The IRS today announced plans to streamline the Form 1040 into a shorter, simpler form for the 2019 tax season. The new Form 1040 consolidates the current 1040, the 1040A and the 1040EZ into one form. The IRS will work with the tax community to finalize the streamlined Form 1040 over the summer to ensure a smooth transition.
Individuals filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 must use a new form that presents their payment plan in a more uniform and transparent manner, and creditors will have less time to submit a proof of claim, under new bankruptcy rules and form amendments that took effect Dec. 1.
Due to the decrease in the maximum SNAP benefit allotments and the minimum benefit amount, some families may see a small decrease in their SNAP benefit on October 1. This will be especially true for any family receiving the maximum benefit allotment for their household size and for elderly/disabled households who are currently receiving the minimum benefit. This change in benefits may be confusing to SNAP recipients because many will experience a small reduction in their monthly SNAP benefit even though they have not had any changes in their income or expenses. Our toolkit provides community organizations with updated tools and resources and information on how to help SNAP recipients maximize their SNAP benefits.
Therefore, clients are demanding mobile applications that provide direct access to a firm. In addition, consumers want education; online questionnaires to gather information rather than in-person consultations; and free legal forms for specific practice areas. Rather than fighting this trend toward creating mobile legal products and services, attorneys can use online information-gathering tools to triage and educate clients and focus on professional judgment for problem-solving.
Firms have made standard forms free, for example Orrick’s Start Forms Library. Also, legal plans have free forms on mobile applications, like LegalShield’s Forms app, which includes more than 15 free forms for common consumer transactions like renting, buying and selling–plus freelance agreements. Taking it a step further, we need to use mainstream technology to create solutions for specific applications within the law. For example, we can utilize chabots to answer frequently asked questions or customizable expert systems for immigration or incorporation questionnaires.
Check out Orrick’s Start Forms Library
Studies reveal that clients, more than ever, want and expect great service from their outside counsel. On top of that, clients value lawyers who know and understand their business, as well their people and their policies. Clients also want lawyers who are trusted advisors and counselors.
Lawyers and law firms that take the time ask “How are we doing?” and take a proactive interest in helping clients achieve their goals and objectives add tremendous value to the relationship and build trust and loyalty with the client. Being a competent legal technician is simply not enough anymore in today’s competitive market place for legal services.
And what is the best way to achieve this type of relationship with clients? Go visit them. In fact, I recommend that partners visit their top four clients each year. Show you care. Ask smart questions. Listen, learn and respond appropriately.
(Click here for) our Client Site Visit checklist, which offers practical guidance to lawyers who are interested in enhancing their relationships with top clients.
- What can a $700 per hour lawyer do that a $200 per hour lawyer can’t? (saastr.com)
- From BigLaw To Your Own Firm: 4 Tips For Legal Startups (law360.com)
- Artificial Intelligence Computers Replacing Lawyers (armstrongeconomics.com)
Like the previous editions, this third edition seeks to help tenants’ attorneys identify and, if they choose to, raise “silent lease issues” when they review a typical landlord’s standard commercial lease.
YouTube: Extension of Time to File
This new IRS YouTube video explains how to get more time to file your clients’ tax returns.
Here’s What You Need to Do with Forms 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C
You, your employees or your clients may receive one or more forms that provide information about 2015 health coverage. These forms are 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C. The following health care tax tips provide some answers to common questions about these forms:
ALBANY – The New York State Bar Association is lobbying to change New York’s power-of-attorney statute, which its members say is fraught with procedural pitfalls that pose “significant and severe repercussions” for both lawyers and clients.
The bar’s Working Group on Power of Attorney said 2008 and 2010 revisions to the power-of-attorney statute failed to meet the intended goal of strengthening protections for potentially incapacitated principals.
Instead, the group says power-of-attorney paperwork is now riddled with “traps for the unwary.”
The state bar’s House of Delegates adopted the group’s findings and authorized a lobbying effort in Albany to have power-of-attorney procedures revert back to simpler pre-2008 procedures by amending General Obligations Law, §5-1501-§5-1514.
Ellen Makofsky, the chair of the panel, said the “continuous” errors being made in preparation of power-of-attorney documents is due to the unnecessary complexity of New York’s law.