Yo ho ho, Merry Christmas

Now that everyone has those Ring doorbell cameras, the internet abounds with footage of people's holiday shopping deliveries being stolen by the unscrupulous hornswagglers known as porch pirates. They'll often trail delivery trucks, swooping in to steal packages left unattended. Theft of property valued at $950 or less is a misdemeanor, rather than a felony, as it was prior to the passage of Proposition 47 in 2014.

Not in my curtilage

Enter SB 979 (Jones),1 which would "prohibit a person from entering the curtilage of a residential dwelling, as defined, with the intent to commit theft of a package shipped through the mail or delivered by a public or private carrier."

P.S. "Curtilage" is an area adjacent to or in the immediate area of the dwelling, for example a porch, doorstep, patio, stoop, driveway, hallway, or enclosed yard.

The bill would also increase the punishment for repeat porch piracy: up to three years in county jail. The current punishment for stealing packages is less than one year in jail, which still sounds horrible to a law-abiding citizen like myself, but proponents of the bill believe the current lax punishment under Proposition 47 is to blame for the increase in crime.2

There are only 306 shopping days left until Christmas 2020, so let's hope some action is taken to stop the plundering of packages by these bilge-sucking sons of biscuit-eaters.3

1 http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB979
2 www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/story/2019-09-26/california-porch-package-theft-laws
3 www.piratevoyages.com/pirate-lingo/

Need a refresher on the new IRA rules for 2001? Amazon's got you covered

During the course of my Amazon browsing, I came across a wonderful research reference I'd like to share. It's the "New Year 2001 IRA Rules" available on VHS for the low, low price of $57.95. You can get your own copy here.

You better hurry, because I have a sneaking suspicion that copies are limited.

I will shamefully admit that I do more spending on Amazon and not at my local retailers than I'd like. It's just too darn easy to do a quick word search and find what I need at my fingertips with free shipping than try to figure out which local retailer might have the item in stock. I can also search all my orders going back to 2011 (the year my third child was born). A brief oversharing of my Amazon shopping history reveals the number of orders my family has placed over the years.

Year # of Amazon orders placed
2011 9
2012 9
2013 10
2014 13
2015 44*
2016 88
2017 99
2018 143
2019 188**
*Year I purchased Amazon Prime
**One order every 1.9 days! It should be noted, however, that I also order office supplies for my practice through Amazon.

AB 5: The bills keep rolling in

Last week, we reported on a handful of bills that would provide exemptions to AB 5 for certain industries. This week, there is more than a handful more:

  • AB 2457 (Melendez) would add pharmacists to the specified occupations exemption;
  • AB 2458 (Melendez) would add physical therapists to the specified occupations exemption;
  • AB 2465 (Gonzalez) modifies the exemption for salon workers;
  • AB 2489 (Choi) prohibits franchisees from being deemed employees;
  • AB 2497 (Bigleow) is an AB 5 spot bill;
  • AB 2572 (Dahle) would expand specific occupations exemption to include timber operators, registered forest professionals, geologists, geophysicists, and surveyors;
  • AB 2750 (Bigelow) is another AB 5 spot bill;
  • AB 2793 (Mathis) would expand the specified occupations exemption to include licensed marriage and family therapists;
  • AB 2794 (Mathis) would expand the specified occupations exemption to include health care facilities (as defined) that contract with companies that employ health care providers who provide services to patients at those facilities;
  • AB 2796 (Fong) would extend indefinitely the specified occupations exemption for newspaper distributors and carriers;
  • AB 2822 (Waldron) would expand the specified occupations exemption to include transportation network companies;
  • AB 2823 would expand the specified occupations exemption to include land surveyors, landscape architects, geologists, geophysicists and construction managers or planners; and
  • SB 1236 (Stern) is yet another AB 5 spot bill.

As these bills continue through the legislative process, we'll keep you updated. In the meantime, if you need information on AB 5 and Dynamex, we will be covering this topic at our 2020 Post-Tax Season Update Seminar starting in May. Click here for more information and registration details.

A few fun facts about this week's writers:

Kathryn Zdan, EAKathryn Zdan, EA, is obsessed with true crime documentaries and photography. On weekends, you can find her around Wilmington photographing the refineries and eating at The Chowder Barge.

Mike Giangrande, J.D., LL.M.Mike Giangrande, J.D., LL.M., is an Orange County native, and you can find him doing some backyard gardening, playing with his 3 kids, or daydreaming about tee-time while he's answering Message Board questions.

Lynn Freer, EALynn Freer, EA, is a French literature major, so of course her favorite vacation destination is France. Here she is dining on mussels and fish stew near Nice.

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