Articles by Expert Witnesses
A business owner wants legitimate tax planning ideas. One solution sometimes offered today is a 419(e) plan (419 Welfare Benefit Plan). The local insurance agent or the company’s CPA who may have an insurance sales license, may suggest that the 419 Welfare Benefit Plan will provide shelter from taxes today, the costs of the plan are tax deductible and the plan will provide tax free benefits for the owner when he or she is ready to retire. The concept seems too good to be true.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a fair world? Wouldn’t it be nice if the IRS gave the little guy a break? Unfortunately, that’s just not the way it is. The news is littered with casualties of the IRS’ aggressive stance on taxpayers who don’t come clean.
Provided by: Bruce Abramson, JD, PhD
Software licenses are critical enablers of entrepreneurship and product excellence. Yet they are also common sources of litigation between erstwhile partners. Licensing disputes arise when inartful drafting combines with the peculiarities of software and its distribution to complicate the computation of royalties. Good licensing practices are thus a critical aspect of business strategy. Understanding some common pitfalls of licensing can confer both offensive and defensive strategic benefits.
Is the use of fully insured group health insurance products as stop-loss coverage for group health plans going to remain a viable solution?
Provided by: Kathryn Arnold
Adrian Ward is a smart, producer friendly banker who has been in the trenches of independent film financing for close to 20 years. Having started with the Lew Horwitz Organization, a stalwart in the indie film world of the 90’s, Adrian is now at Pacific Mercantile Bank. I sat down with Adrian to get a banker’s perspective on the industry landscape and where producers should be putting their energies.
New accounting and financial reporting standards for U.S. state and local government pension and benefit funds start to take effect this month. Confusion is likely to ensue as taxpayers, plan participants, and even plan sponsors take a hard look at new numbers that more clearly identify funded or unfunded municipal pension liabilities.
Many life insurance companies are using captive insurance to alter their books and look better. This could lead to another taxpayer bailout and insurance companies being taken over. This would put benefits in policies at risk for some policyholders.
Provided by: Jenifer S. Heath, PhD
Lead (Pb) has been recognized as toxic for centuries, yet we continue to learn more about lead toxicity and environmental issues. This expanding understanding of lead influences approaches to identifying at-risk populations and intervening to reduce exposure and risk.
Provided by: Vocational Dynamics, LLC
Business owners are acutely aware of the costs of employee turnover.
A Delaware federal court recently closed the door on each of two possible paths to damages for Plaintiff in the matter of AVM Technologies, LLC v. Intel, Inc. (Civil Action No. 10-610-RGA).
Kraft Foods Group actively seeks to reduce pension plan funding volatility with a liability-driven investment (“LDI”) structure, according to a company release for the fourth quarter of 2012. Many other Fortune 500 pension plan sponsors, as well as some municipal plans, are following a similar risk management strategy.
Keep your mouth shut-take this advice seriously.
If your primary reason for going offshore is for more secure, more private, safer and more varied banking and investment options then you may want to think again.
According to various reports the IRS is investigating the Israeli banks Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank for conspiring with individuals to enter into a loan scheme intended to evade taxes on funds brought to the U.S. from undisclosed foreign bank accounts.
Long awaited 401(k) management fee disclosure mandates imposed last year by the U.S. Department of Labor to help workers understand the costs of retirement plan investment options appear to have had little impact so far.
Provided by: Rappoport Development Consulting Services LLC
Certified arborist, registered consulting arborist, tree expert, tree service and landscape contractor, so many different consultants and contractors to choose from for tree care consultation and remedial work. How can you ensure your tree assets receive the state of are care they deserve? Certified arborists and tree care professionals adhere to the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) A300 tree and woody ornamental pruning standards.
Contestable life insurance claims are common and there are ways to navigate through an insurer's investigation process and get the claim paid. Here we discuss how we forced an insurer to pay a denied claim and improve their application in the process.
This article provides real life guidance on how to prepare for submitting a life insurance death claim and examples of what can cause a claim to be denied. Use these tips to ensure you will receive your life insurance death claim with as little hassel as possible.
Getting a life insurance claim paid can be a complex and lengthy process, but an understanding how the process works can assist in getting a delayed or denied claim paid.
Similarly, the IRS position on single employer welfare benefit plans invested in permanent life insurance where the employer deducts more than the term cost of insurance is that those plans are also abusive tax scams.
For businesses with 10 or fewer employees, the law prohibits full medical underwriting of the policies that are issued ("group" underwriting is required, which is much more risky for an insurance company).
Public Safety is in crisis with fire stations closed, firefighters and police officers laid off and the demand for emergency services at an all time high. What does this mean to our citizens?
Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner is one of the foremost legal scholars in the United States, particularly on economic matters. He has written numerous influential opinions and almost forty books on law and economics, teaches at the University of Chicago Law School, and is widely respected in the legal community. And two of his recent damage rulings will have a signification impact on the patent litigation process, or more specifically reduce it.
The Federal Reserve Board’s effort to keep interest rates low is forcing Fortune 500 companies to dip into cash reserves for pension funding.
Through a special program, created by Money Watch Consultants Inc., called The Irrevocable Trust Cash Release Program, funds from the insured’s irrevocable trust can be released and made available to pay for long term care, in a facility or at home. And this care can even be provided by a family member.
In Part 3: we addressed that having an advanced accounting degree is not the same suite of skills as full time practice in a niche, such as business valuation.
In Part 2: we provided an illustration of what a prudent CPA firm did that outsourced work when it conflicted with their other practice services and the consequences of a CPA who had “followed the steps” in applying a discount, but was nevertheless penalized for dabbling because failed to support the proper level. We demonstrated what was not done and what should have occurred allowing the taxpayer to prevail.
