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The Paradigm Shift To Digital Tax Could Cost Pounds 160m For Ireland

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Digital Tax to cost Ireland €160 million per annum

The tax would cost Ireland €160 million per year. It does raise questions about the pace of future FDI into Europe, and into Ireland. Of greater significance is the EU rules of establishing a digital permanent establishment (PE). The proposed new rules of taxing digital businesses could hurt the corporate tax revenues of Ireland. If a big player with European headquarters in Ireland pays this levy, then they could count it as an expense against the tax they declare in Ireland. For the EU, a fair global tax system will ensure greater transparency and sustainable development. The Irish government position is that corporate tax reform should be made into the multilateral system. The European Union estimates a tax revenue of €5 billion and allocation of the revenue across EU Member States based on population. The digital tax would cost the Exchequer between €120 million and €160 million every year. The resulting taxable profits are liable to be taxed at the applicable rate in Ireland.

EU’s decision an encroachment on Ireland’s sovereignty

Digital service tax paid for doing business outside Ireland may be set off against Irish CT. Ireland would get €45 million if the tax was reallocated proportionately to European Union member countries based on population. If a big player with European headquarters in Ireland pays this levy, then they could count it as an expense against the tax they declare in Ireland. The introduction of digital services tax gives high-profile tech companies to new profit tax bases, hence the DST charge related to such revenues are fully deductible. The increased tax rate difference between Ireland’s corporate tax rate of 12.5% and the corporate tax rates with a DST among member countries effect the profit shift from Ireland. EU Member States who choose its own tax systems and non-EU countries who are seeking to maximize tax revenues would result in a seismic profit shift from Ireland.

Irish tax base erosion and profit shifting

Profit shifting is already prevalent in mutual agreement procedure and correlative adjustment in Ireland. Ireland and some other member states have alleged that direct taxation does not fall within the competence of the European Commission. The Commission is moving towards tax harmony where it is necessary for the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the internal market. EU member states and non-EU member states will introduce new digital tax policies and at the same time change the digital permanent establishment rules, along the proposals set out in the proposed directive with regard to a significant digital presence. In either case, the implications are that the effective rate of tax on the non-US profits of digital firms will increase and the corporate tax revenues of Ireland will erode. Tax may no longer be a compelling reason for a global enterprise to invest in Ireland.

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SEO Tips for Lawyers – Five Crucial Keys to Organic Search Engine Optimization

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Business referrals also play a huge role in building a practice for attorneys, but can only go so far. What happens when you want more business or would like to expand your firm? This is when many practices turn to marketing and advertising– yellowpage ads, radio, TV commercials, lawyer directories.

These are all good ways to promote your practice, but what if I told you there is a “free” source of leads that would facilitate potential seeking you out, right at the time he/she needed your services? Well there is and it’s called the modern day search engine.

Search engines, when used to the fullest extent, can act as pre-qualifying authoritative referral sources. Just as a consumer is more likely to get product or service recommendations form a friend or family member verses take what a commercial has to say at face value, search engines can be a strong lead source in your practice’s marketing mix because of the trust they are given for finding unbiased information.

Have you ever wondered why some attorney websites have top ten rankings on search engines, while others do not? You’re about to learn some of the secrets. Do not take this information lightly. As an attorney, what you are about to read could earn you thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars in new cases and legal fees.

Below are Five Basic Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips for Lawyers that have taken me years to understand. While paid listings or “sponsored links” do have a high ROI when managed properly, this article in particular is only speaking toward the natural or unpaid listings you see on popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and MSN.

Some of these techniques may seem very easy to understand, even implement, but that is the beauty of it. With all the false information out there, it takes a long time to know what has value and what does not. As Mark Twain said, “I’m sorry this letter is so long, I didn’t have the time to write a short one.” It has taken me years to weed through the tricks, and fly by night gimmicks, and false information so enjoy and feel free to contact me with any questions. With that said, I present to you five crucial keys to organic search engine optimization.

