Tattoo Comes Back to Haunt Accused Murderer

I can see why this man might be interested in tattoo removal.  Every mother ever has told a child considering a tattoo: “Is that something that is going to look good when you are 80?”  Or “How is that going to look at a job interview?”  I’m not sure many have asked: “How is the jury going to view that at a murder trial?”

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Pursuant to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, nothing contained in this communication was intended or written to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer for such purpose.  No one, without our express prior written permission, may use or refer to any tax advice in this communication in promoting, marketing, or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement to any other party.

 

To Each Their Own

They say, “Love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”  If there is a statute of limitations on that phrase, this man in Maryland is certainly approaching it.  I really like what I do, but I can’t fathom wanting to do it until I was 96 years old. (Or living that long to be able to.)

http://www.your4state.com/story/96-year-old-lawyer-continues-to-work-full-time/d/story/JmT3GeKqik-dJ-KX9ta4KA

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Pursuant to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, nothing contained in this communication was intended or written to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer for such purpose.  No one, without our express prior written permission, may use or refer to any tax advice in this communication in promoting, marketing, or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement to any other party.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent?: An Example of Why That Is A Bad Idea

A recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch details the issues happening in the city of St. Louis relating to people being wrongfully arrested and detained.  When people question the criminal justice system, and ask why “criminals” have rights to defend themselves, I think this article provides at least one of the answers.  Mistakes happen.  It seems far-fetched that police would arrest the wrong person and hold them in jail despite protest. However, human error, and the financial crunch that police departments and the court systems find themselves in can lead to these issues.  Many of these people were released within a few days when a mistake was recognized.  Some of these people were held much longer.  These issues happened while important constitutional safeguards against those accused of crimes are in place.  Imagine what could happen if there were no right to defend yourself?  Police and prosecutors are typically very good at their job, but mistakes can be made.  Someday, that mistake could affect you or someone you love.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Pursuant to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, nothing contained in this communication was intended or written to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer for such purpose.  No one, without our express prior written permission, may use or refer to any tax advice in this communication in promoting, marketing, or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement to any other party.

Jury Duty Technology Now Available for Jurors On The Go

New Jersey is offering text message alerts to jurors to notify them if they need to report. I was recently on a jury pool here in Wisconsin and needed to call a phone number after a certain time each day to see if I needed to report the next morning. Of the four days I served, I would have forgotten to call on two of them had my wife not reminded me. Given many people’s reliance on mobile technology, I believe this service would increase juror turnout.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Pursuant to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, nothing contained in this communication was intended or written to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer for such purpose.  No one, without our express prior written permission, may use or refer to any tax advice in this communication in promoting, marketing, or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement to any other party.

Ooooooh! Aaaaaaaah!: A Timely Article About Fireworks

I came across a nice, timely article about fireworks law in Wisconsin. Please read this closely if you aren’t sure what you can or can’t do what you can do. There a lot of misconceptions about what is legal and what is not. (As there about most laws). I doubt there a lot of law enforcement out looking to arrest you for fireworks this week (and for the past weeks in my neighborhood apparently), however, I’m not advocating breaking any laws, or doing anything dangerous. Have fun, and be safe!

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Pursuant to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, nothing contained in this communication was intended or written to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer for such purpose.  No one, without our express prior written permission, may use or refer to any tax advice in this communication in promoting, marketing, or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement to any other party.

Online Sales Taxes: If You Aren’t Paying Them, You Are Breaking The Law

I came across this article discussing the topic of online sales taxes.  Local store owners are upset that many online retailers do not collect state sales taxes.  As stated by one owner in the article, “I’ve been at a 5.1% disadvantage for years.”

