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Publications

  • 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.

  • 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.