SEO Tip One: Use Descriptive & Unique Meta Titles

Did you know one of the most important areas for your firm’s site in regard to search ranking is the “Meta Title” of your home page? This is the title that appears on the blue frame around your browser (i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox). The title also appears in search listings. You can see your website’s title in its raw coding by choosing “View” and “View source code” from your browser.

Anatomy of the Meta Information

In epistemology, the prefix meta- is used to mean about (its own category). A website’s meta information is typically made up of three distinct areas: title, description, and keywords. According to many well-known SEO gurus, the “keywords” section is completely useless, but it can harm you if you use too many keywords.

Most major search engines have now filtered out the importance of the “keywords” section because of past abuse, “keyword stuffing,” as well as placing long lists of irrelevant highly searched terms. Do not put too many keywords in the keywords section, and do not rely on this section to help with search engine optimization (SEO). Some SEO experts still use it “just in case, ” but only place 10 – 15 keywords never repeating, and using a comma after each single term.

The title however, is still a hugely important area to naturally work in highest level key phrases, along with branding the firm, or your name if acting as an independent practice. However, do not repeat keywords, and do not use more than 12 words or around 65 characters. Otherwise, the full title will not been seen in search and having an overabundance of words will dilute its power anyway. Google also has a filter or penalty block for sites that repeat one word too often in titles.

What’s in a Name?

Check your meta title right now! Choose “View” and “View source code” from your browser. Does it only have the name of your firm? That is fine if you are doing other advertising and your firm has lots of name recognition, but you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

What about those prospects you are missing out on who are typing into the search engines more generic phrases without any firms or attorney names in mind? Example, a search engine user types in “Personal Injury Attorney Dallas.” If you do not have specific words that describe your practice in your meta title, your site is less likely to appear in the top then than an attorney who does.

Be Unique

Your meta title can make or break your search engine rankings for valuable placement. Use a different title for every page of your site, making sure it describes the page’s content and/or user function (such as an “About” page, use the word “About So and So Firm.”). With deeper pages further away from the homepage use varying logical keywords that not only describe the page, but are akin to the words a user might type in seeking out that specific information.

It may seem like if you repeat the same title over and over again on other pages your site will perform better for those keywords, but it will not, you will be cannibalizing your efforts. You can use your name or the name of your firm, but place it near the end of the title. Keep the most unique part toward the beginning. Proximity and density also play a role.

This one tip could warrant a whole article on best practices on its own, but for now start with recognizing your meta title’s importance. I will be publishing a more advanced “nuts and bolts” article covering how you should plan a reverse keyword pyramid for your site titles, as well as other titling recommendations.

SEO Tip Two: Acquire Relevant Backlinks

Links to your site are seen as votes in the major search engines’ eyes. Just so we are on the same page, these are links to your website from another website, not links from your website to another. In this analogy these popularity votes are similar to how voting existing before several human rights were established. Some were considered 3/5ths a person, and some not considered at all. Their votes were counted accordingly. In other words, not all backlinks are created equal. The quality of a link toward your site can be determined on multiple criterion.

a). Relevance – Does the subject matter of the page linking out reflect the subject matter of your site or is it about something completely off topic? Example would be another attorney links to your site from his/her blog unsolicited based on your site’s relevant content and merit verses a random site that sells knockoff Viagra wanting to trade links with you.

b). Link & Text Density – This speaks to the amount of other links on the page linking to yours on the other website. If the other site has a listing of 100s of links on all different topics, including yours, the link is most likely devalued in the search engines eyes, not only because of relevance, but because of perceived importance. These are commonly known as “link farms.” The opposite situation would be your link is the only one listed. The backlink could be considered even more valuable if the other site surrounds it with relevant copy before and after (for example in a blog or article). A less effective, but not completely worthless placement would be a listing on a “Links” page from another site where only a handful of other offsite links existed.

c). Second Generation Link Popularity- Your site is deemed more important in the search engines’ eyes not only by how many other sites link to you, but how many sites link to the sites that link to you. The link popularity is passed on using a formula that one search engine originated called PageRank(TM). In essence, you could have 100s of backlinks, but if no one is linking to the other sites linking to you, many of the links may be worthless from a ranking point of view (but could be valuable in other ways to be discussed in a later article). There are tools you can use to “pull up the curtain” and see just how people are linking to your site, as well as how many are linking to their’s.

