Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Attorney Client Relationship

There are many important qualities in maintaining relationships that clients need when hiring a law firm.  Clients are looking for confidence, trust worthiness, respectfulness, active listeners as well as excellent negotiations.  The law firm needs to be a strong advocate for their legal issues.  Attorneys need to keep their clients updated on a regular basis, with strategies and plans of action.  Together the attorney and the client can achieve a resolution to their legal needs.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

When should you do taxes on your own or hire a Tax professional?

Taxes can be stressful, especially if you have a business, investments or IRS issues. Most people want to get through the tax season with little out of pocket or worrying about an IRS audit. The expense of filing taxes can be costly depending on what you own (businesses, Investments, Rental Property etc...). In determining, whether you do your taxes yourself or hire a tax professional here are some things to consider.

When to hire a Tax professional
  • ·         Taxes are complicated
  • ·         Owning your own business
  • ·         Rental property or taxable investments
  • ·         Foreign income
  • ·         Life changes ( Marriage, divorce, retirement, inheritance ,birth ,property sale)
  • ·         New tax Laws
  • ·         Tax Planning

When to do them yourself
  • ·         You understand the Tax laws
  • ·         You don’t have any property or investments
  • ·         Your taxes are straight forward with the usual deductions (normal W2)

Keep in mind, having a tax professional has its Pros. A tax professional can represent you with the IRS and generally insures your returns are prepared correctly.  The next time you want to prepare your own tax return remember there are options that should be considered.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Movie to Watch

If you get tired of the same old action hero or cartoon character movies, why not look into viewing the best courtroom legal drama ever made.  Many best of lists have this film at the top.  It is, To Kill a Mockingbird.  It is an old movie, 1962, and it's filmed in black and white. Gregory Peck portrays a Depression-era lawyer in the South.  The courtroom scenes are very powerful.  He is also a widowed father of two and the bond with his children is wonderful.  Give it a chance and I know you'll agree, it's one of the best.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Cash Vs. Accrual Vs. Modified Cash Accounting Methods

Starting a new business involves a lot of planning.  The accounting is a very important part of managing your business.  You must consider the accounting method.  There are three options to choose from.

The Cash Basis Method
This accounting method records income and expenses as received and paid out.  Expenses are recorded only when bills are paid.  This method is advantageous for smaller businesses as it is a simple method that accounts for cash paid or received.

The Accrual Method
With this method, income is accounted for when it is earned.  You may deliver a product or service to a customer and not have been paid for it, yet consider it income. Expenses are recorded the day you receive the bill or goods from a vendor or supplier.  Accrual method does include accounts receivable and accounts payable on the balance sheet.

The Modified Cash Basis Method
This Modified Cash Basis combines elements of the above two accounting methods.  It is not accepted on official financial statements.  Income is recorded as received but expenses are put into two categories.  Long-term liabilities are treated as accounts payable as in the accrual method.  Short term expenses are recorded as paid, as in the cash method.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Litigation Pitfalls

Time:  Contrary to what is portrayed on television, the litigation does not typically begin and end in a matter of days and weeks.  One of the surprises many clients face when involved in litigation is a great deal of time it takes to get through the legal process.  It is not uncommon, for example, for a case to two or three years to take a case from its beginning to final judgment.  Even then, an appeal can be taken to a higher court and the process begun again.  Once the appeal is complete, it is not uncommon for the higher court to send the case back to the original court for further proceedings, consuming even more time and resources.

