Category Archives: Tax and Insurance

Factors That May Impact the Settlement Figure Offered By The Insurance Adjuster Or Defense Attorney

An injury law firm can carefully review your injury accident claim and advise you before dealing with insurance company adjusters or defense lawyers. Often, an unrepresented claimant might be told things that simply are not accurate.

The Advantages of Settling a Case vs. Taking It to Court

Upon hiring an injury law firm to represent you, your accident lawyer will review your case and help gather facts regarding your injury. While there is no way to guarantee a settlement, a seasoned attorney can discuss any offers made by the insurance company and give the client a better understanding as to whether the amount offered is fair. Litigation should generally be a last resort due to the time, expense, stress and uncertainty involved in taking a case to court.

It is worth noting that sometimes the insurance company simply refuses to settle. Should this occur in your case, your accident lawyer will discuss whether litigation is an appropriate option.

How Defense Attorneys View Injury Claims

The insurance company will hire a defense lawyer if the case does not settle. Most defense attorneys will take a hard line regarding the possibility of settlement. Generally, they will only consider settlement when a potential trial verdict presents a substantial risk of a large award against them. If the defense attorney believes his/her chances are good at trial, he will likely not recommend or offer settlement with the plaintiff’s injury law office.

The Defense Attorney’s Authority to Settle a Claim

Your injury law firm can gauge a lot about how the insurance company regards a claim by communicating with their defense attorney. Often this individual knows exactly what settlement range the company will offer. As a rule, if defense attorneys can keep the actual settlement at the low end of that range, they will keep themselves employed.

Therefore, your injury law firm will generally assume that any settlement offer made by the defense represents a discount of 50 to 100 percent of the company’s actual authority.

Your insurance bad faith lawyer may expect that figure to rise as the case moves closer to trial. As stated above, however, taking a case to trial can bring about much uncertainty in the result. Moreover, while a client will have very little out of pocket expense in a settlement case, a trial brings costs which, by necessity, must be passed along to the client. Your attorney can fully advise you of your options.

Put an experienced injury law firm in your corner when dealing with insurance companies and defense attorneys.

Factors That May Impact the Settlement Figure Offered By An Insurance Adjuster

An can carefully review your injury accident claim and advise you before dealing with insurance company.

Your may expect that figure to rise as the case moves closer to trial.

How To Get Medical Insurance For A Surrogate Mother

Getting surrogate insurance coverage, that is, medical insurance to cover the surrogate pregnancy, can be tricky. There are a few different options for obtaining practical surrogacy insurance, depending on the situation of the surrogate mother and intended parents.

First, if at all possible, plan to use the surrogate mother’s existing health insurance policy, probably thorough her employer or her husband’s. Most health insurance policies will cover a surrogate mother, as their own insured, while she is pregnant. It is frankly none of the insurance company’s business how she got pregnant!

But some insurance companies are going out of their way to prevent surrogate motherhood. Take a copy of the surrogate’s insurance benefits booklet to your surrogacy attorney to verify if you can use this policy.

If that doesn’t work, there are a few more ways to obtain surrogate insurance coverage. The easiest, and least expensive at this point is to purchase a regular individual plan from a local insurance agency. Watch, again, for exclusions with surrogate motherhood. Also, sometimes these plans come with a 6-12 month waiting period before they will pay for pregnancy.

It probably should be mentioned that the insurance policy an intended parent carries, most likely through their employment, will not cover the pregnancy of the surrogate mother, regardless of the fact that it is their biological child. The surrogate mother is not the insured party.

There are some surrogacy insurance policies specifically designed for surrogate mothers. These policies really only insure a worst case scenario event, cost thousands to purchase, and come with deductibles in the $5,000-10,000 range. Some intended parents choose to add this sort of policy onto an existing surrogate insurance coverage.

But what happens when a surrogate mother and her intended parents believe that they are covered, get pregnant, and then find out there was an error and her insurance company refuses to cover the pregnancy? Or what if she loses the coverage halfway through the surrogate pregnancy?

There are not too many private insurance companies out there willing to insure a preexisting condition, such as an already pregnant woman. (And if you find one, please let me know!) The options are few in this situation. The intended parents can either pay for the rest of the medical bills in cash, hopefully negotiating a better rate directly with hospitals and doctor’s offices, or they can purchase a discount medical card.