This is a simplified explanation on how acquiring backlinks can help your SEO. As with titling, the topic of backlinks could also warrant its own full fledged article, or multiple articles. The important takeaway is: backlinks matter for SEO.

SEO Tip Three: Build a Legal Knowledgebase

The Internet was built on the foundation that people want authoritative, quality information fast. Instead of trying to remember the categories of the Dewy Decimal System and searching through different books’ table of contents, the search engine user uses keywords describing what he/she are looking for in order to find that information as fast as possible.

Not all Visitors are Qualified

First, as an attorney, you have to accept this fact that not all the visitors to your website are prospects. Many may be in the research mode of their buying cycle or may be looking for information for a friend or even a school report. The reality is the more original, helpful, and consistently you can put new information on your website, the more the search engines will show you preference. By high quality content I do not mean a sales pitch. You can use that type of language on your main pages, but you will appeal to a much wider audience if you use non-commercial, unbiased information presented as knowledgebase in your deeper pages.

By building a knowledgebase specific to your areas of practice, you accomplish at least two objectives, you are viewed as an expert becoming the authoritative source for that user’s legal question and you will likely pull prospects looking for those specific services right then and there. This is an indirect, but highly effective method of acquiring prospects.

One Page per Area of Practice

Example, if you practice copyright law and the prospect types in the search engine “copyright laws” you could have a page strictly devoted to explaining the different types, penalties for breaking the laws, defenses, highly popularized landmark cases, and other important information pertaining to copyright infringement. Create a page using at least 500 – 1500 words stratifying every area of your practice in fine detail, and your website will dominate the search engines, command lots of relevant traffic and, combined with other tools, bring a steady stream of leads. I will cover this in more depth giving more information on the best practices in future articles.

SEO Tip Four: Use specific Internal & External Anchor Text

Have you ever seen a link that says “Click here?” Oh course you have. That’s actually a waste of a link as far as SEO is concerned. Ok, maybe not a complete loss, but it does not use the link’s full potential. The words used in a link to another URL are called the anchor text and it can be vitally important to SEO.

There is a huge difference in how the search engines see a link with relevant text verses a non-descriptive or irrelevantly anchored link. This is even true for your site’s internal linking structure and calls to action. For example, instead of directing your website visitors to another internal page using the words “Click Here for information on copyright infringement,” make the words copyright infringement the actual link and avoid the cliché. You may have to change your verbiage schema to something similar to: “Learn more about the laws and penalties pertaining to copyright infringement,” which is better anyway.

Anchor Your Links or Site will walk the Plank

The more internal links on your site pointing to that page with those words, and even more importantly links from offsite with those words, the more likely the search engines will see your site, or that specific page, as being relevant for that term. Check your website right now.

Do you have any pointless “Click Here” links or something else just as useless? Right now, change the anchor text to words that describe the page in which they are linking. Or ask your webmaster to do it tomorrow morning. It’s worth it.

SEO Tip Five: Localize Your Content & Meta Descriptions

Are you an attorney who only operates in one city? Or can you work remotely because most of your work is out of the court room? If you operate in one city, or regional area, you need to make the search engines aware by using the most prominent DMA in your homepage title.

When prospects are using search engines, most are sophisticated enough to know, or have learned through search engine experience, to add the city onto whatever service in which he/she is searching. Example, a user types in “Dallas Commercial Real Estate Attorney.”

