Unclaimed Payroll Check

Unclaimed or uncashed payroll checks handled incorrectly by an employer can result in serious trouble for the employer. Prior to implementing a policy on how your company handles these types of checks, there are several issues to consider:

Every state has escheat laws that affect unclaimed or abandoned property. In general the laws require that such property, including the funds from uncashed and/or unclaimed payroll checks, be turned over to the state after a designated period. That period and possibly a minimum amount vary from state to state. The state then holds the items for the owner or heirs until a claim is filed to collect the property.

If an uncashed payroll check is voided the money is then available in the company’s payroll checking account. If later the funds are not available to pay the employee or to submit to the state the, employer and officers could find themselves under a breach of fiduciary responsibility. If the courts find the actions intentional the court could find criminal intent. Remember once you issue a check for wages to an employee those funds no longer belong to the company in any way. Under no circumstances should the funds from uncashed paychecks be returned to the general checking account.

Even if the employee never claims the money or cashes the payroll check the employee deserves credit on his Social Security and Medicare accounts for wages earned. The wages also need to be reported as paid for unemployment purposes and unemployment tax needs to be paid. Even though the employee did not actually cash the check, the wages are considered to have been paid during the tax year in which the check was dated

The company must report these wages on the 941, 940 and W-2 forms and pay all taxes that are due as if the uncashed unclaimed payroll checks had been cashed on a timely basis. State unemployment reports and taxes will also need to be filed and paid as if the payroll check was cashed.

Your company policy should contain the following items at a minimum:

A method of collecting, reporting and safeguarding unclaimed payroll checks and recording and tracking uncashed payroll checks,

An outline of the steps to be made and the recording of those steps in attempting to contact the employee who has not cashed or not claimed a paycheck,

The specific period of time, which may be prescribed by the State, after which the payroll check will be voided and the monies escrowed pending payment to the employee or the state. The method and place where this will be recorded,

The period of time, which will be prescribed by the state, after which the monies will be forwarded to the state.

The method and place where this payment will be recorded.

Phishing and Identity Scams – Savings Account, Personal Checking and Credit Card Crooks

An example of phishing scam e-mail contains a bank logo and ask the customer to renew their online account. This scam is designed to acquire the customers ID, login as well as a password so they can view the customer’s online banking information, online personal checking account information or credit card files, which will allow them to get account numbers and balances.

Another technique used by con artists finds a computer that is infected with malicious software that allows unauthorized access to your computer. This software lets someone else check your personal activities, read your data or even control your computer. Also, using these software techniques they can redirect you to another site that impersonates the legitimate one. Not surprising when 35% have made an online debit or credit card transaction without checking the security of the site.

So what can you do to prevent becoming a victim? Be alert and cautious and check personal information regularly to make sure you get monthly statements and review them carefully. Ask about and check into unauthorized changes or withdrawals appearing on records immediately and maintain good records. And don’t fall for something if it sounds or looks too good to be true, you can bet it probably is.

Surveys find that about a third of the population admits to throwing away personal documents such as bank statements and receipts without shredding or destroying them. Moreover, a quarter of the population does not routinely check personal bank statements for unfamiliar transactions. Another statistic is that half the population uses the same pin and password across different accounts.

Eight out of ten people have never checked their credit file reference file at a spot check to see if someone else is getting credit in your name. Giving out our personal details can leave us open to identity theft, unwanted marketing and a loss of privacy. Are you one of the 88 percent who continue to click on a link within an email to get to a web site instead of typing in the URL?

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Is It Possible To See Who Viewed Your Profile On Facebook?

If you are one of the 50 million people that use the online social networking Facebook you’re probably familiar with the recent flood of wall posts that claim you can see who has visited your profile. They go by many different names including ProfileSpy and Pro Check, claims it will offer insight into how many people have viewed your Facebook profile if you fill out a short survey and grant the app permission to access your information.

This sounds great and for the many people that have fallen victim to a Facebook stalker this would be a great tool to see exactly who has become obsessed with your profile and online activities. It would be great to see if that old blind date, ex-husband or creepy guy from work is hitting up your profile every 5 minutes.

