A New Tax-Free Vehicle for the Disabled

The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (“ABLE Act”) offers a new tax-free savings vehicle for disabled individuals to pay for expenses not covered by government programs such as health care, employment training and support, housing, transportation and education. The ABLE Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in December 2014 as …

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Internal Control & Outsourcing

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of internal controls? Making sure work is double checked? Making sure that the employee in charge of reconciling the bank account does not also receive the mail, sign checks, and reconcile receivable and payable accounts? Segregation of duties is typically one of the …

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Could New Section 2704 Regulations Eliminate Discounts Applicable to Transferred Interests in Family Owned Entities?

Section 2704(b) Internal Revenue Code Section 2704(b) provides that certain “applicable restrictions” that would typically justify the application of lack of control and/or lack of marketability discounts to transferred interests in closely-held family entities such as limited partnerships or limited liability companies are to be ignored for the purpose of valuation, if those interests are …

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Full Scope vs. Limited Scope Audits

When a 401(k) or other retirement plan requires an annual audit, a plan administrator may have a choice to engage an audit firm to perform a full-scope audit or a limited scope audit of the financial statements. To be qualified for a limited scope audit, a bank or insurance carrier must act as a trustee …

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Divorce business valuations: double dip, reasonable compensation conundrums

Family Law Court magistrates often face two dilemmas regarding what monthly spousal maintenance payments should be when a business is owned by the divorcing couple and is an asset to be distributed in the property settlement part of the divorce. For purposes of discussion, let us assume that the spouse who runs the couple’s business …

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FBAR Deadline Fast Approaching – Don’t Forget to File

Just a reminder to prepare and file the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) with the Treasury Department as the deadline is fast approaching – June 30, 2015. Any United States (U.S.) person or entity with signature authority over or interest in foreign accounts with the …

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Did You Just Try to Scam a Forensic Accountant?

As a forensic accountant, I know that telephone scams are becoming increasingly more common. However, I was surprised when I actually received a phone call recently with an automated message stating that I needed to call back regarding a serious tax liability. Although I knew it was bogus, I called back and spoke to a …

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Shareholder debt or equity, does it affect value?

Shareholders of a small business sometimes will infuse cash into their Companies when needed. This cash is often recorded as a loan to the business. The shareholder and the Company may or may not have documented the “loan” setting forth the terms including interest rate, payback period, etc. When developing an equity value of a …

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Exploding growth in crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet. Crowdfunding has grown dramatically over the last few years. As shown in the chart below, crowdfunding websites helped companies and individuals worldwide raise $89 million from members of the public in …

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