Monday, February 23, 2015

Bally Price Holdings Management: Tax glitch to affect 800,000 ACA consumers

Federal authorities announced that a tax-reporting glitch might affect the filings and delay tax refunds of hundreds of thousands Americans.

Officials have confirmed that the administration has sent incorrect information to around 800,000 clients who bought health insurance in 2014, thus requiring them to update their tax return information. The people affected accounts for around 15% of the enrollees processed via healthcare . gov in 2014. They have already been notified of the mistake and requested to postpone their filing of returns by 3 weeks.

According to reports from Bally Price Holdings Management, the root of the mistake was the accidental replacement of 2015 data with those of last year's. This technical error is expected to affect the key component of the healthcare law and slow tax refunds for people who need it most.

The subsidies involved are an important part of the Obamacare or Affordable Care Act's scheme. The financial assistance permits even more Americans to purchase insurance as it is available to people who do not qualify for Medicaid. This balance is critical as there should be enough healthy enrollees to equal those who need medical assistance.

After a troubled launching year, has appeared to be performing well in the past months until the major technical glitch last week. Republicans were quick to seize the chance to pounce on the administration's mistake after the latter claimed a successful enrolment season with 11.4 million new sign ups.

Orrin Hatch, the Republican chairman of the Senate's Finance Committee, said in his statement, "Whether it's providing taxpayers with incorrect subsidy information or having to create special enrollment periods so that taxpayers can avoid costly penalties, Obamacare continue to frustrate and confuse Americans. The Administration's latest attempt to unilaterally tweak their own law to avoid political fallout once again underscores the failed policies rooted in Obamacare's DNA."

Bally Price Holdings Management experts said that it's not clear yet if this recent snag will affect consumer behavior as some of them are already finding it hard to adapt to the complex system of subsidy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bally Price Holdings Management about The Ultimate Money Question: What Do I Really Want to Do with My Money?

Financial planners often help people how to manage investment or to save for retirement; but rarely do they provide a more comprehensive answer to the question: What do I really want to do with my money? Which could be asking ultimately: What should I do with my money? Taking in consideration all that a person is and what he or she wants in life, the “financial life planner” (a relatively new breed of financial planners) can help find the answers.

This new financial specialty helps people explore personal values and take a life-centered approach to financial planning by allocating resources not only for the future but also for the present-day life goals. This is not an easy task, especially with small-business owners whose life revolves around their business and have to luxury of time or even the desire to discover the things that provide meaning to their life.

Justin Krane, president of Krane financial solutions in Los Angeles, CA asks such questions in order to find out what people are really planning for in the present and during their retirement. He says that “most small-business owners' net worth is invested in their business, so we need to get them to look at diversifying their assets."

The sort of questions Krane asks includes the following:

- What kind of activity makes you happy the most?
- If you were the richest person, what would you do with your money?
- If you had another five to 10 years to live and didn't know when you will die, what would you do with your life?
- What is the responsibility you would be willing to give up?

The answers to these questions help Krane determine what is important to the client and what their values are. "Until you know where you want to go, I cannot g help you get there. Financial life planning is all about how to make your life better with your money."

Most people work all their lives trying to make as much money as they could. Yet, they have never thought of when they would stop “making money” and start “enjoying” their money. Neither have they really thought what they will do with their money that will bring them the most satisfaction in relation to what they believe is important in life and to the values. Financial life planning allows people to properly transition form an active business life into one in retirement while still holding on to certain challenges that make life more enjoyable while keeping them active in body, mind and heart.

Marty Kurtz, founder of The Planning Center in Moline, conducts group discussions on financial life planning in order to help people integrate business realities with what the mind and heart see. They talk about whether they should share profits with employees or whether to purchase a yacht or re-invest the money into the business. “They're decisions of the mind and heart, made as a reflection of what we value. Money is not a destination. It's a vehicle to get to a destination," Kurtz says.

