Author Archives: Howard Lipset

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About Howard Lipset

Howard Lipset, a non-practicing CPA, serves as a CFO to his clients & CEO of Progressive Management, Inc., located in New York.
EMAIL: lipset@progressivemanage.com
BIO: About Howard
PHONE: 516-883-2962

IRS Scams Continue to Pose Serious Threats
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, on .
IRS Scams Continue to Pose Serious Threats | Howard Lipset

The Internal Revenue Service has some advice for taxpayers this April Fool’s Day that may prevent them from being the victim of a tax scam: Don’t be fooled by scammers. Stay safe and be informed. Here are some of the most recent IRS-related scams to be on the lookout for: Telephone Scams: Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as scam artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation, license revocation and more. These con artists often demand payment of back taxes on a prepaid debit card or by immediate wire transfer. Be alert to con artists impersonating IRS agents and demanding payment.

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DON’T BE A VICTIM TO A TAX SCAM
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, on .
DON’T BE A VICTIM TO A TAX SCAM | Howard Lipset

Each year, people fall prey to tax scams. Stay safe and be informed – don’t become a victim. If you get involved in illegal tax scams, you can lose money or face stiff penalties, interest, and even criminal prosecution. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be on the lookout for these scams: Telephone Scams Threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as scam artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation, license revocation, and more. These con artists often demand payment of back taxes on a prepaid debit card or by immediate wire transfer. Be alert to con artists impersonating IRS agents and demanding payment.

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Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights
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Authored by , re: Miscellaneous, on .
Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights | Howard Lipset

Every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights. The “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” takes the many existing rights in the tax code and groups them into ten categories. You should be aware of these rights when you interact with the IRS. Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, highlights a list of your rights and the agency’s obligations to protect them. Here is a summary of the first four of ten Taxpayer Bill of Rights:

  1. The Right to Be Informed. Taxpayers have the right to know what is required to comply with the tax laws. They are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices and correspondence. They have the right to know about IRS decisions affecting their accounts and clear explanations of the outcomes.

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WORKING with TAX EXEMPTS
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, on .
WORKING with TAX EXEMPTS | Howard Lipset

Over the years, I have been a volunteer with many charitable organizations – sometimes as a board member, other times as an executive officer and once as the President. And after being away from this kind of involvement, imagine my surprise that I find myself back into it. The cause is Women’s Running, and I am surprised as I am neither a woman nor a runner. At the gym, I prefer the recumbent bike to the treadmill.

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LOUISIANA HOUSE BILL 195 – Cash Be Gone
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Authored by , re: Business Development, MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY, on .
LOUISIANA HOUSE BILL 195 Cash Be Gone | Howard Lipset

Recently, the Louisiana State Congress passed a bill that effectively bans citizens from shopping with cash for all second hand transactions (defined as garage sales, antique store, flea market, charity fundraisers, etc.) An Internet blog raises the specter of “Big Government” wanting to see where every penny is spent, draconian “capital controls” and government dictating what you can and cannot do with your money.

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Failure is Feedback: Part 5
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Authored by , re: Business Development, MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY, on .
Failure is Feedback Part 5 | Howard Lipset

Failure is a stepping stone towards success. But the information that you gather only has power when it is applied to real life situations. Failure is Feedback when you can learn different lessons from the failure, and that puts you on your way to success. It is easy to feel like a failure when something does not work out. It is first instinct to feel disappointed when your project or start-up fails. At that moment, you could not care less about feedback from failure.

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Failure is Feedback: Part 4
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Authored by , re: Business Development, MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY, on .
FAILURE IS FEEDBACK Part 4 | Howard Lipset

Failure is a stepping stone towards success. But the information that you gather only has power when it is applied to real life situations. Failure is Feedback when you can learn different lessons from the failure, and that puts you on your way to success. It is easy to feel like a failure when something does not work out. It is first instinct to feel disappointed when your project or start-up fails. At that moment, you could not care less about feedback from failure.

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Failure is Feedback: Part 3
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Authored by , re: Business Development, MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY, on .
Failure is Feedback Part 3 | Howard Lipset

Failure is a stepping stone towards success. But the information that you gather only has power when it is applied to real life situations. Failure is Feedback when you can learn different lessons from the failure, which puts you on your way to success.

  • It is easy to feel like a failure when something does not work out.
  • It is first instinct to feel disappointed when your project or start-up fails.
  • At that moment, you could not care less about feedback from failure.

