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Is Tax Avoidance the Same as Tax Evasion?

Posted by on 1:38 pm in Laws | 0 comments

It can be quite easy to confuse the two terms together as, in meaning, they are already quite similar. High taxes can cause a strain to many working class people who are already struggling to make ends meet as it is and so tax avoidance may be an option that you might want to look into.

But is it legal?

The short answer is that yes, it is. Tax avoidance is the perfectly legal method that takes financial planning as well as circumstantial reasoning into account in order to pay less taxes because you are qualified for it. This can apply to disabled people, people with multiple children, et cetera. This then helps them in their pursuit of achieving financial stability. Tax evasion, however, is an entirely different ballgame altogether – though the difference between the two rests between a very thin line.

According to the website of the lawyers with Kohler Hart Powell, SC, tax evasion is when an individual or party falsifies reports or records in order to receive exemptions or deductions from taxes when they are not eligible for it. This can happen due to falsified income reports or claiming a personal expense as a business expense. When this happens, there is fraudulence involved, which is why it taken as a federal offense by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If an IRS agent contacts you with regard to tax evasion, it is recommended that you first contact an experienced legal professional. It is perfectly legal for you to exercise your right to remain silent as well as your right to first consult with your legal counsel before you present any evidence.

This is because you, as a civilian, may not understand the due legal process that is followed and may accidentally incriminate yourself without meaning to. The simplest and most seemingly mundane questions could bring forth accusations against you. As tempting as it may be to simply talk your way out of this and stand your ground as innocent, it is recommended that you have someone in your playing field who knows their way around, so to speak.

Wisconsin Law on Marijuana

Posted by on 11:40 am in Laws | 0 comments

“It’s just a little weed” is not an excuse in Wisconsin, where the cultivation, possession, and sale of the substance in any amount is illegal. You will be arrested if you are found in possession of marijuana, and the penalties can be considerable. As pointed out on the website of Kohler Hart Powell, SC, state prosecutors push for the harshest possible penalties for drug crimes, even “a little weed.” If you are arrested for possession of marijuana, you need to contact a criminal defense lawyer at once to avoid a conviction, or at least to get a lighter sentence. Not doing so could occur in a harsher penalty that can affect the rest of your life.

It is perfectly possible that Wisconsin may soon join the ranks of states that have legalized marijuana to some extent. Some states have even legalized it for recreational as well as medical use. A bill proposed in April this year is expected to encounter considerable opposition from Wisconsin state legislators, a majority of which are Republicans, so it may not be in the cards for 2015. However, it may happen soon.

It will not be soon enough for some people. Until it does pass through the legislature, you can still be charges with a drug crime for possession of marijuana. If you are a first time offender with a small amount of the substance (less than 200 grams or 4 plans), the penalty is a hefty fine ($1,000) and up to 6 months in jail. Subsequent convictions mean an escalation in fines and jail time, up to $10,000 and 3.5 years in prison.

However, the picture changes if you have more than a little weed. If you are caught with more than 200 grams or 5 plants, the stakes go higher. The maximum penalty for having more than 10 kilograms or 200 plants in your possession is 15 years in jail plus a fine of $25,000. If you are found with the stuff within the vicinity of a school or any drug-free zone or selling to minors, this means five more years on top of your sentence.

It is important to engage the services of a competent criminal defense lawyer and not just to avoid fines and jail time; any criminal conviction is a glaring black mark in your record. The fact that it is a drug crime means you will be barred from certain professions and other opportunities in life.

How At-Fault Accidents Can Affect Your Car Insurance

Posted by on 4:41 pm in Insurance, Motor Vehicle Collisions | 0 comments

According to the United States Census Bureau, the year 2009 saw more than 10 million motor vehicle accidents to occur. Based on this data, it’s easy to see why Iowa car accident lawyers may tell you that accidents are a part of the risks you have to consider when driving down the road. Millions of people find themselves involved and injured in car accidents every year. You can take extra care to avoid unnecessary scenarios; however, it’s unrealistic to think that you’re completely exempt from what might happen.

When the unforeseen happens, it’s difficult to imagine yourself in the shoes of the person who caused the accident. If you accidentally rear-end another vehicle or cause a collision, your car insurance coverage can help mitigate the resulting damages. Finding the right car insurance policy can help you stay on the road without any anxiety.

If you are the driver at fault, there is a huge possibility that the accident you caused will have an effect on your current car insurance policy. For one, you can expect your rates to increase when it comes time to renew your policy. Sometimes, you might even have to pay additional fees on top of that. Certain scenarios can lead to this sudden surcharge, like if you have been cited for a traffic violation or were officially recognized as at-fault after filing a formal claim. To dodge these fees, you can add an accident forgiveness clause to your policy.