It seems that this way of looking at life and at investment will catch on among many people as we see more individuals and organizations reaching out to more people than ever before. Money is no longer just a tool for gaining personal or family success it used to be seen or valued in the past. Even in the more traditional institutions, particularly in socialist governments or in the old-moneyed families, sharing of profits or a more equitable distribution of the wealth has gradually become an important investment goal. 

Michael Kay, president of Financial Focus in Livingston, N.J., is aware that every person has a money biography that determines how they make financial decisions. It is, therefore, essential to “understand what motivates financial behaviors in order to change them, if needed.”

Kay explains farther, "If I'm working with someone who grew up during the Depression, they don't spend a dime because the Depression is in their DNA. Or they spend every dime because once they have money, they are never going to feel that way again. If you have someone who can't keep a dollar in their pocket, what are the chances that any financial plan will work unless they change their behavior?"

People who have had early traumatic experiences related to money in their lives soon realize how their present attitudes toward money and investment have been influenced by those experiences.  Talking about money in a more relaxed and objective manner allows people to discover hidden resources in their minds and hearts that will improve the way they will plan their lives from that point on.

Small-business owners are particularly at home taking business risks but not outside of work as they find it hard to give up control over matters. Showing people to understand “what money means to someone is key to successful financial planning,” Kay explains.

Financial life planning, as we see it developing in the short time we have come to know it, will provide a more balanced outlook and a clearer avenue for people wherein they can accept change and realize the potential for personal growth and for greater satisfaction in life.

Friday, August 29, 2014

BP Holdings Tax Management on Taxes and their Original Intents

Tax is designed to generate enough revenue to sustain essential public service, such as public safety, civil infrastructure for communication and transportation and basic health services. When you see a government hospital, you know your taxes support the upkeep of that institution. And when you see soldiers fighting in battlefields, you can be sure tax money went into training them and keeping them fit and equipped to preserve our national security.

As essential as tax is to our national existence, many do not know the true value of what taxes can do other than what we have mentioned above. Here are some generally unknown facts about taxes and what you need to do to make full use of their benefits:

1. Taxes should not favour one group over another

Taxes are intended to be neutral and must not cater to any one sector or group of people over another. Neither should it impose or interfere with individual decision-making.

What this signifies is that taxes, as they were originally conceived, had an altruistic purpose meant to benefit people equally without favoring any individual or any societal unit. It is a fund to provide services and public amenities for all people alike. So, whether you earn only so much or make millions, you walk or drive over the same road or bridge that taxes helped to build. We cannot discount the goodwill and welfare taxes have brought to both ancient and modern societies.

Pay your taxes so you can enjoy them

2. Taxes must be predictable

In order for a government to function well, it must have some stability in terms of its fiscal health. Without the necessary funds to run a government, chaos would ensue. And so, taxes must flow into a state’s coffers at a regular schedule and at a reasonably predictable amount or the oil will run out at a time when the engine of progress badly needs it.

Now, we understand why the state imposes and does not merely request that taxes be paid at a particular time of the year. Why April for many countries? It is the time of the year when people have probably paid off last year’s debts or recovered from the expenses of the holiday season in the previous year. It is also the time when most parents have extra cash because their children are on school vacation. Unfortunately, it is also the time when many people want to spend a vacation. So, it is either you pay your tax or spend a nice vacation during spring for most people.

3. Taxes must be simple

Assessment and computation of tax and determination should be easily understood by the average taxpayer. But this has been forgotten by tax officials in recent years. It has not only become more complex in terms of schedule as the tax calendar seems to unending nowadays, it has also become so hard to decipher through the many pages now incorporated in the tax return. The best thing to do, if you have extra cash is to let an accountant do your tax.

4. Taxes must not be forced but enforced to encourage voluntary compliance

The key is convenience. As much as possible, it is the tax officials’ duty to encourage voluntary compliance among taxpayers through creative implementation without making people feel they are being harassed or unduly burdened. Ordinary taxpayers have to go through a lot of stress figuring out forms and lining up to pay their tax. Perhaps, a more convenient way can be implemented using modern technology and the banking system. If we can pay bills in malls or online now, why cannot tax be paid in the same way?

