Americans who travel extensively or live abroad and companies that do business overseas often need to maintain accounts at foreign financial institutions. Soon, however, foreign banks may start closing their doors to American depositors, thanks to an overreaching U.S. law.
Slipped into the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, passed in 2010, was a piece of tax legislation that may drastically change the way foreign financial institutions interact with the U.S. and its citizens. The law, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) will essentially require all foreign banks with U.S. account holders to report annually to the Internal Revenue Service about their American customers’ activities. Institutions will also be required to collect a 30 percent withholding tax on U.S. income from any American customers unwilling to have their doings reported back to the IRS. Institutions that refuse to agree to these terms will be deemed non-compliant and will be hit with a 30 percent withholding tax of their own on “U.S. source income,” including the sale of U.S. securities. The law is scheduled to come into effect in 2014.
Given the healthy business profile in Los Angeles, it can be expected that there would be times when businesses would be involved in various legal matters, which include negotiating a merger or law suits. However, given that in these instances, businesses need to have people who would aggressively represent their interests, it is very important that businesses get the best lawyers possible. Unfortunately, there are some businesses, especially those that have just started their operations that are not aware of the sources from which they can get very good lawyers. The good news is that there are some steps that these businesses can take to help them get the best lawyer that would aggressively represent their interests in a number of situations.
Some helpful steps
The recession has put law firms under pressure and the competition for clients gets fiercer every day. While looking for new leads is clearly important, it’s even more important to get more business from existing clients. After all, it’s easier because they already know you and trust you. Here’s a few ideas to generate more business.
1. Conduct a survey of your existing clients. A few simple questions like “Have you made a will etc” will provide valuable information for targeting your services. Obviously, if someone replies that they haven’t made a will then you can follow up with advice why making a will is essential for the sake of your children. Surveys also give useful information for articles such as “60% of people could be creating problems for their children by failing to make a will”.