Archive for January, 2012
The estate and gift tax system is arguably one of the most complicated areas of the tax code. Adding to the confusion is the fact that after 2012 the tax on wealth transfers, whether through gifts or inheritances, remains uncertain. If you have or expect to have a sizable estate, say $1 million or more, now is the best time to create your estate plan. Keep in mind that an “estate” includes the value of your home, life insurance, retirement plans, and other investments. This means the estate tax is not just a concern for the “super” wealthy.
Under current law decedents dying in 2012 with estates worth $5,120,000 or less are not subject to estate tax. However, the $5.12 million threshold expires at the end of this year. And unless Congress acts, beginning January 1, 2013 the threshold drops to $1 million. Not only would many more estates be subject to estate tax but the highest estate tax rate is also scheduled to increase to 55%. A lack of estate planning now could result in a hefty estate tax bill later. Read more
The 2% cut in social security withholding in effect during 2011 has been extended until February 29, 2012. The Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 was signed by President Obama on December 23, 2011. The temporary cut means that employees will only have 4.2% of their wages withheld for social security as opposed to the normal 6.2%. Employers are required to comply with the law by January 31, 2012. Any social security tax over withheld before the employer has complied will then be adjusted in the employee’s pay by March 31, 2012. Read more
Yesterday the IRS announced a third round of their highly successful Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) program. The OVDI was highly publicized with the 2009 revelation that several large Swiss banks, including UBS, were going to be cooperating with the IRS in disclosing the names of US citizens and residents holding Swiss bank accounts. Read more
LMGW Certified Public Accountants, LLP has promoted Michael J. Bryant, CPA to Partner in charge of attest (Audits, Reviews and Compilations.) He will also continue assisting with litigation support services. Michael has a diverse client background which includes finance, technology and manufacturing clients for both private equity and closely held businesses as well as a range of nonprofit clients. In his tenure as manager, he was in charge of the firm’s larger and more complex audit and review engagements. He also gained experience on single audits and government audits. Read more
The rankings of the 4th annual Best Accounting Firms to Work for were recently unveiled at an awards ceremony in Las Vegas. LMGW Certified Public Accountants, LLP ranked in the top five “Best Accounting Firms to Work for” in the small firms (15-49 employees) category in 2011. LMGW is the highest ranked California firm in this category. This year marks the third consecutive year that our firm has been recognized on “The Best Accounting Firms to Work for” list. Read more