Implications of New Pension Reporting Requirements 

A more transparent way of pension accounting is coming: New standards from the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) take effect in 2013 and 2014. Warren Ruppel discusses what the changes are, who they affect and how.

 
 
 
 

Doing Business Guides

Doing business around the world presents a variety of challenges. Morison International (MI), the association of independent accounting and consulting firms of which we are a member, has begun publishing a series of Doing Business Guides. The guides are written by the MI member firm in the country that is being profiled and provide an introduction to foreign investors on the various aspects of doing business. Please click below for the corresponding country:

 
 

By Service


Accounting and Auditing

Long-Awaited FASB Standard Revamps Revenue Recognition Model, Stocker III, William M., 07/24/2014

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have issued new joint guidance that addresses one of the most important measures investors use when assessing a company’s performance and prospects — revenue. By extension this also affects net income. FASB’s version, communicated in ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, standardizes the revenue recognition process for customer contracts across different industries and geographic locations. It also requires more comprehensive footnote disclosures for all types of public and, especially, private companies. This article provides an overview of the converged guidance, along with a brief look at the potential impact on certain industries.



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Accounting and Auditing Alert: FASB Private Companies Have Options on Accounting for Goodwill, Stocker III, William M., 02/24/2014

The Financial Accounting Standards Board {FASB) has issued two updates to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) that offer alternatives to private companies: Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2014-02, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Accounting for Goodwill, and ASU 2014-03, Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Accounting for Certain Receive-Variable, Pay-Fixed Interest Rate Swaps—Simplified Hedge Accounting Approach. The alternative standards streamline the method for goodwill impairment and make it easier for certain interest rate swaps to qualify for hedge accounting. This alert details each ASU.



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Accounting and Auditing Alert: Private Companies Get Possible New Option for Financial Reporting, Stocker III, William M., 08/06/2013

The AICPA has announced a new option for small business financial reporting. The “Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-Sized Entities” is intended to ease reporting for smaller, privately held, owner-managed businesses that aren’t required to abide by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). This alert details the framework and provides an overview of three FASB-endorsed proposals from the Private Company Council that would ease accounting requirements for privately held companies.



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VIDEO: Financial Statements: A Combination of Art and Science, Stocker III, William M., 06/28/2013

Financial statements are supposed to depict the reality of a business' health in a way that allows a company to be compared to its competitors. However, any portrayal of a business on a few sheets of paper is inherently distorted -- like depicting a multi-dimensional reality on a two-dimensional financial statement. William M. Stocker III outlines the issues that you, the stakeholder, or you, the preparer, need to be aware of and the important things to keep in mind about financial statements.



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Accounting and Auditing Alert: Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets - Guidance on Impairment Testing, Stocker III, William M., 08/16/2012

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) recently issued revised standards for public and private companies on how to test indefinite-lived intangible assets, other than goodwill, for impairment. The amendments won’t change how a company measures an impairment loss, but they could allow some companies to skip the performance of the quantitative impairment test on assets such as trademarks, licenses and distribution rights when the likelihood of impairment is low.



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Accounting and Auditing Alert: SEC Staff Issues “Final Report,” but IFRS Decision Still to Come, Henning, Steven L., 07/30/2012

On July 13, the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its final report on the agency’s work plan in relation to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Although the 127-page report provides analysis of six key areas, what may be most notable is that it doesn’t make a recommendation as to what the SEC’s decision should be regarding incorporating IFRS into the financial reporting system for U.S. issuers. This article provides an overview of the report.



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Accounting and Auditing Alert: The FAF Sets the Stage for Private Company GAAP, Stocker III, William M., 07/11/2012

On May 23, after considering numerous public comments, the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) — parent organization to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) — approved the creation of the Private Company Council (PCC).

The PCC will identify and vote on exceptions and modifications to US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) that respond to the needs of private companies and their financial statement users. Its decisions will be subject to “endorsement” by FASB. The PCC will replace the existing Private Company Financial Reporting Committee (PCFRC).



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Accounting and Auditing Alert: Convergence of US GAAP and IFRS: Where do Things Stand?, Henning, Steven, 05/18/2012

Since 2002, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have been working toward "convergence" of US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Although the two boards have made significant progress, efforts to converge critical standards — such as those dealing with revenue recognition, financial instruments and leases — have been challenging and time consuming.

FASB and IASB had planned to complete their major convergence projects by mid-2011, but several are still in progress. Recognizing that convergence will take more time, on April 13 the European Commission (the European Union's executive body) extended rules that permit European Union–listed US companies to continue to use US GAAP. The rules had expired at the end of 2011, but the European Commission granted a three-year extension, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012.



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Marks Paneth & Shron Helps LI Businesses Do What They Do Best, , 08/09/2011

The financial crisis and its aftermath have led to areas of increased demand, and Marks Paneth has been at the forefront of helping clients navigate unfamiliar or difficult challenges. For instance, increased enforcement and increased emphasis on revenue and penalty collection have changed the landscape for a range of individuals and businesses. Marks Paneth has helped individuals with foreign account disclosure issues and currently advises businesses that have multiple locations or customers in multiple locations on adhering to more stringent tax practices and enforcement and avoiding penalties and double taxation.



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New Requirement For Registered Investment Advisers - July 10th Deadline, Berse, Steven L., 06/25/2010

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has amended its custody rule — Rule 206(4)-2 under the Investment Advisers Act — to help safeguard investor assets. Now it's time for certain SEC-registered investment advisers (RIAs) to start taking steps to facilitate compliance with two major new SEC requirements.



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Auditing Alternative Investments, McNee, Michael L., 01/01/2008

Auditing alternative investments presents unique challenges. As an auditor, it is critical to evaluate processes used by your clients to help support valuation and existence assertions in the financials.



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Consulting

When Owner's Commitment And Dedication Work Against Them, Cohen, Lawrence, 05/25/2010

Your client's business used to be a major success. Now it isn't. But if you rely on your client to tell you that he or she is in trouble, you'll be the last to know – and worse, you might be unable to intervene.



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Practitioner's View on Recruiting New Professionals, Fierstein, Sharon Sabba, 03/01/2008

Over the past few years, the NYSSCPA’s Quality Enhancement Policy Committee (QEPC) has been looking at peer review, ethics, and now education. We’re studying education-related issues in two pieces: 1) pre-service education, meaning the preparation students need to become CPAs; and 2) post-service education, the continuing education of CPAs.



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Communicate Right From the Start, Marks, Eric A., 01/01/2006

Understanding exactly what your employer is looking for from you, will determine how satisfied and successful you will be with your job. Good communication can quickly help set you on the course to becoming a superior performer.



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Litigation and Corporate Financial Advisory Services

Consequences of Having a Poor Anti-Money Laundering Program, Sawhney, Sareena M., 04/25/2014

A surge in recent investigations suggests that financial and non-financial institutions are increasingly in violation of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)/Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies and procedures as well as regulatory requirements.  IRS statistics illustrate that the number of money laundering investigations and Bank Secrecy Act investigations has increased from 1,597 to 1,663 and 738 to 923 from 2010 to 2012, respectively. Many different kinds of businesses are at risk for money laundering and for penalties if AML programs do not meet regulatory standards – all the more reason to ensure that adequate anti-money laundering programs are in place.



