OIC and the IRS | Tax Tiger Offers a Simple Comparison

Tax Tiger

Tax Tiger

An Offer in Compromise is similar to bankruptcy proceedings, says Tax Tiger.

According to Tax Tiger, over 1.5 million Americans file for personal bankruptcy each year. This number isn’t surprising given the current state of the economy, says Tax Tiger. However, far fewer eligible taxpayers file for debt forgiveness with the IRS, even when they know they cannot pay. Tax Tiger believes the numbers are in such stark contrast because of the fear most taxpayers have of dealing with the IRS.

The IRS, says Tax Tiger, has a program similar to bankruptcy that can keep the taxpayer out of court and thus out of trouble with Uncle Sam. This option is called an Offer in Compromise and takes into consideration many factors in common with a typical bankruptcy hearing, including ability to repay the debt and assets to liabilities ratio, says Tax Tiger.

There are three circumstances that allow a taxpayer to negotiate an OIC, reports Tax Tiger. The most common is the taxpayer’s ability to satisfy the debt, followed by the Effective Tax Administration (extenuating economic circumstances), and, very rarely, an incorrectly assessed tax. Once a taxpayer has made up his or her mind that they are ready to seek resolution with the IRS, Tax Tiger is there to step in and negotiate on their behalf.

If the IRS is willing to negotiate the debt, Tax Tiger will work with a taxpayer to determine which of three payment options is best for their current financial state. According to Tax Tiger, option one involves paying in full, in cash, in 90 days or less. Options two and three allow the taxpayer to divvy up payments over time. A Short-Term Deferred payment plan splits the negotiated amount up anywhere from greater than three months to two years. Tax Tiger points out that the final payment arrangement is longer in term, and lasts as long as the collection statute. Tax Tiger notes that the IRS will cease collection action against the taxpayer throughout the negotiation process.

Tax Tiger has extensive experience negotiating with the IRS on Offers in Compromise and numerous other tax resolution options. The team points to over a decade of successful cases in the company’s history by a staff of professionals who are held to the highest industry standards. For more information about Tax Tiger, please visit www.tax-tiger.com or follow them on Twitter @TaxTiger.

Travel Tips For People Who Don’t Like to Travel

Sure it would be amazing to see that Mediterranean island on your bucket list, or motor the wine country of California – but sometimes traveling can seem daunting. Is airline travel really as nerve wracking as it seems? How can a person drive across country and avoid rush-hour gridlock in cities? What about trains? Do they stop at the best destinations? A Gathering of Experts affirms that traveling can be a once-in-a-lifetime-event – in the best way possible.

Q: Everything in the news about airline travel seems to be a nightmare. Is it really as terrible as it sounds?

A Gathering of Experts: According to the Bureau of Transportation, over 1.73 million passengers fly per day in the United States. So, although anecdotally flying is cumbersome – it’s actually still incredibly safe and efficient.

Q: The old joke used to be that airline food was terrible, and now it seems like the trend is not to offer any food at all. Is that accurate?

A Gathering of Experts: For a while airlines really did cut back on meals. But now the opposite is happening – at least on longer domestic flights. Many airlines have been working with restaurateurs to create dishes that can withstand the challenges of flight to serve passengers excellent fare, either as a meal or for ala carte dishes.

Q: What about driving across the country? How can a traveler manage not to get stuck in massive gridlock in large cities?

A Gathering of Experts: The best way for a car trip to go smoothly is to really plan out the travel route. Either get off the interstate and stop for a meal and a quick sightseeing tour, or choose a secondary scenic route. If that’s not possible because of the specific metropolitan area, break the trip up into areas of interest, and leave in the morning at a leisurely pace so as not to fight with commuter traffic.

Q: What about trains? Are they efficient and do they go through the best destinations?

A Gathering of Experts: For many people, the preferred method of travel is by train. Trains will take passengers through city hubs, and can cost less than flying or driving. Also, many trains have sleeper cars, which is handy for long trips. And when traveling with a group, train travel is by far the most social way to get from place to place.

Pierre Bennett Global Vacations Suggests the Trip of a Lifetime to Australia

 Pierre Bennett Global Vacations

Pierre Bennett Global Vacations

According to Pierre Bennett Global Vacations, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is a treasure. The team at Pierre Bennett Global Vacations recommends that visitors discover the Technicolor coral and marine life through a glass-bottomed boat  for a stunning trip. Travelers can also enjoy the magnificent deep drop offs, underwater tunnels and caves with a dive school. And because Pierre Bennett Global Vacations finds members the lowest available airfares, your entire family can discover the reef together.

