• The Lapsing Policy Crisis: An Intervention Plan Is Needed

    By:
    E. Randolph Whitelaw, AEP, and Henry Montag, CFP, CLTC
    |
    Sep 1, 2014
    For the past 35 years, flexible premium nonguaranteed death benefit policies—adjustable life, universal life, variable universal life, and equity indexed universal life—have been the life insurance products of choice; however, only a few of these policies will achieve their originally illustrated values.
  • New York’s 2014 Trust Income Tax Changes

    By:
    Jonathan J. Rikoon
    |
    Sep 1, 2014
    The estate tax law changes that New York enacted earlier this year were accompanied by new rules intended to close two perceived loopholes in New York’s taxation of trust income. Although the original version of the proposals would have been far-reaching, the final changes that went into effect on Apr. 1, 2014, are somewhat more modest.
  • New York State Tax Benefits for Seniors

    By:
    Joseph Rosoff, CPA
    |
    Sep 1, 2014
    Senior citizens or retired individuals filing a New York state income tax return may qualify for special income tax benefits and breaks that can reduce tax liability, including subtraction modifications and credits. Some examples of income exempt from New York state taxation include Social Security benefits, New York state pensions, pensions from local and federal governments, and the pension and annuity income exclusion.
  • The June 2014 Revised Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and Streamlined Programs

    By:
    Melissa Gillespie, JD, CPA, MST
    |
    Aug 1, 2014
    It has been interesting to watch the IRS mold and remodel its original 2009 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). Since then, updates have included the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI), which closed in September 2011; the December 2011 new compliance procedures for nonresident U.S. taxpayers, with a promise of “more to follow”; the 2012 OVDP program, which replaced the 2011 OVDI; and the announcement in June 2012 of new streamlined filing compliance procedures for U.S. citizens or dual citizens residing outside the United States. On Jun. 18, 2014, it was announced that the IRS has once again revised its OVDP.
  • Fraud Case Study: Travel and Expense Fraud

    By:
    David Zweighaft, CPA/CFE, CPE
    |
    Aug 1, 2014
    Certain situations increase the likelihood of fraud, such as when a trusted employee is under financial pressure, feels he deserves greater recognition or more pay, and has the ability to prepare and obtain approval for reimbursement of any travel and expense submissions.
  • Trusting the Trustees and Additional Trust-Related Issues

    By:
    Shahnaz Mahmud
    |
    Aug 1, 2014
    The first article in this series discussed trusting the beneficiaries, but what about trusting the trustees? At the NYSSCPA Family Office Committee conference, Randy Werner, a loss prevention executive at CAMICO, urged participants to truly think about what is involved.
  • The Grantor Retained Annuity Trust: A Jackpot for Taxpayers Who Want to Limit Gift Tax Liability

    By:
    Daniel Mazzola, CPA, CFA
    |
    Aug 1, 2014
    One of the first things lottery winners learn is that their prize money is subject to taxation. In the United States, lottery prize money is classified as gambling winnings and is considered taxable income, just like wages from employment and interest earned at a bank. There is not much the lottery winner of a significant cash prize can do regarding income taxes, but he can reduce gift taxes by establishing a grantor retained annuity trust.
  • Advancements in Reproductive Technology Raise Estate Planning Issues

    By:
    Carole M. Bass, Esq.
    |
    Jul 1, 2014
    Massive scientific advancements in the field of reproductive technology—coupled with delays in childbearing, the growth of nontraditional families, and increased success rates in cancer treatment—have resulted in rapid expansion in the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART). In 2012, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine removed the “experimental”label from egg freezing, signaling an anticipated expansion in the number of women who will harvest and store unfertilized eggs for later use.
  • Navigating the Perilous Waters of Trusteeship: The Issue of Control

    By:
    Shahnaz Mahmud
    |
    Jul 1, 2014
    Whom do you trust? This is a sensitive question for almost everyone. But in the family office world, it's even more important. Author George MacDonald summed it best: “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”The NYSSCPA Family Office Committee’s fourth annual conference in February 2014 addressed the topic of trust—specifically, a trustee’s obligations and pitfalls that such a trustee might face.
  • A New Trend in New York State Residency Cases

    By:
    Brian Gordon, CPA
    |
    Jul 1, 2014
    For former New Yorkers, convincing New York state that a change of domicile occurred is still very difficult. Several recent residency cases have resulted in a loss for taxpayers and a win for New York state.
  • Tax Incentives for Film Production in New York State

