Suitcases for Kids

When your child has to travel frequently, you should seriously consider looking at suitcases for kids. As in the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, your child must also have the right size and style of a suitcase that will be proper and fitting for your own child. Just as the papa bear and mama bear in the Goldilocks story always have their things fitted for their use, so did baby bear in that story also have his things made according to his likes so that he may enjoy using them.  Suitcases for kids are now available in many designs and sizes from which you may choose.

In buying suitcases for kids there are certain basic things that you have to consider such as the durability of the suitcase, convenience in its use and even the style of the suitcase. Since the suitcase will be for your kid then make sure that he will like using it and will be safe in using the suitcase. There is no better way in assuring these to happen than by bringing your child with you when you go shopping for his suitcase. Always ask the opinion of your child on the suitcase that you intend to buy for him.

While you respect the opinion of your child on this matter, still you should remember that there are so many designs available in the market for suitcases for kids that you as the adult will have to choose from and make the proper decision regarding the purchase of the proper suitcase for your child.

But if your child forcefully manifests his opposition to the kind of suitcase that you choose on the basis of the characteristics we’ve mentioned above then do not insist on buying the suitcase that you like because your child might just end up refusing to use the suitcase or that you will have a quarrel with your child every time he has to use the suitcase.

 

 

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Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Rules

An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a means by which you may set up a retirement plan to save money for retirement and undertake different transactions that will bring about benefits from investments and potential tax deductions. The primary advantageous characteristic of IRAs is the tax shelter they provide. However, as any tax shelter, the Government has provided several rules to control and avoid abuses in the use of IRAs. These rules may include rules on eligibility, contributions, income limits and withdrawals.

Rules on Eligibility

There are two rules that one must comply with to qualify for a traditional IRA and they deal with the age and earnings of an individual or the amount of compensation that he receives.

In order for you to qualify to make a contribution to an IRA, you must be under the age of 70 1/2 at the end of the calendar year.  After the age 70 1/2, you are no longer eligible to contribute to a traditional IRA. It is required that you must be earning some form of compensation which may include wages, salaries, bonuses, and commissions.  It must be noted however that the term compensation does not include deferred compensation or payments such as income from interest and stock dividends that you might have earned during the year.

Contributions

As regards contribution, you can not just make tax-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA at any amount that your heart desires because there are rules established by the IRS that you have to adhere. For instance you cannot contribute to a traditional IRA more than the amount of compensation you receive for the year such that even if the limit for 2010 is set at $5,000 you can only contribute $2,500 if your total earnings for the year 2010 is $2,500. However, the limit that we refer here relates to the limits as that you can deduct from your taxes. So if you are not concerned with tax deductions then you can contribute in excess of the limits that the IRS has set. But the tax deductibility of the contributions made to traditional IRAs is the primary attractive characteristic of IRAs. Without the tax deduction, the traditional IRA’s will lose its appeal. The income limits of the traditional IRA vary depending on whether you are covered by a qualified retirement plan at work (i.e. 401K) or not.

 

Income Limits

Tax-deductible IRA contributions are subject to an income phase-out rule which means that upon reaching a certain level of income, the deduction takes place at a lower level of income. It is however important to note that if you or your spouse is covered by a qualified retirement plan then the phase-out for the deduction takes place at a lower level of income.

 

Withdrawals

When you make a contribution to an IRA, you become entitled to make a withdrawal subject to certain rules. You may only make a withdrawal from an IRA upon reaching the age of 591/2 otherwise any withdrawal made before such age is considered as an early withdrawal unless you qualify as an exception. If you do not qualify as an exception, then the early withdrawal from your IRA will make you liable to an additional 10% tax penalty. This 10% penalty is over and above any federal income tax due on the amounts distributed.  That includes any money you may put into your IRA account on a tax-deferred basis since traditional IRAs also allow for contributions on an after-tax basis.

 

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Settling Tax Debt in the US

Tax debt settlement is defined as a tax resolution method available through the federal government. A tax debtor may avail of numerous programs offered by the government for tax debt settlement such as penalty abatement, installment agreement and an offer-in-compromise (OIC). In settling his tax debt, the tax debtor may seek the assistance of certified public accountants, enrolled agents, tax attorneys, and tax debt relief companies or agencies.

