Archive for the ‘Thursday Reports’ Category

The Thursday Report – 12.19.13 – Same Sex Cookies for Rookies

Posted on: December 19th, 2013

Colonel Sanders Christmas Albums – Colonel Sanders is Coming to Town

Ugly Sweater Contest

How to Get Your Firm’s Share of the $6.05 Billion Class Action Settlement for Merchants Who Accepted Visa and Mastercard from 2004 to Present

16 States and Counting: Changes to the Article on Counseling Same Sex Couples

Medical Practice Wisdom by Dr. Pariksith Singh – Part 1 – Why Have a Strong Compliance Program in Place?

Seminar Announcements: Ave Maria School of Law Estate Planning Conference and The Florida Bar Leadership Academy Conference

Fried Chicken Cookies for Christmas

Basic Asset Protection for Doctors – Part 1 of a 3 Part Series by Alan Gassman

Do You Tweet?  The Florida Department of Revenue Does!

Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog: Before the Wedding: 3 Legal Points Every Parent Should Know (Or Why a Prenuptial Agreement May Be a Smart Idea)

Passing the Bar in 1776

We welcome contributions for future Thursday Report topics. If you are interested in making a contribution as a guest writer, please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

 This report and other Thursday Reports can be found on our website at www.gassmanlawassociates.com.

Colonel Sanders Christmas Albums – Colonel Sanders is Coming to Town

Colonel Christmas

We all knew how Colonel Sanders loved to share his chicken with the world, but we didn’t know about his love of spreading holiday cheer.  From 1967 to 1969, KFC released three Christmas albums. These albums featured popular artists of the time singing Christmas music. The three albums are Christmas Eve with Colonel Sanders (1967), Christmas Day with Colonel Sanders (1968), and Christmas with Colonel Sanders (1969). Unfortunately, Colonel Sanders’ taste of music was not as good as his fried chicken. BuzzFeed rated Christmas with Colonel Sanders as the 38th worst Christmas album of all time. Rounding out the top five worst Christmas albums are Roseanne Barr Sings the Christmas Classics at number five, The Freakscene Christmas Album at four, Conway Twitty comes in at number three with his album A Twismas Story, Twisted Sister with A Twisted Christmas at number two and the number one worst Christmas album was David Hasselhoff’s, The Night Before Christmas.  The only thing worse than that was last week’s edition of the Thursday Report.  Click here to see the entire list of awful Christmas albums.

The United States isn’t the only place Colonel Sanders brings cheer to. When it comes to Christmas in Japan, Colonel Sanders is the guy dressed up in the red suit, not Santa. Turkey isn’t common in Japan, and few people own ovens big enough to cook a large bird. In 1974, when people couldn’t find turkey on Christmas day, they opted for fried chicken. It has become a Christmas tradition in Japan. Sounds like a very merry Christmas for Colonel Claus!

We think some of the best holiday songs are “We Wish Every Thursday Could be Christmas” by Mel Connick, Jr. and “Wish Every Christmas Could Be on a Thursday” by Hank Williams and Al Jolson!

Ugly Sweater Contest

 Ugly Sweater with Colonel Head

Join our ugly sweater contest.  This year on December 24, 2013 our staff will wear their ugliest Christmas sweaters and any other ugly clothes they might have.  Please send pictures of your whole office staff and of each individual so that we can see who wins buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken that you can put the sweaters into after you’re done with the chicken.

Our firm personally challenges Phil Rarick’s firm in a contest that can be decided by subscribers to the Thursday Report on Thursday, December 26, 2013.

How to Get Your Firm’s Share of the $6.05 Billion Class Action Settlement for Merchants Who Accepted Visa and Mastercard from 2004 to Present

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York has approved a class action settlement suit with an initial fund of $6.05 billion to be distributed among businesses and other entities that accepted Visa or Mastercard charges any time between January 1, 2004 and November 28, 2012.

Clients and colleagues are already receiving deceptive advertisements provided by non-lawyer services that invite the recipient to sign up for a “free registration” whereby the illicit sign up service will receive a percentage of the settlement for doing almost nothing.

The court has not yet released or approved a claim form, but we will keep our readers posted on this important development.

The Class Settlement can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

16 States and Counting: Changes to the Article on Counseling Same Sex Couples

In the October 17th Edition of The Thursday Report, we featured a draft of our article “Counseling Same Sex Couples in a Post-DOMA America.” Since the last publication, three states, Illinois, New Jersey, and Hawaii, have made it legal for same sex couples to get married in their jurisdiction.

As the number of states that allow same sex marriages rise, it becomes increasingly important for practitioners to consider the many aspects of the legal profession that are changing and evolving as a result of the new legislation. To read the new and improved article please click here.

Medical Practice Wisdom by Dr. Pariksith Singh – Part 2 of a Multi-Part Series featuring Dr. Pariksith Singh – Why Should One Have a Strong Compliance Program in Place? 

Singh with saying

This is a continuation of a multiple part series featuring the writings of Dr. Pariksith Singh, who is a leading physician, practice and medical business operator and thinker from Spring Hill, Florida – some call it Singh Hill, Florida.

The reasons are many:

1)         It is the right thing to do. It gives peace of mind to everyone in the company, and it is a cultural shift towards quality patient care.

2)         It keeps everyone safe. Health Care providers should be getting paid every penny that they deserve. When this attitude is instilled in every provider and employee, it creates a balance between greed and fear and brings in a safety check to aggressive coding and billing into the workplace. Compliance is the first line of defense against audits and/or lawsuits.

3)         It can make everyone more profitable. Compliance makes certain that a providers goal towards more profit is correctly and ethically achieved.

4)         It is (or should be) the standard that everyone will run their businesses by.

5)         It is the best way to take care of patients. When patients know that they are coming to a facility that places a premium on quality and compliance, they will learn to respect the provider and practice even more and cooperate with the processes, which in turn produces more money!

6)         It is an opportunity and a challenge. The practices that make compliance the standard of care shall be at the forefront of the new shift in health care and shall reap the most benefit. Compliance is business strategy.

7)         It fulfills something deep within us, a need to be good, to be right, to be charitable and conscientious (somewhat akin to Maslow’s fifth level of self-actualization).

8)         It improves communication among the employees and with the patients.

How can a provider group be compliant?

1)         By educating every employee about it. Compliance starts at the top. If the CEO or the person at the top does not believe in it or only wishes to pay lip-service, an organization will be unable to start the ball rolling. It is perhaps better to have no compliance than to have compliance mechanisms in place that are not followed.

2)         By empowering and requiring every employee to immediately inform their superiors anytime someone or something is out of compliance so that it can be fixed immediately. With constant re-enforcement this will eventually become a habit.

3)         By meaning what one says and saying what one means. Communication encouraging compliance should not just be sending e-mails and circulars around.  It should be real and effective communication in which superiors enforce compliance impartially and objectively.

4)         By auditing and re-auditing oneself. Do not be afraid to audit yourself. Just think, it is way better that it is you other than someone from an outside coming in when you have no choice in the matter. Even by being totally open to outside audits from business affiliates (e.g., from HMOs) has its perks, for an organization can use their help, knowledge, and resources as a learning process. By questioning, researching, networking, an organization can assure that it is on the cutting edge of newest changes in health care. Transparency of the system is key.

5)         By honing company processes to perfection. There are two components to compliance: the process and the people. The process should be accountable and accessible. And it should go to the very source of diagnostic criteria, such as ICD-9s, CPT coding, etc.

