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    • 08/23/2016
      Recent Litigation Affecting Not-for-Profit Pension Plan Fiduciaries

      It was recently reported that the Schlichter Bogard law firm filed lawsuits against NYU, MIT, Yale, Duke, Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, Emory and Penn on behalf of numerous participants in retirement plans sponsored by the universities. The suits allege, among other things, that the participants were charged excessive fees. Many similar...

    • 08/04/2016
      Breaking Barriers: Client Success Stories

      Reconstructing Capital Improvement Records to Drastically Reduce Tax Liability

    • 08/03/2016
      The Work Opportunity Tax Credit: Don’t Overlook as Your Workforce Expands
      By By: Andrew S. Cohen, JD, LL.M

      Do you plan to expand your work force? If so, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal nonrefundable tax credit that provides an incentive for hiring individuals that have faced certain barriers to employment. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH) recently extended the availability of the...

    • 08/03/2016
      Partnerships: Get ready for new audit rules

      For partnerships, including limited liability companies taxed as partnerships, new audit rules are a game changer. The rules apply to returns for partnership tax years that begin after December 31, 2017, including amended returns. The changes aren’t merely procedural; they substantially alter the taxation of partnerships, effectively imposing entity-level taxes...

    • 08/03/2016
      Tax Tips: Capital Gains; Bad Debt; Net, Net Gifts

      This issue’s “Tax Tips” article details why taxpayers should consider giving appreciated stock to their children to minimize capital gains taxes, explains how to deduct bad debt and covers why “net, net gifts” are now a more viable strategy. Shift capital gains to your children Giving appreciated stock or other investments to...

    • 08/02/2016
      SEP, Simple or Traditional Pension Plan: An Employer's Best Option?
      By James T. Williams, Pension Administrator

      When an employer considers establishing a retirement plan for their organization, there are numerous factors to consider. How much will the Company contribute and what will the employee cost be? What is involved in plan administration? Can the employer assume the responsibility for plan administration or should a professional service...

    • 07/25/2016
      How the DOL Overtime Rules Apply to Nonprofits
      By Sarah Avery, Director

      On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the Overtime Final Rule. Since then, volumes have been written about the ramifications of the final rule, which is effective December 1, 2016. While you may be aware of the new salary thresholds required by the final rule, what you...

    • 07/18/2016
      The Shift to Online Apparel Sales
      By Harry C. Steinmetz, Partner and Blair Craske, Manager

      What Buyers and Sellers Should Know about Its Impact on Due Diligence

    • 07/18/2016
      I Am Being Audited For Commercial Rent Tax – Will You Help Me?
      By Tom Corrie, JD, LLM, Principal 

      A Common Problem Recently, I received a call from a gentleman who had been doing business in New York City for over 30 years. He had just been contacted by the New York City Department of Finance (the “Department”) about his business’ potential Commercial Rent Tax (“CRT”) obligations. He knew nothing...

    • 06/29/2016
      Form 990: What Are 6 Key Compliance Requirements?
      By Ralph Citino, Director, Stu Katz, Senior Tax Manager and Brooke Karafin, Tax Manager

      To help you better understand the Form 990, and as a follow-up to last month’s Nonprofit Advisor article on marketing considerations, we’ve prepared this Part 2 article that takes an in-depth look into what you should know when it comes to complying with the Form 990. 1. Review the Form 990 Carefully:...

    • 06/21/2016
      Repurposing Industrial Properties Continues Upward Trend in NYC Outer Boroughs
      By Michael Stoler, The Stoler Report

      Major retrofits and the repurposing of industrial buildings have become leading trends especially in New York City. The majority of the adaptive reuse is taking place in Queens, especially Long Island City; in Sunset Park and other parts of Brooklyn; and in the Bronx. An excellent example of adaptive reuse is...

    • 06/16/2016
      Challenges with Sales Tax Compliance
      By Alan Goldenberg, JD, MBA, LLM

      Some of the biggest compliance challenges facing taxpayers are not found with income taxes, but rather with sales tax. Properly computing, collecting and remitting sales tax in the 45 states that levy such a tax is often highly burdensome and draining on a business’s resources. After income and property taxes,...

    • 06/16/2016
      Sourcing of Service Revenue, Can New York State and City Make It Any Harder?
      By Tom Corrie, JD, LLM, Principal

      Recently, both New York State (the “State”) and New York City (the “City”) have modified the methods prescribed with respect to how service revenue should be sourced. Applicable for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, both the State and City have moved from a cost of performance...

    • 06/16/2016
      Late Adoption of the Tangible Property Regulations
      By Andrew Cohen, JD, LLM and Michael J. Greenwald, MPPM, CPA, Partner

      Oh, no. We’re now halfway through 2016, I haven’t filed my 2015 tax returns (fortunately they are on extension) and I never did anything about the Tangible Property Regulations (“TPR”) that became effective in 2014. Is there anything I can do? As a matter of fact, there are a number of...

    • 06/16/2016
      Utilizing Cost Segregation Studies after the Final Tangible Property Regulations
      By Andrew Cohen, JD, LLM

      The depreciation of assets can provide important tax benefits. Taxpayers prefer to depreciate assets over a shorter rather than longer period of time as this allows for a larger annual tax deduction. Building and structural components have substantially longer depreciable lives (39 years for non-residential real property and 27.5 years...

    • 06/16/2016
      Deduct Now, Donate Later

      Donor-advised funds offer significant benefits

    • 06/16/2016
      Is it Time to Revisit Captive Insurance?

      Many businesses, both large and small, use captive insurance companies to meet their risk management needs while controlling costs and reducing taxes. Recent developments have created new opportunities to take advantage of captives. At the same time, new restrictions designed to curb perceived abuses of “microcaptives” may require some companies...

    • 06/16/2016
      Why You May Need a Prenup

      Prenups usually become relevant when a couple gets divorced. But they also provide several benefits for successful marriages, including protection from liability for your spouse’s separate debts and implementation of estate planning strategies. Most states give a surviving spouse certain rights to a deceased spouse’s property. In community property states, for...

    • 06/16/2016
      Tax Tips

      Take another look at the research credit

    • 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...