• Pre- and Post-Mortem Planning

    By:
    Elana S. Bronson, Esq.
    |
    Jan 1, 2017
    When a client is nearing the end of his or her life, advisors should be aware of both pre- and post-mortem planning opportunities. While the majority of this article will focus on tax planning techniques, there are also practical considerations. This article is not exhaustive, but is intended to serve as a helpful guide for practitioners.  
  • Federal Tax Planning Strategies for Individuals and Small Businesses

    By:
    Warren M. Bergstein, CPA, AEP
    |
    Jan 1, 2017
    Every year, to minimize their overall liability, taxpayers should start giving consideration to moves that may either lower their current year tax bill or equalize their tax liability over a two-year period. 
  • Planning for the Stars: Financial & Investment Planning for Entertainers and Professional Athletes

    By:
    K. Eli Akhavan, Esq., and Jonathan I. Shenkman
    |
    Jan 1, 2017

    Financial and legal advisors representing entertainers and professional athletes—“celebrities”—confront unique circumstances not usually present when working with more traditional clients. These challenges include the “sudden wealth” effect, short earnings horizon, inconsistent cash flow, unrestrained spending habits, limited financial literacy, and incompetent advising.

  • The Life Insurance Policy Lapse and Litigation Crisis: What CPAs Need to Know in Order to Avoid a Client Crisis and Create a Glide Path to Safety

    By:
    E. Randolph Whitelaw, AEP Distinguished, and Henry Montag, CFP, CLTC
    |
    Jan 1, 2017

    After more than 35 years of “buyer beware” warnings, why do consumers continue to purchase flexible premium non-guaranteed death benefit life insurance products for a 10 to 50 year planning duration period, assume policy performance risk without knowing the risks to be managed, and forego annual policy performance monitoring—all while knowing there is a high probability that the policy will lapse without value during their lifetimes? 

  • Taxpayer Advocate Service: A Resource for Tax Professionals

    By:
    Kim E. Randle, Acting Local Taxpayer Advocate (LTA)
    |
    Jan 1, 2017

    The IRS's Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) can help you help your clients. If your client is having a tax problem that you haven’t been able to resolve on your own, our advocates may be able to help. Your client may be eligible for our help if his or her IRS problem is causing financial difficulty, or if you believe an IRS procedure just isn't working as it should.

  • Deconstructing Hedge Fund Schedule K-1s for Individuals

    By:
    Suzy Lee, CPA, MST and Stacy L. Palmer, CPA, MBA, MST
    |
    Dec 1, 2016

    Hedge fund K-1s can be voluminous and difficult when determining how to handle the tax treatment of the income and deductions at the individual level. This article will help you navigate K-1s to understand how certain items would impact the tax treatment at the individual level. The first step in determining the proper treatment of income and expense items is to identify whether the partnership is a trader fund, investor fund, or fund of funds.

  • Straddle Identifications: Making the Best out of a Bad Situation

    By:
    Mark Fichtenbaum CPA, JD, LLM
    |
    Dec 1, 2016

    Straddles are defined in IRC section 1092(c) as two or more offsetting positions in personal property. A taxpayer holds offsetting positions with respect to personal property if the taxpayer’s risk of loss from holding any position is substantially reduced by reason of their holding one or more other positions with respect to personal property—whether or not of the same kind. 

  • State Residency for Professional Athletes: Overview and Traps for the Unwary

    By:
    Corey L. Rosenthal, JD
    |
    Dec 1, 2016

    Fall is an amazing time of the year for sports fans. The NFL season is in full swing, the NBA and NHL seasons are beginning, and—of course—baseball’s World Series is played. As both sports enthusiasts and state and local tax professionals, we also focus on how professional athletes must report their taxes to various states.  

  • Federal Investigators Increase Scrutiny of Offshore Bank Accounts

    By:
    Alicea Castellanos, CPA, TEP, N.P., and Jack Brister, TEP
    |
    Dec 1, 2016

    Federal watchdogs are demonstrating their renewed focus on the illegal use of offshore bank accounts, as the Department of Justice (DOJ) says it is zeroing in on potential tax evaders. 