6)         By creating a system that is intelligent, responsive, and oriented towards patient safety and care. This can be established by being obsessively focused on patient results and care. Integrity is everything.

7)         By making compliance real-time and hands on. In my practice, each chart completed by the provider is reviewed by a coder who makes sure that the “I”s are dotted and the “t”s are crossed before billing goes out. If there are any discrepancies, they are immediately brought to the attention of the provider who either has to justify it or fix it. Any change to the chart should be made within 24 to 48 hours and documented as such.

8)         By showing the people who made an error what the error was and fixing it, one reduces the chances of it recurring. Never let anyone lie, fudge or change documents. It is best to be open about an error than to try to conceal it within or without the company.

9)         By fixing things again and again until it becomes ingrained as a habit in each employee and in each process.

10)       By making compliance the cornerstone of the company. Compliance is not just about rules or arcane laws; it is a culture, a way of thinking, and feeling. It is not just about billing and coding but about every rule in the book, including HIPAA laws, OSHA rules, anti-kickback, and Stark laws.

11)       By making compliance a department of its own.  One that is not involved in daily management, human resources, billing or any other activity. However, it still requires monitoring to insure that every activity and everyone fully conforms to the law. Compliance needs to report directly to the CEO and is answerable to the CEO ultimately. Compliance cannot report to human resources or administration, for the fox cannot mind the coop.

12)       The overall policy should be to take compliance very seriously as the market gets tougher. Compliance is really about quality control. The emphasis should be to be the very best. The compliance officer should behave in a manner that is above reproach, be as fair as humanly possible, and try to create objective criteria with which to evaluate a physician or office. The rules should be for everyone, including compliance officers and personnel.

13)       Employees should be comfortable coming to compliance officers and voicing their concerns. Confidentiality has to be maintained.  The employees should be listened to with respect, and their concerns should not be made light of or ignored. Listening to employees, vendors, and patients is key. Many for disasters could have been averted if someone at the top had listened and acted on the concerns of the employees.

14)       A sign indicating the practice’s commitment to compliance should ideally be posted in each room and on each notice board. Do it right from the first step, and keep it simple. Providers should create a basic compliance manual which can be used to train and as a reference. Furthermore, they should use the help of experts who have experience in the business when in doubt. As many of your attorneys will inform you, ignorance of law is no excuse.

15)       Insist on better record keeping, proper documentation, appropriate billing, and the right coding. Let compliance begin before the patient walks through the door and continue after the patient walks out.

These are only broad guidelines. Details may differ according to the size, scope, and structure of the practice. In the final analysis, compliance should inspire, enable, and promote a higher standard. It should challenge everyone to stretch beyond the status quo. Compliance is a great facilitator if patients always come first.

A Poem by Dr. Singh – see his poetry for children website by clicking here

Aspiring to reach the sky

I become the sky

Reaching to hold the rose

I bloom

Dreaming, I grow into that

Which I ardently seek

Seminar Announcements

Friday, April 25, 2015 – Ave Maria School of Law Estate Planning Conference in Naples

March 15, 2014 – The Florida Bar Leadership Academy Conference in Tampa

AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW ESTATE PLANNING CONFERENCE

Estate Planners – plan for a great Friday and weekend in Naples, Florida on Friday, April 25, 2014.

The Ave Maria School of Law will be hosting the inaugural conference of the Ave Maria School of Law Estate Planning Conference.

Lile, Nelson

Laird Lile and Barry Nelson are mainstay pillars of the tax, estate planning and trust community in Florida.  Laird Lile has published many articles on estate and trust topics and has frequently lectured on the same topics.  One of our favorite recent past law clerks Sydney Smith works for Laird, and Barry is renowned for running numbers and for his fantastic depth of detail, thought and analysis.  Please join Laird, Barry and the other speakers and attendees for what will be a very interesting, stimulating, and rewarding conference.

Thanks especially to Jonathan Gopman and his team in Naples for making this great cause an important reality.

Other speakers and topics include:

  • Florida’s New Decanting Statute;
  • Greg Holtz on Estate Planning Ethics;
  • Barry Nelson on Homestead Portability: Pitfalls, Opportunities, and Traps;
  • Jonathan Gopman and Kevin Carmichael on International Asset Protection;
  • Al W. King, III on Domestic Asset Protection; and
  • Bill Snyder on Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates.
  • Jerry Hesch and Alan Gassman on Using Estate Planning Techniques to Optimize Family Wealth Preservation

Please plan on attending this wonderful seminar at Ave Maria School of Law in beautiful Naples, Florida.

FLORIDA BAR LEADERSHIP ACADEMY – MARCH 15, 2014

IDEAS NEEDED!

On March 15, 2014, Alan Gassman will be speaking at The Florida Bar’s Leadership Academy program which was funded recently by the Young Lawyers Division of The Florida Bar to enable talented and promising Bar members to engage the Bar, their communities, and charitable and pro bono causes.

What are your stories and what is your advice on how to give back to the community, and how the community responds.

We are also designing a workshop exercise to help lawyers prioritize and decide what kind of causes to support when taking into account time, costs, and direct and indirect benefits to the community and others.

If you would like to help us develop this workshop exercise please let us know by emailing Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

Fried Chicken Cookies for Christmas

 Fried chicken cookies

 

While looking for the secret recipe to Colonel Sanders famous KFC chicken we came across this recipe for Fried Chicken Cookies that we thought we’d pass along to all of our fellow KFC lovers just in time to add to their Christmas cookie repertoire.  These would definitely be a hit at all of your cookie swaps!

Give them a try and send us a picture of your fried chicken cookies, but please send the cookies somewhere else!

Mix up your favorite sugar cookie recipe and create a chicken leg shaped cookie template.  Cut out your cookies and bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

When they are done and have cooled, outline the chicken leg in black royal icing with a #3 tip.

Thin the white & brown/gold icings (reserve a bit for later) with water, a little at a time, until it is the consistency of thick syrup.  Cover with a damp dishtowel and let sit several minutes.

Stir gently with a rubber spatula to pop any large air bubbles that have formed. Transfer to squeeze bottles or a piping bag.

Flood the chicken leg with the thinned icings.  Use a toothpick to guide into corners and edges and to pop and air bubbles.

Let sit overnight.

The next day, mix 1/2 teaspoon meringue powder with 1/2 teaspoon of water.  With a small paintbrush, brush the mixture onto the “meat” part of the chicken.  Sprinkle on crushed cornflakes.  Press lightly to adhere.

Let dry for 15-30 minutes.  Pop into a bucket from KFC…they’ll sell you an empty bucket for about a quarter!

Thanks to Bake at 350 for the idea!

Basic Asset Protection for Doctors – Part 1 of a 3 Part Series by Alan Gassman

The following was adapted from a physician newsletter piece that we wrote several years ago to help doctors understand basic information and motivations for making sure that they have their wealth preservation planning up-to-date.

We find that not a lot has changed from a 30,000 foot standpoint.

We hope that you can use this to help convince physician clients that they need to be as responsible as possible when it comes to planning their estates.

PART I – THE BIGGEST MISTAKES POINT OUT IMPORTANT PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS

This is the first in a series of articles being written at the special request of the Marion County Medical Association by Alan Gassman.

After working so many years to obtain a medical license, to be recognized in a specialty, and to have created a stream of income to provide financial security and support, a physician must make sure that adequate protection is paid to assuring that assets accumulated will not be subject to confiscation or unnecessary expenses.