Expense: Linked to the amount of time a case takes is the expense involved.  Generally, lawyers bill for nearly every moment of the time they spend working on a case.  At $400-600 an hour, this can quickly add up to a lot of money.  Litigation costs, in fact, can exceed tens, and even hundreds of thousands of dollars, some, or all, of which may not be awarded by the court, even if the client is victorious.
Legal fees are not the only expense that might be incurred during the course of litigation.  Most cases will require that depositions of the parties, key witnesses and experts be conducted, all of which will involve the expense of the attorney on an hourly basis, as well as that of a court reporter who will attend the deposition, and later provided a written transcript of the testimony.  
As stated, it is also not uncommon for attorneys to enlist the help of an expert witness.  These are oftentimes professionals, such as doctors, or engineers, or accountants who can help the judge or jury clarify certain key questions in a case.  While experts are extremely helpful, they are generally very expensive and will demand payment for the time they spend testifying, conducting their analysis, and providing a written analysis.
It is also important to realize that just because you are the prevailing party, does not mean, typically, that your opponent will simply bring their checkbook to court on the final day and write you a check for the amount the judge or jury decides.  Many years can be spent just trying to collect money awarded in a case.  

For the reasons stated, the decision of whether or not to take someone to court, should be one made only after careful consideration is given to the considerable time and expense involved.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Preparing for 2019

September is coming to a close and with many changes in the Tax code, now is the time to prepare for the next year.  It's time to budget, to do so review all the changes that have occurred plus take into account the possible inflation that may occur.  Yes, employment is up which creates the ever important raises to deserving employees and do not forget yourself as an employer. Many of you which may have not raised your salary in years!  Do not let September end without having a 2019 budget in place, if needed seek the advice of your Tax and financial advisors.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

529 Plans

If you have college-bound children or grandchildren then you may be interested in establishing a qualified tuition plan for them.  These plans are known as 529 plans, so named after the IRS code section establishing the plans.  You can contribute to a qualified prepared tuition plan or a savings account established for a specific beneficiary to help pay for that beneficiary’s college tuition.  While the contributions are not tax deductible, the funds grow and earn income tax-free.  When the designated beneficiary withdraws funds to pay for qualified educator expenses, no taxes are paid on the income!  Qualified education expenses include those for any college university, vocational school or post-secondary educational institutions that are eligible to participate in student aid programs administered by the U.S. Department of education.  Beginning in 2018, the funds can also be used to pay for qualified higher education expenses such as private or religious elementary or secondary schools. 

How to get started? Every state has their own 529 plans and you are not limited to the plan in your state, so research the state plans to find the one best suited to the needs of your designated beneficiary.  If you would like assistance in learning more about Qualified Tuition programs please contact the tax professionals at Ken R. Ashworth & Associates.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A Paralegals day!

What's a day in the life of a Paralegal? BUSY! An integral role in the "day in the life of a law office" for certain, but generally not the glamorous life of Erin Brockovich! A paralegal performs many tasks essential to the day-to-day routines and procedures in support of the practice of law by attorneys.  Typically, in a day, a paralegal might accomplish a wide variety of tasks, such as Contact and conference with clients; Update master calendars with dates for client meetings, court hearings, deadlines relevant to litigation, business and tax work; Case planning, development and management; Draft, revise and finalize litigation and probate pleadings, trust agreements, contracts and correspondence; Perform Legal research, analysis and summarization of various documents; and facilitate filings with the various levels of the Federal, State, Justice and Municipal courts, as well as Federal and State administrative agencies. A paralegal might also attend court or administrative hearings and trials, depositions, executions of wills and trusts, real estate escrow closings, and just might possibly -on the rare occasion-have an occasional lunch date with colleagues and co-workers!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Social Security benefits

Often Social Security benefits are a mystery especially when a spouse passes.  The surviving spouse is entitled to a benefit equal to 100% of the deceased benefits as long as the survivor wants until their full retirement age.  At 60 you could collect a survivor benefit but the benefit will be reduced.  What that means is do an analysis of what is best for you when considering taking a survivor benefit from Social Security.  Yes, it may be hard to understand but once you know what to do, you will rest easier.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

New Medicare Cards

Medicare has begun to mail new ID cards to its millions of members.  The replacement cards will have a new assigned ID number.  These cards don't have your social security number.  The process of mailing new cards will take about a year.

