Saturday, November 24, 2007

California EDD Free Tax Compliance Seminars for Employers

The California Employment Development Department (CA EDD), offers free seminars for California employers, to assist them in complying with payroll, unemployment insurance, and disability reporting and deductions for their employees. For many, your business attorney, accountant, and payroll service will handle these issues for you; for those without such assistance, these seminars may be a good place to learn the basic of complying with the numerous laws applicable to any employer.

Some upcoming Southern California seminars are as follows:

Avoiding State Payroll Reporting Errors Tax Seminar, Huntington Beach 1/17/08;

Employee or Independent Contractor Tax Seminar, Anaheim 12/20/07, Huntington Beach 1/1/7/08, Santa Fe Springs 1/4/08;

How to Manage Unemployment Insurance Costs Tax Seminar, Goleta 12/5/07, Oxnard 1/25/08;

State Basic Payroll Tax Seminar, Huntington Beach 11/29/07, Santa Fe Springs 12/6/07;

State Payroll Workship Tax Seminar, Goleta 1/29/08, Huntington, Beach 12/19/07, Oxnard 1/8/08, Santa Fe Springs 11/28/07.

For a full list of EDD seminars offered throughout the year, see

Monday, November 19, 2007 Survey: 76% Believe Everyone Should Have a Will, But 57% Don't Have One

Even though three-quarters of our poll respondents (76 percent) believe that everyone should have a will, a whopping 57 percent of Americans don't have one themselves.

Parents of kids younger than 18 make an even poorer showing: 67 percent don't have a will, despite the fact that 88 percent of parents believe wills are an important way to appoint guardians....

This tendency to procrastinate is common to people of all education levels and walks of life, says Marshall Jones, an attorney and accredited estate planner at RMJ Family Wealth Planning in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"It's not surprising that most people don't have a will," he says. "Most attorneys don't have a will.

"Before I was in law school, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee died. He was a wealthy man in his own right and his committee was responsible for tax legislation. They found his will in his desk drawer ... unsigned. His family paid millions more in taxes because he did not complete his planning. Not much has changed since then. Many successful people plan every thing else in their lives except their estate plan."
Americans' words and deeds about wills at odds,, November 19, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Billionaries fight estate tax repeal

Billionaire Warren Buffet, one of the world's richest men who, critics note, will personally avoid the payment of most or all death taxes on his estate by giving most of it away to charity, went to Congress today to encourage Democrats to retain the estate tax, against the wishes of the Bush Administration and small business groups:
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett urged senators Wednesday to reject calls by the Bush administration and business groups to permanently repeal the estate tax.

"A progressive and meaningful estate tax is needed to curb the movement of a democracy toward plutocracy," Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway told the Senate Finance Committee.

Buffett has long opposed efforts to repeal the tax.

Under the tax-cut package signed by President Bush in 2001, the exemption on the estate tax increases each year, culminating in full repeal in 2010. But the legislation expires at the end of 2010, and estate tax levels return to their pre-2001 levels -- a top tax rate of 55% on inheritances of more than $1 million -- in 2011.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said he supports full repeal, but that such a measure doesn't have adequate support. Baucus, noting that less than 1% of families are now subject to the tax, urged lawmakers and others to craft measures designed to exempt most family-owned farms and small businesses.
Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the committee's senior Republican, repeated a call for full repeal.

Grassley said the prospect of family members being forced to sell a business to meet a tax bill shows that the estate tax is fatally flawed from a technical standpoint.
"Instead of the free market determining when assets are bought or sold, the death tax makes that determination," Grassley said....
Buffett urges Senate to oppose estate-tax repeal, CBS Marketwatch, November 14, 2007

See also: Senate Plan to Repeal Inheritance Tax Fails, Washington Post, June 9, 2006