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Health Care Fraud and Abuse, Sawhney, Sareena M., 04/25/2014

Health care fraud is a national problem affecting everyone in the US, either directly or indirectly, and is carried out by many segments of the health care system, including companies or individuals, using various methods.  It is also a growing criminal enterprise:  In Fiscal Year 2012 alone, various government teams involved in the Health Care Fraud and Abuse (“HCFAC”) Program recovered $4.2 billion dollars from individuals and companies who attempted to defraud federal health programs.  And the Justice Department opened 1,131 new criminal health care fraud investigations involving 2,148 potential defendants.  For the health care provider or the insurer or the companies offering health care to their employees, detecting such schemes can involve various forensic accounting techniques.



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Managing Intellectual Property In A Knowledge Economy, Henning, Steven L., 02/21/2014

We frequently see new products, brands and creative designs that are the result of continuous innovation and creativity. Many of these innovations are driven by small businesses that possess innovative and creative capacity, but may lack awareness of the protection that our intellectual property system can provide. Left unprotected, an invention or creation may be lost to competitors who are in a better position to commercialize the product or service, leaving the original inventor or creator without financial benefit or reward. Therefore, securing adequate protection of a company’s intellectual property may be a crucial step in deterring potential infringement and in turning ideas into business assets with a real market value.

This article was originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, February 2014.



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Increased Regulation Drives Demand for Forensic Accounting Services, Misuraca, Yasmine L.; Henning, Steven L., 12/23/2013

Major financial reforms and volatility following notorious frauds and scandals have led to outsized growth in the demand for forensic accounting services.  During the past decade or so, Congress reacted to the WorldCom Inc. and Enron bankruptcies resulting from fraudulent financial reporting by passing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, adding regulation targeting internal controls over financial reporting, among other requirements.  The more recent financial crisis that is blamed for the Great Recession led Congress to pass the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, requiring greater financial transparency of public companies.  This increased regulation has contributed to strong revenue growth for forensic accounting services providers. 

This article was originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, December 2013.



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VIDEO: The Part of Dodd-Frank Investors Can't Live Without, Henning, Steven L., 07/23/2013

It's easy for investors to balk at increasing financial regulations since 2008. However, one provision of the Dodd-Frank Act which permits surprise audits of investment companies is important to protecting investors and institutions. Surprise audits can actually provide comfort and protection to ensure you have what you and the investment company say you have.



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Before The Measurement Of Lost Profits: Investigating To “Isolate” The Source Of A Decline, Tranfa-Abboud, Josefina V., 07/22/2013

Evaluating the reasons why a business may have experienced a decline requires that factors such as general economic conditions, shocks to a specific industry or locale, changes in relationships with suppliers or in the demand for goods and/or services, etc. be investigated and analyzed. A more telling story about the historical financial performance of a business is revealed when put into the context of its industry, the local economy and the market in which it operates.

This article, 'Before The Measurement of Lost Profits: Investigating the Business and the Market to "Isolate” the Source of a Decline' was originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, July-August 2013.



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The Importance Of Business Continuity Planning: Dealing With Inevitable Risk, Kreuter, Eric A., 07/18/2013

Increased awareness of the need to prepare for risk and risk of disaster does not always translate into action. One reason is because businesses feel prior events are not likely to recur or effects would not be overly severe. Business managers should plan for the worst and commit to the development of a responsible strategic plan to minimize the impact of harmful events, even unlikely ones.

This article was originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, June 2013.



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Reaping the Full Benefits of Intellectual Property, Sacks, Glenn D.; Henning, Steven L., 02/05/2013

Intellectual Property (IP) accounts for nearly $6 trillion value added, roughly equal to 40 percent of US GDP. Moreover, IP is critical to our balance of trade, as goods from IP-intensive industries account for 60 percent of all U.S. exports. Given the jobs, exports and wage premiums those businesses support, many will say we must protect our IP from infringers in developing nations and elsewhere. But we must also protect our IP from ourselves.

This article was originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, February 2013.



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U.S. And China Look To Each Other For Opportunity, Henning, Steven L., 12/24/2012

U.S. investors have been enthusiastically investing in Chinese businesses listing on U.S. exchanges in order to achieve returns that were believed to exceed those available in lower growth Western economies, including the U.S. Ironically, Chinese businesses have been buying U.S. businesses and assets in record amounts because of the opportunity for growth the U.S. offers. Can these seemingly disparate strategies both work?

This article was originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, December 2012.



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At the Crossroads of Health Care Reform, Corporate Restructuring and Employment Litigation, Tranfa-Abboud, Josefina V., 12/20/2012

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), recently upheld by the US Supreme Court, brings into the marketplace many significant changes affecting individuals and organizations, both of which will be required to comply with the changes established by this new legislation. The most significant changes established by the PPACA will become effective as of January 2014, specifically, the directives referred to as the Individual Mandate and the Employer Mandate.

This article was originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, December 2012.



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US and China Ensnared in Regulatory Cold War, Henning, Steven L., 12/17/2012

The regulatory stalemate has accelerated the pace at which Chinese companies are “going dark” and withdrawing from US exchanges. Many of these companies are seeking listing status on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng stock market. Moreover, the impasse diminishes the competitiveness of the US markets as other companies seek to raise capital elsewhere.



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VIDEO: The Credit Agencies Lesson... Applicable to Everyone and Every Business, Henning, Steven L., 12/01/2012

Despite the few noticeable outcomes of the downgrade of US debt, S&P, Moody's and Fitch are still worth paying attention to. Steven Henning discusses how rating agencies continue to hold sway over big business, small business and individual decisions.



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VIDEO: Raising Capital: The Private Placement Advantage, Henning, Steven L., 12/01/2012

Companies are pursuing growth opportunities by entering new markets, launching new products or increasing market share. To fund this growth, companies may want to consider a private placement, an oft-overlooked source of capital. Private placements enable companies to raise capital quickly and at substantially lower transactions costs than capital raised through an initial public offering.



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Model for Estimating Lost Wages May Be Incomplete, Tranfa-Abboud, Josefina V., 10/04/2012

Claims for lost wages and other forms of compensation are at the heart of a wrongful dismissal, workplace injury, and workplace discrimination lawsuits. But the economic model designed for the estimation of damages may be incomplete if it does not adjust for unemployment trends and the probability of continued "but-for" employment, according to Josefina V. Tranfa-Abboud, Ph.D., a director in the Litigation and Corporate Advisory Services Group at New York accounting firm Marks Paneth and Shron.

See Josefina's article originally published in Human Resources Management Ideas & Trends October 5, 2011.
© Wolters Kluwer Law and Business.

All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission from Human Resources Management Ideas & Trends.
October 5, 2011.



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Employee Benefits: Not All Are Created Equal, Tranfa-Abboud, Josefina V., 07/31/2012

In every instance of employment, a potentially significant difference exists between an employee’s take-home pay and the actual cost of employment to the employer. This difference may be greatly increased in the presence of employer-provided ‘fringe benefits’ – non-wage compensation provided to employees in addition to normal wages or salaries. Fringe benefits represent an additional cost to the employer, above and beyond the actual wages, salaries, bonuses and other compensation directly paid to the employee. They may also impose a cost on the employee, reducing the net amount that an employee may receive at the end of each pay period.

