Archived Articles

Commentator – Winter 2017 PDF icon (2)

Vol. 29, Issue 1

A message from Ralph Castelli
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
In this time of change, the two things that remain certain are death and taxes.
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Appealing Taxes on Newly Acquired Property
By Jeremy R. Cnudde
Assessments cannot follow sales.  If you have ever attempted to appeal or renegotiate your property tax assessment following a recent purchase of real estate, you most likely have heard this phrase.  It is a favorite, yet often misunderstood, retort of local property tax assessors.  What does this really mean?
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Insider Trading Gap Closed
By Stuart Sinai
The Supreme Court recently took on the issue of whether leaking information even for nothing in return, i.e., making a gift of material non-public information to a relative or friend, is sufficient to support a criminal conviction of both the tipper and the tippee.
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Commentator ALERT – December 2016  PDF icon (2)

‘Tis the Season for Leaving a Legacy!
By Jeremy R. Cnudde
It’s hard to believe that December is already here and the Holiday Season has begun. We are just a few short weeks until the end of the year, and the end of your opportunity to benefit from a bit of charitable good will.
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Commentator – Fall 2016  PDF icon (2)

Vol. 28, Issue 4

Estate Planning: Wealth Transfer Advantages May Require Prompt Action
By William B. Acker
Two recent proposals would if implemented potentially greatly increase the federal tax cost of transferring wealth to sons, daughters and other beneficiaries.
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Salary Requirements Significantly Increase For Exempt Employees on 12/01/2016
By Mark R. Filipp
Employees that fit within an exemption, (typically executive, administrative and professional employees) and are paid a sufficient salary, do not have to be paid overtime under federal law.
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Employee Military Service
By Thomas L. Boyer
The rights of employees to a leave of absence for military service and to return to their jobs is governed by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).  USERRA provides leaves of absence and reemployment rights to members of the armed forces including the National Guard and Reserves who temporarily leave their civilian jobs to perform military duty.
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Recent Changes in Adoptions
By Kevin J. McGiness and Elisabeth D. Brin
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell in the summer of 2016 was a change in how the U.S., as a whole, was to legally view same-sex marriages. As a result of this decision, the U.S. Constitution is now interpreted as requiring all states to recognize and uphold a marriage between people of the same-sex.  The logistics and overall impact of the Obergefell ruling are not easily apparent. The task of changing or reinterpreting legislation to reflect such a decision, and the case law to follow, provide a daunting task ahead for all involved. Included in that task is dealing with same-sex couple adoptions.
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IRS Viewpoint of the Tax Treatment of Crowdfunding
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
I remember Professor Geoffrey Lanning in my first tax law course in law school, explaining that a base premise under the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) is that gross income includes all amounts received from any source, unless there is a specific exclusion provided elsewhere in the Code. Crowdfunding is a recent phenomenon in which one engages in the funding of a project or cause by gathering on-line contributions, many of them small, from a large group of contributors.
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Commentator – Summer 2016  PDF icon (2)

Vol. 28, Issue 3

A message from Ralph Castelli
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
Every year on July 4th, we take time to celebrate and appreciate the birth of our country.  Such an exciting and great beginning is worth all the fireworks, for sure.  The U.S.A. did not just come into being from a vacuum, though.  As we know, many people put in a lot of effort, sometimes even their lives, and many other factors had to come together just so.
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The Funeral Representative Act
By Joseph P. Buttiglieri
A new law became effective in Michigan on June 27, 2016 that allows an individual to name a funeral representative.  A funeral representative is a person with the authority to make decisions regarding final arrangements and the resting place of the decedent after death.
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Six Legal Issues that Founders Must Get Right
By Richard C. Bruder
Founders must get these legal issues right, in order for their Company to have the best chance of success…
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Commentator – Spring 2016  PDF icon (2)

Vol. 28, Issue 2

A message from Ralph Castelli
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
Did you know Benjamin Franklin is usually the one who is credited for saying nothing is certain except death and taxes?  Of course, there are other things we can say with certainty.  For example, I am certain that April 8th (Tigers’ Opening Day) comes before April 18th (this year’s Tax Day).  We get Mr. Franklin’s point, though, and so does the IRS.
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New Estate Tax Filing Requirements – Form 8971
By Brain R. Jenney
The IRS has issued a new Form 8971 “Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property From a Decedent” and instructions.  This increases the duties of a personal representative or executor of a decedent’s estate. Form 8971 is required to be filed if an estate has to file an estate tax return under Form 706 after July 31, 2015.
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Recent Federal Tax Updates
By Gloria M. Chon 
With tax season fast approaching (sorry), we would like to highlight a few recent tax updates that you may want to consider while you prepare and review your tax returns.
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