Federal

Where is the Economy Heading?

According to the data released Friday by the Department of Labor, the U.S. economy added approximately 528,000 jobs in July, reducing the unemployment rate to 3.5 percent.[i] Although this figure was certainly better than what was expected by many economists, it seems to belie other signs of economic weakness.

Many states, for example, have reported recently that they are experiencing significant declines in estimated tax payments or that they expect declines in revenue from the withholding of personal income taxes.[ii] These developments are being attributed to the performance of the stock market[iii] and to the fact that wages have not kept in step with inflation.[iv]
Continue Reading New York to Taxpayer: “Forget What the Feds Said, You’re a ‘Responsible Person’”

Summer Break?

After the last couple of weeks, I’m looking forward to Congress’s summer vacation. I’m pretty sure our elected representatives feel the same way, though it is unclear at this point when they will be heading to their respective homes – or wherever else it is they go[i] – to relax, recreate, and rejuvenate.

According to the Congressional Calendar, the Senate is scheduled to begin its break on August 6 and to return on September 6, while the House was supposed to have stopped work on July 30 and will be back in session on September 13.[ii]
Continue Reading The Schumer-Manchin Proposal To “Eliminate” the Profits Interest

Economic Downturn?

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee announced last week that it would raise the Fed’s baseline interest rate by 0.75 percentage points, the largest such increase since 1994.

The Fed’s move came in the wake of the Labor Department’s earlier announcement that the consumer price index (a measure of inflation) rose by 1 percent last month, and by 8.6 percent for the past 12 months, the highest rate of inflation since 1981. Following the release of the inflation figures, all the major domestic stock indices plummeted.

As a result of the foregoing, combined with the geopolitical uncertainty arising from the war in Ukraine, the continued supply chain issues (exacerbated by China’s ongoing difficulty with Covid), and other related factors, many economists and business owners are anticipating a recession.[i]
Continue Reading Will An Economic Downturn Lead to An Increase in Tax-Related Whistleblowing?

A More Cautious Approach

Compared to the torrid pace of M&A transactions last year,[i] the current year seems rather pedestrian. That is not to say businesses are not being sold; they are. The purchase and sale of a business is one of the natural alternative paths in the evolution of the business.[ii]

However, the environment in which buyers and sellers are now considering their options and the manner in which they are approaching one another seem to have changed; one might say they are generally being more cautious, notwithstanding that the economy apparently remains strong by many measures.
Continue Reading The Earnout: Contingent Purchase Price or Compensation?

“Déjà vu All Over Again”[i]

The White House last week released the President’s Budget for the Fiscal Year 2023.[ii] The Budget is ambitious, but its “investments,” we are told, “are more than paid for with tax reforms focused on making sure the rich and the largest corporations pay their fair share.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Continue Reading Attention Congress: Focus On the Estate Tax Regime; Leave the Income Tax Alone

Assumed Liabilities

If a taxpayer were to sell the assets that comprise the taxpayer’s business, they would realize gain if the amount realized by the taxpayer from the sale is more than the taxpayer’s adjusted basis for the property.[i]

The taxpayer’s “adjusted basis” for a property is their original cost for the property – what they paid for it plus certain costs incurred in connection with the acquisition – increased by certain additions[ii] and decreased by certain deductions.[iii] In general, the adjusted basis may be described as the taxpayer’s unrecovered investment in the property.
Continue Reading Tax Court’s Decision On Assumption of Liability in M&A – A Clean Block or Goaltending?

Last Week

What a week it was.

It began relatively well, with the Cowboys losing the NFC wild card game, albeit to a California team.[i]

It ended disturbingly, with the Arizona Democratic Party censuring Senator Sinema for having opposed the changes to the Senate’s filibuster rule proposed by Senate Majority Leader Schumer.[ii]

What occurred in the interim was anything but reassuring.
Continue Reading Revised Nonresident Audit Guidelines For New York Statutory Residence

Not Selling Your Business This Year?

Beginning shortly before the House Ways and Means Committee released its version of the President’s Build Back Better plan, several posts on this blog have explored the uptick in M&A activity as the owners of many closely held businesses have sought to sell them before the effective dates[i] of any new or increased federal income taxes.

In most cases, the individuals disposing of these businesses were already considering – if not yet committed to the timing of – their exit. Their concern over increased taxes,[ii] however, has accelerated the decision to sell for many; increased taxes translate into fewer net proceeds and a lower return on their years of investment.[iii]
Continue Reading Not Selling Despite Tax Increases? Review the Buy-Sell Agreement Among Owners

Having Fun?

Hope you had a decent weekend. Perhaps you did something interesting, maybe even fun, like some end-of-season apple picking? Or maybe you had a cider donut with some hot coffee at a farm stand you stumbled upon on your way back from attending a football game at a small college? That said, few experiences are better than a midafternoon walk in a quiet park under a blue sky, with the sun on your back like a blanket wrapped over your shoulders to fend off the autumn chill.
Continue Reading Selling to Private Equity? Maybe You Should “F Reorg” First