News & Insights: steven eliach

Tax Alert: Trump Administration’s Tax Plan Explained

By Steven Eliach  |  May 17, 2017

On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, the Trump Administration unveiled a tax plan that proposes significant reductions to individual and corporate tax rates, reduces the number of individual tax brackets to three – 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent – and repeals the estate tax – among other proposals. While the plan has been presented as a broad outline, rather than in legislative text, the proposal represents a significant overhaul of the US tax system.


By Steven Eliach  |  November 16, 2016

The unexpected election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, along with Republicans retaining control of both chambers of Congress, will likely result in some changes to the U.S. tax code.

In this brief article, Steven Eliach, Principal-in-Charge of our Tax Practice, outlines the potential impact of the 2016 election on tax law.


By Steven Eliach  |  October 17, 2016

Most tax policy discussions dwell on three types of taxes: income tax, payroll tax and estate tax. These taxes, however, are only cornerstones in a crowded fiscal system consisting of federal, state and local taxes. Such tunnel vision leaves commentators and taxpayers alike with a murky understanding of what taxation in the U.S. actually entails. The gap between what the public believes about its tax burden and the amount it pays is so wide that it renders much of our tax debate totally off target. Governmental authorities impose many lesser-known taxes, but you’d never know that from public discussions about our tax system.

This article was originally published in the October 2016 issue of Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. It was co-written by Maria L. Castilla of Thomson Reuters and Steven Eliach, Principal-in-Charge of Tax Services, Marks Paneth LLP.

Ways to avoid identity theft

By Steven Eliach  |  March 30, 2016

Identity theft presents a challenge to businesses, organizations and governments, including the Internal Revenue Service. Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses a stolen Social Security number (SSN) to file a tax return to claim a fraudulent refund. Although identity theft affects a small percentage of tax returns, it can delay a taxpayer’s refund and have a major impact on the victim’s peace of mind.    

Tax Alert: 2016 cost-of-living adjustments: Minimal changes from 2015

By Steven Eliach  |  January 11, 2016

The IRS has issued its cost-of-living adjustments (“COLAs”) for 2016. Since inflation remains low, many COLA amounts remain the same as last year or were increased modestly. This article provides an overview of 2016 amounts related to individual income taxes, the alternative minimum tax, education- and child-related tax breaks, retirement plans, and gift and estate taxes.

Uncertainty Over Expired Tax Breaks Once Again Complicates Year-end Tax Planning

By Steven Eliach  |  November 11, 2015

Year-end tax planning this year will be just as complicated as last year primarily because of uncertainty surrounding many expired tax breaks for individuals and businesses. Tax legislation signed into law last December extended several expired breaks, but only through the end of 2014. This article reviews expired tax breaks that Congress may revive later this year and details tax-saving strategies currently available to individuals and businesses.

Highway Funding Law Brings Important Tax Compliance Law Changes

By Steven Eliach  |  August 25, 2015

The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 provides a temporary three-month extension of the Highway Trust Fund that is paid for through several tax compliance revenue offsets. These revenue offsets primarily affect tax return filing due dates and extension deadlines for C corporations, partnerships, and trusts and estates. There are also other important tax provisions contained in the law that include modifications to estate and mortgage reporting, consistent basis reporting, clarification of the 6-year limitation period for overstated basis, veterans tax incentives regarding ACA exemptions and improved HSA contribution eligibility, and an excise fuel tax provision for alternative fuels.

Tax Alert: New Trade Law Hikes Penalties for Tax Information Reporting Failures, Errors and Omission

By Steven Eliach  |  August 3, 2015

Tucked into new trade legislation is a tax revenue raiser that increases by as much as 150% the potential penalties for taxpayers who fail to file correct tax information returns and to provide payee statements. This article details Sec. 806 of the TPEA and explains how taxpayers can reduce their risk of penalties.

Supreme Court upholds premium tax credits for coverage purchased on federal exchanges

By Steven Eliach  |  July 1, 2015

On June 25, the US Supreme Court, in a much-anticipated ruling, essentially again upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this time by upholding premium tax credits for qualifying taxpayers whether they purchase coverage through a federal or a state exchange. In a 6-3 decision, the Court found that taxpayers purchasing coverage through a federal exchange can qualify for subsidies. The decision is important not just to taxpayers receiving subsidies, but also to the viability of the entire ACA. The majority of states have not set up exchanges. For “large” employers, as defined under the ACA, the decision means that the shared responsibility provisions due to go into effect this year and next, as well as the information reporting requirements due to go into effect this year, will indeed go into effect.

Marriage Ruling Brings Significant Changes for Same-sex Couples

By Steven Eliach  |  June 29, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, effectively making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. The decision has numerous implications for the tax, estate and retirement planning of same-sex couples and will also affect some employers in states that had not previously recognized same-sex marriage. 

Tax Alert: Deadline Reminder for IRS Penalty Relief Program

By Steven Eliach  |  May 12, 2015

June 2 deadline looming on IRS penalty relief program for late retirement plan returns

Marks Paneth: Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses and Individuals

By Steven Eliach  |  October 30, 2014

Now that the final quarter of 2014 has begun, many businesses and individuals are turning their attention to year-end tax planning. This year, however, uncertainty over dozens of expired or expiring tax provisions complicates the planning process, particularly for business owners.

Marks Paneth Tax Alert: Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses and Individuals

By Steven Eliach  |  December 3, 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.

Tax Alert: IRS Issues Sweeping Rules That Affect Businesses Owning Tangible Property

By Steven Eliach  |  November 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.

Tax Alert: How The IRS Ruling Impacts Tax and Estate Planning for Same-Sex Married Couples

By Steven Eliach  |  September 26, 2013

In Revenue Ruling 2013-17, the IRS clarified that a same-sex couple’s marital status for federal tax purposes is determined by the laws of the state where they got married — not the state where they reside. This article details Revenue Ruling 2013-17 and explains its impact on tax and estate planning.