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Abusive Insurance, Welfare Benefit and Retirement Plans

The IRS has various task forces auditing all section 419, section 412(i), and other plans that tend to be abusive. These plans are sold by most insurance agents. The IRS is looking to raise money and is not looking to correct plans or help taxpayers.

Tax Avoidance can Lurk in Employee Benefit Plans

As the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continues to crack down on abusive retirement and employee benefit plans, many accountants will almost certainly, though inadvertently, land their clients and themselves in trouble. Two particular types of arrangements top the IRS list of abusive plans: the so-called 419 insurance welfare benefit plan and the 412(i) defined benefit retirement plan.

Abusive Insurance Plans Get Red Flag

The IRS in Notice 2007-83 identified as listed transactions certain trust arrangements involving cash-value life insurance policies. Revenue Ruling 2007-65, issued simultaneously, addressed situations where the tax deduction has been disallowed, in part or in whole, for premiums paid on such cash-value life insurance policies.

Corporate Governance Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Provided by: Moat Associates
SOX: Creating the Public Accounting Oversight Board & Increased Corporate Responsibility- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“the Act”) was passed in July 2002 in response to the rash of real and perceived failures in corporate governance and financial disclosure. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act , also known as Sarbox or SOX, was passed in July 2002 in response to the rash of real and perceived failures in corporate governance and financial disclosure.

Repurchase & Buyback Demands, Representations and Warranties Claims in Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities

Provided by: Don Coker
Former high-level banking executive, high-level banking regulator, consultant to over 75 banks, and renowned nationwide banking expert witness Don Coker explains some important factors in banking, mortgage banking, and mortgage-backed securities litigation involving repurchase and buyback demands based upon alleged breach of representation and warranty claims contained in the documents creating the business relationship between the mortgage loan originator and the purchasing lender or investor.

Navigating Workers' Compensation Insurance Premium Disputes

Summary - Workers comp premium disputes can be complex, expensive, protracted, and divisive. They may require the involvement of several administrative and adjudicative bodies, including a rating bureau, one or more state agencies, and courts. Premium disputes also frequently impair or disrupt otherwise desirable business relationships among insurers, brokers, and policyholders. Increased mediation and arbitration to resolve premium disputes would reduce costs and preserve relationships.

Small Business Retirement Plans Fuel Litigation

Small businesses facing audits and potentially huge tax penalties over certain types of retirement plans are filing lawsuits against those who marketed, designed and sold the plans. The 412(i) and 419(e) plans were marketed in the past several years as a way for small business owners to set up retirement or welfare benefits plans while leveraging huge tax savings, but the IRS put them on a list of abusive tax shelters and has more recently focused audits on them.

Don’t Give the IRS Every Last Drop

The chances of an individual being audited have approximately doubled since 2000. So you need to be careful with your tax return. Have you seen the commercials where certain companies advertise that they can settle an IRS debt for “pennies on the dollar?" Usually the offer is too good to be true. Besides, you never want to have the problem in the first place.

Protecting Clients from Fraud, Incompetence, and Scams

This is a story about Bruce Hink and how the IRS fined him $200,000 a year for being in what they called a “listed transaction." Excerpts have been taken from this book about: Bruce Hink, who has given me permission to utilize his name and circumstances, is a perfect example of what the IRS is doing to unsuspecting business owners. What follows is a story about Bruce Hink and how the IRS fined him $200,000 a year for being in what they called a “listed transaction."

Subordination Agreement Nationwide Industry Standard Practices and Procedures Important in Banking Litigation

Provided by: Don Coker
Former high-level banking executive, high-level banking regulator, banking consultant to over 75 banks worldwide, and renowned nationwide banking expert witness Don Coker explains some of the important nuances of banking nationwide industry standards and practices involving subordination agreements and related litigation.

Municipal Pension Holders at Risk as Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Filings Increase

Jefferson County, Alabama filed the biggest Chapter 9 bankruptcy in United States history on November 9, 2011. The $4 billion filing covering the city of Birmingham and 658,000 county residents far surpassed Orange County, California, the previous record holder, which filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 1994 with $1.7 in debt.

