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.

Marks Paneth Tax Alert: IRS Issues Guidance on Delay in Implementing Health Care Act

By Steven Eliach  |  July 17, 2013

The IRS has issued guidance on the recently announced delay in implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) information-reporting provisions and its employer shared-responsibility — also known as “play or pay” — provision. This alert summarizes the delayed provisions, the reasons for the delay and its impact.

Marks Paneth Tax Alert: Supreme Court Issues Landmark Decisions On Same-Sex Marriage

By Steven Eliach  |  July 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.

Marks Paneth Tax Alert: IRS Expands Relief Program for Employers with Misclassified Workers

By Steven Eliach  |  March 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.

Marks Paneth Tax Alert: What the American Taxpayer Relief Act Means for Your Estate Plan

By Steven Eliach  |  February 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.

Marks Paneth Tax Alert: What the American Taxpayer Relief Act Means for Your Individual Taxes

By Steven Eliach  |  February 11, 2013

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) does, as its name implies, provides substantial tax relief to many taxpayers. However, while higher-income taxpayers will enjoy some benefits, they’ll also see some tax increases. Here’s a closer look at ATRA’s most important changes for individuals, along with the tax planning implications.

Marks Paneth Tax Alert: What the American Taxpayer Relief Act Means for your Business Taxes

By Steven Eliach  |  February 4, 2013

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) extends and enhances many breaks for businesses. In particular, it provides incentives for businesses to invest in assets, research and people. This article provides an overview of ATRA’s most important changes for businesses, along with the implications for 2012 tax returns and tax planning for 2013 and beyond.

Marks Paneth Tax Alert: What the Fiscal Cliff Deal Means for Your Taxes

By Steven Eliach  |  January 6, 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.

Marks Paneth Tax Alert: IRS Provides Guidance on Additional 0.9% Medicare Tax

By Steven Eliach  |  December 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.

Tax Alert: Tax Filing Extensions for Taxpayers Affected by Hurricane Sandy

By Steven Eliach  |  November 9, 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.

Tax Alert: Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law: What Do Businesses Need to Do Now?

By Steven Eliach  |  July 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.

Tax Alert: Individual Tax Planning in the Aftermath of the Supreme Court's Health Care Law Ruling

By Steven Eliach  |  July 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.

Tax Alert: JOBS Act Eases Small Business Funding, Allows Crowdfunding

By Steven Eliach  |  July 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).

Tax Alert: Current Estate Tax Law Uncertainty Should Alter Your Planning Strategies in 2012

By Steven Eliach  |  April 9, 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.

Tax Alert: IRS Releases Extensive New Rules Affecting Businesses That Acquire, Produce or Improve Ta

By Steven Eliach  |  February 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.

Tax Alert: Congress Extends Payroll Tax Relief

By Steven Eliach  |  January 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.

For Technology Start-ups, A Road Map is Essential and It Should Cover Every Stage of the Journey

March 10, 2011

 |  Steven Eliach  |  March 10, 2011

A technology start-up is a complex entity, even if its initial scale is small.

Careful planning is needed to arrive at a roadmap – not just for product development, marketing and sales, but also for a business model that ultimately will result in a great product market fit. The ideal roadmap is one that addresses the financial needs of both the entrepreneur and the business.

See Steven and Jeanne's article originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel March 2011.

The Road Map of a Start-Up and the Entrepreneur

January 10, 2011

 |  Steven Eliach  |  January 10, 2011

A start-up venture is not just about product development, marketing and sales. It is a constant search for a business model that ultimately will result in a great product market fit. During the course of this endeavor, the financial needs of both the entrepreneur and the business can be complex. The financial needs of the entrepreneur and the business model run on two parallel paths and can change substantially over the life cycle of the venture.

Navigating the Recession

By Steven Eliach |  Steven Eliach |  Steven J. Ciavarella  |  May 18, 2009

The current economic downdraft is a first in many respects. Just a glance at headlines from the fourth quarter of last year reveals a perfect storm of economic trauma whose magnitude is like nothing in recent memory.

Effects of New York's 2009-2010 State Budget

By Steven Eliach  |  May 1, 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.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

By Steven Eliach  |  April 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.