While most physicians are understandably concerned about making sure that assets are not lost as a result of a malpractice claim, physicians outside of South Florida have other exposures which quite often result in significant problems which should be addressed.

Being a “first article” in a series, we thought it would best serve physicians to have a list of common mistakes which include mention of many asset protection legal concepts and rules that will be covered in more depth in future editions.

Here are common catastrophic errors that we often find when reviewing a new client’s “protection planning”:

1.         Having significant gaps or deficits in insurance coverages.  Automobile ownership and driving, ownership of rental properties, and many other non-medical practice related liability risks present significant exposure to many physicians.  We know from experience that very serious lawsuits can result from these exposures.  Many clients fail to recognize that a $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 umbrella policy can be placed “over” other coverages to help assure a physician and his or her family that they will not have a significant threat of asset loss as the result of a non-medical malpractice related catastrophe.  A personal umbrella liability policy will not cover many types of activities.

2.         Failure to have a financially solvent state-registered malpractice insurance carrier and appropriate malpractice coverages.  Many clients have “placed their bets” on small and sometimes unstable or even non-identifiable malpractice insurance “carriers” who offer substantially lower premiums and are somehow reinsured and registered, if at all, in an offshore jurisdiction.

Many of our physician clients have been left “high and dry” while defending suits where the carrier went bankrupt or into receivership, causing personal bankruptcies or personal payments to settle cases.

Even where a carrier has reinsurance through Lloyds of London or other carrier, a review of the reinsurance contract may show that the reinsurance company is not required to renew the reinsurance coverage and that the offshore carrier would have to pay a significant tail policy charge to ever make the coverage permanent, if permanency is even offered.

Further, having coverage with a “substandard” carrier not approved by the State of Florida is the equivalent of going bare from the point of view of the Florida Statutes, which require a doctor who does not have a state registered malpractice insurance policy to post notices to the effect that he or she is “going bare” or to post escrow deposits which are $750,000 if the doctor has medical staff privileges at a hospital or an ambulatory surgical center (with exposure of the escrow account up to $250,000 per claim).  Those doctors taking the risk of not following the “going bare” statute while using a substandard carrier also face the risk of loss of the ability to go bankrupt and potential forfeiture of their medical license.  We are shocked at how many physicians are putting themselves into this potential risk.

3.         Failure to procure a permanent tail or proper retroactive coverage when changing carriers.  Many clients switch malpractice insurance carriers without making sure that they have good “tail” or continuing coverage.  One big chasm can occur where a doctor switches carriers without telling the prior carrier or the new carrier about a patient event that has occurred, which could result in neither carrier having responsibility if the patient brings a lawsuit.  It is vitally important to inform a new carrier, and the prior carrier, of any incident that would rise to the level of being reportable.

4.         Failure to keep assets out of the doctor’s individual name.  We are always surprised to find doctors who have significant assets in their individual names, totally unprotected.  Oftentimes this is inadvertent, or simply the result of not having time to even know how an asset is titled.  It should go without saying that no practicing physician should have assets in their individual names that are not creditor protected.  A future column will briefly discuss the creditor protected assets, which are also covered on our website at Gassmanbateslawgroup.com under the Asset Protection Planning tab.  These include homestead, life insurance policies, annuity contracts, IRA’s, 401K and pension plans, and 529 plans, assuming proper titling has occurred.

Single physicians who cannot make use of tenancy by the entireties or other mechanisms can consider family limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and special trust arrangements that can provide some degree of creditor protection.

5.         Confusion over tenancy by the entireties.  Most married physicians understand that if assets are owned as tenants by the entireties with their spouses, then they can be protected from creditor claims as long as both spouses are not sued by the same creditor.  Many clients own assets jointly, but not as tenants by the entireties.  It is important to have a qualified advisor review joint assets to be sure that they will qualify as tenants by the entireties.  Common mistakes include deposits made on contracts to purchase real estate where the contractual rights themselves are not held as tenants by the entireties, investments in private companies, and ownership of out of state real estate.  Special measures can be taken to help assure that almost any joint asset qualifies under tenancy by the entireties, but this needs to occur before problems arise, and not after.

6.         Purchasing the wrong investments because of biased advice.  We are sorry to say that there are advisors who will encourage physicians to make financial moves that are to a great extent motivated by commissioned or similar transaction related fees.  This has commonly occurred in the insurance, retirement plan, and, to some extent, in the real estate industries.  Doctors making any potential purchase or investment commitment would be well advised to consult with a team of qualified advisors, which would normally include a CPA who does not accept commissions on the sale of investments, a lawyer who does not accept commissions on investments, and a qualified pension advisor who does not sell investments.  There are conscientious investment advisors who work on a commission basis, and they are usually known of by other advisors who can make appropriate referrals.

The Florida Medical Association CAPS asset protection program may be one example where insurance products and high professional fee mechanisms will cause more harm than good to physicians, in the author’s opinion.

7.         Failure to make sure that medical practice assets are protected.  It is becoming more and more difficult to convince Plaintiff’s lawyers to settle for policy limits in catastrophic cases, especially where the hospital may no longer be a deep pocket because of the elimination of joint and several liability.  There is nothing in the law to prevent a physician from borrowing monies secured by medical practice assets, or having medical practice assets owned by separate entities that can lease them to the practice entity.  It is essential, however, that competent tax and legal advisors be consulted in how to best structure medical practice strategy.

8.         Failure to coordinate estate/trust/asset ownership/beneficiary designation planning.

Many physicians come to us after having engaged in estate planning with significant exposure resulting from failure to follow through, failure to have appropriately structured trusts, and by reason of common errors that occur.

Examples of this are as follows:

(a)       Many clients are the direct beneficiary of their spouse’s life insurance or make their spouse the direct beneficiary of their life insurance.  While life insurance is creditor proof if owned by the insured spouse, the beneficiary is not protected from creditor claims.  Life insurance should usually be payable to a trust that can benefit the surviving spouse without being subject to creditor claims.  Oftentimes this is called a “bypass trust” or a “family trust.”

(b)       Failure of a bypass trust or a family trust to provide creditor protection.  Oftentimes the surviving spouse will be the sole trustee of the bypass trust, and the trust will require that all income be paid to the surviving spouse.  The trusts often do not have the appropriate spendthrift provisions that are necessary to keep creditors out of them.

(c)       Failure to have proper homestead planning.  In most cases the homestead should be owned jointly by a husband and wife, but in some cases the physicians have been advised to have the home owned by them only so that on the first death a bypass trust can be funded.

Unfortunately, the Florida Constitution has archaic provisions which indicate that if one spouse owns the homestead and dies, the children own a vested remainder in the home, and the surviving spouse only takes a life estate.  This means that the spouse would not be able to sell the home without getting permission from the children, and paying them a significant portion of the sales proceeds.  This can be avoided by having the non-physician spouse sign a special consent form before the death of the physician spouse.

Many planners are unaware that even jointly owned assets can be used to fund a bypass trust, notwithstanding that they are owned as “tenants by the entireties.”  Florida disclaimer rules have to be understood when physician clients are planning with bypass trusts and significant joint assets.

Do You Tweet? The Florida Department of Revenue Does!

                                       Tweety

Mel Blanc.3

 The FL Department of Revenue does.  In fact, they have three official Twitter feeds relating to all things FLDOR. MyFLDOR_TaxInfo reminds business owners to pay their sales tax, provides floating interest rates, and other helpful links about tax information.  MyFLDOR_PTO is the feed for property tax, and lists course offerings and updated information about property tax.  Finally, MyFLDOR_CSE updates followers on child support options and tax tips.

