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Publications

  • 05/26/2016
    Marketing Considerations When Filling Out the Form 990
    By Ralph Citino, Brooke Karafin and Stu Katz, Friedman LLP

    As most exempt organizations know all too well, preparing federal tax Form 990 can be a time consuming and complicated process. However, the form does have considerable value for the marketing of your organization. We have compiled a list of 5 important marketing considerations on a Form 990. 1. Using the...

  • 05/09/2016
    Hacking the Human: Emerging Trends in Cyber Risk
    By John Farley, Fashion Sense Contributing Writer

    Introduction by Michael Sacco Cybersecurity is increasingly important for small and mid-size companies to consider - and the apparel and consumer goods space is not exempt. No matter the industry, hackers are after bank accounts, email addresses, social security numbers, intellectual property and anything else that might be used for monetary...

  • 04/21/2016
    The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Donor Acknowledgements
    By Sarah Avery, Director, Friedman LLP

    In our practice we find that “Donor acknowledgements” is an area that raises frequent questions by not-for-profit organizations. Donor acknowledgments are part of a comprehensive system of internal controls for recording contributions that include complying with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) substantiation and disclosure requirements. What are donor acknowledgements exactly and...

  • 04/20/2016
    Gifts and the Applicability of New York Transfer Taxes
    By Alan Goldenberg, JD, MBA, LLM

    Although I have previously discussed the conceptual framework of the New York State Real Estate Transfer (RETT) and the New York City Real Property Transfer (RPTT) taxes in a recent article in this publication, just to summarize both the State and City impose certain transfer taxes on conveyances of real property...

  • 04/20/2016
    Communication Gap: The Kovel Letter and Client to Accountant Communication
    By Scott B. Ehrenpreis, Principal

    The client-accountant communication has limited privilege under the current Tax Code. In non-criminal tax matters, privilege applies to any communication that would be considered privilege if it were between the taxpayer and an attorney. In criminal tax matters, no privilege applies to communication between the client and their accountant. Due to...

  • 04/20/2016
    5 retirement account tax traps to avoid

    If you’re like most people, a large portion of your wealth is set aside in individual retirement accounts (IRAs) or qualified retirement plans, such as 401(k) or profit-sharing plans. These accounts offer substantial tax advantages, but they’re also fraught with traps for the unwary. Here are five common mistakes to...

  • 04/20/2016
    Property dividends: Handle with care

    Corporate shareholders sometimes receive distributions in the form of property rather than cash. And while there’s nothing wrong with this practice, it’s important to understand the tax implications. Tax treatment of distributions The tax rules surrounding corporate distributions are complicated, and a full discussion of them is beyond the scope of this...

  • 04/20/2016
    The Section 1031 exchange

    Why it’s such a great estate planning tool

  • 04/20/2016
    Tax Tips

    Are your employees classified correctly?

  • 04/05/2016
    Nonprofits Performance Dashboard Checklist

    For nonprofit board members and senior managers, creating a performance dashboard is a beneficial tool to help their organization meet its mission and enhance its overall operations. As a helpful resource for nonprofit organizations that are thinking about implementing a dashboard or just starting down the path, Friedman LLP has...

  • 03/24/2016
    Allocation of Functional Expenses: Why the Increased Scrutiny?
    By Amish Mehta 

    The allocation of functional expenses continues to receive scrutiny from donors, board members, regulators (e.g. the Internal Revenue Service), watchdog groups (e.g. Charity Navigator and Guidestar) and the general public. Some governmental agencies have been modifying their audit protocols to focus on the cost allocations reported to them each year....

  • 03/18/2016
    Important Information Creditors Should Know When Customers File For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection
    By Karl Knechtel, CPA, CFF, CIRA, Director

    Over the past year and a half a number of high profile retailers filed for bankruptcy protection. These retailers include Sports Authority, Joyce Leslie, Wet Seal, RadioShack, American Apparel, Deb Stores, Quiksilver, City Sports and Hancock Fabrics, many of which left creditors with unpaid accounts and scrambling for answers.  Receiving...