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The iTunes Scam
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Authored by , re: Business Development, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY, on .
The iTunes Scam | Howard Lipset

We interrupt our Failure is Feedback series to bring you the latest scam. I would like to take a moment to thank the perpetrators who send these things to me, thinking that we will fall for it. They simply provide me with more material to write about. So, see below. This is a phishing expedition to get credit card information.

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Failure is Feedback: Part 2
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Authored by , re: Business Development, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY, on .
Failure is Feedback: Part 2 | Howard Lipset

Failure is a stepping stone towards success. But the information you gather only has power when it is applied to real life situations. Failure is feedback when you can learn different lessons from the failure, which puts you on your way to success. 

  • It is easy to feel like a failure when something does not work out.
  • It is first instinct to feel disappointed when your project or start-up fails. At that moment, you could not care less about feedback from failure.

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Failure is Feedback
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Authored by , re: Business Development, MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY, on .
Failure is Feedback | Howard Lipset

Failure is a stepping stone towards success. But the information that you gather only has power when it is applied to real life situations. Failure is feedback when you can learn different lessons from the failure, and that puts you on your way to success. It is easy to feel like a failure when something does not work out. It is a first instinct to feel disappointed when your project or start-up fails. At that moment, you could care less about feedback from failure.

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Failure Is Fine, Failure to Plan Is Not.
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Authored by , re: Business Development, MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY, on .
Failure Is Fine, Failure to Plan Is Not. | Howard Lipet

SandCrateTM  is a private community for entrepreneurs of all kinds and in any industry to turn ideas into reality through collaboration”.  Progressive Management Inc. is one of SandCrate’s strategic partners, and I recently provided a guest post. If you are afraid to fail, then you will not try. If you do not try, you can never succeed.

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BUSINESS PLANNING with PROGRESSIVE MANAGEMENT INC
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, Asset Management, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, Financial Planning & Insurance, on .
BUSINESS PLANNING with PROGRESSIVE MANAGEMENT INC | Howard Lipset

An interview with Howard Lipset I was recently interviewed for Richard Noll’s Legal Newsletter. My interview is part of a four-page newsletter that he mails out, and I was very honored to be interviewed. I would like to share it with you. What benefits does Progressive Management provide to its clients? We live in a world where package bookkeeping software is everywhere.

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FedEx Phishing
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

The email below is not from Federal Express. Note their mailing address is not FedEx.com

I verified this with Federal Express directly, who told me that they are getting large volumes of customers calling and asking. If you were to click on the “Get Shipment Label” bar, you will have let the hackers into your computer.

You should also note that if their mailing address did say FedEx.com, it is not necessarily safe. Some hackers are more sophisticated than others.

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How Can You Prove a Sidewalk Trip and Fall Claim?
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

What seems to be a relatively basic legal claim – being compensated for a personal injury sustained when you trip and fall on a dangerous sidewalk condition – is actually a complex endeavor  for  the plaintiff.  You must prove the existence of a dangerous condition; that the responsible party had notice of; and that it caused the personal injury. Common injuries in these cases include a broken wrist, a fractured  humerus (upper arm); torn rotator cuff; broken ankle; herniated disc or torn knee cartilage.

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IRS Updates Phone Scam Warnings
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

The IRS is again warning the public about phone scams that continue to claim victims all across the country. In these scams, thieves make unsolicited phone calls to their intended victims. Callers fraudulently claim to be from the IRS and demand immediate payment of taxes by a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The callers are often hostile and abusive.

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Does Credit Repair Make Sense?
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

by Leslie H. Tayne, Esq.
Founder and managing director of Tayne Law Group, P.C., one of the few New York State financial law firms dedicated to debt resolution and bankruptcy alternatives.


An award winning financial attorney, Leslie is a regularly sought out guest speaker and media expert who offers valuable insight, advice and strategies relating to various areas of debt.  www.taynelaw.com.

As defined by the Federal Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair companies/organizations help consumers remove negative information from their credit report. Credit repair organizations usually achieve this by sending dispute letters to credit reporting agencies to challenge the credibility of negative information reported on someone’s credit report by one of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Transunion and Equifax).  If you have legitimate errors on your credit report, those errors can affect your credit and you might benefit from a credit report company correcting them.

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E-ZPass Phishing Scam
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

The MTA has issued a warning that an email going around to E-ZPass holders is actually a phishing scam. The email, which looks as though it was sent by the E-ZPass service center, asks customers to download an invoice with a list of unpaid tolls. (Hint: Don’t do that.)

Statement from the New York State Thruway Authority:

The New York State Thruway Authority is warning E-ZPass customers about a phishing scam.

People have received bogus emails made to appear official stating that people have unpaid tolls.