A discount medical card will save the intended parents some considerable money, but it is not the same as having actual surrogate insurance coverage. Still, it’s a terrific option for those in this sort of sticky situation, and can be obtained after the surrogate mother is already pregnant.

Reasons behind Tax Controversy

A tax controversy between an individual or a company and Internal Revenue Service can arise due to tax evasion, tax fraud or other minor mistakes. If an IRS agent feels that there is some discrepancy in a tax return like misrepresentation of income, failure to represent actual income, excessive deductions; an audit may ensue.

Tax Audit

IRS will notify you if they want to carry out any tax audit. They will do everything to find out even the smallest breach of the US tax laws. Moreover, audits are stressful and lengthy process and invade an individual’s personal and professional life. It will be best to take legal counsel as soon as you are notified of audit or tax examination.

Efficient lawyer knows how to deal with IRS agents and what documents one may require for audit. If the audit outcome is somehow unsatisfactory, IRS has rights to bring in criminal charges of tax evasion or fraud.

Tax Evasion

When someone deliberately avoids tax payment it can be said as tax evasion. Intentionally avoiding tax is a crime. A company or an individual has to face severe penalties like 5years of prison and $100,000 fine for carrying out such a crime. If you are accused for tax evasion; contact with skilled lawyer. The lawyer will help to avoid imprisonment and harsh fines.

Tax Fraud

Failure to file tax return, sales tax fraud and failure to represent actual income can result in civil and criminal penalties. It is also a serious charge and may result in prison time and heavy fines.

If you are investigated for tax fraud or already charged with the offence, contact a lawyer immediately. A lawyer if present from the beginning will enhance chances of your release. For perfect resolution of tax issues you need to appoint a qualified and experienced lawyer.

Qualities that you should look in a tax lawyer

Every cannot save you from a tax audit or a tax case. Licensed lawyers who possess experience in dealing with IRS know how to proceed with a tax case and negotiate matters with them. If you received an audit notice from IRS, you may be sure that there are some kinds of problems. It is best to consult a lawyer at that moment.

A lawyer may examine details about your finance and be prepare to answer IRS agents. If you try to do it yourself a small mistake can cost you much. Each of your statement is vital and can be used against you in the case.

Things to Check before Hiring a Tax Attorney

Finding the right tax attorney in Maryland can be a daunting task especially because very few people are dedicated to tax law. It becomes even more difficult when you are already frustrated with tax problems. Choose the perfect one and your problems will be vanished. Choose the wrong person and you are never going to come out of the impending doom. Therefore it is crucial to select your tax attorney wisely.

Though it may take a little time and effort to find the right person it is always better to count on a professional than handling such complicated issues yourself. Whether it is a certified tax resolution specialist or a certified public accountant or a tax attorney, selecting the ideal representative is key to your success.

One can have various kinds of tax problems such as audit issues, back taxes, tax returns, payroll taxes or other tax collection. If you encounter any similar problem the first thing you will think of doing is going through Google or the Yellow Page to find out a who will be aware of the local law.

So you have managed to get the contact details of a few Maryland tax attorneys. What next? How do you know whom to hire and whom to avoid? Go through the checklist below to get some handy tips on how to find out the right attorney.

Questions to Ask a Tax Attorney

The first thing to ask is what kind of cases does he handle? Is it personal income tax issue or charity tax issue? Is it business tax problem or estate tax concern? If you are having problem with personal income person choose the one who deals with this issue. Try to see whether the attorney deals with federal law only or he handles state taxes as well? Does he have the experience of dealing with tax problems in multiple jurisdictions? How long the attorney has been in this business and how long is he solving IRS problems? What is his success rate with the tax cases he has handled? Focus on the success rate instead of number of cases because dealing with the IRS is quite difficult. Does he offers any guarantee when you handover your case? Check your lawyer with the Better Business Bureau. If he has more than 20 complaints it is better to stay away from him. Ask about his previous clients and see whether he allows you to talk to them. If he hesitates it is probably better to move on. Make sure that there is no hidden cost and the attorney gives you a clear estimate right at the beginning.