You may be a real estate attorney and your practice may be in Dallas, but the search engines will give another lawyer’s site preference if you do not spell it out for them. You may have your physical location in a normal 12 point text on the contact page, but that is not enough, since titles and meta descriptions hold more weight in the hierarchy.

Home Grown Meta Description

Some SEO gurus say descriptions are as defunct as the keywords section of your meta info. I say the meta description is the NEW keywords section of web 2.0, only the keywords must be used in a logical sentence form.

Secondly, you do not want to have to specify on a page describing individual areas of your practice or your knowledgebase that you are a “Dallas insert obscure and wordy law practice attorney” in the viable copy. While not terribly lethal, it’s a little awkward and contrived to the reader. You can use the description area of the meta for this SEO tactic.

Stay tuned for more Internet marketing tips for lawyers including more on SEO, pay-per-click advertising, and social media. Thanks for your time.

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Be a Backyard Mechanic

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Most people agree that owning a home based business is the way to go. In fact, for many people, it is a dream of a lifetime to get out from the 9-to-5 grind and become your own boss. One way to do this is to become a backyard mechanic.

Of course being a backyard mechanic is quite different than operating a regular shop. In fact, you may find legislative challenges to overcome in order to start your business. But there are still ways to operate a accurate mechanic shop without the expense of a regular shop.

Aside from basic repairs and oil changes, you may also be able to do some autobody work on cars that have been accidents. For all of this you will need to have a good supply of inexpensive car parts. So where are you to find them? Here are some ways to find inexpensive car parts when you’re starting out as a backyard mechanic:

· Type “wholesale auto parts” into your search engine browser and find an innumerable amount of car part suppliers who can give you great prices on parts, free delivery over a certain amount, and sometimes even a warranty.

· Use eBay to find a great deal on parts, especially parts that are difficult to find elsewhere, on just about any car imaginable. EBay offers a good warranty on car parts purchased through them and the only drawback is that if you lose an auction you have to buy the part from somewhere else and that can be time-consuming.

· Form an auto-parts buying club with other local car enthusiasts to be able to buy in large quantities and get wholesale discounts.

· Contact your local scrap yard dealers and ask them if they’ll give you a discount if you buy a lot of scrap parts from them and take them off yourself, thereby eliminating their costs for labor and storage.

· If you live in a large city and can specialize in just a handful of vehicles, you can buy several scrap vehicles quite cheaply, store them, and use them for parts.

Many people moonlight as backyard mechanics, fixing the cars of family and friends. If local laws allow it, there is little to stop you from doing the same as a full-time job. And saving money with car parts would help you earn a profit quickly.

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How to Identify Your Small Business Differentiator and Why

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When you are the owner of a small business, there are times when the scale of bigger companies can overwhelm you. At these times, you may wonder what you have that will make potential customers pick your brand over another. This particular factor is a business differentiator, and it helps consumers in the market identify you and set you apart from other brands.

Differentiating your company from the rest is an integral part in developing a brand, and it’s become even more difficult in recent years since it’s not merely enough to be just better than others; you need to be different. You may not have realized it yet, but being a small business is a differentiator on its own, you need to leverage it and market it enough. Here’s how you can identify your small business’ differentiators.

Analyze Your Competition

Finding your differentiators starts by learning what makes your competitors different. You need to maintain a neutral position and evaluate your competitor to know what their strengths and weaknesses are. What do they offer? What do they do better than you? How do they treat their customers?

Once you answer these questions, you discover their weak and strong points, as well as your own. At this point, you can decide whether you want to change the direction of your business to make it better than your competitors or market an aspect of your brand that’s already there.

Be Familiar with the Customer Experience

A benefit of being a small business owner is personally having experienced the life of an average consumer. By knowing the shortcomings of a large-scale company customer experience, you know what to develop in your own company. However, when working on differentiators, it’s time to start by scratch so you should map the various aspects of being a customer. What do they value? What dissuades them from buying?

