No, you don’t get to face your accuser (Small business beware!)

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Government, Leadership, Legal, News and Politics

Anonymous whistleblower complaints are a powerful government force regularly used against small business owners. Over the weekend Donald Tump tweeted another indication of his misunderstanding of how government works. False Tweets from Trump are hardly noteworthy in themselves but this one hits a nerve for me. As a small business owner I’ve faced at least […]

Legal advice by an accountant

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Financial Planning, lawyer, Legal

Avoiding the unauthorized practice of law Effective immediately, I am adding this clause to all engagement agreements Legal advice Advice regarding business strategies may involve an application of general principles of business law but my services do not extend to the actual practice of law. I am not a lawyer. I am not offering legal […]

Six basic rules for handling a tax audit

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Accounting, IRS, Legal, Taxes

Everyone hopes to avoid a tax audit but sometimes it happens anyway. An audit always starts with a written notification by mail from the IRS, state, or local tax authority. It might just be triggered by a simple computer-generated “mismatch” error or it might be the beginning of one of the more rare types of […]

Legal impact of residency and domicile

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Banking, Financial Planning, Legal, Taxes

Taxes and a wide range of other legal and business issues are affected by the legal concepts of residency and domicile. Individuals who have physical connections to more than one state should carefully consider the implications of the laws in each state that may claim jurisdiction of any legal or business issue. In some cases it […]

How Facebook’s IRS tax case applies to us

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Legal, Taxes

Facebook’s multi-billion dollar tax case in the news today has implications for us ordinary tax-paying citizens. Two take-home lessons: If you rely solely on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights without other statutory authority, then this adds a level of procedural risk to your dispute. We do routinely rely on these procedures and expectations of ‘fair play’ […]

The Basics of Medicaid Planning

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Estate planning, Ethics, Financial Planning, Health and wellness, Health Insurance, Legal, Real Estate, Wealth Management

This blog post lists key issues in bullet format and is not intended as a complete discussion of any issue. A more thorough consideration is helpful for any aspect that may pertain to your family’s situation. Definition: “Medicaid planning” refers to the specialized field of financial planning that recognizes that it is possible to simultaneously keep financial assets while, […]

Legislative History as Tax Authority: an Obsolete Concept?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in IRS, Legal, Tax Planning, Taxes

Early in my professional tax career I learned about the concept of legislative history as tax authority. In fact a large part of any legal education is learning to evaluate evidence based on its qualitative characteristics, statutory consideration or local rules. In tax law this hierarchy of authority becomes the logical and legally supportable basis that […]

When business expenses are not deductible

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Law firm, Legal, Tax Planning, Taxes

A general principle of tax accounting is that we deduct ordinary and necessary business expenses from our gross income before reporting the net taxable income. However, this is not always the case. In some cases it is necessary to modify your tax accounting to comply with specific tax laws – even sometimes when the tax […]

Law firm trust accounting overview

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Banking, Law firm, Legal

This post is meant for non-lawyers and people who want a general understanding of the topic. Lawyers should rely on more specific sources including their state bar associations. Rules vary by state and jurisdiction. These are just general principles. Client funds that are not earned legal fees must be kept in separate accounts and not commingled […]