Berdon Blogs

TAX TALK: Individual Tax Calendar: Key Deadlines for the Remainder of 2017

Posted by Hal Zemel, CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Apr 24, 2017 11:50:00 AM

While April 15 (April 18 this year) was the main tax deadline on most individual taxpayers’ minds, there are others through the rest of the year that are also important. To help you make sure you don’t miss any important 2017 deadlines, here’s a look at when some key tax-related forms, payments and other actions are due. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you.

Please review the calendar and let us know if you have any questions about the deadlines or would like assistance in meeting them.

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Topics: TAX TALK

SALT TALK:  New York’s Budget Makes Sales Tax Savings through Leasing Company Highly Suspect

Posted by Wayne Berkowitz CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Apr 24, 2017 10:15:00 AM

The plan was simple.  New York State, like many other jurisdictions, allowed a purchaser, to purchase for resale, tangible personal property (TPP) that is subsequently leased to another taxpayer.  The theory is simple.  The sales and use tax (sales tax) is meant to be a tax on the actual use or consumption of goods and is not intended to pyramid on each transaction, but only impose its burden on the end user.  Accordingly, the purchaser – lessor buys TPP from a vendor for resale and doesn’t pay sales tax.  The purchaser – lessor leases the TPP to the lessee and collects and remits sales tax on the monthly lease payments.  So far, all seems in balance.  The sales tax is imposed only once on the intended party, the lessee as end user.

So what is the perceived problem with this arrangement? 

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Topics: SALT TALK

T&E TALK: Using a Roth IRA as an Estate Planning Tool

Posted by Scott T. Ditman, CPA/PFS on Apr 24, 2017 9:32:00 AM

A Roth IRA can be a valuable estate planning tool, offering the opportunity for tax-free growth as long as it exists and requiring no distributions during your life — allowing you to pass on a greater amount of wealth to your family. While traditional IRAs are more common, in certain circumstances a Roth IRA might better help you achieve your estate planning goals.

Roth vs. Traditional IRA

With a Roth IRA, you give up the deductibility of contributions for the opportunity to make tax-free withdrawals. This differs from a traditional IRA, where contributions may be deductible and earnings grow on a tax-deferred basis, but withdrawals (less any prorated nondeductible contributions) are subject to ordinary income taxes — plus a 10% penalty if you’re under age 59½ at the time of the distribution.

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Topics: T&E TALK

T&E TALK: Holding Joint Title Has Upsides and Downsides

Posted by Scott T. Ditman, CPA/PFS on Apr 17, 2017 11:45:00 AM

Owning assets jointly with one or more children or other heirs is a common estate planning “shortcut.” But like many shortcuts, it can produce unintended — and costly — consequences.

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Topics: T&E TALK

TAX TALK: Avoid Late-Filing Penalties

Posted by Hal Zemel, CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Apr 17, 2017 10:46:00 AM

Because of a weekend and a Washington, D.C., holiday, the 2016 tax return filing deadline for individual taxpayers is Tuesday, April 18. The IRS considers a paper return that’s due April 18 to be timely filed if it’s postmarked by midnight. But dropping your return in a mailbox on the 18th may not be sufficient.

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Topics: TAX TALK

SALT TALK: The Chevy Nova, Betsy Ross and the 2017– 2018 New York State Budget

Posted by Wayne Berkowitz CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Apr 17, 2017 10:00:57 AM

What do one of the most popular cars ever made, the creator of the banner of the U.S.A. and the late, but finally enacted New York State Budget have in common. Nothing, other than that all three are notable for things that didn’t happen.

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Topics: SALT TALK

TAX TALK: Tax Benefits of Home Ownership

Posted by Hal Zemel, CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Apr 11, 2017 11:59:00 AM

Currently, home ownership comes with many tax-saving opportunities. Consider both deductions and exclusions when you’re filing your 2016 return and tax planning for 2017:

Property Tax Deduction. Property tax is generally fully deductible for regular tax purposes. However, property taxes are not deductible if you are subject to the alternative minimum tax (AMT). You can claim a deduction on every property that you own.

Mortgage Interest Deduction. You generally can deduct interest on up to a combined total of $1 million of mortgage debt incurred to purchase, build, or improve your principal residence and a second residence. Points paid related to your principal residence also may be deductible.

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Topics: TAX TALK

SALT TALK: New York Budget Bill “Approved” - I’m Now a Law?

Posted by Wayne Berkowitz CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Apr 11, 2017 10:04:00 AM

If last week’s explanation of the federal legislative process seemed daunting, I am even more perplexed by the New York State process.  It all seems logical, according to the explanation offered on the New York State Senate website (https://www.nysenate.gov/how-bill-becomes-law-1). 

The Senate explains that someone has an idea, a bill is drafted, the bill goes through the committee process, the Senate and Assembly pass the bill and the Governor signs it.  Let’s compare this to what really happened with the new budget. The Governor had a plan he released sometime in January, the Assembly, Senate and Governor fought about it for several months, the budget was late and temporary measures had to be passed to keep the money flowing.  The Senate then left Albany to start its vacation and the Governor, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader, and Assembly Speaker announced an agreement.

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Topics: SALT TALK

T&E TALK: Could Your Charity Reject Your Donation?

Posted by Scott T. Ditman, CPA/PFS on Apr 11, 2017 9:22:00 AM

If your estate plan includes charitable donations, be sure to discuss any planned gifts with the intended recipients before you finalize your plan. This is particularly important for donations that place restrictions on the charity’s use of the gift, as well as donations of real estate or other illiquid assets.

Why Your Gift Could Be Rejected

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Topics: T&E TALK

SALT TALK: "I'm Just a Bill" - Mobile Workforce Legislation (Re)Introduced

Posted by Wayne Berkowitz CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Apr 3, 2017 11:57:00 AM

There is a joke that starts with three mothers sitting around discussing the professions of their respective sons. The first mother bragged about her son the doctor and all were impressed. The second mother chimed in that her son was a lawyer and everyone smiled. The third mother sheepishly stated her son was an accountant. All shrugged and one of the mothers interjected, that's ok, he always was a little slow.

Well, I'm no doctor, but I am a lawyer and an accountant and I still can't explain where or what happened to the mobile workforce legislation we have been promised for so long1. Yet to my surprise, just last month the "Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2017" comes barreling down the tracks 2.

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Topics: SALT TALK

About Berdon Blogs

Our experts examine the latest trends, economics, business conditions and industry issues to provide timely information you need to maximize your tax advantages and meet your financial goals.

SALT TALK: Hear an insider’s perspective on the business issues, legislative updates in state and local tax, and tax aspects behind today’s headlines.

T&E TALK: Gain insights into how changes in tax laws, shifts in the financial markets, and regulatory concerns will impact assets and affect preserving and transferring wealth.

TAX TALK: Get an all-inclusive perspective on regulatory changes, industry issues, and trends from our team of multidisciplinary tax professionals – many of whom also hold J.D. and LL.M degrees.

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