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Delaware Serves as a Corporate Tax Haven

July 2, 2012

Big corporations, small-time businesses, rogues, scoundrels and worse have turned up at Delaware addresses in hopes of minimizing taxes, skirting regulations, plying friendly courts or, when needed, covering their tracks. It’s easy to set up shell companies here and use the banking system, no questions asked.

Since 1792, the state established its Court of Chancery to handle business affairs. By the early 20th century, the state was writing friendly corporate and tax laws to lure companies from New York, New Jersey and elsewhere. Most of the businesses incorporated here are legitimate and many are using all legal means to reduce their tax bills.

Delaware is a great place to reduce a tax bill. Delaware today regularly tops lists of domestic and foreign tax havens because it allows companies to lower their taxes in another state — for instance, the state in which they actually do business or have their headquarters — by shifting royalties and similar revenues to holding companies in Delaware, where they are not taxed. In tax circles, the arrangement is known as “the Delaware loophole.”

It doesn’t take a lot to incorporate a company in Delaware, tax experts say. Shell companies, those with no employees, no assets and, in fact, no real business to speak of, are remarkably easy to establish here, and it doesn’t always matter who you are or what business you are in.

Delaware serves as a domestic tax haven, much like the Cayman Islands serves as an offshore foreign tax haven, and offers a similar level of tax avoidance. American corporations find the Caymans alluring for many reasons. There, they can operate in relative secrecy, attract more foreign customers, avoid regulation and enjoy a low tax rate. In one respect, however, Delaware is even better than the Caymans. At some point, American companies have to bring back their foreign profits from the Caymans and pay federal taxes.  But in Delaware, the state tax savings through the Delaware loophole are permanent.

Source: pettir.com – “Delaware Serves as a Corporate Tax Haven

Mac Users Spend More on Travel

June 26, 2012

Orbitz told the Wall Street Journal that Mac users spend as much as 30 percent more on hotels than PC users do. Mac users were 40 percent more likely to book a four- or five-star hotel than PC users. When they do book the same hotel as PC users, they were more likely to stay in a more expensive room.

IPhone and iPad users spend 17 percent more on mobile purchases than everyone else, according to Forrester Research. And given that a Mac is about three times more expensive than its Windows counterpart, it’s not surprising that an online retailer would want to try to figure out what those customers like and offer them those options first.

Microsoft Surface threatens the Macbook Air & iPad

June 24, 2012

Microsoft made a big splash when it unveiled Surface, a new line of Windows 8-powered tablets. With a detachable magnetic cover that doubles as a keyboard, Microsoft’s soon-to-be-released device transforms itself into an ultra-portable productivity center that could supplant laptops.

Consumers will have their choice of getting the MacBook Air for work and an iPad for play, or killing two birds with one stone by buying Microsoft’s beautifully designed, ultra-fast tablet that doubles as a lean full computer.

Surface might be the first tablet to give the iPad some serious competition, but there’s still no price tag, no release date, and no real specs — just a couple of journalists who got to play with a Surface prototype for a few minutes.

Stanford sentenced 110 years in jail

June 14, 2012

A federal court in Houston has sentenced R. Allen Stanford, Former jet-setting Texas tycoon, to 110 years in prison for his involvement in a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, according to reports on Thursday.

Federal prosecutors had asked the court to sentence Stanford to 230 years. Stanford, the former principal of Standford Financial Group, was convicted of fraud in March.

QuickBooks POS is Integrated with GoPayment

June 13, 2012

Intuit has integrated its mobile payment processing application GoPayment with the latest version (2003) of QuickBooks Point of Sale (QuickBooks POS) software. The two solutions will now be able to communicate with each other, syncing both inventory and financial data from PC to mobile or vice versa.

QuickBooks POS software is designed for small retailers as tracking and management tools they need to effectively run their business. Retailers can track inventory and set automatic re-order points, manage customer’s contact information and send personalized emails and gift cards, access business reports to get unique insight into how the business is doing, track employees’ hours and pay commissions, and manage and monitor business results for up to 20 stores from one location.

A free GoPayment app comes with a card reader which plugs into the audio jack of an iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch as well as popular Android devices. Users can then swipe a card to process a payment, send an email or text receipt with a map of where the transaction took place, and automatically charge the correct sales tax using geolocation. Read full article “QuickBooks POS is Integrated with GoPayment” at accounting.pettir.com

Apple’s Map Is Google Maps Killer

June 12, 2012

As many had anticipated, Apple announced at this week’s Worldwide Developer Conference that it would ditch Google Maps as its primary mapping software for mobile devices. Google destroyed its relationship with Apple when it decided to go toe-to-toe with the iPhone by releasing Android in 2008

The new in-house mapping software will come bundled with iOS 6. If users want to get to Google Maps, they’ll have to find and install the app themselves

When Apple’s in-house map software debuts with iOS 6 this fall, it will be compatible with Siri and sport new 3D features. It will also offer turn-by-turn driving directions and highlight real-time traffic congestion, not to mention that Apple is partnering with Yelp to offer local information about more than 100 million businesses worldwide.

Several automakers, including BMW, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota have even signed up for a new program that will integrate a Siri button on car steering wheels and make use of Apple’s new map system.

Square: Turn Mobile Devices Into Credit Card Machines

June 11, 2012

Plug Square credit-card reader gizmo into your Android smartphone or iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) and you are ready to accept credit-card payments anytime, anywhere! The Square app is available for free download.

People love the fact that the reader plugs into the headphone jack on your iOS or Android device; it’s not some bulky custom case the works only with select models. You pay only a small percentage of each transaction. No monthly or annual fees. The company charges 2.75 percent per swipe for Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

The card reader has a suggested retail price of $9.95 with a $10 rebate upon signup for new users and can now be purchased at many stores (Apple, Best Buy, OfficeMax, Radio Shack, Target, UPS, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Staples, and FedEx stores) across the U.S.

Read full article “Square Credit-Card Reader” at accounting.pettir.com