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Thursday, November 27, 2014

How does remarriage effect child support payments?

Effect of remarriage on child support payments
Changes in marital finances affects child support payments
By Ray Donato

While having children can be the most rewarding experience in life, paying for them may be a completely different story.  Regardless of the condition of the economy, it is only natural to look for income streams that will facilitate a life lived in the best way possible.  Introducing the care of children to the equation makes the necessity of sustaining those income streams all the more critical.  

The law has clear guidelines on the calculations of child support based on the amount of income of the two parents combined.  Identifying what qualifies as income is as complicated in child support as it is with taxes and requires just as much diligence and tenacity to arrive at the correct number.  Enter a new spouse into the equation and the complexity may skyrocket.

Generally


In the most common occurrence, simply remarrying does not in and of itself generate a change in child support.  The problem is that there are variables that can include the new spouse’s income in the calculation.  The new spouse aside, the basic formulas for child support follow a simple format: Income – deductions.  Once each parent’s net income is established the court will determine the amount of the income that would have gone to the child should the parents have stayed together based on the guidelines according to statute.  The nonresidential parent will have to pay a portion of that divided amount based on how much of the total net income was theirs. 

Variances


A new spouse will not affect the base calculation based on the fact that they have a job alone.  There are ways that the spouse will factor into the equation though.  The new spouse will become part of the allowable deductions indirectly if you are not careful.  One of the allowable deductions for child support is income tax to be paid to the state and federal government.  A new spouse is counted as a deduction on a joint return and if the new spouse files separately the amount due the federal government increases.  A sly parent can file an income tax showing themselves filing separately and amend their taxes later to fix it.  If one of the parties tries to hide income and it can be proven, the judge can assess the new spouses’ income as part of the equation.  

In addition to the base calculation, the court will take into consideration the cost of medical and dental insurance, costs related to child doctor visits, and child care.  A new spouse in the equation allows the party to shuffle bills around to reduce the calculation obligation if nobody is paying attention.   Additionally, if the new spouse is a partner with a former spouse in a business, the ability to shuffle money is even easier.  Manipulating the income is not difficult to do and for this reason alone hiring a qualified law firm such as Julyen Law is always recommended. 

Managing the expected


Unreported income is a problem and using your new spouse to hide money will motivate the judge to take aggressive action against the guilty party.  It will never go well.  There are other scenarios with a new spouse that are to be expected and the law accounts for.  When a new spouse has children there is a scenario that will introduce their income to the equation.  If the paying spouse tries to reduce the amount of the obligation ordered by citing the needs of the subsequent children as a reduction issue the new spouse’s income will be reviewed in the modification request. 

The law may seem to be black and white when reading a statute but an attorney earns their reputation by seeing the gray areas and lapses in the law that may be oblivious to the casual observer.  Issues like child support are of utmost importance considering they directly impact the ability to care for a child.  Remarrying after a failed relationship that has produced offspring can be healthy and positive for the stability of the nonresidential parent and can contribute to the welfare of the child during visitations.  The new spouse contributions to the child support may not be direct, but the impact on the household is direct because the total available income is reduced.  

The motivations to provide for yourself over and above the obligation to pay support for a child that resides in another home can create enormous tension between all the parties involved.  In order keep emotion out of the decision-making process and achieve an equitably just outcome hiring an attorney is not just prudent, it is wise.  Keeping as much of the income within your household as you can will empower you to act directly towards the issue of previous unions in a manner that is fully in line with what you determine to be in the best interest of the child.  Both the obligee and the obligor have a duty to act in the interest of the child, and attorneys on both sides are recommended.


About the author: The writer, Ray Donato, is a family man who has had to deal with the troubles of child support in the past, and writes on the side to help others answering the same questions he has had in the past. If you wish to learn more about Ray you can visit on Google+.

Image: Liftarn/Open Clip Art; US-PD

Thanksgiving day financial news: November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day financial news
D.H. Parks; "Thanksgiving chapel interior"; CC BY-SA 2.0
BBC: Goldman Sachs is being sued for manipulating precious metals prices
Fox: Consumer sentiment rose less than forecast in Nov. per index of 88.8
Reuters: Consumer spending ↑ .2% in Oct., but is expected to moderate in Q4
CNN: Pending S.F. retail rights would require advanced employee scheduling
NYT: President Obama could veto $440B worth of corporate tax breaks
CNBC: Deferred credit card rate periods bank on consumer error for gain
ZH: Disposable income growth over 4-months is .6% ↓ than spending over 4 months
Bloomberg: Pending $35-$40B of financing for Uber surpasses Hertz's valuation
MarketWatch: Economic data indicates lower Q4 GDP growth
BI: Slowing BRIC nation GDP growth indicate weaker global economics
AP: No urgency is present in current oil price levels per top OPEC producer

