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Delinquent Tax Debt Representation and Service Act


To promote and ensure the protection of taxpayers from unfair and deceptive advertising claims from unscrupulous delinquent tax debt representation providers.



SHORT TITLE – This Act may be cited as the “Delinquent Tax Debt Representation and Service Act”.


TABLE OF CONTENTS – The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Findings and declaration of purpose.

Sec. 3. Definitions.

Sec. 4. Exemptions.

Sec. 5. Fees.

Sec. 6. Duty to client.

Sec. 7. Bond.

Sec. 8. Conditions of providing service.

Sec. 9. Customer service.

Sec. 10. Right of cancellation.

Sec. 11. Disclosures.

Sec. 12. Advertising and solicitation.

Sec. 13. Due diligence.

Sec. 14. Return of client’s records.

Sec. 15. Prompt disposition of pending matters.

Sec. 16. Knowledge of client’s omission.

Sec. 17. Prohibited practices.

Sec. 18. Requirement of good faith.

Sec. 19. Retention of records.

Sec. 20. Severability.

Sec. 21. Civil liability for willful noncompliance.

Sec. 22. Civil liability for negligent noncompliance.

Sec. 23. Jurisdiction of courts; limitation of actions.

Sec. 24. Good faith reliance defense.

Sec. 25. Effective date.


(a) The Legislature makes the following findings:


(1) Tax law is complex and changes frequently;
(2) Tax law and tax law procedural requirements require that taxpayers have access to and representation from delinquent tax debt representation providers;
(3) Delinquent tax debt representation providers are an essential part of ensuring that taxpayers have competent representation when addressing the Internal Revenue Service regarding delinquent taxes;
(4) Taxpayers facing delinquent tax debts are vulnerable and may be subject to engage providers of services to resolve problems that are potentially unfair and deceptive; and
(5) The Treasury Department’s rules and regulations governing practice before the Internal Revenue Service are aimed at protecting the integrity of a tax system that depends upon voluntary compliance.
(b) Purpose:


The purpose of this title is –
(1) To protect clients from unfair and deceptive advertising claims and inappropriate practices of some delinquent tax debt representation providers; and
(2) (2) To balance taxpayers’ rights and interests against improper conduct by some delinquent tax debt representation providers


(a) As used in this title –


(1) The term “agreement” means an agreement between a provider and an individual for the performance of tax debt relief services;
(2) The term “client” means any person who owes a tax debt and enters into an agreement with a provider for delinquent tax debt representation services;
(3) The term “delinquent tax debt representation services” means a program or strategy provided to a client by a provider for a fee to effect the settlement, forgiveness, suspension, release, abatement, reduction, adjustment, compromise, payment by installment or discharge of any tax debt;
(4) The term “good faith” means honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable standards of fair dealing;
(5) The term “inadvertent error” means a mechanical, electronic, or clerical error that was not intentional and occurred notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid such errors;
(6) The term “interest abatement” means forgiveness, suspension, release or reduction of assessed interest in a person’s unpaid tax debt by the Internal Revenue Service;
(7) The term “offer in compromise” means a settlement between a person and the Internal Revenue Service that discharges the person’s tax debt for less than the full amount owed subject to specified terms and conditions;
(8) The term “payment” means any transfer of money, property, other thing of value;
(9) The term “penalty abatement” means forgiveness, suspension, release or reduction of an assessed penalty in a person’s unpaid tax debt by the Internal Revenue Service;
(10) The term “person” means an individual, husband and wife jointly, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, unincorporated association, joint venture, or any other legal or commercial entity. The term does not include a public corporation, government, or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality;
(11) The term “practice before the Internal Revenue Service” means all matters connected with a presentation to the Internal Revenue Service or any of its officers or employees relating to a taxpayer’s rights, privileges, or liabilities under laws or regulations administered by the Internal Revenue Service. Such presentations include, but are not limited to, preparing and filing documents, corresponding and communicating with the Internal Revenue Service, rendering written advice with respect to any entity, transaction, plan or arrangement, or other plan or arrangement having a potential for tax avoidance or evasion, and representing a client at conferences, hearings and meetings;
(12) The term “provider” means a person that provides representation to individuals or companies before the Internal Revenue Service, or before a State taxing authority, as defined below. This term shall include any person or entity who receives money or other valuable consideration or expects to receive money or other valuable consideration for:

(A) Soliciting or receiving an inquiry from a person for services;
(B) Forwarding or providing a completed inquiry for services to a Provider;
(C) Referring a person to another Provider, if the person is a Provider; or
(D) Providing a person’s name, address or other information that identifies the person to a Provider for the purpose of arranging the providing of services.
(13) The term “record” means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form;
(14) The term “services” means delinquent tax debt representation services.
(15) The term “state” means any state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States;
(16) The term “state tax” means a tax demanded by a state based on income, payroll, sales tax or use tax. The term does not include an assessment for real property tax, personal property tax, or any tax assessed on a specific item, purchase or service;
(17) The term “tax debt” means the amount of state tax or federal tax including principal, interest, additional amount, addition to the tax, or assessable penalty, imposed by law on the person against whom the tax is assessed;
(18) The term “tax return” includes an original tax return, substitute for return or amended tax return;
(19) The term “unenrolled return preparer” means a person who prepares and signs a tax return as the preparer, or who prepares a tax return but is not required by the instructions to the tax return or regulations to sign the tax return, and to that end does not provide tax debt representation services.


(a) The requirements of Sections 7 and 9 shall not apply to:


(1) An unenrolled return preparer; or
(2) A person other than an unenrolled tax return preparer that is authorized to practice before the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to Title 31 Code of Federal Regulations, Subtitle A, Part 10 and provides tax debt relief services.


(a) A provider may not charge an unconscionable fee to a client to provide delinquent tax debt representation services.
(b) A provider shall enter into a written fee agreement with any client which sets forth the compensation to be paid to the provider.
(c) Any statement of fee information concerning matters in which costs may be incurred must include a statement disclosing whether a client will be responsible for such costs.
(d) A provider may not impose charges or receive payment for services until the provider and the client have entered into a written agreement. The provider may obtain credit card information from a client, but may not charge the client until the written agreement is signed by the client.


(a) A provider shall not provide services:


(1) To a client that will be directly adverse to another client to whom the provider provides services; or
(2) When a significant risk exists that providing services to a client will be materially limited by the provider’s responsibilities to others.
(b) Notwithstanding a conflict of interest, a provider may provide services to a client if:


(1) There exists a reasonable belief that the provider is able to provide competent and diligent services;
(2) Providing services is not prohibited by law; and
(3) A written, informed waiver of the conflict by each affected client is signed no later than 30 days after the conflict is known by the provider.