In Part 1, we addressed the woeful inadequacy of education and experience of the accounting professional who chooses to dabble in a niche sector to make a few thousand dollars and why the AICPA, IRS and the Courts have brought the hammer down and the knowing or unwitting practitioner learns s/he is facing penalties, sanctions, fines, lawsuits and no E&O coverage. Game over.
The AICPA has some straightforward opinions on CPAs who “dabble” in niche practice areas. In short, it brings ethical issues and subsequent penalties to bear. So, why do more than a few CPAs dabble in financial services, revenue sharing of insurance product, advise on equity transactions without FINRA/SEC approved licensing and, my favorite, business valuation? For the money. Why is it an ethical issue for the AICPA? Competency.
Michelle Copeland, Occupational Safety Resource Inc., March 12, 2013
Provided by: Environmental Solutions Group LLC
Research studies have shown consistent associations between the presence of dampness and mold in buildings and respiratory symptoms in building occupants.
Received your ABV certification. Check. Or your CVA certification. Check. Pulling down an extra $20,000 to $50,000 for the firm. Check. Performing 2 to 4 formal reports annually. Check. And you now have five years under your belt with 20 or so reports completed and while you haven’t memorized AICPA’s SSVS-1, you know it addresses valuation standards applicable to CPAs. Check. Check.
Underfunding of multiemployer pension plans is now at unprecedented levels, according to recent reports submitted to Congress by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”). As of fiscal year (FY) 2012, the PBGC multiemployer program held assets of $1.8 billion against liabilities of $7.0 billion for a net financial deficit of $5.2 billion.
IRS Attacks Business Owners, Accountants, Lawsuits over 412(i)/419 and Similar Insurance Based Plans
A 412(i) plan is a “defined benefit plan” – a retirement plan, a pension plan that claims to offer very large tax deductions. It is funded with annuity and life insurance products.
Teacher pension systems are unsustainable, according to a new report issued by the National Council on Teacher Quality (“NCTQ”) titled, “No One Benefits: How Teacher Pension Systems are Failing Both Teachers and Taxpayers.”
Event Data Recorders: Proper Evidence Collection in Criminal, Insurance and Tort Liability Investigations
Provided by: Crash Data Services, LLC
The use of Event Data Recorders (EDRs), also referred to as vehicle black boxes, in traffic accident reconstruction and vehicular fraud investigations has become increasingly common over the last few years. However, many law enforcement officers, insurance professionals and experts witnesses have failed to adopt a standardized set of practices toward preserving this crucial evidence. This article address the potential pitfalls of following sub-standard evidentiary practices.
Firefighters die from preventable diseases. Fire Departments must implement a comprehensive testing process to ensure your employees stay healthy and a program designed to return the firefighter back to work if there is the discovery of a possible disabling medical condition.
Firefighters and EMS personnel are dying on the job, shot by their patients or others specifically targeting public safety officers. Will arming the firefighters or EMT's provide a greater level of protection for them, their fellow firefighters or the patients?
Electronic data comprises a large portion of discovery and provides efficiencies in searching and manipulating the data for further analysis. Establishing a protocol for retention of electronic information and e-discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) is a critical step toward ensuring that relevant data is preserved and ultimately produced.
In a unanimous opinion, the California Supreme Court clarified that trial courts may use either California Evidence Code Sections 801(b) or 802 to admit or exclude the expert’s testimony. Potentially, the Opinion widens California judicial authority to exclude expert testimony by placing California closer to the federal Daubert standard and the majority of other states that follow such standard.
The IRS to attacks the legitimacy of deductions taken for contributions to Section 419 plans in all circumstances. In addition, the IRS has classified most Section 419 arrangements as “listed transactions.” Any employer who currently sponsors a plan is well advised to take immediate action to terminate the plan and seek the assistance of an Expert Witness before the IRS contacts you.
The question in the 80′s used to be, “How far can I push it before I get audited?” However, with increased IRS enforcement, it’s now important to ask, “Will I pass an IRS audit?”
Provided by: McGuckin Methods International
Hospitals are not the safe places we would like them to be. That’s the finding issued by members of the Surgical Patient Safety System Collaborative Group in a 2010 medical journal report. They discovered that nearly 1 out of every 10 people admitted to the hospital experienced an “in-hospital adverse event” (harm resulting from medical care), which resulted in a longer hospital stay or a disability and 7 percent of the patients died
On January 9, 2012, the IRS announced the reopening of its offshore voluntary disclosure program (now in its third iteration) to assist people who have been hiding offshore accounts in becoming compliant with their tax liabilities.
Provided by: Majux Marketing
As more and more law firms begin to pay attention to their internet marketing efforts, any practice areas that have good online lead appeal will soon prove increasingly competitive as law firms, lead generation sites, and even spammers are all now throwing their hats into the Google search result ring.
Provided by: Safety Play, Inc.
There are many elements to a playground case that go unnoticed and some techniques and sources that go unused. In this highly specialized field, it is critical to work with someone who is aware of the applicable rules, as well as knowing what does not apply. Some of these rules have been adopted into law in many states.
Provided by: Advanced Insurance Management LLC
Many larger employers now purchase Large Deductible Workers Compensation insurance policies. They should do with eyes wide open about the benefits and potential pitfalls of such policies.
The following, is a recommended check list that should be followed by the Project Superintendent and Special Inspector for STRUCTURAL STEEL AND WELDING INSPECTIONS:
The following, is a recommended check list that should be followed by the Project Superintendent for MASONRY INSPECTIONS: