California has some strong criminal and civil laws regarding elder abuse. The laws cover conduct from physical and financial abuse to conduct that results in physical harm or mental suffering. A criminal conviction can result in a fine or up to four years in prison, depending on the circumstances.
Scammers have been contacting taxpayers in California and Oregon lately telling them they owe money to the federal government. The taxpayer must pay immediately, the caller says, and only by wire transfer or temporary debit card. Saying no reportedly earns an aggressive response: The taxpayers are told they will be arrested or deported or will have their driver's licenses suspended, among other threats.
It must happen, but it is hard to imagine that an online merchant would not want to do business in California. With more than 38 million people, the state offers immense opportunity to sellers of the entire spectrum of goods and services. The opportunity does not come without obligation, though. Each Internet seller not only needs a seller's permit, it must also collect sales and use taxes for items delivered to California addresses (unless the goods are tax-exempt).
Conservative news agency Breitbart News Network is reportedly speaking out against the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to subject the network to a tax audit. The subject of the audit is the company’s 2012 financial information. Sources say that it isn't clear whether the audit of the company is a matter of course or extraordinary, but Breitbart is convinced it is politically motivated.
Life would be much simpler if we could just say that online sellers need to understand sales taxes and consumers need to understand use taxes. In some ways, it's true. As we explained in our last post, though, consumers really have to be aware of the laws about both. Why? Because if the seller does not collect sales tax (on a taxable purchase), the consumer must pay a use tax. However, California also refers to a tax collected by out-of-state sellers as a use tax, not a sales tax. It's tricky.
When we think of shopping online, we generally think of ourselves as consumers. We lay back on the couch or get comfortable in our ergonomic desk chair and wander through website after website. If we need something, we are confident we will find it; the Internet is our oyster.
The death of actor/comedian Robin Williams got a lot of people thinking about a lot of things. The connection for us was the question of suicide and life insurance benefits.