(a) Any person engaged in providing delinquent tax debt representation services shall obtain and maintain at all times a surety bond in the sum of $100,000 conditioned on the faithful performance and payment of obligations of such provider arising in connection with providing services, and for the payment of all claims for damages for which the provider may become liable in the course of business as a provider.


(a) A provider shall not provide services without conducting a good faith analysis of the information available to the provider before entering into an agreement with a client that the provider’s services are suitable for the client.
(b) A provider shall not knowingly make any false statement when providing information to the Internal Revenue Service.
(c) A provider shall make reasonable inquiries if information received or assumptions appear incorrect or incomplete.


(a) A provider shall maintain a toll-free communication system, staffed at a level that reasonably permits a client to speak to a customer-service representative, as appropriate, during ordinary business hours.


(a) (a) A client may cancel an agreement before midnight of the third business day after the client assents to it. To exercise the right to cancel, the client must give written notice in a record to the provider.


(a) If a provider offers services for offers in compromise, it shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner in any agreement between the provider and the client:

(1) The fact that the Internal Revenue Service has stringent requirements to accept an offer in compromise and that not all clients will qualify;
(2) The conditions of an offer in compromise including, but not limited to, the potential for the client to relinquish all current assets and future income, or the monetary equivalent, to the Internal Revenue Service to qualify for an offer in compromise; and
(3) The fact that the IRS will not remove the original amount of the tax debt from its records until the client has met all the terms and conditions of the offer, the tax debt will remain a valid tax debt until the client meets all the terms and conditions of the offer, if the client files for bankruptcy before the terms and conditions of the offer are completed any claim the Internal Revenue Service files in the bankruptcy proceedings will be a tax claim and that the client must comply with all provisions of the Internal Revenue Code relating to the filing of tax returns and paying required taxes for 5 years or until the offered amount is paid in full, whichever is longer.
(b) If a provider offers services for penalty abatement, it shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner in any agreement between the provider and the client:

(1) The fact that the Internal Revenue Service has stringent requirements for penalty abatement and that not all clients will qualify; and
(2) The fact that penalty abatement will normally occur only where the taxpayer exercised ordinary business care and prudence in determining their tax obligations but nevertheless failed to comply with those obligations. Examples of situations that may justify a penalty abatement include: death, serious illness, or unavoidable absence; fire, casualty, natural disaster, or other disturbance, inability to obtain records; erroneous advice or reliance; and ignorance of the law.
(c) If a provider offers services for interest abatement, it shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner in any agreement between the provider and the client:

(1) The fact that the Internal Revenue Service has stringent requirements for interest abatement and that not all clients will qualify; and
(2) The fact that interest abatement will normally occur only in instances of error on the part of the Internal Revenue Service.
(d) An agreement between a client and a provider shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner the provider’s cancellation and refund policies.
(e) If a provider has a policy of not making refunds or cancellations, the agreement between the client and a provider shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner the terms and conditions of the provider’s policy.
(f) If a provider makes a representation about a refund or cancellation the agreement between the client and a provider shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner the terms and conditions of the provider’s policy.
(g) A provider shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner in any agreement between the provider and the client any limitations and alternatives available in a delinquent tax case and the responsibilities of all parties;
(h) A provider shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner opportunities, if available, for a client to avoid penalties through disclosure and the requirements for an adequate disclosure.
(i) A provider that maintains an internet web site shall disclose on the home page of its web site or on a page that is clearly and conspicuously connected to the home page by a link that clearly reveals its contents:

(1) Its full legal name and all trade names under which it does business; and
(2) Its principal business address, telephone number, and electronic-mail address, if any.


(a) A provider shall not make, directly or indirectly, any solicitation to provide services if the solicitation violates federal or state law.
(b) Any solicitation made by or on behalf of a provider must clearly identify the solicitation as such.
(c) A provider may state that it is “enrolled to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service,” “enrolled to practice before the Internal Revenue Service,” or “admitted to practice before the Internal Revenue Service.” only if such statement is true.
(d) If a provider advertises on radio or television broadcasting, the broadcast must be recorded and the provider must retain a script of the actual transmission.
(e) If a provider advertises through direct mail and e-commerce communications, the provider must retain a copy of the actual communication, along with a list or other description of persons to whom the communication was mailed or otherwise distributed.


(a) A provider shall exercise due diligence when preparing, providing and filing tax returns, documents, affidavits, and other records on behalf of a client to the Internal Revenue Service.


(a) A provider shall, at the request of a client, promptly return any and all records of the client that are necessary for the client to comply with his or her state tax or federal tax obligations. A provider may retain copies of the records returned to a client.


(a) A provider may not negligently or intentionally unreasonably delay the prompt disposition of any matter before the Internal Revenue Service.


(a) A provider who has knowledge that a client has not complied with the revenue law of the United States or has made an error in or omission from any return, document, affidavit, or other paper which the client submitted or executed under the revenue laws of the United States, must advise the client promptly of the fact of such noncompliance, error, or omission. The provider must advise the client of the consequences as provided under the Internal Revenue Code and regulations of such noncompliance, error, or omission.


(a) A provider shall not, directly or indirectly:

(1) Use the phrase “bail-out” or any variation thereof in a manner that inaccurately implies that the service offered by the provider is related to any program or benefit of the United States government or any agency or department thereof;
(2) Use the phrase “stimulus” or any variation thereof including “stimulus act”, “stimulus plan”, “stimulus program” or “stimulus notice” in a manner that inaccurately implies that the service offered by the provider is related to any program or benefit of the United States government or any agency or department thereof;
(3) Use the phrase “government program,” or any variation thereof including “government agency”, “government sponsored” or “federally regulated program,” in a manner that inaccurately implies that the service offered by the provider is related to the United States government or any agency or department thereof;
(4) Use any logo or image of the White House, U.S. Capitol Building or any other United States landmark or government building in a manner that inaccurately implies that the service offered by the provider is related to the United States government or any agency or department thereof;
(5) Use any form, envelope, letterhead, image or communication which simulates or is falsely represented to be a document authorized, issued, or approved by the United States government or any agency or department thereof, or which creates a false impression as to its source, authorization, or approval;
(6) Use any emblem, logo or other sign or device that is similar to an emblem, logo, sign or device that a government agency or department uses to identify the government agency or department or a product or service the government agency or department provides, including but not limited to an eagle, flag or crest;
(7) Use in an agreement or advertising a name other than the true legal name and/or any trade name of the provider;
(8) Use false or misleading information to deceive a client or prospective client;
(9) Misrepresent the amount, type or quality of tax debt reduction a client will receive as a result of a service the provider performs or offers to perform;
(10) Misrepresent that using provider’s service will stop collections, levies, attachments or garnishments;
(11) Misrepresent that the fees paid by a client to a provider are tax deductible, unless true;
(12) Represent that a client in a “currently not collectible” status with the Internal Revenue Service has the tax debt forgiven, discharged or eliminated;
(13) Misrepresent that a provider can eliminate interest or penalties that have accrued or that will accrue on a client’s tax debt;
(14) Misrepresent that a provider can reduce a client’s liability to a specific dollar amount;
(15) Misrepresent that a provider can secure a specific monthly payment amount for the client as part of an installment agreement;
(16) Represent, state, indicate or suggest that a client or potential client “qualifies”, “qualify” or “is qualified” or words of similar import for any Internal Revenue Service program without confirmation of the client’s qualification by a good faith review of the client’s financial situation and tax history;
(17) Misrepresent the provider’s affiliation with, endorsement or sponsorship by, any person or government entity;
(18) Misrepresent the provider’s qualifications, training or experience or the qualifications, training or experience of the provider’s employees, agents or affiliates;
(19) Promise or guarantee any specific outcome or result to a client without a good faith basis for so doing;
(20) Compensate its employees solely on the basis of a formula that incorporates the number of persons the employee induces to enter into agreements with the provider;
(21) Exercise or attempt to exercise a power of attorney after a client has terminated an agreement;
(22) Initiate a transfer from a client’s account at a bank or with another person unless the transfer is:

(A) A return of money to the client; or
(B) Before termination of an agreement, properly authorized by the agreement, and for payment of a fee.
(23) Advise a client to stop making their monthly installment payments to the Internal Revenue Service unless justified after a good faith analysis of the client’s situation;
(24) Advise or imply that a client is not obligated to continue making their monthly installment payments to the Internal Revenue Service, unless justified after a good faith analysis of the client’s situation;
(25) Utilize when describing a provider’s professional designation the term “certified” unless true;
(26) State or imply that the provider has an employer/employee relationship with the Internal Revenue Service;
(27) Assist, or accept assistance from, any person who, to the knowledge of the provider, obtains clients or otherwise provides services in a manner forbidden under this title;
(28) Imply endorsement by Internal Revenue Service;
(29) Give false opinions based on knowing misstatements of fact or law;
(30) Cause the unauthorized disclosure or use of tax return information;
(31) Assist a client to evade any assessment of tax in violation of any federal tax law; or
(32) Knowingly provide assistance or resources a person to provide services or practice before the Internal Revenue Service who is ineligible, suspended or disbarred.


(a) A provider shall act in good faith in all matters under this title.


(a) A provider shall maintain records required to be retained under this title and for each client for whom it provides services for 3 years after the final action with the client. The provider may use electronic or other means of storage of the records.


(a) If any provision of this title or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this title that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this title are severable.


(a) In general – Any provider who willfully fails to comply with any requirement imposed under this title with respect to any client is liable to that person in an amount equal to the sum of:

(1) Any actual damages sustained by the client as a result of the failure or damages of not less than $1,000; and
(2) In the case of any successful action to enforce any liability under this section, the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney’s fees as determined by the court.
(b) Attorney’s fees. Upon a finding by the court that an unsuccessful pleading, motion, or other paper filed in connection with an action under this title was filed in bad faith or for purposes of harassment, the court shall award to the prevailing party, attorney’s fees reasonable in relation to the work expended in responding to the pleading, motion or other paper.


(a) In general – Any provider who is negligent in failing to comply with any requirement imposed under this title with respect to any client is liable to that client in an amount equal to the sum of:

(1) Any actual damages sustained by the client as a result of the failure; and
(2) In the case of any successful action to enforce any liability under this section, the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney’s fees as determined by the court.
(b) Attorney’s fees. On a finding by the court that an unsuccessful pleading, motion, or other paper filed in connection with an action under this title was filed in bad faith or for purposes of harassment, the court shall award to the prevailing party attorney’s fees reasonable in relation to the work expended in responding to the pleading, motion or other paper.


(a) An action to enforce any liability created under this title must be commenced by a client in any court of competent jurisdiction not later than the earlier of (1) one year after the date that the client discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the facts constituting the violation that is the basis for such liability; or (2) three years from the date of the wrongful act or omission that constitutes the violation that is the basis for such liability.


(a) A provider shall not be held liable in any action for a violation of this title if the provider shows by a preponderance of evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such error. Examples of a bona fide error include, but are not limited to, clerical, calculation, computer malfunction, and programming and printing errors, except that an error of legal judgment under this title is not a bona fide error.
(b) A provider may rely in good faith, without verification, upon information furnished by a client.


(a) This title takes effect upon the expiration of 180 days after the date of its enactment.
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Four Money Saving Tax Tips for Your Restaurant


As a restaurant owner, it’s not only important to know how to do business taxes, but how to take advantage of business tax deductions as well. A lot of restaurants that qualify for unique tax provisions fail to include them on their taxes because they’re unaware of them. Don’t make the same mistake!

There are a variety of costs that you can deduct from your taxes each year, allowing you to save a significant amount of money. With these deductions, you are lowering your reported profit, which means less money you’ll have to pay the IRS.

Here are four deductions you should keep in mind during tax season:

  • Food costs: This is obviously one of the biggest expenses your restaurant has. Roughly 1/3 of you total costs are likely being spent on food. The things you can deduct from your taxes include indirect food costs, direct food costs, wasted food and prepackaged or canned foods.
  • Compensation for labor and employees: This is another major expense restaurants have. You likely have to pay kitchen crew, wait staff and delivery personnel, which means you can claim this as a business expense deduction on your taxes. This includes health insurance, sick leave, vacation pay, employee salaries/wages/bonuses and employee tips that are reported to the IRS.
  • Expenses for marketing and advertising: Keeping the awareness of your restaurant high is important for maintaining a full house. Whether you spend a little or a lot on advertising, you can deduct it from your taxes. This includes brochures, online advertising costs, directory advertising, billboard rentals, sponsorship of teams or events, promotions, prize awards and Web site design/maintenance/development.
  • Interest for loans: If you’ve taken out a loan to open your restaurant or to purchase equipment, you can claim the interest of these loans on your taxes. This includes loans for working capital, expansion of your restaurant or to buy new equipment or furniture. Money you borrowed for inventory or credit card business purchases can also be deducted.