See Josefina's article originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel July/August 2012.



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Accounting and Auditing Alert: SEC Staff Issues “Final Report,” but IFRS Decision Still to Come, Henning, Steven L., 07/30/2012

On July 13, the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its final report on the agency’s work plan in relation to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Although the 127-page report provides analysis of six key areas, what may be most notable is that it doesn’t make a recommendation as to what the SEC’s decision should be regarding incorporating IFRS into the financial reporting system for U.S. issuers. This article provides an overview of the report.



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Owner-Manager Fraud: Getting Worse...How to Detect It, Barron, John E. , 04/02/2012

Statistics show that private businesses -- often owner-managed -- typically lack internal controls mandated by federal laws and the human and managerial resources to focus on possible employee crimes such as embezzlement, corruption and trade secret theft. But there's a bigger problem at privately-held companies: Owners themselves committing fraud.

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner © White-Collar Crime Fighter, April 2012.



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Exchanges Need to Take Initiative to End New Scam: Fraudulent Listings of Chinese Companies on U.S. Exchanges, Henning, Steven L., 04/01/2012

The problem with reverse mergers is that they have long been a favorite technique of financial fraudsters - and they are now giving many Chinese companies easy entry to US markets. Some of those Chinese companies, however, do not actually exist and those that do often publish false, misleading or incomplete financials.

Reprinted from the April 2012 issue of the Financial Fraud Law Report.



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Compensatory Damages in Lost Wages Claims: The Relevance of Unemployment Trends Adjustments, Tranfa-Abboud, Josefina V., 03/27/2012

When claims of lost compensation arise, the role of the economic expert is to provide a reasonable estimate of the potential damages. The economic damages model designed should be tailored to the claim and its jurisdiction, but should also incorporate the effect of the economic environment and the effect of potential unemployment on the estimation of expected compensation. A simplified hypothetical example highlights the impact of the probability of unemployment on the lost compensation estimate.

See Josefina's article originally published in Employee Relations Law Journal, March 2012.



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Bad Benchmarking in Damages Determinations: Consulting Experts Can Help, May, Donald M., 03/06/2012

In the complex world of commercial litigation and damages calculation, even experts can make critical mistakes that put litigation at risk. In particular, experts sometimes use the wrong benchmarks to calculate damages, making assumptions that don't stand up under legal scrutiny and causing their testimony to be excluded on Daubert challenge.

This article was originally published in Bullseye: A Legal Blog on Expert Topics, March 6, 2012.



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Will The New Patent Law Remove Barriers to Monetization?, Sacks, Glenn D., 02/20/2012

At OpportunIP LLC we work with owners of intellectual property (IP) to foster innovation by helping them realize the hidden value inherent in their patent portfolios. Specifically, we work with IP owners to develop strategic relationships with other entities that result in alternative applications of existing technologies, thereby further enhancing the value of the IP. However, it is our experience that certain IP owners are fearful of the increased risks of making their IP available to other entities, including real or perceived increases in litigation risk. Increased litigation risk brings with it the potential for significant costs to defend the IP against allegations of infringement.

See Glenn's article originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, February 2012.



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Surviving Daubert: Bad Benchmarking Puts Cases at Risk, May, Donald M., 02/16/2012

Expert Witnesses Misstep by Using the Wrong Benchmarks to Calculate Damages

To the challenges of managing complex litigation, add one more: Expert witnesses often make critical mistakes that put litigation at risk.

Specifically, experts often use the wrong benchmarks to calculate damages for lost profits, lost enterprise value, or shareholder damages, making assumptions that don't stand up to scrutiny, and causing their testimony to be excluded on Daubert challenge.



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Benchmarking: A Challenging Task for Expert Witnesses, May, Donald M., 12/02/2011

In civil litigation, few questions are as important as where to set damages. Beyond the basic issue of who prevails, litigants, juries and courts struggle with the issue of how loss should be compensated. What is an accurate estimation of the impact on the plaintiff of the event under dispute?



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Ponzi Schemes Continue to Thrive: Investors Need to Watch for 10 Signs that an Investment May Be Too Good to Be True, Sawhney, Sareena M., 11/01/2011

The Ponzi scheme is a classic con that typically surfaces in economic downturns, and Ponzi-style fraud has made a dramatic reappearance in landmark cases: the recent conviction of billionaire financier Robert Allen Stanford on 13 of 14 counts of fraud in connection with a worldwide scheme that bilked nearly 30,000 investors in 113 countries; the Bernard Madoff scandal; the arrest of a prominent member of the Amish and Mennonite communities in Ohio accused of wiping out more than $16 million of his neighbors' savings.

See Sareena's article originally published in Securities Litigation Report, November 2011.



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Damages in Labor and Employment Disputes: Designing the Economic Damages Model and the Role of the Expert, Tranfa-Abboud, Josefina V., 10/26/2011

Labor and employment disputes may result from allegations of employment discrimination, and from work-related injury, wrongful death incidents, or medical malpractice. In many cases, such disputes lead to claims of lost earnings and other compensation, and may also include a claim of damages to family members. Differences in the nature of the claim, the basis of ‘but-for’ and post-incident compensation, potential inclusion of damages to family members, along with jurisdiction-specific rules are just some of the factors that render the estimation of damages in these matters complex. The general economic environment makes the task more complicated still. A fitting economic model, one that accounts for relevant factors and is structured as allowed by the specific jurisdiction, is at the heart of the proper estimation of damages. The economic expert, serving as part of the litigation team, can and should play a central role in developing it.

See Josefina's article originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel November 2011.



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Compensatory Damages in Lost Wages Claims: The Case for Employment Trends Adjustments, Tranfa-Abboud, Josefina V., 09/02/2011

Claims for lost wages and other forms of compensation are at the heart of wrongful dismissal, workplace injury, and workplace discrimination lawsuits.  But the economic model designed for the estimation of damages may be incomplete if it does not adjust for unemployment trends and the probability of continued "but-for" employment, according to an economics expert. There is never a 100% guarantee of continued employment, and the probability of economic fluctuations and recessions, and other factors affecting long-term employment, should always be considered when estimating lost wages.

To read the rest of this article, please click the download link below.



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Factors to Consider When Hiring an Expert, May, Donald M., 05/26/2011

Expert guidance and testimony play a central role in the late stages of legal proceedings, when experts provide reports and serve as witnesses concerning the substance of the case and the appropriate damages. In the hope of minimizing fees, many insurers often wait until the late stages to engage them.

See Don May's article originally published in Claims Journal May 26, 2011.



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Case Study: Assessing Damages in Lost Wages Claim, Tranfa-Abboud, Josefina V., 04/06/2011

When an employee is terminated, injured or for some other reason unable to work, what wages has he or she lost? What damages should be awarded? The question is central to thousands of personal injury claims each year. The answer is by no means straight forward.



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Empowering Intellectual Property, Henning, Steven L.; Sacks, Glenn D., 02/01/2011

Intellectual property ("IP") is an untapped frontier in value creation. The problem is the basic tendency regarding IP, including patents, as the single, proprietary, closely guarded holding of the patent developer. That tendency is fundamental to the patent system – indeed, to all property rights, because at the root, we are talking about patent ownership.

