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Archive for May, 2014

Summer Tax Tips for Students

May 30th, 2014

summer job

If you will be working your first job this summer, here are a few things you should know about taxes and Uncle Sam:
1) You are working to help Uncle Sam.
2) When you are an employee, your employer must withhold taxes from your paychecks, and part of those taxes go to the federal government to help with social security and Medicare.
3) You will need to fill out a form W-4. This form tells your employer how much money to take out based on your number of exemptions. The higher the exemptions you put, the less taxes that will be taken out.
4) If you are working for tips, keep in mind that all tips are taxable. Tips of $20 or more in cash in a month must be reported to your employer as well.
5) All money that you earn is taxable. This includes babysitting and lawn mowing.
6) If you are in the ROTC, then your active duty pay, like what you get for summer camp, is taxable. However, the subsistence allowance is not taxable.
7) If you are a newspaper carrier, special tax rules apply and you may be considered self-employed. However, if you are under age 18, you might be exempt from social security and Medicare taxes.
8) You may not earn enough money from your summer job to have to file a tax return. But even if that is true, you may still want to file in order to get your withholdings back.

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Divorce Tips

May 29th, 2014

divorce 17

According to CNN, the average cost of a divorce is up to $15,000. Some financial planners state that this amount will be even higher because it is more expensive to operate two households. If you are thinking about divorce or you are going through one, here are some tips to remember:
1) Contact our office. You will most likely receive a better outcome with an attorney representing you rather than representing yourself. Even if you believe your divorce will be uncontested, you should still have an attorney look over your paperwork.
2) Stock pile your cash. You may want to open accounts in your name and apply for credit cards in your name to keep funds available for emergencies and legal fees.
3) Be a paper hoarder. You are going to need to get copies of bank statements and investment statements going back at least a year. You may want to pull your credit report as well and get copies of tax returns.
4) Save with a mediator. Often times you can save on legal fees and other costs if you and your ex are able to work it out with a mediator.
5) Take care of the kids. Remember that the kids are very important when going through a divorce and think about how you are going to handle child expenses, like braces, summer camp, and college.
6) Maintain insurance. Check with your employer or the Marketplace to check your options on health insurance. You may want to also consult your financial planner to adjust your beneficiaries.
7) Plan for a tax change. Your upcoming taxes will most likely change because of your updated filing status, number of dependents, and if alimony is involved.

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Business Secrets

May 28th, 2014


The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that customer contacts are not trade secrets that are protected by the Missouri Uniform Trade Secrets Act. This means that business owners need to be careful when allowing employees to see customer lists. To find out more, check out: Missouri Supreme Court- SC93182.

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May 23rd, 2014


In order to obtain an expungement, the defendant must show that there was no probable cause for their charges and that their arrest was based entirely on false information. If you believe you are entitled to an expungement, contact our office at 816-524-4949.

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When a Judgment is Not Final

May 22nd, 2014


A motion to compel settlement is not a final, appealable, judgment until the underlying action as to all claims and parties has been disposed. A judgment granting a motion to enforce settlement is not ready for appellate review until the underlying action has terminated. If you would like assistance in filing an appeal, contact our office at 816-524-4949. To read more about when a judgment is final, see Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District- ED100008

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Buying a Used Car

May 21st, 2014

used car

When buying a used car, you can purchase the vehicle on an as-is basis or with a warranty. Remember that the Missouri Lemon Law does not apply to used vehicles.
When purchasing from a dealer the Federal Trade Commission requires a dealer to display a buyer’s guide in the window of each used car offered for today. A buyer’s guide needs to give basic information about the car and state whether a warranty is included or not.
Missouri does not require a used car to be sold with a warranty. You are responsible for any requires on an as-is vehicle. Make sure you have a mechanic inspect the vehicle before buying any used car.
If a dealer offers a warranty, you need to speak with them to determine what is covered and what is not. Make sure you get a thorough explanation of the warranty in writing from the dealer. Also, ask if the car includes any original warranty from the manufacturer.

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Frivolous Arguments

May 20th, 2014

Promoters of frivolous schemes encourage taxpayers to make unreasonable and outlandish claims to avoid paying the taxes they owe. The IRS has a list of frivolous tax arguments that taxpayers should avoid. These arguments are wrong and have been thrown out of court. Those who promote or adopt frivolous positions risk a variety of penalties. For example, taxpayers could be responsible for an accuracy-related penalty, a civil fraud penalty, an erroneous refund claim penalty, or failure to file penalty. The Tax Court may also impose a penalty against taxpayers who make frivolous arguments in court. Courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service Issue Number: 2014-16

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No unemployment when you don’t show up for work

May 19th, 2014

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Missouri has stated that an unemployed worker was correctly denied unemployment benefits when the employee willfully violated the employer’s attendance policy. Transportation is usually considered an employee’s responsibility and repeated failure to show up for work may constitute misconduct by the employee. For more information, see this case: Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District- ED99945

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Relocating your child may require a motion

May 16th, 2014


If you have a child and there is joint physical custody with your ex, both parents are considered the custodial parent and the child’s principal residence is with both parents. In order to modify this custody arrangement, you must file a motion to do so. If you are not familiar with the rules and procedures required by family court, you can contact our office at 816-524-4949. To read about a mother who wanted to move her child from Missouri to Canada, see this case: Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District- ED99531

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Challenging Capacity to Sue

May 14th, 2014


Whether a plaintiff is entitled to sue as holder of a note (mortgage) is an issue of capacity. A party’s capacity to sue can only be brought up by a motion by a defendant or in the defendant’s answer.  If you believe that you have been sued by someone who does not have the right to sue you, contact our office at 816-524-4949.

More information can also be found by seeing this case: Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District- ED9998

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