Aside from saving money on your taxes, you can also save money upfront by purchasing restaurant essentials like menus and takeout bags for cheaper at places like Restaurant Discount Warehouse. Make sure to keep these tax tips in mind for next year!

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What Is a Real Estate Investment Trust – Investing in REITs


For many, real estate is the gold standard of investments. It has a great long-term track record, can provide a steady income, and is an investment that is tangible and usable. There is something filling in taking a look at a building you possess, versus staring at shares of stock on a computer screen.

Unfortunately, real estate as an investment has barriers to entry, such as money for a deposit, the skill to get a substantial loan, the time and instruction to run a prosperous enterprise, and the mandatory cash for upkeep, repairs, property taxes, and insurance.

Luckily, there is a way to put money into real estate without owning individual properties. It Is referred to as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).

What’s a REIT?

A REIT exists to invest in income-creating properties. It does this directly through the purchase of real estate, or indirectly by supplying loans or purchasing preexisting mortgage contracts. To qualify as a REIT (and avoid corporate income tax), at least 90% of its gain must be disbursed to shareholders as dividends.

REITs are usually broken down into three types:

1. Equity REITs

The most used and well known kind of REIT, equity REITs focus on getting, handling, and developing investment properties. Since REIT limitations require that properties are held and grown over an extended time frame, their primary source of earnings is rental income from their holdings. They commonly purchase specific kinds of property, which normally fall into the following categories:

Office and Industrial


Hotel and Resort

Health Care

Self Storage

Raw Property

Not as popular as equity REITs, these funds loan cash to real-estate investors or invest in existing mortgage loans on properties (rather than investing directly in the properties themselves). Their primary source of earnings is interest in the loans they hold.

3. Hybrid REITs

A blend of both equity and mortgage REITs, hybrid REITs diversify between owning properties and making loans to real-estate investors. Their sales comes from both lease and interest income.


Like all investments, you will find advantages and disadvantages to REITs which should be weighed before investing:


Investors can diversify within the real-estate market by holding an interest in multiple properties with minimal dollars.

Risk is pooled among many investors versus a single property owner.

REITs pay high cash dividends.

Many REITs offer high liquidity, relative to outright real estate ownership, by enabling investors to sell shares immediately.

Investors share ownership in substantial properties, like leading office buildings or resorts, that they’d otherwise be hard to afford.

Properties are professionally handled.

Foreign individuals, otherwise limited from possessing property, can have an interest in such property via a REIT.

Depreciation expenses can minimize shareholder taxes on dividends.

Typically, dividends are taxed the year they’re received and as ordinary income. When depreciation expenses are passed down by the REIT, those expenses are viewed as a return of capital to the stockholder and offset an equal portion of investor dividends. This delays the payment of taxes on that portion of dividends until REIT shares can be purchased.

Moreover, when shares are sold, the amount is taxed as a capital gain rather than as ordinary income. For example, in case a shareholder was paid a 0 dividend, but could claim $10 of that as a depreciation expense, the shareholder would simply pay income tax on $90 that year. Nevertheless, the $10 subtracted would be taxed as a capital gain after, when the fund is sold.

Because ordinary income is taxed at a much greater rate than capital gains, this can be a major edge over the tax treatment of standard REIT dividends.


REITs typically show low increase since they must pay 90% of income back to investors. Therefore, just 10% of income can be reinvested back into the business.

REIT dividends are not treated under the tax-friendly 15% rule that most dividends fall under. They’re taxed as regular income at a considerably higher rate.

Investment risk can be substantial. Do your due diligence before investing and consider all variables in the real estate market (i.e. property values, interest rates, debt, geography, and shifting tax laws).

REIT investors cede control of all the operational decisions that an individual property owner would make.

Some REITs will incur high direction and trade fees, leading to lower payouts for shareholders.

Freely Traded vs. Non-Traded REITs

Now that we’ve researched how REITs work and the three principal sorts, let’s delve into the important differentiation between openly traded and non-traded REITs:

Freely Traded REITs

Freely traded REITs are registered with the SEC and recorded on a national exchange.


They can be purchased and sold in a brokerage account.

They offer almost immediate liquidity since the fund can be sold anytime.

The market promptly represents an increase in share worth.

These funds are usually quite substantial and diversified.


Share price can be greatly determined by market conditions versus the genuine value of the underlying properties. As a consequence, investors may experience volatility in a publicly traded REIT portfolio.

The additional expense to run a freely traded fund may lower an investor’s prospective dividends.

Non-Traded REITs

Although a non-traded REIT is regulated by the SEC, it isn’t recorded on an exchange. Investors must meet minimum net worth or liquidity guidelines so that you can maintain the stability of the REIT and protect investor interests.

Now, investors must have a liquid net worth of 0,000 (exclusive of their houses), or income of $70,000 per year and $70,000 in assets. Shares in non-traded REITs are usually purchased at a set price of $10 per share. They’re designed to be held for a particular time period (normally five to seven years depending on the REIT strategy) and pay a pre-stated dividend.

This sort of REIT will generally raise money for the first few years and then close its doors to new investors. There are 4 common ways the fund may be unwound, either before or after the holding period is over:

The REIT could be obtained by a larger freely traded REIT with the sale profits passed along to shareholders.

The REIT could go public, by which case the investors would receive new shares that would be sold on an exchange for, theoretically, a substantially higher price.

The REIT could sell individual properties and pass a predetermined portion of the profits to the stockholders.

If the economy dictates that none of these options are prosperous, the REIT, through stockholder voting, could extend the normal operations until market conditions improve.

A set share price eliminates the daily cost changes and unpredictability connected with publicly traded REITs.

Dividends are usually higher in non-traded REITs, and may be paid monthly or quarterly. These higher dividends are a result of lower expenses and a method to compensate the investor for low liquidity.

There is possibility for major appreciation at the conclusion of the holding period.

Investors may hold foreign real estate that they’d otherwise be prohibited from possessing. These properties are comparatively immune to the volatility of foreign stock markets.