You need to work on ways to build a consumer’s awareness of a need that your company can fulfill. It’s only after a consumer realizes that they need something that they will look towards brands that can provide them with a solution. You need to assess how your target demographic makes buying decisions, and whether your brand aligns with that thought process or not.

The wrong approach is to focus solely on your product because that’s not what customers emphasize on when buying a product. The best way is to address different aspects of the customer experience and develop all of them.

Know Your Strengths

The first and foremost strength of being a small business is giving customers the attention they need. Since you’re not managing branches everywhere, you can afford to look after a minimal customer base.

Other than that, each business has its strengths when compared to other brands. It could be your amazing marketing, your customer loyalty programs, or your approach to customer service. Also, a small business operates on values, so they understand the needs and requirements of the average person.

Get Involved in the Community

The community you operate in should be your focus when expanding your reach. By making an impact on your community, your brand automatically earns a reputation among the other brands in the area. The people in your district will be in favor of supporting your brand since it will have a positive influence on their community.

The Importance of Having Differentiators

It’s true that ever brand needs differentiators that give them a competitive edge for business rivals, but your brand needs it more as a small business. That’s because large companies can already offer better prices due to cheaper manufacturing practices and access to raw materials at lower costs.

Hence, having a fixed market differentiator will help consumers pick your brand despite the difference between what you and larger brands can offer. However, having a differentiator isn’t only necessary for setting your brand apart from the rest. By knowing what you can do better than other companies can, you’ll have a clear view of what you should focus on when planning a marketing campaign.

A well-planned and targeted marketing effort will help you retain customers and increase your rates of promotion among people outside your community. Without a strong differentiator, you won’t be able to compete with others head-on.

At the same time, you need to uphold the values of honesty and transparency by refraining from overloading your brand profile. By attesting to being better than competitors at ‘everything,’ you risk losing precious customers. That’s why; you need to test all of your differentiators to see if they’re true, provable and relevant.

Only market things about your brands that you believe to be true, and to gain the audience’s trust, you have to prove it; whether through ‘look inside our workshop’ schemes or quality tests. Lastly, your differentiators need to be relevant. Customers won’t consider an aspect of your brand that they don’t care about or if it doesn’t benefit them. To conclude, you need to reflect upon your band’s personality and find something about your small business that differentiates it from the rest.

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What’s Possible With Ebooks?

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Did you know that your first ebook is a springboard for many different products? That’s why almost every business owner is considering creating not just one ebook but several ebooks. The sooner you get started on your first ebook, the easier your second is to finish.

There are dozens of ebook spinoffs that all can contribute to generating additional revenue for your business. SOme of them are listed in this article. Your ebook can give you the content for 3 to 5 minute podcasts on your topic. It can be the source of inspiration for at least 100 different articles that are posted in article directories that drive traffic back to your site and drive people to buy your product line. It can be the source of content for a speaking engagement in front of a local club or organization, grade schools, high schools, or colleges and corporations.

Your ebook can be the source of info that is spun off into a child’s book or a book suitable for teens. If your ebook is a how-to-type of manual or scientific, it could be used as a foundation for the background knowledge needed to create a screenplay about a story relating to the topic.

Your ebook can be read into a microphone which is then recorded and burned onto a CD. It could be used with video footage and photos/text to create a DVD. You could then take bits of it and use it as a marketing device on YouTube.

Are you starting to see that creating ebooks is really an excellent way to boost your business and business presence? Your ebook could be broken into segments and used as individual articles that are given away as free reports. The individual articles could also be used to send to newspapers and magazines that are looking for filler information for their pages.

Some of these articles could be combined together in a little bundle, which makes them an attractive feature when you sell other products.

Parts of your ebook, such as interesting quotes and textboxes, can be used in some of your flyers and brochures. The table of contents can be used on your website to entice people to buy individual chapters if they don’t want to buy the whole ebook.

Your ebook can be given away as an incentive or sold for profit.

With all these possibilities, is there really any reason NOT to write your first ebook? I can show you how to do it with the least amount of stress.