Of course, we recommend following the KFC Colonel @kfc_colonel for all things related to fried chicken.

 Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog: Before the Wedding: 3 Legal Points Every Parent Should Know (Or Why A Prenuptial Agreement May Be a Smart Idea)

The Big Announcement:  your daughter tells you she plans to marry Hank, a great guy. She is so excited – and in love!  The last thing you want to do is discuss “practical issues”.  But, at the right time, it will be important to discuss  these issues to help prevent future heartbreak – and hardship.  There are three legal points your daughter  should know – and you should know and discuss before the big day.

Click here to read more. 

Passing the Bar in 1776

Lawyers across the country know the pain and suffering of the dreaded bar exam.  Studying for months on end from dusk til dawn has become a rite of passage for lawyers. But it hasn’t always been that way. The Multistate Bar Exam wasn’t created until the 1970’s. Written bar exams weren’t given until the late 1880’s. So how were the bar exams given?

John Adams was admitted to the Bar in October 1758. He recalled his bar admission in his autobiography. He was an apprentice for over two years before seeking admission to the bar. His master was supposed to present him to the Court of Common Pleas in Worcester for his Certificate of Oath and Admission, but had forgotten to do so before Mr. Adams moved to Boston. Mr. Adams went to see a Mr. Gridley about presenting him to the Court in Boston. Mr. Girdley stated that Mr. Adams’ master had mentioned him and proceeded to ask him questions like how long he had practiced with his master and how many books he had read. After a conversation about the books Mr. Adams read, Mr. Gridley lent him one of his own. At the end of the conversation, Mr. Gridley told Mr. Adams to be at the courthouse on the last Friday of October and he would present him to the Court.

On the last Friday of October, Mr. Gridley presented Mr. Adams to the Court. A man asked whether anyone knew him well enough to satisfy the Court and Mr. Gridley answered that he knew Mr. Adams

In the 19th Century, bar exams were oral and the requirements minimal. Applicants would meet with a bar examiner in person and answer a set of questions. A famous illustration of these loose standards was the admission of Mr. Jonathan Birch. Mr. Birch was admitted to the bar by simply answering a few questions, such as what books he has read, and obtaining a certificate to the court by a local attorney. Who was the local attorney that interviewed him? It was only the future president of the United States of America named Abraham Lincoln.

Applicable Federal Rates

Below we have this month, last month’s, and the preceding month’s Applicable Federal Rates, because for a sale you can use the lowest of the 3.

SHORT TERM AFRs

MID TERM AFRs

LONG TERM AFRs

December 2013 Annual 0.25% Annual 1.65% Annual 3.32%
Semi-Annual 0.25% Semi-Annual 1.64% Semi-Annual 3.29%
Quarterly 0.25% Quarterly 1.64% Quarterly 3.28%
Monthly 0.25% Monthly 1.63% Monthly 3.27%
November 2013 Annual 0.27%

Annual

1.73% Annual 3.37%
Semi-Annual 0.27% Semi-Annual 1.72% Semi-Annual 3.34%
Quarterly 0.27% Quarterly 1.72% Quarterly 3.33%
Monthly 0.27% Monthly 1.71% Monthly 3.32%
October 2013 Annual 0.32% Annual 1.93% Annual 3.50%
Semi-Annual 0.32% Semi-Annual 1.92% Semi-Annual 3.47%
Quarterly 0.32% Quarterly 1.92% Quarterly 3.46%
Monthly 0.32% Monthly 1.91% Monthly 3.45%

The 7520 Rate for December is 2.0% and for November was 2.01%.

Seminars and Webinars

THE FLORIDA BAR – REPRESENTING THE PHYSICIAN

Date: Friday, January 17, 2013

Location:  The Hyatt Hotel, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: The annual Florida Bar conference entitled Representing the Physician is designed especially for health care, tax, and business lawyers, CPAs and physician office managers and physicians to cover practical legal, medical law, and tax planning matters that affect physicians and physician practices.

This year our 1 day seminar will be held in the Hyatt Hotel near Walt Disney World.

A dinner for the Executive Committee of the Health Law Section of The Florida Bar and our speakers will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2013, whether formally or informally.  Anyone who would like to attend (dutch treat or bring wooden shoes) will be welcomed.  Your tax deductible hotel room to start a fantastic week near Disney, Universal, Sea World and most importantly Gatorland, can include a room at the fantastic Hyatt Hotel for a discounted rate per night, single occupancy.

PINELLAS COUNTY CHAPTER OF THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN LAWYERS SEMINAR

Alan Gassman will be speaking on Same Sex Marriage and Associated Laws We Should All Know About Anyway.

Date:  January 30, 2014 | 5:30 p.m.

Location: Stetson Law School, Gulfport, Florida

Additional Information: For more information on this event please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com.

FLORIDA BAR HEALTH LAW REVIEW 2014

Alan Gassman will be speaking on What Healthcare Lawyers Need to Know About Tax Law and Business Entities at this excellent annual Florida Bar conference that is attended not only by those who are taking the Board Certification exam but also healthcare lawyers and other advisors.

Other speakers will include Lester Perling who is the co-author of A Practical Guide to Kickback and Self-Referral Laws for Florida Physicians and a number of other books and publications.

Date:    March 7 – 8, 2014

Location: Hyatt, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: We thank Jodi Laurence and Sandra Greenblatt for all of their hard work in making this conference as successful as it is.  For more information please contact Jodi at jl@flhealthlaw.com or Sandra at sg@flhealthlawyer.com.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION HEALTH LAW SECTION LUNCHEON

Alan Gassman and Christopher Denicolo will be speaking at the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Health Law Section Luncheon on the topic of Tax and Asset Protection Basics for Those Who Represent Physicians and Medical Practices

Date:    March 12, 2014

Location:  Chester H. Ferguson Law Center in Tampa, FL

Additional Information: For additional information please contact Co-Chairs Sara Younger at sara.younger@baycare.org or Thomas Ferrante at tferrante@carltonfields.com.

1st ANNUAL ESTATE PLANNER’S DAY AT AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW

Speakers: Speakers will include Professor Jerry Hesch, Jonathan Gopman, Alan Gassman and others.

Date: April 25, 2014

Location: Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

Sponsors:AveMariaSchool of Law, Collier County Estate Planning Council and more to be announced.

Additional Information: For more information on this event please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com.

THE FLORIDA BAR ANNUAL WEALTH PROTECTION SEMINAR

Date: Thursday, May 8, 2013

Speakers: Speakers will include Barry Engel on Offshore Trust Planning and Developments Over the Past 2 Years in Asset Protection, Howard Fisher and Alex Fisher on “Designer Entities – The Cutting Edge in Asset Protection”, Denis Kleinfeld on The Roadmap to Wealth Protection Planning and Alan Gassman on Structuring Business and Investment Assets and Entities – Wealth Protection 401 for the Dedicated Planner.

Location: Hyatt Regency Downtown, Miami, Florida

Additional Information: For more information please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com

NOTABLE SEMINARS PRESENTED BY OTHERS:

48th ANNUAL HECKERLING INSTITUTE ON ESTATE PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: January 13 – 17, 2014

Location:  OrlandoWorldCenter Marriott, Orlando, Florida

Sponsor:University of MiamiSchool of Law

Additional Information: For more information please visit: http://www.law.miami.edu/heckerling/

16th ANNUAL ALL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ESTATE, TAX, LEGAL & FINANCIAL PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Location: All Children’s Hospital Education and ConferenceCenter, St. Petersburg, Florida with remote location live interactive viewings in Tampa, Sarasota, New Port Richey, Lakeland, and Bangkok, Thailand

Sponsor: All Children’s Hospital

THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA TAX INSTITUTE

Date: February 19 – 21, 2014

Location: Grand Hyatt, Tampa, Florida

Presenters:       Martin McMahon, Jr., C. Wells Hall, III, Abraham N.M. Shashy, Karen L. Hawkins, Lawrence Lokken, Stephen F. Gertzman, James B. Sowell, John J. Rooney, Louis Weller, Ronald Aucutt, Karen Gilbreath Sowell, Herbert N. Beller, Peter J. Genz, Stephan R. Leimberg, John J. Scroggin, Lauren Y. Detzel, David Pratt and Samuel A. Donaldson

Sponsor:  UF Law alumni and UF Graduate Tax Program

Additional Information:  Here is what UF is saying about the program on its website: “The UF Tax Institute will provide tax practitioners and other leading tax, business and estate planning professionals with a program that covers the most current issues and planning ideas with a practical, informative, state-of-the-art approach.  The Institute’s schedule will devote separate days or half days to individual income tax issues, entity tax issues and estate planning issues.  Speakers and presentations will be announced as the program date nears to ensure coverage of the most timely and significant topics.  UF Law alumni have formed the Florida Tax Education Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, to organize the conference.”

The Thursday Report – 12.12.13 Dr. Law, Tax, Son-in-Laws and Wax

Posted on: December 12th, 2013

No Estate Tax Changes for 2014? – A Christmas Gift for Advisors

The Vancouver Clinic Case and Taxation of Hospital Loans, an article by Alan Gassman and Charlie Lawrence

IRS Final Regulations on §1411 Investment Tax and Add-On Medicare Tax

New Seminar Announcements and More Spotlights from the UF Tax Institute

Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog: The “Son-in-Law Problem”: Keeping Your Wealth Safe – And Out of Reach From Your Daughter’s Husband

Our Chapter on Creditor Protection for the Health Law Section’s Upcoming Health Law Manual

Medical Practice Business Realities

Humerus bone cartoon.3

We welcome contributions for future Thursday Report topics. If you are interested in making a contribution as a guest writer, please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

This report and other Thursday Reports can be found on our website at www.gassmanlawassociates.com.

No Estate Tax Changes for 2014? – A Christmas Gift for Advisors

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp, R-Mich., told reporters November 20 that he is not planning to make changes to the estate and gift tax law in the comprehensive tax reform bill he is drafting. Congress made major estate and gift tax provisions permanent as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-240) enacted January 2. Camp’s decision not to touch estate tax law will likely anger many Republicans.  Several House Republicans have introduced bills that would repeal or otherwise alter the estate tax.  Keeping up with the case law and developments on the approach to estate tax planning after the monumental changes that have occurred since 2010 are keeping us plenty busy!

The Vancouver Clinic Case and Taxation of Hospital Loans Under Physician Recruiting Agreements

By Alan Gassman and Charlie Lawrence

Many physicians receive hospital support payments when they begin practicing in a new geographical area, and are typically in the lowest tax bracket they will experience during their career. Therefore, it makes sense for the physician to pay income tax on the advances and support payments as they are received, as opposed to being taxed in future years on both current income plus past support payments when forgiven in subsequent years.

 

Unfortunately, there is not very much authority for if and when a support payment in advance of this nature will be considered as income. Standard HCA documents provide that the Hospital will report the income on a Form 1099 only as forgiven. Other hospital systems take the opposite approach.

 

The April 9, 2013 U.S. District Court of Washington opinion in Vancouver Clinic held that advances paid by a medical clinic to newly hired doctors were compensation, because the parties did not intend repayment.[1] The Court found that the advances were an inducement for the doctors to remain with the clinic for a set period of time, and the repayment provision functioned as a liquidated damages clause.[2]

 

In this case, the clinic entered into “Associate Physician Loan Agreements” with over 100 new physicians in 2007, 2008, and 2009 with the intention of assisting the clinic in recruiting and retaining new physicians[3]. Each physician was loaned funds over the first 2 years, and after completing at least 5 years the loans were forgiven.  Interest accrued at the prime rate over the 5 years, but the physicians were not required to pay it as it accrued.[4]  There was no fixed repayment schedule when the agreement was executed.  The clinic did not record income taxes or otherwise treat the advances as compensation for W-2 or other purposes.  The clinic did not withhold income as compensation. Instead, the clinic issued a Form 1099 as the debt was forgiven. The clinic advanced over $1.5 million during the three-year period, and expected more than 80% of it to be forgiven.[5]

 

Contrary to the above, the 2002 Tax Court Memorandum decision of Rosario v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue concluded that advances under the Hospital Recruitment Agreement were considered to be a loan as opposed to current compensation for the following reasons: 1) the agreement provided for repayment to the extent the doctor’s monthly income exceeded the monthly loan amount and provided; 2) the doctor’s intent to repay was supported by an amendment, a signed promissory note, and his correspondence to the hospital after he ended his practice; and 3) the hospital’s intent to enforce the agreement was shown in other documents and by court action after he ended his practice.[6]

 

In a 2000 Technical Advice Memorandum (“TAM”), the IRS held that advances were compensation, even though they were secured by a promissory note and bonus agreement.[7] The TAM found that there was no unconditional and personal obligation to repay the advances, because repayment was with guaranteed bonus payments that matched the repayment amounts. Further, the agreement didn’t require periodic cash payments.[8]

 

Several articles offer suggestions on how to structure advancement arrangements if the parties intend having advances be treated as loans until they are actually forgiven.  These include: 1) providing a specific repayment schedule; 2)  properly executing a promissory note; 3) performing a financial background check and credit check on each physician; 4) instead of the clinic forgiving the loan, the physician could use future compensation to make scheduled interest and principal payments to the clinic; and 5) use a separate employment agreement to specify the physician’s compensation and employment terms.[9]  Please  click here for a copy of the Memorandums.

Those of us who counsel medical groups and physicians with respect to hospital support agreements need to be aware of these issues and the possible alternatives that hospitals and medical groups have with respect to structuring loan arrangements.  All advisors must, however, keep in mind that structuring for hospital advances needs to comply with the STARK regulations and other applicable law.

Our Thursday Report of March 21, 2013 discusses the STARK regulations and hospital support arrangements with respect to non-competition covenant planning.  You can access that report by clicking here.

IRS Final Regulations on §1411 Investment Tax and Add-On Medicare 

On November 26, the IRS issued the final regulations on the §1411 (Medicare Tax) and the add on .9% Medicare Wage Tax which applies to high earners (the threshold is $200,000 of income for a single individual and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly).  The Regulations are long and complicated, and may be categorized as follows:

  • The sale of S Corporation stock in an active business that the taxpayer materially participates in should not be subject to the 3.8% Medicare tax
  • Net losses are allowed against the Net Investment Income Tax (NII)
  • Self-charged interest and self-charged rental income will not be subject to NII
  • A safe harbor provision is available to real estate professionals who can satisfy the 500 hour test
  • Options are available for computing investment income passed out to CRT beneficiaries
  • More expenses are identified as allowed investment expenses
  • The method for determining the amount of various itemized deductions that are allowed to offset NII has been simplified
  • Regrouping is not allowed at the entity level
  • Regrouping is allowed at the 1040 level, with the condition of being subject to the NII
  • The foreign tax credit may not be used to offset the NII tax

Often it is best to first read the preamble to new regulations, which indicate what the IRS personnel were thinking when they wrote the regulations.  The preamble to the regulations are 107 pages double spaced and can be viewed by clicking here.

We will provide further coverage of these new regulations as we refine our thinking, strategies, and drafting with respect thereto.

We welcome questions, comments and suggestions, or even articles on subtopics for this project.

New Seminar Announcements

Same Sex Marriage and Associated Laws We Should All Know Anyway

On January 30, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers will present a seminar at Stetson Law School in beautiful Gulfport, Florida from 5:30pm, followed by a social mixer.  After that you can have dinner at Six Tables which has a bed and breakfast and wonderful table service and atmosphere.

Speakers will include Charlie Robinson, Alan Gassman and others to be announced.

Our continuing white paper on Same Sex Marriage Law and Considerations continues to improve and evolve.  For a copy please email agassman@gassmanpa.com or Janine@gassmanpa.com.

Annual Florida Bar Wealth Protection Conference

The annual Florida Bar Tax Section sponsored Wealth Protection Conference will be held on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown in Miami.  Please make your reservations now.

Speakers will include Barry Engel on Offshore Trust Planning and Developments Over the Past 2 Years in Asset Protection, Howard Fisher and Alex Fisher on “Designer Entities – The Cutting Edge in Asset Protection” and Denis Kleinfeld on The Roadmap to Wealth Protection Planning.

Our talk will be on Structuring Business and Investment Assets and Entities – Wealth Protection 401 for the Dedicated Planner.

Two Top Notch Home Run Hitters in the Estate and Estate Tax Planning World to Speak at the 1st Annual UF Tax Institute, February 19-21, 2014

We would like to thank Ronald Aucutt and Steve Leimberg for their participation in the first annual University of Florida Tax Institute being held February 19-21, 2014.

Aucutt

Ronald Aucutt is a partner at McGuire Woods in Tysons Corner, Virginia where he is the leader of the private wealth services group.  Mr. Aucutt has been named Trusts and Estate Lawyer of the Year for 2012 by Best Lawyers and has been recognized by The Washingtonian as one of Washington’s 31 “Best Lawyers.”

Mr. Aucutt is past president of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and is a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and the American Bar Association as well as a member of The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law; and the Advisory Committee of the University of Miami Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.  He has been a lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law and has lectured on estate planning at more than 100 tax institutes and conferences nationwide.  He is the co-author of Structuring Estate Freezes and has published more than 100 articles on estate planning and related tax subjects.

Ron will be giving a capital report at the Tax Institute during the luncheon session on Thursday, February 20, 2014.

Leimberg

Steve Leimberg is the CEO of Leimberg and LeClair, Inc., and estate and financial planning software company, as well as President of Leimberg Associates, Inc. a publishing and software company in Bryn Mawr, Pennslyvania.  Mr. Leimberg publishes Leimberg Information Services, Inc. which provides email based news, opinions and information for tax professionals.

Steve is a nationally known speaker and has been awarded the Excellence in Writing Award of the American Bar Association’s Probate and Property Section.  He has also been named 1998 Edward N. Polisher Lecturer of the Dickinson School of Law and was a featured speaker at the American Bar Association’s Tax Sections Annual Meeting.

Steve will be speaking on Marketing an Estate Planning Practice on Friday, February 21, 2014.

You can view his Wikipedia page by clicking here.

We also thank Bruce Bokor and the other founding members of the Steering Committee for their work on making this great tax conference a success:

●   Leslie J. Barnett, Esq.                                     ●         Samuel C. Ullman, Esq.

●   John C. Bovay, Esq.                                        ●         Dennis Calfee, Esq.

●   Richard B. Comiter, Esq.                                ●         Lauren Y. Detzel, Esq.

●   Michael Friel, Esq.                                         ●         Michael L. Kohner

●   Martin McMahon, Esq.                                   ●         Louis Nostro, Esq.

●   A. Brian Phillips, Esq.                                    ●         David Pratt, Esq.

●   John Scroggin, Esq.                                         ●         Donald Tescher, Esq.

To quote Monty Python “If you enjoy this conference half as much as they do, then they will have enjoyed it twice as much as you do.”

Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog: The “Son-in-Law Problem”: Keeping Your Wealth Safe – And Out of Reach From Your Daughter’s Husband

Let’s face it.  If you have adult children, now married or considering marriage, you are a little concerned that your daughter’s husband could someday inherit your hard earned wealth. (Or maybe it’s your son’s wife.)

So, how do you protect your property, and make sure it only goes to your adult children and not their spouse?

Click here to read more.

Our Chapter on Creditor Protection for the Health Law Section’s Upcoming Health Law Manual

We recently completed a chapter on creditor protection for the health law section’s upcoming health law manual.

The health law section would like to have our chapter peer reviewed by one or more individuals who would be given editing credit in the book.

If you are interested in taking a look at our proposed chapter and giving us input and becoming an editor please let us know by emailing agassman@gassmanpa.com or janine@gassmanpa.com

Medical Practice Business Realities

Dr. Singh

We have co-authored a chapter of an upcoming book by Pariksith Singh, M.D. called 2014 Health Care Primer.

Dr. Singh became dedicated to the task of organizing a primary care concentrated specialty care connected system that services fee-for-service, HMO’s, Medicare and now includes an ACO and clinically integrated systems and tracking.

He has this up and running because he started it in 2004.

Pariksith Singh, M.D. is board certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Singh received his medical education at Sawai Man Singh Medical College in Rajasthan, India (where he was awarded honors in internal medicine and physiology).  His residency training occurred at All India Institute of Medical Services (New Delhi, India) and Mount Sinai Elmhurst Services, (Elmhurst, New York).  Upon completion of his residency, Dr. Singh relocated to Florida and worked for several years before establishing Access Health Care, LLC in 2001.  He has been our fearless leader ever since!

Dr. Singh determined to study medicine at age 15, out of a desire to help others.  Although this sounds idealistic, Dr. Singh helps his patients and the Access family every day – his genuine care for others’ well-being is evident in his interactions with patient – he remembers something personal (not health related) about every one of his patients!  Dr. Singh finds it gratifying to be able to help save a life or a limb – he is committed to educating patients on healthy lifestyles and successful management of chronic conditions.  He has admitting privileges at Brooksville and Spring Hill Regional hospitals, Oak Hill Hospital, and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.

Dr. Singh and Dr. Scunziano have four active children (between the ages of 14 and 2), who certainly keep them on their toes!  In addition to family activities, Dr. Singh’s hobbies include writing poetry, literature, religion and philosophy.  Dr. Singh also dedicates much of his time to philanthropic endeavors, and is passionate about supporting the Wounded Warrior Project in Hernando County.

The chapter we wrote together on patient-centered medical practice philosophy is as follows:

Customer Service: The Single Biggest Shift in Health Care, by Dr. Pariksith Singh and Alan S. Gassman

Gone are the days when physicians told patients what they were going to do. Gone also are the days when a physician’s bedside manners and ability to communicate were not some of the most important criteria in evaluating a physician. The days when the physician was the real “Oz” are behind us, for the internet now allows patients to research medical conditions and physician ratings on their own.

To me, it seems that the single most important change with STAR ratings is not HEDIS or outcomes, since, in principle, they were always important, but the enormous weight given to customer satisfaction. When I started practicing medicine, it was common for physicians to discharge patients if they so much as raised a question about their medical care. We all know how health care was denied egregiously in the early days of managed care. Healthy patients were cherry-picked or unhealthy ones lemon-dropped, and providers would crassly let patients know how much their care cost the provider’s bottom-line. Those days, I believe, are gone or, at least, are on their way out.

Patients have been given much more say as to their health care with the advent of Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (“CAHPS”) and Health Outcomes Survey (“HOS”). Suddenly, we find that health insurances are bending over backwards to accommodate patients, sometimes overriding provider input or even medical necessity. Patient satisfaction and perception have begun to be an important component of the profitability of insurance plans.

We find much more plan involvement in patient care and patient engagement. IPAs, if they are to be of value to the plans and providers, must do the same. The biggest change in health care is the unmistaken emphasis on provider-patient engagement and relationships, communication, and patient satisfaction. It is very clear that providers who realize this turn in priorities will do better in the coming years.

Thus, we no longer have patients. Rather, they are seen as customers, or perhaps, I should say patrons. The medical office, including the front and the back operations, has to essentially be run more like the Ritz, Disney, or Starbucks where the customer comes first, and their experience is paramount.

Starbucks has always aspired to be the second home of its customers, as its motto clearly states. In times of the Patient Centered Medical Homes, why should the health care motto be any different? The PCMH is not just about creating a model that emphasizes team work, patient communication and involvement and patient-centered health care, but also convenience, ambience, and great customer service. Thus, patients would do well to learn from the corporate leaders in how to provide excellent customer service.

As markets become saturated with managed care, the returns on marketing dollars are reduced. It is far easier and less expensive to retain membership than to get new members. It also makes sense to retain members since MRA-improvement initiatives take 12-18 months to show an increase in premium, stable patients have less utilization and better HEDIS scores, and managed care profits improve with greater retention. For this to happen, it is critical that physicians realize that their smile is worthwhile, not only to communicate genuine happiness and engagement, but that it also affects their panel’s expense ratios.

However, customer service does not stay restricted to offices. In hospitals, we see an even greater need for communication with patient and family, coordination of care, proper planning, and a service-oriented philosophy. A higher patient satisfaction will result in less re-admissions, visits to the emergency rooms, and malpractice lawsuits

How do you create an organization that thrives on greater customer satisfaction? In my opinion, it is not a matter of red-carpet welcomes, ritzy waiting rooms, limousine transportation, or cosmetic services being provided to the patient, it is a shift in culture. This shift must become ingrained in the processes of training, selecting, and evaluating employees, for an organization to thrive.

It is important to ensure that employee satisfaction and morale are at a high and employee satisfaction be considered as important as patient satisfaction. Questionnaires for patients and employees can be created for feedback and action in specific areas. Patient no-shows or cancellations need to be called so that the office can accommodate to their needs. Patient advocates and liaisons must be part of executive teams in any healthcare organization. Organizations must take immediate action to address genuine patient concerns.

There are limitations to what we can do to ensure patron satisfaction. We cannot write off charges without documenting financial hardship or extend professional courtesy, since these are not part of compliant behavior. However, the manner in which things are said and even disagreement conveyed, whether with a smile and with concern in one’s whole bearing, whether one is actually listening to the patron or simply ignoring them, is of far greater consequence than acceding to their sometimes unjust demands. Employee empowerment within the parameters of CMS regulations must be encouraged.

It is also important to realize that an upset customer may be a great opportunity to make them realize our sincerity of intent and purpose. Furthermore, it is also the time to evaluate and fix what is wrong with the organization’s processes. Unfortunately, an upset customer will communicate his poor experience more readily than a pleased patient will communicate their great experience. Thus, upset patron is worth the time and effort involved in resolving any issues and is far cheaper than any amount of advertising and market outreach used to clean up the bad publicity.

Eventually, patients must become partners in their care. It is true that the best person to coordinate care in hospital or nursing home settings is an informed customer. It is worthwhile to develop lines of communication via care coordinators, customer representatives, or case managers to ensure that patients and families are assisted in navigating through their traumatic experiences.

The nature of health care is healing. This is why we chose this profession. A kind word, a genuine smile can heal far beyond a prescription or a referral. It is the sine qua non of excellent health care and good medical practice. It is imperative that we realize that CAHPS is the single best thing that has happened to health care in the last decade, even more than any new technology or pharmaceutical.

 Applicable Federal Rates

Below we have this month, last month’s, and the preceding month’s Applicable Federal Rates, because for a sale you can use the lowest of the 3.

SHORT TERM AFRs

MID TERM AFRs

LONG TERM AFRs

December 2013 Annual 0.25% Annual 1.65% Annual 3.32%
Semi-Annual 0.25% Semi-Annual 1.64% Semi-Annual 3.29%
Quarterly 0.25% Quarterly 1.64% Quarterly 3.28%
Monthly 0.25% Monthly 1.63% Monthly 3.27%
November 2013 Annual 0.27% Annual 1.73% Annual 3.37%
Semi-Annual 0.27% Semi-Annual 1.72% Semi-Annual 3.34%
Quarterly 0.27% Quarterly 1.72% Quarterly 3.33%
Monthly 0.27% Monthly 1.71% Monthly 3.32%
October 2013 Annual 0.32% Annual 1.93% Annual 3.50%
Semi-Annual 0.32% Semi-Annual 1.92% Semi-Annual 3.47%
Quarterly 0.32% Quarterly 1.92% Quarterly 3.46%
Monthly 0.32% Monthly 1.91% Monthly 3.45%

The 7520 Rate for December is 2.0% and for November was 2.01%.

Seminars and Webinars

THE FLORIDA BAR – REPRESENTING THE PHYSICIAN

Date: Friday, January 17, 2013

Location:  The Hyatt Hotel, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: The annual Florida Bar conference entitled Representing the Physician is designed especially for health care, tax, and business lawyers, CPAs and physician office managers and physicians to cover practical legal, medical law, and tax planning matters that affect physicians and physician practices.

This year our 1 day seminar will be held in the Hyatt Hotel near Walt Disney World.

A dinner for the Executive Committee of the Health Law Section of The Florida Bar and our speakers will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2013, whether formally or informally.  Anyone who would like to attend (dutch treat or bring wooden shoes) will be welcomed.  Your tax deductible hotel room to start a fantastic week near Disney, Universal, Sea World and most importantly Gatorland, can include a room at the fantastic Hyatt Hotel for a discounted rate per night, single occupancy.

PINELLAS COUNTY CHAPTER OF THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN LAWYERS SEMINAR

Alan Gassman will be speaking on Same Sex Marriage and Associated Laws We Should All Know About Anyway.

Date:  January 30, 2014 | 5:30 p.m.

Location: Stetson Law School, Gulfport, Florida

Additional Information: For more information on this event please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com.

FLORIDA BAR HEALTH LAW REVIEW 2014

Alan Gassman will be speaking on What Healthcare Lawyers Need to Know About Tax Law and Business Entities at this excellent annual Florida Bar conference that is attended not only by those who are taking the Board Certification exam but also healthcare lawyers and other advisors.

Other speakers will include Lester Perling who is the co-author of A Practical Guide to Kickback and Self-Referral Laws for Florida Physicians and a number of other books and publications.