  • 03/16/2016
    Recent Tax Extenders and Guidance Affecting Real Property Owners
    By Andrew Cohen, JD, LL.M

    Over the past several months, Congress and the IRS promulgated tax provisions extending tax savings opportunities that benefit real property owners and clarifying new rules regarding the Foreign Investment Real Property Tax Act (“FIRPTA”). Some of these provisions allow taxpayers to accelerate deductions or claim tax credits. Most of the...

  • 03/16/2016
    Owner/Developers Entering the Market for Mortgage Financing
    By Michael Stoler, The Stoler Report

    With the price of commercial real estate reaching record levels, a number of prominent real estate owners and developers are joining the ranks of entities providing commercial real estate financing. Brian Cohen, a partner at Goulston & Storr’s New York Real Estate Practice, said “This market finds sophisticated real estate owners/operators...

  • 02/23/2016
    Google Gives Nonprofits a Break on Advertising

    At a time when digital and social marketing is becoming an essential component of overall advertising strategy, nonprofit organizations often struggle to convey their message and benefits due to lack of funds.  Many nonprofits are unaware of a program implemented by Google that allows nonprofits to overcome this challenge by...

  • 02/23/2016
    That’s Material?
    By Michele B. Amato, CPA

    This year may see a new definition for an old concept: Materiality. The parameters around what constitutes a material disclosure in financial statements will be impacted, and some onlookers say the new meaning will give more discretion to companies, which may lead to less information being provided. It was 1976 when...

  • 02/23/2016
    Upcoming Changes to Licensing Revenue Recognition
    By Robert Graham and Brian Kearns

    Standards for revenue recognition, historically, have varied among industries. The FASB has undertaken the enormous task of simplifying the standards so all industries can follow the same guidance. Friedman LLP’s Robert Graham and Brian Kearns take a look at what the recent standards update will mean for businesses and how...

  • 02/23/2016
    Critical Deadline Looming, All Qualified Plan Documents Must Be Restated

    This is an update to an article published in August 2014 If you sponsored a 401(k) or other type of defined contribution retirement plan for your employees and used a "pre-approved" type of plan (i.e., prototype and volume submitter), you were required to restate the plan before April 30, 2016. If...

  • 02/09/2016
    Nonresident Pass-Through Withholding

    When it comes to taxes, residency may have a bigger impact than you think. Taxpayers are generally acquainted with the tax withholding requirements imposed on their wage income, but are less familiar with the ways in which states impose withholding on pass-through entity income. While states typically tax their residents’...

  • 02/09/2016
    Employee or Independent Contractor – An Old Question Revisited

    Perhaps nothing causes more consternation among small and mid-sized business owners than the employee versus independent contractor problem. Generally, the issue surfaces when an audit notice from the State Department of Labor arrives in the mail, as the result of an individual applying for unemployment benefits. The company’s position is...

  • 02/09/2016
    Designing a tax-wise bonus plan

    An annual bonus plan can be a great way to attract, retain and motivate employees. And if the plan is designed carefully, you can deduct bonuses earned this year even if you don’t pay them until next year. Sound interesting? Read on. The 2½ month rule Many employers assume they can deduct...

  • 02/09/2016
    The Net Investment Income Tax

    Planning opportunities for small business owners

  • 02/09/2016
    Need to protect your assets? Consider a BDIT

    A BDIT, also known as the “Beneficiary Defective Inheritor’s Trust,” is one of the most powerful estate tax and asset protection strategies available to taxpayers. Essentially, it’s a third-party settled trust designed to give the taxpayer (who is both a trustee and the initial primary beneficiary of the trust) control...

  • 02/09/2016
    Tax Tips

    Thinking about expatriation? Watch out for the “exit tax”

  • 01/28/2016
    Here’s How Upcoming Revenue Recognition Changes May Impact Nonprofits
    By Sylvia Mazur

    Financial Accounting Standards Board issues simplified revenue recognition guidance effective for annual reporting periods after December 15, 2018. How will this standard affect your nonprofit organization?In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) and International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”) issued new guidance on revenue recognition, with the goal of developing...