Pierre Bennett Global Vacations also notes that many vacationers enjoy visiting Port Douglas for Low Isles, a secluded island gem. You can anchor overnight at stunning moorings on the Great Barrier Reef as well. Pierre Bennett Global Vacations reports that boats can be chartered, complete with a trained crew, if you want to fully relax. Or, if you prefer solid ground, you can afford places to pamper you, because Pierre Bennett Global Vacations offers resort discounts where you can relax for less.

Now that you’ve explored the Great Barrier Reef, why not indulge in amazing local produce and award-winning wines in Western Australia’s oldest wine producing region? Pierre Bennett Global Vacations proposes that you visit the Swan Valley, to tour the vines, waterfalls and lush bush land of the area. There are wine tastings; microbreweries or you can visit a vineyard for a picnic lunch. Pierre Bennett Global Vacations also suggests that the Swan Valley is also a beautiful area for other outdoor activities like horseback riding, cycling and golf.

In Cairns, the professionals at Pierre Bennett Global Vacations recommend that visitors indulge in locally grown bananas, mangos, and pineapples in this dream agricultural area. Pierre Bennett Global Vacations notes the excellent seafood, game and organic bush food. There are also rainforest orchards and you can visit coffee plantations in the tablelands.

The Daintree Cape Tribulation Rainforest is a tremendously diverse and gorgeous example of nature at its finest. And the ecologically unique area is home to an extensive range of animals and flora. The rainforest is home to the largest amount of plants and animals that are threatened with near extinction on earth, says Pierre Bennett Global Vacations.

The team at Pierre Bennett Global Vacations says that for many visitors to Australia, a visit to the Aboriginal areas is often a highlight of the trip. The Aboriginal people of Australia have a rich and amazing culture that stretches back at least 50,000 years. Pierre Bennett Global Vacations suggests that you let Aboriginal Australians teach your family about art, dance, myths, music and the land itself.







Travelling to Greece

Kyle Thomas Glasser

Kyle Thomas Glasser

Kyle Thomas Glasser loves travelling and seeing the world. Kyle has grown up in Georgia and he has seen a lot of places and great scenery. However, Kyle feels that visit Greece is at the top of his list because there is a lot to admire. He has planned to visit a number of places in Greece and see the world up close.

Kyle first plans to see the Coast of Greece with all the light green waters and white sands on the shores. Greece beaches are known to be very safe for humans and Kyle says he loves this kind of scenery. There are many volcanic and pebble beaches that surround Greece and these are what he wants to see. It is an amazing view and anyone would be intrigued by such beauty.

The beautiful Acropolis in Athens is such a mystery for many people. It is designed elegantly for its time and this is a huge attraction. He intends to visit the Parthenon, the center of Acropolis as it is and not forgetting theOdeon of Herodes Atticus. This building is very old dating back in 161 AD to remember Herodes’ wife. Kyle feels that the building has been designed with a lot of detail which makes it the perfect attraction. This building must has worn-out some places with time but Kyle believes that the most important part of the story still remains. This is what he intends to see and the building with fill up part of the history that he craves to feel.

Kyle also wants to see the Monastery of Agia Lavra because of his religious background. The birthplace of Greece is Monastery of Agia Lavra and Kyle which is the church has burnt down four times and rebuilt over and over.

Olympia Stadium is also a very important and historical place from Greece. Kyle Thomas Glasser wants to see this place and says it was built in the 1970s and by 1982 it was finished. There are also caves in Greece that are very unique and the best places to explore. Kyle hopes to see them someday especially “Tafkoura” which Kyle says has not been explored well.

Kyle is very committed to working and serving the community and this is the reason why he takes his career in medicine very seriously. His plans of travelling the world are all based on also helping the underprivileged societies.

