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Melih Oztalay

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Top Stories by Melih Oztalay

Almost five years after Michael Jackson’s untimely death there is still dispute over the estate taxes owed. Jeffrey S. Freeman, J.D., LL.M Nearly five years after his death, Michael Jackson is still making headlines, but not for his musical abilities. This time it is for a fight with the IRS over his estate. The IRS recently informed Jackson’s executors that the estate owes $505 million in taxes and an additional $197 million in penalties, all together totally over $702 million. At the time of Jackson’s death in June 2009 Jackson’s executors estimated his net worth to be $7 million. That was not a typo, the IRS states that the Jackson estate owes 100 times the amount of its estimated net worth in taxes. How can this be? The difference is in the estate valuation, which the IRS did not agree with Jackson’s return. The IRS valued the estate at $1.125 billion, a differ... (more)

FATCA won, but Canada got a small agreement

Canada has agreed to comply with FATCA, but will only provide information on accounts held by U.S. depositors holding more than $50,000. Jeffrey S. Freeman, J.D., LL.M More than one million U.S. citizens currently reside in Canada, many of which have forgotten that Canada is considered a foreign country and not actually part of the United States in spite of its close proximity. Given Canada’s high tax rates many dual citizens don’t worry about U.S. taxes, but they are still required to file U.S. taxes each year. Set to take effect July 1, 2014 the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Ac... (more)

U.S. Banks must disclose non-resident account information

FATCA places requirements on more than just foreign banks, U.S. Banks required to comply as well. Jeffrey S. Freeman, J.D., LL.M Banks worldwideare talking about FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), which requires the disclosure of account holder information to the Internal Revenue Service and foreign countries.  Despite the massive costs of complying with FATCA, banks are working to get systems in place to meet the reporting requirements under the law.  FATCA is set to take effect July 1, 2014.  Both  American and foreign banks are hurrying to make sure they do not run ... (more)

Tax Evasion without Imprisonment?

Beanie Baby creator H. Ty Warner’s sentencing for tax evasion left him on probation, but the recent appeal filing seeks to change his fate. Jeffrey S. Freeman, J.D., LL.M In September 2013 H. Ty Warner, creator of the mid-’90s craze of animal-shaped Beanie Babies, was charged with federal tax evasion stemming from an illegal offshore account kept in Switzerland. Warner, 69, of Oakbrook, Illinois grew up poor, but made quite the fortune from Beanie Babies. Forbes recently estimated Warner’s new worth at $2.6 billion. Despite his enormous fortune Warner failed to report all of his ... (more)

How Negative Keywords Optimize Your Advertising Campaign Budget

Last week we discussed “High Quality Scores Mean Lower Pay-per-click Costs“. This week we are going to continue discussing ways of optimizing your advertising budget for pay-per-click (PPC) ads by understanding negative keywords this week. Unfortunately computers are computers and unless you give them specific instructions, they will run-a-muck with your money. This tends to happen when your ads show for unintended topics making you cringe when you learn how much money you wasted. Let’s say you have a key phrase in your ad campaign for “leather shoes” and Google displays the ad... (more)