Evidence Obtained by Deception Okay

The delay from charges to trial did not reach the threshold of a presumptive violation of the right to a speedy trial, so no further analysis of other factors was necessary, and circuit court did not err in denying defendant’s motion to dismiss. “The State has the burden of production and persuasion to show by a preponderance of the evidence that a defendant’s motion to suppress should be overruled at trial.” A confession is involuntary and subject to exclusion when obtained by coercion, determined by a totality of circumstances, either physical or psychological.

Physical factors include length of detention, duration of questioning, and deprivation of food or sleep. Psychological factors include age, experience, intelligence, gender, degree of education, infirmity, unusual susceptibility to coercion, advisement of rights, demeanor of interrogators, and restraints on defendant. Deception does not render defendant’s confession involuntary “unless the deception offends societal notions of fairness or is likely to produce an untrustworthy confession.” Promises of leniency render a confession involuntary but defendant’s hope for leniency, or divine forgiveness, does not. Circuit court did not err in denying defendant’s motion to suppress. 

STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent vs. ERIC A. HINES, Appellant
Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District – SD37164

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Things organizations should know about applying for tax-exempt status

To be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for any of these purposes: charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, or preventing cruelty to children or animals.

Organizations that want to apply for recognition of tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) use a Form 1023-series application.

Here are some key things to know about this process.

• The application process on IRS.gov includes a step-by-step guide explaining how to apply for tax-exempt status.

• Form 1023-series applications for recognition of exemption must be submitted electronically online at Pay.gov. The application must be complete and include the user fee.

• Some types of organizations don’t need to apply for Section 501(c)(3) status to be tax-exempt. These include churches and their integrated auxiliaries, and public charities with annual gross receipts normally no more than $5,000.

• An employer identification number is a nine-digit number the IRS assigns for tax filing and reporting purposes. Every tax-exempt organization should have an EIN, even if they don’t have any employees. An organization must include their EIN on the application. Organizations can apply online to get an EIN.

• The effective date of an organization’s tax-exempt status depends on their approved Form 1023. If they submit this form within 27 months after the month they legally formed, the effective date of their organization’s exempt status is the legal date of its formation. If an organization doesn’t submit this form within those 27 months, the effective date of its exempt status is the date it files Form 1023.

• Once the IRS determines an organization qualifies for tax-exempt status under the law, it will also be classified as a private foundation unless the organization meets the requirements to be treated as a public charity.

Courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service

• A charitable organization must make certain documents available to the public. These include its approved application for recognition of exemption with all supporting documents and its last three annual information returns. See Publication 557, Tax Exempt Status For Your Organization for additional information on public inspection requirements.

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IRS increases standard mileage reimbursement rate for personal vehicles effective July 1

Courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service has announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rate for the final 6 months of 2022. Taxpayers may use the optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and certain other purposes.

For the final 6 months of 2022, the standard mileage rate for business travel will be 62.5 cents per mile, up 4 cents from the rate effective at the start of the year. The new rate for deductible medical or moving expenses (available for active-duty members of the military) will be 22 cents for the remainder of 2022, up 4 cents from the rate effective at the start of 2022. These new rates become effective July 1, 2022. The IRS provided legal guidance on the new rates in Announcement 2022-13.

In recognition of recent gasoline price increases, the IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2022. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year. For travel from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2022, taxpayers should use the rates set forth in Notice 2022-03.

“The IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the recent increase in fuel prices,” 
said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “We are aware a number of unusual factors have come into play involving fuel costs, and we are taking this special step to help taxpayers, businesses and others who use this rate.” 

While fuel costs are a significant factor in the mileage figure, other items enter into the calculation of mileage rates, such as depreciation and insurance and other fixed and variable costs. 

The optional business standard mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs. This rate is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage. 

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

The 14 cents per mile rate for charitable organizations remains unchanged as it is set by statute.

Midyear increases in the optional mileage rates are rare, the last time the IRS made such an increase was in 2011.

PurposeRates 1/1 through 6/30/2022Rates 7/1 through 12/31/2022
Business58.562.5
Medical/Moving1822
Charitable1414
Mileage Rate Change

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Surfside Condo Collapse Victims Reach $997 Million Settlement

Families of the victims of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Fla., that killed 98 people last year have reached a $997 million settlement to compensate them for their staggering losses of life.

If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation as well. Call our office at 816-524-4949 to schedule a consultation.

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ACA Payments Get Priority in Bankruptcy, Appeals Court Rules

A federal appeals court recently ruled that payments individuals owe to the Internal Revenue Service for failing to obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act should be given priority in bankruptcy.

