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Publications

  • 11/17/2014
    Satisfying the Compliance Requirements for a Plan to Maintain its Tax-Qualified Status
    By James Williams

    All members of a controlled group are treated as a single employer and the plan must satisfy the following compliance requirements for a plan to maintain its tax-qualified status.

  • 11/17/2014
    Controlled Groups' Effect on Retirement Plans for Family Owned Businesses
    By James T. Williams

    Most business owners make the decision to start up a retirement plan for a specific company and employees in mind. When establishing this plan, owners should be aware of the effects being part of a controlled group of trades or businesses can have on the company. Joint ownership in other business ventures must also be taken into consideration to ensure the retirement plan is compliant with Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor regulations, as well as addresses minimum coverage, nondiscrimination and plan documentation requirements.

  • 11/10/2014
    Staten Island and the Bronx: Undergoing Major Developments
    By Michael Stoler

    New York City’s first discount outlet center,the world’s tallest observation wheel, the first new shopping mall built in New York City in the past 40 years, and a 750,000 square-foot building that will house nine ice skating rinks, are just a few of the commercial developments taking place in the boroughs of Staten Island and the Bronx.

  • 11/10/2014
    The Lottery of Finding an Affordable Apartment in New York City
    By Michael Stoler

    The City of New York’s recently issued Housing New York: A Five Borough, Ten-Year Plan reported that New York City’s shortage of affordable housing has reached a crisis point. Most New Yorkers now have limited options for housing and have to spend an unacceptably high share of their income just...

  • 11/10/2014
    An Overview on New York State Real Property Tax Credits Available to Business Entities
    By Andrew Cohen

    Tax credits are valuable to taxpayers as they provide dollar- for- dollar reductions in taxes which in turn can generate large tax savings and often cash back. New York State has enacted several real property tax credits that affect commercial properties which warrant consideration.

  • 11/05/2014
    Second Homes In New York May Have Severe Tax Consequences
    By Alan Goldenberg

    The New York State and New York City tax laws have numerous traps for unwary nonresidents. To avoid one of the biggest tax hazards, nonresidents owning or renting homes within New York must be aware of the applicable residency tests and what records they should maintain to avoid a dual residency determination. Nonresidents of New York State are only taxed on income earned in or sourced to the state. New York City only taxes city residents. However, if a nonresident is not attentive to the residency tests, the tax consequences can have New York State, and possibly New York City, seeking to impose tax on all income, including interest, dividends, and capital gains, regardless of its source.

  • 11/05/2014
    Commercial Rent Tax – Did You Know?
    By Tom Corrie

    As a state and local tax practitioner located in New York City, one of the questions I hear most often from potential clients is "What is Commercial Rent Tax?" Usually, that inquiry is immediately followed by the exclamation "I didn’t even know such a tax existed!" After I start explaining the nature of the Commercial Rent Tax ("the CRT") to them, they generally find it difficult to believe that New York City (the "City") imposes a tax on the very expensive rent already being paid by them. Guess what, it does!

  • 11/05/2014
    It’s not business, it’s personal

    Parties to merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions involving closely held corporations may enjoy certain tax benefits if they can allocate a portion of the purchase price to individual shareholders’ personal goodwill. Although the IRS doesn’t much like personal goodwill, a recent Tax Court case (see the sidebar "Personal goodwill is alive and well") confirms that it remains a viable tax-planning tool under the right circumstances.

  • 11/05/2014
    Why substantiating your charitable gifts is so important

    The United States tax code recognizes the need for qualified organizations to reach out to taxpayers to help fund their nonprofit activities. And in return, these patrons receive the right to deduct such charitable gifts on their tax returns.

  • 11/05/2014
    International estate planning: Handle with care

    If you or your spouse is a non-U.S. citizen, different rules apply to your estate plan. One misstep can lead to unpleasant tax surprises, so make sure you understand the differences.

  • 11/05/2014
    Tax Tips: November/December 2014

    As tax season approaches, be on the alert for tax fraud. Every year, the IRS publishes its list of "Dirty Dozen" tax scams. Here are two of the most common:

  • 10/30/2014
    Fashion Sense: October 2014

    In This Issue:   Client Alert: IRS Announces 2015 Limits Affecting Qualified Plans Source: Friedman LLP   Los Angeles Port Congestion Threatens Retailers' Holiday Shipments Source: Sourcing Journal   Weakness abroad, volatile rumblings at home Source: Wilmington Trust   In a time when lending is tight, alternatives abound (Harriet Interviewed)  Source: National Jeweler   Industry Focus Finance: The Opportunities and Challenges of International Sales Source:...