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Understanding Miranda

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Most people, who are not criminal defense attorneys, believe that if the police do not inform them of their Miranda warnings when they are arrested, the case will be dismissed on a technicality. This is not the case.

Commonly known as Miranda warnings, these are warnings that many people associate when a person is arrested by the police. People are quite familiar with numerous television shows where the police arrest a suspect and proceed to inform them of their rights. The rights are as follows:

1) You have the right to remain silent;
2) Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law;
3) You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have the lawyer present during questioning;
4) If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed if you so desire;

Police officers are not required to inform people of their Miranda rights when they question an individual. Miranda warnings are required in very specific situations. A person must be in custody of the police. Custody is not necessarily defined as being in jail or handcuffed. A person can be in custody on a street, in his home, or in a parking lot if the person is deprived of his freedom in a significant way. The other requirement is that the police are questioning the person. Without these two requirements, Miranda is not required.

If a person is in custody and Miranda warnings were not provided, any statements pursuant to the questioning will be barred from being used at trial. In addition, any evidence obtained as a result of the inadmissible statement may also be suppressed. The suppression of that evidence falls under the doctrine of the “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”.

The attorneys at Dupage County DUI state that it is best to respectfully decline to answer any questions without an attorney present. Typically, individuals in custody are unsure as to what knowledge the police have and attempt to outsmart the police. Suspects frequently reveal information that can later be used as evidence of their guilt. The advice I give all clients is refuse to answer any questions and obtain an attorney. If the client wishes, he can always answer questions at a later time.

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Building Customer Loyalty

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The following tips can apply to virtually any profession or industry. If you think that these are self-evident, then I challenge you to take a personal assessment. Print this page and keep the list on your desk for one week. Place a checkmark next to each item when you conduct an activity that fulfills one of these objectives. Can you check all of these items in one week? Are you actively practicing the commitment that you desire from your customers?

If you want loyalty, you have to give it

Makes a list of your most important customers or clients. For your general customers or clients, demonstrate your commitment in general terms and especially when they need you. For the most important customers, demonstrate your commitment and let them know how much you appreciate them. Sometimes loyalty takes sacrifice.

Communicate

Building a lasting relationship requires communication. Communication means listening to your customer or client, as well as conveying your own message. One sided communication is a speech, mutual communication is a conversation. Communicate when things are going well and when there are problems. When things are going as expected, bring it to their attention. When there are problems, provide the scope of the challenge and your solutions, preferably before the customer even knows that the problems exists. This builds credibility, confidence and trust.

Understand Your Customer’s Goals

The products or services that you provide are only meaningful in the context of your customer’s objectives. What you do is intended achieve financial or strategic objectives, or fulfill a need. Understand and communicate your value from the perspective of the customer. Be aware of changes that may affect the customer requirements and your perceived value so you can adjust accordingly.

Be Consistent

One of the best ways to manage expectations is to be consistent. Be consistent with your quality, your responsiveness and delivery of goods or services. Establish a routine schedule for communication with your most important customers, so you can call “just to talk” and check the pulse of the relationship.

Build Credibility

There are two easy ways to build credibility. First, do what you say you are going to do. If you leave a message to call back or make a commitment for follow-up, then call when you said you would call. Even if you do not have all the answers, call when you commit to call back. The second way to build credibility is to take time to get the best answer. Sometimes you may not know the best response to a situation or request. Ask for time to research and come back with the most accurate answer or information that you can obtain. Taking time for accuracy can be far more beneficial to your customer than a quickly but incorrect reply.

Cracker Jack Surprise

Give your customers something more than expected. Don’t tell them in advance, just do something to demonstrate your appreciation. It can be as simple as a greeting card, email or small token to show your appreciation. Loyalty is a relationship, and it should be nurtured as you would care for a friend. Do not take it for granted.

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Words of Wisdom

“An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.”

– Elbert Hubbard

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.”

– Peter Drucker

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

– Vince Lombardi

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