Archive for: ‘December 2016’

Congress May End Tax Benefits on Inherited IRA’s in the New Year

December 30, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Retirement accounts may soon be taking a major hit from the IRS, if Congress decides to change the rules on a tax strategy involving inherited IRAs.

Under the current rules, people who contribute to an IRA and do not end up needing the money for retirement are able to pass the account to their heirs.  The money is then allowed to keep growing tax-deferred throughout the heir’s lifetime, with minimal taxes due on withdrawals.

However, the Senate Committee on Finance voted 26-0 to put an end to the ability to stretch an IRA across generations, putting trillions of dollars of legacy wealth in danger of being taxed.

Second to the home, retirement accounts are a household’s greatest source of wealth.  Individuals who inherited traditional IRAs have been able to profit from one of the biggest benefits of the tax code, allowing the tax-deferred balance to continue compounding for years.  The ability to transfer that wealth to second and third generations will be put in jeopardy with this legislation.

The proposed legislation comes after the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that inherited IRAs are not “retirement funds” under the bankruptcy code and are not entitled to exemption from a debtor’s bankruptcy estate.

The proposed law does not apply to surviving spouses.  Surviving spouses may either roll the money over into another retirement account or spread the taxes due on the account across their lifespan.

The proposed rule would not affect Roth IRAs because taxes on those accounts have already been paid with after-tax income by the account owner. Taxes on traditional IRAs are deferred until the account owner begins making withdrawals to cover living expenses during retirement. Heirs are required to continue making annual withdrawals from the inherited account and pay taxes on those withdrawals. The new rule would dramatically speed up the pace of those withdrawals.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Social Security Checks Being Garnished for Unpaid Student Loan Debt

December 29, 2016 Posted by kingcade

In an effort to recoup millions of dollars in unpaid student loan debt, the government has resorted to taking money from borrowers’ social security checks.  Since 2001, the government has collected about $1.1 billion from recipients of all ages.  In 2015 alone they collected $171 million. This has left thousands of retired or disabled Americans with below-poverty incomes, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office.

As of September 2015, 114,000 Americans who were 50 and older had their Social Security benefits reduced to offset defaulted student loans, according to the report. Since 2002, the figure has increased by 440%.

The report identifies an increasing trend of baby boomers entering retirement with student loan debt. According to the report, approximately 43% of people whose Social Security checks were decreased have held their student loans 20 years or more.

Borrowers who are determined to be permanently and totally disabled are entitled to have their student loan debt forgiven, though many are unaware of the option, according to the Wall Street Journal. Currently, the government’s student-loan portfolio is $1.26 trillion, with an increasing number of people continuing to fall behind on their payments.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/social-security-checks-are-being-reduced-for-unpaid-student-debt-1482253337

http://fortune.com/2016/12/20/social-security-checks-garnished/

Sycamore Attorney Charged with Bankruptcy Fraud

December 28, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Kevin O. Johnson, also known as “K.O. Johnson,” was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of bankruptcy fraud.  He is charged with four counts of bankruptcy fraud and four counts of making a false oath in a bankruptcy case under penalty of perjury, fraudulently withholding information pertinent to the case and concealing assets.

Johnson, whose practice included bankruptcy law, filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition on Dec. 31, 2011.  The indictment alleges that Johnson fraudulently concealed property from the bankruptcy trustee, creditors, and the United States Trustee, including complete information of about $1,790,000 of account receivables owed to Johnson by his present and former clients.

The indictment also charges Johnson with the following:

  • Failing to comply with a court order requiring him to turn over all proceeds from the collection of account receivables;
  • Having directed clients not to send any payments to the Bankruptcy Trustee and asking clients to sign misleading documents about the nature of payments they made, despite Johnson knowing that all future account receivable payments were required to be made to the Trustee;
  • Making false statements concerning his security interests and liens on the $1,790,000 of account receivables;
  • Removing invoices and fee agreements from client files;
  • Obstructing the Bankruptcy Trustee by omitting a bank account used to deposit a check received in payment of an account receivable owed to Johnson at the time he filed for bankruptcy.

Each charge in this case carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greater.  The Court may also impose a sentence of probation of one to five years, and a term of supervised release of up to three years.

Bankruptcy trustees are experts at finding undisclosed cash, property, vehicles, boats, jewelry, antiques, and collectibles. If you are caught trying to conceal assets, the consequences are big. Your discharge will be denied, and you will be unable to discharge the debts you list in a subsequent bankruptcy filing.  In addition, you can face serious fines, even jail time.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

The U.S. Government is Collecting Student Loans it Promised to Forgive

December 27, 2016 Posted by kingcade

In recent years, the U.S. Department of Education has taken on two different roles in the lives of indebted former college students. The same bureaucracy must collect on the $1.1 trillion in student loans in an attempt to protect taxpayer dollars and it also oversees the nation’s largest-ever effort to forgive student loan debt.

The government’s dual roles have since caused problems for former Corinthian Colleges Inc. students. Tens of thousands of these former students had their student loans cancelled and according to the Obama administration they were supposed to be reimbursed in full. However, the Department of Education has been actively collecting on federal student debt owed by the former students.

Corinthian Colleges Inc. filed for bankruptcy in 2015 under a cloud of fraud investigations. As a result, government officials had reason to believe that some of these students’ debts should be forgiven. However, former students have come forward saying that they are still being approached for payment on their loans. When companies have made similar attempts at collecting on debt that is not actually owed in the past, they have been charged by federal and state regulators with violating the law.

According to the former director of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection division, David Vladeck, “There’s no clear-cut reason why there shouldn’t be automatic loan forgiveness for people who otherwise would have a legal claim for deceptive conduct against this now-bankrupt company.” He went on to say, “These kids by and large have been scammed, and the Department of Education in some sense is continuing that harm by making them jump through hoops to get the relief to which they are entitled.”

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

What to Consider Before Paying Christmas Bills with a Tax Refund Loan

December 26, 2016 Posted by kingcade

If you are planning on paying off your Christmas debt with your tax refund check, you may want to think again. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that some taxpayers will experience delays at the beginning of tax season in 2017 due to a new law that requires the IRS to hold refund checks until February 15th. There may also be delays due to weekends and the President’s Day holiday. As a result, the IRS cautions taxpayers not to count on their refund checks until the week of February 27th.

However, some taxpayers are planning to use tax Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) or Refund Anticipation Checks (RACs) to tide them over between the holidays and tax season. If you are planning to do so, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Interest Rates: In most RAL agreements, the taxpayer agrees to repay the RAL at tax time, plus interest. Some states limit the amount of interest that a lender can charge, however, in some instances, the annual percentage rate (APR) of an RAL can exceed triple-digits.
  • Fees: In addition to high interest rates, RALs oftentimes come with hefty fees that can diminish the remainder of your refund check. According to the National Consumer Law Center, some add-on fees they observed in a 2013 report included application fees; data and document storage fees; document processing fees; e-filing fees; service bureau fees; transmission/software fees; and technology fees.
  • Uncertainty: Keep in mind that you have to repay the entire amount of the loan even if you receive less than you anticipated. This means that you have to estimate the amount you will receive back on your taxes when taking out a loan.

 

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.