IRS “NO MAS MULTAS POR NO TENER SEGURO DE SALUD

irss-penaltyints-penalties2

El Lunes el Servicio de Rentas Internas (IRS) anunció que a partir de este año de impuestos (2016), los contribuyentes no tendrán que responder a la pregunta 61 del formulario de Obamacare que específicamente pregunta si tuvo seguro de salud durante el año, y los penaliza si no lo tuvieron.   Anteriormente, el IRS rechazaba toda declaración  que no respondiese a esta pregunta.  Si la línea 61 se deja en blanco, el IRS los categoriza como “Declaración Silenciosa”  y entoces la rechaza.

Esta semana, el presidente Donald Trump firmó una orden ejecutiva que repela esa ley, y entró en vigor el 15 de Febrero.  Ahora, bajo este nuevo mandato,  El IRS aseguró que procesará la declaración aunque no responda la línea 61.

¿Qué significa esto? No mas multas por no tener seguro de salud…No habrán multas para las personas que no tuvieron seguro en el 2016, y  esto puede ahorrarle desde $695 a $5,995 en multas. Pero hay un gran dilema: Que la mayoría de los  contadores y preparadores de impuestos todavía no saben esto, o simplemento no saben como proceder y que hacer con esta noticia.

La situación es que el IRS todavía no ha hecho ajustes a su sistema para procesar declaraciones con esta nueva regulación, cuantimenos las compañías que diseñan los Softwares de preparación de impuestos y por ende la mayoría no saben que hacer. Los softwares de preparación de impuestos todavía no están actualizados, y  les hace responder a esta pregunta, y si no la responde, no les permite enviar su declaración electrónicamente.  Bingo…!!

Entonces qué puede hacer?? envíelos por correo convencional, correo certificado (USPS). Pídale a su contador o preparador de impuestos que le imprima la declaración, fírmela y corra a la oficina de correos.

Esta ley ha afectado a una gran parte de la comunidad hispana que no pueden pagar por seguro de salud, y que los ha penalizado  con multas altas.  Gracias a esto, No mas multas por no tener seguro de salud.

Mucha gente me ha llamado y me han preguntado, Henry  donde viste esta noticia, donde esta escrita? Pues aquí, aquí te la pongo por escrito.   La mayoría de los contadores y preparadores de impuestos todavía no lo saben y están constando millones de dólares a sus clientes. Este blog lo escribí con la intención de educar a todos los preparadores de impuestos y contadores que no tienes acceso a esta clase de información.

Si su contador no tiene la información y no sabe cómo proceder recomiendele que me llame y sera un  gusto poder ayudar.

Por Henry O. Aldana

Si tienes preguntas y quieres más información llámame: 301-770-4901                               o envíame un correo electrónico a Haldana@aldanas.com

www.aldanas.com

301 SECRETOS PARA PAGAR MENOS IMPUESTOS
LIBRO GRATIS
Respetamos Su Privacidad

IRS adelantan la fecha para declarar impuestos de las LLC

llc

Se adelantan las fechas límite para declarar impuestos en los Estados Unidos

El Servicio de Rentas Internas anuncio que cambio las fechas limites para las declaraciones de las LLC  reportadas como sociedades en el formulario 1065 de April 15 a Marzo 15. Comenzando esta temporada del 2107 todas las LLC tratadas como sociedades deben reportar su declaracion el 15 de marzo.

El 15 de marzo es la nueva fecha límite para que la mayoría de los LLC’s presenten su declaración de impuestos para el año fiscal 2016. La mayoría de las Corporaciones deben presentar antes del 18 de abril al menos que tributa como “S” Corporations, y deben presentar el 15 de marzo.  Las fechas límite para los informes de nómina comienzan en enero.

 

por Henry Aldana

Haldana@aldanas.com

301-770-4901

The section 179 deduction

 

NEWS ALERT: SECTION 179 IS $500,000 FOR 2016

Jan 1, 2016 –   The “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015” (PATH Act) was passed by both the House and Senate and signed into law on 12/18/2015. This bill expanded the Section 179 deduction limit to $500,000.

Section 179 Deduction: Until further notice, Section 179 is permanent at the $500,000 level. Businesses exceeding a total of $2 million of purchases in qualifying equipment have the Section 179 deduction phase-out dollar-for-dollar and completely eliminated above $2.5 million. Additionally, the Section 179 cap will be indexed to inflation in $10,000 increments in future years.

