Category Archives: Tax and Insurance

How virtualization benefits tax and accounting practices

An increasingly popular way of delivering IT services is through virtualization, which comes in several flavors. With server virtualization, a physical server is split into multiple virtual servers. Each virtual server can run its own full-fledged operating system, and these operating systems can be different from one virtual server to the next. The physical server typically runs a hypervisor program to create the virtual servers and manage the resources of the various operating systems. Then each virtual server can be employed as if it were a stand-alone physical server, thus reducing the number of physical servers needed in an IT shop and saving the organization money and space.

By desktop virtualization, whatever user sees on his/her desktop is completely isolated from the physical machine and accessed through a client/server computing model. This virtualized desktop environment is stored on a server, rather than on the local storage of the desktop device; when the user works from his or her desktop device, all the programs, applications, and data are kept on the server and all programs and applications are run on the server. In this kind of practice, the server does almost all the work and a thin client can be a normal desktop or it can be even notebook, smartphones.

The above virtualization model can serve ideally to the tax and accounting professional. For a general accountant or CPAs, the desktop consists of tax and accounting applications as well as many other supportive tools to process their operations. These applications require heavy system resources to function and there is even desperate need of any expert technician to manage their setup. Having separate desktop setup for each individual in the office not only costs in the term of licensing but also gives us huge burden of resource setup and management. A centralized server helps us to address these concerns.

Tax and accounting professionals can opt to use cloud computing to host their resources. Cloud computing is the latest form of the virtualization technology. By implementing cloud for tax and accounting practices, all the benefits of cloud computing get inherited to the operations of tax and accounting jobs. The major benefits of cloud computing are: increased performance, high availability, anywhere and anytime access and reduced expenses which can be very helpful to boost the performance of accounting firms or departments.

It is not necessary to have our own cloud computing or virtualization infrastructure to share the benefits of these technologies. We can choose any hosting provider to host our tax and accounting applications to get these features of technology. We even get full technical support on our resources. The hosting provider becomes responsible for setup, management and to fix the issues.

Income Tax Relief on Income Tax Debt in Canada – Who Qualifies

If you have an income tax debt in Canada, at times it can feel paralyzing. Income tax debt in Canada can grow at an alarming rate. Unlike our counter parts in the US who often turn to criminal action to enforce non-compliance, the Canada Revenue Agency relies heavily on imposing interest and penalties to penalize taxpayers who file late, fail to declare income or improperly declare expenses.

Once late returns have been filed or past returns have been re-assessed by the Canada Revenue Agency, their first step will be to assess a penalty on the tax debt. The Canada Revenue Agency’s next step will be to calculate interest on the income tax debt and penalties going backwards to the tax year when the tax debt occurred. The end result is that the taxpayer can end up owing more to the Canada Revenue Agency in interest and penalties than the principal tax debt. For example; an income tax debt of $20,000 may end up being more than $40,000 once the interest and penalties have been calculated.

In Canada, a taxpayer can apply for income tax relief under the Income Tax Act. This does not mean that the principal tax debt can be reduced. However, the Canada Revenue Agency can cancel all or part of the interest and penalties.

One way that a taxpayer can qualify for income tax relief under the taxpayer relief provision is because of extraordinary circumstances. Penalties and interest may be waived if an event has occurred that was beyond the taxpayers control and was the cause of the non-compliance. Some examples of extraordinary circumstances are natural disasters (fire, flood etc), a civil disturbance, a serious illness or accident, serious emotional or mental distress, the death of an immediate family member etc

Another way that a taxpayer can qualify for income tax relief on an income tax debt is if they are suffering from extreme financial hardship. If the taxpayer can substantiate that they cannot pay because of job loss, they cannot pay the interest charges but could pay the principal tax debt, payment of the interest charges would interfere with their ability to provide basic necessities like shelter, food and transportation; in these cases the Canada Revenue Agency may waive all or part of the interest and penalties owing on the tax debt.