It is important to note that scammers have found another new way to steal from the elderly.  The scammer calls and states you must pay a processing fee before you receive a new card.  Not True!  They may state you are due a refund on old cards so you give them your bank account number so they can deposit the refund into your account ( never give out your bank account number over the phone).

Friday, July 20, 2018

New Tax Rate "C" Corporations

Clients have asked and maybe hoped that under the new tax law "C" corporations no longer have what is considered a double taxation problem.

The new tax rate for "C" corporations is a flat rate of 21%.  Before the new tax laws "C" corporations were taxed at a graduated rate ranging from 15% to 35%.  The dividends paid to the shareholders are still taxed to them at their individual tax rates, so in fact "double taxation" has not gone away.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sexual Harassment and businesses

In today's climate with numerous sexual harassment claims filed, it should be noted that all companies must, I repeat must take all sexual harassment issues seriously!  In fact, the IRS is taking sexual harassment so seriously that any business that settles a sexual discrimination or harassment claim cannot deduct the payment or attorney fees that are subject to a non-disclosure agreement on their tax return.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Sale of Home Requirements

If you own your home but are unable to take care of yourself, here is something to think about. A taxpayer who has owned and used their home as their principle residence for at least 2 out of the 5 years leading up to the sale can exclude $250,000 or $500,000 if married on the gain when the home is sold, however the IRS has lowered the length of use requirement to 1 out of 5 years preceeding the sale for those who are in nursing homes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tax year 2018

The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the Standard Deduction for Married Filing Jointly is now $24,000; for Head of Household it is now $18,000 and for Single taxpayers or Married Filing separately, it is $12,000. With these changes, it is expected that more taxpayers will be choosing to take the Standard Deduction instead of itemizing their deductions.

For those taxpayers who still choose to itemize their deductions, it is important to note that an entire category of expenses are no longer deductible as itemized deductions in 2018.  Wage-earners who have qualified to deduct unreimbursed employee expenses in the past, need to be aware that these items are no longer deductible.  One of the most common of these is union dues.  Other items such as uniforms and professional licenses and training paid for by the employee are not deductible either.

If you are concerned that these changes will result in higher taxes for you in 2018, then it may be advisable to review your income tax withholding from your wages. Making adjustments to the amount of your withholding now can help avoid a liability and possible interest and penalties being due for the year. Taxpayers can also make estimated tax payments to correct this situation. The tax professionals at Ken R. Ashworth & Associates are available to assist you with your tax planning needs.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Starting A New Business

Starting a new Business can be very exciting and daunting endeavor.  There are few things you will want to think about when formatting a new business.

The key to obtaining financing for your business, whether through a banking institution or private investors is to have a good concise business plan. A good business plan consists of a company description, an executive summary, a market analysis and a financial projection and financial breakdown.

A budget is pivotal when preparing to start a business. You can set and achieve profit goals, track expenses and estimate your revenue as well as be estimating your cash flow to pay for expenses and required purchases such as equipment and materials.

Remember to seek advice from professionals on the entity formation of your business.  Tax planning is very important part of your business whether you form an LLC or an S-Corporation or a C-Corporation. You will want to form the entity that is the most tax advantageous for your situation.

These are just a few things to think about when starting your new business.

Disclaimer- This article has been prepared by Ken Ashworth & Associates and is provided for informational purposes only.  This material does not provide legal, Tax, regulatory or accounting advice. Prior to entering into any proposed transaction, you should determine, in consultation with your own advisors, the potential economic, legal and tax risks.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Why Do You Need A Registered Agent?

Nevada Requires businesses to have a registered agent. A registered agent is a responsible party designated to receive service of process notices, correspondence from the Secretary of State and other official notifications.

A registered agent can give you peace of mind knowing that you will not miss receiving an important notice or have to accept official documents at your place of business, a possibly embarrassing situation and disruption to your clients.

If you do not have a physical location in Nevada, you must select a registered agent to accept notification and documents on your entities behalf.

