We have clipped the following news stories for our clients:
[ Real Estate News | Estate Planning New | Corporate Law News | View All ]

It is one of the tax code’s best freebies: a provision allowing people to rent out their homes for fewer than 15 days a year and pocket the income tax-free. The break is often called the Masters exemption because of its popularity in Augusta, Ga., during the famous April golf tournament. Now services such as Airbnb, HomeAway, Onefinestay and FlipKey are making it easier for people to take advantage of the Masters exemption by offering short-term rentals of their homes. But this boon also is putting some so-called hosts on a collision course with the IRS. The problem is that some firms are required to send 1099 forms to both the taxpayer and the IRS indicating how much income the taxpayer earned from renting through them. Yet there isn’t an easy way for a host who rented for fewer than 15 days to tell the IRS such income was tax-free. IRS Publication 527, Residential Rental Property, says that taxpayers don’t need to report such income at all. As a result of these conflicting rules, some taxpayers who act as hosts may get computer-generated letters from the IRS in a year or so asking about tax on their hosting income—even though no tax is due on it.  The hosts will then need to prove that the income was tax-free.

Wall Street Journal  April 4, 2015

New Jersey Lawmakers Propose Changes to Estate and Inheritance Taxes

February 12, 2015

No state in the nation levies taxes when people die as aggressively as New Jersey.  Most states charge nothing.  New Jersey is one of only two states with both an estate and an inheritance tax.  Of the states with an estate tax, New Jersey exempts the fewest from having to pay.  That could change. State […]

Read the full article →

Tips for Helping Adult Children

November 14, 2014

More and more these days, retired clients want to provide financial help to an adult child in his or her 30s, 40s or 50s. That child may have lost a job during the recession, gotten divorced or need help paying for a child’s college education. The problem is, the parents are often in a somewhat precarious […]

Read the full article →

How Buyers Can Compete With All Cash Offers

October 27, 2014

Home buyers caught in a bidding war know that it’s hard to compete against an all-cash offer. Cash buyers accounted for 33% of all home purchases in June 2014, down from a peak of around 43% in late 2011 and early 2012. Cash purchases accounted for 46.5% of sales in the New York-Jersey City-White Plains, […]

Read the full article →

Go Big and Go Home – Jumbos Now Cheaper Than Conventional Mortgages

October 8, 2014

For home buyers, it can pay to go big.  In a twist on long-standing practices, interest rates on mortgages for pricier homes are now cheaper than mortgages that accompany lower-priced properties. That’s because interest rates on regular mortgages are largely set by the investors who buy the loans, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, […]

Read the full article →

Trusts: Use of Letters of Wishes Increasing

June 24, 2014

The looming threat of a sharp cut in the gift and estate-tax exemption spurred many wealthy families to set up trusts in a hurry in late 2012; as a result many trusts were put in place using cookie-cutter documents that could be executed quickly.  Now some families are doubling back to provide trustees with more detail […]

Read the full article →

The Most Valuable Assets To Leave To Your Heirs

June 12, 2014

As a general rule, Roth IRAs are good accounts to leave to loved ones. Distributions typically are tax-free, and if your heirs follow the rules, they can stretch distributions from a Roth over their lifetimes, allowing the bulk of the investment to continue growing tax-free. Other valuable assets to hand down are stocks, bonds and mutual […]

Read the full article →

Homeowners Increasingly Tap Home Equity

June 6, 2014

A rebound in house prices and near record low interest rates are prompting homeowners to borrow against their properties, marking the return of a practice that was all the rage before the financial crisis.  Home-equity lines of credit, or Helocs, and home-equity loans jumped 8% in the first quarter from a year earlier.  This year’s […]

Read the full article →

U.S. Backs Off Tight Mortgage Rules

May 15, 2014

Concerned about the slow-moving housing rebound and hurting the economy’s recovery, the Obama administration and federal regulators are reversing course on some of the biggest post-crisis efforts to tighten mortgage-lending standards. Now, mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are being directed to focus on making more credit available to homeowners—a U-turn from previous calls […]

Read the full article →

Wealth Effect Increases Vacation Home Sales

April 7, 2014

Sales of vacation homes are surging again, the result of rising wealth in higher income households and renewed confidence in the housing market. The number of second homes acquired for part-time personal use jumped 30% last year to 717,000 homes. Although the number of second homes sold last year is well short of the high point of […]

Read the full article →

New Tax Rules Cause Wealthy to Reduce Gifting

March 31, 2014

Large gifts that shrink an estate for tax purposes no longer make sense for many people now that the federal government taxes only estates larger than $5.34 million, or $10.68 million for couples. With that threshold (which adjusts for inflation and which Congress has called permanent) so high, many financial advisers recommend that their clients […]

Read the full article →