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Corporate Owned (or Foundation/Trust) Accounts vs. Personal

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.
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If You Have or Had Money Overseas You Better File for Amnesty ASAP

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.

401(K) Plan Participants Yawn over New Fee Disclosures

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.

There Is a Tree Service Standard of Care!

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.

Denied Life Insurance Claim Overturned

Provided by: Steve C. Burgess
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.

Guidance for Collecting Life Insurance Death Claims

Provided by: Steve C. Burgess
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.

How to Get Life Insurance Claims Paid

Provided by: Steve C. Burgess
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.

Welfare Benefit Plans Funded with Permanent Life Insurance Are Abusive Tax Scams

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.

Section 79

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).

Conundrum of Public Safety

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?

Patent Infringement Damages Under Fire

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
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.

Corporate Pension Funding Gap Widens as Interest Rates Remain Low

The Federal Reserve Board’s effort to keep interest rates low is forcing Fortune 500 companies to dip into cash reserves for pension funding.

The Irrevocable Trust Cash Release Program

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.

CPAs Dabbling is Russian Roulette with 5 Bullets - Part 4

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.

CPAs Dabbling is Russian Roulette with 5 Bullets - Part 3

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.

CPAs Dabbling is Russian Roulette with 5 Bullets - Part 2

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.

CPAs Dabbling Is Russian Roulette with 5 Bullets - Part 1

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.

Confined Space Awareness

Michelle Copeland, Occupational Safety Resource Inc., March 12, 2013

Damp Buildings and Human Health: the Role of Microbial Compounds and Inflammation

Research studies have shown consistent associations between the presence of dampness and mold in buildings and respiratory symptoms in building occupants.

Are You Really Prepared for the Valuation Litigation Meat Grinder?

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.

PBGC Deficit on Multiemployer Plans Reaches $5.2 Billion

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.

Underfunded U.S. Teacher Pension Liability Estimated at $393 Billion

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

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 Failing a Medical/Physical Examination

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 Carrying Guns on the Job

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?

The Northern District Court of California Provides Useful ESI Guidelines

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
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.

Supreme Court Brings California Closer to the Federal Expert Witness Admissibility Standard

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
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.

What to do if you have a 419 Plan

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.

Are You Being Aggressive, Enough (Legally)?

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?”

Healthcare Associated Infections- Surgical Site Infections

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

IRS Announced the Reopening of its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

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.

5 Internet Marketing Strategies Attorneys Should Ignore in 2013

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.

Playground Injury Litigation Tips

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.

Large Deductible Workers Compensation Policies Not a Panacea for Employers

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.

Controlling Quality Construction - Part 3

Provided by: MPGroup
The following, is a recommended check list that should be followed by the Project Superintendent and Special Inspector for STRUCTURAL STEEL AND WELDING INSPECTIONS:

Controlling Quality Construction - Part 2

Provided by: MPGroup
The following, is a recommended check list that should be followed by the Project Superintendent for MASONRY INSPECTIONS:

Controlling Quality Construction - Part 1

Provided by: MPGroup
This article is intended to give the reader a thumbnail sketch of how Quality Control relates to the project Superintendent on the job site.

Legal-Ease for Mediators Symposium - Construction Syllabus

Provided by: MPGroup
Sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bar Association Dispute Resolution Service DRS Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA) CONSTRUCTION SYLLABUS March 7, 2009

What Are Construction Defects? - An ICBO Symposium

Provided by: MPGroup
A Syllabus for the Orange Empire Training Academy 1997 Training Matrix, Sponsored by the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) Orange Empire Chapter Symposium on September 3, 1997.

What Are Construction Defects?

Provided by: MPGroup
Since the "Building Boom" of the 1980's and the advent of the ten year cycle ( California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 337.15 ) for "LATENT DEFECTS" ( A latent defect is one that a property owner does not know about and would not be expected to discover through the exercise of reasonable care. ) construction defects claims and subsequent litigation has exploded into horrific proportions.

Construction Defects: Defending Against The Claims

Provided by: MPGroup
The following article has been written, in part, by a Lawyer, Mr. Thomas M. Condas, with Attorneys and Insurance Professionals in mind and, therefore, contains case law citations. The information contained herein, is intended to be highly useful for all persons interested in its subject matter.

IRS to Audit Sea Nine VEBA Participating Employers

The IRS may be auditing many more participating employers in the coming months.

Protecting Clients from Fraud Incompetence and Scams

Over the past decade business owners have been overwhelmed by a plethora of choices designed to reduce the cost of providing employee benefits while increasing their own retirement savings. The solutions range from traditional pension and profit sharing plans to more advanced strategies.

How MAP-21 Relates to PBGC Reporting Requirements

Pension funding stabilization for single-employer defined benefit pension plans is the goal of special rules issued by the IRS in Notice 2012-61 dated September 11, 2012. The IRS guidelines relate to amendments to the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) made by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Pub. L. No.112-141. MAP-21 was enacted July 6, 2012, and contains a number of pension provisions in Division D (Finance).

How 'Rules of Thumb' and Formulaic Software Models are Dangerous for Damage Calculations

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Plaintiffs often desire short cuts to damage measurements. Given the cost of using experts employing proper methods and data, the temptation is obvious.

Potential Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions

412(i) plans and employers under audit for "potential abusive tax avoidance transactions" have asserted claims against insurance companies and their agents to recover money paid for insurance policies and for IRS assessed interest and penalties. Most are or will be audited by IRS for not properly filing under IRS code 6707a and will also lose the lawsuits for failing to mitigate the damages etc.

Abusive Insurance and Retirement Plans

Single-employer section 419 welfare benefit plans are the latest incarnation in insurance deductions the IRS deems abusive.

Litigation Involving Private Money, Hard Money, Commercial Lenders, and Alternative Lenders

Provided by: Don Coker
The author, renowned nationwide banking and finance expert witness Don Coker, explains some of the important issues that arise in litigation involving private lenders and credit companies.

Abusive Tax Shelters

As an expert witness on 419 412i and abusive tax shelters my side has never lost a case. Many insurance agents that sold, and were sued, for selling those plans are now selling captive insurance and section 79 plans. The IRS is now looking at these plans. I have also received calls from people who are being audited by the IRS.


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