Despite this, you don’t have to worry about receiving sufficient coverage for the damages caused both to you and the victim. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, collision coverage can ensure protection for all damages resulting from an accident, regardless of whether the policy holder was at fault or not.

When you own a car, you need to accept that accidents will be a part of life. You can hope for the best and try to stay safe, but there’s no way to account for what might happen in the future. It’s better to be smart and think ahead.

Can a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Help You?

Posted by on 9:51 am in Bankruptcy | 0 comments

Facing financial problems can really be a stressful ordeal, especially when it comes when you least expect it. Due to unforeseen circumstances such as medical issues, sudden unemployment and other scenarios, you might find yourself struggling to make sure that all your needs are met. Whatever the case, the instability of today’s market can really be a burden. This burden becomes even harder to bear when you also have to worry about the debts you’ve incurred to help keep you afloat.

Thankfully, there are several options you can take to find financial stability once again. Even when you feel overwhelmed from constantly taking calls from creditors and seeing your bills pile up, there’s still a way you can get back on your feet. Filing a Chapter 7 or a liquidation bankruptcy can help stop these issues and ease your stress.

As the Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyer explains, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you with the near-total liquidation of all debts. Aside from being able to legally declare your inability to pay off your debts, it can also grant the instant cessation of debt collection methods. You will no longer have to deal with stressful phone calls, emails, and other forms of contact urging you to pay your bills. It can also ease your financial struggles is by speeding up the debt relief process and exempting some of your assets from liquidation.

Because of a certain criteria, not all individuals are eligible to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your eligibility will primarily be determined by your personal income. Through the bankruptcy means test, you can find out if your income falls within the bracket for Chapter 7 protection. All in all, a Chapter 7 is meant for individuals with lower incomes. If your income is higher than a certain mean, you will have to file for a different type of bankruptcy.

There is a way you can ease the burden caused by financial train. If you feel like filing for bankruptcy is right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out and seek legal counsel. Don’t give up hope, because there are still plenty of options for you.

Understanding Child Support Contributions

Posted by on 7:40 pm in Child Support | 0 comments

A divorce can be complicated, especially when there is a child involved. Thankfully, the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 ensures that parents can continue to support and take good care of their child even after their separation.

Basically, the Child Support Enforcement Act helps guarantee that monthly financial assistance is provided to custodial parents by non-custodial parents. In other words, the parent with custody to a child is entitled to receive a specific payment by the other parent who lives somewhere else. This payment is intended to serve the child’s basic needs like food, clothing healthcare and education, usually until he turns 18. Aside from these necessities, the non-custodial parent might also be asked to contribute to a child’s college education, vacations, and other less pressing concerns.

Although it may differ from state to state, contributions made by the non-custodial parent will usually depend on agreements based from the following key factors:

  • The age of the child
  • The child’s needs and how much it would cost
  • The age and health of both parents
  • The income of both parents
  • The non-custodial parent’s capability to pay child support

Special circumstances allow that these contributions be adjusted, especially when the financial situation of either one or both parents change. For example, a custodial parent can ask for an increase in child support payment when the financial capability of a non-custodial parent has improved. On the other hand, a non-custodial parent who is facing unemployment or medical issues can ask for a reduction on the amount they contribute. Whatever the situation, these changes will be decided and finalized following due legal process.

The process of divorce can become even more complicated when a couple has to discuss child support. That’s why it’s important to learn the basics of child support contributions and seek legal counsel when needed. According to the website of the BB Law Group PLLC, it can be very difficult for divorcing parents to reach an agreement that’s reasonable for both sides. Because of such issues, it’s important that parents remember to put the needs of their child first.

Preventing the Abuse of Elders Residing in Nursing Homes

Posted by on 2:00 pm in Nursing Home Mismanagement | 0 comments

A huge percentage of the population resides in nursing homes and long term care facilities. Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over a million Americans living in these institutions today. Majority of these individuals are the elderly, but some of these residents also include people with disabilities and those in need of rehabilitation and therapy.

From these numbers, you can see how much trust has been placed in the millions of nursing homes across the country. Unfortunately, a lot of these institutions are keen on breaking this trust. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), about 1 in 3 nursing homes have been cited for violations against federal standards. Nearly 1 our 10 homes received citations for violations that caused specific harm and serious injury on its elderly residents. Some of these injuries even placed the residents near death. Moreover, the NCEA also noted that over 50% of nursing home staff admitted to mistreating their patients. The available data makes it impossible to ignore the realities of nursing home abuse.

To protect our loved ones from such horrific scenarios, we must be aware of the different types of abuse that are occurring. Only then can we hold these institutions accountable and prevent future cases from happening.