Keep these few points in mind while interviewing a prospective attorney and you are likely to find out the right person. Go through and choose the right one, here you will find many qualified lawyer profile to opt for.

Travel Insurance Fraud The Consequences

Rebecca and Shanti were both honest law-abiding citizens with law degrees from Sussex University, so it came as something of a surprise when they were recently arrested in Brazil for committing holiday insurance fraud. The two girls allegedly told the police that thieves had stolen around 1,000 of their possessions, including a camera and laptop computer. However, officers became suspicious of their calm demeanour and the fact that it had taken the girls days to report the alleged offence.

The police subsequently demanded to see the girls lodgings, where they claim to have uncovered all the possessions which the girls claimed had been stolen en-route to Brazils Iguassu Falls. Rebecca and Shanti could face up to five years imprisonment if they are found guilty of committing holiday insurance fraud in Brazil, and this sentence is actually quite lenient when you consider some of the punishments that they could face if they had committed the crime in a different country.

In England, tourists face up to 10 years imprisonment as a result of making fraudulent holiday insurance claims. This sentence could even be on top off additional penalties, such as repayment of the amount you claimed and compensation to your travel insurance company. You would have thought that the prospect of a ten year prison sentence would put most people of committing travel insurance fraud, but last year 4,300 dishonest claims worth 5million were made through holiday insurance companies in the UK alone.

Overseas police forces and travel insurance companies, have now started to get increasingly more vigilant about holiday insurance cheats, a policy which no doubt led to the arrest of Rebecca and Shanti. Details of fraudulent travel insurance claims have now been kept on an industry-wide database, which will be accessed by the Financial Services Authority and insurance companies. This means that anyone caught trying to commit holiday insurance fraud will now automatically face higher insurance costs and have difficulty obtaining other insurance cover, such as home insurance. On top of this, attempting to commit travel insurance fraud may also impact on your credit rating, which would make it more difficult to obtain goods or borrow money in the future.

It is reported that 75,000 Britons have at some point in their lives committed holiday insurance fraud, either by making a false claim or by exaggerating an existing one. Records from travel insurance companies show that Britons lose more Louis Vuitton luggage abroad than is actually ever sold in the UK.

So many fraudulent claims, however, could see the end of cheap travel insurance, as holiday insurance companies may need to put up their prices in order to make up for the losses that they may incur.

Rebecca and Shantis Brazilian sentence may have seemed tough, but if the girls had attempted to commit holiday insurance fraud within the UK then they would have risked a much stricter sentence.

A HMRC Tax Return Can Be Done Online

More people are choosing to file an HMRC tax return online. While some continue doing it by completing paperwork by hand and mailing it in, using the net to submit information has become more popular for many reasons.

One advantage to this method is ease of use. Individuals or businesses can use it. The software that is used to file is fairly straightforward and easy to use. It walks users through each step. While it is possible to buy third party software to use for taxes, the HMRC website itself contains a way for people to use it. There are several advantages to using this site. One is that is it free and no software purchase is required. Another is that it has many tools on the site to help users determine how to use it.

Another option is to hire a company that specializes in tax preparation. These companies can help businesses or individuals file their returns for a fee. This is ideal for the person that dislikes doing this type of task himself or herself or is short on time. Because these companies do this type of work all the time, they are current on any changes to tax law. They also know the answers to questions that may arise. These companies are also able to help anyone who may be owed a refund from over payment from previous years.

Those who file online will need to have some information about wages and other things for the period of time they are going to work on. They will be asked about a time period that runs from April 6 of one year to April 5th of the next year. Much of the first parts of the form will ask questions about if the form is being used for a business or an individual. The form will walk the user through each step and ask them if they received any income from things like pensions, interest or dividends. The form will ask various questions such as if the person filing will use a married couples allowance and other things that factor into the information.

There may be other circumstances that alter how much tax is paid in or received as a refund. People who work overseas have different requirements. Those who rent out a room of their home or have other rental property may have to fill out additional questions. There are many different circumstances to an HMRC tax return.

Cp 91 – Tax Masters Explains What Irs Notice Cp 91 Means

What is a CP 91?

