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Summing It Up

Keeping you ahead of the curve with timely news & updates.


Are tax issues making dividing a CRT difficult?

As you know, dividing assets in divorce can be complicated. But, typically, charitable remainder trusts (also known as CRTs) are divided 50-50 into two separate trusts, in accordance with IRS Revenue Ruling 2008-41. But tax issues can make these divisions trickier than they might first appear.

How do you Spell Relief from Excise Tax?

There are two types of CRTs: 1) charitable remainder annuity trusts (CRATs) and 2) charitable remainder unitrusts (CRUTs). They are considered “split-interest trusts,” which means they generally are subject to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 507(a) just as if they were private foundations. The provision levies a termination or excise tax when a private foundation’s tax status is terminated. But the question remains: Does transferring assets from a private foundation (or CRT) to another private foundation (or CRT) — as when divorce assets are split — trigger that tax?

According to Revenue Ruling 2008-41, if a transfer is pursuant to an “adjustment, organization or reorganization” that includes a significant disposition of assets, the transferee foundation isn’t treated as a newly created organization. Thus, the excise tax doesn’t apply. Significant disposition of assets encompasses the transfer of a total of 25% or more of the fair market value (FMV) of the net assets of the original private foundation to one or more private foundations. In the above scenario, 100% of a CRT’s FMV would be transferred. Therefore, no excise tax applies.

Defining Disqualified Persons

CRATs and CRUTs also are subject to IRC Sec. 4941(a)(1). It imposes an excise tax on each act of self-dealing between a private foundation and a disqualified person. Self-dealing may include any direct or indirect transfer of the assets or income of a private foundation to a disqualified person. It also includes use of such assets or income by — or for the benefit of — a disqualified person. Disqualified persons encompass (among other substantial contributors to the foundation) foundation managers, and members of the family of a substantial contributor or foundation manager.

Revenue Ruling 2008-41 states that divorcing spouses can be disqualified persons with respect to their original trust, which creates the potential for self-dealing. But it also concluded that spouse recipients are protected from self-dealing with respect to their interests upon the trust’s division. Because distributions are made pro rata, neither spouse will receive any additional interest in the original trust’s assets, the original trust’s remainder interest is preserved for charitable interests and no self-dealing transaction occurs.

Dividing Trusts

Typically, trusts which are properly divided during divorce will still qualify as CRTs — avoiding certain excise taxes. Make sure you and your clients work with experienced financial professionals when it’s time to handle these types of assets.

© 2014

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Final Tangible Property Regulations: FREE Webinar Available Now

The Final Tangible Property Regulations - Are You Informed?
Get access to our latest webinar for all the details

Tangible Property Regulations

describe the imageOn September 13, 2013, the IRS issued final regulations affecting costs to acquire, produce, or improve tangible property and re-proposed regulations affecting disposition of tangible property. The final regulations are effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. These regulations will affect all taxpayers that acquire, produce or improve tangible property. 

Please check out our recent webinar that highlights the significant changes from the 2011 temporary regulations and discusses implementation planning.

http://blog.freedmaxick.com/the-final-tangible-property-regulations

Agenda Includes:

  • Background and update

  • Materials and supplies

  • Acquisition costs

  • Improvements

  • Dispositions

  • Implementation planning

  • Q&A

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Sailing Through a New York Sales Tax Audit

Author: Amanda Roth, CPA

What does this image make you think of? It makes me think of all the recent sales tax audits I have been involved in.  The most dreaded letter to get in the mail is the one that reads “We’ve scheduled an audit of your New York State sales and use tax records”. Even if all your records are in order and all your sales tax has been paid, the process can be overwhelming and you may not know what to expect. If you feel anxious, terrified, or even a little nauseous at the prospect of an audit, you are not alone, many feel as you do. It can be a daunting task to get organized for an audit. But don’t panic, these tips may help your audit go more smoothly.mail-1.jpg