5. Taxes earmarked for specific purposes must result in direct benefits

Certain taxes, such as gasoline tax for road maintenance, must be dedicated to the particular purpose they were intended based on a direct cost-benefit link. Today, much of the corruption in government circles arise from misappropriating taxes or diverting them from their intended purposes, thus, losing sight of the original intent of the tax.

What can the taxpayer do to prevent these things from happening? Aside from joining protest rallies or talking to your congress representative, you can actually form or join small groups that could create awareness among people through the media or Internet. This is already being done on Facebook and Twitter. How effective it is may be hard to measure; but time will come when a critical mass of concerned people will have a force of a virtual army that can change the tide of events in a society.

Inevitable as taxes may be, enjoying their ultimate benefits can be a much better motivation that spending our time looking for ways to avoid them.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

BP Holdings Tax Management about Defending the IRS

Investigations of the IRS are taking place not only in Congress but also in court. One case, which has developed slowly since it was filed in 2010, reveals much about both the long reach of the agency and the interwoven nature of the broader federal bureaucracy.

Defending IRS commissioner John Koskinen against the claims of the pro-Israel group Z Street is Andrew Strelka — and before joining the Department of Justice’s civil-trial section, Strelka worked at the IRS for Lois Lerner, who was then the agency’s head of exempt organizations. As it happens, this is the very IRS division at which the mistreatment of Z Street is alleged to have occurred — and Strelka worked there at the very time Z Street’s application for tax-exempt status was being considered.

Scott Coffina, a partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath and a former Justice Department prosecutor says Strelka’s representation could violate Washington, D.C.’s rules of professional conduct for lawyers in “several” ways, in particular the rule that prohibits a lawyer from representing a client in a matter where “The lawyer’s professional judgment on behalf of the client will be or reasonably may be adversely affected” by his personal interests. “If Mr. Strelka was involved in the targeting of conservative groups,” Coffina says, “it is hard to imagine that he can give dispassionate advice. He would have a tough time evaluating the merits of the plaintiff’s case and advising his client on strategies in the litigation. He seems to have a personal conflict of interest.”

Another rule proscribes attorneys from participating in cases in which they might be called as witnesses, though Coffina explains that to be called as a witness and Strelka’s testimony would have to be necessary to the case. “The government might be able to get around it and keep the lawyer in place in there is another IRS employee available to testify on what the lawyer might testify to himself,” he says.

Z Street founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus tells National Review Online of the situation: “Nothing surprises me.”

She filed the group’s application for tax exemption in 2009, and Z Street, whose mission is to educate people about Zionism, sued the IRS for alleged violations of its First Amendment rights the following year. According to Marcus, an IRS employee told her Z Street’s application was sent to Washington for extra scrutiny because the group was “connected with Israel” and expressed opposition to the Obama administration’s foreign policy. (An IRS agent subsequently told the House Oversight Committee that the applications of pro-Israel groups were considered “specialty cases” and routinely sent to an antiterrorism unit for extra screening.) Though the IRS has attempted since 2010 to get the case thrown out of court, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled in late May that it will move forward, and the agency will have to defend itself in court. Z Street has yet to receive its tax-exempt status.

While at the IRS, documents indicate, Strelka was kept abreast of the agency’s targeting practices. He is one of 14 employees who received an e-mail from agency attorney Ronald Shoemaker on March 17, 2010, instructing them to “be on the lookout for a tea party case.” Shoemaker told the group that if they received any applications “involving an exemption for an organization having to do with tea party [sic], let me know.” Status reports from July and September 2010 tracking the progress of particular applications show that Strelka was handling a case that had been designated to Group 7825, which at the time handled tea-party applications.