Finally, income tax relief on an unpaid income tax debt may be granted if the cause of the interest and penalties was caused, all or in part, by the actions of the Canada Revenue Agency. Some examples of this are processing delays; errors in material which led the taxpayer to file a return based on improper information, incorrect information being provided to the taxpayer by the Canada Revenue Agency, like errors in processing and undue delays.

An application for income tax relief is an official process that should be handled by a professional if you would like to increase the likelihood of your application being accepted.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Income Protection Insurance

Income protection is a type of insurance that is often misunderstood in the UK. As with other types of insurance there are many advantages and disadvantages to having a policy, and here we list a few of them.

First, lets explain a little about income protection. This type of insurance will replace part of your income tax free if you cannot work because of accident, sickness or unemployment. There are many different types of policy, most of which can be adjusted according to your individual circumstances.

Advantages

Income protection can cover up to 70% of your mortgage. This could work out to be significantly more than the government would pay you in benefits.
Some long term policies offer cover until retirement age. This means that if you suffer a long term illness, you will receive your benefits either until you can return to work or until the age of 64.
The money can be used however you please. Most people choose to cover their mortgage, bills and other financial commitments, but it could be used for general lifestyle costs.
The policy can be tied into a particular debt, like a mortgage or credit card repayments.
You can choose cover for accident and sickness only, accident, sickness and unemployment, or unemployment cover only.
Unemployment cover could offer back to work schemes and training to help you find a new job.
Income protection can be designed to kick in only after your sick pay stops, so your premiums are lower.

Disadvantages

Unemployment cover will only pay out for a maximum of 12 months, even if you havent found a new job within this time.
Accident, sickness and unemployment policies usually only offer 12 months of benefits as well. Long term-policies offer better cover, but are sometimes more expensive.
Pre-existing conditions may not be covered on your policy, so it is important to take one out before you need it.
Similarly, you will not be covered for redundancy if you already knew there was a chance it was going to happen. This protects the insurance companies against people taking advantages of the policy.
Smokers will usually pay higher premiums for accident and sickness cover because they are more likely to fall ill.
It is important never to buy a policy without researching the market first to get the best deal; otherwise you could be paying more than you need to.
Now you know the advantages and disadvantages, it is up to you to decide whether income protection is right for you!

What is tax relief

Tax reduction is really a tax break or achievable write-offs granted to persons and businesses. Simply put, it’s a decrease in the mandatory duty volume or credited payments. State, local or national relief can be done.

Also companies may enjoy the economical fails. Multi-million or billionaire businesses, however, are not its common targets.

When you yourself have a small business it could be wise to talk to an IRS tax attorney who specializes on tax aid. Solicitors who concentrate on such practice can research your situation and give advice on the feasible split that you just can get.

What are possible motives for filing?

There are various reasons why individuals could need or desire tax-relief. Some individuals may be unable to settle all taxes charged owing to losing a job. Individuals who suddenly experience gaining a lesser money may also desire a tax break as he or she mightn’t afford to pay whole tax fees as a result of current financial hardship.

That is likewise accessible if a individual becomes a disaster victim. Other folks who lost their home, possessions and firms owing to normal problem may also be eligible. In cases of natural calamities, however, the US president should first declare that the locations are struck before an individual can file.

Older people, incapable, working class person and pupil might also file. You can test contacting a government workplace in your area to uncover what type of tax-relief will employ in your case.

The provision can be offered to homeowners. The US has a few duty split plans made available for individuals who own homes. The key aim is to decrease the owner’s levy requirement for both state and federal levels.

Must I be filing this alone, Imagine if I’m a person?

Seeking the help of a tax-relief attorney can help you if you’re suffering through a hardship, a natural calamity or you lost work. Going through unemployment or instantly finding your self without a property could be particularly dismaying. During these times, the final issue you could want to go through is your tax papers.

Whether you are selecting an IRS tax lawyer or a tax reduction lawyer for your business or personal needs, keep in mind that examining the person’s skilled history matters many.