  • 01/26/2016
    2016 Research and Development Tax Tips for Apparel Companies
    By David McKelvey

    A word to the wise for apparel companies: Don’t miss out on tax savings you’re entitled to. As we neared the 2015 December holiday season, Congress was busy working on its annual gift package of new U.S. tax incentives and extenders of tax incentives that expired at the end of...

  • 12/22/2015
    The Overhead Myth: Moving Toward the Solution

    In 2013, Guidestar, BBB Wise Giving and Charity Navigator, three of the leading sources for information on nonprofit organizations, joined forces in a campaign to promote the concept that the “Overhead Myth” was harmful to the operations and sustainability of a charity’s success. In a series of actions over the...

  • 12/16/2015
    De Beers Announces Extension To Its Financial Compliance Requirements Going Into 2016

    De Beers recently began contacting all Sightholders to announce that it has chosen to extend the deadline to demonstrate full compliance with the Financial Compliance Criteria (that is, IFRS Compliance, Unqualified Audit and Maximum Leverage) by one year. Accordingly, relevant Sightholders must be fully compliant with the Financial Compliance Criteria...

  • 12/10/2015
    What We Can Learn from the 2015 Customer Deductions Benchmark Study

    In a perfect world, product deliveries would never arrive late, contain shortages, or be mislabeled. But we do not live in a perfect world. Customer deductions continue to be a problem across many industries for companies of all sizes. Discounts, late deliveries, mislabeled products, shortages and other chargebacks continue to...

  • 11/19/2015
    Six Steps to Engage Your Board Using a Performance Dashboard
    By Peter Manzetti

    For busy nonprofit business leaders and board members, a seemingly endless stream of reports, meetings, emails, phone calls and text messages can create a strain on their time, limiting their ability to focus on critical business information and interactions. This begs the question: “What can be done to make every interaction...

  • 11/18/2015
    Fashion Sense - November 2015

    If you have any questions about the contents of this issue, please e-mail Co-Managing Partner of Friedman LLP and Partner-in-Charge of the Fashion Services Group Harriet Greenberg at HGreenberg@friedmanllp.com.  In This Issue: Tax Alert: Rapidly Rising Risks for Offshore Bank Accounts Source: Friedman LLP Use Tax Increasingly Important for Tax Payers Source: Friedman LLP Higher...

  • 11/12/2015
    Take Extra Care When Attempting Tax-Free IRA Rollovers
    By David A. Shuster, JD, LLM, Director, Tax Controversy Services

    For approximately 20 years prior to 2015, an individual could roll over a distribution from an IRA free of tax as long as that IRA wasn’t involved with a tax-free rollover distribution within the preceding one-year period. For example, suppose an individual with three IRAs took a distribution from IRA-1...

  • 11/11/2015
    5 last-minute tax-planning ideas

    Tax planning is a year-round endeavor, but several year end strategies might reduce your 2015 tax bill.Here are five to consider: 1. Defer income, accelerate deductions. You may be able to lower your 2015 income taxes by deferring income to 2016 or accelerating deductions into 2015. To defer income, for example,...

  • 11/11/2015
    Need a financial backup plan?

    Why you should consider a SLAT

  • 11/11/2015
    Solving the play-or-pay conundrum

    For 2015 and after, employers retaining at least a certain number of employees (generally 50 full-time employees or a combination of full-time and part-time employees) will be subject to the employer shared-responsibility provisions under Section 498OH of the Internal Revenue Code — added to the Code by the Affordable Care...

  • 11/11/2015
    Tax Tips

    Beware the passive foreign investment company Have you considered investing into an investment partnership that invests in PFICs? If so, think twice. The rules for such investments are very onerous, and apply to many foreign investments. A foreign corporation is a PFIC if 1) 75% or more of its gross income is...

  • 11/10/2015
    Use Tax Increasingly Important for Taxpayers
    By Alan Goldenberg, JD, MBA, LLM

    Ignorance is bliss is a mantra for many taxpayers when it comes to compliance and tax obligations. When contacted by taxing authorities, taxpayers often respond with stories, no matter how unreasonable, that they had no knowledge of the particular tax or that any tax was due. Much of the time...

