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    • 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...

    • 09/09/2015
      Protecting the Innocent: Spousal Relief
      By Alan Goldenberg, J.D., M.B.A., LL.M.

      When it comes to federal tax returns, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) currently offers three types of spousal relief. What is spousal relief, you might ask, and what exactly does it do to “protect the innocent?” Friedman LLP’s Alan Goldenberg takes a look at the three types available and why...

    • 09/09/2015
      The PAL rules and estate planning — Can you reduce your trust’s tax bill?
      By Friedman LLP Staff

      Trusts can accomplish a variety of estate planning goals, including wealth distribution, asset protection, estate and gift tax reduction, and probate avoidance. But don’t overlook their income tax treatment. By reducing a trust’s income tax bill, you can preserve more wealth for your heirs. Last year, in Frank Aragona Trust v....

    • 09/09/2015
      Pumping up retirement contributions — Cash balance plans
      By Friedman LLP staff

      Cash balance plans With individual income tax rates at their highest levels in years, maximizing contributions to tax-deferred retirement vehicles is an important strategy. For business owners who got a late start saving for retirement, a cash balance plan can help turbocharge their contributions while they enjoy substantial current tax deductions. Defined...

    • 09/09/2015
      The ins and outs of tax breaks for getting to and from work
      By Friedman LLP Staff

      As you’re probably already aware, you generally can’t deduct costs related to commuting between home and work. The IRS considers commuting to be a nondeductible “personal expense” instead. But there are some instances when commuting costs are considered deductible “transportation” expenses. And you might be eligible for tax-advantaged transportation fringe...

    • 09/09/2015
      Tax Tips
      By Friedman LLP Staff

      Supreme Court decision may open door for refund claims If you earn income in multiple states, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision may provide an opportunity for a tax refund. Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne involved Maryland taxpayers who owned stock in an S corporation that did business...

    • 08/24/2015
      Investors, Hackers and Idealists: Understanding Millennial Donors
      By Robert Evans

      What’s the secret to unlocking the philanthropic spirit of the millennial generation? Robert Evans, president of nonprofit advisory firm, Evans Consulting Group, shares why for many not-for-profit leaders this is an important, top of mind question. For many nonprofit leaders, this may be the million dollar – or perhaps billion dollar...

    • 08/18/2015
      When to Start Taking Social Security and Some Strategies for Maximizing Benefits
      By David Waddington

      If you’re like most people, you are probably looking forward to retiring and living as long and as comfortably as possible. As you plan for retirement, however, concern can creep in regarding how long your money will last. That’s why Social Security may be a bigger piece of your retirement...

    • 08/18/2015
      Fashion Sense - August 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. 

    • 08/04/2015
      Companies Flocking to OTC Markets Group, Bulletin Board Falling Behind
      By Neil Levine

      Companies involved in over-the-counter (“OTC”) exchange trading face a choice – which exchange do I pick? If your company is not trading on a major exchange like NASDAQ or NYSE, there are a few options at play in OTC trading, with some more popular than others.

    • 08/03/2015
      7 Ways to Reduce the Cost of a Data Breach
      By Kevin M. Hyams, CPA, FCA, CFE

      Experiencing the loss or theft of protected personal data and then having to notify breach victims in the manner prescribed by law can be a costly and stressful experience for any organization. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the cost and contribute to the mitigation of the risks resulting from this type of cyber-attack.

    • 08/03/2015
      4 Big Questions and Answers on Accounting Standards Update 2015-03
      By Michael Cohen

      In April 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued Accounting Standards Update 2015-03 for the stated purpose of simplifying the presentation of debt issuance costs. Updates to standards often bring about questions – how will this impact my business? How quickly can I get up-to-date?

    • 07/27/2015
      Financial Accounting Standards Board Proposes Overhaul to Not-for-Profit Financial Reporting
      By Sarah Avery

      The Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued an exposure draft on April 22, 2015 proposing sweeping changes to the not-for-profit financial reporting model encompassing liquidity, cash flows, operating results, expense reporting and other disclosures intended to enhance comparability between nonprofits. But changing a model that professionals, management, and other users have become accustomed to may shake up the not-for-profit reporting world for financial professionals.

    • 07/20/2015
      Q&A: When is mortgage interest NOT deductible?
      By Karl Neulinger

      When is mortgage interest NOT deductible? Friedman LLP’s Karl Neulinger focuses on this question, which many home owners don’t even know they should be asking. The following transcribes a recent conversation Karl had with a client concerning mortgage interest and how it can impact tax returns.