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Insurance Claim Investigation

The increase in the number of players in the Insurance sector has lead to spiralling growth of the Industry. More people are now aware of Health, Medical, General and Life Insurance plans and are keenly opting for various types of risk cover. As the customer base increases for these players so do the number of Insurance claims being filed with these companies. In a country such as India where there are few verifiable facts about a customer, this creates a large number of fraudulent risk claims. Onicra works closely with the Insurance companies to establish validity of these claims and mitigate risk.

What exactly is Insurance Claims Investigation?
Individuals and business enterprises buy insurance policies to safeguard themselves against monetary losses. In case there is a loss, the insurance policy holders submit claims, or request for payment to seek compensation for their loss.

Insurance investigators thus work for life and general insurance companies, for whom they handle claims contending unfortunate cases of bodily injury, deaths or third party claims. Their main job is to investigate the claims, negotiate settlements, and authorize payments to claimants. It is they who must assess and verify whether the customer’s insurance policy covers the loss and how much of the loss should be paid to the claimant.

About Insurance Claims Investigation Services

Life and General Insurance claim processing.

Authentication of medical reports (Life and General Insurance).

Conducting checks and balances before extending insurance.

Onicra is leading and pioneering the way that Insurance claim investigation is conducted.

Compnay insurance investigators possess decades of experience and have established a proven reputation in the industry for exposing fraudulent applications and claims, Our clients include companies such as Reliance Insurance, Bajaj Allianz etc. Our well-trained staff examines the various causes of the accident, death, property loss, vehicle damage or third party damage and reports the claims to the client as valid or in-valid based upon a comprehensive set of guidelines using our revolutionary PDA technology. This decision analysis tool aids us in identifying insurance claims as genuine or fraudulent.

With our team of seasoned industry specialists and our highly trained workforce, we have set new benchmarks in the Industry using this system.In addition our widely spread network across the country gives us the leverage to cover almost any geographic location. In states such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and the Eastern Belt, which are vast in terms of reach and spread, our network is extremely robust.

Benefits of outsourcing Insurance Claims Investigation to Onicra

High strike rate in identifying fraudulent insurance claims

Fast track PDA technology facilitates live transfer of case

Real Time Case tracking and management solution

Reduces claim handling costs and other operations costs

Help mitigate risk, reduce settlements and identify fraud claims

The Iphone Insurance Recommendation You Can Rely On

Ensquared through their phone insurance Calculator has zoned in on the best iPhone insurance options available in the US. Ensquared have identified Square Trade as the leading provider of iphone insurance. This is a high profile need in light of the fact that AT&T – the current exclusive phone service providers for iPhone – categorically do not offer iPhone insurance in any shape or form. It is without doubt that the Ensquared research in the iPhone insurance space is invaluable.

The biggest risk iPhone subscribers face is by far and away phone damage. Simply put this means breakage through water damage, spills or drops. In short: Accidental damage, which is very different from manufacturer support issues (normally one year) or manufacturer support problems that occur after the support period expires (malfunction as a result of factory sourced issues).
Apple Care, representing the manufacturers, offers an extended warranty program for $69 per annum that completely bypasses accidental phone damage. In essence this means that subscribers looking for protection against the biggest item of risk remain uncovered if left to Apple or AT&T.

Ensquared are the foremost authorities on iPhone insurance and in fact any cell phone insurance for that matter. They identified Square Trade as the leading provider of iPhone insurance in the most needed area (accidental damage) that offers a combined coverage of extended warranty (kicking off in the second year of course once the standard warranty lapses) and phone damage from day one. The premiums are by comparison with Apple Care way lower with much more value. They are $48 pa, $60 pa and $72 pa for the 8GB, 16GB and 32GB models respectively on 2 year contracts, payable if you like over three months, and only $50 deductibles (with claim limits $300, $400 and $500 respectively)

Square Trade iPhone insurance service is very reliable and as long as you buy the insurance on date of activation with AT&T there is no wait period. Granted, there is no coverage for iphone lost or stolen, but in an arena where the only thing out there is extended warranty at an enormous dollar number the Square Trade iPhone insurance is an excellent option covering the majority of potential risk factors
Ensquared have established a close relationship with Square Trade providing all the back-up information you require and a very accurate comparison tool (first ever in US) to enable you to look at this iphone insurance option with confidence on all pertinent levels. Ensquared is the #1 iphone comparison Site on the wireless Internet is always first in providing access to the best opportunities in phone insurance on every brand including Blackberry insurance and Nokia insurance options. Find the most appropriate Square Trade iPhone insurance product at the cheapest prices by visiting the Ensquared Site.