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Top 5 tips for choosing the right business tax accountant

Business tax accounting
Up-to-date niche accountants keep up with business tax laws
By Phyllis Stent

When it comes to choosing the right business tax accountant, it should be tailored to what your business may need. There are tax accountants that are knowledgeable in several niches and industries that you may need assistance in. However, there are business tax accountants that can provide you with tax planning, return preparation, and consulting services for people who work in the entertainment, family wealth, international tax, law firms, and middle market sectors, as well as non-profits and real estate. The last two groups are franchising services group and the royalty and contract compliance services group.

Business tax accountants serve clients in each of the above mentioned niches. They are always keeping up-to-date, and are skilled in developing solutions to problems, so you can focus on your business or financial goals.

Tip 1. Look for a business tax accountant who will ensure the long term preservation and growth of your net worth. They can do this by looking after and managing your finances. They should give you appropriate advice and planning that is tailored towards your business. They should also cooperate with you as well.

Tip 2. Make sure the accountant will offer you personalized financial advice that will protect any financial assets you may have. They should be able to ensure you are paying only minimum taxes and lower your administrative costs.

Tip 3. Look for an accountant who is able to note trends and changes before they occur, and who will keep you up to date on the changes. If you work in the non-profit sector, it is important to have government transparency, especially when it comes to financial reporting. It is important to be accountable towards funds that are in the best interests of the public.

Tip 4. Find a business tax accountant who has the resources and skills that will help you manage risk and maximize value. The tax accountant should have analytical skills, and who will give you investment strategies if you work in real estate.

Tip 5. Work with middle market companies that represent an array of industries who have specific needs that require experienced tax accountants who can serve them. They should communicate with you regularly, and exhibit problem-solving skills and service that is tailored towards your needs.

Tip 6. The accountant should also make sure your registration process happens efficiently, and they should make sure the tax planning and preparation is related to franchising. This is especially if you work in the franchising business.

Tip 7. If you work in the royalty and contract compliance sector, you should make sure that the accountant will provide auditing services that will make sure you get all the royalties that you deserve. It is common that royalties remain underpaid, because of accounting errors or poor auditing. An effective audit process will help recover many of the missing royalties.

Tip 8. If you are looking to expand or move your business to a foreign market, you should look for an accountant who will offer tax and bookkeeping services that are tailored to your needs. The accountant should also offer you solutions and advice when you are ready to expand internationally.

Tip 9. If you work in a law firm, you should look for an expert who provides specialized consulting tax, and accounting services in the legal profession. They can help you with complex issues, and they understand the challenges that are related to your profession.

Tip 10. Look for a business tax accountant who uses cloud-based technology. It is easy to use and requires less data entry than other traditional systems. They will be able to make wise business decisions in a cost-effective manner. This type of technology uses highly secure servers that can be accessed with an Internet connection. The business tax account will be able to access financial information from a mobile device, and update information via “real time”. They will also be able to access vital accounting information all day long.

Business tax accountants are experienced and understand how various industries work. They will be able to determine the best course for your business financially and help keep you on track with all your obligations, from payroll to taxes. Don’t underestimate the value of having a qualified and highly experienced accountant in your corner.


About the author: This article was written by Phyllis Stent, who believes that business tax accountants can save you a lot of money.

Image: StevePB/Pixabay; US-PD

Financial news: November 26, 2014

CNN: Over 100 food pantries operate on college campuses nationally
CNBC: Non-cyclical stocks perform best during slow economic growth
Bloomberg: Apple Inc.'s market capitalization reached $700 billion this week
MW: U.S. A3 household debt stands at $11.7 trillion, up $78 billion per NY Fed
CB: Consumer confidence fell in Nov. per 5.4 index drop to 88.7
DOL: Jobless claims 11/22, 313K, up 21K; average 294K up 6.25K
AP: Year-over-year Q3 bank earnings rose 7.3% on higher lending and cost cuts
Reuters: Oil prices capable of reaching $60/barrel without production cuts
Zero Hedge: Tighter oil supply may be in the offing at OPEC per official
BBC: U.K.mortgages ↓ 16% over 1 yr; Oct. approvals at 17 month low
Fox: Global credit rating stability is at risk from several economic factors
OECD: Global economy is stuck in low gear, speedy monetary action needed