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Publications

  • 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
    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
    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
    State Tax Issues Caused By Federal Tax Audits
    By Alan Goldenberg

    For most businesses, the likelihood of being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is less than 2%, but ask those who have been through one and the response is always the same – it is a long, gut-wrenching process, no matter how good your records are.

  • 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...

  • 01/21/2015
    Real Estate Leaders are Once Again Bullish for the New Year
    By Michael Stoler

    As we enter the New Year, real estate and business leaders, as well as economists, are asked to provide their prediction for the next 12 months. This is indeed a difficult task especially when many unexpected events took place in 2014.

  • 01/21/2015
    EB-5: A Mechanism for Providing Capital for Public and Private Real Estate Projects
    By Michael Stoler

    Construction is reaching record levels in the metropolitan region and around the nation. Developments are in various stages of progress in the five boroughs, as well as New Jersey, Long Island and Westchester County. Currently and over the past five years, one of the major sources of capital for these projects has been provided by the EB-5 (Employment-based 5 Category) program established by Congress in 1990 as a method of bringing in foreign capital and creating jobs.

  • 01/21/2015
    Fashion Sense - January 2015

    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: Bitcoins: The Reality of Taxing Virtual Reality Source: Friedman LLP Tax Matters NYS Sales Tax Laws are Far Reaching When it Comes to Responsible Persons Source: Friedman LLP...

  • 01/08/2015
    Bitcoins: The Reality of Taxing Virtual Reality
    By Alan Goldenberg

    Anyone craving emerging technology has surely seen the enormous interest generated by and surrounding Bitcoins. In just five years the little-known virtual currency has gone from being worth pennies to thousands of dollars apiece. And many speculators have been cashing in on them.

  • 01/08/2015
    NYS Sales Tax Laws Are Far Reaching When It Comes to Responsible Persons
    By Andrew Cohen

    Most investors feel confident investing in a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) because they are, for the most part, free from liabilities. This confidence stems from the LLC laws which explicitly state that a member of an LLC cannot be held personally liable for the LLC’s obligations solely based on their status as a member. Yet, in a recent case, In The Matter of The Petitions of Eugene Boissiere and Jason Krystal, decided by the New York State Division of Tax Appeals, two members of an LLC were held responsible to pay for a portion of assessed sales tax that was not remitted by the LLC to the State even though they were just minor investors in the LLC.

  • 12/18/2014
    Fashion Sense - December 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:   Tax Tips: November/December 2014  Source: Friedman LLP   Women in Business Q&A: Harriet Greenberg, Partner at Friedman LLP  Source: Huffington Post Consumer Spending Gains Steam, Boosted by Lower Gas Prices  Source: Daily Finance    Snap...

  • 11/25/2014
    Governance by Design
    By Sylvia Mazur

    This past October, the Friedman LLP team was a first-time sponsor at the 2014 BoardSource Leadership Forum (BLF) held in Washington, D.C. The annual two-day conference was attended by BLF members from around the United States, which included nonprofits' board members, chief executives, staff and professionals. BoardSource's mission is dedicated to the advancement of the public good by building exceptional nonprofit boards who will aspire to quality board service.

  • 11/20/2014
    Fashion Sense: November 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:   It's not business, it's personal Source: Friedman LLP How Crowdfunding Is Changing the Fashion Business Source: Entrepreneur    When Fashion Sponsorship Works Source: Business of Fashion Target...

  • 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.