Similar to a CP 90, A CP 91 is a final notice before the IRS puts a levy on your social security benefits. Basically, the IRS is letting you know that they will be taking money out of your social security benefits to pay off the taxes you owe. If your monthly benefit is more than $750, the IRS can garnish 15% of your monthly benefits for taxes that are at least six months overdue.

How serious is a CP 91?

On a scale of 1 to 10, this is a 10! You will not be receiving any more notices and the IRS will be taking your social security benefits. You need to act quickly if you want to try and stop it.

What can I do when I receive CP 91?

Whatever you do, DO NOT ignore the CP 91 tax notice! That will only ensure that your benefits are taken and you will be put in bad standing with the IRS. Because this notice is so serious, your best bet is to contact a reputable tax resolution firm, an enrolled agent, CPA, or tax attorney familiar with tax debt cases. You have a decent shot at a good settlement because you are past your earning years. When settling your taxes, however, you must show hardship (form 433-A) and must be able to come up with the money to apply ($150) and 20% of the amount that you propose to settle the debt for. Plus, you have to show where you got the money to pay for this process and how much you plan to pay and when (An Offer in Compromise- form 656). Having a tax representative to get all the documents, forms, and finances in order, in a way that the IRS will accept, can really increase your odds of a good settlement.

If you dont qualify for An Offer in Compromise there are still some things a tax resolution firm can do to help you. They might be able to set up a partial payment plan (where you only pay what you can afford every month) or get the IRS to declare the debt uncollectable. Bottom line is, you have to do something because your benefits are at serious risk.

Important Information about CP 91:

The IRS may start the process of levying your Social Security benefits before your 30 days is up, because they know the system is typically slow. In other words, you need to deal with this IMMEDIATELY (it may already be too late). The IRS will not deal with a tax payer in any way before they have filed ALL delinquent tax returns. In other words, before you can stop a levy, you must have filed all old returns. There are NO EXCEPTIONS!

Disclaimer: The above should not be taken as tax advice, but as some common sense responses to an IRS notice.

Refund of Service Tax Issues & Challenges

Service Tax, as the name suggests is a tax leviable on all duties. It is a tax levied on the transactions of the facility specified by the Central Government under the finance Act, 1994. It is an indirect tax (akin to Excise duty or Sales tax), which means the service provider pays the tax and recovers the amount from the recipient of the taxable work.

Service Tax is generally recovered by Assessee in two ways:

By utilizing the same as in the form of Cenvat Credit, or

By Claiming the Refund.

Any Assessee can utilize the amount of duty paid by him in excess by adjusting the same with the duty amount paid in subsequent period. Refund of tax can be claimed by Assessee where self- adjustment of Service Tax is not feasible.

Refund of Service Tax generally happens in case of export oriented companies (STPI, SEZ, EOU units) which export their final product/duty, as no tax is levied by Government to promote the export. Such companies disburse excise on the input/output assistance procured by them but are not able to utilize the Cenvat Credit because no due is received by them on export of their services. As a result, such companies have to opt the procedure of claiming refund for unutilized cenvat (tax) credit.

The Export Oriented Units, especially the STPI units have been facing many hurdles and difficulties while claiming the service tax refunds. There had been inordinate delays towards the scrutiny of refund applications coupled with rejections of the claimed amounts due to various reasons by the designated authorities, primary reasons being:

Time Limitation for the refund claim of duties.
Relevant date for the calculation of limitation period in respect of filing the refund claim.
Implication of the Principle of Doctrine of Unjust Enrichment.
Submission of separate Foreign Exchange Remittance Certificate (FIRC) in case of segregated export of goods & utilities.
Submission of Original documents such as Invoice, BL, SB, BRC etc.

The Central Board of Excise & Customs is seized of this matter and has been regularly clarifying on this issue through various clarifications/Notifications covering many procedural issues with respect to refund of service tax paid. It has settled many issues like the time within which the refund claim shall be filed, acceptance of certified photocopies as a valid document, submission of self-certified statement along with FIRCs etc.

Despite various initiatives taken by the department, there has been a huge pendency of tax refunds primarily because of the incomplete documentation by the claimants, tedious process of physical verification of documents submitted to the department and the difference of perception between the claimant and the department regarding the admissibility of input services eligible for refund.