Get Your Tree off My Property

Jeremy Rappoport, President of Rappoport Development Consulting Services LLC discusses his most frequent tree consulting issues, tree root and canopy encroaching neighboring properties. The article examines tree selection and why property line encroachment and tree risk assessment are becoming increasingly frequent legal issues.

Forensic Handwriting Examination - Selecting Your Expert

Forensic handwriting examiners or questioned document examiners are typically sought by investigators or private citizens when a question arises regarding the authenticity of a particular writing. They can also be sought out by attorneys preparing cases for settlement or trials. How should you address the level of competence of a forensic handwriting examiner before asking for their assistance? Once a request is made for an examiner to begin analysis, it is too late to rethink the submission.

In the Trenches…The Producers Part 2 – The Shifting Landscape

Provided by: Kathryn Arnold
Continuing the dialogue with producers Jonathan Dana and Cindy Cowan, let’s take a look at the shifting landscape of film financing and distribution.

In the Trenches…The Producers Part 1 – Independent Film Production

Provided by: Kathryn Arnold
I often receive inquiries from around the world on how best to go about obtaining film financing. Projects come in all shapes and sizes – a wide array of genres, varying budgets and an assortment of experience levels. In every case, the biggest questions are: How do I put together financing for a movie? What elements need to be attached? Where does the money come from?

What the AMR Bankruptcy Means to American Airlines Pension Plans

American Airlines employees could lose a billion dollars in pension benefits if American terminates their pension plans as a result of the company’s November 29, 2011 bankruptcy filing, based on estimates by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

Writers, Producers, Directors — The DEAL

Provided by: Kathryn Arnold
In addition to film financing, the writer, producer and director deals are a major factor in getting films produced − each deal differs depending on the experience and clout of the players involved. These deals will in turn have a huge impact on back end money that may or may not be available for the producer.

Economic Damage Claims in the Entertainment Industry – Speculative or Beyond a Reasonable Certainty

Provided by: Kathryn Arnold
The large majority of lawsuits that involve individuals in the entertainment industry revolve around lost wages or fees. These claims often allege millions of dollars in lost earnings depending on the role the person plays within the industry. Given the exorbitant amount that some actors, writers, directors and producers earn, it’s easy to understand how often these claims get made. However, the operative word in this scenario is some.

State Pension Plan Rates of Return under Review

More than half of state pension plans use a rate of return assumption of 8 percent, according to a 2011 PBS report. While the assumed rate of return may sound like an academic exercise, it influences billions of dollars in taxpayer expenses when applied to the future funding requirements of pensions and benefits for retired school teachers, fire fighters, police officers and other public employees.

MF Global, Securities, and Commodities Firms' Industry Standard Fiduciary Duty to Safeguard Clients' Funds

Provided by: Don Coker
Former high-level financial executive and governmental financial institution regulator, veteran expert witness called on in over 500 cases, expert consultant to over 75 banks worldwide, and expert witness consultant in the Refco case Don Coker explains some of the important nuances of litigation involving fiduciary duties to safeguard client funds and keep them separate from the investment management firm’s operating funds.

Naked Licensing: Not as Rare as One May Think

Published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal November 9, 2011.

Declaring Muslim Marriage Void Will Have Ruinous Effect on Wives

Provided by: Abed Awad, Esq.
New Jersey Law Journal, November 20, 2006 Dear Editor: The Appellate Division's ruling, in Yaghoubinejad v. Haghighi, 384 N.J.Super. 339 (App. Div. 2006), declaring a Muslim marriage "absolutely void" when entered into without a state marriage license, will cause inequity to women in New Jersey.

Oklahoma Amendment is Unconstitutional

Provided by: Abed Awad, Esq.
The National Law Journal, November 15, 2010 On Election Day, the Oklahoma voters passed an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that provides that the "Courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the Court shall not consider International law or Sharia law," dictates the amendment.