 

Whether or not you should be assisted by any of the tax professionals depends on the complicity of your case which may also depend on the amount of tax debt liability that you have and the actions already taken by the IRS. When a case has already been filed against you, a Tax Attorney may be the appropriate professional to help you because generally speaking he is the most knowledgeable in the area of tax law and many tax attorneys offer their services for tax debt settlement. These tax professionals may assist you to avail of any of the tax assessment resolution methods available such as the penalty abatement, installment agreement or offer in compromise.

 

The Penalty Abatement is a tax debt resolution method wherein a tax debtor challenges the interest and penalties imposed upon him for a specific length of time. Usually the basis for the request for the penalty abatement by the taxpayer may be on administrative waiver (such as an erroneous advice from a tax practitioner), reasonable cause (such as death in the family), or an error committed by the IRS.

 

The Installment agreement is another program offered by the government for tax-debt settlement .Under this program, the tax debtor, under certain circumstances enters into an installment agreement with the IRS. The tax debtor offers to pay his tax due through an installment payment plan. The tax debtor is required to inform the IRS of the amount he intends and date when he intends to submit his monthly payment. A tax debtor whose balance due is $25,000 or less is entitled to make an electronic payment plan.

 

The Offer in Compromise (OIC) is another popular method available to a tax debtor to settle his tax debt. Under this method, the tax debtor submits an offer in compromise to the IRS upon showing of a doubt as to the tax’s accuracy, doubt as to their ability to pay the outstanding tax liability in its entirety or the injustice or significant economic hardship that would result from the payment of the tax. Upon submission of an Offer- in- Compromise by the tax debtor, the IRS will evaluate the offer and will grant the Offer-in-Compromise when it sees that the probability that the outstanding debt can be collected in its entirety is slim and that the proposed settlement is an equitable representation of the collection potential.

 

 

 

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Insurance as a Mode of Sharing the Risk

We can now simply buy an insurance policy in order to share the risks which are inevitable in most of our undertakings. An insurance policy allows us to share with other people the risks that we can not do away with. Since we are not certain of the outcome of our undertakings or what the future have in store for us, then risks will always be part of our lives.

Since the beginning of time, men have always bound themselves as a group or community to fight a common risk or danger. The cavemen hunted as a group, sharing the risks of hunting with each other while also sharing the bounty of their hunting. Today, men have also found ways of binding themselves together to fight the dangers that accompany their daily activities. Since man is always exposed to different risks then man has invented the concept of insurance which is really a mode of sharing risk of an individual with other persons also exposed to the same risk. By simply sharing the bounty of their income they earn from their respective professions and livelihood by paying premium of an insurance contract, a person exposed to a certain risk is allowed to share his risk with other people who also pay a certain amount of premium and in turn are also given the opportunity to share their risks with others.

A person, who recognizes a particular risk like the possibility of his house being burned, may get a property insurance against fire. If he recognizes that by driving his car, he puts himself at the risk of having a car accident such as colliding with another vehicle, then he may get a vehicle insurance or auto insurance. If a person owns a boat and recognizes the danger of his boat disappearing in the ocean, then he may get a marine insurance for his vessel. There are many other different kinds of insurance available such as liability insurance, credit insurance or health insurance. But in any particular kind of insurance contract, it is the person who recognizes the existence of a risk and who wishes to be insured, who proposes an insurance contract with an insurer or the insurance company. Although sometimes the insured might think that it is the insurance company that has proposed an insurance contract to him since an insurance agent could be the one who has approached and even convinced the insured to get an insurance policy but in the legal context it is never the insurance company who proposes because after the application is filed with the insurance company by the person who wishes to be insured, the insurer still determines whether or not to accept the insurance proposal. The insurer or insurance company will still evaluate each proposal to determine the risks involved in a particular proposal and will correspondingly set the amount of premium that the insurer should pay before the insurance company will accept the proposal for an insurance contract.

The concept of insurance, though oftentimes taken for granted is still a great invention of man that enables him to share with other people the risks that accompany the myriad of activities in his daily life.

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Corporate Rehabilitation

Under the RULES OF PROCEDURE ON CORPORATE REHABILITATION, the word “rehabilitation” is defined as the restoration of the debtor to a position of successful operation and solvency, if it is shown that its continuance of operation is economically feasible and its creditors can recover by way of the present value of payments projected in the plan, more if the corporation continues as a going concern than if it is immediately liquidated.

Under Rule 4 of the same RULES mentioned above, a debtor is allowed to initiate for its rehabilitation. It is provided in the RULES that any debtor who foresees the impossibility of meeting its debts when they respectively fall due, may petition the proper regional trial court for rehabilitation.

In the case NORTH BULACAN CORPORATION vs.  PHILIPPINE BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS, G.R. No. 183140 on August 2, 2010, the Supreme Court answered at least two important issues about corporate rehabilitation.

The first question is, is it necessary for the rehabilitation plan to be first referred to a receiver for study and evaluation before the Regional Trial Court should rule on the creditors’ objections to a petition for rehabilitation?

The Supreme Court held in the case mentioned above that, the RTC should have ruled on the creditors’ objections instead of merely treating them as premature.  While the RTC claims that the rehabilitation plan would still have to be referred to the receiver for study and evaluation however there would be no need to go that far when as in the case mentioned-above, the petitioning corporation declined to comply with the simple rules of rehabilitation, when the documentation of its assets were inadequate, and when the creditors’ opposition offered insurmountable basis for shelving the entire effort.

The other question is within what period shall the court approve the rehabilitation plan?

The court shall approve the plan within 180 days from the date of the initial hearing. Under the Rehabilitation Rules, if upon the lapse of 180 days from the date of the initial hearing there is still no approved rehabilitation plan, the Regional Trial Court must dismiss the petition. However, the Regional Trial Court may extend the 180-day period since the rules allow such an extension provided it is not to exceed 18 months from the filing of the petition but only if there appears to be convincing and compelling evidence that the debtor-corporation can be successfully rehabilitated and provided further that there must be a motion to extend and that there must be strong and compelling evidence which shows that the petitioner’s continued operation is still economically feasible.

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Education in the Philippines

Prolonging the Agony.

That could perfectly describe the plan of the (DECS) Department of Education, Culture and Sports to add another two years to the high school education program in the Philippines. The Government believes that by adding another two years to the high school program of education, the educational standard of our country will be improved. However, I am with the majority in opposing to this idea.

Many say that what the Government should do is to improve the standard of education in our present educational system without increasing the number of years that the students are obliged to spend in school. By just hording the students to school for another two years will not solve the problem of the poor standard of education in our country. We need more meaningful and effective solutions. One of which is that the teacher-students ratio should be improved.

There should be more teachers to be fielded to the different schools especially the public schools in our country. The quality of teachers must be improved. They should be given better salaries and benefits. They should be given more training and development programs. There is a latin maxim that says “nemo dat quod non habet” which means that you cannot give what you do not have. The teachers must therefore be fully equipped with whatever is needed to be able to give good education to our students.

The government should just accept the fact that the problem in the low standard of our educational program is not the lack of TIME that the students spend in school but the lack of QUALITY TIME that the students spend in school. Increasing the number of years that the students are to spend in school is just a great waste of time and financial resources. The Government should undertake efforts to ensure that the time spent by the students in schools are maximized and of good quality for education. The DECS and CHED should be more involved in the supervision over the operations of our schools to assure the good quality of education that our students are entitled.

For instance, when I will compare a local state college where my son studies with a private educational institution where my other children are studying, I cannot help but notice that in that local state college, the students are not loaded with lessons. There had been many instances when my son and his classmates only hangout in their classroom waiting for the time to pass without having any professor and without being given any lesson. Well you can rarely find this scenario in the private institution where my other children are studying. While this scenario is set in the college setting, however this could also be the common scenario in public high schools or even worse. To increase the number of years in high school is certainly only an increase in the waste of time and financial resources not only on the part of the parents of the students but also on the part of our country. The government should never be tempted to do this even if this would mean temporarily lowering unemployment rate by the number of graduates that we produce in two years. This is so because the number of graduates that we would produce in two years will be kept longer in school and will be classified as students instead of graduates joining the ranks of the unemployed.

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Hello world!

This is a personal blog that contains articles that I have written about different topics but mostly under Philippine setting.

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