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“Protecting The Brand” On Twitter

The increase in the social medium Twitter’s influence has led to its use as a cutting-edge advertising tool. The more than 200 million users of Twitter will send about 54 billion communications in the coming year. But social media are a serious matter in which the lack of due care or other wrongdoing can lead to legal liability and severe consequences.

Brand owners, licensees and the consuming public now use Twitter in extended dialogues about favored (or dis-favored) brands, new products and marketing initiatives.

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Retirement Account Overview

With traditional pensions for Americans steadily becoming more of an exception than the rule, it is all the more important to become familiar with the other “self-directed” retirement savings vehicles that are available. From a tax standpoint, there are two kinds of plans: those that are tax-deferred and those that are after-tax.

Tax-deferred plans, such as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and employer-sponsored 401(k)s, have the advantage of allowing taxable income to be reduced by the contributions each year, and growth of the account through appreciation and interest or dividends is tax-deferred. Of course, at some point in the future those taxes must be paid.

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Employee Or Contractor? Irs Offers Amnesty

The Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) is a voluntary amnesty program created by the IRS that provides an opportunity for taxpayers to reclassify their workers as employees for employment tax purposes for future tax periods, with partial relief from federal employment taxes. To participate, the taxpayer must meet certain eligibility requirements, apply to participate in the VCSP by filing Form 8952, “Application for Voluntary Classification Settlement Program,” and enter into a closing agreement with the IRS.

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Real Estate Roundup

Homebuyer Wins Tax Credit

The federal income tax code provides for a refundable tax credit to a first-time homebuyer of a “principal residence.” In 2008, the year that Joseph took the plunge and bought his first home, the credit was 10% of the purchase price, up to $7,500. When he claimed the maximum credit on his 2008 tax return, the IRS came calling to challenge his eligibility for the credit.

First, the IRS said that Joseph did not qualify because he had acquired the home under a contract for deed, which is a type of land sale contract in which legal title initially remains with the seller but “equitable title” passes to the buyer while he makes payments on the property. The U.S.

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Legal Risk Management: Guarding Against Business Torts

It’s sometimes said that police and lawyers on both sides of the criminal justice system spend their careers looking at the underside of society, often seeing the worst that people can do to each other. But apart from crimes of wrath or passion, the majority of crimes are committed out of greed, desperation or feelings of entitlement to possess money or its fruits which belong to others.

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Child Custody In 21st Century New York

In the 1950s, the American family was often viewed, both by society and in the courts, like the families on such television shows as “Father Knows Best.” There was one husband and one wife, living in a one-family home. The mother stayed home and the father was the sole breadwinner. In the event of a divorce (which never happened on television), courts made a presumption in favor of the mother having “custody” of the children, with the fathers granted a schedule of “visitation” with their own children, often just on alternate weekends.

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Astor Case Highlights Rise In Elder Abuse Cases

The late Manhattan socialite Brooke Astor’s son was convicted on multiple charges of taking advantage of her frail condition in advanced old age to wrongfully take funds from her, to induce her to change her will in his favor, and to abuse a power of attorney she had given to him to assist in managing her affairs.

The Astor case has become notorious because the Astor family name has been famous since the early 1800s and because the Astor estate is estimated to exceed $170 million dollars. But the case should help to focus public attention on the fact that financial abuse of our elderly citizens has become a significant and growing problem.

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And Keep In Mind . . .

Has your company moved and forgotten to update its address with the State office where your corporation originally filed? If so, your company could be vulnerable to defaulting in a lawsuit without even being aware that the case exists.

Imagine waking up one morning to learn that your bank or factoring accounts have been frozen by a default money judgment entered in favor of a vendor whose goods were no good, or even by someone who claims that he slipped on un-shoveled snow on the sidewalk in front of your business.

Check for your State business records being up to date and if they’re not, have them corrected. It’s easy and could save you a lot of grief and money.

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