Category Archives: Howard Lipset

FedEx Phishing

FedEx Phishing by Howard Lipset, CPAThe email below is not from Federal Express. Note their mailing address is not FedEx.com

I verified this with Federal Express directly, who told me that they are getting large volumes of customers calling and asking. If you were to click on the “Get Shipment Label” bar, you will have let the hackers into your computer. Continue reading

How Can You Prove a Sidewalk Trip and Fall Claim?

How Can You Prove a Sidewalk Trip and Fall Claim? by Howard Lipset, CPAWhat seems to be a relatively basic legal claim – being compensated for a personal injury sustained when you trip and fall on a dangerous sidewalk condition – is actually a complex endeavor  for  the plaintiff.  You must prove the existence of a dangerous condition; that the responsible party had notice of; and that it caused the personal injury. Common injuries in these cases include a broken wrist, a fractured  humerus (upper arm); torn rotator cuff; broken ankle; herniated disc or torn knee cartilage.

On September 15, 2003, the New York City Administrative Code shifted the primary responsibility for sidewalk trip and fall accidents from the City of New York to the adjoining property owner. Under the new law property owners have the duty to maintain the abutting sidewalk in a reasonable safe condition and shall be liable for personal injuries resulting from any failure to do so. The new law does not apply to one, two or three family residential properties that are, in whole or in part, owner occupied and used exclusively for residential purposes. In those cases, the City of New York remains primarily responsible for the maintenance and care of the sidewalk. Continue reading

IRS Updates Phone Scam Warnings

IRS Updates Phone Scam Warnings by Howard Lipset, CPAThe IRS is again warning the public about phone scams that continue to claim victims all across the country. In these scams, thieves make unsolicited phone calls to their intended victims. Callers fraudulently claim to be from the IRS and demand immediate payment of taxes by a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The callers are often hostile and abusive.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has received 90,000 complaints about these scams. TIGTA estimates that thieves have stolen an estimated $5 million from about 1,100 victims. To avoid becoming a victim of these scams, you should know:

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Does Credit Repair Make Sense?

 Does Credit Repair Make Sense? by Howard Lipset, CPAby Leslie H. Tayne, Esq.

Founder and managing director of Tayne Law Group, P.C., one of the few New York State financial law firms dedicated to debt resolution and bankruptcy alternatives.  

An award winning financial attorney, Leslie is a regularly sought out guest speaker and media expert who offers valuable insight, advice and strategies relating to various areas of debt.  www.taynelaw.com.

As defined by the Federal Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair companies/organizations help consumers remove negative information from their credit report. Credit repair organizations usually achieve this by sending dispute letters to credit reporting agencies to challenge the credibility of negative information reported on someone’s credit report by one of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Transunion and Equifax).  If you have legitimate errors on your credit report, those errors can affect your credit and you might benefit from a credit report company correcting them.

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E-ZPass Phishing Scam

E-ZPass Phishing Scam by Howard Lipset, CPAThe MTA has issued a warning that an email going around to E-ZPass holders is actually a phishing scam. The email, which looks as though it was sent by the E-ZPass service center, asks customers to download an invoice with a list of unpaid tolls. (Hint: Don’t do that.)

Statement from the New York State Thruway Authority:

The New York State Thruway Authority is warning E-ZPass customers about a phishing scam.

People have received bogus emails made to appear official stating that people have unpaid tolls.

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A Different IRS Scam

A Different IRS Scam by Howard Lipset, CPASee the copy of the email below:

  1. The IRS never makes first contact via email.
  2. The return address would be .GOV, not .COM.

—–Original Message—–

From: IRS TAX OFFICE [mailto:noreply@irsexemption.com]

Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2014 4:38 PM

Subject: TAX EXEMPTION Continue reading

IRS: Now Is the Time for a Mid-Year Premium Tax Credit Checkup

IRS: Now Is the Time for a Mid-Year Premium Tax Credit Checkup by Howard Lipset, CPAIf you have insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be getting advance payments of the premium tax credit. These are paid directly to your insurance company to lower your monthly premium. Changes in your income or family size may affect your premium tax credit. If your circumstances have changed, the time is right for a mid-year checkup to see if you need to adjust the premium assistance you are receiving. You should report changes that have occurred since you signed up for your health insurance plan to your Marketplace as they occur.

Changes in circumstances that you should report to the Marketplace include, but are not limited to: Continue reading

Do You Know What “PCORI” Is?

Do You Know What "PCORI" Is? by Howard Lipset, CPAWell, you had better. It is the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and it is a new fee under the Affordable Care Act.

And it is a nit-picking little fee filed on IRS Form 720 for any employer with a self-funded plan. Form 720 is a 6-page form that was originally intended to be an excise tax on gasoline and other gasoline type products. It is filed quarterly, but for PCORI it is filed annually in the second quarter.

You need to count up the number of covered persons (including dependents), and if your plan year ended on or before 10/1/13 you owe $1.00 per person, and $2.00 per person for years ending on or before 10/1/14. However, a plan ending March 31, 2015 does not have to file until July 2016. Yes, 16 months later. And the definition in the official instructions does not easily interpret this. We had to get it in writing from the insurance company. Continue reading

Martial Arts vs. Business Development

 MARTIAL ARTS vs. BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT by Howard Lipset, CPADuring May 2014, I was asked to give a presentation about Business Development to networking group, IBO.

In order to keep everyone’s attention I decided to go off-beat. The first thing I produced was a piece of wood, 9 inches by 12 inches and asked them to guess as to what its primary use was. And inside of one minute, someone called out that it looked like a board one breaks with their fist. The right answer.

I then asked what the correlation could be between this board and business development. That answer is quite abstract, as well as practical.

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IRS Impersonators

IRS Impersonators by Howard Lipset, CPAHopefully, most of you are aware that I write a blog, and that one of my favorite topics is how scams operate.

Recently, I have written about scams that involve the Internal Revenue Service.

Well, recently they tried it on my office. When I got back after a breakfast meeting, there was a message that a Mr. DM had called from the IRS and left his phone number. He was a “Case Consulting Officer” and needed to discuss discrepancies in my own tax return. The individual who called demanded that I return the call immediately. Continue reading