Can You Limit ERISA/Pension Fund Withdrawal Liability?

It’s no secret that pension plans around the country are in trouble. The financial crisis of recent years has not only affected the value of securities and other investments, but has contributed to the failure of key businesses, and has caused many pension plans to become underfunded. What may come as a surprise to contributing …

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The Fraud Triangle

In order for fraud to occur, there normally needs to be three conditions present: a pressure, an opportunity and a rationalization. This is known as the fraud triangle. The first side of the fraud triangle is pressure. Pressure can take many forms, and the pressures that motivate employee fraud differ from those that motivate management …

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The amazing court reporters

I have testified at dozens of depositions and always had a court reporter present to transcribe my testimony. In my earlier days of testifying in a courtroom, a court reporter was always present. Today, court reporters in the courtroom are a rare sight. The courtrooms in Maricopa County Arizona Superior Court, for example, generally use …

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The IRS and Section 2036

The IRS continues to look at family limited partnerships (FLPs) and whether or not they have been formed for a sufficient business purpose. Section 2036 of the IRS Code provides that the gross estate should include the value of any property to the extent a transfer has been made but the decedent has retained 1) …

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When 50% is Not Half

You own 50% of a closely-held (not publicly traded) company that has been determined to have a fair market value of $3 million. Your ownership interest is worth $1.5 million, right? Maybe, maybe not. The value of a 100% ownership interest in a business includes the value of “control” – that is, the owner has …

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Taxpayer Victory in Personal Goodwill Case

In August of 2014, the U.S. Tax Court (the Court) made a decision in a case that addresses personal goodwill, the Estate of Adell v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2014-155. In this case, the decedent, Franklin Z. Adell, and his son Kevin formed The Word Network (The Word), a 24-hour television station that broadcasts urban religious …

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Greater Phoenix office market looking positive for 2016

Vacancy rates trended lower for fifth consecutive year in 2015 The chart below presents statistical data in the fourth quarter of 2015 for Class A, Class B and Class C office space in Metro Phoenix related to total inventory, vacancy, vacancy rates, net absorption, and average rental rates. Note that the Class A category had …

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When should an appraisal of a non-cash charitable contribution be performed?

Taxpayers who make charitable contributions of non-cash property could be putting themselves in IRS penalty danger if the contribution is more than $5,000 and the property has not been appraised by a qualified appraiser who has issued a qualified appraisal report. A recent Tax Court case emphasizes the need for an appraisal report to be …

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Can Shareholders of a C-Corp be Subject to Taxable Income if They are Beneficiaries of a Life Insurance Policy?

A C-Corporation should always be the owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy to avoid taxable income to the surviving shareholders. When contemplating the manner in which to fund a buy-sell agreement, life insurance is an extremely attractive option. A life insurance policy can provide liquidity when it is needed most upon the death …

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The Estate or Gift Tax Return is Filed with the IRS – Then What?

I attended the American Society of Appraisers Advanced Business Valuation Conference a couple of weeks ago and had the opportunity to attend a session presented by an IRS attorney, Theresa Melchiorre. I always jump at the chance to hear an IRS presenter, as I like to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the …

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