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Archive for August, 2016

Circumstantial Evidence can Hurt

August 31st, 2016

evidence 2

Circumstantial evidence is any evidence that does not directly prove a fact but gives rise to a logical inference that the fact exists.  The evidence can be used to establish a fact beyond a reasonable doubt.  In a recent Missouri DUI case, circumstantial evidence was used to prove that a person was driving a car, even though the car’s engine was not running, when the car was in the middle of an intersection, the car’s lights were on, and the keys were in the ignition.

If you think you may need legal assistance, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

Claiming Self-Defense

August 30th, 2016

Self defense 2

A Missouri court will not consider the defense of self-defense against a charge of assault, murder, or some other violent crime unless the defendant can show that a reasonable person believes that deadly force is necessary to protect the defendant against immediate death or serious physical injury.

If you have been charged with a crime and need assistance, feel free to contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

Secrets Told to your Probation Officer are to Stay Secret

August 29th, 2016

secret

Missouri law provides that information from probationers to their probation officers is privileged information and should not be used as evidence.

If you have been charged with a crime and need to speak to an attorney, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

First Degree Burglary

August 26th, 2016

burglary 2

In order to be convicted of first degree burglary in Missouri, a person must break into a building where a person is present.  If no one is in the building at the time of the burglary, then the person cannot be convicted of first degree burglary.

If you have been charged with a crime and need to speak to an attorney, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

Children: All for the Sake of the Tax Breaks

August 25th, 2016

tax scam

Hiring your kids at your business can have many benefits from teaching kids valuable life skills to getting some awesome potential tax breaks. First, payroll and unemployment taxes may not apply. If you run a single-member LLC, a spousal partnership, or a sole proprietorship, the IRS doesn’t require children under the age of 18 to pay Social Security or Medicare and those under 21 don’t require unemployment taxes on their behalf. Wages that you pay your kids are also considered a tax-deductible business expense – lowering your tax liability. Since these tax benefits can be quite substantial, be prepared for potential IRS scrutiny. Make sure to keep adequate documentation and payroll records to prove that your children are participating in the business. Your children, despite potentially being minors, may also have to file a tax return if their earned income exceeds the standard deduction. If you have tax trouble, contact our office at 816-524-4949 or check out our website at Hoorfarlaw.com.

How to Help Your Business Survive the Lazy Days of Summer

August 24th, 2016

lazy summer

When summertime rolls around, things around the office can tend to slow down. Instead of giving in to the vacations and the lazy haze of summer, take this time to tackle a couple of these tips.

1: Make your website mobile device friendly! 40% of people use their phone as their preferred method of surfing the internet, which means your site needs to work when people go to view it on a mobile device.

2: Create time for your top clients and top prospects. When you are at its busiest, it’s harder to develop any new relationships or strengthen current relationships with current clients. Reach out to these clients during this lull to create new opportunities.

3: Update your marketing materials. While it is wise to wait to spend the bulk of your marketing budget after vacation season is over, it is never too early to plan! Review your current brand and marketing strategies to determine where any gaps may be.

4: Tackle a long-term project. Everyone has something on their to-do list that sits there for a little longer than it should. Use the summertime break to finally tackle that project. From finally cleaning out that scary filing cabinet or researching that new business opportunity, attempting that project will make you feel better and help your business run just a bit smoother! If you need help with your business, contact our office at 816-524-4949 or check out our website at Hoorfarlaw.com.

That’s Insane! Part Five:

August 23rd, 2016

lamar

Next in the insane ways people avoid taxes we have Lamar Odom, a NBA player who was making $9.3 million in 2007 but felt personally victimized by the IRS when we has told he couldn’t deduct $172,000 for “fitness fees” and $12,000 in NBA fines.

Odom decided to attempt his hand at being a tax attorney and argued with the IRS that his fitness fees should be a deduction because as a pro athlete, he is expected to stay fit and healthy making his fitness routine a business expense. He also argued that his fines were “common” among professional athletes and are work related, making them an ordinary and necessary business expense (despite them being assessed for doing things he shouldn’t be doing).

In the end, the tax court agreed with Odom and settled with him for roughly 10 cents on the dollar. If you have tax trouble, contact our office at 816-524-4949 or check out our website at Hoorfarlaw.com.

That’s Insane! Part Four:

August 19th, 2016

tax tip

For another installment of insane world of tax deductions, we take a look at, now aptly name, Chesty Love. This exotic dancer was able to successfully sue the IRS for her new breast implants to be considered a business deduction. Ms. Love was tired of the competitive nature of her job so she went straight to the source of higher tips – larger implants. She didn’t stop at any normal implant though, Ms. Love ended her procedure with a size 56 FF where each implant weighed 10 pounds.

This is how Ms. Love was able to convince the court that her implants should be a business deduction – she argued that they were useless outside the context of her job, that she planned to remove them once retired, and that they weren’t for appearance enhancement (in fact, she was continually ridiculed on the streets for her appearance). The court agreed, stating on record that her implants were so large that they could’ve only been for business purposes. If you have tax trouble, contact our office at 816-524-4949 or check out our website at Hoorfarlaw.com.

That’s Insane! Part Three:

August 18th, 2016

bribes

Our series of ridiculous tax avoidance tactics continues with corrupt businessman William Zack and his illegal bribes. Mr. Zack ran several companies throughout the years that apparently weren’t making him enough money. In 1984, he began doing business with Ford where he started creating fake invoices in order to take money from his company undetected. This, however, required that he have some Ford employees in on the gig. Zack handed out bribes totaling more than $180,000.

Zack was eventually caught and charged with fraud, but being the “savvy” businessman that he was, Zack petitioned the US Tax Court in order to write off the bribes he paid in order to reduce his now rather large tax bill. The court agreed, seeing the bribes as operating losses. The idea of deducting illegal activities is actual 100% legal in many foreign nations such as Germany – the catch? You just have to report who the bribe was paid to. If you have tax trouble, contact our office at 816-524-4949 or check out our website at Hoorfarlaw.com.

That’s Insane! Part Two:

August 16th, 2016

crazy cat lady 2

Next up in our series of crazy ways people have legally avoided taxes is Jan Van Dusen, the definition of a crazy cat lady. At one point, Ms. Van Dusen had taken in so many cats that she was caring for 70-plus cats at one time in her home. It’s safe to assume that caring for that many animals is going to come with a rather large price tag. On one tax return, Ms. Van Dusen tried to write off $12,068 for items such as cat food and vet bills. Normally, these would be considered personal taxes but Jan Van Dusen was prepared to take on the IRS herself in order to save her cats. Eventually, she was able to convince the IRS that her operation was more of an animal shelter organization, since her house was so overrun by felines that she was unable to ever have people over, and was able to get deductions for most of her claims. If you have tax trouble, contact our office at 816-524-4949 or check out our website at Hoorfarlaw.com.