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IRS: Now Is the Time for a Mid-Year Premium Tax Credit Checkup
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

If you have insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be getting advance payments of the premium tax credit. These are paid directly to your insurance company to lower your monthly premium. Changes in your income or family size may affect your premium tax credit. If your circumstances have changed, the time is right for a mid-year checkup to see if you need to adjust the premium assistance you are receiving. You should report changes that have occurred since you signed up for your health insurance plan to your Marketplace as they occur.

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Do You Know What “PCORI” Is?
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

Well, you had better. It is the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and it is a new fee under the Affordable Care Act. And it is a nit-picking little fee filed on IRS Form 720 for any employer with a self-funded plan. Form 720 is a 6-page form that was originally intended to be an excise tax on gasoline and other gasoline type products. It is filed quarterly, but for PCORI it is filed annually in the second quarter.

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Martial Arts vs. Business Development
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

During May 2014, I was asked to give a presentation about Business Development to networking group, IBO. In order to keep everyone’s attention I decided to go off-beat. The first thing I produced was a piece of wood, 9 inches by 12 inches and asked them to guess as to what its primary use was. And inside of one minute, someone called out that it looked like a board one breaks with their fist. The right answer.

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IRS Impersonators
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

Hopefully, most of you are aware that I write a blog, and that one of my favorite topics is how scams operate. Recently, I have written about scams that involve the Internal Revenue Service. Well, recently they tried it on my office. When I got back after a breakfast meeting, there was a message that a Mr. DM had called from the IRS and left his phone number. He was a “Case Consulting Officer” and needed to discuss discrepancies in my own tax return. The individual who called demanded that I return the call immediately.

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The Inherent Inefficiency of Government Bureaucracy
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

There are few who will disagree with the fact that, in recent years, the governmental bureaucracy has grown dramatically while its efficiency has deteriorated in an equally dramatic manner. From 1952 to 1972, the cost of the public payroll multiplied more than fourfold, from $35 billion to $150 billion. The 330% increase over that period exceeds the 247% growth of employee compensation in private industries ($161 billion to $557 billion). In 1952, the average worker in private employment earned 5% more than his counterpart in government. By 1972, he had fallen 10% behind.

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Social Security is a Matter of Timing
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, Social Security, on .

Deciding when to begin receiving Social Security benefits can be a major life decision. It can impact your long-term financial security, your retirement prospects and your federal tax burden, or it can provide an immediate and welcome lifeline. On the surface, when to take your benefits looks like a no-brainer. You can begin collecting any time between age 62 and 70.  Full Social Security age is 66. So if you want or need those monthly payments, many people would advise you to grab the money as soon as possible.

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Are You Sure You Can Trust that Most Trusted Deposit?
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

What you do not understand can make you poorer. I have a client who delivered to me a series of transactions and documents in one email. The first concerned the deposit of a cashier’s check on a bank in Ohio. The second, an email from the agent who sent the check, requesting their commission payment by wire transfer immediately. The agent explained to my client that since the cashier’s check would be available immediately, that there was no problem sending the wire immediately, as well.

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Do You Qualify for a Health Insurance Coverage Exemption?
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Authored by , re: FINANCIAL ARTICLES, Financial Planning & Insurance, Insurance, on .

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) calls for individuals to have qualifying health insurance coverage for each month of the year, have an exemption, or make a shared responsibility payment (this is the penalty tax) when filing his or her federal income tax return. You may be exempt from the requirement to maintain qualifying health insurance coverage, called minimum essential coverage, and may not have to make a shared responsibility payment when you file your next federal income tax return.

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FTC Warns Small Business: Don’t Open Emails with This Subject Line
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a new email scam targeting small businesses. The FTC is warning small businesses not to open emails with the subject line“Pending consumer complaint” claiming to be from the government agency. The email falsely states that a complaint has been filed with the FTC. The FTC does not contact anyone via email.

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What is Your Time Worth?
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

The difference between a small business simply getting by or forging forward may be that they should be increasing their overhead in the right places.

If a business owner is spending more than five hours a month on any particular function, they must consider outsourcing the work. In today’s world, many functions performed by specialized departments in large corporations are available to small business from small companies.

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Your iPhone is Tracking You
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Authored by , re: FINANCIAL ARTICLES, KNOWLEDGE NUGGETS, on .

And it is doing it in ways you never imagined.

Yes, we want to be able to use our GPS functions and get directions, but are you aware that some of your apps are tracking you as well?

Apps like Evernote and Dictation are logged into your GPS. Why do you need that? Every bank app I have is logged into my GPS. I don’t need to know where the nearest ATM is. I can search by zip code if I have to.

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