Surviving a Sales Tax Audit

  1. Locate all your records – Make sure you can find all the records the auditor is asking for, if not try to obtain them from other sources (tax returns from your CPA, bank statements from online or from your local branch, etc.)
  2. Get Organized – Organize all your records according to the request list and present them in an organized manner (i.e.: by year or alphabetically).  As a CPA I recommend setting up a binder, printing the request list and setting up tabs that correspond to each item requested. Some items, such as invoices, are too large to put in the binder. For these types of documents, a box will suffice, and then reference their location in the binder. Purchase invoices should be grouped together per vendor and listed in date order. This is usually done to make it easier to pull out the applicable invoices if a test period is chosen, or to search a particular vendor file quickly if the auditor wants to view certain expenses.
  3. Be prepared - Always make sure you have what the auditor has requested before scheduling an appointment. No one likes wasting time and it will make the audit move along more quickly.
  4. Put your best foot forward – Always look at everything you provide an auditor and ensure all work papers tie out to reports and/or returns provided. Present and retain records as organized as possible and ensure the records you print agree to reports or returns. Sometimes if you rush and just gather the information, errors can occur.   
  5. Make sure you have your “A Team” - Decide if you will be representing yourself or if you will be getting your CPA involved to help in the process. Most businesses feel they can handle an audit on their own to save on costs. However, there are times where having a representative saves money in the long run. A representative allows your employees to focus their time on what they are best at (usually the operations of the company). Some considerations in deciding whether to go it alone or get your CPA involved are as follows: cost, resources, capacity, technical knowledge, business needs, condition of record or lack thereof, and knowledge of audit procedures.  

Is it time to change audit firmsThese five basic tips will help make any audit go more smoothly. I always recommend getting your CPA firm involved; they are accustomed to the many obstacles of audits and might be able to help clear a path to a smoother audit; alleviating that anxious and overwhelming feeling that many get.

Contact Our Sales Tax Professionals

If you are not sure what steps to take next, contact Freed Maxick. We can help you navigate through a sales tax audit, and help get you organized. Please contact us for more information.

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Bitcoin | The New Cyber Currency?


Ever hear the saying “there’s an app for that”; well now there’s a currency for online users-Bitcoin. With no actual existence in the physical world, Bitcoin has been breaking barriers for online and consumer bartering.

How does it work?

By visiting an online exchange site, you can simply exchange traditional curriences (dollars, pounds, etc) for the virtual currency. Trading started at $7.00 in 2010, in exchange for one Bitcoin. What separates the Bitcoins from other tradable scripts (i.e. the Disney dollar), is that the coins trade on a floating exchange rather than having a fixed exchange rate set to a national currency. Prices have fluctuated wildly over the last couple of years, and with no government oversight or regulation, there is also no way to protect the online exchange. This led to a brief shutdown after Bitcoin sites were hacked. It is back in circulation, but finding places that will take the coin is difficult. There are some restaurants, book stores and online retailers that will take the coin as currency. It requires logging into your IPhone and sending the coins to the retailer you are dealing with, virtually. Once the exchange is complete, you have your merchandise.  According to Bitcoin Magazine, the currency has gained over 1 million users.

It can’t be that easy?

It’s not! When Bitcoin first started trading in 2009 it sold for less than a dollar. The virtual currency started garnering more attention when, in the start of January of this year, it rose from $10.00 to roughly $260.00 by April 10th. But that bubble burst when it fell to $77.00; since then it is slowly rising again. Not only is the currency volatile, but investors have had to deal with highly unstable trading platforms- the unfortunate symptom of decentralized currency. Currently there are 11 million Bitcoins in circulation, but this new way of bartering is unpredictable. Traditional currencies are safely held in a range of investment funds and banks. While both have their security problems, only one is considered “hard currency”.

Are there tax implications?

Due to widespread curiosity and the growing interest in Bitcoins, the Treasury Department issued a series of guidelines for Bitcoin brokers. The guidelines serve more as a direction against money laundering than tax implications. The IRS hasn’t specified yet whether Bitcoins should be considered an in-kind payment, bartering system, or foreign currency payment. Trying to decipher between these distinctions is no easy task, as each has its own implications under the U.S. tax code.  As the continued education is necessary, to be aware of future tax issues that may arise from internet currencies; as the IRS and government entities move toward concrete answers to questions surrounding the treatment of digital currencies.

