April 2012 archive

GSA Whistleblower Testifies Regarding Government Waste

There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the approximately $800,000 spent on a lavish 2010 Las Vegas conference hosted by the General Services Administration (GSA).  The GSA handles government real estate and other non-military procurement.   Susan Brita, a GSA deputy administrator, was the whistleblower who first raised the issue, which has since …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/04/gsa-whistleblower-testifies-regarding-government-waste/

IRS overwhelmed by proposed “Offers in Compromise”

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently issued a report addressing the IRS’s handling of tax offers in compromise (OIC). An OIC is a proposed agreement between a taxpayer and the federal government that settles a tax liability for payment of less than the full amount owed. The TIGTA summarized its findings as …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/04/irs-overwhelmed-by-proposed-offers-in-compromise/

Religious leaders think little of President Obama’s PPACA “Accommodation”

I wrote to my elected federal officials indicating my thoughts of the Obama Administration’s rule-making under the PPACA (aka ObamaCare) with respect to requiring religious hospitals to support free abortions and contraceptive care. I understand that contraception and abortions are legal, and that those desiring such items have the legal right to receive them. But, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/04/religious-leaders-think-little-of-president-obamas-ppaca-accommodation/

Politicians value your consumer behaviors

Many political analysts predict that the upcoming 2012 presidential nomination will be one of the hardest fought ever.  Analysts are anticipating unprecedented amounts of money will be spent on both sides of the political aisle.  To try to obtain your vote, both parties’ campaigns will likely use targeted advertisments.  Research and statistical evidence shows that consumer behaviors can indicate …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/04/politicians-value-your-consumer-behaviors/

Employers Not Obligated to Enforce Lunch Breaks in California

The California Supreme Court ruled on April 12, 2012 that employers are not obligated to ensure that workers take legally mandated lunch breaks.  The decision was unanimous and was written by Associate Justice Kathryn Werdegar.  The nine year old case was filed by Dallas based Brinker International (parent company of Chili’s and other eateries) because …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/04/employers-not-obligated-to-enforce-lunch-breaks-in-california/

It May Be A Great Time to be a Landlord

Recently I noted a pilot project by Bank of America which allows homeowners at risk of foreclosure to simply convert to being renters, with BofA taking title to the home.  I noted that the idea seemed so good that it was surprising that BofA wasn’t being more enthusiastic in implementing it. Data from Deutsche Bank and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/04/it-may-be-a-great-time-to-be-a-landlord/

Reebok agrees to pull Tebow apparel from shelves in licensing dispute

Reebok and Nike have reached a settlement in their dispute over sales of Tim Tebow merchandise.  Nike had filed suit in March, alleging that Reebok was improperly selling sporting apparel referencing the football superstar’s new team affiliation (Tebow was traded from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets in March). Nike asserted that it …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/04/reebok-agrees-to-pull-tebow-apparel-from-shelves-in-licensing-dispute/

IRS to use tax preparer data to identify patterns of fraud

The IRS has registered over 840,000 tax return preparers and has begun the process of administering competency tests for those who are not a CPA, attorney or enrolled agent.  Paid preparers who fall outside of these three groups will also be required to take 15 hours of continuing professional education annually from IRS-approved vendors.  IRS …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/04/irs-to-use-tax-preparer-data-to-identify-patterns-of-fraud/

Google Fools Itself Into a Great Idea!

Google and many other high tech firms are famous for their April Fool’s announcements.  It is kind of an unofficial competition as to who really has the most creative people, not just among tech firms but within Google itself. This year the Google April Fools announcement that is getting the most attention is Google Tap. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/04/google-fools-itself-into-a-great-idea/

California Finds a Strange Way to Jump-Start Electric Vehicle Charging.

Widespread adoption of electric vehicles has suffered from a chicken-and-egg problem with infrastructure.  Without a ready supply of places to recharge, potential buyers are left with worries about being stranded.  On the other hand, without an existing supply of customers, interest in building charging stations was minimal. Enter a firm that you have likely never …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/04/california-finds-a-strange-way-to-jump-start-electric-vehicle-charging/