The Attorney-CPA Weekly Update
Nov. 24, 2010

AAA-CPA office closings
Please note that the AAA-CPA office will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov. 26 in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday. We will reopen at 8:30 a.m. EST on Monday, Nov. 29.More

Join the AAA-CPA Google Group listserv
Have practice questions, need some advice, or need a referral? The AAA-CPA proprietary listserv helps solve and identify problems for scores of members every day. The AAA-CPA Google Group listserv is a member benefit. Not a current member of the listserv? JOIN TODAY.

"The listserv alone makes membership in the AAA-CPA a bargain. Members of the AAA-CPA are a savvy group. When you have a question that you just cannot answer -- post it to the listserv. You will receive correct, thoughtful, and prompt responses from members, who in many instances were involved in the relevant case or advised Congress when the applicable law was passed.

One member commented, "If the answer to one question a year saves me one hour of unbillable research, I have paid for my AAA-CPA membership. And I ask many more questions than one a year."

One recent question posted to the listserv: "Same members have formed another LLC to buy $2 million worth of equipment before year end which will be financed and leased to operating LLC. New LLC is set up for liability protection. Client wants to take 179 deduction and bonus depreciation to generate large deduction to offset income from operating company. Issues: In order for new LLC to take 179 deduction, they must have income. What is operating LLC pays them up front rent for use of machinery? Non-corporate taxpayer can't take 179 deduction is it is just leasing equipment. We could have new LLC make S-election but then members do not get basis for loans. Therefore, they will have basis up to income but can't generate loss. Any thoughts?"

Within 24 hours this member had several responses back from members nationwide.

Disclaimer: This list is provided as a service of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants. AAA-CPA accepts no responsibility for the opinions and information posted on this site by others.More

Affinity Spotlight: CALL RUBY

Two years ago, the AAA-CPA entered into a partnership with Ruby Receptionists. Ruby is the bright and cheerful team of virtual receptionists trained to make a difference in your day. From their studio in Portland, Oregon, they handle your calls with care -- using your custom greeting and screening or announcing your calls. At Ruby, there are no canned speeches of conversation. They deliver the perfect mix of friendliness, charm, can-do attitude and professionalism. Best of all, your callers will think they work in your office. Our ultimate goal is to make you look good. What better time to try Ruby out then the Holiday season?

Why people love them:

"Our five-person firm in New York City has been using Ruby since early 2010, and we are very happy with our decision to make them a part of our team. When someone is unavailable to take a call, Ruby politely and professionally takes the caller's message and immediately sends an e-mail to my Blackberry or a staff person's computer. When I am working at home or just out of the office, I see my Ruby messages on my Blackberry within five minutes and I can respond immediately, forward and delegate to another staff member, or save the message for another day. Ruby will play a critical role in our firm as we utilize new technologies and become more mobile in the coming decade." -- Michael Breslin, The Fulserv Group

"Our firm practices in a very compassionate area of law -- probate, wills, trusts, and planning. It is vital to our branding to have a friendly-but-professional live person answer our phones. Ruby Receptionists picks up our calls just as if they were sitting at our front desk handing out cookies." -- Merrell Bailey, Bailey Zobel Pilcher

From a remote location, Ruby offers all the benefits of having a personal, on-site receptionist at a fraction of the cost. They'll answer your phone with your custom greeting. They'll screen, announce, and transfer your calls anywhere. They'll take your messages, offer voicemail, and answer your callers' questions with care. As a Ruby preferred partner, AAA-CPA members receive their first thirty days at no cost, and enjoy a 10 percent discount off of their monthly service. Visit them online at:

Statement on UBS/Voluntary Disclosure Program
Doug Shulman
The following are remarks that the AAA-CPA IRS Liaison Committee is passing along on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These are IRS Commissioner Shulman's remarks on the UBS case and Voluntary Disclosure Program (attached).

Today, I'm pleased to announce the IRS has withdrawn the John Doe Summons in the UBS AG matter. We are taking this action in light of our success in obtaining the account holder information we sought through the summons and obtained under the August 2009 agreement with the Swiss government and UBS. We appreciate the help and assistance of the Swiss government and UBS during this process.More

The limits of securitization: Why bankruptcy courts should substantively consolidate predatory sub-prime mortgage originators and their special purpose entities
Esq., CPA, Brackett & Ellis, PC, Ft. Worth, Texas
Originally published in 2008 MICH. ST. L. REV. 913

During 2007 and 2008, dozens of sub-prime mortgage lenders shut their doors and declared bankruptcy, fueling a global financial crisis centered on the United States housing market. The fallout of the sub-prime mortgage lending market has adversely impacted global credit markets, currency markets, as well as domestic and international stock markets. This global credit crunch is a byproduct of investor fears that nontraditional mortgages will suffer significant defaults, thus significantly increasing expected delinquency and foreclosure rates. Unfortunately, investors' greatest fears have come true.More

Estate taxes: How to beat the levy that won't die
The Wall Street Journal
An elderly client recently asked Bruce Bettigole, an attorney with Gilmore, Rees & Carlson in Wellesley Hills, Mass., whether her children would inherit her considerable estate if she committed suicide this year. His response: "I took a long, hard look at her, and said, 'I'm going to make believe I didn't hear that question.'" More

Estate planning in the current environment
Forbes blog
When the Federal estate tax returns, it will do so with a unified credit of only $1,000,000, unless Congress acts to increase it. Every individual can pass property of a value up to the up to the unified credit free of Federal estate tax. A unified credit of only $1,000,000 makes it especially important to make full use of each individual's unified credit.More

Expiring tax laws provide estate planning opportunities -- 2010 and beyond
The estate tax laws are currently in a state of uncertainty, which presents challenges for estate planning but also may present significant opportunities. Under tax laws adopted ten years ago, the estate tax exemption amount increased substantially over the past decade up to $3.5 million last year, until the estate tax was entirely eliminated for this year. More

Bush tax cuts: Cutting through the noise
CNN Money
On Nov. 30, President Obama will meet with House and Senate leaders of both parties to will meet formally to negotiate the terms of extending the Bush tax cuts. At the very least, both parties want to ensure that the tax cuts are preserved for lower- and middle-income families. But that's about the only thing they agree on at the moment.More

FTC takes on debt collectors
The Wall Street Journal
Laws aimed at protecting families of those who have died in debt are drawing fire from consumer advocates fearful that the floodgates to aggressive collection tactics will swing open instead. A Federal Trade Commission proposal provides guidance on how collectors must identify who is responsible for the deceased person's estate and how they must contact him or her.More

Tax Tips: So you think your power-of-attorney has you covered?
The Annapolis Capital
It could be argued that a properly drafted power-of-attorney could be the most important document that you have in your overall estate and financial plan. For example, if you were to die without a will (not a good idea) the state would step in and prescribe how your assets will be distributed -- usually to closest family members based on state laws.More

Is the long-term care insurance market sick?
Reuters blog
This might not be what the insurance industry had in mind when it proclaimed November to be National Long-Term Care Awareness Month: MetLife, one of the industry's biggest players, decided to drop out of the market. "I'd like there to be something I could comfortably recommend to my client," says Harry S. Margolis, an attorney specializing in elder law and founder of ElderLawAnswers. "This is what the premium is and this is what the benefit is and it's not going to change. But it's not there."More