Category Archives: General

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Great Video On Equitable-Distribution

How will the state do equitable-distribution watch the  video

Video On Equitable-Distribution

A commentary on the Justice Department’s recent settlements

The original article written by Tom Schoenberg can be found at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-07/u-s-prosecutor-masterminded-37-billion-bank-penalty-win.html

In many ways, the settlements reached with JPMorgan, Citigroup and Bank of America are good tidings.  For a brief moment, there appears to be justice for the hundreds of thousands of families who lost their homes during the housing crisis. The banks have been held accountable for their dubious practices and must pay their comeuppance. It’s almost reassuring to the American people.

Almost.

Will these hefty penalties be enough to deter the aforementioned banks—and any other banks that dare to follow in their footsteps—from any further misdeeds?

Unfortunately, the perfect storm of events that resulted in the colossal fiasco that was the housing crisis does not seem to be able to be traced to one single domino that set off the chain reaction that brought us where we are today. Not one that can be addressed in a Court of law, anyway.

Schoenberg’s article goes on to mention the current suit against S&P which alleges that, “S&P set aside its objectivity so it could cash in on the mortgage boom.” If the allegations hold any water then the American people have a little more to be concerned about.

Further, the Justice Department didn’t seem to make a priority of holding accountable those responsible for the financial crisis. As Schoenberg stated in his article,”…the Justice Department had been pilloried for years for not having brought significant cases against banks and their executives.”

It’s almost as if the Justice Department was badgered into taking action, and didn’t do so of its own volition.  And again, while the penalties that were agreed to in the subsequent settlements appear to be a victory the reality is that no one –company or individual–has actually had their feet put to the fire and held accountable. The truth is that although the settlements sound very large and imposing, these billion dollar figures are nothing to the big banks.

To quote a common saying “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Are we, as a country, setting ourselves up to be fooled again?

Dealing with Tax Debt: 7 Solutions From A Kansas City Tax Attorney

The stress that comes from trying to meet tax-filing deadlines is only the beginning for some taxpayers. And if you find yourself owing taxes that you can’t afford to pay at the filing deadline, you are already aware of the additional stress that can come from owing delinquent taxes. Fortunately an experienced Kansas City tax attorney can help you find solutions that can ease the stress that comes from owing back taxes.

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Kansas City Tax LawyerThe law has given taxing agencies unique authority to pursue and collect from individuals and businesses that owe tax debt.  And if delinquent taxes get out of control, your state’s Department of Revenue and the IRS can garnish wages, levy bank accounts, assert liens, and even seize your property – all without your permission.  So what are some of the options you have if you find yourself or your business owing taxes you can’t pay?  The Kansas City tax attorneys at Reneau & Shernaman can help. Before you give into the threatening letters, and surrender to the demands of the taxing authorities at face value, consider that you may have legal options available to you.  Consider these 7 options for dealing with delinquent tax debt:

  1. Do Nothing.  While in some civil matters doing nothing can be a viable option to let cooler heads prevail, this is rarely the case when you are facing a balance owed to the IRS or your state’s Department of Revenue.  Not only will the taxing authorities employ all sorts of uncomfortable measures to collect back taxes, the longer an individual or business waits to deal with delinquent taxes, the higher the balance owed becomes due to compounding penalties and interest that would make a credit card company blush.  Unless you are certain a taxing authority has stopped trying to collect on your tax debt, doing nothing is not a good option.

  2. Reduce or Eliminate the Tax Debt. In some circumstances, the law allows for aggressive means to reduce or even eliminate tax debt.  With the help of an experienced Kansas City tax attorney, individuals and businesses are often able to facilitate a successful reduction with the IRS or state Department of Revenue.

  3. Postpone the Tax Debt. In many cases, the Kansas City tax attorneys at Reneau & Shernaman can help you or your business legally postpone the collection and enforcement activity of the IRS or state Department of Revenue.  This option can be a lifesaver for the individual or business that just needs time to get their cash flow back up enough to pay the tax debt off at a later time when they can afford to do so.

  4. Bankruptcy. A common misconception with back taxes is that tax debt cannot be included in a bankruptcy, or that the tax cannot be fully discharged in a bankruptcy.  While some circumstances dictate that tax debt may not be fully dischargeable, in many cases, tax debt can be eliminated completely, or restructured into more manageable terms for the taxpayer.  Because the bankruptcy code is fairly complicated, be sure and consult with one of the Kansas City bankruptcy attorneys at Reneau & Shernaman before proceeding with this option.

  5. Challenge the Assessed Amount. Taxing authorities can make mistakes too.  But challenging an assessed amount of tax debt after an IRS audit, or substitution assessment can be extremely complicated and risky if you don’t know what you are doing.  Done without the protection of a Kansas City tax attorney, a misplaced challenge to an assessed tax debt can be used against you and even have the effect of becoming an unintended audit.  Bottom line — a challenge to an assessed tax debt can be a very effective tool to reduce your tax liability, but be sure you consult with a Kansas City tax attorney before you attempt this option.

  6. Negotiate an Installment Agreement. For many taxpayers, the Kansas City tax attorneys at Reneau & Shernaman can work out an agreement with the IRS or your state’s Department of Revenue to pay off the delinquent taxes over a period of time.  The IRS permits pre-determined budget limits for various routine expenditures when calculating whether or not a taxpayer can qualify for an agreement.  With help from an experienced tax attorney, these standard monthly expense amounts can be maximized to work out the best possible outcome in negotiating an installment agreement and even postpone collection indefinitely.

  7. Settlement. Occasionally it is in the best interests of both the taxing authority and the taxpayer to settle the tax debt all at once with a lump sum payment.  This option can work wonders for the individual or business whose circumstances qualify them for this option.

Ultimately, delinquent tax debt can be stressful and even lead to financial ruin if left unchecked.  If you or someone you know owes taxes you can’t afford, consider that you may have legal options available to you to help reduce, postpone, or even eliminate your delinquent tax debt.  For a free consultation with a Kansas City tax attorney, or call Reneau & Shernaman at 816-287-8080, today.

Making the Complicated World of Law Less Complicated

At Reneau and Shernaman, Attorneys at Law, our goal is to make the complicated, less complicated. We know the law can be confusing and unclear without a professional to help you sort through the legal terminology and get to the point. That’s where we come in. Not only are we experienced, we are excellent at listening. We sit down with you and get the details so we can understand your goals and show you the easiest and fastest way to achieve them.

All of the areas we focus on are sensitive. People considering bankruptcy are usually in an unpleasant place in their lives. Personal injury victims can be experiencing a great deal of pain and suffering. Family law usually involves strong emotions. And if you need a criminal lawyer, you may have made some unfortunate decisions that got you into trouble. No matter what kind of legal representation you need, Reneau and Shernaman can provide it and make it as painless as possible.

We take the time to explain everything clearly to you so you are aware of the legal consequences and choices. We do everything within our power to make the law work in your favor. We even make house calls for personal injury clients who are unable to get to our office as a result of their injuries. RS Law doesn’t stand for Really Simple, but it could. When you want a lawyer who takes the time to make sure you understand the law and who will make the law work in your favor, call us at Reneau & Shernaman. We make the complicated, less complicated. Making-the-complicated-world-of-law-less-complicated.