Vehicles and Section 179

One of the more popular uses of the Section 179 Deduction has been for vehicles. In fact, several years ago the Section 179 deduction was sometimes referred to as the “Hummer Tax Loophole,” because at the time it allowed businesses to buy large SUV’s and write them off. While this particular use (or abuse) of the tax code has been modified with the limits explained below, it is still true that Section 179 can be advantageous in buying vehicles for your business (especially if you lease or finance the vehicles).

Vehicles used in your businesses qualify – but certain passenger vehicles have a total depreciation deduction limitation of $11,060, while other vehicles that by their nature are not likely to be used more than a minimal amount for personal purposes qualify for full Section 179 deduction. Here are the general guidelines for using the Section 179 Deduction for vehicle purchases (full policy statement available at: IRS.gov ).

50% Bonus Depreciation will be extended through 2019. Businesses of all sizes will be able to depreciate 50 percent of the cost of equipment acquired and put in service during 2015, 2016 and 2017. Then bonus depreciation will phase down to 40 percent in 2018 and 30 percent in 2019.

IMPORTANT: Section 179 for Current 2016 Tax Year (This Year)
Section 179 can provide you with significant tax relief for this 2016 tax year, but equipment and software must be financed and in place by midnight December 31, 2016. Use this 2016 Section 179 Calculator to see how much the Section 179 tax deduction can save your company.

When Do I Have to Do This By?
Section 179 for 2016 expires midnight, 12/31/2016. If you wish to deduct the full price of your equipment from your 2016 taxes and take advantage of the new higher deduction limits, it must be purchased and put into service by then.

Update / IRS Guidelines for Vehicles

The IRS has not yet released guidance concerning Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation as it relates to vehicles for this year. The guidance will be published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin sometime after mid-year. Be patient, and check back here often for the release date.

What are the limits on Typical Passenger Vehicles?

For passenger vehicles, trucks, and vans (not meeting the guidelines below), that are used more than 50% in a qualified business use, the total deduction for depreciation including both the Section 179 expense deduction as well as Bonus Depreciation is limited to $11,060 for cars and $11,160 for trucks and vans.

Exceptions include the following vehicles:

  • Ambulance or hearse used specifically in your business;
  • Taxis, transport vans, and other vehicles used to specifically transport people or property for hire;
  • Qualified non-personal use vehicles specifically modified for business (i.e. van without seating behind driver, permanent shelving installed, and exterior painted with company’s name).

Limits for SUVs or Crossover Vehicles with GVWR above 6,000lbs
Certain vehicles (with a gross vehicle weight rating above 6,000 lbs but no more than 14,000 lbs) qualify for expensing  up to $25,000 if the vehicle is financed and placed in service prior to December 31 and meet other conditions.

Contact  Henry,   Aldana of Aldana & Associates, PSC, LTD 

www.Aldanas.com     (301)770-4901   haldana@aldanas.com    

 

Immigrants and Tax Return Filing IRS Rullin

 ImigrationIRS 2

Immigrants and Tax Return Filing   

On November 20, 2014 President Obama announced an executive action on immigration which could extend relief from deportation to an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants.

The administration has not said which documents it will accept, however, we believe that the Citizenship and Immigration Services which vets applications under Homeland Security may require 5 years of accurately prepared tax returns as additional proof of residence if applicants claim to have worked in the United States since their arrival.

Those who have filed accurate tax returns with their Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN) and have retained their records will be light years ahead of those who have not. We recommend that you and your tax preparers get ready to answer tax questions for those applying for this new program.

1.   Make sure you have tax preparation software setup for at least the past 5 years.

2.   Understand what documentation your clients need for a W-7

3.   Paystubs

4.   W-2s

5.   1099 Miscellaneous forms

6.   Paid baby sitter receipts

7.   Traffic tickets

8.   Receipt books

9.   Expense receipts

10. Amending prior year returns (filing status, dependents, earnings, etc.)

11. Searching the Internet may help find documentation

 

Of course we are dealing with individuals who have lived in the shadows for years and gathering information may be very challenging, especially if they have been working under an assumed Social Security Number.

Remind your clients that there is little incentive to lie because getting caught could result in fraud or deportation.

As far as other types of documentation needed, some immigration advocates are taking guidance from the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The DACA program allows travel records, vehicle registrations, baptism records, mortgages, dated bank transactions, etc. http://www.dhs.gov/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals.

Other substantiating evidence suggested by immigration advocates may include utility bills, speeding tickets, dentist or doctor records, money order receipts, movie rental receipts, veterinarian bills, customer loyalty programs, social media postings, a Facebook photo at an amusement park, postmarked letters, whatever it takes to establish a continuous residency.