  • 10/22/2014
    Accounting and Disclosures for Planned Gifts
    By Sarah Avery

    Recent issues of the Nonprofit Advisor have focused on developing a planned giving program (see October 2013 and July 2014). Implementing a planned giving program in-house or by using outsourced providers is considered a best practice and essential to accomplishing your organization's charitable mission.

  • 10/01/2014
    The Devil's in the Details

    Public companies are increasingly using social media outlets, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, to make important announcements. But these relatively new communication channels raise questions about compliance with Regulation FD, the SEC's "fair disclosure" regulation.

  • 09/29/2014
    New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act: Implementation Tips from The Charities Bureau
    By Amish Mehta

    Earlier this month, the New York State Society of CPAs' Not-for-Profit Organizations Committee hosted a presentation and webinar on The Charities Bureau and the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act (the "Act") during which James G. Sheehan, Chief of the Charities Bureau, explained the reasons behind the Act, as well as best practices for implementation. The Charities Bureau, run out of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office, provides regulation, guidance and support to the over 80,000 registered nonprofit organizations throughout New York State.

  • 09/17/2014
    Fashion Sense: September 2014
    By Harriet Greenberg

    If you have any questions about the contents of this issue, please e-mail Partner-in-Charge of the Fashion Services Group Harriet Greenberg at HGreenberg@friedmanllp.com. In This Issue: Sales Tax Laws Still Struggling to Keep Up Source: Friedman LLP   Kohl's (KSS) Launches Juicy Couture  Source: Zacks   Sears Turns to Its Chief for a Loan Source: Dealbook   Startup lets consumers reserve fashion...

  • 09/15/2014
    Sales Tax Laws Still Struggling to Keep Up
    By Alan Goldenberg

    In recent years, the big sales tax topic has been the emergence of the so-called "Amazon" laws, whereby an out-of-state Internet retailer who has a "click-through" arrangement with a local vendor must collect sales tax in that state, even if it has no physical presence there.

  • 09/15/2014
    Unclaimed Property - What You Don't Know Can Hurt You
    By Tom Corrie

    Often, when I am meeting with clients, I will bring up the subject of "unclaimed property." Many respond by saying that they don’t have any. Still others really haven’t a clue about the subject, and don’t appear overly interested in discussing it. My experience has been that just about all companies have unclaimed property. In the world of unclaimed property, such companies are referred to as "holders."

  • 09/15/2014
    Shifting Gears: Tax Law Changes Turn Estate Planning on its Head

    Recent tax law changes demand new approaches to estate planning. For many taxpayers, traditional strategies, which focus on minimizing estate taxes, may no longer be relevant. In fact, they may result in unnecessary income taxes.

  • 09/15/2014
    Can You Defer Taxes on Advance Payments?

    Many businesses receive payment in advance for goods and services. Examples include magazine subscriptions, long-term supply contracts, organization memberships, computer software licenses and gift cards.

  • 09/15/2014
    How to Protect Your Retirement Future in an Up-and-Down Economy

    To ensure your retirement nest egg doesn’t crack, it’s critical to abide by several retirement plan fundamentals — especially in today’s uncertain economy. Doing so can mean the difference between a comfortable retirement and a retirement filled with regrets.

  • 09/15/2014
    Tax Tips

    According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (an IRS watchdog), there’s a big discrepancy between deductions claimed by ex-spouses paying alimony and the alimony income reported by recipients. Generally, alimony is deductible by the payer and taxable to the recipient. But property settlements and child support payments are neither deductible nor includable in income.

  • 08/25/2014
    Enhancing Governance Structure - Interview with Center Against Domestic Violence
    By Amish Mehta

    John L. Miscione, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Judith Kahan, Chief Executive Officer, spoke to Friedman LLP Partner Amish Mehta about the governance challenges their organization, Center Against Domestic Violence (www.cadvny.org), faces.

  • 08/18/2014
    All Qualified Plan Documents Must Be Restated
    By David Waddington

    If you sponsor a 401(k) or other type of defined contribution retirement plan for your employees and use a "pre-approved" type of plan (i.e., prototype and volume submitter), you will be required to restate the plan within the next two years. Failure to complete this restatement before April 30, 2016...

  • 08/18/2014
    Fashion Sense: August 2014
    By Harriet Greenberg

    If you have any questions about the contents of this issue, please e-mail Partner-in-Charge of the Fashion Services Group Harriet Greenberg at HGreenberg@friedmanllp.com.   In This Issue:     One Thing States Can Agree on is Sales Tax Source: Friedman LLP   Denim is in Real Danger of Going Out of Style  Source: NBC News   J.C. Penney: Out of Intensive...

