Berdon Blogs

SALT TALK: Sticks, Stones and Why Did the Accountant Cross the Road?

Posted by Wayne Berkowitz CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Sep 18, 2017 11:40:00 AM

Because that's what she did last year. Yes lawyers, accountants get insulted too, and the worst insult that can ever be hurled at us is to be called a business historian. Or at least that's what I used to think. Cutting edge ideas are great. But who is going to help you decide when you've gone over the edge? That's right, it's us.

Based on my historical observations, tax cases often end up in court for one of two reasons: Either someone had a cutting edge idea the taxing authorities didn't like, or someone took a bleeding edge position (knowingly or not) and is now backed into a corner. Sometimes the taxpayer is lucky enough to get out of the corner, but as most lawyers know (I'm one as well so I get twice the insults), bad facts make bad law, sometimes overturned on appeal, but always making headlines (not of the NY Times variety but more along the lines of State Tax Notes).

Read More

Topics: SALT TALK

TAX TALK: Key 4th Quarter Tax Deadlines for Businesses and Other Employers

Posted by Hal Zemel, CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Sep 18, 2017 10:20:00 AM

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the fourth quarter of 2017. This list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to learn if you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and for more details about the filing requirements.

Read More

Topics: TAX TALK

T&E TALK: Deferral - Estate Tax Relief for Family Businesses

Posted by Scott T. Ditman, CPA/PFS on Sep 18, 2017 9:38:07 AM

If a substantial portion of your wealth is tied up in a family or closely held business, you may be concerned that your estate will lack sufficient liquid assets to pay federal estate taxes. In these circumstances, your heirs may be forced to borrow funds or, in a worst-case scenario, sell the business in order to pay the tax.

Read More

Topics: T&E TALK

SALT TALK: Online Marketplace Seller Voluntary Disclosure Initiative – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Posted by Wayne Berkowitz CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Sep 11, 2017 11:40:00 AM

In my August 28, 2017 blog, I discuss the Online Marketplace Seller Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (“Initiative”) and explain how the Multistate Tax Commission Initiative (“MTC”) is unique in that not only will penalties be waived, but in many cases so will any back tax liability. The program is extremely generous and an excellent opportunity for the right business. However, who is the right business?  That is a difficult decision requiring careful analysis.

The initiative is available only through October 17, 2017.  In the words of the MTC:

Read More

Topics: SALT TALK

TAX TALK: Donating Real Estate to Charity can have Tax Pitfalls

Posted by Hal Zemel, CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Sep 11, 2017 9:36:55 AM

Charitable giving allows you to help an organization you care about and, in most cases, enjoy a valuable income tax deduction. If you’re considering a large gift, a noncash donation such as appreciated real estate can provide additional benefits. For example, if you’ve held the property for more than one year, you generally will be able to deduct its full fair market value and avoid any capital gains tax you’d owe if you sold the property.

However, there are potential tax pitfalls to watch for:

Read More

Topics: TAX TALK

T&E TALK: Is Your Revocable Trust Properly Funded?

Posted by Scott T. Ditman, CPA/PFS on Sep 11, 2017 7:03:00 AM

If your estate plan includes a revocable trust — also known as a “living” trust — it’s critical to ensure that the trust is properly funded. Revocable trusts offer significant benefits, including asset management in the event you become incapacitated and probate avoidance. But these benefits aren’t available if you don’t fund the trust.

The Basics

Read More

Topics: T&E TALK

TAX TALK: The ABCs of the Tax Deduction for Educator Expenses

Posted by Hal Zemel, CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Sep 5, 2017 11:27:48 AM

At back-to-school time, much of the focus is on the students returning to the classroom — and on their parents buying them school supplies, backpacks, clothes, etc., for the new school year. But let’s not forget about the teachers. It’s common for teachers to pay for some classroom supplies out of pocket, and the tax code provides a special break that makes it a little easier for these educators to deduct some of their expenses.

Read More

Topics: TAX TALK

SALT TALK: Counting Days: The Tax Consequences of Getting Sick

Posted by Wayne Berkowitz CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Sep 5, 2017 10:33:04 AM

For those of you familiar with the comic strip Dilbert, my favorite strip ever involves Dilbert pointing out to his boss that they did an extensive research study and determined that forty percent of sick days are taken on Monday and Friday. (For those of you who don’t have similarly warped senses of humor, Monday and Friday are forty percent of the five day work week.)  While New York doesn’t care what day of the week you are sick, getting ill in New York can have serious consequences for your day count and the statutory residency test.

Read More

Topics: SALT TALK

T&E TALK: Powers of Attorney - To Spring or Not to Spring

Posted by Scott T. Ditman, CPA/PFS on Sep 5, 2017 7:05:00 AM

Estate planning requires more than just focusing on what happens to your assets when you die. It’s equally important to have a plan for making critical financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those decisions yourself. That’s where the power of attorney (POA) comes in.

Read More

Topics: T&E TALK

TAX TALK: Undoing a Roth IRA Conversion

Posted by Hal Zemel, CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Aug 28, 2017 11:40:00 AM

Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA can provide tax-free growth and the ability to withdraw funds tax-free in retirement. However, when you convert to the Roth IRA, all of the deductible contributions and earnings in the traditional IRA are included in taxable income. Therefore, you will have to pay tax on the balance converted. If after you convert a traditional IRA you discover that you would have been better off not converting to a Roth IRA, it’s possible to undo a Roth IRA conversion, using a “recharacterization.”

Reasons to Recharacterize

Read More

Topics: TAX 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.

Subscribe to Berdon Blogs