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Junk Fax Exemptions

A self-styled “business-to-business media company” that publishes trade magazines and sponsors industry-specific trade shows sent a fax advertising a trade show to a civil engineering and design firm. That simple act prompted a federal lawsuit by the fax recipient. As the court put it, in this case, as in most other junk fax cases, the facts were “not especially juicy.” The same design firm had apparently adopted a combative policy regarding unsolicited communications of this kind. According to the court, the firm had filed over 100 similar suits under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

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Season Tickets Cannot Be Seized

When a taxpayer failed to pay his federal income taxes, the IRS issued a levy against him. Among his possessions was a block of 16 season tickets for a professional sports team. He also had paid a deposit per seat as a “personal seat license,” on top of the cost each year for the season tickets themselves.

The IRS wanted to seize and sell the season ticket renewal right, treating it as a form of “property or rights to property” under federal law. The sports team objected but did say that if it received a levy it would pay out the taxpayer’s deposit for the personal seat licenses.

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Bank Accounts Are Changing

In the last year, new Federal Reserve Board rules have reined in the ability of banks and other financial institutions to impose charges and fees for some of their services. Issuers of credit cards generally cannot increase the interest rate on a card for one year after the account is opened. Consumers will no longer be charged a fee when a transaction causes an account to exceed its credit limit, unless the consumer has agreed in advance.

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Key Provisions Of The Tax Relief Act Of 2010

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, enacted in the closing days of last year, was a substantial Holiday present for a large number of Americans, for at least the next two years. Here’s a very broad summary of what we think are its most significant sections.

Employees and self-employed workers will receive a reduction of two percentage points in Social Security payroll tax in 2011, bringing the rate down from 6.2% to 4.2% for employees, and from 12.4% to 10.4% for the self-employed. This should have already resulted in slightly larger paychecks for almost all of us.

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Aggressive Governments Step Up Pursuit Of Contractors For Subcontractor Labor Law Violations

A little over a year ago we sent a very clear warning to our readers who are in any kind of manufacturing business that uses independent sub-contractors. We discussed how some New York State and Federal labor law regulators have begun to look for new ways to penalize manufacturers, as so-called “joint employers,” for their independent subcontractors’ labor law violations and other areas of exposure. That trend has grown and has acquired such momentum that many more parties are moving in to target the manufacturer.

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