According to Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, the elderly are vulnerable to the following types of nursing home abuse:

  • Physical abuse
  • Psychological and emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Malnutrition
  • Negligence
  • Bed sores
  • Falls
  • Theft and fraud

In order to keep these from happening, families of the elderly should remain vigilant. If you’re worried about your loved one, keep an eye out for some telltale signs.

Be on the lookout for unexplained signs of injuries, signs of restraints (like rope marks), broken glasses or frames, torn or bloody clothing, sudden weight loss, untreated symptoms, as well as any report of issues with taking medication regularly.

There are also signs that you need to be sensitive about, because they won’t be as obvious. Try to observe the dynamic between your loved one and their caregiver, especially if there is tension or if the caregiver seems more controlling than usual. Any odd behavior from your loved one such as mumbling or rocking can also be a sign of abuse.

All in all, preventing nursing home abuse can’t be done overnight. While families should be sensitive to sudden behavioral changes, it is up to the state to make sure their loved ones are well-protected by the law. If you fear that your loved one is trapped in a terrible situation, seek out legal counsel and pursue the justice that you deserve. As a Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyer will probably tell you, nursing home abuse needs to be directly addressed.

Avoiding The Most Common Construction Site Accidents

Posted by on 7:01 pm in Contruction Site Accidents | 0 comments

Construction work is extremely dangerous. As workers toil to build our roads, houses, and other infrastructures, they constantly put their lives at risk and face hazardous conditions. With accidents and injuries as part of its norm, the industry is commonly known as the most dangerous work sector. As noted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), a small federal agency under the Department of Labor enforcing safety in workplaces, there were 796 fatal construction injuries in 2013. These fatalities comprised 20.3% percent of all work-related deaths in the country that year.

For OHSA, one way we can curb these tragic accidents is by raising awareness. According to their data, there are four types of accidents—dubbed the ‘Fatal Four—that prove to be the most fatal in construction work.

The first on the list are falls, responsible for 36.9 percent of construction deaths in 2013. The next is being struck by an object, which led to 10.3 percent of fatalities. Electrocutions caused 71 deaths or 8.9 percent. Lastly, getting stuck or caught in between an object lead to 2.6 percent of all construction worker deaths.

Aside from these, on its website New York law firm Hach Rose also cites the following accidents as common sources of injuries:

  • Falling hazards
  • Scaffolding problems
  • Accidents with vehicles and other heavy equipment
  • Crane collapse
  • Unsafe and unregulated work sites

All these accidents, including the severe injuries that could stem from such scenarios, can be curbed and avoided. By raising awareness and accountability, the state, employers, and worker unions can collaborate together to make sure workers remain safe and advocated for. For non-fatal accidents, victims can also seek legal counsel when moving forward from severe injury. Anyone who has been injured in an accident is facing a long road of recovery. When that happens, construction workers need help in easing their burdens.

Common Motor Vehicle Safety Practices for Drivers

Posted by on 11:59 am in Motor Vehicle Collisions | 0 comments

You face plenty of risks when driving on the road. Unfortunately, vehicular accidents are common and have become part of what you should consider when you’re riding inside any type of vehicle. According to data gathered by the United States Census Bureau, there have been 10.8 million motor vehicle accidents in the year 2009. Unfortunately, 35,900 of these accidents lead to fatalities.

Both government and non-government organizations have been working hard to make sure these numbers don’t increase in the coming years. As the CDC Injury Prevention and Control puts it, motor vehicle crashes are among the leading cause of injury in the United States. It’s obvious that advocating for road safety should be a top priority.

As a Georgetown personal injury lawyer may put it, accidents happen in a split second, but the aftermath can last for years. To keep everyone safe, everyone should be made aware of what they can do to avoid unnecessary injuries. Luckily, there are safety practices you can follow to help ensure the population’s safety.

Here are a few safety practices and prevention strategies you can employ while on the road.

  • Observe proper use of seatbelts
  • Use of car seats for small children
  • Assign a designated driver or take a cab when out drinking
  • Avoid driving while feeling sleepy or drowsy
  • Drive carefully in bad weather
  • Observe proper use of head and tail lights
  • Stay alert and keep your eyes on the road

Aside from these practices, drivers of smaller vehicles like bicycles and motorcycles should take extra care. People in motorcycles, bikes, and other similar vehicles face a bit more risk than the others they share the road with. Due to their size, even minor collisions can be dangerous. They can be easily missed by other drivers in larger vehicles. Aside from taking care on the road, motorcycle and bicycle riders should always wear secure helmets and other protective gear.

Preventing unwanted accidents and injuries on the road is a big task, but it is not impossible. Remember that you’re sharing the road with plenty of other people. We are all responsible to ensure that the routes remain safe for everyone. Even so, if you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact your local car accident lawyer for legal advice.