High Tech WhitepaperFreed Maxick tax auditors stay current and update with currency guidelines, to help keep you aware of issues or implications that could affect your taxes. If you would like to learn more Contact us to connect with our experts.

We have also worked with hundreds of high tech companies and startups. Please call us to talk with one of our CPAs or business advisors about getting your high tech company to growth mode.  Call us at 716.847.2651, or contact us here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Webcast Event: ASC740: Income Tax Accounting for 2013- May 17th

With the ever-changing and complex regulatory environment, compliance with accounting for income taxes (ASC 740), formerly known as FAS 109, has become more difficult for companies to manage efficiently. Companies must work hard to ensure that they minimize compliance related errors with the current tax laws and financial accounting and reporting standards.

In this two-hour LIVE webcast on May 17th, a panel of distinguished professionals assembled by The Knowledge Group will discuss the significant topics related to tax accounting rules and implementation of ASC 740. The faculty will discuss:

    • Brief Overview of ASC 740 and Refresher in Current and Deferred Tax Computation

    • Pertinent Accounting Principles and Tax Accounting Provisions

    • Application of ASC 740 to State and International Income Taxes

    • Hot Topics in Internal Controls

    • Issues Relating to Compensation and Benefits Developments

    • Best Practices and Practical Guidance for Tax Preparation, Compliance and Effectiveness

    • Up-to-the-Minute Regulatory Updates

This is a must attend event for Finance Executives, CPAs, Attorneys, Enrolled Agents, Tax Practitioners, and other Interested Professionals. Attending this course will give you the tools you need to understand the latest developments in ASC-740.

Course Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: None
Method Of Presentation: Group-Based-Internet
Developer: The Knowledge Group, LLC
Recommended CLE/CPE Hours: 1.75 - 2.0
Advance Preparation: Print and review course materials
Course Code: 134416
NASBA Fields of Study: Accounting – 1.00 credit and Taxes – 1.00 credit
Other Certifications: IRS EA Credits: Federal Tax – 2:00 credits
Course Fees:
$199 - $249 (Early Bird Discounted Rate - on or before 05/07/2013)
$299 - $349 (Regular Rate - registration after 05/07/2013)
$149 (Government / Nonprofit Rate)

(Please click here for details)

Featured Speakers for ASC 740: Income Tax Accounting for 2013 LIVE Webcast :


Douglas I. Schwartz, CPA/CFF, Cr.FA, Managing Member,
Douglas I Schwartz, LLC

  • Identification of permanent versus temporary differences

  • Valuation Allowance, balancing positive versus negative indicia on the recording of deferred tax assets and the related VA.

  • Valuation Allowance considerations for an investment company versus an operating company.

  • Impact of recent tax legislation.

  • APB 23 Repatriation of Foreign Earnings.

  • Consolidated provision considerations for the multinational company.

  • FIN 48 GAAP accounting versus tax return accounting and disclosure of uncertain tax positions (UTP’s).

Mark A. Stebbins, CPA, Director - Tax Practice Leader

Samuel C. DiSalvo, CPA J.D., Director,

Freed Maxick CPAs, PC

  • Business combination issuesFresh start accounting

  • Interim Reporting

  • Stock based compensation issues

  • Foreign operations

  • Financial instrument issues

  • Accounting period and methods

Angela L. Evans, Partner, Business Tax Services,
Ernst & Young LLP 

Douglas I Schwartz, LLC
Douglas I. Schwartz, CPA/CFF, Cr.FA
Managing Member
speaker bio »»

Freed Maxick CPAs, PC
Mark A. Stebbins, CPA
Director - Tax Practice Leader
speaker bio »»

Freed Maxick CPAs, PC
Samuel C. DiSalvo, CPA J.D.
Director
speaker bio »»

Ernst & Young LLP
Angela L. Evans
Partner, Business Tax Services

Who Should Attend?

