Our regularly updated blog discusses a variety of issues related to business, tax, and estate planning in California. Learn why an estate plan is necessary regardless of age or income, what steps you can take to reduce your tax liability and protect your assets, how to ensure your business remains on a solid legal foundation, and much more.

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  • In the News: 10 Ways to Prevent a Family Dispute Over Inheritance A complete estate plan does not simply provide for moving assets from one generation to the next. A complete estate plan will focus on the enlightened dreams that you have for the next generations and the people that you wish them to be even if you are not here to...
  • Tax Fraud Awareness: How to Protect Your Identity and Assets The IRS, taxpayers and tax preparers share a common enemy: identity thieves. We all have a part to play in the fight against tax-related identity theft. Your role starts by learning the mechanics and warning signs. From there, taxpayers can take proactive steps to protect their data online and at...
  • Spotlight on Business Tax Trends The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) is a nonpartisan Congressional committee that, among other things, assists in the analysis and drafting of proposed federal tax legislation and prepares reports that interpret newly enacted federal tax legislation. The JCT recently issued the Overview of the Federal Tax System as in Effect...
  • Get Ready Businesses: Some Filing Due Dates Are Changing Thanks to two laws that passed last year, the due dates have been changed for some information returns and related statements and for some business tax returns. Here's what you need to know. Two Laws Are Responsible for the Changes 1. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act. Enacted...
  • Year-End Reminder: Don't Forget FSAs The holidays can be a joyous — but hectic — time of year. While you're juggling shopping for gifts, decorating your home and planning get-togethers with friends and family, it's easy to forget to spend any remaining funds in your Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) before New Year's Day. However, if...
  • Year-End Tax Strategies for Small Businesses It's not too late to take steps to significantly reduce your 2016 business income tax bill and lay the groundwork for tax savings in future years. Here's a summary of some of the most effective year-end tax-saving moves for small businesses under the existing Internal Revenue Code. After President Obama...
  • Jeff Galvin Discusses Avoiding Estate Plan Disputes With John Goralka Jeff Galvin, a highly rated trust litigation attorney, discusses how to avoid family disputes during trust administration with John in this interview. Mr. Galvin is a partner at Downey Brand, LLP and represents clients in trust and estate litigation throughout Northern California. He advises trustees and executors who find themselves...
  • It's Time for Individuals to Plan for Taxes in 2016 and Beyond Year end is rapidly approaching. It's now time to consider making some moves that will lower your 2016 tax bill and get you into position for tax savings in future years. This article offers some year-end planning tips for individuals — while keeping the results of the recent election in...
  • Managing the Ups and Downs of Seasonal Businesses What do pumpkin patches, ski resorts, ice cream shops and accounting firms have in common? They're all seasonal businesses that experience a surge in revenues during their busy seasons that tapers off in the slow season. Seasonal peaks and troughs present challenges that require creative planning and fiscal prudence. Understand...
  • Drought-Affected Ranchers and Farmers Get Extension to Defer Taxes Parts of the nation have been suffering through a drought. The IRS recently announced that farmers and ranchers who previously were forced to sell livestock due to drought have an extended period of time in which to replace the livestock and defer tax on any gains from the forced sales....
  • Got Questions About the New Overtime Rule? The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division recently released some Q&As about the new federal overtime rule, which goes into effect on December 1, 2016. Under the final rule, the standard salary level used to determine whether executive, administrative, and professional (EAP) employees are eligible to receive overtime will...
  • In the News: Goralka Law Firm Selected as One of California's Top 20 Boutique Firms As published by Daily Journal, Goralka Law Firm was selected as one of the top 20 boutique law firms in California. Reminiscing his first day as a sole practitioner 20 years ago, John Goralka explains how he, as a single father had no choice but to bring his chicken-pox-afflicted children...