  • What if Your Spouse Doesn't Want to Study? Visa Requirements for U.S. Tax Practitioners

    By:
    Luciana Zamith Fischer
    |
    Nov 1, 2016
    In a globalized world, where investment and trade continues to flow across borders, investors and companies find it difficult to understand the complexities imposed by countries based on notions of sovereignty and national security. 
  • Form 8865: Return of U.S. Persons with Respect to Certain Foreign Partnerships

    By:
    Mitchell Sorkin, CPA, MBA, PFS, CEA
    |
    Nov 1, 2016

    The purpose of Form 8865 is to report the information required under IRC section 6038 (reporting with respect to controlled foreign partnerships). This form also reports transfers to foreign partnerships and acquisitions, depositions, and changes in interest in foreign partnerships.

  • To Have and to Hold But to Not Be Held Accountable

    By:
    Jacalyn F. Barnett, Esq.
    |
    Nov 1, 2016
    New Year’s Eve is not just a time for fireworks and celebrations—it is also the moment when the IRS determines whether or not you are married. If you are married at the stroke of midnight, the IRS considers you to have been married for the whole year. 
  • Exotic Dance Club Wins Battle, Loses War

    By:
    Brian Gordon, CPA
    |
    Nov 1, 2016

    Admission charges to a place of amusement—such as baseball games, museums, and beaches—are subject to New York State sales tax. There is, however, an exemption under New York Tax Law section 1105(f)(1) on admission charges to a theater or place of assembly for “dramatic or musical arts performances.” 

  • Tax Compass: Letters to the Editor

    By:
    TaxStringer Staff
    |
    Nov 1, 2016

    The letters to the editor below are comments from readers in response to Daniel Mazzola’s opinion piece, “Why the Estate Tax Should Concern Us All,” which appeared in the October 2016 TaxStringer.

  • Fundamental Tax Reform Is Mostly Dead—but Not Quite

    By:
    Curtis S. Dubay
    |
    Oct 1, 2016

    In the classic children’s movie The Princess Bride, Billy Crystal plays a miracle-performing medicine man. When the hero of the story is brought to him, Crystal’s character says that he is “mostly dead.” That is an apt description of fundamental tax reform’s current state. 

  • Why the Estate Tax Should Concern Us All

    By:
    Daniel Mazzola, CPA, CFA
    |
    Oct 1, 2016

    During the week of Aug. 7, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump revealed their respective tax policies in major speeches to partisan audiences. While the presentations contained such jargon as marginal rates, inversions, and expenditures, the programs can be summarized as follows: Corporate America—along with the wealthy—will bear the brunt of Mrs. Clinton’s progressive agenda in the form of higher taxes, while these two groups would see their taxes reduced under a Trump regime. This is the choice Americans face in November.

  • Proposed Regulations Under IRC Section 2704

    By:
    Kevin Matz, Esq., CPA, LLM (Taxation)
    |
    Oct 1, 2016

    On Aug. 2, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS issued proposed regulations under IRC Section 2704 (the “Proposed Regulations”) that, if enacted in its present form, might significantly curtail the ability of taxpayers to claim valuation discounts for both lack of control and lack of marketability in family-controlled entities. 

  • 2016 New York Tax Update: Highlights and Lowlights

    By:
    Timothy P. Noonan, JD
    |
    Oct 1, 2016

    This article covers recent updates and developments in the New York State and City tax areas.

  • A Brief Update on Filing Requirements for U.S. Citizens Living Abroad and Resident Aliens in the United States

    By:
    R. John Smith, Esq.
    |
    Oct 1, 2016

    Who has to file Form 1040NR? Form 1040NR may need to be filed if a specified individual is a nonresident alien engaged in a trade or business in the United States, represented a deceased person who would have had to file Form 1040NR, or represented an estate or trust that had to file Form 1040NR. See the form’s instructions for more information.

  • Who Do You Want Making Decisions About Your Online Accounts If You Die or Become Incapacitated? A Proposed New York Statute Would Give You the Right to Choose

    By:
    Kadeen Wong, Esq., and Kevin Matz, CPA, Esq., LLM
    |
    Sep 1, 2016
    Have you ever wondered what will happen to the contents of your Facebook, LinkedIn, and personal e-mail accounts if you die or become incapacitated? Does your family know what accounts you have? Do they have the authority to access, use, or terminate those accounts? 

 
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.