Monday, May 14, 2018

A-Z of Estate Planning

V – “V” stands for Valuation of the estate.  The VALUATION of your estate will determine whether or not it will be subject to tax.  Of course, there are vehicles, such as gifts to charity, whether at death or before that can help reduce exposure to tax, it is the final value that will determine how much tax, if any, that will be due. It can be the case that an estate VALUE is unfairly high due simply to the fact that a person died on a day that, for example, the stock owned by the decedent was unusually high on that date.  Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Code allows a trustee to choose a VALUATION date six months after the date of death, thus, perhaps, increasing the chance of a more favorable (less tax heavy) VALUATION for the estate. 

W – “W” stands for WILL.  Sometimes formally called “LAST WILL & TESTAMENT”, your WILL (very much like a living TRUST) is a written set of instructions for how you want your assets distributed at your death.   Once again, one of the main differences between a WILL and a TRUST is that the administration of a WILL is generally required to go through the public PROBATE process, while a TRUST administration is typically handled privately.  

X – “X” stands for GENERATION X.  Typically considered be those born after the Baby Boomers, this generation, which began in 1961 and ended around 1981 are reaching middle age now, and if they have not already, should very seriously consider putting their estate in order. It is really never too early to begin estate planning, even if it is obtaining a low priced life insurance policy and having a simple WILL when you are in college, or soon thereafter.

 Y – “Y” stands for YOU and YOUR.  A well thought out estate plan, which has been put in place will put YOU at ease knowing YOUR family and beneficiaries are provided for and will not have to pay for or struggle with an incomplete estate.

Z – “Z” stands for ZERO.  The goal of many individuals is to have their estate pay ZERO taxes at their death.  Until the recent Trump tax cuts, this was far more difficult even for modest estates.  Now, and until the year 2025, a single person can leave his heirs over $11 million dollars and pay ZERO tax on the transfer.  Individuals leaving in excess of $11 million dollars, can most definitely still benefit from estate planning, greatly reducing the tax owed at their death.  

Friday, May 11, 2018

A-Z of Estate Planning

S – “S” stands for SPENDTHRIFT TRUST PROVISION.  A SPENDTHRIFT TRUST PROVISION allows the creator of a trust (“Settlor”) to create a trust (SPENDTHRIFT TRUST) for a beneficiary so that the assets in that SPENDTHRIFT TRUST are secure against creditors of the beneficiary.  This is often times utilized by parents who are concerned that money left to their children will be spent without restraint once the child gains control of the asset.  A SPENDTHRIFT TRUST gives the trustee in charge of the children’s (or other beneficiary’s assets) the sole discretion of when, if at all, to release any of the SPENDTHRIFT TRUST’s assets.  In Nevada, there is specific statutory provisions governing this kind of trust, which will likely be used as a guide when your estate plan is drafted.   

T – “T” stands for TRUST. A TRUST is generally (and ideally) a written set of instructions to a named individual or entity, such as a bank, or a law firm (“Trustee”) with regard to the assets held by the TRUST.  The person drafting the set of instructions, and who FUNDS the TRUST is called either a “Settlor” or a “Grantor”; these terms are used interchangeably.  A TRUST gains control of assets as a result of the grantor/settlor, transferring their property into the name of the trust. If the Grantor/Settlor fails to FUND their TRUST it will be ineffective to accomplish the intent of the Grantor/Settlor.  It is, therefore, vital that once a TRUST is drafted that assets be transferred into it. 

U – “U” stands for UNIFIED TAX CREDIT.   This is the amount total monetary value (currently $11,200,000) that each U.S. citizen subject to the tax laws of the United States can either gift or bequeath during their lifetime tax free.  At one time lifetime gifts were tracked separately from transfers at death, but were later consolidated (“unified”), which in at least that respect simplified tax planning and tax return preparation. 

To Be Continued................