When Custody Disputes Go Global

Provided by: Abed Awad, Esq.
New Jersey Law Journal, August 7, 2000 The rapid globalization of the world economy has facilitated massive migration among nations. This flux has produced an ever-increasing number of marriages among people from different countries. One of the resulting corollaries is the transformation of otherwise simple custody disputes into jurisdictionally complex international quagmires.

Remove Remarriage Barriers for Muslim, Jewish Women

Provided by: Abed Awad, Esq.
New Jersey Law Journal April 9, 2009

Religion-Based Claim in Abuse Case Wisely Pierced by Appeals Court

Provided by: Abed Awad, Esq.
New Jersey Law Journal, September 20, 2010 On its face, a case working through New Jersey's courts would seem to pit a defendant's religious beliefs against the state's law against domestic violence. Fortunately, the Appellate Division has seen through that argument and reversed the denial of a restraining order.

Attorney-Client Sexual Relations - The Journal of the Legal Profession

Provided by: Abed Awad, Esq.
Copyright (c) 1997 The Journal of the Legal Profession The Journal of the Legal Profession; 22 J. Legal Prof. 131 1997/1998 Attorney-Client Sexual Relations

Attorney-Client Sex Should Always Be Off Limits

Provided by: Abed Awad, Esq.
New Jersey Law Journal, March 13, 2000 The issue of attorney-client sex has come under heightened scrutiny by courts and state bar associations in the past several years.

Beware of International Service of Process

Provided by: Abed Awad, Esq.
If an attorney representing an American litigant seeking to institute an action against a foreign defendant is not very cautious in the method of service used to serve the foreign defendant, the result could be vacation and dismissal years after judgment.

Abu Zahar: Appellate Division Declines to Adopt a Bright-Line Rule Prohibiting Out-of-Country Visitation

Provided by: Abed Awad, Esq.
Often fueled by intense parental sentiments, custody disputes rank high among the fiercest of legal battles known to jurisprudence. Corollary issues concerning parenting time and post-divorce travel abroad with a child have gained increasing judicial scrutiny in an ever-changing complex and divisive world.

Court Enforces Mahr Provision in Muslim Marriage Contract

Provided by: Abed Awad, Esq.
Muslim marriage contracts include a provision called mahr, which American courts have mis-construed to be prenuptial agreements. Recently, the New Jersey Superior Court, in Odatalla v. Odatalla, Docket No. FM-16-366-01 (Ch. Div. June 24, 2002), properly used a simple contract approach to resolve a dispute over a mahr. This approach is the most consistent with the charac-ter of mahr under Islamic law and with American notions of equity and justice.

Hybrid Pension Plans Gain Popularity

An employer-sponsored retirement plan that offers the features of both a defined contribution plan and a defined benefit pension plan is known as a hybrid pension plan. This article evaluates the leading types of hybrid plans, the regulatory basis for pension plans, common concerns, and the future outlook for hybrid plans.

Can Real Estate Agents Explain the Contract?

Provided by: Guy Berry
Unfortunately for most, the answer is no.

The Petroleum Matter or Mess?

Will the elevated cost of petroleum will turn out to be a blessing or a curse for the United States, especially the nations middle class? Its effects can be broken down into three major categories: direct, indirect and subsequential...

Six Expert Witnesses Banned from Testifying

I was very concerned and shocked today, when I read that on August 23, 2011 the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an earlier decision striking six experts from testifying at trial. After all, my livelihood is based upon the fact that I write expert reports and testify in court.

An Expert Witness Is Above All, Objective

The credibility of an expert witness’ testimony is largely based on their ability to have an objective opinion. Objective: not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.

Electrocution on an Amusement Park Ride

A maintenance man was killed when he came in contact with an ungrounded and energized car on an amusement park ride.

Electrocution on a Paper Cutting Press Due to Poor Grounding

This happened during a maintenance operation. Deceased was replacing the dies on a paper cutting machine, a “Press” in this case. The press was designed to cut heavy paperboard into the proper shapes for further processing. He reached into the press below the die area for a dropped screw or nut with his left hand when his right calf came into contact with the exit conveyor frame. Evidently there was a source of voltage that had energized the conveyor frame, thus causing his death.