The share price and dividends are not ensured, although they are “set.” In reality, some REITs have had to cut dividends and reduce share values because of the economic decline and increased vacancies in their own properties.

The products are not liquid. Because of minimum holding requirements, an investor must remain in the investment for a very long time. Unlike their publicly traded counterparts, investors can’t sell shares upon important drops in share worth. This appreciably raises the danger of buying a non-traded REIT.

There is less monetary transparency of fund operations. Because non-traded REITs aren’t publicly recorded, they are subject to less oversight.

Leading appreciation in the share price isn’t recognized until the end of the span of functioning (though dividends can be raised).

Suggestions for Investing in REITs

REITs can supply outstanding income and increase opportunities for the right investor. If you are contemplating making the leap, here are a few suggestions to consider before investing:

Comprehend the types of properties you are investing in. Most REITs specialize in a specific sector which should be simple to find in the fund summary. Understand the risks of each sector. For example, REITs holding undeveloped land or retail shopping centers in a poor market will carry more risk than high end flats in a important metropolis.

Look at the amounts. It’s important to see if dividends are being paid from operations or if the fund is being driven to use added capital. A nicely-run REIT should rely on its operations to purchase expenses and dividends. Additionally, be skeptical of big, one time real-estate sales that might skew the financials upwards.

Learn when the REIT began investing. If investments were made before a market slowdown, the REIT could hold properties which are underperforming or need to be refinanced. In such cases, REITs might need to lower dividends or sell additional shares in order to raise cash in the near future. However, if the fund is made after a home market downturn, it could own and be buying valuable properties at low prices.

Understand your time horizon. Notably in a non-traded REIT, investors could hold shares for at least five years before seeing a yield of principal. Ensure you can handle this potential deficiency of liquidity.

We have seen considerable increase in many marketplaces as our market finds its way out of a deep downturn. Nonetheless, the property marketplace has lagged behind.

The good thing is there are amazing long term investment opportunities, particularly in the type of real-estate. REITs are a means to diversify in the real-estate marketplace and can be an alluring income producing investment in a low interest rate surroundings.

If you need to prevent stock market unpredictability and you fulfill minimal guidelines, non-traded REITs could play a significant part in your personal investment portfolio. As with all investments, it is important to do your homework and understand where you are placing your cash and why.

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The way to Cut Costs In Your Electric Bill This Summer


How much money would you usually spend on electricity during the fall and spring months? Does this number appear to grow every summer when the weather turns warm? That Is because you are not making a conscious effort to reduce the amount of energy you are using, and the air conditioner is the principal offender of the spike in energy prices. This really is a problem that a lot of people face, particularly those who are on a tight budget. Although your electric bill may tend to raise during summer time, there are some things you can do to keep the prices to a minimum:

Here are several means to save in your electric bill this summer:

1. Don’t set your air conditioner any lower than 78 degrees. While this may seem completely too hot for the summertime, you may be surprised to find it is just low enough to keep you cool. Many elect for a temperature of 72 degrees, or even lower in some scenarios. It’s your option, but the lower you go, the more you are going to pay on your own electric bill. Getting a programmable thermostat can also help you place the temperature higher when you’re gone during the day at work and cooler when you are dwelling at night.

2. Change the AC filter. Did you understand that a filthy air conditioner filter can restrict air flow? In turn, your unit has to work harder as a way to pump cool air through your home. The end result is an ineffective system that costs you a lot of money. Many filters should be swapped out once per month. Check your component to see what is recommended.

3. Keep some of your windows covered. Which windows in your home get the most sun? After you answer this question, make sure you buy blinds or drapes to cover them. Using this method, you’ll be capable to reflect some of heat before it gets into your dwelling.

4. Purchase a whole house fan. This may be impossible in some parts of the nation as these fans only function well in particular climates, but in many regions it’s an excellent thought that not many folks utilize. The idea is simple: whole house fan is fundamentally an exhaust fan designed to suck your house’s hot air out through the loft. Afterward, instead of setting the atmosphere on, it is possible to leave windows open to cool the home and get a breeze.

5. Plant trees. This may not benefit you for several years, but soon enough it’ll help you save money. A tree that projects shade onto your AC unit will help it run better. Along with this, trees that shade the sun out of your dwelling (windows in particular) will keep the heat on the exterior.

6. Forget about the AC and visit the cellar. If you have a basement in your home, it’s safe to say it is considerably cooler in the summer than the upper floors. By spending most of your time beneath ground, you will be able to turn your air conditioner off or at the least place it higher than usual.

Now is the time of the year when the weather is actually going to heat up. If you don’t want to pay a big electric bill, follow the six tricks previously. They will help cut your cost during the summertime months and save more money that may be used for house endeavors and holiday!

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Credit Card Chargebacks 101


When credit cards are used sensibly, they offer a remarkably convenient method to pay for goods and services. They fit neatly in your wallet, you don’t have to carry batch of cash, and you can readily shop from the privacy of your own dwelling via the Internet – all thanks to a little piece of plastic.

Another bonus? When you pay for things with a credit card, you might be guaranteed by law to receive them as assured. If you do not, national regulations require that credit card issuing banks rescind transactions in these kinds of cases in the type of a chargeback.

A chargeback is an exceptionally powerful instrument to compel companies to do the right thing. Read on to find out more.

Using Credit Card Chargebacks

When to Use a Chargeback

While credit card firms can address fraud internally, a chargeback can be requested in cases when you’ve got legitimately authorized payment for goods or services which were either not received or were not delivered as described. In these situations, your first step should be to give the retailer every chance to refund your money or reach another settlement that’s okay for you. Only once you have exhausted all of your options in trying to reach a resolution with the merchant should you then contact your credit card business and start the chargeback process.

In some instances, there may not be a company left to contact. For instance, I once had VoIP telephone service with a company that went from business. Absent any means to request my cash back, I was competent to have my credit card business issue a pro rata refund of the payments I ‘d already made.

How to Achieve a Good Settlement Without Issuing a Chargeback

For retailers, chargebacks are very serious. In addition to incurring the substantial hassle in defending themselves from your accusations, they suffer large fiscal punishments with their credit card chip every time a chargeback is issued against them. Eventually they’re going to be paying more cash for each credit card transaction they procedure and in extraordinary instances they will lose their ability to accept credit cards altogether.

For these reasons, notifying an boisterous retailer of your intention to file for a chargeback is one of the best hints to outmaneuver customer service strategies. Representatives at businesses big and small-scale are trained to take these threats seriously and are empowered to solve issues in your favor in these cases.