- Finance Executives
- CPAs
- Tax Attorneys
- Enrolled Agents
- Tax Practitioners
- Tax Directors
- Tax Managers/Executive
- Internal Audits
- CFOs
- Financial Planners and Executives
- Tax Consultants
- And Other Interested Professionals

Why Attend?

This is a must attend event for anyone interested in understanding the related issues and changes to Income Tax Accounting (ASC 740). In this live virtual course, you will hear:

- Detailed guidance explained by the most qualified key leaders & experts
- Hear directly from experienced practitioners & thought leaders
- Interact directly with panel during Q&A

Advanced registration is recommended as space is limited. Please click the “Register” button below to enroll in this course today. Significant discounts apply for early registrants.

Registration Information:                                                                                                                                 

(Click here for information on group registrations and discounts)

Disclaimer:
Please note, the event date is firm although it may be subject to change. Please click here for details.
The Knowledge Group, LLC is producing this event for information purposes only. We do not intend to provide or offer business advice. The contents of this event are based upon the opinions of our speakers. The Knowledge Congress does not warrant their accuracy and completeness. The statements made by them are based on their independent opinions and does not necessarily reflect that of The Knowledge Congress' views. In no event shall The Knowledge Congress be liable to any person or business entity for any special, direct, indirect, punitive, incidental or consequential damages as a result of any information gathered from this webcast.

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Tax Update for Country Clubs| Golf Course Owners

It’s always a benefit to business and real estate owners to uncover ways to save money. Did you know that the tax depreciation records of golf course owners likely contain a tax deduction that can be claimed for the 2012 tax year?

The tax deduction is claimed by adopting specific sections of the temporary repair regulations that were issued in December 2011. The IRS is allowing taxpayers to adopt specific sections of these regulations for their 2012 tax year and to defer other sections that may result in income until the 2014 tax year.  Specific sections of these regulations allow taxpayers to claim a deduction for assets that are now reclassified as repairs, routine maintenance, or were disposed of before 2012.

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It’s a lot of information to wade through, but CSP 360 and their affiliate Freed Maxick CPAs can help country clubs and golf course owners navigate through the complex regulations.

Get the Tangible Property Q&A now to learn more!

Check out a few examples of how we can help:

1) Tax Deductions: Golf course owners that capitalized improvements to buildings and the course since 1987, likely removed or abandoned assets as a result. The remaining tax basis in these assets and perhaps, the costs of removal, can be claimed as a tax deduction for 2012 tax year. 

For another example, let’s assume during 2008 that $1 Million of structural improvements were made to a club house facility and $1 Million of land improvements were made to the golf course bringing the total investment to $8 Million. A cost segregation specialist identifies $1 Million of tax basis remaining in the real and personal property disposed of in conjunction with the improvements.

Result? The golf club owner is entitled to claim a $1 Million tax deduction for the 2012 tax year. 


2) Regulation Changes
: All golf course owners should prepare for other changes under these regulations which may affect current accounting policies and procedures. For example, a golf course owner that has historically expensed assets for tax purposes based on their book capitalization policy may need to act before 2014 to be able to continue to deduct assets under this policy beginning in 2014. In addition, all golf course owners will be required to review their treatment of materials and supplies and repairs in order to comply with the new repair regulations. 


3) Uncovering Cash Flow:
For example, let’s assume a club house was constructed and placed in service during 2004 with an original cost of $2 Million and the golf course was constructed with an original cost of $4 Million for a total capitalized cost of $6 Million. A cost segregation study reclassified $2.4 Million of the capitalized cost as land improvements and tangible personal property. 

Result? This reclassification results in a $1.5 Million tax deduction for 2012 providing additional cash flow from the federal and state income tax savings. 

CSP 360 is affiliated with Freed Maxick CPAs and is one of the nation's leading providers of cost segregation and consulting services to real estate owners. CSP 360 is the national leader in providing cost segregation services to the golf and hospitality industries. Our experienced team of Construction Engineers and CPAs work in the cost segregation service niche with no outsourcing.

Allow us to show you how our Cost Segregation and CapX services could result in a substantial income tax savings for the 2012 tax year. Contact Us today to learn more about how we can assist.

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