There are many specialized Service Tax Consultant in Delhi, NCR that helps companies in sorting out the problems they face related to tax. But it is always advisable to do some serious research before contacting a STPI Consultant in Delhi.

How virtualization benefits tax and accounting practices

An increasingly popular way of delivering IT services is through virtualization, which comes in several flavors. With server virtualization, a physical server is split into multiple virtual servers. Each virtual server can run its own full-fledged operating system, and these operating systems can be different from one virtual server to the next. The physical server typically runs a hypervisor program to create the virtual servers and manage the resources of the various operating systems. Then each virtual server can be employed as if it were a stand-alone physical server, thus reducing the number of physical servers needed in an IT shop and saving the organization money and space.

By desktop virtualization, whatever user sees on his/her desktop is completely isolated from the physical machine and accessed through a client/server computing model. This virtualized desktop environment is stored on a server, rather than on the local storage of the desktop device; when the user works from his or her desktop device, all the programs, applications, and data are kept on the server and all programs and applications are run on the server. In this kind of practice, the server does almost all the work and a thin client can be a normal desktop or it can be even notebook, smartphones.

The above virtualization model can serve ideally to the tax and accounting professional. For a general accountant or CPAs, the desktop consists of tax and accounting applications as well as many other supportive tools to process their operations. These applications require heavy system resources to function and there is even desperate need of any expert technician to manage their setup. Having separate desktop setup for each individual in the office not only costs in the term of licensing but also gives us huge burden of resource setup and management. A centralized server helps us to address these concerns.

Tax and accounting professionals can opt to use cloud computing to host their resources. Cloud computing is the latest form of the virtualization technology. By implementing cloud for tax and accounting practices, all the benefits of cloud computing get inherited to the operations of tax and accounting jobs. The major benefits of cloud computing are: increased performance, high availability, anywhere and anytime access and reduced expenses which can be very helpful to boost the performance of accounting firms or departments.

It is not necessary to have our own cloud computing or virtualization infrastructure to share the benefits of these technologies. We can choose any hosting provider to host our tax and accounting applications to get these features of technology. We even get full technical support on our resources. The hosting provider becomes responsible for setup, management and to fix the issues.

Critical Illness Insurance – What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of This Cover

Critical illness insurance is designed to pay a one off lump sum, if you are diagnosed with a qualifying illness covered during the term of the policy. Most insurance companies will have a list of qualifying illnesses covered by the policy. The types of illnesses covered under a critical illnesses plan will vary from company to company, this means it is important to read what known as the “key facts document” is provided by all the insurance companies, before you apply for your critical illness insurance. With critical illness policies you can choose both the term of the policy and the level of benefit and you can have it as a standalone benefit or as part of a life insurance plan.

Critical Illness Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages
Will protect your family and yourself should you be diagnosed with a qualifying illness. The policy pays a tax free lump sum which you are free to spend how you see fit.

Cons
Not all insurance companies cover the same illnesses within their policy. May not cover a pre-existing condition, especially if not declared at the outset. This type of cover can be expensive.

Critical illness plans can be set up into two ways
Death or Earlier Critical Illness pays on either death or critical illness but not both.

Death AND Critical Illness
This pays on a qualifying illness claim and again on death. Some critical illness plans have the following options: Stand alone Critical Illness: No life cover, only pays out on diagnosis of a qualifying illness. Waiver of Premium: monthly premiums are paid on your behalf for after a set deferment period if you cannot work due to ill health. Survival Period: most policies require you to survive for a period of 14 days to make a claim. Permanent Total Disability: the policy pays out if you are unable to work again. Children: some providers will pay out a set amount of benefit if one of your children suffers a qualifying critical illness.

Critical illness insurance quotes and advice
As with any insurance policy it is important to understand the policy you take out as paying a premium for many years and then finding out that you are not covered for what you thought can severally affect your financial planning. These days there are many life insurance websites that let you compare the premiums and benefits of each provider in the comfort of your own home. Many of these sites will offer discounted premiums as they have lower operating costs and can offer independent financial advice over the phone should you be unclear on any aspect of the policy you are considering.