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Tax filing reminders

  • September 17 – Third quarter installment of 2012 individual estimated income tax is due.
  • September 17 – Filing deadline for 2011 tax returns for calendar-year corporations that received an automatic extension of the March 15 filing deadline.
  • September 17 – Filing deadline for 2011 partnership tax returns that received an extension of the April 17 filing deadline.
  • October 1 – Generally, the deadline for businesses to adopt a SIMPLE retirement plan for 2012.
  • October 15 – Deadline for filing 2011 individual tax returns on extension.

Tips on planning for college financial aid

Scholarships, grants, student loans. Learning about the options available to help you pay for your child’s college expenses requires a lot of homework. Here’s one more thing to study: how to coordinate those sources of funds with your overall financial plan.

As you probably know, your income and assets, as well as those of your child, affect eligibility for federal student aid. What may not be so obvious is the role early financial planning can play. [Read more…]

Develop an early-warning system for problem accounts

If you extend credit to your customers, some losses are inevitable. So unless you are willing to forgo the credit part of your sales, you have to figure out ways to control your bad debt losses.

Once you have extended credit to a customer, you have a stake in continuing the relationship even if you suspect there might be trouble a-brewing. You don’t want to crack down on a good customer too hard too soon; yet you don’t want to be “taken” by a debtor who has become unable or unwilling to pay. The problem is distinguishing between slow pay (which is bad enough) and no pay. [Read more…]

Owe additional interest and fees due to closing attorney.

Additional Information:

The closing attorney for the sale of my Concord NH home was aware of the necessity to payoff my FHA loan at a certain time to avoid additional fees. The payoff was rejected by my lender because is wasn’t a “certified check, cashier’s check, or bank wire”, as required by the lender’s Payoff Statement. After being contacted by lender, he then sent a certified check which was received after the deadline and I was charged additional interest and fees. It isn’t a ton of money but what can I do?


Your closing attorney should be responsible for any additional interest and fees since the requirement that a payoff be made in “certified funds or wire” are usually clearly stated on the payoff statement by the lender.  It is the attorney’s responsibility to carefully read the payoff statement and collect enough interest and fees on the settlement statement to cover the payoff amount up to a certain date.  [Read more…]

You might not own your employee’s Twitter account

More and more companies are using Twitter and other social media sites to promote their businesses. Often, an employee or a group of employees will have the job of tweeting regularly about the company’s products and services.

However, this raises the question of what happens if an employee with a Twitter account quits or is fired.

The issue came up recently when an employee named Noah Kravitz started tweeting for his employer, a company called As part of the company’s efforts to drive traffic to its website, Kravitz sent his followers his opinions of new mobile phones on the market, as well as some other topics. Kravitz proved to be very popular, and eventually attracted 17,000 followers of his tweets. [Read more…]

IRS makes it easier to deduct employee bonuses

Many companies pay their employees annual bonuses between January 1 and March 15. If it’s done right, the company can take a tax deduction for the amount of the bonuses in the previous year (if it’s a calendar-year tax filer), but the employee doesn’t recognize the income until the year of receipt.

But here’s a problem: Many companies also require that employees remain with the company to get a bonus. So if an annual bonus would typically be paid in February, but an employee quits in January, he or she forfeits the bonus. [Read more…]

Ideas for negotiating a commercial lease guaranty

Defaults by commercial tenants are on the rise, so more landlords are asking for a guaranty as a condition of a lease. This can be a real burden for a tenant, and can sometimes endanger a deal.

However, a guaranty doesn’t have to be an “all-or-nothing” proposition. Often, a tenant can negotiate a partial guaranty that is more easily doable and still satisfies the landlord.

Some common tenant counter-offers include:

  • A guaranty that expires after a certain time, such as three years, if the tenant hasn’t defaulted by then. [Read more…]

An e-mail exchange can accidentally create a binding contract

A series of back-and-forth e-mails in which two people agree on the terms of a deal could amount to a binding legal contract, even though no formal, “official” contract was ever drawn up or signed.

That’s the word from a federal appeals court in Atlanta.

Author Rafael Vergara sued the Coca-Cola company, claiming that he had a copyright in the Spanish lyrics that were used in Coke’s advertising during the World Cup soccer tournament. At some point, Vergara had exchanged e-mails with a Coke representative. [Read more…]

Can you punish workers for griping about their jobs on Facebook?

You might think that it’s okay to fire or discipline employees who complain about their jobs on Facebook or other social media sites – especially if they start calling their supervisors names, or bad-mouthing the company in a public way.

But you need to be careful. In many cases, disciplining an employee for a Facebook rant could violate federal labor law, and result in a civil complaint being filed against you by the National Labor Relations Board.

That’s true regardless of whether the employee belongs to a union. [Read more…]

The seller is trying to get out of agreement to pay our closing costs.

Additional Information:

We are buying a home in Manchester, NH.  The seller signed an agreement to pay for buyers closing cost, but apparently he didn’t understand what he signed (English is not his first language).  He now understands what he signed but is trying to get out of it.  What are our legal rights?


You should be able to enforce the agreement that seller will pay for your closing costs since it was agreed to in writing and signed by all parties.  The seller should have engaged an attorney to represent him if he did not understand what he was signing.  That mistake is on his part, not yours.  [Read more…]