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Publications

  • 01/27/2017
    Restoring Financial Health to the Diamond & Jewelry Industry
    By Eric Tunis, CPA, Partner

    Diminishing profits, tightened lending and the sometimes burdensome demands for governance and transparency continue to be key challenges affecting the financial health of the diamond and jewelry industry in the U.S. Earlier this month, senior officers from De Beers' global sightholder sales reached out to Friedman LLP to discuss these critical...

  • 01/26/2017
    Retirement Plan Distributions: Quick Guide on Annuity or Lump Sum Withdrawals
    By Michael Ibrahim, FSPA, FCA, EA, Director

    Should I take the annuity or lump sum? A question retirees and older workers likely will be asking as U.S. companies move to de-risk their defined benefit plans by removing expensive pension obligations. Employers may purchase annuities for their pensioners, while others offer cash or a single lump sum payment...

  • 01/17/2017
    Video: What’s the Trump Impact on Real Estate?

    Real Estate leaders from around the New York metropolitan area recently gathered with Friedman LLP for a lively and insightful industry forum. With the buzz around the presidential election, the discussion among participants turned to the effect that Trump will have on real estate locally, nationally and internationally. Comments ranged from...

  • 01/12/2017
    How Can Your Expert Maintain Credibility in the Face of an Error?
    By Michael A. Saccomanno, CPA/ABV/CFF, CVA, CDFA

    It’s no secret that to properly help you and your clients win your cases, the experts you hire must be credible. An expert’s credibility is based upon many factors, including how honestly they react when confronted with their own errors. An expert’s reaction to their error will determine whether or...

  • 01/11/2017
    How bright is the outlook inside New York’s real estate community?

    2017: The end of real estate growth, or more of the same?

  • 01/11/2017
    Do your numbers tell the story?
    By Denise McKnight, CPA

    As we begin 2017, many non-profits are entering the year with a level of uncertainty about how the upcoming changes in our government’s leaders will affect the funding that they receive. Non-profits will look to individual and corporate donors to provide those valuable charitable donations to sustain or enhance their...

  • 01/10/2017
    Video Highlights from Friedman's Real Estate Forum

    All In The Family: Friedman Real Estate Forum focuses on generational succession.

  • 01/04/2017
    Going Concern Assessments – Implementation Requirements are Rapidly Approaching
    By Robert Graham, CPA, Partner 

    Should you be concerned with your “Going Concern” assessment? As a new accounting standards update takes effect, now is the time to ask that question. Background: U.S. auditing standards and federal securities law require an auditor to consider the possible financial statement effects of a company’s ability to continue as a going...

  • 12/21/2016
    The New Administration’s Proposed Tax Plan’s Impact on Nonprofit Organizations
    By Amish Mehta, CPA, Partner, Not-for-Profit Practice Leader

    With the President-elect now officially confirmed through the Electoral College vote and expected to take office on January 20, 2017, there is cause for concern among nonprofit organizations as to what impact the administration’s proposed tax plan will have on charitable giving. Specifically, the tax plan proposes to place limits...

  • 12/12/2016
    Tax Tips

    These brief tips cover how the IRS has made it easier for taxpayers to obtain an extension for retirement plan rollovers, ways to protect taxpayers from charity scams and how to make a partial disposition election for disposed property. Late rollover relief just got easier It’s possible to withdraw funds from an...

  • 12/12/2016
    Breaking Barriers: Client Success Stories

    Taxpayer Granted "Real Estate Professional Status" under Audit Reconsideration

  • 12/12/2016
    Business Tax? But I’m Unincorporated!
    By Alan Goldenberg, JD, MBA, LL.M

    Businesses are often surprised to learn of the New York City Unincorporated Business Tax (UBT), an entity-level tax imposed on unincorporated businesses operating within the City. Many businesses presume that as pass-through entities, such as limited liability companies, taxes are never due by the entity. Rather, the tax liabilities are...