Monday, May 7, 2018

A-Z of Estate Planning

P – “P” stands for PROBATE, which is the legal process by which property passes from a deceased individual to his or her heirs.  Unfortunately, the PROBATE process can take months, and even years (depending on the size of the estate and the number of challenges by potential heirs), and can be very costly, with legal fees potentially totaling tens of thousands of dollars. PROBATE is also a public process, which means your will, and what was left to every heir will become public knowledge.  For some people, this may cause little or no concern, but for those who wish for their private affairs to remain private, a trust is often a better choice.  

Q – “Q” stands for Q-TIP ELECTION.  This option is frequently used for individuals who have remarried and have children from a first marriage.  Essentially, the Q-TIP ELECTION establishes a separate trust for the benefit of the children or other class of final beneficiaries but allows the new spouse to receive the income earned by the Q-TIP TRUST for the remainder of their lifetime.  The surviving spouse is also allowed to live in the home owned by the Q-TIP TRUST during his/her lifetime.  Assets transferred into trust as a result of making a Q-TIP ELECTION will not be subject to estate tax until the second spouse passes away.  Of course, taxes will only be due if the value of the property in the Q-TIP TRUST added to the surviving  (new) spouse’s assets at the time of their death exceeds the exempt amount then allowed under the Tax Code.

R – “R” stands for REPORT.  It is vital to the effectiveness of your estate plan that you report any changes in your circumstances to your estate planning attorney.  These include: the purchase or sale of real property; a marriage or divorce; the birth of a child or grandchild and so forth. Failure to amend your estate documents in light of any of these events can have a significant impact on the overall plan. 

To Be continued............

Thursday, May 3, 2018

A-Z of Estate Planning

M – “M” stands for MARRIAGE. Perhaps more than any other single factor, MARRIAGE, RE-MARRIAGE, and DIVORCE (See, DIVORCE, above) can have a significant impact on the amount of taxes owing on an estate.  Under current tax law, a married couple can leave a combined estate of $22,400,000 and not be subject to estate tax. (This assumes the couple has not used any portion of their lifetime gift exclusion at the time of their respective deaths).  For an individual, that amount is cut in half.  RE-MARRIAGE, especially where there are stepchildren from a prior marriage, can require careful drafting of the estate plan to ensure children from the first marriage are not overlooked.

N – “N” stands for NEW TAX LAW.  As mentioned earlier, the tax law that took effect this year, and will remain in effect until the end of 2025, doubled the amount of an estate that will be subject to tax at an individual’s death.  This will have a significant effect on estate and tax planning during this time, and is anticipated to have a positive impact on the transfer of family businesses that have, in the past, faced difficulties passing the business to the next generation due to tax burdens.

O – “O” stands for ­OUT-OF-STATE-PROPERTY. If you own property outside the state where you establish your trust or where you reside, it is important, when funding the local trust with OUT-OF-STATE property that the deed transferring the property meets the requirements of recording where the real property is located.  If it does not, there is the risk that the property may end up in probate, rather than in your trust. 

To Be Continued ....................

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A-Z Estate Planning

J-"J" stands for Joint Ownership. A married couple who lives in a community property state will enjoy a step up in basis for a home they own jointly. For example, if a couple pays $100,000 for a home, and when the first spouse dies, it is worth $200,000, the living spouse's new basis in the home is now $200,000.  If she later sells it, and for some reason tax is owed, her taxable gain would be calculated using the $200,000 stepped-upped basis, thus saving money.  If however, a home is owned jointly by two people not married, the survivor could inherit the property under Nevada law without passing through the probate process: however, the survivor's basis would remain the original $100,000 from the earlier example; there would be no step-up in basis. This unfortunate outcome could be avoided with planning.

