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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  • Remember to Take Your Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) By April 1st to Avoid IRS Penalties and Consider the Use of Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) for Your Withdrawals Did you know that, once you turn age 70½, you must start taking mandatory annual withdrawals from your traditional IRAs, including any simplified employee pension (SEP) accounts and SIMPLE IRAs that you set up as a small business owner? These mandatory IRA payouts are called required minimum distributions (RMDs). And...
  • Consider Section 179 Deductions for Real Estate Expenses The Section 179 deduction for qualified real property expenses was made permanent under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. However, claiming this deduction isn't a no-brainer. Here are the pros and cons. Section 179 Deductions: The Basics The Sec. 179 deduction allows you to write off...
  • Estate and Income Tax Update Is this the Beginning of Estate Tax Repeal? President Trump ran on a platform seeking repeal of the estate tax. On January 24, 2017, Congresswoman Kristin Noem (Republican-South Dakota) along with congressman Sanford Bishop (Democrat-Georgia) and others, introduced H.R. 631 in the House, which if enacted, would repeal the estate...
  • Guidance on California's End of Life Option Act: John Goralka and Kiran Dhillon Author Los Angeles Lawyer Article After a number of delays, California's End of Life Option Act (the Act) became effective in June 2016.1 Only a few states have either legislatively or judicially approved an end of life or death with dignity option: Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Montana,2 and California. The Act is not without controversy. Some...
  • IRS Updates FAQs on Certain ACA Provisions The Trump Administration and the Republican majority in Congress plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the coming months. In the meantime, however, employers must continue to comply with the existing rules for 2016, including the information reporting requirements and shared responsibility provisions. The IRS previously...
  • 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...