The Procedure of Requesting a Chargeback

After you have attempted everything, for example, menace of a chargeback, there may be no other recourse than to telephone your bank to really request one. Your bank should take down details of your complaint over the telephone and issue a temporary credit for the amount in dispute.

Next, you may receive an application in the mail requesting you for additional details and documentation to support your claim. Once the bank receives your documentation, the retailer will have the chance to respond.

Finally, the bank will notify you of their choice to approve or deny your chargeback request. When it is denied, the contested sum will again be billed to your account.

How you can Win a Chargeback

You should begin by collecting documentation in the instant you guess a merchant may not be dealing fairly with you. Like the threat of a chargeback, presenting that documentation may also compel another party to do the right thing.

Once the chargeback has been requested, fill out your bank’s form in a timely manner. Be concise, restricting your case to only the pertinent details while providing ample supporting documentation.

Remember that your submission will be read by someone who values chargeback requests all day long. That person will be searching for strong evidence that the goods or services you paid for were not received, or that they were considerably distinct than their description. As an example, if an item you received has an alternate specification than the advertisement, this would be a much better case than one where you believed that its general quality did not match the description.

By utilizing your credit card as a method of payment, you might be guaranteed by law to receive the services or products that you paid for. Not only must you receive them in a timely fashion, but they must additionally be delivered as described. When things go wrong, the representatives at a big company will generally be unable or reluctant to do the right thing when it comes to refunding your money.

In other instances, smaller unscrupulous company will deny a legitimate request for a refund in the hope which you will not request a chargeback. By utilizing this choice as a final resort, you can realize your legal rights and prevent being the victim of dishonest or incompetent merchants.

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What Exactly Is an Annuity and How Does It Work? – Annuities Explained


If you’ve a 401k or Roth IRA, you probably feel like you’re doing everything you can to be fiscally prepared for retirement, right? Maybe you are, but you might also gain from incorporating an annuity into your savings strategy.

So just how do you understand if you need an annuity?

Let’s look at the fundamental features of these unique economies vehicles, how they work, and above all, if you’d reap the benefits of having one.

What Exactly Is an Annuity?

An annuity, by definition, is purely an agreement to make a string of payments of a particular sum of money into a given party for a predetermined period of time. Annuities additionally refer to a commercial insurance contract offered by a life insurance company.

Function of Annuities

Annuities are designed to insure the contract owner against the threat of superannuation, which means outliving one’s income. Senior investors who run out of money to support themselves confront a frightening predicament. Annuities were thus created so as to mitigate this danger.

These contracts are promised to pay out at least a certain minimum sum on a periodic basis to the beneficiary until passing, even if the total payments exceed the sum paid into the contract plus any accrued interest or gain. Because of this type of protection and the fact that you cannot draw funds penalty-free until you’re age 59 1/2, annuities are considered retirement savings vehicles by nature.

History of Annuities

Annuities have existed in one sort or another since the Roman Empire. Citizens at that time would buy annual contracts from the Emperor. They would pay a lump sum to the Roman government in return for receiving an yearly payment for the remainder of their lives. European governments also offered a series of payments to investors in return for a lump sum investment now as a means of financing their wars during the 17th century.

Annuities came to America in the 18th century as a means of supporting church ministers. A Pennsylvania life insurance company was the first insurance company to advertise commercial annuity contracts to the public in 1912. Fixed annuities grew in popularity over time and have become a mainstay of conservative investors. Although the first variable annuity was created in 1952, they did not become common until the ’80s, and were followed by indexed contracts in the ’90s.

Basic Features of Annuities

Although there are many kinds of annuities, all annuity contracts are alike in several respects.

They stand alone as the only commercially-accessible investment vehicle that grows on a tax-deferred basis without needing to be put inside any kind of IRA, qualified or other retirement plan.

Unless the contract is held in an IRA or qualified retirement plan, there’s no limitation to the sum of money that will be invested and contributions are non-deductible. (Of course, most annuity insurance company have proprietary limits on the amounts that they will accept, but this is normally somewhere around 5 million dollars or so.)

Most annuity contracts also contain a declining surrender-charge schedule that eventually evaporates after a given time period, such as 5 or 10 years. For instance, a 10-year fixed annuity contract may assess a 7% early withdrawal penalty for cash taken out during the first year of the contract, a 6% fee for money taken out during the second year etc until the surrender fee program expires. Variable and indexed annuities generally levy similar prices for early withdrawals. Nevertheless, many contracts will enable the investor to pull out 10-20% of principal each year without fee as a means of easing this restriction as long as the investor is at least age 59 1/2.

Purchasing Annuities

Annuity contracts are available either inside or outside of an IRA or qualified plan. A check is written to the annuity carrier in either instance. They could additionally be acquired via 1035 exchange, where a maturing contract in a preceding annuity coverage, life insurance policy, or endowment coverage is moved tax free into an annuity coverage with your favourite firm. In terms of life insurance, any kind of cash value life insurance, for example whole, universal, or universal changeable insurance can also be exchanged into an annuity.

How Annuities Work

The way these merchandises were initially designed, the contract owner made either a lump-sum payment or a series of payments into the contract and then started receiving payments at retirement. The payments into an annuity are used to purchase accumulation units inside the contract, which, as their name suggests, pile up inside the contract until the full time that payments to the beneficiary must be made.

Afterward a one-time event known as annuitization takes place. This occasion marks the conversion of accumulation units into annuity units, which annuity contracts can pay out to beneficiaries in several distinct ways. Either way, the contract owner basically swap the dollar sum in their annuity for a string of promised payments. This means they give up accessibility to the larger, lump-sum, amount to be able to receive a promised life income. Beneficiaries can pick among several kinds of payout choices, including:

Straight Life. The contract will pay out an actuarially-computed sum to the beneficiary based upon his or her life expectancy only. This sum will be paid even if the entire payout surpasses the amount paid in and interest or other gains. Nonetheless, payments cease upon the passing of the beneficiary, even if less compared to the worth of the contract is paid back out. Theoretically, the insurance company keeps the contract worth even if the beneficiary dies after receiving only one payment.

Life with Period Certain. The contract will pay out either for life or for a certain period of time, like 10 or 20 years. This prevents the chance described above from happening. If the beneficiary dies shortly after payments start, afterward the insurance company must pay out the period certain’s worth of payments to the beneficiary, either as a number of payments or a lump-sum.

