The Attorney-CPA Weekly Update
Dec. 15, 2010

CCH partnership news -- 60 percent off selected titles in December!
AAA-CPA members will enjoy exclusive savings on the selected titles through 12-30-2010:


AAA-CPA member and Australia make debut at World Money Show

AAA-CPA member Robert Scharar is once again touting the virtues of Australia to interested U.S. investors. Scharar has been tapped by the World Money Show as a featured speaker at the Feb. 9-12, 2011 three-day event in Orlando, Fla. As Fund Manager of the Commonwealth Australia/New Zealand Fund, the only U.S. fund to focus exclusively on Australia and New Zealand, he will present "What's Up Down Under? Australia's Boom. A Look at Growth in the Pacific Rim".


Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)-SSN; Attorney Reg. number; Driver's License -- and now another number that you may need by Jan. 1, 2011
Alan E. Weiner, CPA, JD, LL.M, Holtz Rubenstein Reminick LLP
Reprinted with permission from The Suffolk Lawyer (published by the Bar Association of Suffolk County) and The Nassau Lawyer (published by the Bar Association of Nassau County)

The theme of this article is an alert to any attorney (AND his/her employees) who, on and after Jan. 1, 2011, prepares any type of tax return (estate, gift, fiduciary, individual and other types of tax returns) and gets paid for doing so. The PTIN registration is a mandatory requirement for all such preparers (whether or not he/she will be the person signing the tax return). The article explains the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reasoning and it is a "how to" for securing the PTIN online (which gives immediate gratification, i.e., a PTIN almost simultaneously with the online filing, in most instances) or via a paper application (which can take 4-6 weeks before receiving the PTIN). Even attorneys who already have a PTIN under the old system must go through a re-registration (called "refreshing") process.More

Joseph Cordell's, Esq., CPA latest book now available: 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce
Each year 500,000 American men will face divorce -- and in the process, most of them will make at least one really stupid mistake. At first these missteps might seem inconsequential. They might be as trivial or well-intentioned as "moving out while this gets sorted out," or thinking of "temporary" orders as being truly temporary. But however well-intentioned or insignificant they might seem at the time, these blunders can lose a man his house, his income, or even his kids.

The fact is that most men know next to nothing about what goes into deciding a divorce in a court of law. And it ends up costing them.


Tax deal passes Senate test vote
The Boston Globe
A bipartisan bloc of senators easily propelled President Obama's tax cut compromise over a key procedural hurdle, clearing the way for a final Senate vote, and setting the stage for a potential showdown among divided Democrats in the House.More

Obama estate tax deal would chill estate planning
Forbes (blog)
On Dec. 6 President Obama announced that he has reached a deal with Republicans regarding the estate tax and other Bush Tax Cuts. Under the deal, the repeal of the estate tax in 2010 would not be extended. The estate tax would be revived, but not as it is scheduled.More

The state of the estate tax
The Wall Street Journal
A deal by President Barack Obama and top Republicans, which seems likely to pass Congress before Christmas, has a double dose of good news for the wealthy: a low 35 percent top rate on estate taxes and a high $5 million exemption per individual -- plus new ways to plan around the tax.More

Planning required to reap full benefit of proposed estate tax deal
The primary focus of extending the Bush-era tax cuts has been to spare Americans a tax hike at the end of the year. But the proposed estate tax that raises the limit on assets that can be protected from taxation is getting increased attention and threatening to derail the two-year deal crafted by President Obama and Congressional Republicans.More

Estate planning RIP, but nursing home marriages may blossom
Forbes (blog)
According to The Trust Advisor Blog, (Advisors Predict Obama Tax Deal Will Hurt Trust Business) Obama's proposed 35 percent estate tax and $5 million exemption has a lot of financial planners freaking out because there is a good chance that a hunk of their business is about to dry up. Apparently many people, whose estates are under the $5 million exemption for singles and $10 million for married couples, will probably skip going to a tax attorney or financial planner in the coming years.More

Should you pay a relative to take care of mom?
The Wall Street Journal
Growing numbers of families are compensating relatives who serve as caregivers to elders. But to avoid exacerbating tensions, it is important to disclose such arrangements to the entire family. According to a report by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 43.5 million Americans looked after a friend or relative age 50 or older in 2009, 28 percent more than in 2004. In a survey conducted for Home Instead Senior Care, a home-care franchiser, nearly 7 percent of respondents said they receive compensation for providing care to a relative.More

Trusts may be efficient tool in estate planning
Liberty Tax Service
Estate planning can be a tedious process, especially for consumers who have significant assets, portfolios and properties to leave to heirs. This lengthy process is complicated by uncertainty surrounding estate taxes and how they will be modified in 2011. Last year's 45 percent tax rate and $3.5 million exemption expired at the end of 2009. Currently, there are no estate taxes.More