The search for documents and records is on! Be prepared to help your clients when they ask. As a reputable tax preparer you are a trusted professional to help clients with their taxes and related professional matters.

Carlos C. Lopez, EA

Executive Director

Latino Tax Professionals Association 

EVADIR ES ILEGAL, PERO EVITAR ES LEGAL Y SABIO!

A pesar de que suena similar “evitar impuestos” y “evasión de impuestos” son radicalmente diferentes. Poder evitar reduce su factura de impuestos mediante la estructuración de sus operaciones de modo que usted cosechara los mayores beneficios fiscales.

Evitar impuestos es completamente legal y muy sabio.

La evasión de impuestos, por el contrario, es un intento de reducir su deuda tributaria por el engaño o la ocultación. La evasión fiscal es un delito.

Mientras que la evasión fiscal puede ser tan simple como no reportar los ingresos que obtiene de empleo ocasional, evitar impuestos requiere una planificación anticipada. A lo largo de este libro ofrecemos sugerencias sobre cómo reducir sus impuestos a la menor cantidad posible legalmente.

La planificación fiscal evalúa diferentes opciones de impuestos para determinar cómo llevar a cabo transacciones comerciales y personales con el fin de reducir o eliminar su deuda tributaria. Como un contribuyente individual y como propietario de un negocio, que a menudo tienen más de una forma para completar una operación sujeta al impuesto. Los tribunales respaldan firmemente su derecho a elegir el curso de acción que dará lugar a la obligación tributaria legal más bajo.

El IRS indica que las siguientes son algunas de las actividades delictivas más comunes en violaciones de la ley del impuesto:
• Deliberadamente sub-declaración u omisión de ingresos. Esto se explica por sí: ocultar ingresos es fraudulenta. Los ejemplos incluyen el no declarar una parte de los recibos del día de un negocio, o de un arrendador no declarar los pagos del alquiler.
• Mantener dos libros contables y hacer registros falsas en los libros. Incurrir en irregularidades contables, tales como eludir los registros contables del negocio, y crear discrepancias entre las cantidades reportadas en la declaración y los montos reportados en los estados financieros de una empresa, por lo general demuestra intención fraudulenta…

• Reportar gastos personales como gastos de negocios. Esta es una trampa fácil para un profesional único a caer en porque a menudo activos, como un coche o una computadora, tendrá uso de negocios y uso personal. Llevar registros adecuados le ayudara la prevención de un hallazgo de fraude fiscal.

• Ocultar o transferir bienes o ingresos. Este tipo de fraude puede adoptar una variedad de formas, desde la simple ocultación de fondos en una cuenta bancaria a las asignaciones indebidas entre los contribuyentes.

• Participar en una “transacción farsa.” No se puede reducir o evitar el impuesto sobre la renta, simplemente mediante la categorización de una transacción como algo que no es. Por ejemplo, si los pagos efectuados por una sociedad a sus accionistas en concepto de dividendos son hechos, que califica de “interés” o cualquier otro intento de disfrazar los pagos en concepto de intereses, no dará derecho a la empresa a una deducción de intereses. Como veremos más adelante, es la sustancia, no la forma, de la transacción que determina su sujeción a impuestos.

Casi todas las estrategias de impuestos se basan en la estructuración de la transacción para obtener la tasa marginal de impuestos más baja posible mediante el uso de una o más de estas estrategias a menudo se superponen:
• minimizando los ingresos imponibles;
• maximizar las deducciones fiscales y créditos fiscales; y
• controlar el momento del ingreso y las deducciones

El presupuestario y proyección de ingresos y gastos es de suma importancia. Es esencial que estimes tus ingresos personales y del negocio para los próximos años con el fin de desarrollar una estrategia eficaz de planificación fiscal. Las estrategias de planificación fiscal ahorrarán dinero en los impuestos.

El esfuerzo para adivinar con una bola de cristal puede ser difícil y por su naturaleza será inexacto. Por otro lado, usted ya debe estar proyectando sus ingresos por ventas, ingresos y flujo de caja para los propósitos generales de planificación de negocios. Ala medida que mejor sean tus estimados, mejores serán las probabilidades de que sus esfuerzos de planificación fiscal tengan el éxito que estas deseando.
Deducciones y Créditos reducen tus impuestos

Tu meta debe ser para pagar la menor cantidad de impuesto que es legalmente posible. Usted puede reducir su factura de impuestos definitiva al atacar en dos frentes.