  • 08/04/2014
    It's Finally Here: The New Revenue Recognition Standard
    By Justin Van Fleet

    On May 28, 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued its standard on revenue recognition, No. 2014-09, "Revenue from Contracts with Customers". The new standard will ultimately affect all industries, some more significantly than others, by establishing a single comprehensive model that will eventually exist in the FASB's Accounting Standard Codification Topic 606. The standard, among other things, is expected to remove inconsistencies in current revenue requirements, improve comparability across entities and industries and provide more useful information to users of financial statements.

  • 07/24/2014
    Seven Action Steps That Will Transform Your Nonprofit Organization
    By Bob Evans

    It was a very good year, Frank Sinatra once crooned. And after seeing how charitable giving increased in 2013, those of us concerned about strengthening nonprofits and propelling more philanthropy should be singing, too. The Giving USA annual report on philanthropy - released last month by the Giving Institute and Indiana University's Lilly School of Philanthropy - showed that total giving grew by 4.4 percent in 2013, reaching $335 billion.

  • 07/21/2014
    These prices are insane: How high can the market go?
    By Michael Stoler

    One thing is certain: the current pricing for commercial real estate assets have reached an all-time high. Few real estate leaders who have experienced the ups and downs of recessions and cycles have ever seen these record levels for all forms of real estate properties.  In my conversations with real estate leaders, many are embracing the former television commercial pitch of radio DJ Jerry Carroll, when he represented the Crazy Eddie electronic stores, stating “these prices are insane”. Surprisingly while these prices may be insane, few real estate leaders believe that pricing will drop in the foreseeable future.

  • 07/09/2014
    Tax Tips: July/August 2014

    Generally, withdrawals from a traditional IRA are taxable, but there’s an exception for “rollovers.” You can withdraw IRA funds tax-free, so long as you reinvest them in the same or another IRA within 60 days. You’re allowed one such rollover in any one-year period.

  • 07/09/2014
    Buying or selling a business? Here’s what you need to know to get the best deal

    Thinking of buying a company? Good for you! But be sure you know what you’re getting into. For example, you’ll need to research a number of business and financial issues as well as certain legal issues. And, of course, there are numerous tax issues that you simply can’t ignore. Here are just a few.

  • 07/09/2014
    How to make the most of life insurance

    Life insurance is a powerful financial and estate planning tool. It allows you to accumulate tax-deferred savings for retirement or other needs. The death benefits provide instant liquidity to pay estate taxes and other expenses as well as provide for your loved ones after you’re gone.

  • 07/09/2014
    It’s time for midyear tax planning

    In the quest to reduce your tax bill, year end planning can only go so far. Tax-saving strategies take time to implement, so review your options now. Here are several midyear strategies to consider.

  • 07/09/2014
    State Tax Considerations of an S Corporation
    By Alan Goldenberg

    In general, the earnings of a corporation are often taxed twice both at the federal level and at the state and local level. Ordinary corporations, commonly known as Subchapter C corporations (or “C corporations”) are taxed on their income at the entity level, and should the corporation’s income be distributed to its shareholders via a dividend distribution, such income is taxed again at that level.

  • 07/09/2014
    One Thing States Can Agree on is Sales Tax
    By Alan Goldenberg

    Notwithstanding the different agendas of the various states, the benefit inherent in sales and use taxes seems to be one area that they are able to agree on.

  • 07/01/2014
    Fashion Sense: July 2014
    By Harriet Greenberg

    If you have any questions about the contents of this issue, please e-mail Partner-in-Charge of the Fashion Services Group Harriet Greenberg at HGreenberg@friedmanllp.com.

  • 06/30/2014
    Tax Exempt Organizations: Don't Forget About New York State Sales Tax
    By Andrew Cohen

    As a New York State tax- exempt organization, the revenues you raise to fulfill your mission are generally not subject to Income Tax. However, there may be other tax obligations, such as collecting and remitting sales tax to New York State. These obligations generally depend on the type and frequency of sales. New York State has developed intricate rules for determining which transactions made by tax- exempt organizations require the collection of sales tax. A basic knowledge of these rules will help you avoid possible sales tax assessments in the future.

  • 06/24/2014
    Fashion Sense: June 2014
    By Harriet Greenberg

    If you have any questions about the contents of this issue, please e-mail Partner-in-Charge of the Fashion Services Group Harriet Greenberg at HGreenberg@friedmanllp.com. 

