Written by: Anthony E. Stewart, Esq. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state tax agencies are warning employers about one of the most dangerous phishing scams in the tax community. Cybercriminals are targeting organizations nationwide and tricking payroll personnel into disclosing the sensitive personal information of an organization’s entire workforce. Last year, more than 200 employers fell victim to this Form W-2 phishing scam, which compromised the identity of hundreds of thousands of employees. The IRS has warned that organizations have lost both employees’ W-2s and thousands of dollars in fraudulent wire transfers as a result of the scam. A W-2 contains sensitive personal information, such as an employee’s name, address, social security number, income, and withholdings. If this stolen information is used to create and submit false tax returns or open lines of credit, the organization may also be liable for the resulting identity theft of its employees. Here’s…       Read More

Compiled by: Richard Sheinis, Esq. ‘Jackpotting’ Hackers Steal Over $1 Million from ATMs Across US: Secret Service Reuters A hooded man holds a laptop computer as blue screen with an exclamation mark is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. … The heists, which involve hacking ATMs to rapidly shoot out torrents of cash, have been observed across the United States spanning from the Gulf … Tech Giants Brace for Europe’s New Data Privacy Rules New York Times Amazon recently began improving the data encryption on its cloud storage service and simplified an agreement with customers over how it processes their information. And on Sunday, Facebook rolled out a new global data privacy center — a single page that allows users to organize who sees their … As Hackers Gain Strength, Israeli Cyber Firms Raise More Money Than Ever The Jerusalem Post As hackers gain strength,…       Read More

This article discusses the new deduction available to non-corporate taxpayers for “qualified business income” earned from pass-through entities, such as S corporations and limited liability companies. As a general matter, “qualified business income” is income which is earned from a domestic business, which is not investment income, and which is not compensation for services provided by the taxpayer. Moreover, unless the taxpayer’s taxable income is below a certain amount, the income generally must be earned from a business whose primary offering is something other than the provision of services in order to qualify for the deduction. Once it is determined that the income meets the definition of “qualified business income”, the taxpayer generally may, subject to several important limitations, deduct 20% of this income from his adjusted gross income in determining his tax liability.

This article discusses the basic considerations which must be addressed in forming and operating a Section 501(c)(3) organization, primarily from a federal income tax perspective. It addresses the purposes for which 501(c)(3)s may be organized and operated, commercial activities of 501(c)(3)s and the unrelated business tax, the prohibition against private inurement, and the taxation of excess benefit transactions. The article discusses limitations on lobbying activities by charitable organizations and the prohibition on political campaign activities. Finally, the article addresses special considerations which apply to certain types of non-profits, including hospitals and educational organizations.

Hall Booth Smith, P.C. congratulates Partner James W. “Jim” Standard, Jr. on completing a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in Taxation from New York University School of Law, one of the most prestigious tax law programs in the nation. Standard’s studies focused on corporate and partnership taxation, the taxation of mergers and acquisitions, international transaction taxation, executive compensation taxation and tax-exempt organizations. Standard leads HBS’s transactional and business litigation practice groups, and his taxation expertise deepens the firm’s capabilities in these high-demand matters. HBS Partner Bradley R. Coppedge in our Columbus office also holds an LLM in tax. “Tax law is complex and constantly changing, and clients can rely on us to guide them through the nuance and intricacies with complete confidence that they are getting the best counsel,” said Standard, who has been with HBS for more than a decade. “It’s gratifying to bring an additional layer of knowledge…       Read More

Written by: Richard Sheinis, Esq. On January 8, 2018, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, and State Representative Jason Saine, proposed new data breach legislation entitled, “Act to Strengthen Identity Theft Protections” to update the current North Carolina data breach law. This legislation is in response to the recent data breaches at Equifax and Uber, the latter breach having been allegedly hidden by Uber for several months. While this legislation has several appropriate and reasonable provisions, such as requiring businesses to have reasonable security procedures to protect consumers’ personal information, this post will address two ill-considered and unrealistic requirements of the proposed legislation. First, the new legislation requires a business to notify the Attorney General’s Office and affected consumers within fifteen (15) days of discovery of a security breach. Having handled well over 100 data breaches, I can tell you that it will be almost impossible for well-meaning businesses to…       Read More

Compiled by: Richard Sheinis, Esq. Allscripts Still Fighting to Restore All Services 4 Days After Ransomware … Healthcare IT News “Ransomware attack on Allscripts has taken down our e-prescribing, EPCS and some other services,” Yvette Crabtree, MD, a Kansas CIty-based physicians affiliated with Sunflower Medical Group said. “At least we don’t use their hosted application. I hear many hosted practices couldn’t access their EMR … Colorado Looks to Adopt Blockchain Technology to Improve Data Security BTCManager Therefore, the problems the state is currently experiencing when it comes to their current collection of data and issues related to retention would be solved, and the records would be kept more secure. At current, Colorado citizens still have to pay a visit to the state agencies in the flesh if they want to … Bell Canada Alerts Customers Who May Be Affected by Data Breach Ottawa Citizen TORONTO — The RCMP has launched an…       Read More

Compiled by: Richard Sheinis, Esq. US Senate in Russian Hackers’ Crosshairs: Cybersecurity Firms ABC News The same Russian government-aligned hackers who penetrated the Democratic Party have spent the past few months laying the groundwork for an espionage campaign against the U.S. Senate, a cybersecurity firm said Friday. The revelation suggests the group often nicknamed Fancy Bear, whose … Survey: One in Five Healthcare Professionals Had Patient Data Breaches Healthcare Informatics When asked where they have seen the most changes occur in the industry over the last year, including quality of care, safety, digital health records and prevention and population health, only 25 percent of RNs and 40 percent of administrative staff cite data security and privacy. “Patient safety is not just … China Chides Tech Firms Over Privacy Safeguards Reuters China reprimanded three top tech firms on Friday over poor privacy protections, as tech companies face an increasing backlash from consumers…       Read More

by Bradley R. Coppedge, Esq. So, do you have a desire to gift or bequeath money to your favorite charitable organization, but are concerned that either (i) you will need the income generated by the property during your retirement or (ii) you will need the assets to from part of a bequest to your spouse or children.  Is this an irreconcilable dilemma? Good news!  There are several “tried and true” methods by which you can often accomplish both, through the use of a Charitable Remainder Trust (“CRT”) or Charitable Lead Trust (“CLT”); and to make it even more appealing, you will be entitled to an income or estate tax charitable deduction.  Further, with CRTs, you can often accomplish your retirement income goals better than you could without the CRT, while still providing a significant benefit to the charitable organizations of your choice. This summary will focus only on CRTs, and…       Read More

Compiled by: Richard Sheinis, Esq. Massive Intel Software Vulnerability is a Reminder to Always Protect Sensitive Data The Hill Security researchers uncovered a pair of significant vulnerabilities first thought to be limited to Intel processors. It was later revealed this also affect Intel’s peer chipmakers AMD and ARM. If unchecked the weaknesses could cause economy-wide disruption. Data exfiltrated from the combined number of … IoT Risks, Insider Threats, Password Hacks, Biometric Cracks: Cybersecurity in 2018 Looks Messy Healthcare IT News Organizations in 2018 increasingly will adopt standalone cyber insurance policies as boards and executives wake up to cyber liability, the report predicted. As boards and executives experience and witness the impact of cyberattacks, including reduced earnings, operational disruption, and claims … 36 Fake Security Apps in the Google Play Store Downloaded Malware, Stole Data, Tracked Locations TechRepublic Security firm Trend Micro recently discovered 36 apps in the Google Play Store with…       Read More