  • 12/07/2016
    From There to Here – Sales Tax and Economic Nexus in an On-line World
    By Tom Corrie, JD, LLM, Principal

    Defining the Issue It is no secret that the annual growth rate of internet retail sales is far outpacing the yearly hike in sales generated by standard “bricks and mortar” retail establishments. A recent study tabbed United States on-line retail sales at approximately $350 billion for 2015 and predicted that number...

  • 11/28/2016
    Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) growing in the metropolitan area
    By Michael Stoler, The Stoler Report

    Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is rapidly sweeping the nation, especially in the tri-state area, with the creation of exciting and desirable places to live, work, shop, and dine, as well as affording recreational and cultural activities. TOD, as defined by the Transit Oriented Development Institute, is an exciting and fast growing...

  • 11/28/2016
    Compliance Considerations for 403(b) Plans
    By Marie DeCicco, CPA, Principal

    Since the reporting requirements for 403(b) plans changed in 2009, our audits have uncovered certain common deficiencies. In this article, we will take a look at these deficiencies, the questions your organization should be asking, and compliance areas you should be aware of. Make Sure You Know What The Reporting Requirements...

  • 11/22/2016
    For Real Estate and Construction Owners, Time to Start Thinking About The Future
    By David P. McKelvey, CPA, PFS, Partner

    Running a business in real estate and construction rarely corresponds neatly with the calendar. Shifts in seasons, economic conditions, and even policy decisions affect business profitability and what an owner needs to consider as they plan ahead. With the end of the year around the corner and tax season ahead, we...

  • 11/03/2016
    Tax Guide 2016-2017

    To help you make the most of the tax-saving opportunities available to you, we’re pleased to introduce our online Tax Planning Guide. It offers a wide variety of strategies for minimizing your taxes. The guide covers: Tax Planning Basics Investing Real Estate Business & Executive Comp Family & Education Charitable Giving Retirement Estate Planning You’ll want to familiarize yourself...

  • 10/26/2016
    5 Key Governance Practices for Nonprofits
    By Audrey J. Sherrick, CPA Partner

    Amid mounting concerns over cybersecurity, social media scrutiny and reputational risk, it is crucial that not-for-profit organizations (“NFP’s”) have good governance practices documented and in place. Good governance consists of a framework of rules and practices to ensure accountability, transparency, and ethical conduct. Governance and risk management policies and procedures can...

  • 10/18/2016
    All You Need to Know About Mandatory Withdrawals From Retirement Funds
    By Carol Musanti, Pension Administrator

    Most of us are years away from having to seriously consider withdrawing funds from retirement savings to finance our “golden years”. However, for many baby boomers that time is now. As retirement approaches, it is important to remember that at age 70-1/2, you are required to begin taking required minimum...

  • 10/14/2016
    Breaking Barriers: Client Success Stories

    Hotel Sales Tax Exemption for Foreign Missions

  • 10/10/2016
    Year-end tips for reducing NIIT

    As 2016 winds down, it’s time for many people to begin thinking about taxes. One tax you may want to focus on is the net investment income tax (NIIT). This tax adds 3.8% to individual income tax rates. Here are several year-end planning strategies to consider that can reduce or...

  • 10/10/2016
    Is it time to revisit the research credit?

    If your business hasn’t been claiming the research credit (often referred to as the “research and development,” “R&D” or “research and experimentation” credit), now may be a good time to revisit this valuable tax break. Last year’s Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act made the credit permanent after 34...

  • 10/10/2016
    Major Presidential Candidates: What Are Their Tax Proposals?
    By Robert Charron, CPA and Andrew Cohen, JD, LL.M

    Our next president may have the opportunity to enact significant federal tax reform. This begs the question: How do Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton differ on proposed tax changes? Not surprisingly, the differences are significant, particularly as to who would benefit, who would be harmed, and the effect on our...

  • 10/10/2016
    Statutory Residency – The Whys and Wherefores
    By Tom Corrie, JD, LLM, Principal

    The scenario is generally the same. I receive a call from a taxpayer who has just been informed by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (the “Department”) that they have been selected to undergo a personal income tax audit. The individual is commonly a non-resident of New...

