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Month: January 2015

Minimum Wage in 2015: Are You Entitled to a Raise?

Minimum Wage in 2015: Are You Entitled to a Raise?

For employees in many states, ringing in the New Year also meant seeing an increase to their paychecks. The following 21 states – and the District of Columbia – will see an increase in minimum wage in 2015: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. While the majority of these minimum wage bumps took effect on January 1, a handful…

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If Immigration Law Is Federal, Why Are States Passing Immigration-Related Laws?

If Immigration Law Is Federal, Why Are States Passing Immigration-Related Laws?

Think what a mess it would be if every state in the country could decide who may (or may not) receive a tourist visa, a green card, or some other immigration benefit that no one has yet dreamed up. That’s just one of the many reasons why only the U.S. federal government may set immigration law and policy. Immigration is one of the few areas of U.S. law that is nearly uniform across the 50 states. (Exceptions exist, but let’s not get into those…

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IRS Continues to Be Worked Up Over ID Theft

IRS Continues to Be Worked Up Over ID Theft

IRS recently released its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams, to alert taxpayers to be on guard.  And ID theft is prominently cited. In fiscal 2014, IRS initiated 1,063 ID theft related investigations, and Criminal Investigation enforcement efforts resulted in 748 sentencings – an increase of 75% over the prior year. In an effort to help victims, IRS has issued approximately 1.5 million Identity Protection PINs (IP PINS).  The IP PIN is a unique, six digit number that is…

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New Protections for New Yorkers Against Debt Collection Abuses

New Protections for New Yorkers Against Debt Collection Abuses

The New York Department of Financial Services recently released new regulations that will better protect New Yorkers from the debt collection industry’s rampant abuses. Once the majority of the regulations go into effect on March 3, 2015 (a few of the regulations will begin in August), New York will have some of the strongest laws in the country when it comes to debt collection. The Scope of the Problem: Debt Collectors Gone Wild According to Governor Cuomo, in 2014 New…

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IRS Sponsors “Free File”

IRS Sponsors “Free File”

IRS and the Free File Alliance have teamed up on software which is available to taxpayers for return preparation, including capability in handling the health care law implications which will be pervasive.  Starting on January 20, folks will be able to take advantage. The Free File Alliance is a consortium of 14 leading tax software companies which make their branded products available for free.  Says IRS Commissioner Koskinen, “For 12 years, this partnership between the IRS and the Free File…

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