If you need tax assistance or are considering bankruptcy, call our office at 816-524-4949 or click here to schedule a consultation.

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Understanding taxpayer rights: The right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum

Taxpayers have the right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum. This is one of ten basic rights — known collectively as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights — that all taxpayers have when working with the IRS.

The IRS’s Independent Office of Appeals that handles a taxpayer’s case must be separate from the IRS office that initially reviewed that case. Generally, Appeals will not discuss a case with the IRS to the extent that those communications appear to compromise the independence of Appeals.

Here are some important details about the right to appeal a decision in an independent forum:

  • A statutory notice of deficiency is an IRS letter proposing additional tax. Taxpayers who receive this notice and then timely file a petition with the United States Tax Court may dispute the proposed adjustment before they must pay the tax.
  • Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties.
  • Taxpayers have the right to receive a written response regarding a decision from the Office of Appeals.
  • When taxpayers don’t agree with the IRS’s decisions, they can refer to Publication 5, Your Appeal Rights and How To Prepare a Protest If You Don’t Agree, for details on how to appeal.
  • Generally, taxpayers may file a refund suit in a United States district court or the United States Court of Federal Claims if:
    • They have fully paid the tax and the IRS has denied their tax refund claim.
    • No action is taken on the refund claim within six months.
    • It’s been less than two years since the IRS mailed them a notice denying the refund
Courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service

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Bankruptcy Didn’t Block Contempt Proceedings in District Court Against a Debtor

A chapter 7 petition filed by the contemnor (a party held in contempt of court) did not bar the district court from moving ahead with contempt proceeds against the debtor for disobeying the district court’s prior orders compelling the debtor to pay some $800,000 in previously imposed contempt sanctions.

In other words, a contemnor’s bankruptcy does not stop a district court from upholding the dignity of the court, according to District Judge Tena Campbell of Salt Lake City.

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Alabama Man Ordered to Pay $12M, Serve 15 Years for Fraud

An Alabama man who pleaded guilty to using bank fraud to live a lavish lifestyle that involved owning a private jet and high-end cars like Lamborghinis and Ferraris was sentenced to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay $12 million in restitution, according to prosecutors. Authorities said in a statement that Christopher A. Montalbano of Vestavia Hills, Alabama, ran the scheme over a four-year stint ending in 2020. He pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy, bank fraud, and money laundering. Prosecutors said that Montalbano used shell companies to obtain more than 140 loans worth millions of dollars from at least 20 institutions. The money went to financing an opulent lifestyle that included two homes, farmland, and multiple real estate holdings, as well as luxury cars and a jet with a private pilot.

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Coinbase Warns Customers They Could Lose Their Crypto if the Company Goes Bankrupt

Coinbase has warned users that their cryptocurrency could be at risk if the exchange ever went bankrupt. The cryptocurrency exchange included a new disclosure to its customers in its first-quarter earnings report. “Because custodially held crypto assets may be considered to be the property of a bankruptcy estate, in the event of a bankruptcy, the crypto assets we hold in custody on behalf of our customers could be subject to bankruptcy proceedings and such customers could be treated as our general unsecured creditors,” the warning states. This is a statement Coinbase needed to make because of a requirement made by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which said these disclosures are necessary so that customers are informed about their investments. Founder and chief executive of Coinbase Brian Armstrong took to Twitter to reassure customers that the company was not at risk of bankruptcy. “Your funds are safe at Coinbase, just as they’ve always been,” he wrote. “We have no risk of bankruptcy, however we included a new risk factor based on an SEC requirement called SAB 121, which is a newly required disclosure for public companies that hold crypto assets for third parties.”

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U.S. Issues Charges in First Criminal Cryptocurrency Sanctions Case

The Justice Department has launched its first criminal prosecution involving the alleged use of cryptocurrency to evade U.S. economic sanctions. In an unusual nine-page opinion, U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui of Washington, D.C., explained why he approved a Justice Department criminal complaint against an American citizen accused of transmitting more than $10 million worth of bitcoin to a virtual currency exchange in one of a handful of countries comprehensively sanctioned by the U.S. government: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria or Russia. In the ruling, the judge called cryptocurrency’s reputation for providing anonymity to users a myth. He added that while some legal experts argue that virtual moneys such as bitcoin, ethereum or Tether are not subject to U.S. sanctions laws because they are created and move outside the traditional financial system, recent action taken by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control require federal courts to find otherwise.

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