En primer lugar, usted debe sacar el máximo provecho de cada deducción de negocio disponible y personal-para reducir su renta imponible.
Luego, una vez que determinar el impuesto provisional debido, es necesario reclamar cada crédito fiscal que está disponible para usted.
Para reducir su base imponible de impuestos, usted debe ser consciente de lo que es deducible y lo que no. También es necesario conocer las reglas especiales que se aplican a ciertos tipos de deducciones, en los próximos capítulos hablaremos de estos gastos.

Créditos fiscales recortan los dólares de su factura de impuestos

Una vez que se han cobrado todas las deducciones fiscales que usted puede, dirija su atención a descubrir cada crédito fiscal posible que usted puede reclamar.

Como se señaló anteriormente, los créditos fiscales son generalmente mejor para usted que las deducciones ya que los créditos se deducen directamente de su cuenta de impuestos. Deducciones, por el contrario, se restan de los ingresos sobre los que se basa su factura de impuestos.

La mayoría de los créditos de impuestos federales disponibles actualmente para los propietarios de pequeñas empresas están dirigidos de manera muy estricta para animarle a tomar ciertas medidas que los legisladores han juzgado conveniente. Los ejemplos incluyen los créditos destinados a motivar a contratar a personas desfavorecidas / bajos ingresos, para que su compañía “más verde”, o para proporcionar seguro médico a sus trabajadores.

Otros de sus créditos se aplican solamente a determinados sectores, tales como restaurantes y bares, o productores de energía. También hay unos cuantos créditos destinados a evitar la doble imposición, y algunos diseñados para fomentar determinados tipos de inversiones que se consideran socialmente beneficiosos.

Trate de bajar lo máximo posible la tasa marginal de impuestos.
El impuesto sobre la renta federal es un sistema progresivo. Esto significa que los diferentes niveles de ingresos son los impuestos a “progresivamente” las tasas más altas. Uno de los objetivos de la planificación de impuestos es reducir su base imponible para que pagues con la tasa más baja de impuestos.

El impuesto sobre la renta federal está diseñado para gravar los niveles más altos de ingresos en impuestos más altos. Cuando decimos “nivel de impuestos”, nos referimos a la tasa más alta del impuesto marginal que usted paga en cualquiera de su renta imponible. Esta es la tasa que se aplicará a cada dólar adicional que usted gana, usted gana tanto hasta que se gradúan para el próximo nivel
301_deducciones

Ten Facts about the Child Tax Credit


Every week, during my radios show, lots of listener call and ask the questions about the child tax credit, here are some of the facts about the child tax credit, however, if you need additional information feel free to call me at 301-770-4901 or call any of our Tax Experts offices at 888-770-4901.

The Child Tax Credit is an important tax credit that may be worth as much as $1,000 per qualifying child depending upon your income. Here are 10 important facts from the IRS about this credit and how it may benefit your family.

  1. Amount – With the Child Tax Credit, you may be able to reduce your federal income tax by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child under the age of 17.
  2. Qualification – A qualifying child for this credit is someone who meets the qualifying criteria of six tests: age, relationship, support, dependent, citizenship, and- residence.
  3. Age Test – To qualify, a child must have been under age 17 – age 16 or younger – at the end of 2010.
  4. Relationship Test – To claim a child for purposes of the Child Tax Credit, they must either be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister or a descendant of any of these individuals, which includes your grandchild, niece or nephew. An adopted child is always treated as your own child. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption.
  5. Support Test – In order to claim a child for this credit, the child must not have provided more than half of their own support.
  6. Dependent Test – You must claim the child as a dependent on your federal tax return.
  7. Citizenship Test – To meet the citizenship test, the child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. resident alien.
  8. Residence Test – The child must have lived with you for more than half of 2010. There are some exceptions to the residence test, which can be found in IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.
  9. Limitations – The credit is limited if your modified adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. The amount at which this phase-out begins varies depending on your filing status. For married taxpayers filing a joint return, the phase-out begins at $110,000. For married taxpayers filing a separate return, it begins at $55,000. For all other taxpayers, the phase-out begins at $75,000. In addition, the Child Tax Credit is generally limited by the amount of the income tax you owe as well as any alternative minimum tax you owe.
  10. Additional Child Tax Credit – If the amount of your Child Tax Credit is greater than the amount of income tax you owe, you may be able to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit.

