Community property vs. equitable distribution

In divorce proceedings – absent a prior agreement between spouses – marital property is apportioned by the court to each spouse, depending on the state in which divorce proceedings are conducted. Marital property may be divided between spouses by the community property model or by the equitable distribution model. So, what’s the difference between community …

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Cryptocurrency and divorce: key questions to consider

Interest in cryptocurrency, also known as digital currency, has recently exploded. Bitcoin perennially continues to be the largest cryptocurrency, followed by Ethereum. There are well over five thousand cryptocurrencies with new ones being formed and obscure names rising into prominence every day, most recently Dogecoin. One industry report estimates that approximately 20 million Americans may …

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Here’s how to fail when testifying as an expert

I first started testifying when I was a cop on the Tucson Police Department many moons ago. Those cases all involved the commission of a crime – some of the misdemeanor type and others involving felonies. After my career as a police officer, I became an accountant and then, eventually, a CPA. As a CPA …

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Discount for lack of control and majority interests

Can you, and should you, apply a discount for lack of control when valuing a majority interest? Well, with almost everything valuation related, it depends. A recent tax court case (Estate of Warne v. Commissioner) allowed a small discount for lack of control discount for majority interests in several Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). Don’t miss: …

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Testifying experts must be careful of what they write

I have had the good fortune of having the opportunity to write articles for numerous local and national accounting and financial publications. In addition, I have authored many blogs which have appeared on my firm’s website. Every so often, I am requested to produce a copy of one of my articles to an opposing party’s …

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Valuation case update: Estate of Streightoff vs Commissioner

In the case of Estate of Streightoff vs Commissioner, the IRS argued that the interest to be valued in a family limited partnership (FLP) was a limited partner interest, not an assignee interest. The Tax Court agreed with the IRS noting characteristics of the property transferred and admission requirements of the FLP. Case background Streightoff …

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Testifying experts: is technical knowledge enough?

It was after the lunch hour and I was testifying as a CPA expert on an economic damages case. The venue was a superior courthouse in Santa Ana, California. The day was a hot one and I was testifying at a jury trial. I had been retained by the plaintiff. My testimony was laced with …

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Should a CPA testifying expert be a client advocate?

Max was an experienced tax accountant. He had a small CPA firm whose members included him, a receptionist and two staff accountants. Max decided that he wanted to branch out into litigation support services. Before he did, he took courses on how to value a business and eventually got his Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) …

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Tips for testifying in court – stress may not be that bad

If you have experience testifying in court and you felt no stress of any sort, you must be a robot. Not me. As a CPA, I’ve testified over 150 times in state courts in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and California as well as federal courts in Arizona and Texas. Before I became an accountant, I …

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Trends in Daubert challenges

The professionals who testify as experts – and the attorneys who retain them – are likely very familiar with the “Daubert Standard,” as challenges to experts and their testimony has become more and more commonplace since the 1993 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and the 1999 ruling in Kumho …

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