See Steven and Glenn's article originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, February 2011.



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An Alternative Approach to a Critical Issue in Employment: Identifying and Correcting Potential Disparities in Employee Selections Before They Happen, Tranfa-Abboud, Josefina V., 12/01/2010

Employers define human resources policies and practices and make employment decisions that, while based on legitimate business decisions, may have a disparate effect on different groups of employees. A hypothetical example of selections for a proposed reduction in force (RIF) illustrates how an evaluation can reveal a disparate impact of a protected class group. Unveiling potential disparities before the implementation of the proposed RIF allows management to revise the goals, objectives, and the planning of the selections for termination, correcting a potential disparate effect of protected class groups, and minimizing the likelihood of legal disputes.

See Josefina's article originally published in Employee Relations Law Journal, Winter 2010.



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Mitigating Corporate Fraud Roundtable, Gannaway, David, 11/30/2010

Cases of corporate fraud have become more prevalent since the worldwide economic downturn, with a rise in financial and accounting fraud, money laundering, bribery, insolvency-related fraud, market abuse, and other violations. Meanwhile, regulators have intensified anti-corruption laws and their enforcement. Companies need to address the issue with an effective anti-fraud program.



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Forensic Accountants: An Essential Part of the Bankruptcy Team, Sawhney, Sareena M., 09/21/2010

Bankruptcy is rampant. According to the United States Bankruptcy Court, there were 1.4 million bankruptcy filings in fiscal year 2009, a 32 percent increase over 2008. Bankruptcy filings for 2010 are higher still - data from AACER (Automated Access to Court Electronic Records) shows 379,000 bankruptcy filings in the first quarter of 2010, a 17 percent increase over the same quarter of the previous year. July 2010 saw a 24.2 percent increase in bankruptcy filings over the previous month. The upsurge in bankruptcy filings is unsurprising, given the severe economic downturn and the slow pace of recovery. Predictably, along with the high rate of bankruptcy filings comes another trend – a sharp and prolonged spike in bankruptcy fraud. Economic desperation – of the sort that drives individuals and businesses into bankruptcy – also drives them into complex schemes designed to conceal assets and shelter them from creditors.



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Economic Downturn Brings a Return to Classic Fraud, Gannaway, David, 07/14/2010

The mid-2000s financial bubble has run its course. Enron and MCI/Worldcom are history, Bernard Madoff has been sentenced, other major frauds have been exposed, and the world has moved from irrational exuberance to a new challenge: coping with the effects of what might become a prolonged downturn.



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Recipe for a Hedge Fund Litigation Nightmare, May, Donald M., 06/25/2010

In many cases, domestic hedge funds are structured as limited partnerships with a general partner receiving the performance allocation and a separate limited liability company serving as the investment manager and receiving an asset-based investment management fee.



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Securities Litigation Report, Discounted Cash Flow Methodology Can Give Litigators the Upper Hand, May, Donald M., 06/15/2010

Most formulas used to arrive at valuations are based on Wall Street criteria. This is obviously the case in transactions, but not only in that instance. Valuation assumptions based on transactional formulas are commonly used by private equity investors to make strategic decisions about their portfolio companies, and by litigators and courts to argue for and arrive at determinations of damages.



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The Use of Attrition Rates for Economic Loss Calculations in Employment Discrimination Cases: A Hypothetical Case Study, Tranfa-Abboud, Josefina V., 05/21/2010

In cases involving employment discrimination, claims such as failure to promote or wrongful termination, economists are asked to calculate the difference between what the plaintiff(s) would have earned had the alleged discriminatory act not occurred offset by what the plaintiff is now expected to earn given that the alleged discriminatory action did occur. The economic losses are based upon the plaintiff's past and future income specific to the employer who committed the alleged discriminatory act. By contrast, in cases involving personal injury and a permanent reduction in the plaintiff's earnings capacity, the economic losses are usually based upon the plaintiff's entire worklife expectancy, regardless of where the plaintiff would be working.

See Josefina's article originally published in Journal of Forensic Economics, 2004.



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Worldwide Tax Daily, Audit Might Be Best Choice for U.S. Taxpayers in Voluntary Disclosure Program, Gannaway, David, 04/19/2010
U.S. taxpayers who enrolled in the IRS's voluntary disclosure program may find it in their best interests to challenge the IRS penalty through an audit, David Gannaway, director in the Litigation and Corporate Financial Advisory Services Group at Marks Paneth & Shron LLP in New York, told Tax Analysts on April 7.

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The Case for the Forensic Accountant, Sawhney, Sareena M., 03/26/2010

Suddenly, Ponzi schemes seem to be everywhere. Credit for the renewed attention to this classic financial fraud is of course due in large measure to Bernard Madoff, the now-convicted financier who defrauded investors of an estimated $65 billion. Madoff's widely publicized crime was a classic Ponzi – he took on investor funds, diverted them to finance his own lifestyle, falsified his clients' financial statements to show investment positions when there weren't any, then used new investments to pay "dividends" and "interest" to past investors. It was the largest and most dramatic example of a Ponzi scheme to date.



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Executive View, Why the US Must Adopt International Financial Reporting Standards, Henning, Steven L., 03/16/2010

Can you envision a world in which the U.S. is no longer the world's premier marketplace for capital? We can. In fact, unless U.S. companies and exchanges act, we believe that the world may be well on its way to a new financial order, one in which the U.S. no longer leads.



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Executive View, Prepare Now for the Knock on the Door: As Tax Enforcement Accelerates, Legal Counsel Must be Prepared for Many Layers of Client Need, Gannaway, David, 03/15/2010

Is your client a target of federal tax authorities? The odds that you answered "yes" are higher today than they have been at any time in recent memory. The federal government is on a drive to increase tax revenue, and part of their effort involves a much higher level of tax enforcement – up to and including the dreaded "knock on the door" – a full-scale visit to the taxpayer's home, often after hours, by multiple law-enforcement agencies, not just the IRS but also the FBI, as well as local and state law enforcement agencies.



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Financier Worldwide, IFRS Roundtable, Henning, Steven L., 03/03/2010

Recent events in worldwide markets have shed light on accounting principles and the differences that exist in the way assets are valued and reported. In recent years, the globalisation of financial markets has intensified calls for a unified set of accounting principles. Not only will changes impact financial reporting, but there may also be implications for tax policies, M&A, financial planning and compensation structures.



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Financier Worldwide, Anti-Money Laundering Measures and Tax Fraud Enquiries, Gannaway, David, 01/26/2010

It is often the case that cases of money laundering and tax fraud seem to rise during a downturn. This economic downturn is no exception, and has led to a surge in white collar crime. However, pinning the rise to a single factor is difficult to justify, and unlikely to be correct – ultimately, there are myriad drivers.



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Tax Litigation Risk Increases for High Net Worth Individuals, Gannaway, David, 09/17/2009

Federal tax authorities are on the hunt. Their sights are trained in particular in three categories of tax payers: sole proprietors, officers of closely-held businesses and high net worth individuals.