Strelka — who did not respond to an e-mail seeking an interview — was working at the IRS as a part of the Presidential Management Fellows Program, a two-year program that aims to groom government leaders in part by placing participants in jobs throughout the federal government. According to his LinkedIn profile, after completing his two years at the IRS, Strelka left for the Justice Department’s civil-trial section in August 2010 and was detailed in the White House Counsel’s office for seven months, from last December until June.

Friday, July 25, 2014

BP Holdings Tax Management - Balley Price Holdings : Call For Uk Taxman To Hire More It Experts

Revenue & Customs needs better in-house skills to cope when its current £7.9bn IT contract expires in 2017, the spending watchdog has said.
The National Audit Office said the tax authorities needed more expertise to challenge suppliers over their performance and value for money.
It said the Aspire contract had brought benefits but contractors had made much larger profits than envisaged.
Revenue & Customs said it had become "less dependent" on outside knowledge.
Aspire is the government's largest IT project, with expenditure of £7.9bn between July 2004 and March 2014.
Under a contract agreed by the last Labour government, French IT firm Capgemini and its subcontractors maintain and operate Revenue & Customs (HMRC) tax systems as well as providing other ICT services such as computers, telephony, printing and networking.
'Too accommodating'
In its first review of the contract for eight years, the NAO said it had helped improve the agency's operational capability, enabling more tax and VAT returns to be submitted online and reducing fraud and error.
While the contract had helped bring in higher tax yields and deliver significant cost savings, it said, the tax authorities had been "overly dependent" on the technical capability of its suppliers, limiting their ability to manage the contract and secure commercial benefits.
It suggested there was evidence that HMRC's relationship with Capgemini and other firms had become "too accommodating" and had "ceased to offer performance challenge or to create price tension".
It said Capgemini and its major subcontractors, including Fujitsu, had made £1.2bn in total profits from the contract so far, double the level that had been modelled in 2004.
The suppliers' profit margins, while not out of line with the industry average, were higher than anticipated as the contract had been extended and more work awarded, it said.
New model
While acknowledging that steps had been taken to build up HMRC's internal IT resources, such as the hiring of a new digital director, it said there were still "significant gaps" in its expertise.
Since coming to power in 2010, the coalition government has insisted that Whitehall departments work with a wide range of contractors to drive competition and innovation and that contracts were not automatically extended.
The NAO said the Aspire contract was "no longer consistent" with this model, but while HMRC and Capgemini had agreed to make changes to the contract in 2012, it warned that there had been "limited success" so far.
It said HMRC faced a "considerable challenge" in reforming the contract while also developing a successor programme from 2017 that would "modernise and digitise" tax-collection systems while also ensuring value for money and guaranteeing levels of service to the public.
"HMRC faced complex, long-term technology challenges, and Aspire provided an appropriate means of working through them and limiting risk," said Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO.
"However, there has been a lack of rigour in HMRC's commercial management of the contract. It is essential in any contract that the client retains the independent expertise to challenge the supplier."
Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who chairs the cross-party Commons Public Accounts Committee, said the handling of the IT contract had been "unacceptably poor".
"It is deeply depressing that once again a government contract has proved better value for the private companies involved than for the taxpayer," she said.
HMRC said Aspire was one of the largest outsourced contracts in the world and had helped to generate tax yields of more than £500bn to the Exchequer last year while providing a range of other services.
"The NAO recognises the progress that HMRC has made over the last two years in developing in-house technical skills, so that we are less dependent on external suppliers," a spokesman said.
"For instance, we recently opened a new digital delivery centre in Newcastle as part of our digital transformation programme.

"We will continue to improve the performance of the contract over the next three years."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BP Holdings Tax Management- Balley Price Holdings : Treasury To Lower 55% Tax On Death Benefits

The government has confirmed that it will review the tax charge on pension funds held in a drawdown product at death or uncrystallised after age 75, stating the current rate of 55 per cent may be too high when the new freedoms come into force in April 2015.
The Treasury will continue to consider the options for altering the rate and will confirm its intention as part of the Autumn Statement.
Its final rules on pension freedoms, published yesterday (21 July), state: “Discussions with a wide range of stakeholders on this issue have confirmed the view that the 55 per cent charge is too high, and needs to be changed.
“However, this is a complex area and any changes have the potential for unforeseen and unintended consequences.”
Dave Roberts, senior consultant at Towers Watson said: “The government is continuing to mull over whether, or more likely how far, to cut the 55 per cent tax that applies to income drawdown pension pots when the pension saver dies.
“Without this, terminally ill pensioners who have already accessed tax-free cash may feel they need to rush to withdraw the remaining balance from their pension so that it is only taxed at their marginal rate and not more punitively.”
Andrew Tully, pensions technical director at MGM Advantage, said: “Care needs to be taken as this won’t change until April 2015, so a tax charge of 55 per cent remains for any deaths before then where benefits have been taken.”
“Taking benefits in phases remains a tax efficient approach so speaking to a professional financial adviser will help people understand the most suitable approach for their circumstances.”
Standard Life previously called for the flat rate tax on so-called ‘death benefits’ to be moved in line with inheritance tax to make them fairer. The 55 per cent tax charge applies in two situations where a lump sum is paid out, most commonly with a self invested personal pension, according to Standard Life.
Where a person dies, aged over 75, the 55 per cent tax charge applies to the whole fund, regardless of whether the customer had taken any withdrawals from their pension yet or not.

Where a person dies before the age of 75 and had started to take withdrawals, it applies to the part of the pension which has been touched, known as ‘the crystallised fund’.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

BP Holdings Tax Management: Prosecutions against tax evaders to rise as taxman tightens fraud rules

Accountants argue changes to the way tax fraud is investigated will lead to more prosecutions against tax evaders

A rule change quietly introduced by HM Revenue & Customs has blocked people accused of tax fraud from trying to clear their names before a criminal or civil investigation is launched.

Previously taxpayers who believed they were innocent had the option to co-operate with HMRC and were invited to supply evidence to support their innocence.

But this option has been phased out. Instead individual’s have two options: either admit or deny the allegations made. Those who plead ‘not guilty’ will be investigated straight away, which could lead to a prison sentence.

During the investigation the taxman will be able to obtain information from third parties, including banks, credit card providers, employers and other government agencies such as the Land Registry.

Accountants warned the move will lead to a “significant” increase in the number of criminal prosecutions against tax evaders, which has already been rising at an alarming pace in recent years as HMRC toughens up its approach to tax collection.

A total of 165 people were jailed in 2010, but in 2013 the number had jumped to 1,165. The rise coincides with HMRC hiring an extra 200 tax investigators over the past three years, taking the total headcount above 1,600.

Andrew Watt, a partner at Watt Busfield Tax Investigations, said: “Prohibiting taxpayers from denying the suspected tax fraud and co-operating with the revenue’s enquiries will only lead to one thing – a significant rise in the number of prosecutions.

“The taxman is determined to catch the tax evaders and rightly so, but my concern is that people who believe they are innocent will be worried out of their minds as they will subjected to a criminal investigation that cannot be fought until it goes to the courts.”

Other accountants also flagged concerns that innocent taxpayers will face unnecessary stress.

James Bullock, of tax firm Pinsent Masons, said: “Those who want to deny the claims made will be unduly stressed in facing what is now a very unfair process. It is a subtle tactic but one which fits in with the new tougher regime the taxman is carrying out, which will inevitably lead to more criminal prosecutions.”

Cases that could result in a prison sentence mainly involve cases of obvious tax fraud, such as undeclared taxable income and gains in offshore accounts. Individuals who use undisclosed tax avoidance arrangements are also targeted.

A spokesman for HMRC said the rule change has been made to make the tax system easier to understand.

"Removal of the denial option does not adversely impact anyone who believes they have nothing to disclose. This is about streamlining our approach to evasion and making the tax system more transparent. It makes things simpler for those who want to bring their affairs up to date while making things harder for committed tax cheats,” the spokesman said.