This issue is complex on many levels, and I’m not going to get into an economic/political discussion of the merits.  I did find it interesting that the article tied into an issue that comes up over and over again when I interview my clients prior to preparing their income tax returns.  When I ask the client whether they made online/catalog/mail order purchases and did not pay state sales tax on those purchases, the response is always some variation of “What?” or “How would I know that?” or “Why does that matter?”.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue has made a concerted effort to encourage taxpayers to self report, and pay in, any (see line 36, and page 28 of Form 1 instructions) state sales tax they avoided paying by shopping online. This was done by clarifying the form through adding the words “Internet” and “mail order”, as well as requiring the taxpayer to check an additional box, certifiying that no sales tax is due.

As you can imagine, enforcement is difficult without any mechanism to force the retailers to report.  However, this is no different than many other forms of income that aren’t directly reported to the DOR or the IRS.  It still needs to be reported.

My advice to clients is to look through their emails/receipts of purchases and do the best they can to piece together any sales tax not paid.  Going forward, I suggest that clients keep track of these purchases just like they would anything else for your tax preparation.  Failure to pay the sales tax due on online/mail order/catalog purchases will result in interest and penalties due.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Pursuant to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, nothing contained in this communication was intended or written to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer for such purpose.  No one, without our express prior written permission, may use or refer to any tax advice in this communication in promoting, marketing, or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement to any other party.

Farmers Breathe a (Slight) Sigh of Relief

Farmers and fishermen, take note. Rather than filing taxes by March 1st to avoid interest on underpayment of estimated tax, and stressing out about the fact that many forms (i.e. Form 4562 regarding depreciation) can’t be filed until around March 1st, the IRS and Wisconsin is extending this filing deadline until April 15th.  Farmers and fishermen must request the waiver of underpayment interest on the tax form they file. This is another consequence of the late passing of the American Taxpayer Relief Act.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to
be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice
regarding your own situation.

Pursuant to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230,
as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, nothing
contained in this communication was intended or written to be used by any
taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the
taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer
for such purpose.  No one, without our express prior written permission,
may use or refer to any tax advice in this communication in promoting,
marketing, or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or
arrangement to any other party.

Tips for Avoiding Financial Exploitation

Eldercare Locator and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging released an informative brochure titled: “Protect Your Pocketbook : Tips to Avoid Financial Exploitation” I encourage you to review it, and share it with loved ones that might benefit from the information.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

 

Pursuant to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, nothing contained in this communication was intended or written to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer for such purpose.  No one, without our express prior written permission, may use or refer to any tax advice in this communication in promoting, marketing, or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement to any other party.

 

 

Give Me Your Password OR YOU ARE FIRED!

I came across a really interesting article about privacy and free speech rights for students at high school and college, as well as employees.  I’m sure you’ve all heard stories about schools or employers requiring students/employees to give up their Facebook or Twitter passwords so they could be monitored for inappropriate activity.  New laws are beginning to be passed to prohibit this practice.

 The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Pursuant to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, nothing contained in this communication was intended or written to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer for such purpose.  No one, without our express prior written permission, may use or refer to any tax advice in this communication in promoting, marketing, or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement to any other party.

Sad Reality?

 

The issue of “assisted suicide” by doctor or family member is a difficult one.  It is probably true, as this article discusses, that this issue will become more prevalent as America in general gets older, and medical technology allows for greater longevity. 

It is very easy to judge others who claim to be following their loved one’s wishes.  What if your spouse, or parent, or child was suffering and in enormous pain?I can’t honestly say what I would do, and I’m certainly not taking a moral stance.  While the law on this issue tends to skew in the direction that the taking of any life is a crime, sentencing and prosecution certainly seem to allow for a grey area.

One thing is clear from a practical standpoint: having a health care power of attorney can at least give direction to your loved one or health care provider about how to handle your care in life and death.  While a health care power of attorney cannot instruct a loved one or medical practitioner to intentionally end your life, it can instruct them on what techniques may or may not be used to prolong your life and/or the dying process.  This is a vital document that everyone should have even if you don’t have strong feelings on this issue.

 The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Pursuant to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, nothing contained in this communication was intended or written to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer for such purpose.  No one, without our express prior written permission, may use or refer to any tax advice in this communication in promoting, marketing, or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement to any other party.