October 15, 1997 How to Protect Your Laptop From Theft ! Each day about 2,000 laptop computers are stolen. Many of these thefts could be prevented. Here are some prudent steps you can take to protect your computer. GENERAL RULES: Lock your notebook in your office during off hours. Review and understand the laptop insurance coverage included in your business and homeowner`s policies to ensure you have coverage for theft. Keep only the most necessary proprietary information on the portable. Do not load passwords on the laptop, particularly those allowing remote and e-mail communication with clients or the office. Never leave your laptop unattended in a public place even for a moment. Consider installing a bootup password, available on most portables, so only users with your password can access the hard disk. Back up files and store them in some place other than the laptop carrying case. Consider engraving the company name or some other identification on the laptop cover. Be especially cautious about installing any software from unknown sources: it may contain a virus. Pay attention to where you use the portable. Be aware that your computer screen can be seen by someone behind or next to you. This is especially true on an airplane. TRAVEL RULES: Carry your notebook in a strong, padded, nondescript bag. Do not use a carrying case that advertises there`s a computer inside. Never leave the laptop in full view in your car. Never check the computer as luggage at airports. Keep hold of your laptop at all times in airports. At airport security checkpoints, be observant. Don`t place the laptop on a conveyor belt until you are ready to walk through the checkpoint. Green Card is now Pink! The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is phasing in a new Employment Authorization Document, the I-766. This document which is pink will replace the "green card" and will be issued to aliens who are authorized to work temporarily in the United States. While the document is being phased in, some work-authorized aliens will continue to receive their work authorization on the existing EAD, the I-688B and both cards will remain in circulation. If you are an employer, aliens with temporary work authorization, may, but are not required to, present this card to you during the employment verification process (Form I-9). The card will be a "List A" document for this purpose, which means that it establishes both identity and employment eligibility. The new card in no way alters your responsibilities to hire persons who are eligible to work in the United States, complete the I-9 and avoid discrimination in the hiring and verification process. Jury Duty Expenses At some time you will be called for jury duty. When you serve on the jury you will be paid a specific amount per day which essentially represents travel expenses. This amount will be reported on Form 1099 as Miscellaneous Income. What most people are unaware of is that they can deduct their daily travel expenses that were incurred in order to get to the court house. We remind you now to keep a record of your mileage, parking, tolls, bus, subway, taxi and any other related costs so that these can offset the reportable income. The IRS, Abusive? Current and former IRS workers told a Senate committee that the agency evaluates and promotes staff based upon collections and property seizures although such a quota system was outlawed in 1988. The witnesses suggested the IRS pursues taxpayers less likely to hire a certified public accountant or a tax attorney to challenge a collection notice. Clinton Numbers Game In calculating family income the Clinton Treasury uses a bizarre notion of income. Clinton believes that if you own your own home you must add to your income the imputed rental value of your home. They also add the income earned within your IRA. So a family earning $28,000 per year can become a "rich" family "earning" $40,000 per year. Middle Class v. The Rich Clinton says parents with AGI greater than $75,000 are rich versus Republicans who say $130,000. What does IRS data show- Top 10% = AGI greater than $ 69,000 Top 5% = AGI greater than $ 91,000 Top 1% = AGI greater than $ 196,000 Top .06% = AGI greater than $1,000,000 Top 5% reported 28% of AGI and paid 48% of total income taxes. Top 1% reported 14% of AGI and paid 29% of total income taxes. Private Medical Insurance for the Elderly Impossible The new Balanced Budget Act provides, effective January 1, 1998, that doctors who treat a Medicare eligible patient, without billing Medicare, must sign an affidavit that they will not treat a Medicare patient again for the next two years. This makes private medicine all but impossible under penalty of fines and imprisonment. One can argue that this is the Clinton Administration`s attempt to socialize medicine through the backdoor. What is inconceivable is that the Republican Congress allowed this to get through. A plague on both their houses! Further, it is now a fact that the elderly do not need to pay for their own private medical insurance because no doctor will take it. If you have any questions about this or any other financial matters, please call me.