But unfortunately these apps are not real and they’re simply not the solution to your problem with Facebook stalkers. These apps just want to have access to your account and get you to fill out surveys. These apps are just spam and will repost the invitation to this app under your name on your wall and an the walls of all your Facebook friends. you’re friends thin you endorse this app and will sign up too only to have their Facebook account used to spam all their friends. As of the writing of this article there is no online application to see who has visited your profile or identify the read name and address behind a Facebook account.

There are however ways to identify people on Facebook and deal with unwanted attention or online stalking you may be experiencing on Facebook.There are private investigators that specialize in cyber stalking investigations. These investigators can take an anonymous Facebook profile and locate and identify the real name and address behind that profile. Even if all the information used to create that profile is false and the only reason the account was opened was to spy on you or send you harassing Facebook messages.

If you are dealing with unwanted attention on Facebook you may be feeling desperate and want to try these apps. But you should not fall for this urban legend that it’s possible to see who viewed your profile of Facebook using these apps. The only way to deal with a Facebook stalker is to hire a professional investigator.

Copyright (c) 2011 Opperman Investigations Inc

Check Cashing Business in Florida

Starting a check cashing business in Florida is a process that requires several steps that must be planned before filing for the license, and risking a loss of money and time.

The check cashing business in Florida is profitable but at the same time it is a risky business which must be minimized through the adoption of special measures and procedures.

It is important to obtain proper advice from experienced and qualified professionals to avoid expenses and delays to obtain a check cashing license.

Obtaining a check cashing license in Florida, known also as an FT3 license, requires several steps:

The first step is to register with the federal government as a Money Service Business (MSB). This process is done electronically, and in order to file said registration any new applicant must set up an account with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, commonly known as FinCEN. The registration is done through form FinCEN 107.

Registration with FinCEN places the company under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) laws and regulations. Those regulations impose several requirements on the company. One of those requirements is to develop and implement an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program which must contain policies and procedures that the company will implement as part of their check cashing operation. Some companies tend to use AML programs devised for other type of financial services such as money order sales or money transfer services. However those programs are inadequate for check cashing and they do not meet the requirement of the BSA for a check cashing operation. Another requirement is to designate a compliance officer. This person is responsable to ensure that the AML program is being thoroughly implemented. There are other BSA requirements which must be met, and therefore the compliance officer and employees of the company must be aware of said regulations.

After the FinCEN registration has been confirmed, an application with the Florida Department of Financial Services, Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) must be filed. This application contains several parts, and must be filed electronically. As with the FinCEN registration, the applicant must set up an account with the OFR’s Real System for thie purpose. It is extremely important that all information requested be provided in a complete and accurate manner to avoid delays in the process. In our experience the vast majority of delays in obtaining such a license come from errors in the original application form. Several documents must be attached to the application, among those is the anti-money laundering program which must be previously drafted. Another form that must be submitted is a fingerprint card for each of the individuals included in the application, which will be used for a background check conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Once the license is obtained it is important to keep present that the State of Florida has multiple requirements that must be met by check cashers. Also the check casher is subject to audit examinations to verify that the company is operating with the parameters of Chapter 560 of Florida Statutes.

There are other important aspects that must be planned for, and executed timely. Some of those are obtaining the proper county and city permits to operate the business, ensuring that the location has all the necessary security measures to protect the employees and customers, obtaining adequate software for the check cashing operation, as well as obtaining a qualified bank account to be able to operate the business. The process of applying for an MSB-qualified bank account has a number of elements that must be considered before applying for the account. Also the check casher must be aware that not every bank offers accounts for check cashers, and some of the banks that offer these types of accounts have additional costs and even collateral requirements. It is very important to demonstrate to the bank you are applying for that your check cashing business operates in a safe and sound manner.

Personal Representative, Executor, Administrator

The words „personal representative“, „executor“ and „administrator“ all refer to the same individual: the person or company responsible for administering your estate when you pass away. In Oregon, we refer to this individual as the „personal representative“ (also known as the „PR“). Naming a PR in a will can oftentimes be a difficult decision because the client does not know what he or she is responsible for doing. We are frequently asked by clients that we’re drafting wills for „what does the personal representative, executor or administrator do?“ The same question is asked by the individual who has been appointed.

