Berdon Blogs

T&E TALK: Appointing the Right Trustee for Your Living Trust Provides Peace of Mind

Posted by Scott T. Ditman, CPA/PFS on Jan 8, 2018 9:21:00 AM

A living trust is a cornerstone of many estate plans. During your life, you can serve as the trustee and manage the assets just as you would if you owned them outright. However, you must choose a trustee to oversee and administer the trust after your death (and during your lifetime, should you become unable to act as trustee).

Trustee Job Description

  • Manage all trust assets, perhaps including securities and business and real estate interests, until they’re distributed;
  • Maintain detailed records and prepare transaction statements;
  • Handle collections, distributions and payments;
  • Ensure all tax returns are prepared and filed; and
  • Settle the trust.

In addition, the trustee must be available to respond to all inquiries from beneficiaries.

Trustee Types to Consider

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Topics: T&E TALK

TAX TALK: TCJA Temporarily Expands Bonus Depreciation

Posted by Michael Eagan, J.D., LL.M. on Jan 8, 2018 7:00:00 AM

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enhances some tax breaks for businesses while reducing or eliminating others. One break it enhances — temporarily — is bonus depreciation. While most TCJA provisions go into effect for the 2018 tax year, you might be able to benefit from the bonus depreciation enhancements when you file your 2017 tax return.

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Topics: TAX TALK

TAX TALK: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act - Key Provisions Impacting Individuals

Posted by Michael Eagan, J.D., LL.M. on Jan 2, 2018 10:43:09 AM

On December 20, 2017 Congress completed passage of the largest federal tax reform law in more than 30 years. Commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), the new law means substantial changes for individual taxpayers.

The following is a brief overview of some of the most significant provisions. Except where noted, these changes are effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026.

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Topics: TAX TALK

SALT TALK: Written in Reverse – Federal Tax Overhaul and Impact on the States

Posted by Wayne K. Berkowitz CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Jan 2, 2018 9:17:00 AM

I'm writing this to you in reverse . . . No nothin' was planned . . . I've seen you blankly stare . . . I can see it all from here . . . From just a few glimpses . . . Now that lightbulb's gone off . . .

I apologize for the reference so soon again, to the band Spoon, but with just a little rearranging of the lyrics to their song “Written in Reverse, “ it becomes apparent to me that back in 2009 they must have been anticipating what state tax practitioners would be thinking upon the next major overhaul of the Internal Revenue Code.

While all of the questions and issues raised by the new federal tax law’s impact are a long way from being answered, I wanted to provide my readers with a preliminary and far from all-inclusive list of potential state and local issues we all need to start thinking about now.

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T&E TALK: Address Your Pet in Your Estate Plan Using a Pet Trust

Posted by Scott T. Ditman, CPA/PFS on Jan 2, 2018 7:00:00 AM

A pet is often considered a member of the family. So if you want to ensure that a beloved pet is cared for after you’re gone, one way is to make provisions for your pet through a trust.

This legally sanctioned arrangement allows you to set aside funds for the animal’s care. After the pet dies, any remaining funds are distributed among your heirs as directed by the trust’s terms.

Pet Trust in Action

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Topics: T&E TALK

SALT TALK: State Tax Debts - Don't Believe Everything You Read

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

This week’s post is unusual in that it takes us to two very disparate points in time: The first being sometime last week, and the second being the third grade. This week, one of my clients received a “Notice of Intended Federal/NJ State Offset.” It’s a good thing I paid careful attention to my third grade teacher, Mrs. Maupin, who reminded us at least once a week not to believe everything we read.

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TAX TALK: What You Need to Know about 2017 Year-End Charitable Giving

Posted by Michael Eagan, J.D., LL.M. on Dec 18, 2017 9:18:00 AM

Here are some important considerations to keep in mind this year to ensure you receive the tax benefits you desire.

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Topics: TAX TALK

T&E TALK: Who Should be the Guardian of Your Minor Children?

Posted by Scott T. Ditman, CPA/PFS on Dec 18, 2017 7:00:00 AM

If you have minor children, arguably your most important estate planning decision is choosing a guardian for them should the unthinkable occur.  It’s critical to put much thought into this decision to ensure your children would be cared for as you wish in such a situation.

Evaluating Candidates

Here are a few issues to consider when evaluating potential guardians:

  • Do they want to serve as guardians?
  • Does your estate plan provide sufficient resources so that caring for your children won’t cause an economic hardship?
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Topics: T&E TALK

SALT TALK: Every Day I Hear Knock, Knock, Knock - Oh and it's You

Posted by Wayne K. Berkowitz CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Dec 11, 2017 11:43:00 AM

The year 2017 is accelerating to its end and, as usual, I’ve spent a good part of the year looking at everything through the thought-bending prism known as state and local taxes. Hence the reason for my thoughts to turn paranoiac while hearing one of my favorite songs from the band Spoon. I can guarantee that upon hearing “Knock, Knock, Knock” most others would not have the image in their mind of the state taxing authorities knocking on the front door of your home or business with their hand out.

Fortunately, I’ve been assured everything is ok, since paranoia is characterized by delusions of persecution. And based on what has been happening in the world of state and local taxes, there have been no delusions.

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TAX TALK: First Quarter 2018 Deadlines for Businesses and Other Employers

Posted by Michael Eagan, J.D., LL.M. on Dec 11, 2017 9:18:00 AM

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the first quarter of 2018.  Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements.

January 31

  • File 2017 Forms W-2, “Wage and Tax Statement,” with the Social Security Administration and provide copies to your employees.
  • Provide copies of 2017 Forms 1099-MISC, “Miscellaneous Income,” to recipients of income from your business where required.
  • File 2017 Forms 1099-MISC reporting nonemployee compensation payments in Box 7 with the IRS.
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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.

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