Ziese & Associates, Ltd.

Robert J. Ziese, Esq.

Kathryn G. Ziese Financial Services

Client Newsletter - Apr. - Jun. 2002


Enjoy the Summer!   Drive Carefully!

Call us for real estate, wills & trusts, tax & bankruptcy issues, business startup & litigation, matrimonial, adoption, and non-profit organization matters
973-625-4559


CONTENTS:

TAX    NEWS

                Guard Against Identity Theft

                Non-Profit Toolkit Available

Keeping Good Minutes of Business Meetings

Having a Garage Sale? Check Your Liability Insurance

DMVs Pushing for Standard License

 

TAX  NEWS

Guard Against Identity Theft

Several states have reported a "Bank Letter" scam. A letter sent to consumers, purportedly from a bank that you use, contains a fake IRS form, called Form W-9095 (no such form). The form asks for your Social Security Number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, bank account name and PIN, and other info. Supposedly, the bank must update its records to pinpoint customers who are exempt from the withholding tax on interest paid on their bank accounts

If you reply, the scam artists can use the data to access and use your bank accounts. Obviously, don't reply to the form. Notify your bank of the scam letter.

TIPS TO GUARD AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT

Non- Profit Toolkit Available

The American Bar Association's Section of Taxation (to which we belong) has just released a 109-page document called "The Tax Exempt Tool Kit". It is a very well-written guide to starting and running tax exempt organizations. It covers almost every topic needed by a charitable or non-profit organization. 

We have this document in Acrobat PDF format and can email it to you. Send us an email if you would like the document.

 

 


Keeping Good Minutes of Business Meetings

Every New Jersey corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) is required to have meetings at least annually. LLC members or corporate stockholders must meet to review the business and plan for the next year. Written minutes of these meetings should be taken by the Secretary and filed in the corporate/LLC book. The minutes could be valuable in the event of stockholder disputes, tax problems, and litigation.

Be sure your minutes include:

Having a Garage Sale? Check Your Liability Insurance

In May, a New Jersey Appellate Court held that an owner holding a garage sale owes a duty of reasonable care to "shoppers" on the premises.

Ms. F. went to the garage sale being held by Mr. & Mrs. D in their driveway. Ms. F looked at some clothes on racks on the lawn. As she stepped back, she fell because of a 3-1/2 inch drop from the lawn to the driveway. Her injury required surgery.

The trial court agreed with Mr. & Mrs. D that they had no duty to protect Ms. F. The Appellate Court disagreed. The Court said that homeowners conducting a garage sale on their property have a duty of reasonable care to protect the safety of shoppers.

Owners should carefully prepare their premises before a sale and mark any potentially dangerous condition.

 



   DMVs Pushing for Standard License 

From Wired News, available online at:
http://www.wired.com
 
By Declan McCullagh 
WASHINGTON -- Your driver's license soon may become a lot smarter, and a lot more worrisome. State motor vehicle agencies want Congress to standardize the license,
share more driver data between states and mandate techniques such as biometrics to "uniquely identify" each of America's 228 million drivers. 

The group behind the push for what critics derisively call a "national ID" is the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). Welcome to the latest tug of war, post-Sept. 11, between security and privacy. The AAMVA's fans in Washington note that four of the five hijackers who crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon had fraudulent identifications, while detractors argue that standardizing drivers' licenses is tantamount to a national ID card in all but name -- and un-American in any form. "This is not about a national ID," says Jason King, AAMVA's public affairs manager. "The reality is that corporate America came to rely on (the driver's license) as something more. If people are going to use a driver's license for more, then we have a responsibility to create uniform standards." 

The Progressive Policy Institute has endorsed a far more expansive scheme that has privacy groups seething. In a 12-page article, institute analysts Shane Ham and Robert Atkinson go much further than the AAMVA. They want licenses to become microchip-implanted smartcards holding not merely retinal scans or fingerprints --- but also "food stamps, voter registration, library cards, hunting and fishing licenses" and a wealth of corporate data like E-Z-Pass, gas station automatic billing and banking information. "The number of smart card applications will explode, however, when DMVs begin issuing smart cards with an open architecture. With virtually every adult in the nation carrying a smart card, companies will not have to invest in their own chip cards or fobs to take advantage of smart card applications," Ham and Atkinson write. 

Anyone with a smartcard-license would have to have their finger or retina scanned whenever they wanted to use the license to buy something, fly on an airplane or use government services. 

While opponents of the AAMVA and PPI proposals raise a slew of objections, including the fact that federal task forces concluded such a smartcard-license was unnecessary, the most chilling objection may be the idea of a gargantuan database that tracks and records any time you use your ID. If all states issued the smartcard-licenses, such detailed information about their use would become a gold mine for the IRS, police and direct marketers. 


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