Novel Issue of Law Raised in ESOP Case That Pits Trustee Against Appraiser

January 13, 2020 | Court Rulings, Valuations

Remy v. Lubbock Nat’l Bank A fairly routine ESOP case that is being litigated in the 4th Circuit has raised a novel legal issue in this jurisdiction as to the financial liability of co-fiduciaries and nonfiduciaries, including the ESOP appraiser. The plaintiffs in the main case sued the defendant, Lubbock National Bank (Lubbock), over its  Continue Reading »


Bad News About Self-Created Intangibles

January 6, 2020 | Deductions, IRS Regulation, Tax Planning

Maine has seen an increase in startups and technology-based companies, especially around the Portland area. Many — if not most — went through a process that included designs, models and patents that helped bring their respective idea to market. For a long time, those self-created intangible assets qualified as capital assets, and, thusly, qualified for  Continue Reading »


Parties Fight Over Notes-Containing Expert Report: Draft or Final Version?

December 30, 2019 | Court Rulings

County of Maricopa v. Office Depot Inc. Several sessions at the recent AICPA conference in Las Vegas highlighted the importance of expert discovery in litigation and noted that draft reports continue to be a hot-button issue. A recent contract dispute, litigated in federal court, in which the defendant tried to exclude the opposing expert for  Continue Reading »


FAQs about Home Office Deductions

December 23, 2019 | IRS Regulation, Tax Planning, Tax Preparation

There are many perks of working from home, including the tax deduction available to many taxpayers who have a home office. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has effectively eliminated the long-standing home office deduction through 2025. But if you are self-employed, there are still some deductions you may be able to take  Continue Reading »


Tax Court’s Amazon Valuation Ruling Stands Up to 9th Circuit Scrutiny

December 16, 2019 | Court Rulings, Tax Planning, Valuations

Amazon.com, Inc. v. Commissioner The 9th Circuit recently affirmed the U.S. Tax Court’s 2017 decision in favor of Amazon in this key transfer pricing case, finding the governing regulations limited the definition of “intangible” to independently transferable assets. This interpretation supported the Tax Court’s favoring the comparable uncontrolled transaction (CUT) method over the discounted cash  Continue Reading »


What Employers Should Know about HSAs

December 9, 2019 | Business Plans, IRS Regulation, Tax Planning, Tax Preparation

With unemployment at record lows — both here in Maine and across the nation — retaining and attracting employees is a high priority for many business owners. So as the year winds down and you look ahead to 2020, one way you can address this issue is by improving your employee benefits, which may include  Continue Reading »


In Gatekeeper Role, Court Trains Attention on Expert Methodology, Not Conclusions

December 2, 2019 | Court Rulings, Valuations

Acosta v. Wilmington Trust In this ESOP litigation, both parties tried to exclude the opposing side’s valuation expert testimony under Rule 702 and Daubert. The court noted that, at this stage in the proceedings, its focus was on whether the experts applied reliable principles and methods, not on the experts’ conclusions. This case serves as  Continue Reading »


FAQs About Self-Employment Tax

November 25, 2019 | IRS Regulation, Tax Preparation

It’s not uncommon for folks here in Portland and all across Maine to be self-employed. Those who are probably pay the self-employment (SE) tax. But people who do the occasional odd job or only collect income for one-off circumstances may not have to pay the SE tax. If this type of work applies to you,  Continue Reading »


Court Explains Treatment of Undistributed Earnings in Valuing Law Firm Partnership Interest

November 18, 2019 | Court Rulings, Divorce Litigation, Valuations

Burchfield v. Burchfield Among a host of issues, this Virginia divorce case, which included a prominent Washington, D.C., lawyer and his estranged wife, raised an important valuation question related to the husband’s partnership interest in the firm: Whether undistributed earnings were includible in the marital property, as the wife’s expert claimed, or whether they were  Continue Reading »


How to Reduce the Tax Hit on Soon-to-Be-Developed Land

November 11, 2019 | Financial Planning, Tax Planning

Here in the greater Portland area, real estate prices are increasing and development is booming — which is good news for owners of underdeveloped or underutilized land. But if you’re among those who are looking to sell, develop or subdivide a highly appreciated property, it could result in an astronomical tax bill. However, there are  Continue Reading »