Markus Lattner Extols the Virtues of Buying Local Food

Markus Lattner

Markus Lattner

Markus Lattner has long supported local agriculture. As the improvement manager for a community supported agricultural (CSA) farm in Pennsylvania, Markus Lattner knows the impact of buying local on the local economy. Money isn’t the only thing restaurants and grocers save when they buy local, however, according to Markus Lattner. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Save money—As fuel costs have increased, Markus Lattner reports that the cost of shipping food from overseas has become unmanageable to some businesses. That increase is built into food costs and passed on to restaurant owners and grocers. Fuel prices are dropping, however, taking away this incentive. Markus Lattner proposes taxes on oil that will encourage businesses to buy domestically, which will serve to boost the local economy.
  • Freshness—Markus Lattner says there is no way to deny the freshness of a locally grown tomato compared with one that has been imported from far away. Markus Lattner points to several reasons from this. First, locally grown produce is often lacking the chemicals found in the shipped versions. Local farmers may also pay more attention to details like soil condition, exposure to sunlight, or ripeness of fruit at the time it is harvested.
  • No risk of interruption in service—Imports of goods can be influenced by wars, natural disasters, and more, according to Markus Lattner. By relying on other economies to provide food, we run the risk of someday being without. Markus Lattner feels that keeping things local adds to a sense of self-reliance.
  • Improve local economy—When a shopper support nearby farmers, he or she puts money back into the economy. Those farmers spend monies earned at local establishments, Markus Lattner points out. Increased demand means local farmers will need to add more employees, Markus Lattner says, which can only be good for your local unemployment rate. This puts more tax dollars into a local economy, which leads to improved roads, education, and more, concludes Markus Lattner.
  • Save lives—It may sound extreme, but there are several studies that have pinpointed cancer risks associated with the pollution emitted by ships carrying food from overseas. According to Markus Lattner, the U.S. study attributed 60,000 deaths per year in our country to the world’s 90,000 cargo ships. A British study found one ship emits the same cancer-causing chemicals as 50 million cars.

Markus Lattner knows the many benefits of buying local foods and he hopes that by spreading the word, he’ll encourage others to take part. Markus Lattner’s support of the slow food initiative is a commitment to educating others on its value.

Douglas Battista Reports that Barbados Offers Much More than Beaches

Douglas Battista

Douglas Battista

Douglas Battista points out that whatever Barbados lacks in size, this beautiful Caribbean island makes up in sheer beauty and a climate that is second to none.

History of Barbados

According to Douglas Battista, the first persons to live on the tiny island of Barbados were the Arawak Indians, who left around 1200 AD. Throughout the next 600 years, Barbados was inhabited by the Portuguese and later the English. In the 1600s, the inhabitants began utilizing the country’s rich soil in the agriculture production of sugarcane. According to Douglas Battista, Barbados was a British Crown Possession and, as such, extended England’s practice of slavery to the Caribbean island. In the early 1800s, the slaves revolted and by 1834 the practice was abolished forever. After World War II, Barbados became a prime tourist attraction and is currently a democratic society, notes Douglas Battista.

Discover Barbados

The Resort Areas – While Barbados is home to numerous resorts, the main tourist attractions are located on the South and West coasts. For vacationers seeking sophistication and luxury, Douglas Battista recommends the West Coast. This area is home to numerous fine dining establishments and pristine waters. As well, Douglas Battista notes that one is likely to spot a celebrity or two. According to Douglas Battista, the South is known for its nightlife and offers those seeking lively entertainment almost unlimited options.

The Beaches – White sand, blue waters, and 3,000 hours of sunshine per year make some of the most beautiful beaches in the history of the Caribbean, says Douglas Battista. Some of the most popular beaches are found in the resort areas, including Sandy and Rockley on the South side and Payne’s Bay to the West. According to Douglas Battista there’s no shortage of activities available; swimming, jet skiing, kayaking and sailing are abundant in the serene waters of the South and West. As well, Douglas Battista says that Barbados’ beaches are perfect for just soaking in the golden rays of the unobstructed sunshine.

Bridgetown – The Nation’s capital offer shopping galore, and duty-free at that, says Douglas Battista. A quick stroll through the Trafalgar Square or a walking tour of the city enjoying the complexity its unique architecture are just some of the relaxing activities available in the commercial center of the country, adds Douglas Battista.

East Coast – For stress relief, Douglas Battista recommends staying in the West. But, for those with a little more adventure in their spirit, the untamed waters off East Atlantic Coast are a surfer’s Utopia. Douglas Battista says that this is the premier spot to grab a board and a waterproof camera because memories here deserve to be printed and shared.

According to Douglas Battista, Barbados is an open and friendly country. Battista highly recommends at least a weeklong visit for those looking to enjoy this country’s hospitality and landscape.

Garrett Hoelscher | Finding Fulfillment

Garrett Hoelscher

Garrett Hoelscher

When Garrett Hoelscher was in his last years of college at Emory University in Georgia, he felt that something was missing. It took months for this sports enthusiast to fully understand it was physical activity that he craved. “I had terrific friends, good grades, and a beautiful girlfriend,” Garrett Hoelscher says about his college life. But he missed the competitive rigor and challenge of sports that he had in his teens.