  • 06/05/2014
    Crowdfunding: Opportunity or Risk for Individual Investors?
    By Michael Stoler

    Would you like the opportunity to own a piece of residential or commercial real estate or make an investment in a mortgage loan? Today, investors around the country are receiving e-mails and other solicitations, as well as hearing from the media, about the opportunities to invest in the booming real estate market.

  • 06/05/2014
    Conversion of Real Estate for Alternative Use Throughout New York City
    By Michael Stoler

    The real estate market in New York City has recovered from the recession of 2008. The improvement has marked a rapid conversion of office buildings, hospitals, parking garages and other asset classes into luxury rental and condominium residences, hotels and in certain instances specialty office space. The conversion of properties is taking place in each and every borough especially in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

  • 06/05/2014
    Grow NJ Credit: An Aggressive Campaign by New Jersey to Retain and Attract New Businesses
    By Andrew Cohen

    New Jersey has committed in a big way to attracting new businesses to the state, and retaining those that are already there. In fact, the mere threat by a New Jersey business to leave the state can reap a large tax credit. The program at the forefront of this effort is, appropriately, called Grow NJ, or the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program.

  • 05/30/2014
    NYC Real Property Income & Expense Statements
    By Alan Goldenberg

    The New York City Department of Finance requires owners of income-producing property in New York City, that have an assessed property value of more than $40,000, to file an annual Real Property Income and Expense (RPIE) statement. A net lessee, responsible for all the real estate taxes on a New York City property, may file in lieu of the owner. By law, 2013 RPIE statements must be filed electronically by June 2nd. Statements for 2014 will be due June 1, 2015.

  • 05/29/2014
    Proposed Tax Reform: What to expect from the EXPIRE Act and Tax Reform Act of 2014
    By Sarah Avery

    Encompassed in sweeping tax reform changes proposed by the Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance are many provisions that, if passed, would significantly impact nonprofits and other tax-exempt organizations. As of mid-May 2014, the proposed tax code extenders included in the Senate Committee on Finance's EXPIRE...

  • 05/19/2014
    Why Defined Benefit Plans are Best
    By Michael Ibrahim

    The defined benefit plan was the way corporate America first met retirement needs of employees over the age of 65. For more than seven decades, it has been used to provide working-life income during an employee's retirement years. However, changes to employee demographics, federal law and more detailed and complex...

  • 05/15/2014
    Fashion Sense - May 2014
    By Harriet Greenberg

    If you have any questions about the contents of this issue, please e-mail Partner-in-Charge of the Fashion Services Group Harriet Greenberg at HGreenberg@friedmanllp.com.  In This Issue  How to Capture the Benefits of Captive InsuranceSource: Friedman LLP NYCEDC and Capital Business Credit Launch NYC Fashion Production FundSource: Capital Business Credit   Business Has Been...

  • 05/12/2014
    Here is one for the good guys
    By Tom Corrie

    A recent unanimous decision by the New York State Court of Appeals with respect to the application of the state’s statutory residency law demonstrates that it is still possible for a lone taxpayer to challenge the Department of Taxation and Finance (the “Department”) regarding one of its favorite audit darlings, and prevail.

  • 05/12/2014
    IRS Combatting Tax-Related Identity Theft
    By Alan Goldberg

    Although the dreaded tax day deadline has passed, for a number of taxpayers the difficulty may just have begun. Millions of Americans, who have waited the better part of a year to receive tax refunds, are in for a big shock when they learn that their refunds were sent to someone else as a result of tax-related identity theft. The legitimate refund will now take considerable time to be received by the taxpayer.

  • 05/12/2014
    Capturing the benefits of captive insurance

    For years, large corporations have used captive insurance companies to control insurance costs. Today, even small, closely held businesses are taking advantage of the many financial, tax and estate planning benefits captives have to offer. What it is A captive insurance company is a private insurer owned and controlled by the business...

  • 05/12/2014
    How defined-value gifts can help limit your tax exposure

    Making large gifts can be a challenge if they consist of illiquid, difficult-to-value assets, such as interests in a business or family limited partnership (FLP). They must be supported by a business valuation, and there’s a risk that the IRS will claim, years later, that a gift was undervalued for...

  • 05/12/2014
    Undisclosed foreign accounts: Handle with care

    Do you own or control any foreign financial accounts — such as bank accounts, brokerage accounts, mutual funds or trusts? If so, it’s critical to understand your reporting obligations.