An Easy Assist for an Overlooked but Tough Group

There are few groups more reliable than the United States military. One could change all of their mottoes to “Again and again - no questions asked.” Those who have served in the military have done so at a solid financial cost. Despite this, the years of the 1950s, 1960s and even into the 1970s were periods with high savings rates, rates that today appear almost unachievable. How did they save so much, seek to enjoy life so fully and raise another generation, the Baby Boomers?

Litigation Forcing Diversity

Diversity in the Fire Service is a challenge to all leadership. It appears that we have not moved very far in removing the discriminatory practices in our entry testing and promotions related to women and minorities. Litigation is forcing the fire service to adopt hiring practices that levels the playing field. If we are not careful, lawyers and judges will be hiring your next generation of firefighters.

Liability-Driven Investing for Pension Plans

Pension plan administrators with responsibility for defined benefit plans are reducing their exposure to the equity markets by using more predictable investments, such as bonds, to fund future obligations. An increasingly popular investment technique to match plan assets with liabilities is known as “liability-driven investing” or LDI. This article provides an overview of liability-driven investing.

Bank Corporate and Municipal Bond Trustee, Registrar, and Stock Transfer Agent Fiduciary Duty Litigation

Provided by: Don Coker
The author, renowned nationwide expert witness Don Coker, explains some of the important nuances of banking litigation involving bank trust departments acting in various capacities for several different types of securities.

Participate in a 419 or 412i Plan or Other Abusive Tax Shelter You Could Be Fined $200000 Per Year

Did you get a letter from the IRS threatening to impose this fine?

General Motors Joins Yogi Berra

Even with creative financing, accounting techniques and decreased profit margins, the American automobile industry appears unable to sustain itself and has suffered significant losses, especially in recent years. Given these realities, it would seem prudent to rely upon baseball and the one special feature they have enjoyed via compliments of a United States Supreme Court Decision in 1922, namely exemption under the Antitrust Laws, basically Sherman and Clayton Acts.

The “Real” Real Estate Situation

While it is true that the National Housing Act of 1930 and other acts and organizations sought to both foster and insulate housing from the overall financial marketplaces, such separation is not limitless. No matter how many special authorities, administrative agencies, or segregated financial institutions are created, in order to supply adequate shelter, the financial instrumentation utilized in the housing market is still an integral part of the overall financial marketplace.

Should You File, and Then Opt out?

Announced February 8, 2011, the IRS 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) program is a welcome but conditional amnesty allowing taxpayers with foreign accounts to come clean and get into compliance with the IRS. The program runs through Sept. 9, 2011.

Elder Financial Abuse Litigation Claims Against Banks and Mortgage Lenders

Provided by: Don Coker
The author, renowned nationwide banking expert witness Don Coker, explains some of the important nuances of banking litigation involving claims of Elder Financial Abuse.

IRS Audits 419, 412i, Captive Insurance Plans With Life Insurance, and Section 79 Scams

The IRS started auditing 419 plans in the ‘90s, and then continued going after 412i and other plans that they considered abusive, listed, or reportable transactions. Listed designated as listed in published IRS material available to the general public or transactions that are substantially similar to the specific listed transactions. A reportable transaction is defined simply as one that has the potential for tax avoidance or evasion.

Sexual Assault of Adults and the Importance of Competencies versus IQ

Provided by: Lamb and Maddux LLC
Sexually assaulted mentally-defective adults in New Jersey have protections under the law similar to minors.

Presumptive and Confirmatory Forensic Testing on Controlled Substances

Objectives: Differentiate Preliminary and Certified Weight; Define Presumptive Colorimetric Analysis; Define Screening Procedures for Biological Specimens for Controlled Substances; Discuss Confirmatory Testing Procedures for Controlled Substances; Explain and Define Areas of Concern for Presumptive and Confirmatory Testing Procedures as they Relate to Controlled Substances; Recognize Necessary Documents for Argument on Controlled Substance Analysis.

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