  • 10/03/2016
    New Lease Standard - Guidelines for Implementation
    By Justin Van Fleet, CPA, Partner

    The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) much anticipated standard on lease accounting (Leases – ASC 842) was finally issued on February 25, 2016. It’s now time to prepare to implement the new rules, which will take effect for public companies for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018. Although it...

  • 09/27/2016
    Preference Actions in Bankruptcy: Defense Strategies for Creditors
    By Karl Knechtel, CPA, CFF, CIRA, Director

    In a previous article on reclamation claims, we discussed the options available to creditors to maximize recoveries on unpaid claims resulting from the number of high-profile retailers recently filing for bankruptcy protection. As a creditor, just when you thought nothing can be worse than receiving little to nothing on your...

  • 09/27/2016
    New Financial Reporting Rules for Nonprofits
    By Amish Mehta, CPA

    In August of 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-14, “Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958)”. The issuance of this update represents the most significant change to not-for-profit financial statement reporting rules since 1993, when the FASB issued Financial Accounting...

  • 08/24/2016
    FinCEN Expands Real Estate Owner Identification Mandate
    By Alan Goldenberg, JD, MBA, LL.M

    Back in January, the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) requiring title insurance companies, subsidiaries and agents to identify the true owners of shell companies that purchase residential real estate in Manhattan for cash exceeding $3 million, and in Miami-Dade County...

  • 08/24/2016
    Shifting Consumer Habits Drive Restaurant Sector to Next Generation of Food Halls
    By Michael Stoler, The Stoler Report

    The economic recovery and shifting consumer habits have driven significant gains in the restaurant sector, aiding in the leasing of retail space around the nation. According to the CBRE research report “Restaurants: Now Serving Retail Growth,” which explores emerging trends in the restaurant sector, restaurants accounted for approximately 15% of...

  • 08/24/2016
    New York Transfer Taxes: A Cautionary Tale
    By

    Alan Goldenberg, JD, MBA, LL.M

    Readers of this publication know that I have written extensively on the New York State Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) and the New York City Real Property Transfer Tax (RPTT). For those less avid readers, articles can be found here and here. A recent case winding its way through the New...

  • 08/24/2016
    Breaking Barriers: Client Success Stories

    Navigating the Complexities of NYC Commercial Rent Tax

  • 08/23/2016
    Recent Litigation Affecting Not-for-Profit Pension Plan Fiduciaries

    It was recently reported that the Schlichter Bogard law firm filed lawsuits against NYU, MIT, Yale, Duke, Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, Emory and Penn on behalf of numerous participants in retirement plans sponsored by the universities. The suits allege, among other things, that the participants were charged excessive fees. Many similar...

  • 08/04/2016
    Breaking Barriers: Client Success Stories

    Reconstructing Capital Improvement Records to Drastically Reduce Tax Liability

  • 08/03/2016
    The Work Opportunity Tax Credit: Don’t Overlook as Your Workforce Expands
    By By: Andrew S. Cohen, JD, LL.M

    Do you plan to expand your work force? If so, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal nonrefundable tax credit that provides an incentive for hiring individuals that have faced certain barriers to employment. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH) recently extended the availability of the...

  • 08/03/2016
    Partnerships: Get ready for new audit rules

    For partnerships, including limited liability companies taxed as partnerships, new audit rules are a game changer. The rules apply to returns for partnership tax years that begin after December 31, 2017, including amended returns. The changes aren’t merely procedural; they substantially alter the taxation of partnerships, effectively imposing entity-level taxes...

  • 08/03/2016
    Tax Tips: Capital Gains; Bad Debt; Net, Net Gifts

    This issue’s “Tax Tips” article details why taxpayers should consider giving appreciated stock to their children to minimize capital gains taxes, explains how to deduct bad debt and covers why “net, net gifts” are now a more viable strategy. Shift capital gains to your children Giving appreciated stock or other investments to...

  • 08/02/2016
    SEP, Simple or Traditional Pension Plan: An Employer's Best Option?
    By James T. Williams, Pension Administrator

    When an employer considers establishing a retirement plan for their organization, there are numerous factors to consider. How much will the Company contribute and what will the employee cost be? What is involved in plan administration? Can the employer assume the responsibility for plan administration or should a professional service...

