Thursday, August 04, 2011

Use Tax/ Hackers

Most of you I think have received request from the Board of Equalization to review your receipts for three years and report and pay the use tax for purchases from out of state Internet companies.

Along with the amount owed you are required to pay all interest and penalty charges. You also were registered with the BOE if your receipts were over $100000 and you did not have a resellers license. This is called the “Qualified Purchaser Program”[ QPP]

Senator George Runner on the BOE Board wrote an Op Ed piece called ”A Qualified Mess” pointing out the problems with QPP. He also surveyed small businesses and as a result the BOE has agreed to make changes to QPP including eliminating the automatic registration of businesses and allowing the businesses to leave the program if they don’t owe tax or their income falls below $100000.

Hackers Take $1 Billion a Year as Banks Blame Their Clients

By Greg Farrell and Michael A. Riley - Aug 4, 2011 –

Valiena Allison got a call from her bank on a busy morning two years ago about a wire transfer from her company’s account. She told the managers she hadn’t approved the transfer. The problem was, her computer had.

As Allison, chief executive officer of Sterling Heights, Michigan-based Experi-Metal Inc., was to learn, her company computer was approving other transfers as she spoke. During hours of frantic phone calls with her bank, Allison, 45, was unable to stop this cybercrime in progress as transfer followed transfer. By day’s end, $5.2 million was gone.

She turned to her bank, a branch of Comerica Inc. (CMA), to help recover the money for her metal-products firm. It got all but $561,000 of the funds. Then came the surprise: the bank said the loss was Experi-Metal’s problem because it had allowed Allison’s computer to be infected by the hackers.

“At the end of the day, the fraud department at Comerica said: ‘What’s wrong with you? How could you let this happen?’” Allison said.

In increments of a few thousand dollars to a few million per theft, cybercrooks are stealing as much as $1 billion a year from small and mid-sized bank accounts in the U.S. and Europe like Experi-Metal, according to Don Jackson, a security expert at Dell SecureWorks. And account holders are the big losers.

Remainder of story at this link:

Scott Hauge
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA 94116

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