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IRS Targets Offshore Bank Accounts: Taxpayers Need Professional Guidance on Quick, Complete Disclosure, Gannaway, David, 09/03/2009

To many, tax management is imperative. But one approach – offshore banking – has recently caught the attention of policymakers. The misuse of offshore bank accounts now, more than ever, has the potential to land tens of thousands of Americans in some very hot water.



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Controlling Real-World Risks of Mark-to-Market Valuation, Henning, Steven L., 06/01/2009

In an article recently published in Accounting Today, Steve Henning, the Partner-in-Charge of the Marks Paneth Litigation and Corporate Financial Advisory Services Group urges companies and financial executives to take a hard, skeptical look at their balance sheets for assets that may be portraying false, overly optimistic valuations.



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The Future of Accounting Principles, Henning, Steven L., 02/10/2009

The events of the last few months have shed light on accounting principles and the role they might have played in prolonging the current market turmoil. Fair value accounting, in particular, has been accused, by some professionals and officials, of being at least partly responsible for the current financial troubles.



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Preparing for a Fraud Investigation: A View from the Trenches, Nelson, Joseph B., 08/01/2007

Case study: New York Corp (NYC), a Manhattan-based maker of household products, such as tableware, cookware and flatware, manufactured all of its goods in a New Jersey plant for over 100 years. A year ago management decided that, to remain competitive, the company would move its manufacturing operations to Tijuana, Mexico. The new Tijuana plant is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NYC.



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Global Presence, Local Excellence, Henning, Steven L.; Nash, Ronald, 06/01/2007

JHI is a leading international business association for independent business advisers, financial consulting, and accountancy firms. JHI exists to support the development of its member firms by facilitating communications, exchange, networking, and resource sharing worldwide. Its members benefit from global networking while maintaining total practice independence.



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Restructuring and Bankruptcy

Fresh-Start Reporting: An Additional Challenge for Bankruptcy Counsel, Bonora, John M., 11/01/2009

Emergence from bankruptcy presents a series of challenges for debtor companies, their creditors and counsel for all interested parties. One of the most significant challenges is financial reporting.



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Fresh-Start Reporting: An Opportunity for Debtor Companies Emerging from Bankruptcy Strategist, , 08/10/2009

Business bankruptcies are surging. That fact is unsurprising given that we are in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, but the numbers are still startling.



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Tax

Marks Paneth Tax Alert: Rules Surrounding IRA Rollovers Become Less Friendly to Taxpayers, Hughes, Robert J., 07/09/2014

Earlier this year, the US Tax Court made a controversial ruling regarding IRA (Individual Retirement Account) rollovers that contradicted an IRS publication designed to explain the law to taxpayers. Soon after, the IRS announced that it would adopt the court’s less taxpayer-friendly interpretation of the rollover rules. Taxpayers with multiple IRAs will have to be much more careful when making rollovers to ensure they don’t violate the aggregate rules and generate unnecessary tax liability — and possibly interest and penalties. This alert provides a brief overview of the Tax Court case, the IRS response and some other rules surrounding IRA rollovers that taxpayers should be aware of.



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Global Tax Insights, Morison International, 07/03/2014

Morison International (MI), the global association of leading independent accounting and consulting firms of which Marks Paneth is a member, has published the latest issue of Global Tax Insights. It is made up of contributions from MI member firms and includes country focus articles, technical updates and international tax cases.



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IRS Announces Major Changes Regarding Offshore Voluntary Disclosures, Bercovici, Paul, 06/30/2014

On June 18, 2014, the IRS announced significant changes to the 2012 Streamlined Program and to the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program. The changes to the terms of the 2012 Streamlined Program and the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program are designed to encourage more taxpayers who have failed to report income from offshore assets to voluntarily come forward to report the existence of such offshore assets and the income derived therefrom. According to the IRS, approximately 45,000 taxpayers have voluntarily disclosed the existence of such accounts under the terms of the various iterations of the offshore voluntary disclosure program that was first announced in 2009, and that such disclosures have resulted in the collection of approximately $6.5 billion in taxes, interest and penalties.



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DEPRECIATION RECAPTURE: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?, Blumkin, Peter, 06/16/2014

Over the past decade, business owners have been reaping generous tax benefits by writing off their new equipment purchases, including certain qualified leasehold improvements. What they may fail to realize is that some or all of the previously-derived tax benefits could be negated when the affected assets are disposed of. What does depreciation recapture mean to you?  (Note:  Due to some expired provisions and uncertain future tax developments, this article has been updated since its original publication in May 2013.)



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New York State Makes Significant Changes to Estate and Trust Tax Laws, Itzkowitz, Eric A., 05/13/2014

On March 31, 2014, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the 2014-15 budget legislation (the Executive Budget), which made a number of significant changes to New York's estate and trust tax laws. This article discusses the highlights and the impact of some of these changes.



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New York State Nursing Home Assessment Credit, LaForgia, Laura E., 05/01/2014

The nursing home assessment credit is a commonly overlooked New York State income tax credit that could provide some real money to those in need. The credit is a refund on the portion of the assessment which a New York nursing home is required to pay to the State and which is then passed through on the nursing home resident’s bill. It is equal to up to 6 percent of the base-rate portion of the assessment and can be claimed by anyone who pays the assessment, whether that person is the nursing home resident or is a relative or other individual responsible for paying the charges.

This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of the TaxStringer. It is reprinted with permission from the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. It can also be accessed by clicking here.



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Global Tax Insights, Morison International, 04/08/2014

Morison International (MI), the global association of leading independent accounting and consulting firms of which Marks Paneth is a member, has published the latest issue of Global Tax Insights. It is made up of contributions from MI member firms and includes country focus articles, technical updates and international tax cases.



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Marks Paneth State and Local Tax Advisor: Highlighting Key Tax Law Changes Across The Region, Bryde, Steven P., 04/08/2014

On March 31, Governor Cuomo and the New York State (NYS) Legislature reached agreement on the 2014-2015 Budget, which is effective April 1.

This newsletter provides a summary of the more important tax provisions contained in the budget. 



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Despite Higher Tax Rates, 'S' Corporations Retain Advantages Over 'C' Corporations, Evans, John N. , 03/25/2014

Owners of small, growing businesses face a perennial question: Should the business function as an S corporation, or should the entity revoke its election under Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code? Individual tax rates are now generally higher than corporate rates – but that doesn’t mean that it’s an advantage to realize income as a corporation. Tax rates are not the whole story.

This article, “Despite Higher Tax Rates, ‘S’ Corporations Retain Advantages Over ‘C’ Corporations”, by John Evans and Maria Castilla, was originally published in Practical Tax Strategies by Thomson Reuters, December 2013.



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MARKS PANETH STATE AND LOCAL TAX ADVISOR: HIGHLIGHTING KEY TAX LAW CHANGES ACROSS THE REGION, Bryde, Steven P., 02/05/2014

There are several noteworthy proposed tax law changes in the Proposed New York State Budget Tax Provisions. Please note that for “estate tax of gifts,” action may be required before April 1, 2014. 

