IRS Warns of Tax-Time Scams

IRS Warns of Tax-Time Scams By Howard LipsetIt’s true: tax scams proliferate during the income tax filing season. This year’s season opened on January 31. The IRS provides the following scam warnings so you can protect yourself and avoid becoming a victim of these crimes:

  • Be vigilant of any unexpected communication purportedly from the IRS at the start of tax season.   Continue reading

Tax Credit for Clean Heating Fuel

Tax Credit for Clean Heating Fuel By Howard LipsetThe State of New York is giving a refundable tax credit of up to 20 cents a gallon on clean heating fuel, also known as biofuels. All you need to know is your dates of purchase, gallons purchased and percent of biofuel. Many oil companies that deliver biofuels will give you a delivery schedule for the entire year. You can make a copy and attach it to Form IT-241 and transfer the credit to your primary NYS tax form and reduce your tax.

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A Current Scam

A Current Scam By Howard LipsetIn Long Island, Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) is taking over the management of Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) for the next 10 years.

So, when I recently saw an email that looked like it was pertinent to the takeover I decided to read it. Then I noticed that it was coming from PGE and they were telling me what my bill was and asking me to check a link. That looked wrong and I decided to delete the email.

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Decisions: Boardroom vs. Bedroom – Four Essential Points of Style for Men circa 2014

By Guest Blogger Cathy Berger

Decisions: Boardroom vs. Bedroom - Four Essential Points of Style for Men circa 2014 By Howard Lipset's Guest Blogger Cathy BergerNowadays both sexes firmly count themselves as decision makers. Not all 21st century norms have been overturned as more often it is men commanding a boardroom while women remain with ultimate say in the bedroom. Males continue to dominate the tech and construction industries, while females are gaining ground in engineering and finance. Universally, “dressing for success” has been talked up, over, and inside out.

Boardroom attire for both sexes has evolved constructively, while Victoria’s Secret has caused bedroom attire to become virtually mainstream. Yet ladies alone have a unique luxury of wardrobe choice where men don’t – skirts and dresses can substitute for pants! Men—metrosexuals, college students, urban guerrillas and high-powered corporate execs have one sartorial option and one alone: all pants, all the time. So it would behoove guys to get the details right, right?

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I Do Not Like Debit Cards

I Do Not Like Debit Cards By Howard LipsetThe primary reason is that they lead to additional bank charges.

In my opinion, the only people who should use a debit card are those that have excessive amounts of cash in their checking accounts or those who will never write a check on the account that is being debited.

And here is why. Obviously, excessive cash will handle a myriad of charges without fear of overdrafts. Most people who use the debit card do not have a mechanism for adjusting their checkbook balance for each charge. Continue reading

The 800 Frustration

The 800 Frustration By Howard LipsetHow many times have you called an 800 number, only to spend more time on the phone than it was worth; and you still did not solve the problem.

Well, for most of these situations, I now ignore the 800 number and move directly to a person with sufficient responsibility to fix the issue in a manner satisfactory to me.

First, I find out the name and address of the CEO. If this is a public corporation, google their name and “10K”. Headquarters address will be on Page 1. Check the index for Corporate Officers. If not a public company, you will have to work a little harder. But the information is out there.

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IRS Warns of Phone Scam

IRS Warns of Phone Scam By Howard LipsetThe IRS is warning the public about a phone scam that targets people across the nation, including recent immigrants. Callers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.

The callers who commit this fraud often:

  • Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number
  • Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers
  • Make caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling
  • Send bogus IRS emails to support their scam
  • Call a second time claiming to be the police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim

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The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act By Howard LipsetRemember in September when employers were supposed to tell employees if they were  providing  health insurance in 2014?

And remember how the government provided us with a form to give those employees?

And remember how they threatened to fine the employer if we did not give out those forms? (Those fines were waived at the last minute.)

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Home Health Care Workers

By Vincent White

Home Health Care Workers by Howard Lipset's Guest Blogger, Vincent WhiteVincent White is a partner at White, Ricotta & Marks, P.C., a boutique law firm in Queens, NY. The firm focuses specifically on employment law. It handles a variety of discrimination issues in the workplace, including wage, age, gender, sexual orientation, and several others. Contact them at – Howard

The home health care industry is supported by the tireless workers who aid those in need. These employees, however, have not been in turn taken care of with a living wage. This injustice will soon be ending thanks to President Obama approving legislation aimed at closing this gap. The new legislation, which home health care workers rights groups have been fighting for, will give these workers overtime pay and a minimum wage. This improvement will affect all home health care workers who assist with necessities like eating, medications, etc. (more than just companionship).

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More on Internet Sales Tax

More on Internet Sales Tax by Howard LipsetThe Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act in May, requiring websites with more than $1 million in remote sales to collect sales taxes from customers in states that have joined the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (which of the greedy states would not sign on to get other states’ businesses taxes). However, the bill provoked opposition among many House Republican lawmakers and has stalled until now.

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