Henry Aldana is the CEO of Aldana & Associates, PSC, LTD an  accounting and management consulting boutique,  and He is also the Principal of  Tax Experts, LLC

WWW.ALDNAS.COM  and  WWW.TAXEXPERTOS.COM

Deductible Medical and Dental Expenses

Medical and Dental Expenses

If you itemize your deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A, you may be able to deduct expenses you paid in 2010 for medical care – including dental – for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents. Here are six things the IRS wants you to know about medical and dental expenses and other benefits.

  1. You may deduct only the amount by which your total medical care expenses for the year exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. You do this calculation on Form 1040, Schedule A in computing the amount deductible.
  2. You can only include the medical expenses you paid during the year. Your total medical expenses for the year must be reduced by any reimbursement. It makes no difference if you receive the reimbursement or if it is paid directly to the doctor or hospital.
  3. You may include qualified medical expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents, including a person you claim as a dependent under a multiple support agreement. If either parent claims a child as a dependent under the rules for divorced or separated parents, each parent may deduct the medical expenses he or she actually pays for the child. You can also deduct medical expenses you paid for someone who would have qualified as your dependent except that the person didn’t meet the gross income or joint return test.
  4. A deduction is allowed only for expenses primarily paid for the prevention or alleviation of a physical or mental defect or illness. Medical care expenses include payments for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or treatment affecting any structure or function of the body. The cost of drugs is deductible only for drugs that require a prescription except for insulin.
  5. You may deduct transportation costs primarily for and essential to medical care that qualify as medical expenses. The actual fare for a taxi, bus, train, or ambulance may be deducted. If you use your car for medical transportation, you can deduct actual out-of-pocket expenses such as gas and oil, or you can deduct the standard mileage rate for medical expenses. With either method you may include tolls and parking fees.
  6. Distributions from Health Savings Accounts and withdrawals from Flexible Spending Arrangements may be tax free if you pay qualified medical expenses

For more information about your personal income taxes please call TaxExperts, LLC    888-770-7901 or visit.. www.taxexpertos.com

Or Aldana & Associates, PSC. LTD  301-770-7901   www.aldanas.com

Ten Tax Benefits for Parents

Aldana & Associates is a boutique  public accounting firm catering to the small business community..

301-770-4901

Tax Experts, LLC is a personal income tax preparation firm.   1-888-770-4901


Did you know that your children may help you qualify for some tax benefits? Here are 10 tax benefits the IRS wants parents to consider when filing their tax returns this year.

  1. Dependents In most cases, a child can be claimed as a dependent in the year they were born. For more information see IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.
  2. Child Tax Credit You may be able to take this credit on your tax return for each of your children under age 17. If you do not benefit from the full amount of the Child Tax Credit, you may be eligible for the Additional Child Tax Credit. For more information see IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.
  3. Child and Dependent Care Credit You may be able to claim the credit if you pay someone to care for your child under age 13 so that you can work or look for work. For more information see IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.
  4. Earned Income Tax Credit The EITC is a benefit for certain people who work and have earned income from wages, self-employment or farming. EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may also give you a refund. For more information see IRS Publication 596, Earned Income Credit.
  5. Adoption Credit You may be able to take a tax credit for qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child.  Taxpayers claiming the adoption credit must file a paper tax return because adoption-related documentation must be included.  For more information see the instructions for IRS Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses.
  6. Children with Earned Income If your child has income earned from working they may be required to file a tax return. For more information see IRS Publication 501.
  7. Children with Investment Income Under certain circumstances a child’s investment income may be taxed at the parent’s tax rate. For more information see IRS Publication 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents.
  8. Higher Education Credits Education tax credits can help offset the costs of education. The American Opportunity and the Lifetime Learning Credit are education credits that reduce your federal income tax dollar-for-dollar, unlike a deduction, which reduces your taxable income.  For more information see IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.
  9. Student loan Interest You may be able to deduct interest you pay on a qualified student loan. The deduction is claimed as an adjustment to income so you do not need to itemize your deductions. For more information see IRS Publication 970.
  10. Self-employed health insurance deduction If you were self-employed and paid for health insurance, you may be able to deduct any premiums you paid for coverage after March 29, 2010, for any child of yours who was under age 27 at the end of 2010, even if the child was not your dependent. For more information see the IRS website.

Ten Legal Issues to Raise with Your Clients this Tax Season

Tax season has started with a bang and with it the annual ritual of meeting with clients to close the year and prepare their tax returns.  Rather than simply reacting to the avalanche of last minute information, I’m confident you will also leverage these interactions to encourage clients to consider proactive legal measures to protect their wealth and add value to their business.