The Proposed Budget will reduce taxes by $500 million in 2014-2015 and reduce taxes by $1.6 billion in 2015-2016. Under the Proposed 2014-2015 Executive Budget, these are the important changes of which you should be aware:



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IRS issues final regulations on 3.8% net investment income tax and 0.9% additional Medicare Tax, Hughes, Robert J., 01/29/2014

The IRS has issued final regulations addressing two new taxes under the Affordable Care Act that took effect Jan. 1, 2013: the 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT, also known as the Medicare contribution tax), and the 0.9% additional Medicare tax. This article reviews these taxes and details how the final regs. differ from the proposed regs. that were issued last year.



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Marks Paneth Tax Alert: Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses and Individuals, Eliach, Steven, 12/03/2013

Although tax legislation signed into law this past January made a wide variety of tax breaks permanent, it extended several valuable breaks for businesses only through Dec. 31, 2013. It’s possible that some, or even all, of them could be extended again. But with the battle in Washington over tax reform, it’s difficult to predict what will happen with expiring breaks. So taxpayers may want to take steps now to lock in any breaks that can benefit their businesses while these breaks are still available. But they shouldn’t ignore traditional year end strategies for their businesses — or themselves.



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Tax Alert: IRS Issues Sweeping Rules That Affect Businesses Owning Tangible Property, Eliach, Steven, 11/25/2013

The IRS has released its final regulations on the tax treatment of expenditures related to tangible property. The regulations provide guidance on how to comply with Sections 162 and 263 of the Internal Revenue Code, which require the capitalization of amounts paid to acquire, produce or improve tangible property but allow amounts for incidental repairs and maintenance of property to be deducted. The regulations explain how to distinguish between capital expenditures and deductible business expenses.

The regulations (IRS T.D. 9636) generally will apply to tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1,2014. They affect all businesses that own or lease tangible property, including buildings, machinery, vehicles, furniture and equipment.



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Marks Paneth Tax Alert: Supreme Court Issues Landmark Decisions On Same-Sex Marriage, Eliach, Steven, 07/15/2013

On June 26, the US Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions. United States v. Windsor requires the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage in states where it’s legal. Hollingsworth v. Perry may allow same-sex marriage in the country’s most highly populated state, California. These 5-4 decisions could dramatically affect tax and estate planning for same-sex married couples, as well as the benefit plans employers and the federal government provide to such couples. This article provides a brief overview of the decisions and the potential for signifcant tax and benefits implications.



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Identity Theft: The Tax and Financial Implications, LaForgia, Laura E., 06/11/2013

By now, everyone is familiar with the phrase “identity theft” and probably knows someone who has been hurt in some way from it. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, such as your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.  This article outlines the areas where people are vulnerable, the techniques thieves can use to steal identities and the tips people should be aware of to protect themselves.

This article originally appeared in Tax Stringer, a publication of the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA).  It appeared in the June 2013 issue.



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VIDEO: The advantages of an “S”-Corp vs. a “C”-Corp, Evans, John N. , 05/08/2013

The American Tax Relief Act raises tax rates for some high-income people and probably has some growing, successful business owners thinking their companies should become “C” corporations. Think again, says John Evans, who explains why you’ll still probably save money by remaining an “S” corporation.



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Marks Paneth Tax Alert: IRS Expands Relief Program for Employers with Misclassified Workers, Eliach, Steven, 03/25/2013

The IRS has modified the Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) to, among other things, allow employers under IRS audit (other than an employment tax audit) to participate. It also temporarily further expands eligibility — through June 30, 2013. But while the expansions may seem like a win-win option for employers, participating isn’t without risk. This article reviews VCSP eligibility, processes and terms, and details the recent changes.



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Marks Paneth Tax Alert: What the American Taxpayer Relief Act Means for Your Estate Plan, Eliach, Steven, 02/18/2013

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), signed into law Jan. 2, 2013, primarily addresses income taxes. However, it also provides substantial estate tax relief compared to the changes that otherwise would have gone into effect in 2013. In addition, it provides increased estate tax law certainty. Nevertheless, ATRA is not all positive for estate planning, as it increases the estate tax rate compared to the 2012 estate tax law regime. The many changes going into effect in 2013 warrant a review of your estate plan. Here are some of the most important changes to consider.



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Marks Paneth Tax Alert: What the Fiscal Cliff Deal Means for Your Taxes, Eliach, Steven, 01/06/2013

After much contention and negotiation, President Obama and Congress finally came to agreement on legislation to address the “fiscal cliff.” The American Tax Relief Act (ATRA) prevents income tax rate increases for all but approximately the top 2% of taxpayers. ATRA also extends other income tax breaks for individuals and businesses and addresses the alternative minimum tax (AMT) and the estate tax. This alert provides an overview of some of the act’s key tax law changes.



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Marks Paneth Tax Planning Guide 2012/2013, Marks Paneth & Shron LLP, 12/28/2012

To facilitate ongoing access to the latest tax rules and regulations,Marks Paneth offeres an online tax guide that is updated on an ongoing basis.



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Marks Paneth Tax Alert: IRS Provides Guidance on Additional 0.9% Medicare Tax, Eliach, Steven, 12/26/2012

On November 30, 2012, the IRS issued proposed regulations regarding the 0.9% Additional Hospital Insurance Tax on High-Income Taxpayers (commonly referred to as the Additional Medicare Tax), which takes effect January, 1, 2013. This alert details how the tax may affect individuals, employers and payroll service providers.



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VIDEO: Doing Business in the Cloud is Great, Except for Tax Traps, Bryde, Steven P., 12/01/2012

New York, along with other states, is zeroing in on services that haven't been taxed before, and cloud computing is right up there on the list. Steven Bryde discusses the complications of taxation on companies using the Internet to do business.



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Tax Alert: Tax Filing Extensions for Taxpayers Affected by Hurricane Sandy, Eliach, Steven, 11/09/2012

As a result of the tremendous impact of Hurricane Sandy, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that it is postponing various tax filing and payment deadlines for affected taxpayers. Those taxpayers in parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut that have been declared a disaster area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will have until February 1, 2013 to file returns and pay taxes due.



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Tax Alert: Additional Guidance on Filing MCTMT Protective Claims, Bryde, Steven P., 10/22/2012

This is an update to the Marks Paneth Tax Alert issued on August, 28, 2012 addressing the New York State (NYS) Supreme Court decision, Mangano, et al. v. Silver, et al., which held the NYS Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax (MCTMT) to be unconstitutional and that employers located in the the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD) who have been paying this tax since its effective date, March 1, 2009, should file protective refund claims on or before November 2, 2012. At the time of the August alert, NYS had not issued guidance on the proper procedure, so we recommended that taxpayer/employers file amended Forms MTA-305 in paper form.



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Tax Alert: New Guidance on Streamlined Compliance Program for Delinquent Non-Resident Taxpayers, Bercovici, Paul, 09/12/2012

On August 31, 2012, the IRS issued additional information regarding the streamlined federal income tax return and foreign bank account reporting requirements available to certain delinquent taxpayers which was first announced on June 26, 2012 (the Streamlined Program). The Streamlined Program was created in response to the fact that many individuals had recently become aware (primarily due to increased media coverage) of their ongoing US tax filing obligations and wanted to become compliant. The Streamlined Program came into effect on September 1, 2012.



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Tax Alert: NYS Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax Deemed Unconstitutional, Bryde, Steven P., 08/28/2012

On August 22, 2012, in the case entitled Mangano, et al. v. Silver, et al, NYS Supreme Court, No. 14444/10, New York State (NYS) Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cozzens granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and held the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax (MCTMT) to be unconstitutional under the NYS Constitution. The Justice said that the MCTMT did not serve a substantial state interest and the tax appropriated public funds for a local project.



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Tax Alert: US Treasury Department Releases Model Intergovernmental Agreement on FATCA, Robbins, James M., 08/27/2012

The US Department of the Treasury has issued a model intergovernmental agreement to implement the information reporting and withholding tax provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The provisions are intended to combat offshore tax evasion, and they require foreign financial institutions (FFIs) to report to the IRS information about certain financial accounts.



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Tax Alert: Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law: What Do Businesses Need to Do Now?, Eliach, Steven, 07/26/2012

June 28’s US Supreme Court ruling has drawn attention to the far-reaching provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Since 2010, various provisions have trickled into effect. But the waters of change are gaining speed, with several particularly significant provisions scheduled to take effect over the next 18 months, barring congressional action.

Businesses face a variety of compliance requirements under the act, though certain small businesses may be eligible for a tax-saving opportunity. What all businesses need to do now is prepare.



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Tax Alert: Individual Tax Planning in the Aftermath of the Supreme Court's Health Care Law Ruling, Eliach, Steven, 07/26/2012

Since the US Supreme Court issued its health care law ruling, most of the attention has focused on its mandates, expansion of coverage and state insurance exchanges. But the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 includes some significant tax-related provisions affecting individuals that are scheduled to take effect in 2013 and 2014, unless Congress repeals them or takes other action.

Now is the time to start planning so you can minimize any negative tax consequences to the extent possible.



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Tax Alert: IRS Offers New Guidance on the OVDP; Tax Relief for US Citizens Living Abroad, Evans, John, 07/25/2012

The IRS recently issued guidance on its current Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) and tightened eligibility requirements. The program allows taxpayers with undisclosed foreign accounts and assets to “come clean” in exchange for reduced penalties and protection against criminal prosecution. The IRS also announced new procedures, effective September 1, 2012, which provide US citizens living abroad with an opportunity to catch up with their tax filings — in many cases penalty-free if they have little or no US tax due.



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Tax Alert: JOBS Act Eases Small Business Funding, Allows Crowdfunding, Eliach, Steven, 07/17/2012

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (JOBS act) is designed to provide capital for small businesses and startups. Under the new law, a qualified business will be able to raise cash without meeting all the usual requirements for initial public offerings (IPOs).



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State and Local Tax Advisor, June 2012, Bryde, Steven P., 07/06/2012

Marks Paneth has published the latest issue of State and Local Tax Advisor. Click below for the June issue.



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Tax Alert: June 30th Filing Dates for FBar Form 90-22.1, Evans, John N., 06/13/2012

Form 90-22.1, "Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts" (FBAR) for the year ended December 31, 2011, is due and must be received by the US Treasury no later than June 30, 2012.



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Tax Alert: Current Estate Tax Law Uncertainty Should Alter Your Planning Strategies in 2012, Eliach, Steven, 04/09/2012

Without congressional action before year end, on Jan. 1, 2013, gift and estate tax exemptions will drop and rates will increase. But Congress may address the expiring estate tax law provisions. Such uncertainty can play havoc with estate planning. This article explains how making lifetime gifts can take advantage of the currently high exemption amount and low tax rate and details ways to add flexibility to an estate plan to prepare for potentially lower exemptions and higher rates in 2013.



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State and Local Tax Advisor, March 2012, Bryde, Steven P., 03/19/2012

Marks Paneth has published the latest issue of State and Local Tax Advisor. Click below for the March issue.



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Tax Alert: IRS Releases Extensive New Rules Affecting Businesses That Acquire, Produce or Improve Tangible Property, Eliach, Steven, 02/14/2012

The IRS has issued extensive regulations, in temporary and proposed form (the temporary regulations serve as the text for the proposed regulations), providing its long-awaited guidance on the tax treatment of expenditures related to tangible property. These regulations are intended to simplify compliance with Section 263 of the Internal Revenue Code, which generally requires the capitalization of amounts paid to acquire, produce or improve tangible property. They focus largely on how to determine whether expenditures are for deductible repairs or capital improvements. The regulations will affect all businesses that acquire, produce, or improve tangible property.

The new regulations (IRS TD 9564 and REG-168745-03) generally apply to expenditures made in tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2012, so they don't apply to 2011 tax returns. For 2012 and beyond, however, the regulations will affect a wide swath of businesses that purchase, lease, produce or improve tangible property, such as buildings, machinery, vehicles, furniture and equipment.



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Tax Alert: Congress Extends Payroll Tax Relief, Eliach, Steven, 01/10/2012

After much debate and political maneuvering, Congress has passed the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011. The act provides an extension of payroll tax relief until February 29, 2012. This article provides a brief overview of the legislation.



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Tax Alert: IRS Releases Guidance on Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), December 2011, Robbins, James M., 12/20/2011

Temporary regulations have been issued under Section 6038(D) relating to the requirement that individuals attach a statement to their tax return with respect to foreign financial assets. The IRS will release Form 8938 shortly which will be used to identify and report interests in foreign financial assets. It is important for taxpayers to determine whether they are subject to this new requirement because the tax law imposes significant penalties for non-compliance. Form 8938 does not replace or otherwise affect a taxpayer's obligation to file an FBAR.



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Year-End 2011 Tax Planning: Opportunities and Challenges, Marks Paneth & Shron LLP, 11/29/2011
As the end of the year approaches, it's always a good idea to review your tax situation and assess whether there are any actions you should take by Dec. 31 to reduce your tax bill. This year is no exception, and many opportunities are available that may significantly reduce your taxes. However, 2011 also presents some unique challenges.

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Small Businesses Warned to Beware of Employee Fraud, Sawhney, Sareena M., 11/18/2011

Small businesses and nonprofit organizations often overlook the warning signs of employee fraud, especially by senior managers, according to accounting firm Marks Paneth.

This article, written by Michael Cohn appeared in Accounting Today on November 18, 2011.



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Tax Tips for Start-Ups: US Sales and Employment Withholding Obligations, Forslund, Alyssa, 09/01/2011

Tax ranks high among the many structural issues a start-up needs to consider. Even tax responsibilities that seem straightforward – such as collecting sales tax and setting up withholding for employees – can be challenging and need to be approached carefully.

See Alyssa's article originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, September 2011.



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Should You Consider an Interest Charge Domestic International Sales Corporation (IC-DISC)?, , 07/12/2011

Setting up and operating an interest charge domestic international sales corporation (IC-DISC) can reduce the tax rate on qualifying export sales by up to 20 percentage points. An IC-DISC's tax-savings power is derived from the current 15% tax rate on qualified dividends. Businesses that could benefit include companies that earn significant income from exporting goods, including software, or from engineering or architectural services on foreign construction projects. If your company falls into one of these categories, you should consider creating an IC-DISC sooner rather than later because, without additional Congressional action, this tax rate applies only through 2012.