Garrett Hoelscher played Lacrosse in high school. Fast-forward to his senior year in college, and the realization that this is what he was missing finally set in. According to Garrett Hoelscher, he decided early that year that he was going to try out for the school’s Lacrosse team. It’s worth noting that Emory is known for its athletic programs, which are consistently ranked among the best. This made the task even more daunting, since Garrett Hoelscher hadn’t picked up a stick in three years.

Walking onto the practice field, a nervous Garrett Hoelscher embarrassed himself with his dire lack of coordination. However, the head coach saw a spark of determination in this strong-willed student and placed him on the team. Garrett Hoelscher was thankful for the opportunity to prove himself and thus spent every available minute alone, throwing and catching against a campus wall, just to hone his skills. Luckily, he regained his abilities after two months of intense practice.

By the end of the season Garrett Hoelscher was almost unrecognizable as the young man with the abysmal stick skills who had walked onto the team those months prior. The coach assigned his promising player to the Special Face Off Team, which had the sole responsibility of ensuring that the opposition rapidly lost control of the ball. He helped lead the team to victory, as his team won the Division II South Eastern Lacrosse Conference of the Men’s Collegiate Association that year. Furthermore, when his team advanced to the MCLA playoffs in Denver, Garrett Hoelscher was honored to start each and every playoff game.

While it may seem unusual to some, Garrett Hoelscher found enrichment in this Native American stickball game that year that nothing else could have provided. He was able to balance a full class load, a social life and a relationship while proving to himself that determination and a willingness to work for what he wanted could pay off. It did, and Garrett Hoelscher has accomplished numerous other post-graduation goals thanks to the confidence this last year in school and this centuries old pastime provided him.

Sigma Alpha Lambda’s Community Oriented Programs

Kyle Thomas Glasser

Kyle Thomas Glasser

Even if Kyle Thomas Glasser runs on a very tight schedule, that does not hinder him from participating in community oriented programs in Sigma Alpha Lambda. If you really want some tips on how you can prepare yourself to face the future, then you must involve yourself in community programs just like Kyle has done. Glasser liked serving other people and that is why he will be very successful in his career as medical doctor. He is full of passion, hope, determination, perseverance and faith. If you don’t know better, you could think that you are talking of a 40 years man.

No, Kyle is just 21 years and he has been able to achieve a lot for his short life. You too can achieve much more than Kyle. When you involve yourself in programs that offer services, you will be able to achieve some practical skills for how to tackle life’s challenges. Kyle- as a medical student- knows well that such programs will be more beneficial to him than to the people he is serving. Giving an excuse that you have a busy schedule will not do you any good, Kyle is busier and he is able to balance his medical work with community-oriented programs.

The main aim of participating in community-oriented programs in Sigma Alpha Lambda is to promote your excellence in education, expand and create leadership between different cultures, increasing awareness between cultures and increase service provision in the community. Sometimes it is advisable to learn from another person’s experience. In this case, you will learn how Sigma Alpha Lambda has benefited Kyle as a member. Here are the benefits you will get for participating in community oriented programs:

  • Such community programs will contribute a lot in achieving your goals in life. You will have a chance of travelling from one community to another, meet new people and build relationships all over the country. At times you might not realize how important it is to participate in community programs but in the near future you will need the connections you develop.
  • You will gain core values like treating everyone with respect and dignity, practicing fiscal responsibility and integrity when you will be working in an organization, increase togetherness between students in the university, learn how to respect the university’s, community’s, world and chapter’s resources at all costs

Becoming a member of community oriented programs does not impact negatively on your studies- but you should know how to balance the two. Kyle Thomas Glasser has kept his respect in the team and has been a member of several years now.

Steven Delarge Discusses Building a Successful Finance Team

Steven Delarge

Steven Delarge

When Steven Delarge found his division splitting off from the corporate parent, he was faced with the challenge of putting together his own finance team. Not being a financial guru, Steven Delarge wasn’t sure where to begin. But fortunately, Steven Delarge found that by calling on his contacts in the field, he was able to get a head start on a winning team. Today, he shares with A Gathering of Experts the things he learned during this turbulent time.

A Gathering of Experts: Thanks for joining us today, Steven Delarge. Tell us a little about what led you to form a standalone financial team.

Steven Delarge: My business was sold off by its parent company, leaving us as an independent business. It was almost like building my own small business.

A Gathering of Experts: How did you know where to begin?

Steven Delarge: We already had systems in place that we needed personnel to handle. Financial analysis, manufacturing finance, and cash management were all areas we needed covered.

