News & Insights: mark r. baran

GOP's Proposed Tax Plan Changes the Rules for Businesses and Individuals


By Mark R. Baran
October 2, 2017

After months of speculation, President Trump and Republican congressional leaders have released an outline of their tax reform plan. “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code” is intended to serve as a template for congressional committees to draft legislation aimed at cutting tax rates, simplifying the tax code and providing a more competitive environment for businesses. The framework addresses tax issues that affect both businesses and individuals.

Border-Adjustment Tax Eliminated from Tax Reform Plan


By Mark R. Baran
August 14, 2017


TAX ALERT: DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR ACA INFORMATION REPORTING TO EMPLOYEES


By Mark R. Baran
December 16, 2016

The IRS has again extended the deadline for employers who are subject to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) information reporting requirements to meet their obligations to employees. Last year the IRS extended the 2016 deadlines for reporting 2015 information, which gave employers an additional two months to provide Form 1095-B, “Health Coverage” and Form 1095-C, “Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage” to their employees.  

TAX ALERT: IRS ISSUES ITS 2017 COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENTS


By Mark R. Baran
December 14, 2016

The IRS recently issued its 2017 cost-of-living adjustments. Mark Baran, Principal in the Tax Practice, explains the adjustments that have been made so that you can take them into account as you implement your 2016 year-end tax planning strategies. 

TAX ALERT: IMPLEMENTING LAST-MINUTE 2016 TAX-SAVING TIPS


By Mark R. Baran
December 14, 2016

Mark Baran, Principal in the Tax Practice, lays out six simple steps that you should take into consideration to reduce your 2016 tax liability. Act fast, because you only have until December 31st, 2016. 

Tax Alert: DOL’s final overtime rule brings sweeping changes


By Mark R. Baran
June 14, 2016

The DOL has released a final rule that makes dramatic changes to the rules for determining overtime for certain executive, administrative and professional employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The final rule will make it more difficult for employers to classify employees as exempt from overtime requirements. This article details the changes under the new rule and provides compliance options. 

Partnership Audit Rules Revised


By Mark R. Baran
June 10, 2016

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 includes sweeping changes to the rules for auditing partnerships. As a result of this legislation, audits of master limited partnerships, investment funds and other business entities organized as partnerships are likely to increase. In fact, recent IRS examination data reflects an increase in partnership audits and a shift in resources devoted to them. More importantly, given the impact of the new audit rules, many partnership agreements will need to be amended. 

The impact of the new partnership audit regime will be significant for a majority of partnerships in areas ranging from tax and operations to legal issues and economic consequences. 

Tax Alert: IRS offers guidance to employers who plan to claim the WOTC


By Mark R. Baran
April 8, 2016

The IRS has recently granted “transitional relief” to eligible employers who are planning to claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). The relief outlined in IRS Notice 2016-22 comes in the form of an extended deadline — until June 29, 2016 — to file a form necessary to claim the credit for certain eligible workers. This article explains the WOTC and describes this recent transitional guidance.  

2016 Tax Calendar


By Mark R. Baran
March 7, 2016

This summary is a friendly reminder of various tax due dates for both individual and business taxpayers. 

Tax Alert: IRS issues deadline extensions for ACA information reporting


By Mark R. Baran
February 17, 2016

In an effort to help employers who are subject to the Affordable Care Act's (ACA’s) information reporting requirements meet those obligations, the IRS has extended two important deadlines. Employers now have an additional two months to provide employees the necessary forms and three months to report the information to the IRS. This article explains the ACA’s information reporting requirements and details the penalties for noncompliance.

Tax Alert: Budget act eliminates strategies for maximizing Social Security payout


By Mark R. Baran
February 3, 2016

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 contains provisions that may significantly affect retirement planning for many Americans. It eliminates two strategies that many married couples have used to maximize Social Security retirement benefits. This article explains how the two strategies worked under previous law and describes how the budget act has changed them.

Form 1099 Information Returns


By Mark R. Baran
February 2, 2016

Business tax returns and accompanying schedules specifically ask whether you made payments in 2015 that would require you to file Forms 1099, and if you already filed or will file required Forms 1099. In general, any payment made “in the course of business” for services, rent, interest and non-employee compensation may be subject to 1099 reporting. This article addresses the latest IRS requirements and provides guidance on Form 1099 compliance.

Tax Alert: Partnership audit rules revised under 2015 budget act


By Mark R. Baran
January 25, 2016

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, signed into law on November 2, 2015, raises the federal debt ceiling and lifts mandatory spending caps on defense and domestic programs. The law also makes sweeping changes to the rules for auditing partnerships. The end result of the revised rules is that audits of master limited partnerships, investment funds and other business entities organized as partnerships are likely to increase. More importantly, given the significant operational impact of the new audit rules, many partnership agreements will need to be reviewed and amended. The new rules are generally effective for partnership tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 but partnerships may elect to be governed by the new audit rules for any tax year on or after November 2, 2015. 

Employee or Independent Contractor? Worker Misclassification Investigations are Growing


By Mark R. Baran
August 7, 2015

There has been a sharp increase in worker classification cases and investigations by the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is leading the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) enforcement effort and has been working with the IRS and many states to “combat employee misclassification and to ensure that workers get wages, benefits, and protections to which they are entitled.” 

While the majority of classifications of workers are not challenged by the IRS, that may soon change as a result of the increased investigations and information sharing among the various federal and state agencies. The best protection for employers is to be proactive, and review and test employment arrangements.  It is not enough to explicitly describe a worker as an independent contractor in an agreement or rely on a set number of factors to make the worker an employee or independent contractor.  Businesses must weigh all of factors and evaluate each arrangement. 

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