K – “K” stands for 401(k).  The term “401(k)” is a general term many people use to refer to their widely known by many people as the retirement program they have at their workplace.  The term itself is actually a section of the Internal Revenue Code that regulates employer-sponsored retirement plans that can qualify for special tax treatment if conducted according to the IRS Code and Regulations.  Your 401(k) retirement plan can play a very important role in your estate plan, but if handled improperly can have negative tax consequences for your beneficiaries.   For example, it is generally not a good idea to name your trust as a beneficiary of your 401(k) plan, but rather, simply name direct beneficiaries of your plan, and allow your trust to operate separately and control its assets separately.

L – “L” stands for LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY (LLC).  Many individuals pass away as owners of an interest in Limited Liability Companies.  Depending on the operating agreement of the LLC, some or all of your interest in the LLC can be funded into your trust during your life.  There are certain procedures both at the LLC level and, perhaps, at the state level that will need to be followed to ensure this is done properly and with the greatest effect.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A-Z Estate Planning

G-"G" stands for GENERATION SKIPPING TAX. When a person dies and transfers their assets to their heirs (traditionally, their children ) the government imposes a tax on that transfer, something usually called an estate tax.  Those children would then later transfer some or all of those assets to their children. When this occurred, there would be another transfer/estate tax imposed on the same asset, effectively, the same asset was taxed twice.  In an attempt to avoid this double tax, some individuals simply skipped the first transfer to their children and left some assets to their grandchildren instead, effectively "skipping a generation" and a level of tax.  The government caught on and imposed a tax on transfers that skip generations.

H-"H" stands for HEIR. When someone dies the person who is legally entitled to that individual's assets and property is the HEIR.

I-"I" stands for IRREVOCABLE, IRS,IRAs, and ILITs. An IRREVOCABLE trust is a special kind of trust that has serious implications, and should not be undertaken without seeking advice from an attorney and a tax advisor.  These kinds of trusts have their uses, but fit only a small fraction of the public.  The IRS governs the tax effects of the choices made in and through your estate.  Poor planning can result in wild swings in tax exposure (greater or lesser) of your estate.  Many, many people have IRAs. An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts, better known as an ILIT is a tool to pay off estate taxes by purchasing life insurance in the amount of the taxes estimated to be owing at the time of death.  In this way, the beneficiaries inherit most, if not all, the estate without having to pay tax from it.

To Be Continued......

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A-Z Estate Planning

D- "D" stands for DIVORCE, which can play an important role in estate planning, especially if there are stepchildren.  See, Q tip in coming posts.

E-"E" stands for ESTATE and EIN.  The value of the assets in your ESTATE when you pass away will determine how much your ESTATE will owe in taxes. Removing assets from your ESTATE before you die can help eliminate taxes.  Your living trust/your ESTATE will not generally need an " EMPLOYER Identification Number (EIN) until you pass away.

F-" F" stands for FUNDING your trust. If your attorney or financial advisor determines that you should have a trust, it is vital to the existence of the trust that it has assets transferred (FUNDED) into it.  A trust without assets has no legal effect, and your assets will be forced to pass through the public PROBATE process.

To Be Continued.................

Thursday, March 29, 2018

A-Z Estate Planning

A- "A" stands for ASSETS that will be in your estate at the time of your death.  Effective estate planning can help eliminate the amount of tax owed on these ASSETS if that is your goal.

B-"B" stands for BASIS, or what you paid for an asset in your estate, minus expenses you incurred in obtaining the asset. Proper estate planning can take advantage of a bump-up in BASIS and help taxes owed by your beneficiaries.

C- "C" stands for CHILDREN and /or CHARITY. There are numerous ways to leave your estate to your CHILDREN to protect them from creditors (a Bad "C" word) or, perhaps, from inheriting too much too soon. Gifts to CHARITY can be an effective tool to save on taxes.

To Be Continued.....................

Monday, March 26, 2018

Tax Return

Just a reminder for those taxpayers who file a late return: Under the IRS's First Time Abatement Program you may qualify for an OK to waive late filing and late payment penalties. You must pay or make arrangements to pay the tax due.  Your last three years tax return must have been filed and paid timely.  Let us know if we can assist you in requesting this relief.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Audited by the IRS? What should you do?