A Gathering of Experts: Now that you were a standalone group, were you completely independent or did you have outside entities to answer to?

Steven Delarge: We still had external reporting needs, as does any business these days, so it was important to have an expert on board that understood those requirements and made sure we were meeting requirements.

A Gathering of Experts: Finding good financial experts can be a challenge. How did you track down the people you eventually hired?

Steven Delarge: We sought the help of our peers in the industry, including our external auditors. Who better to lead us to a good financial team that would be able to consistently meet reporting requirements than the team making sure we were meeting those requirements?

A Gathering of Experts: You also sought out the advice of others who had been through building standalone finance teams.

Steven Delarge: Yes. We sought out portfolio companies that had been tasked with starting over the way we were. These companies had great words of wisdom for us.

A Gathering of Experts: When did you know you’d succeeded in building a strong financial team?

Steven Delarge: Of course, we monitored the progress of the team. Within a year of starting our standalone team search, we experienced annual costs that were 20% below our initial estimate.

Steven Delarge began his career with GE in the 1980s. Through the years, Steven Delarge headed up several divisions of the company, as well as Momentive Performance Materials.  Steven Delarge is an Albany, New York resident, where he lives with his family.

James Stuckey Explains Different Players in Real Estate Development

James Stuckey

James Stuckey

Recently, A Gathering of Experts spoke with James Stuckey to find out more about the real estate  development process and how there are many different types of developers. James Stuckey says that each has their own reasons for entering the field.

A Gathering of Experts: Good evening and thank you for joining us today.

James Stuckey: Thank you for having me.

A Gathering of Experts: So does real estate development involve more than just a builder and financier?

James Stuckey: Yes, there are many different players involved although the builder may be the only one visible to the public at times.

A Gathering of Experts: We understand there are also many different developers with different motives.

James Stuckey: That’s very true. I can think of probably half a dozen different types of development firms.

A Gathering of Experts: Can you tell us about them?

James Stuckey: First there are groups called Equity Developers. Silverstein Properties is a good example. These are both private and publicly traded companies that place their own equity or money at risk.

A Gathering of Experts: Do these groups always contribute the same percentage to a project?

James Stuckey: No, the amount of money and the type of equity as well as the guarantees that are given vary dramatically.

A Gathering of Experts: What about Real Estate Investment Trusts?

James Stuckey: These are often simply called REITS and they are companies that sell shares of stock to raise capital and must distribute 90% of their pretax profits to shareholders.

A Gathering of Experts: Are there any guidelines on how much of their total assets they must invest in real estate?

James Stuckey: Yes. Seventy-five percent.

A Gathering of Experts: Are there any developers that don’t offer up their assets as collateral?

James Stuckey: Fee Developers; frequently, developers or development organizations complete projects for a fee.

A Gathering of Experts: And they don’t invest their own equity or give financial guarantees?

James Stuckey: No, they also do not participate in the profits and losses or tax benefits enjoyed by Equity and REIT Developers.

A Gathering of Experts: What about government agencies? Do they fund their own development?

James Stuckey: Well, there are differences between government agencies and institutional developers.. A government agency might build a school or industrial park, and an institutional developer a retail project.

A Gathering of Experts: And they are all nonprofit?

James Stuckey: No, there are some for-profit companies, like Home Depot, that are considered Institutional Developers because they build for themselves.

A Gathering of Experts: What about small builders?

James Stuckey: There are some smaller builders and speculators who typically build one and two family homes and low-density office and retail buildings.

A Gathering of Experts: Aren’t landowners considered developers?

James Stuckey: No, not all land owners want their property improved. But often, landowners will contribute their land as equity to developers for a partnership interest.  Some just hold property for the investment value.

A Gathering of Experts: Is everyone involved in the development process usually an expert in real estate trends?

James Stuckey: Equity players are those who may or may not have development experience, but supply equity to others as an investment for projected return.

A Gathering of Experts: It sounds like that at any given time there can be many people involved in a single development contract.

James Stuckey: That’s true… In addition to the people who plan what should be built, there are also architects, structural engineers, and dozens of other people with specific areas of expertise involved.

A Gathering of Experts: Well, we appreciate your time with us this evening. We look forward to speaking with you again.

James Stuckey: Certainly and thank you for having me.

A Gathering of Experts: Before we go, can you tell our readers a bit about your own property development firm?

James Stuckey: I am the President and CEO of Verdant Properties, LLC®. We are a development firm focusing on in environmentally responsible building and development.