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fake on-line reviews / more on taxes

July 31, 2021
fake on-line reviews
    I just had a question about another competitor in our town that is creating fake Google Accounts to give themselves 5 star reviews then 1 star reviewing our company. Is there anything we can do about this? Its quite frustrating to read these and know what the real motive is.
    This is a problem; aggravating more than anything else. You can write to the platforms and complain, though I am not sure that will be effective. I believe there are businesses that specialize in clearing bad reviews, fake or otherwise.
    If you are certain that it's your competitor posting these fake reviews, about you, not them, you can sue them. They are defamatory. The platform isn't liable, but the poster is.
more on taxes
    Thank you for posting my comments on “leases” and their sales and use tax implications in your July 23, 2021 newsletter. You are correct that leases with what is referred to as a Bargain Purchase Option went away when you graduated from Law School (apparently during the Nixon Administration).       They went away because they weren’t leases at all, they were installment sales. They went away because the SEC, IRS, States, and other enforcement guys realized that they were simply a way for companies to finance purchases “off balance sheet.” When the rules changed, the accountants and lawyers put their thinking hats on and came up with other ways to rename an installment sale and it started all over again.
    You are correct that Sales Taxes are typically Sales and Use Taxes.     Sometimes the transaction is taxed, sometimes the end user is taxed. Each state has its own laws. Just knowing the statutory (written) tax law isn’t always enough. If the statutory law is fuzzy (or if a taxpayer gets creative) the issue may end up in court and there will be case law. When the courts start interpreting the law it can get a bit scary. When we research sales tax law for a client, we don’t stop with the rule books. We can typically review all of the case law in a few hours or so and ensure that our client isn’t living on the edge (or if they are, we can figure out how likely they are to fall off). If there is still some uncertainty we can get a technical ruling or letter ruling from the state in question and our client is protected. One mistake that many accountants make is assuming that an alarm company is a construction business performing a service like installing countertops. You install complicated electronics which create a long term relationship requiring service, they are typically monitored, and they require a good deal of support long after the sale. Because of this, the legal and tax issues are more complicated.
    I did a word count on Ken’s answer. 696 words. This is because the answer to a simple question such as “is this taxable?” or “is this a lease” may not be so simple. Ken may be right that we are here to service the rich.       I like to think that the rich are an endangered species and that we are “eco environmentalists” who are here to save the rich from extinction.
Mitch Reitman
Reitman Consulting Group
Fort Worth, TX
    I am not clear on sales and use tax, and sales tax as a use tax. I thought use tax was a take on personal property owned, so that if the alarm company leases the system and continues to own the equipment then the alarm company might get taxed each year on the asset. Obviously if the equipment is sold then the alarm company would no longer be the owner and would no longer be subject to use tax. I am not sure what states have use tax; I think Connecticut for one.
    Don't wonder for a moment why I am discussing taxes, or offering any opinion for that matter. At Mitch's Round Table in Las Vegas last week he rattled off enough tax law to convince me that a competent accountant and tax advisors is essential to navigate today's and tomorrow's taxes. We are going to schedule a zoom round table soon because you need the information and this format is the easiest and most efficient way to deliver it.     A schedule will be circulated soon and the Round Tables will be recorded and available on the K&K website.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301