Should I represent myself or my company if audited by the IRS?

The simple answer from a Tax attorney NO!!!!

If you do you will tell the Auditor something you should not.  With that being said if you receive an IRS notice stating you owe a small amount of money due to an error you should talk to a qualified CPA or Attorney and ask if it's worth fighting.  They should let you know.  I tell all prospective clients to do a cost-benefit analysis.  Also if you do owe money and you do know you owe pay the amount owed.

What if I can't afford the amount owed?

The IRS usually will let you make payments, but they will charge you interest.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Estate Plans with no Heir

The other day a client came in to have her Estate Plan prepared.  She did not have an heir.  Her husband, siblings and only child predeceased her.  Her father was living ( in his 90's). She wanted to know if she really needed  Estate Documents as she did not care what happened to her assets once she passed.  We discussed her legacy and what if any Charities or Colleges she would like to benefit.  She had come up with a few Charities.

So even if you have heirs and you desire to leave nothing to, or have no heir think about charities or others, you may desire to benefit by leaving your assets to a good charitable type organization.

Friday, March 9, 2018

What happens to your Pets?

Many families have pets, dogs, cats, birds etc....  Pets are not only cute and lovable but a huge part of the family.  We plan out future preparing trusts and wills to make sure our valuables are disbursed accordingly.  We sometimes forget about planning for our pets.  Who will love and care for them the way they deserve?

We all love our pets, so when you put your final wishes in writing, remember to have the future of your pet discussed.  Remember animals have unconditional love so don't forget their future.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Free Seminar

Contact Ken R. Ashworth & Associates for a Free Seminar - Will Vs. Trust

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Worst Tax Scams

Each Year, The Internal Revenue Service releases a list of the worst tax scams.  These scams peak at tax season but happen year round.  Here's a roundup of some of the favorites by fraudsters.

Identity theft, phone scams and "phishing" are listed 1,2, & 3.  ID theft, of course, is when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.  Phone scams are those scary, send us money right now or go to jail calls.  Phishing is usually done by email.  The sender is seeking personal and financial information.

Fake charities abound also.  They often use names similar to trusted organizations, even setting up fake websites.  They are out to take your hard earned cash and prey upon your generosity.  You can go to IRS.Gov to see if they're legit.

Taxpayers are guilty of tax scamming also.  They have been known to falsely claim deductions, under report income, use multilayer companies to try and conceal who owns income.  The earned income tax credit has been abused, as taxpayers actually claim higher income and /or dependents they are not entitled to claim, to get a larger refund.

The IRS is on the lookout for fraud constantly.  Beware, be smart and if you have any questions, give us a call.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Suspicious Email from the IRS

Have you ever received a suspicious email from the Internal Revenue Service?  Most of us have.  You know it is phony by reviewing the spelling and appearance.  We received just such an email at our Law Firm.  I wondered how these scammers could be so bold as to use the actual IRS logo on their phishing expedition.

After careful review, I see they did not use the actual IRS logo.  The Logo on their email had one difference.  THE BEAK OF THE EAGLE WAS FILLED IN !!!!!!!!   Needless to say, I forwarded this to phishing@irs.gov.  I am sorry to say, my email was promptly rejected as junk mail.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tax Season

Tax Season is upon us. Time to start gathering your tax documents and information, for filing.

Friday, January 26, 2018

New Medicare Cards are Coming Soon!

Starting April 1, 2018, the government will be issuing new Medicare cards that do not use your social security number as your ID number. Instead, they will have a computer-generated number assigned to you. It will no longer show your gender or require a signature. The idea is to make it harder for the scammers to steal your social security number along with your identity.
You will need to start using your new Medicare ID by December 31, 2019. Your Current card will be good until then.

Who do I choose?

Who do I choose? Things happen that are beyond our capacity. For instance, you receive a letter from the IRS stating they are going to...