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Archive for August, 2017

As April 15th nears, the pace, anxiety, and general chaos that overtake the typical accounting office is rivaled only by that of the local emergency room. Of course, we’re preparing Schedule Cs rather than saving lives, but hey, the tax industry is defined by nothing if not its sense of self-importance.

Amidst all of that chaos, it is easy for things to get lost in the shuffle. And that’s a damn shame, because while a preparer can put in a heroic effort to get a particular tax return done on time, those long hours and late nights do little to no good if you the preparer doesn’t actually, you know…remember to file the return.

It happens more than you can imagine; weeks or months of hard work undone by the seemingly simple process of dropping an envelope off at the post office. Of course, electronic filing has reduced the role of traditional mail in the filing process, but then as every tax preparer has learned, e-filing presents its own batch of potential landmines.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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There’s a lot of politically-fueled hate in this country right now. Democrats hate President Trump. Republicans hate CNN and Colin Kaepernick. The alt-right hates everyone.

But can’t you see that harboring all of that hatred over what, really — when you take a step back — are small ideological differences, is both misplaced and misguided? After all, you — Mr. Diehard Democrat — had you been born in a different state and grown up on a farm, could easily have become a conservative. And you — Mrs. Resolute Republican — had you grown up with a parent who needed Medicaid, may well have become a liberal snowflake. While the chasm between the two parties seems impassable when we focus on the staunchest of the two sides, the reality is that most of us fall somewhere within that chasm, embracing a few sentiments from each party as part of our ever-evolving personal ethos. So why hate someone that could easily be you in a few years? It’s a wasted emotion.

Now, I’m not asking you to stop hating; that would be lunacy. Rather, I’m simply suggesting we see past our petty differences and unite to hate the same thing. A group of people so reprehensible that all of us — Democrat and Republican, black and white, gay and straight — can become one in our shared repulsion.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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There are no shortage of tax preparers in this country. Most are very good. Some are very, very bad. As a student of the law with twenty years of preparation experience, I’ve developed a discriminating eye, allowing me to easily differentiate between the two ends of the spectrum.

For many of you, however, separating the solid tax pro from the scam artist may prove a touch more difficult. That’s why I’m going to lay out some basic warning signs:

  • If a preparer guarantees they can get you a refund before you’ve given them your tax information, be afraid.
  • If a preparer guarantees you the exact amount of the refund they can get you after seeing only your W-2, be very afraid.
  • If a preparer requires you to pay a fixed percentage of your projected refund over to them as their fee, walk away; and
  • If a preparer plans to generate your refund by offsetting your wages with a substantial business loss — and you, you know…don’t actually own a business, for the love of God, run away.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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It’s been a while since we did a Tax Geek Tuesday, but boy do I have a doozy planned for you today. It delves into partnership tax law, so even before we begin, you can rest assured that the subject matter is needlessly complicated and nearly impossible to communicate in any logical and practical manner.

But that’s never stopped us before; after all, we’ve previously ventured into subchapter K to take on Section 754 adjustments, technical terminations, and even partnership book-ups. So why not take a stab at Section 704(c), an area of the Code that most practitioners ignore until it becomes an immediate and important issue, at which point they have a whoooolllle lot of catching up to do.

What is Section 704(c)? It’s a provision with complex application but a simple goal: to prevent a partner from contributing appreciated property to a partnership and then shifting that pre-contribution gain to a non-contributing partner or partners.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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