Joint Life. Similar to straight life, joint life annuities will continue to pay as long as one of the two beneficiaries is alive.

Joint Life with Period Certain. Joins the period specific payout with joint life expectancy.

Or, without annuitizing, contract owners can withdraw cash in the following ways:

Systematic Withdrawal. An easy payment of either a fixed dollar amount or percentage of contract value paid out each year, either monthly, quarterly or yearly.

Lump Sum. As the name suggests, lump sum is one payment of the entire contract worth. This payment can be taken as a distribution or rolled over into another annuity contract.

As mentioned formerly, all cash placed inside an annuity contract grows tax-deferred until it’s withdrawn, provided the beneficiary is at least age 59 1/2. If not, then a 10% penalty is determined upon the withdrawal, just as with an early distribution from an IRA or qualified strategy.

All distributions, whether early or standard, are additionally taxed as ordinary income to the recipient and reported on Form 1099-R. The exclusion ratio can be used to calculate the taxation of annuity payments. This formula allocates a proportionate amount of each payment made as a tax free return of principal.

As an example, if an investor places 0,000 inside an annuity and it grows to 0,000 and then receives monthly payments of 0, then 5 of each payment will be considered a yield of principal and hence be tax exempt. The 5, which is 25% of 0, arises from the fact the initial principal amount, 0,000, makes up 25% of the present value of the contract, 0,000.

Nevertheless, annuities will not be subject to ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) regulations unless they are set inside an IRA or qualified strategy.

Other Advantages of Annuities

Although their tax-advantaged standing is among their biggest advantages, annuities offer several other unique benefits as well. Annuity contracts are exempt from probate; that is, upon the passing of the contract owner, the contract value will pass to the beneficiary without going through probate.

Annuity contracts may also be mostly exempt from creditors in several cases, although the exact rules for this vary somewhat from one state to another. Texas is one state that unconditionally exempts these contracts from creditors; O.J. Simpson lived on money he’d in annuities after the civil judgment against him in 1994 (but before his more recent incarceration).

Kinds of Annuities

You will find three main types of annuities: fixed, indexed, and changeable.

Fixed Income Annuities pay a guaranteed interest rate like a certificate of deposit or bond.

Equity-Indexed Annuities promise some part of any increase in the stock market while guaranteeing principal.

Variable Annuities feature mutual fund sub-accounts that invest in stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities such as precious metals and energy. Unlike the other two types of annuities, the principal is not guaranteed in varying annuities, which implies these annuities may lose value.

Annuities also can be categorized as either immediate or deferred.

Immediate annuities start paying a stream of income to the beneficiary when the contract is bought

Deferred annuities do not begin paying out until a later time.

All three kinds of annuities can fall into either of these groups; a fixed annuity can be either instantaneous or deferred, and so can an indexed or varying contract.

Would You Need an Annuity?

The most comprehensive reply to the question is that anyone who wishes to save more for retirement than they are permitted to in their IRAs or business retirement plans should consider an annuity as a supplemental financing vehicle.

There are additionally a couple of other reasons why those whose companies offer annuity contracts inside their retirement plans should consider them. For instance, annuities can be used as tax shelters by the wealthy and as sources of guaranteed income by the risk-averse.

With all this said, the limitations built-in to annuities may make them unsuitable for some investors.

The Cons

Fees and Expenses. In varying annuities, the investor pays a mortality and expense (M

Cash Locked Up. When you put money into an annuity, you give to keeping your money in 1 until the surrender interval expires and you’re at least 59 1/2. The insurance company will charge surrender fees to withdraw more than an allowed percent during the surrender span, and the IRS will take 10% if you draw before 59 1/2. Be sure you have an emergency savings fund accessible to you (without punishment) if you decide to purchase an annuity.

Fiscal Guarantee. Annuities do not carry FDIC insurance which means they are not ensured by the federal government like bank CDs. The promise to ensure an investor’s principal is only as good as the insurance company’s fiscal strength. Future investors should study an insurance company’s fiscal standing with an independent standings agency for example www.weissratings.com before investing.

Taxes. When earnings are withdrawn from an annuity, they are taxed as ordinary income and are not eligible for the lower long-term capital gains rate.

Commissions. Unfortunately, even good-hearted financial professionals can be carried out of their client’s best interest by a substantial commission. Annuities offer some of the greatest on the market. An investor should feel confident in her financial advisor and consider pros, cons and other options before investing.

Annuitization. This is a pro along with a minus. While annuitization can guarantee an eternity flow of income, it comes at the cost of irrevocably handing over the larger account value to the insurance company.

How Should Annuities Be Used within an Investment or Retirement Portfolio?

There is no single right solution to this question. Not only should the investor’s age, time horizon, investment risk tolerance, and other aims be weighed, but the special type of annuity in question should be thought about also.

Some types of investors may be better off with merely bonded fixed annuities, although some should seek the increase possibility of a changeable contract. There is also no set urged investment portfolio allotment percent for these vehicles, as some investors can get along good with every cent of their savings locked up inside these vehicles while some should confine their contract holdings to just a modest percent of the entire portfolio value.

The appropriate use and allocation of these items can simply be done effectively on a case-by-case basis. There is no one size that fits all. Make sure you take ample time to consider the advantages and disadvantages with a trustworthy financial advisor.

Annuities, like retirement accounts, are a type of insurance to be sure you receive a constant flow of cash nicely after your working years are over. You can find many benefits to annuities, and they provide risk-free retirement savings for countless Americans annually.

If you had enjoy more info or need to know if an annuity is right for, talk it around with your financial advisor. The more financially prepared you are for retirement, the more joyful your golden years will be.

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How to Protect Your Social Security Number and When Not to Give It Away


Most of you likely learned early on to keep your Social Security numbers safe, protected, and private. These nine digits are your primary personal identification numbers, the key to your accounts and private data. As technology has developed, vulnerability to identity theft increases, yet many folks are getting more lax about securing their Social Security numbers.

It appears that virtually everyone needs your Social Security number before they’ll do anything for you or with you. So where do you draw the line?

The government provides some guidance by stipulating that you are just required to give out the number in particular situation:

Filing income taxes

Entering into an employment situation

Running business through financial institutions

Applying for authorities benefits

Trying to get a driver’s license

So why does it feel like you need to type, print, and share your ID numbers on a daily basis?