Classifications Of Insurance

Insurances are classified in a number of ways. The policy term and coverage differentiates one from the other. Risks, perils, losses, and property, are the different coverages. A detailed analysis and a deeper understanding of the characteristics should be made for a certain insurance policy to be classified.

Most of the time private and social assurance are distinguished from one another. Social insurance is offered by public agencies and it is mandatory. While there are a lot of coverages that are offered by the government that are considered compulsory. But the are also those that are voluntarily bought. Also, private insurance companies offer compulsory insurance. It doesn’t matter who the provider of the insurance is as the distinction between compulsory and voluntary insurance doesn’t depend on them. A compulsory insurance, who ever provides it, is considered as a social insurance.

Personal, property, and liability risks are the coverages included in a private voluntary insurance. Disability and medical care coverages are under personal insurance. The coverage for the cost of loss of a certain property, whether it be repair or replacement, or any loss due to the use of that certain property, is under property insurance. Fire, windstorm, riot, civil commotion, and crime, are the most common perils. Personal injury, bodily injury, and property damage caused by persons in their personal, professional, and business activities, are all included in a liability coverage. Further categories include surety bonding and credit insurance.

Governmental voluntary assurance focuses primarily on personal and property risks. In Wisconsin, voluntary insurances are provided for their residents. In another state, crop hail insurance under property coverage is also offered. The US government through the Veterans Administration, provides life insurance to veterans. People who have already retired are also given supplemental medical care insurance on a voluntary basis under the Medicare program through the Social Security Administration. In the case of home loans, the federal housing administration provides loans to its lenders. The US government also joined the marine insurance field during the time of world wars.

Compulsory insurance is further sub-classed into two kinds, either state or federal. Some of these programs are supported by insurers while others are financed by government agencies. Coverage is provided for personal, property, and liability risks.

The Risks Of Hiring A House Painter Without Insurance In Jacksonville, Florida

As a home owner you are continually making decisions about the appearance and maintenance of your home. This goes to a whole new level when it comes time for major home projects like painting the interior or exterior.

These days we have to look to get the best deal possible. Certainly, no one can be faulted for searching out lower prices whenever possible. The key, however, is to understand that what looks like a great deal may well end up being far more expensive. The best deal is often not the least expensive. This is especially important to keep in mind when choosing a professional painter to do work on your home.

Everyone knows a guy who will paint your house, top to bottom, for half the price of a professional painting contractor. Despite how easy it is to understand the extra motivation to cut costs that has been created by the current economic downturn, this kind of corner-cutting should be considered very carefully.

Even if you make sure quality paint and materials are selected and you personally go to extents to cover furniture and protect against drips and spills, one of the key differences between a professional painter and someone who works outside the system are the risks of hiring a house painter who doesn’t have insurance. The licensed painting professional will carry both liability and workers compensation insurance to protect you both.

Liability insurance will protect you against any damage that could be done to your home, such as a falling extension ladder breaking a window or dropped paint requiring the replacement of your flooring. Workers compensation insurance covers injuries that may happen to their workers while they are on your property. When you hire someone who is without insurance, you will almost likely bear the expense and cost for anything that goes wrong.

The responsible house painter owner who carries the necessary insurance coverage to protect his clients and his employees, pays all the appropriate taxes and provides a decent wage, will always be at a disadvantage when it comes to bidding for your home painting project. The decision is up to you, the homeowner, and how you define value. One piece of advice that it might be beneficial to keep in mind is that old saying that you get what you pay for.

Refund of Service Tax Issues & Challenges

Service Tax, as the name suggests is a tax leviable on all duties. It is a tax levied on the transactions of the facility specified by the Central Government under the finance Act, 1994. It is an indirect tax (akin to Excise duty or Sales tax), which means the service provider pays the tax and recovers the amount from the recipient of the taxable work.