  • 07/25/2016
    How the DOL Overtime Rules Apply to Nonprofits
    By Sarah Avery, Director

    On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the Overtime Final Rule. Since then, volumes have been written about the ramifications of the final rule, which is effective December 1, 2016. While you may be aware of the new salary thresholds required by the final rule, what you...

  • 07/18/2016
    The Shift to Online Apparel Sales
    By Harry C. Steinmetz, Partner and Blair Craske, Manager

    What Buyers and Sellers Should Know about Its Impact on Due Diligence

  • 07/18/2016
    I Am Being Audited For Commercial Rent Tax – Will You Help Me?
    By Tom Corrie, JD, LLM, Principal 

    A Common Problem Recently, I received a call from a gentleman who had been doing business in New York City for over 30 years. He had just been contacted by the New York City Department of Finance (the “Department”) about his business’ potential Commercial Rent Tax (“CRT”) obligations. He knew nothing...

  • 06/29/2016
    Form 990: What Are 6 Key Compliance Requirements?
    By Ralph Citino, Director, Stu Katz, Senior Tax Manager and Brooke Karafin, Tax Manager

    To help you better understand the Form 990, and as a follow-up to last month’s Nonprofit Advisor article on marketing considerations, we’ve prepared this Part 2 article that takes an in-depth look into what you should know when it comes to complying with the Form 990. 1. Review the Form 990 Carefully:...

  • 06/21/2016
    Repurposing Industrial Properties Continues Upward Trend in NYC Outer Boroughs
    By Michael Stoler, The Stoler Report

    Major retrofits and the repurposing of industrial buildings have become leading trends especially in New York City. The majority of the adaptive reuse is taking place in Queens, especially Long Island City; in Sunset Park and other parts of Brooklyn; and in the Bronx. An excellent example of adaptive reuse is...

  • 06/16/2016
    Challenges with Sales Tax Compliance
    By Alan Goldenberg, JD, MBA, LLM

    Some of the biggest compliance challenges facing taxpayers are not found with income taxes, but rather with sales tax. Properly computing, collecting and remitting sales tax in the 45 states that levy such a tax is often highly burdensome and draining on a business’s resources. After income and property taxes,...

  • 06/16/2016
    Sourcing of Service Revenue, Can New York State and City Make It Any Harder?
    By Tom Corrie, JD, LLM, Principal

    Recently, both New York State (the “State”) and New York City (the “City”) have modified the methods prescribed with respect to how service revenue should be sourced. Applicable for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, both the State and City have moved from a cost of performance...

  • 06/16/2016
    Late Adoption of the Tangible Property Regulations
    By Andrew Cohen, JD, LLM and Michael J. Greenwald, MPPM, CPA, Partner

    Oh, no. We’re now halfway through 2016, I haven’t filed my 2015 tax returns (fortunately they are on extension) and I never did anything about the Tangible Property Regulations (“TPR”) that became effective in 2014. Is there anything I can do? As a matter of fact, there are a number of...

  • 06/16/2016
    Utilizing Cost Segregation Studies after the Final Tangible Property Regulations
    By Andrew Cohen, JD, LLM

    The depreciation of assets can provide important tax benefits. Taxpayers prefer to depreciate assets over a shorter rather than longer period of time as this allows for a larger annual tax deduction. Building and structural components have substantially longer depreciable lives (39 years for non-residential real property and 27.5 years...

  • 06/16/2016
    Deduct Now, Donate Later

    Donor-advised funds offer significant benefits

  • 06/16/2016
    Is it Time to Revisit Captive Insurance?

    Many businesses, both large and small, use captive insurance companies to meet their risk management needs while controlling costs and reducing taxes. Recent developments have created new opportunities to take advantage of captives. At the same time, new restrictions designed to curb perceived abuses of “microcaptives” may require some companies...

  • 06/16/2016
    Why You May Need a Prenup

    Prenups usually become relevant when a couple gets divorced. But they also provide several benefits for successful marriages, including protection from liability for your spouse’s separate debts and implementation of estate planning strategies. Most states give a surviving spouse certain rights to a deceased spouse’s property. In community property states, for...