Henry Aldana is the principal of Aldana & Associates, PSC, LTD , a  boutique public accounting firm in the Washington metropolitan area catering to the small business community, Arista Law is a Law firm, Ed Arista is the managing attorney of Arista Law.

Here are 10 legal issues you might want to raise with your clients during this brief window when they are motivated to gather information and get things done. Chances are that at some point they will be eternally grateful they followed your advice, but at least they won’t be able to say you never warned them …

1. Structuring tax-free, legal conversions of corporations to LLCs (S or C corp treatment) to better protect their ownership interest against a personal judgment.

2. Drafting and funding anIrrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) to remove the value of the policy from their taxable estate.  Starting in 2013, the estate tax will reach estates over $1 million, including the value of life insurance.  Transferring policies to an I.L.I.T. can shield the proceeds from estate tax.  Clients with existing policies should act now because the proceeds will remain taxable for 3 years after the transfer.

3. Drafting and executing enforceable non-disclosure and non-competition agreements to protect business opportunities and trade secrets.  The recession has brought with it an increase of key employees and minority shareholders usurping confidential information and trade secrets to start their own competing businesses or land employment with a competitor.

4. Carefully analyzing your foreign clients’ facts and circumstances to determine whether the IRS could use current international tax law to argue that in 2010 (or if before see #5) they became “U.S. Persons” for purposes of the income tax and therefore taxed on their worldwide income and check any applicable treaties.  Conduct the same analysis under the different rules that determine tax residency for purposes of the estate and gift taxes.  If tax residency for either tax may occur in 2011, then also coach them as to how they might defer tax residency and identify maneuvers they can make in the meantime to minimize their tax burden and legal exposure.

5. Submitting voluntary disclosures of unreported foreign income and bank accounts to reduce criminal exposure in advance of increased enforcement activity.  Before you check “no” on Schedule B regarding foreign bank accounts and trusts, help them get it right to avoid Schedule B becoming “Exhibit A” and yourself a witness in the their criminal tax fraud trial.  If prior years are unreported, have them lawyer up before they provide information so you can then be retained by the lawyer and subsequent communications between you and the client are protected by the attorney-client privilege.

6. Update or design and implement estate planning documents that reflect the current reality of desired business succession and actual family dynamics, and that eliminate risks associated with jointly held property to avoid costly probates and guardianships just waiting to happen.

7. Consider taking advantage of the unified credit being an unprecedented $5 million for gift tax purposes in 2011 and 2012, five times higher than it has ever been!  This is a fantastic opportunity for those who own stable or appreciating assets (e.g. a real estate portfolio or a family business) worth up to $5 million at today’s valuations ($10 million for a married couple) to transfer the value of those assets to the next generation tax fee without losing control of the asset/business and without complex estate tax planning using discounted gifting and family partnerships.  This window of opportunity ends in 2013 when the unified credit goes back down to only $1 million.

8. Legal asset protection strategies that protect valuable property and businesses from exposure to possible judgments relating to personal guarantees, distressed real estate and struggling business ventures without increasing legal exposure to fraudulent conveyances.  For example, any client with single member LLCs should see an asset protection attorney regarding the effect of an important new Supreme Court case.

9. Design legal exit strategies for amicable separation from business partners on favorable terms instead of letting things simmer until protracted litigation becomes inescapable, or take proactive legal measures to document/update their co-ownership arrangement before problems arise.  Now more than ever I am seeing business owners regret not hiring a competent lawyer to prepare a good shareholder/partnership/operating agreement during their “honeymoon” period including, among other things, properly funded, legally enforceable and tax-efficient buy-sell agreements triggered by death or incapacity to prevent a forced sale of the business.

10. Help your overleveraged client make business, not emotional decisions regarding whether to make a strategic default or continue depleting their resources.  While they should hope for the best by trying to workout their debt, they should also plan for the worst by preparing to shield their business and other remaining assets from the increasing possibility of a judgment against them.

Although I am a CPA, Arista Law does not perform any accounting or tax compliance services. Instead, I utilize my accounting background to work more effectively with my clients’ CPAs when implementing any of these legal maneuvers, as well as to proactively identify opportunities where a CPA can add value. Similarly, you can always call on me when you have legal questions and whenever you feel your client needs to “lawyer up”.

In the Washington DC Metropolitan area you can contact Henry Aldana of  Aldana & Associates, PSC, LTd a public accounting firm   www.aldanas.com  301-770-4901

Happy Tax Season!!!

Ed Arista

305-444-7662

http://www.aristalaw.com