    • 07/20/2015
      Five Highlights You Should Know About in New York's Pending Omnibus Housing Bill
      By Alan C. Goldenberg

      With its summer recess approaching, the New York State legislature passed an Omnibus Housing Bill containing a number of benefits for real estate developers and owners. The legislation is currently pending, subject to Governor Cuomo’s approval. In the meantime, here are five of the highlights that, if approved, will affect local developers and land owners.

    • 07/20/2015
      Real Estate Investors Flocking to Israel to Finance Commercial Investments
      By Michael Stoler

      Hundreds of real estate owners and developers are traveling to Tel Aviv, Israel to meet with investment bankers that source capital. The mission is to launch a bond that will be traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) to raise funds for US real estate projects.

    • 07/20/2015
      The Tricks and Traps of Using Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs)
      By Scott Testa

      With real estate values on the rise, now may be a good time to transfer your treasured family home to a Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT).  While using QPRTs can help reduce estate taxes, the ins and outs are complex. Here’s a guide to help answer some of the questions that may arise.

    • 07/13/2015
      The 2016 Challenge You Can Prepare For: Affordable Care Act Reporting
      By Michael J. Greenwald, MPPM, CPA, Partner

      Dr. Seuss once said that “sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” Well, he clearly did not have the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (”ACA”) in mind.

    • 07/13/2015
      Why Are New Yorkers playing the 'Audit Lottery' when it comes to Commercial Rent Tax?
      By Thomas Corrie, JD, LLM, Principal

      New York City Commercial Rent Tax (“CRT”) certainly has a habit of sneaking up on people. In fact, many professionals and non-professionals simply do not know it exists – that is until an audit notice comes their way.

    • 07/13/2015
      Nonqualified options

      The tax treatment of nonqualified stock options (NSOs) is quite simple. Unfortunately, filling out the IRS forms can be complicated — especially since recent rule changes went into effect. Here are four things you should know about NSOs.

    • 07/13/2015
      Should you treat a partner as an employee?

      In today’s competitive environment, offering employees an equity interest in your business can be a powerful tool for attracting, retaining and motivating quality talent. If your business is organized as a partnership, however, there are some tax traps you should avoid.

    • 07/13/2015
      Understanding the pros and cons of a SCIN

      Many estate planning techniques minimize or even eliminate gift and estate taxes when transferring assets to family members. Sometimes, the most powerful techniques will also have a significant drawback: mortality risk. A person must outlive the trust’s term to realize the benefits. Thus, a self-canceling installment note (SCIN) may be appropriate for anyone in poor health who isn’t expecting to reach his or her actuarial life expectancy.

    • 07/13/2015
      Tax Tips

      Until recently, investors had to report details about capital gains and losses on IRS Form 8949. For heavy traders, this potentially meant a lot of work. In 2013, the IRS quietly changed the rules, although many people remain unaware of the change.

    • 06/29/2015
      Fashion Sense - June 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: Help! What is New York's "Convenience of the Employer" Rule All About?Source: Friedman LLP  Martha Stewart's Media Empire Sold for Fraction...

    • 06/29/2015
      Step-by-Step Compliance: Get Your Not-for-Profit Retirement Plans in Check
      By Amish Mehta

      When it comes to not-for-profit organizations and their retirement plans, enterprise-wide governance and internal controls are critical considerations for senior executives. The ultimate goal is to create and administer retirement plans that offer employees viable savings opportunities and that comply with Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor regulations. What factors should be considered as you strive to achieve that goal?

    • 05/29/2015
      Fashion Sense - May 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.  

    • 05/29/2015
      Challenges of Reporting Net Assets in Appropriate Classifications
      By Audrey Sherrick

      One of the more difficult reporting issues facing not-for-profit organizations is the classification of net assets between unrestricted, temporarily restricted, and permanently restricted categories.  These categories are based on the existence or absence of donor-imposed restrictions, and are defined in the accounting standards under FASB ASC 958-210-20.  Readers rely on these classifications to determine what assets have external purpose or time restrictions or to put it simply, what assets are spoken for and what assets are available for use.  While this net asset reporting model has been around for quite some time, challenging classification issues and reporting pitfalls still exist. 

    • 05/18/2015
      Defined Benefit Plans Versus Defined Contribution Plans
      By Michael G. Ibrahim, FSPA, FCA, MAAA, EA, Director

      Retirement plans may be categorized as either defined benefit or defined contribution plans.  The so-called hybrid plans, such as cash balance plans, contain characteristics of both plans but fall under the defined benefit plan category.  The characteristics of each type of plan as well as the pros and cons of...

    • 05/14/2015
      Help! What is New York's "Convenience of the Employer" Rule All About?
      By Tom Corrie

      The sourcing of wages has become a major concern for non-resident employees of New York businesses given the number of them now seeking to telecommute at least on a part-time basis. New York’s “convenience of the employer” rule (the “Rule”) is targeted directly at such situations, and can operate as a trap for the unwary in many cases.