  • 11/10/2015
    Uncovering the Importance of Responsible Person Liability
    By Tom Corrie, JD, LLM, Principal, Director of State and Local Tax

    Perhaps there is no area of state and local tax law that is more perplexing to businesses than sales and use tax. Forty-five states, plus the District of Columbia, impose sales and use tax. Moreover, many of those jurisdictions authorize localities within their borders to impose their own sales and...

  • 11/02/2015
    Tax Guide 2015-2016

    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 &...

  • 10/27/2015
    Fashion Sense - October 2015

    If you have any questions about the contents of this issue, please e-mail Co-Managing Partner of Friedman LLP and Partner-in-Charge of the Fashion Services Group Harriet Greenberg at HGreenberg@friedmanllp.com.   In This Issue: Tax Alert: Year-End Tax Planning Complicated by Uncertainty Over Expired Tax Breaks Source: Friedman LLP    UBS House View: CIO...

  • 10/26/2015
    The Particulars of the 1031 Exchange
    By Andrew Cohen, Michael Stoler

    With billions of dollars of commercial real estate expected to be sold in 2015, more and more real estate owners and investors have utilized the 1031 tax free exchange to reinvest sale proceeds for like-kind property, therefore deferring the capital gains tax due. An Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 (“Section...

  • 10/26/2015
    What are the top tax impacts of owning an office condo?
    By Karl Neulinger

    When asked about the tax impacts of owning an office condo, it usually depends on the specific circumstances of the case at hand. However, it is important to be aware that in many cases it is more advantageous over time to own, rather than lease, an office condo. In a simplified...

  • 10/26/2015
    The Benefits of Office Condominiums in Manhattan
    By Michael Stoler

    With real estate prices at an all-time high in Manhattan, city occupants are looking to a different type of asset class: office condominiums. As demand continues to rise for these petite office locales, the price is on its way upward as well, with the average price per square foot at...

  • 10/26/2015
    Q&A: I filed a Form 3115 but discover that I need to make changes to it, now what?
    By Andrew Cohen, JD, LL.M

    With the September 15, 2015 filing season now behind us, one thing that stands out is how proper implementation of the final Tangible Property Regulations yielded large benefits – allowing taxpayers to deduct assets that were previously capitalized and/or to correct prior year mistakes in depreciation. Taxpayers who went through...

  • 10/21/2015
    Filling out the 990: How to use it and why it’s important
    By Sarah Avery

    Charitable organizations continue to be subjected to increasing scrutiny by the public and by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). In recent speeches, the IRS Exempt Organizations Director has reported that IRS priorities include improving data analysis capabilities for analyzing Form 990. The IRS plans to use the data to identify...

  • 10/07/2015
    Directors and Officers in the Firing Line

    The Yates Memo: Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing

  • 09/21/2015
    Being a Good Board Member: Beyond the Basics

    If you have ever served as a board member to a nonprofit organization, you probably know the rewards, as well as the frustrations that come with the territory. And if you are part of the management of a nonprofit organization, you too know the benefits, as well as the frustrations, of...

  • 09/16/2015
    Fashion Sense - September 2015
    By Harriet Greenberg

    The September issue of Fashion Sense is available now. Find recent headlines in fashion news below. If you have any questions about the contents of this issue, please e-mail Co-Managing Partner of Friedman LLP and Partner-in-Charge of the Fashion Services Group Harriet Greenberg at HGreenberg@friedmanllp.com.   In This Issue:    WEBINAR: Giving Your...

  • 09/09/2015
    Safe Harbor for Routine Service Contracts Expense
    By Michael J. Greenwald, Partner, Friedman LLP

    Vincent van Gogh is quoted as saying that, “great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” Apparently the IRS thinks so too. A recent revenue procedure offers a safe harbor to accrual basis taxpayers – allowing them to ratably deduct the cost of regular and routine...