Articles & Blogs

‘Tis the Season: Tax Implications of Employee Gifts

Many business owners use the holiday season to express their gratitude to their employees with gifts.  Of course, cash gifts and monetary bonuses will always be taxable to an employee and fully deductible as a business expense to the employer, but there are other items which may not be taxable to an employee.

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Not Feeling the Neighborly Love?

Have you ever had a nasty neighbor who polluted the air that you breathe or whose dog barked incessantly at all hours of the day and night? Did you call the police but they would not do anything about the annoying neighbor? Maybe the police issued a citation for a city ordinance violation but the problem persisted. If all else fails, there are civil causes of action available to potentially remedy the issue.

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The Feds and Your Family Business

Many of our clients operate their businesses through small, closely held entities in the forms of corporations or limited liability companies. The Federal Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”), a federal statute designed to prevent smaller companies from being used as vehicles to hide the spoils of illegal activities, launder money, evade taxes, fund terrorism, undermine the US democracy and influence its elections, will become effective January 1, 2024.

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Easement Rights

Recently, a client spent considerable time and money to improve the road on a property acquired through a tax lien foreclosure in Arizona. A neighbor then blocked his access to the property through an existing road, claiming that there was no access easement across his land. An easement is a right that is created to permit one person to use the land of another for a specific purpose not inconsistent with a general property in the owner. Fortunately, our client investigated the chain of title prior to making the road improvements and knew that they had an express easement across the land.

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Beware of Unlicensed Contractors

When a person uses an unlicensed contractor as opposed to a licensed contractor, their options to resolve construction defects or the contractor’s breach are severely limited. However, multiple avenues of remedies are available to resolve the construction dispute with a licensed contractor and potentially to make the homeowner whole.

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Can the Government or an HOA Restrict My Home as a Short-Term Rental?

Many people buy investment homes in Arizona wanting to utilize them as a long-term and even short-term vacation rental and offer them for rent through AIRBNB, Tripping.com, FlipkKey, HomeToGo and many other websites. However, before one buys a home to be utilized as a short-term vacation rental, one should investigate to see what restrictions may exist that could prevent them from utilizing the home as a vacation short-term rental.

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Ways to Protect My Property From Going to Probate

Frequently, realtors contact me because they have a property under contract and are set to close escrow but one of the owners or the owner passed away. The realtor may be in panic mode as they do not want to lose the deal and they ask me what can be done.

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Websites: Profits and Pitfalls

Because of the ubiquity of the internet, websites have become an increasingly important marketing tool for any businessperson. The website can advise a potential customer of the goods or services offered and even serve as the means for the customer to buy those goods and services. But the digital nature of the internet facilitates copying and unauthorized use by competitors.

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Will You Still Be My Valentine – In Litigation?

Valentine’s Day is approaching and it’s easy to get caught up in the romance of a relationship. However, one of the most dangerous things an unmarried couple can do is buy a home together without any type of written agreement for its disposition if the relationship sours.

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Web Browsing: Keeping Your Data Safe

The pervasive use of the internet for business and personal matters and the proliferation of hacking, emphasizes the importance for everyone to be careful in protecting their business and personal data. You may not give your search history much thought, but by practicing good browser hygiene, you can help maintain your privacy online.

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Increased Protection for Homesteads?

Your home is a valuable asset. You most likely invested a great deal of money into your home. For most people, their homes are in fact their biggest investments. But did you know that if you became in trouble financially and judgment creditors record a judgment that it operates as a lien on your home? Arizona does offer some protection in your home through what is called a homestead exemption.

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Website Accessibility Lawsuits: A Real Threat

Most business owners are familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, and the requirements that Act imposes. The ADA ensures that goods, services or other activities provided by places of “public accommodation” are equally accessible to persons with disabilities.

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Marijuana Laws and Gun Ownership

Many people celebrated the recent passing of the voter proposition that made recreational marijuana legal in Arizona. However, if you are a gun owner, you may want to hold off on taking that first drag. Federal law still prohibits gun ownership if you are a marijuana user.

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One of the Best Gifts – Peace of Mind

In this season of gift-giving, one of the best gifts a person can give to their family isn’t found under a tree or subject to physical transfer of a tangible item. Typically it is not wrapped in shiny, fancy packaging or tied up with a pretty ribbon.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Here we are in 2020, the year of a worldwide pandemic, living life in a “new normal”. This year’s Thanksgiving will still have delicious food, and hopefully football, but will be shared with just our immediate family and perhaps a limited number of guests. Celebrating Thanksgiving in the “new normal” will not prevent us for being thankful for all the things that are important to us.

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COVID-19: Legalities of Reopening Businesses

After a few months, the governors of various states have relaxed their stay-at-home orders in the wake of perceived hopeful trends in the numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to the coronavirus. In Arizona Governor Ducey’s order was rescinded effective May 16, 2020, and businesses have begun to reopen subject to certain guidelines. But the risk of infection still remains, and as businesses restart their operations they face several legal challenges.

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I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts

Not sure if you’ve heard but there is a new Ghostbusters movie coming out this summer. In the film, ghosts haunt a rural house. “Why don’t they just sell the house and move,” you may ask? Well, believe it or not, in Arizona they could and would not have to disclose the issue. Arizona has the stigmatized home protection law, A.R.S. Section 32-2156

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