While giving out your Social Security number is technically voluntary, refusing to give it outside may mean you can not access a service or purchase a product. Meaning that the regular routine as a consumer is issue to some colossal gray area. This enormous can of worms causes it to be difficult to figure out when it makes sense to give out your Social Security number. To clear up the confusion, consider these seven times to be wary about giving out your number.

When to Not Give Out Your SSN

1. Email

From online shopping orders to e-mailing customer support, e-mail is a basic – if not the main – means to do business. But since it’s also part of your regular routine for private contacts, it is simple to feel very comfortable sharing info over e-mail. In fact, most individuals do not even realize they’ve let their guard down before it is too late. When a company, particularly one you trust, asks for your Social Security number over email, it’s natural to reply and discuss the information. It’s easy and quick. But you have three reasons to cease and think before you are doing.

Unlike paper files that a business can securely file in a fast drawer, the e-mail you send can get forwarded (accidentally or on purpose) and end up in the wrong hands. Digital records are easy to duplicate, and hackers can locate their way into the most risk-free system. Once you hit send, your name and SSN are exposed and available.

Even when dealing with a recognizable business, you still can’t be sure just who will get your email. Saving a customer service representative’s name in your contact list, for instance, doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily in touch with that man every time. Do Not trust the “answer-to” discipline every time.

Your system may be safe, but is your virus software up so far? Can you be sure the business’s email server is safe? How about the Internet connection you are using: Is it public Wi-Fi access? Though we had like to think we are safe all the time, malicious folks may be seeing.

In summary, even though we had like to believe that one on one emails are private, they’re not constantly actually just between the sender and receiver. It’s not a safe location for sharing your Social Security number.

2. Internet

Similarly, the rest of the Internet is dangerous for your own Social Security number. But as it pertains to online kinds on protected sites, sharing can appear inevitable. Most online stores and businesses can and will take your credit card number as satisfactory advice. But if your SSN is a needed field, what else are you supposed to do? If you frequently do business on the internet, notably if you are applying for occupations or running your own company, you may find which you must provide your number more generally than you’d like.

If that is the case, apply for a federal identification number through the IRS, and use that number instead. This number is a valid citizen ID for business and tax purposes, but it isn’t one that identity thieves could use to apply for credit or access your personal accounts.

3. Phone

When you are on the telephone, you might have a little more control of the situation than you would over email – at least sometimes. Safety on the phone is about trust and control. Only share your number with accredited organizations, & most importantly only after you have verified the call is valid. The biggest problems come from calls you receive, not the ones you make.

Say they are from a particular firm but caller ID lists an “unavailable” or “limited” amount. If that’s the case, ask when you can call them back through the routine customer care line. If they say they’re from your phone company, for instance, you should be competent to telephone the number on your recent statement and reach someone that will help. Don’t take a hazard by coping with someone you don’t understand, can not authenticate, and can not call back or report if there is trouble.

Call from numbers you do not recognize. Take some time to search for the number online to try and check where they’re calling from. If you take the call, ask for the man’s name and firm up front, and look online for confirmation. If you screen the call, dig just a little deeper to learn if other folks have gotten the call also. Do Not just accept what you see on reverse number lookup sites; constantly go back to the company’s official site to strive and find the number.

If anyone ever contacts you asking for the amount, find out who they symbolize, and inform them you will call them back at their official number.

Once you know you’re dealing with the right those who are actually calling from the correct firm, you’ll be able to feel more comfortable. But don’t let your guard down fully. Cell phones, VoIP services, and dwelling telephone landline options are exposed to hacks and attacks, so make an effort to take these calls from house, instead of a public space. And remember that in addition to the call being recorded on another side, people standing around maybe you are listening too. Don’t give your number when you’re standing on a busy street corner or taking a call while shopping at the mall.

4. Anyone Promising to Be Your Bank or Financial Institution

If someone promising to represent your bank (or other financial institution) emails or calls and asks for your Social Security number, it’s a scam. It’s not your bank. It’s not your credit card business. And it is not the urgent situation the individual is saying necessitates them to get your number over the telephone or email.

Your bank may ask for one to verify the last four digits before finalizing a trade, but they’ll never ask for your whole number. They have it on file. The same manner that Internet service providers remind you that they’ll never request you for your password, your financial institutions should never request you for your full nine digits.

5. Curriculum vitae and Job Applications

If you are used to companies asking, you might be tempted to merely put your Social Security number in the header of your cv. Resist the urge. Your goal would be to get your cv shared among as many potential employers as possible, and you don’t want that many copies of your number floating around. But what about job applications?

To establish citizenship, you’ll need to give your SSN to companies. But that doesn’t contain future companies. Most areas where you’ll apply for a occupation will only require your number after they hire you.

However, some businesses comprise it on a job application. In some scenarios, they’re only attempting to save time, but in others they just don’t recognize that it is not needed. Do Not be afraid to pass on sharing this advice. Only write “will provide upon offer of employment.” If an interviewer mentions that it’s for a background check, you can describe that you’ll provide it at the end of the interview.

It’s your judgment call on if it feels premature to provide this personal information. You don’t want to jeopardize the job opportunity, but you also don’t desire to work someplace that will not honor that you protect your identity.

6. Checks

With the lone exception of tax payments to government revenue agencies, never write your Social Security number on a check. Your check already has your bank’s routing number, your personal account number, and your mailing address. Even if the check is for a close, trusted friend, you just do not want all of this advice in the same area. If your buddy by chance loses the check or is the victim of a stolen wallet, you will be a likely casualty too.

If your seller ever insists that you add your SSN for your check, summon the heart to talk with a supervisor. Offer to add your phone number and sometimes even driver’s license number instead, or threaten to take your business elsewhere. Be company. You should never need to provide these records on a check.

7. Retailers and Other Sellers

Even if you’re not using a check, you could think you’ve got to give your Social Security number to anyone you do business with. They presume they desire it, and you presume they are right. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re paying someone by cash, credit card, or debit card, they already have what they must get paid. If they insist on your SSN, you have ample reason to suspect foul play, and should refuse to do business with them and potentially even report them.

Our society is becoming incredibly relaxed about providing and requiring 1 of the most significant security measures that we have: the Social Security number. Since the laws surrounding this issue are quite obscure, you must be completely alert to the possible risks that come with providing your SSN.

Only give it out in scenarios where it is either lawfully demanded or you’re assured the party asking for it is legitimate and trustworthy. If you ever have any uncertainty, err on the side of caution and work your way around having to give out your number. Do Not be afraid to delay your purchase, say no to a sales telephone, or take your business to another firm.

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