In Oregon, the personal representative is responsible for properly administering an estate’s assets. There are many steps associated with administering an estate and oftentimes the process is overwhelming.

Before an individual named in the will can begin administering an estate, the court must appoint the individual as the personal representative. This is accomplished usually by the person named in the will filing a petition with the circuit court in the county where the decedent resided or has property.

Once appointed, the personal representative must immediately take possession of all of the decedent’s assets that belong to estate. This would include real property owned by the decedent, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and personal property. However, property jointly owned by the decedent and another individual as joint tenants with right of survivorship or with a spouse, property that has a payable on death beneficiary (life insurance, IRA or 401K), and property owned by a trust would not be considered a part of the decedent’s probate estate. The PR may need to take steps necessary to transfer this type of property to the proper beneficiaries or other owners, but it is not considered a part of the probate estate.

Although real property does not need to be formally transferred to the estate by recording a deed, the personal representative needs to take steps necessary to secure the property, update utility records, and add the estate as an additional insured of any insurance policy covering the property. Vehicles don’t need to be retitled but the estate should be named as an additional insured.

The personal representative must take all steps to ensure that money and property of the estate is kept separate from the PR’s property. Usually, the PR will open an estate checking or savings account to deposit estate funds and proceeds from the sale of estate assets. The PR cannot deposit estate funds into the PR’s own checking or savings account.

Under no circumstances should the personal representative borrow money from the estate. Additionally, the PR cannot lend estate funds or other property to any individual without permission from the court. The PR cannot give any estate funds to beneficiaries or heirs without a court order. This restriction does not apply to funds held in accounts with payable on death beneficiaries or life insurance proceeds that are directed to be distributed to specific individuals.

In addition to gathering assets, the personal representative is responsible for paying outstanding debts of the decedent and costs associated with the administration of the estate. For example, the PR can use the estate checking account to pay for utilities providing gas, electric and water to the decedent’s property, insurance covering the property, and other bills associated with the estate assets.

In order to ensure that all of the decedent’s bills and other debts are paid, the personal representative should have the decedent’s mail forwarded to the PR. The PR will also need to go through the decedent’s filing cabinets, desk, unopened mail, etc. to ensure that all bills and other debts have been paid. The PR is responsible for paying the decedent’s unpaid bills and debts. Failure to do so may result in the PR being personally liable for any unpaid bills and debts. Consequently, a diligent search for unpaid creditors is necessary.

Unpaid medical bills, funeral expenses, and unpaid credit card bills must be paid off using estate assets prior to closing an estate. Sometimes the estate assets are not sufficient to pay off all of a decedent’s bills and rules are in place governing the priority for paying the decedent’s unpaid debts and costs of administering the estate.

Checks should always be made payable to the creditor or service provider and never to the personal representative or for cash. The one exception is that a PR may reimburse himself for paying estate expenses, such as funeral expenses, using the PR’s own funds. The court will scrutinize these payments so accurate and complete receipts must be kept to prove that reimbursement is proper.

At the conclusion of administering the estate, the personal representative must provide the court with a detailed accounting. The accounting will provide a list of estate assets and their values at the beginning of the probate and at the end and a narrative of changes in the estate assets. The accounting will include a description of funds received by the estate and expenses paid by the estate. It’s important to keep detailed records of funds coming in and going out of the estate. Typically, the PR will use a spreadsheet program (Excel) or Quickbooks and enter each transaction with a detailed description of the purpose of the transaction.

After the accounting is filed with, and approved by, the court, the court will issue a judgment authorizing the personal representative to distribute any remaining estate assets to the beneficiaries designated in the decedent’s will or, if there is no will, to the decedent’s heirs.

This is a general introduction into the personal representative’s duties in administering an estate in Oregon. Different states have different requirements and procedures. Due to the complexities associated with probate, most PRs elect to hire an attorney to help them through this difficult and confusing process.

© 12/12/2011 Kevin J. Tillson of Hunt & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved.