the late payment penalty becomes 1% per month. But if the taxpayer enters into an installment agreement before that final notice, the rate drops to 0.25% per month. So if you cannot pay it all when you file the return or get the first bill, promptly get on an installment agreement. It will save you you money by reducing the amount of the late payment penalty that accrues.
  20. Like
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from LawStudentFor911 in Whistleblower Retaliation from Agency Personnel   
    I disagree. First, what makes you think that only defamation by an employer in writing is actionable? Defamation can be oral, too (slander).
     
    Second, you misread the post. The OP does not want to sue the former employer. The former employer is out of business. He or she is instead concerned about an employee of the state is defaming him/her to potential employers, preventing him/her from getting employed. Thus, it is not an employment law attorney the OP needs but rather an attorney who handles defamation claims. As Jack points out the two sample statements given by the OP are statements of opinion and thus would not appear to be defamatory, but the OP ought to run all the facts by an attorney to see if he or she has something to pursue.
  21. Like
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from JackWoods in Suing a Board Member Personally   
    Just based on what you have said here you could not successfully sue the board of directors personally over this. The board members have no individual duty to you nor are they acting in an individual capacity when rejecting you planned construction. It is the HOA as an entity that approves or denies those applications, and it would be the HOA that you would need to sue.
     
    A small claims lawsuit wouldn't be helpful to you in many states (and I did not see where you posted the state) because in many states you can only sue for money damages and so far you've not suffered any monetary loss here. e.g. the HOA hasn't fined you, hasn't taken action to prevent you from building, etc. It has just rejected your request and threatened to fine you at some point in the future.
     
    You of course don't want to build out a 2100 sq foot house if the HOA might prevail and insist that it has to be 2400 sq feet. One way to deal with that would be to sue the HOA for a declaratory judgment in which the court rules in advance whether the HOA can deny your application for the 2100 sq foot house. But that typically cannot be done in small claims court.  That also costs money, of course, to litigate that. Whether you might get the attorney's back if you win depends on what state you are in and what the covenants that govern your HOA say. Another other option is to rely on your attorney's assertion that if the HOA comes after you once the place is built that the HOA would fail. But if the lawyer does turn out be wrong, that might prove costly to you too. Finally, as you mentioned, you might just cut your losses, sell the lot, and move on.
     
    These kinds of issues are exactly why I avoid buying a home subject to a HOA. HOA boards can be (and seemingly often are) made up of unreasonable and controlling types who want to make everyone in the HOA have a home exactly they way the board members want and don't appreciate that not everyone wants the same thing.
  22. Like
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from pg1067 in Can I create a life estate for my stepmother after my father's death   
    When your father died his estate took control of his probate assets. Since he had a will, that will determines who gets the various probate assets that he has. You are evidently going to get the house once probate is done, assuming it doesn't need to be sold to pay bills of the estate. Your step-mother is the only one who inherits anything, a bit of cash.
     
    Now, if  your step-mother did not like this outcome she could either (1) take the elective share of the estate that Tennessee law allows her to claim, which is 20% of the net estate for a five year marriage, or (2) she could contest the will (if she had any grounds for it) which, if successful, would mean the will gets tossed out and the intestate succession law would apply instead. Under intestacy, since your father had living descendants, she would get one-third of the estate and his descendants would split the other two-thirds.
     
    Assuming that she does not want to do either of those and the will is probated without a problem, then you end up with the house. You are also the executor of the estate. No one else other than your step-mother has an interest in the estate. So what you do with the house is up to you. While you could give her a life estate in it, that is really not necessary and may complicate things more than you'd like. Since it's your house, you may let her live there for as long as you want. No life estate is needed for that.  If you want to get her a place nearer her kids, you are free to sell the house and buy a new one closer and let her live there as long as you wish, too.
     
    While you could give her the sales proceeds so she can buy the new house or buy the new house and give that to her, both would result in gifts to her from you and that would have a federal gift tax impact for you.  It might also mean the house gets lost to Medicaid later should she need Medicaid assistance later for nursing care or gets lost to pay medical bills that weren't covered by medicare or other insurance.
     
    You could give her gifts of $15,000/year without any gift tax impact (note that the $15,000 is the total of ALL gifts during the year, including birthday and holiday gifts, etc. You'd need to ensure that the total of everything does not exceed the $15,000). But would she qualify for a mortgage on her own at decent rates? And again, the home would be vulnerable to any debts she has, like medical bills or medicaid reimbursement.
     
    Consulting an estate planning/elder law attorney might be a good idea.
  23. Like
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from pg1067 in Private arbitration unconstitutional?   
    Which amounts to the same thing: banning all private arbitration.
     
    Realistically, what would be the difference between state run arbitrations and the courts?
  24. Like
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from pg1067 in Private arbitration unconstitutional?   
    Not rocket science, no. Which means it should be clear to you that the situation in the Tumey case is vastly different from the arbitration situation you present. It is (1) a criminal case in which (2) the judicial officer got compensated more for finding for against the defendant, making for a direct conflict of of interest and providing incentive to rule against defendants, denying them a fair trial.
     
    Arbitration is a civil proceeding and the problem about which you complain is not one in which the deal is that the arbiter gets paid more for ruling for the business instead of the consumer. The arbiter gets paid the same either way he or she rules in that case. The fear you raise is more indirect than in the Tumey case: the fear by the arbiter that if he or she rules too often against the arbiter that the business will look to someone else for future arbitration. While I agree that's a potential problem, it does not provide the same kind of incentive that was present in Tumey. And, of course, the considerations are quite different in a criminal versus civil setting. 
     
    While I agree that more should be done to deal with the problem you mention in the situation where a consumer is arbitrating with a large business who selects the arbitration firm, your solution of simply banning all arbitrations is tossing out the baby with the bath water. There are a lot of arbitrations that do not result in the problem that concerns you, and there is no reason to ban those just to fix the consumer vs big business situation. 
  25. Upvote
    Tax_Counsel got a reaction from adjusterjack in appeals and due process requirements in a business setting   
    Yes, it was about a government entity. In the case of the Colorado baker, the Colorado Civil Rights Division, (CCRD) a Colorado state agency, took enforcement action against the baker because the baker allegedly violated Colorado state law in refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. The baker then appealed the decision of the CCRD claiming that the CCRD violated the baker's Constitutional rights, a case that eventually was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. So you see, the case was all about the government's alleged violation of the baker's constitutional rights, not about whether the baker had any constitutional obligation to serve the gay couple. Indeed, there was constitutional obligation on the part of the baker; the obligation to not discriminate against gay couples was imposed by Colorado statute, not the federal Constitution. 
     
    The lawyers responding here do know the law, and if you were willing to step back and realize that perhaps you don't know the law better than lawyers do you might learn something. 😁
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