    By:
    Zev Landau, CPA, MBA
    |
    Jul 1, 2014
    Because New York state is a financial powerhouse (just consider Wall Street), it has an important edge in securing financing for film productions. New York’s government and its wealthy entities can provide financing through government grants, tax incentives, and tax credits.
  • Fraud Risks and Prevention Techniques for Exempt Organizations

    By:
    David Zweighaft, CPA/CFE, CPE
    |
    Jun 10, 2014
    Reliance on documents is often the basis for initiating, recording, or approving accounting transactions—and, in a perfect world, that would be reasonable and acceptable. Unfortunately, there is always the risk of fraud in clients’ organizations.
  • Pressure Builds on U.S. Taxpayers with Foreign Accounts

    By:
    Robert Barnett, CPA, JD, MS (taxation) and Renato Matos, JD, LLM (taxation)
    |
    Jun 1, 2014
    The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2010 (FATCA) has manifested outside the United States in recent months, as a result of an agreement announced on Aug. 29, 2013, between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Swiss Federal Department of Finance.
  • Estate Tax Changes under the 2014/2015 Executive Budget

    By:
    Jonathan Rikoon
    |
    Jun 1, 2014
    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced in January that he would introduce legislation intended to reduce the estate tax provisions that may provide an incentive for New Yorkers to move out of the state shortly before death. But even though the new law, signed on Apr. 1, 2014, provides some tax relief for moderately well-off taxpayers, the wealthiest New Yorkers will see little—if any—change. In some cases, they will actually experience an increase in estate and income tax.
  • New York’s Film Tax Credit Program Bolsters Its Success in the Film Industry

    By:
    Zev Landau, CPA, MBA
    |
    Jun 1, 2014
    New York state recently enacted a bill that will extend tax credits for film production and postproduction, based on qualified costs. Find out how your clients or company can take advantage of this state's Film Tax Credit in this first of a two-part series by CPA and MBA Zev Landau.
  • To Live and Die in New York: Recent Tax Changes Affecting Estates and Trusts - Tax Stringer May 2014

    By:
    Kevin Matz, JD, LLM, CPA
    |
    May 1, 2014
    On Apr. 1, 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law, as part of the New York State Executive Budget, what might appear to be sweeping changes affecting estate planning and trusts. But the new law falls short of achieving the laudable objective that Governor Cuomo had specified in his State of the State address: keeping wealthy New Yorkers in the Empire State during their golden years.
  • New York State Nursing Home Assessment Credit

    By:
    Laura LaForgia, CPA, MST
    |
    May 1, 2014
    One commonly overlooked New York state income tax credit that could provide some real money to those who need it is the nursing home assessment credit. For tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2005, this credit refunds the portion of an assessment imposed by the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance on a New York nursing home that is passed through on the nursing home resident's bill.
  • Opting Out of the IRS Offshore Disclosure Programs

    By:
    Eric L. Morgenthal, Esq., CPA, MS (Taxation)
    |
    May 1, 2014
    In 2009, the IRS had introduced an Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative/Program (OVDI/OVDP). In the years that followed, the program was reintroduced and revised. Soon enough, thousands of practitioners started jumping on the foreign tax repair bandwagon. Many had no foreign tax experience or held limited knowledge of the foreign tax reporting and compliance requirements.
  • Guaranteed 10-Pay Whole Life Insurance Contracts

    By:
    G. Dean Goodwin, CLUT, AEPT
    |
    May 1, 2014
    Most advisors and clients utilize the benefits of life insurance for the traditional purposes of replacing income or providing liquidity to pay estate taxes through the income tax-free death benefit; however, permanent insurance is often perceived as being expensive and not providing a competitive rate of return compared to other asset classes. In order to provide policyholders with a sense of certainty, a number of mutual insurance companies have introduced guaranteed 10-pay whole life contracts that are contractually paid-up with 10 years of premium payments, regardless of dividend performance.
  • A CPA’s Guide to Life Insurance

    By:
    Chad L. Reyes
    |
    Apr 1, 2014
    Even during the depths of the Great Depression, the U.S. Supreme Court noted that life insurance for dependents is “kept up very often at the cost of painful sacrifice, and abandoned only under dire compulsion” (Burnet v. Wells). Because of the socially beneficial role life insurance plays in families that have lost a loved one, it has been afforded very favorable tax treatment by the IRC.

 
Views expressed in articles published in Tax Stringer are the authors' only and are not to be attributed to the publication, its editors, the NYSSCPA or FAE, or their directors, officers, or employees, unless expressly so stated. Articles contain information believed by the authors to be accurate, but the publisher, editors and authors are not engaged in redering legal, accounting or other professional services. If specific professional advice or assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.