Service Tax is generally recovered by Assessee in two ways:

By utilizing the same as in the form of Cenvat Credit, or

By Claiming the Refund.

Any Assessee can utilize the amount of duty paid by him in excess by adjusting the same with the duty amount paid in subsequent period. Refund of tax can be claimed by Assessee where self- adjustment of Service Tax is not feasible.

Refund of Service Tax generally happens in case of export oriented companies (STPI, SEZ, EOU units) which export their final product/duty, as no tax is levied by Government to promote the export. Such companies disburse excise on the input/output assistance procured by them but are not able to utilize the Cenvat Credit because no due is received by them on export of their services. As a result, such companies have to opt the procedure of claiming refund for unutilized cenvat (tax) credit.

The Export Oriented Units, especially the STPI units have been facing many hurdles and difficulties while claiming the service tax refunds. There had been inordinate delays towards the scrutiny of refund applications coupled with rejections of the claimed amounts due to various reasons by the designated authorities, primary reasons being:

Time Limitation for the refund claim of duties.
Relevant date for the calculation of limitation period in respect of filing the refund claim.
Implication of the Principle of Doctrine of Unjust Enrichment.
Submission of separate Foreign Exchange Remittance Certificate (FIRC) in case of segregated export of goods & utilities.
Submission of Original documents such as Invoice, BL, SB, BRC etc.

The Central Board of Excise & Customs is seized of this matter and has been regularly clarifying on this issue through various clarifications/Notifications covering many procedural issues with respect to refund of service tax paid. It has settled many issues like the time within which the refund claim shall be filed, acceptance of certified photocopies as a valid document, submission of self-certified statement along with FIRCs etc.

Despite various initiatives taken by the department, there has been a huge pendency of tax refunds primarily because of the incomplete documentation by the claimants, tedious process of physical verification of documents submitted to the department and the difference of perception between the claimant and the department regarding the admissibility of input services eligible for refund.

There are many specialized Service Tax Consultant in Delhi, NCR that helps companies in sorting out the problems they face related to tax. But it is always advisable to do some serious research before contacting a STPI Consultant in Delhi.

Confessions Of A Uk Tax Investigator

Many sole traders and small business owners in the UK are oblivious to the insider dealings of HMRC, formerly known as the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise.

Many seem to think that because their businesses are very small, the Tax Man will not notice them. How wrong they are. HMRC have the most state-of-the-art technology at their disposal and are very much aware of the activities of individual traders. Most often under the spotlight are market traders and construction industry workers, but more recently the work-at-home entrepreneurs have attracted much interest.

More and more individuals are setting up online businesses and selling just about every type of product imaginable. Some are earning five and six-figure incomes from auction sites like ebay and some are doing very nicely from Googles Adsense program. Its not difficult for HMRC inspectors to track down website owners and ebay sellers and they also have the power to access traders PayPal records and accounts.

Anyone not declaring their incomes from these business activities are putting themselves right in the firing line. Tax fraud and tax evasion are serious matters, which can result in very serious consequences. Should a tax inspector become suspicious of a trader, he can instigate a full investigation. The whole process could take months, during which time they will uncover every single piece of evidence needed to prosecute the perpetrator.

Depending on the severity of the tax fraud or the extent of the tax evasion, the individuals concerned could find themselves facing a heavy financial penalty, business closure, loss of the family home or even imprisonment. And they will still have to pay back all taxes due. Is it worth the risk?

Its a gamble with unfanciable odds and overwhelming risks. The only answer is to play it straight and play it fair. Who wants to be looking over their shoulder for the rest of their working life? Like it or not we all have to pay our share of taxes. But that doesnt mean you have to give it all away to the taxman. Just be sure to claim for every single allowance available and for every single tax deductible item which is applicable.

Youll find that your tax bill will be a lot less than you thought. And more importantly youll be able to sleep at night. The best advice is to get the best advice. Better still if you can get an inside view of how the governments HMRC organization works and stay ahead of the game eh? If only

Bill Knight