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Enforcement of Governing Documents – What are the Association’s Options?

March 3rd, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

One of the most common topics we are asked by association clients is how to enforce the covenants and restrictions set forth in the association’s governing documents (declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules and regulations).  Below is a brief review of an association’s options in regards to enforcement.
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Florida Sales Tax on Transient Rentals

February 17th, 2017

Posted in Business Law,IRS & Tax Information

Transient rentals are a thriving business in Florida, and one which many Florida real estate owners may utilize in an attempt to supplement their income.  Generally speaking, a transient rental is one that lasts for less than six (6) months.  What many property owners do not know is that transient rentals are subject to Florida sales tax.  Florida law requires that property owners charge to, and collect from, each transient guest an additional six percent (6%).
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Condominium and Homeowners’ Associations Should Carefully Review Insurance Policies to Ensure Coverage for Disability Discrimination Claims

February 3rd, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Generally, condominium and homeowners’ associations have obligations under state and federal laws to not discriminate against persons with disabilities.  Many forms of discrimination are intuitive, but others are not.  Under the Fair Housing Acts (both federal and state), discrimination includes the failure to permit reasonable modifications of existing premises, at the expense of the person requesting the modification, as may be necessary to afford a handicapped person full enjoyment of the premises.  Discrimination also includes the refusal to make reasonable accommodations in the “rules, policies, practices, or services” when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a handicapped person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. 
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Make a Resolution to Create or Review your Estate Plan

January 24th, 2017

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Often, people explain that they do not have enough assets to need an estate plan.  However, regardless of the value of assets you have, reviewing your personal financial plan from a legal and estate plan perspective is highly recommended.  In fact, even those who have substantial debt may be able to pass assets on to beneficiaries.  Everyone can benefit from creating and reviewing an estate plan including the elderly, married couples, parents with minor children and singles.
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Condominium and Homeowners’ Association Acts do not Always Trump a Community Association’s Governing Documents

January 6th, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

A common question we receive from community association board members and managers is whether pertinent provisions of the governing documents or Florida Statutes control when a conflict exists between them.  Understandably, a layperson’s initial reaction might be, “the law is the law, so it obviously trumps any contrary provisions in the governing documents, right?”  The short answer is “no” because Article I, Section 10 of the United States and Florida Constitutions generally prohibit States from passing laws that impair contracts.  A recent case illustrates the importance of understanding that the Florida Statutes will not necessarily control over conflicting provisions of a community association’s governing documents.
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Important Deadlines for Taxpayers in 2017

December 22nd, 2016

Posted in IRS & Tax Information

Calendaring important IRS and tax authority deadlines can save you a lot of headaches at tax time.  To avoid paying penalties and other tax consequences, keep a calendar and plan for tax deadlines with your Accountant, CPA, Enrolled Agent, or Tax Attorney.  Jackson Law Group has tax attorneys that can assist you with IRS or other tax problems.  The below items are a few examples of important dates that may vary based on individual circumstances:
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Association Members May Receive Notices by E-Mail

December 9th, 2016

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Especially for larger communities, mailing out notices to the membership can be a significant expense to the association.  Fortunately, both the Condominium Act (Ch. 718, Fla. Stat.) and the Homeowners’ Association Act (Ch. 720, Fla. Stat.) provide that an association may send certain notices and communications to a member via e-mail if the association receives written consent from that member.  Chapters 718 and 720 of the Florida Statutes previously required that such authority be provided in the association’s bylaws; however, this requirement was recently removed by the Legislature.  Thus, as long as a member consents in writing, the association may provide the member with electronic notice.  
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Understanding Self-Employment Tax (What is it and Who Must Pay it)

December 2nd, 2016

Posted in Business Law,IRS & Tax Information

If you are a Florida small business owner, independent contractor, or otherwise self-employed, it’s important to note that you may be liable for self-employment taxes.  Generally, the term self-employment tax refers to the Social Security and Medicare taxes for taxpayers who are self-employed.  Self-employed individual should calculate and report your self-employment tax on Schedule SE of their form 1040.
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