    • 05/14/2015
      Roth or traditional: Which is better?

      Roth IRAs allow you to withdraw contributions and earnings tax-free, if you meet certain requirements, so it’s no surprise that their popularity has soared in recent years. But don’t write off traditional IRAs and 401(k) accounts just yet. Under certain circumstances, traditional accounts may generate more retirement income than their Roth counterparts.

    • 05/14/2015
      How you can avoid a huge tax trap

      As you plan your estate, don’t overlook the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax. Despite a generous, $5.43 million GST exemption, complexities surrounding its allocation create several tax traps for the unwary.

    • 05/14/2015
      The IRS is watching ...

      It’s an age-old conundrum: determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. While it might seem like a simple question, it’s not. And the IRS is hot on the heels of any contractor who doesn’t understand the difference.

    • 05/11/2015
      Co-working Office Space Growing by Leaps and Bounds
      By Michael Stoler

       

    • 05/11/2015
      International Investment in the U.S. Commercial Real Estate Market
      By Michael Stoler

      The U.S. commercial real estate property market has been expanding since 2010 following the recession, and it’s safe to say that the market has officially returned.  The combination of the positive fundamentals in the U.S. commercial real estate market coupled with foreign investors’ interest in investing their capital in the...

    • 05/11/2015
      Real Property Dealer v. Investor: An Overview
      By Andrew Cohen, JD, LL.M

      A taxpayer’s activities and intentions when purchasing and selling real property are important in determining whether that taxpayer is a dealer or investor in real property. This distinction is relevant, since it determines the tax treatment of the gain on the sale of real property. If the taxpayer is a...

    • 04/29/2015
      Fashion Sense - April 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: Friedman LLP Australian Client Blundstone Launches Fall 2015 Collection & Collaboration with Ducati ScramblerSource: Friedman LLP Partner David McKelvey to...

    • 03/25/2015
      OMB Revisions Governing the Management and Audit of Federal Programs
      By Amish Mehta

      OMB Circular A-133 requires higher education and nonprofit institutions that expend a specific threshold of federal funds to annually undergo a detailed, organization-wide audit that complies with the criteria established under its provisions.  The Office of Management & Budget (OMB) has revised OMB Circular A-133 in the Federal Register entitled "Uniform...

    • 03/24/2015
      Real Estate Transfer Taxes in New York
      By Alan Goldenberg

      Real estate transfer tax is a tax imposed by states, counties and municipalities for the privilege of transferring real property within a jurisdiction. The tax is sometimes referred to as real estate conveyance tax, mortgage transfer tax or documentary stamp tax, among other terms.

    • 03/23/2015
      Fashion Sense - March 2015
      By Harriet Greenberg

      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: Global Economic Outlook and Strategy Source: Citi Jewelers in India Jump Online for $22 Billion E-Commerce Pie Source: Business of Fashion Op-Ed:...

    • 02/28/2015
      A Summary of New Jersey Sales Tax Exemptions Available to Exempt Non-Governmental Entities
      By Andrew Cohen, J.D., LL.M

      In a previous article in the Non-Profit Advisor (see Tax Exempt Organizations: Don't Forget About New York State Sales Tax), the author reviewed the rules regarding New York State sales tax. Because these rules "are" so complex...

    • 02/23/2015
      Fashion Sense - February 2015
      By Harriet Greenberg

      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: Friedman LLP Names Harriet Greenberg and Frederick Berk Co-Managing Partners Source: Friedman LLP    Retailers Facing $7 Billion Pricetag Over West Coast Port...

    • 02/19/2015
      February 2015: Pension Insights
      By Carol Musanti, Pension Administrator

      A 401(k) plan permits employees to contribute (an “elective deferral”) and invest funds under a company-sponsored plan before federal incomes taxes are deducted. Like all qualified retirement plans, 401(k) plans cannot discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees. In order to prove that it is not discriminatory, a 401(k) plan...

    • 02/16/2015
      401(k) Employer Contribution Safe Harbor Options
      By Carol Musanti, Pension Administrator

      A 401(k) plan permits employees to contribute (an “elective deferral”) and invest funds under a company-sponsored plan before federal incomes taxes are deducted.  Like all qualified retirement plans, 401(k) plans cannot discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees. In order to prove that it is not discriminatory, a 401(k) plan...

    • 01/28/2015
      Challenges Faced By Private Foundations Today
      By Kimberly Dula

      As the world continues to get smaller and as more and more taxpayers want to see the instant benefit that their charitable giving provides, private foundations are faced with some unique challenges.  Traditional giving to qualifying charities continues to be the norm; however, grants to foreign charitable organizations and scholarship giving...