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By Allison Franz on August 13, 2018

Divorce can be a messy and hard-to-negotiate process, and the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may make that process even more difficult for couples with its abolishment of tax deductions on alimony payments.  Before the TCJA, alimony payers could deduct payments that met the tax-law definition of alimony for federal income tax purpose, and alimony payment recipients always had to pay income tax on those payments.  Now, for alimony payments required under divorce or separation instruments that are executed after December 31st, 2018, the deduction will be eliminated, and recipients of the affected payments will no longer have to include them as taxable income. With December 31st looming on the not-so-distant horizon, the pressure will be on some divorcing couples to finalize their divorces before the new rules on alimony deductions take effect in 2019, but for others, delaying a divorce until the new law takes effect may prove more beneficial.

By Allison Franz on July 11, 2018

Everyone knows that buying a home can be expensive, but many don’t even think about the cost of selling.  Home sellers often have a plan for the proceeds from their house long before the house goes on the market—a new home, a new car, maybe a vacation—and knowledge of the major costs of selling a house can help sellers properly budget the proceeds in preparation for paying more fees than they probably would have imagined.

By Allison Franz on July 2, 2018

The Internet has transformed the national economy in recent years as America has gradually become a nation of online shoppers. E-commerce offers a number of appealing perks: low prices, stay-at-home convenience, a myriad of choices, and—until now—sales tax-free purchasing.

By Allison Franz on June 25, 2018

In a time when the number of U.S. cell phones is bigger than the number of U.S. citizens, the Supreme Court took a major step towards defending the privacy of the millions of cell phone users in the United States. In Carpenter v. United States, a 5-to-4 decision on June 22, 2018, the Court ruled that a warrant is generally required to gain access to cell phone location data. The ruling goes a long way towards ensuring Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights, which protect individuals from unreasonable search and seizure.

By Danielle DeJoseph on June 5, 2018

Federal tax law has a longstanding history of providing tax deductions for alimony, or spousal maintenance – a trend that was recently broken by the Trump administration. For court decrees and alimony agreements entered into after December 31, 2018, alimony payments are no longer deductible. Divorce agreements entered into on or before December 31, 2018 remain unaffected. However, the new tax legislation does not specifically refer to prenuptial agreements, so how the law affects such agreements remains unclear; there has been some growing concern that the new tax code will confound existing prenuptial agreements.

By William Lorenz, Jr. on May 31, 2018

The costs associated with bringing a lawsuit can add up very quickly, and are not always justified.  Every client believes they have the winning hand at the beginning of litigation.  However, after commencing an action and enduring paper discovery, depositions, and motion practice – a process that can take years – a client may begin to have doubts about the strength of their case.  Such doubts can arise even on the eve of trial, after a considerable amount of time and money has been spent preparing for court.  Rather than wait for such a feeling to occur, a client would do well to consider the advantages of bifurcating their case.

By Michael Reiser on March 29, 2018

Considerations Regarding Tax Burden Allocations Among Members & Owners

In forming your business, considerations regarding control or transferability of interest and the like may be at the forefront of your mind, and tax considerations may be relegated to the backseat.  However, choosing between different non-tax options can result in different tax outcomes for your business.  You can meet your non-tax options and goals with creative solutions, while at the same time being cognizant of the tax implications of those choices so as to keep the tax burden as low as possible.

Income Tax Implications of an S-Corp versus an LLC

By Pia Perfetto on March 22, 2018

In the realm of family law, grandparents have certain legal rights in regard to custody and visitation of their grandchildren. The overarching term to describe the process of becoming a legal caregiver for a child that is not biologically your own is called kinship care. Grandparents can seek temporary and permanent custody of children who are their blood relatives if the parents are unable to nurture in the best interests of the child. The broad purpose of placing a child with a suitable family member is to avoid placement of that child in the non-relative foster care system.

By Serena Mott on March 15, 2018

Rental agreements in New York State are likely to require a security deposit in order to be eligible to lease a property. The purpose of the deposit is to ensure that the landlord is protected in cases where the tenant does damage to the property or does not make their monthly payments. Many can speak to an experience where they have not gotten part or all of their security deposit back and were not given an explanation as to why. By knowing and understanding your rights as a tenant with regard to your security deposit, you can take the necessary steps and precautions to make sure that your deposit is returned in full.

Landlord-Tenant Issues

March 8, 2018

Starting a new business is a complex venture. The process may seem almost overwhelming, but an experienced attorney can guide you through it, offering invaluable support. An attorney can be helpful in just about every area of starting a business. Their expertise can be vital in matters of zoning, municipal compliance, copyright/trademark issues, articles of incorporation, licensing agreements, employee termination, investment banking, and future lawsuits and corporate liability. An attorney can help you answer some of the tough questions associated with starting a business.

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