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International Tax Planning - An Essential Step For Global Start-Ups, Goulet, Jeanne P., 01/30/2011

The same turbulence that has challenged the global economy has also created pockets of opportunity around the world. Simultaneously, entrepreneurship is at a high, as recent college graduates create their own opportunities, as layoffs at senior levels transform executives into entrepreneurs.

See Jeanne's article originally published in the January-February 2011 issue of Corporate Taxation, © 2011 Thomson Reuters/RIA. All rights reserved.



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Don't Pay Tax Twice on Each Dollar of Earnings!, Goulet, Jeanne P., 12/10/2010

Many experienced entrepreneurs, investors and business owners who have successfully operated in the past in their local environment are unaware of the tax pitfalls involved in cross-border transactions. It is easy to fall prey to serious missteps and to pay tax to more than one government for the same dollar of earnings.



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Tax Alert: Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, , 12/01/2010

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 extends and expands a wide variety of valuable tax breaks for individuals and businesses. It also provides some good news for those concerned about estate tax liability. This Marks Paneth Tax Alert provides highlights of the provisions of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010.



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Tax Alert: Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, October 2010, , 10/13/2010

Congress has passed — and President Obama has signed — the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (SBJA); thereby, creating a $30 billion fund to provide capital to community banks to encourage lending to small businesses. The legislation also includes $12 billion in tax relief for small businesses and incentives to encourage investment in them. The SBJA also provides some benefits for larger businesses as well as for the self-employed and individual taxpayers.



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Nonprofit Alert: Form 1099 Reporting and Tax Legislation: Summary of Changes, August 2010, , 08/01/2010

Section 6041 of the Internal Revenue Code lays out the basic requirements for Form 1099 reporting. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 includes a significant amendment to Section 6041, which now requires 1099 reporting for any payments aggregating $600 to a supplier per year. The new amendment will now create filing and reporting requirements for all for-profit corporations. The definition of a corporation that is contained in the amendment includes an exclusion or modification for tax-exempt corporations.



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Tax Alert: Health Coverage for Adult Children, May 2010, , 06/02/2010

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released guidance on provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) related to the tax treatment of employer-provided health coverage for adult children. Under the PPACA, coverage requirements have expanded and such coverage is generally tax free for employees. IRS Notice 2010-38 explains the implications for workplace and retiree health plans, including cafeteria plans and flexible spending accounts (FSAs).



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Tax Alert: Roth IRA Conversion, May 2010, , 05/01/2010

You've filed — or at least extended — your 2009 income tax return, so it's time to start thinking about 2010 and beyond. If you're a higher-income taxpayer, one new opportunity you may have heard about is the Roth IRA conversion. But is it right for you?



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Tax Alert: Highlights of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, April 2010, , 04/08/2010

The tax provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will have an impact on most taxpayers as well as on how employers deal with health care insurance for their employees. The main tax provisions affecting individuals and businesses are discussed in this Marks Paneth Tax Alert.



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Tax Alert: Highlights of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, March 2010, , 03/01/2010

The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act provides tax incentives for hiring and retaining workers and purchasing equipment and many other business assets. It also includes new measures that heighten disclosure and reporting requirements for foreign accounts. Some key features of the Act are discussed in this Marks Paneth Tax Alert.



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Tax Litigation Risk Increases for High Net Worth Individuals, Gannaway, David, 09/17/2009

Federal tax authorities are on the hunt. Their sights are trained in particular in three categories of tax payers: sole proprietors, officers of closely-held businesses and high net worth individuals.



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IRS Targets Offshore Bank Accounts: Taxpayers Need Professional Guidance on Quick, Complete Disclosure, Gannaway, David, 09/03/2009

To many, tax management is imperative. But one approach – offshore banking – has recently caught the attention of policymakers. The misuse of offshore bank accounts now, more than ever, has the potential to land tens of thousands of Americans in some very hot water.



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Location: A Taxing Choice For New Businesses, Packer, Solomon, 06/25/2009

Given the raft of issues involved in launching a new business in the U.S., it should come as no surprise that the question of where the new legal entity should be formed is often given short shrift, when it is considered at all.



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Effects of New York's 2009-2010 State Budget, Eliach, Steven, 05/01/2009

On April 7, 2009, New York Governor David Paterson signed into law New York State's Fiscal 2009-10 Budget. The enacted budget agreement closes a two-year $17.7 billion 2009-10 budget gap and reduces the State's multi-year deficit by an estimated 80 percent from approximately $60 billion to approximately $11 billion.



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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Eliach, Steven, 04/10/2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 totals $787 billion. Nearly $300 billion of the bill includes tax relief for individuals and businesses which is outlined in the Marks Paneth alert.



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Marks Paneth & Shron LLP Nonprofit Group Authors Alert on Alternative Investment, McNee, Michael L.; Lyons, Robert, 12/16/2008

The most recent Marks Paneth Nonprofit and Government Group Alert discusses the tax implications that apply to common alternative investments made by exempt organizations, as well as the reporting requirements and questions organizations should consider before making investment decisions.



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Tax Alert: Year-End Tax Planning, December 2010, , 11/18/2008
Companies and individuals alike seek to minimize their tax liability while still complying with applicable tax laws and regulations. Year-end tax planning can help achieve these goals and facilitate the filing of next year's tax returns. This year — with the legislative uncertainty about 2011 tax rates as well as the availability of many tax breaks for 2010 and 2011 — tax planning is made even more challenging.

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Marks Paneth Outlines Departure Tax in Recent Article, Packer, Solomon, 09/04/2008

Solomon Packer, Senior Marks Paneth International Tax Consultant, publishes Corporate Business Taxation Monthly article on the recently enacted U.S. departure tax, which taxes built-in gains in excess of $600,000 from assets owned by “covered” expatriating U.S. citizens and long-term residents who relinquish their green cards.



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Marks Paneth & Shron LLP Nonprofit Group Authors Alert on Campaign Intervention, McNee, Michael L.; Lyons, Robert, 09/01/2008

During election years, the Internal Revenue Service takes a keen interest in whether charitable (501(c)(3)) organizations are intervening in political activities. This is particularly relevant in Presidential campaign years. One common characteristic to most charitable organizations is a passion about their respective causes. Since candidates for office are generally "issues" oriented, it is understandable that organizations, particularly those involved in advocacy for a cause, want to support the candidate that supports their position.



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Marks Paneth & Shron LLP Nonprofit Alert, June 2008, McNee, Michael L.; Lyons, Robert, 06/01/2008

On May 5, 2004 IRS issued Letter Ruling 200435020 in response to a charitable organization’s treatment of certain real estate transactions, credit cards, meals, gasoline, miscellaneous charges and cell phones.



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Property and Casualty Insurance Solutions for Entity Owners, June 2008, , 06/01/2008

An increasing number of Americans are transferring personal ownership of residential property to trusts, limited liability corporations (LLC), limited liability partnerships (LLP), and other entities designed to protect assets or take advantage of favorable tax treatment.



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Global Presence, Local Excellence, Henning, Steven L.; Nash, Ronald, 06/01/2007

JHI is a leading international business association for independent business advisers, financial consulting, and accountancy firms. JHI exists to support the development of its member firms by facilitating communications, exchange, networking, and resource sharing worldwide. Its members benefit from global networking while maintaining total practice independence.



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