Date:    March 7 – 8, 2014

Location: Hyatt, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: We thank Jodi Laurence and Sandra Greenblatt for all of their hard work in making this conference as successful as it is.  For more information please contact Jodi at jl@flhealthlaw.com or Sandra at sg@flhealthlawyer.com.

1st ANNUAL ESTATE PLANNER’S DAY AT AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW

Speakers: Speakers will include Professor Jerry Hesch, Jonathan Gopman, Alan Gassman and others.

Date: April 25, 2014

Location: Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

Sponsors:AveMariaSchool of Law, Collier County Estate Planning Council and more to be announced.

Additional Information: For more information on this event please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com.

THE FLORIDA BAR ANNUAL WEALTH PROTECTION SEMINAR

Date: Thursday, May 8, 2013

Speakers: Speakers will include Barry Engel on Offshore Trust Planning and Developments Over the Past 2 Years in Asset Protection, Howard Fisher and Alex Fisher on “Designer Entities – The Cutting Edge in Asset Protection”, Denis Kleinfeld on The Roadmap to Wealth Protection Planning and Alan Gassman on Structuring Business and Investment Assets and Entities – Wealth Protection 401 for the Dedicated Planner.

Location: Hyatt Regency Downtown, Miami, Florida

Additional Information: For more information please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com

NOTABLE SEMINARS PRESENTED BY OTHERS:

48th ANNUAL HECKERLING INSTITUTE ON ESTATE PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: January 13 – 17, 2014

Location:  OrlandoWorldCenter Marriott, Orlando, Florida

Sponsor:University of MiamiSchool of Law

Additional Information: For more information please visit: http://www.law.miami.edu/heckerling/

16th ANNUAL ALL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ESTATE, TAX, LEGAL & FINANCIAL PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Location: All Children’s Hospital Education and ConferenceCenter, St. Petersburg, Florida with remote location live interactive viewings in Tampa, Sarasota, New Port Richey, Lakeland, and Bangkok, Thailand

Sponsor: All Children’s Hospital

THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA TAX INSTITUTE

Date: February 19 – 21, 2014

Location: Grand Hyatt, Tampa, Florida

Presenters:       Martin McMahon, Jr., C. Wells Hall, III, Abraham N.M. Shashy, Karen L. Hawkins, Lawrence Lokken, Stephen F. Gertzman, James B. Sowell, John J. Rooney, Louis Weller, Ronald Aucutt, Karen Gilbreath Sowell, Herbert N. Beller, Peter J. Genz, Stephan R. Leimberg, John J. Scroggin, Lauren Y. Detzel, David Pratt and Samuel A. Donaldson

Sponsor:  UF Law alumni and UF Graduate Tax Program

Additional Information:  Here is what UF is saying about the program on its website: “The UF Tax Institute will provide tax practitioners and other leading tax, business and estate planning professionals with a program that covers the most current issues and planning ideas with a practical, informative, state-of-the-art approach.  The Institute’s schedule will devote separate days or half days to individual income tax issues, entity tax issues and estate planning issues.  Speakers and presentations will be announced as the program date nears to ensure coverage of the most timely and significant topics.  UF Law alumni have formed the Florida Tax Education Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, to organize the conference.”

 


[1] Vancouver Clinic, Inc. v. U.S., 2013 WL 1431656 (April 9, 2013).

[2] Id.

[3]Id.

[4]Id.

[5]Id.

[6]TCM 2002-70 (March 26, 2002).

[7]TAM 2000-40-004 (June 12, 2000).

[8]Id.

[9] Bruce, John. “Physician Recruitment Agreements – Loan Versus Compensation,” www.bkd.com, (July 2013).; Coyne, Sarah and Hintz, Patricia. “Hospitals: Watch Out for Tax Implications of Hysician Loan Agreements – Forgiven Repayments Might be Taxable Wages!” www.quarles.com, (October 2013).; Levy, Ralph, Jr. “Beware of the Tax Consequences of Physician Recruitment Payments,” Journal of Health Care Compliance, Sept-Oct 2013.

Thursday Report – November 28, 2013 – The Story of Thurs-giving-akkah and Tax, Law and Slaw

Posted on: November 27th, 2013

Header

In honor of Thursday, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah we are calling this the Thurs-giving-akkah Edition! Please do not miss the story below!

Our Sincerest Thanks

The Menurkey and the History of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah Falling on the Same Day

Judge Barbier’s Friday, November 22nd Decision on Causation

Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog: Allocation of Wrongful Death Proceeds in Florida Probate

Thursday Report Greatest Hits and Index

It would be tacky to sell books in the Thursday Report so please do not click here unless you really, really, really want to buy a book.

We welcome contributions for future Thursday Report topics. If you are interested in making a contribution as a guest writer, please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

This report and other Thursday Reports can be found on our website at www.gassmanlawassociates.com.

As Thanksgiving draws near we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you – our dedicated Thursday Report readers for your support of our newsletter.  Without you and your kind words of encouragement we could not do what we do.  To say thanks we thought we would profile some of our readers who have taken the time to thank us:

Thank you for your insightful articles.  I appreciate your willingness to take the time and effort to educate the bar.  It takes real time and effort, and again, thank you so much.

Baskin quote

 Hamden Baskin, III

Thank you for the service you provide to the members of the Bar and other professionals with your Thursday Reports and webinars. It is a good thing you are doing. Your way reminds me of what is meant by collegiality among professionals. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Stross

 Howard C. Stross, JD/MBA

These are great to read.

Wasson quote 2

 Chuck Wasson

I just wanted you to know that I have posted your picture on my bulletin board. I think I want to work in your office as you just have too much fun there.

Aylor quote 2

 Lou Ann Aylor

The Menurkey and the History of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah Falling on the Same Day

by Alan S. Gassman and Janine M. Gunyan

Hanukkah cartoons

The last time the first day of Hanukkah fell on Thanksgiving was in 1861, and the confusion was profound.  Many Jewish families got confused and served Kosher turkey on bagels with lox and cream cheese for 8 nights in a row, causing a run on pickled herring and lox that drove prices up like no bubble since the Holland Tulip bubble of 1624.  It is also no coincidence that the anniversary of Dr. Who, the renowned time traveler’s 50th anniversary was celebrated on Monday evening.

The next time this phenomenon will happen will not be for another 77,798 years.  Statistically, the year should be 79,811.  That’s a lot of Hanukkah dinners to sit through!

Cooking turkeys with menorah candles took a very long time.  The Pilgrim Synagogue was formed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1762 and they celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1861, when they started to rent out the social hall to all descendants of Pilgrims and served Manischewitz wine and pickled herring all 8 nights, enabling them to retire their mortgage and expand the social hall to include a new sound system.  They also served turkey ball soup and kosher pickles.

The Indians also brought corn and gambling chips, and the Minister of the Plymouth Church brought a case of Wild Turkey whisky and several Hunter S Thompson books.  Everyone rolled around in the Indian’s blankets and then went hunting for mashed potatoes and gravy, since this was before any Kentucky Fried Chicken’s had been opened.  They ended up at the Capital Grille and feasted on the wagyu burger and glasses of 6 year old Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon for a mere 2.5 cents.  The children spun their grandpa’s corn cob pipes and proclaimed, “We have our spinning corn cob pipes and whether I win or lose this really wipes!”

The children were disappointed to not receive gifts for 8 consecutive nights, but they did get silly gold coins with chocolate in them that they were able to trade for Gameboys and bows and arrows in the after Christmas sale.  By then the only turkeys available to eat had been shipped to Israel, and the Pilgrims began to write what would become Eric Clapton’s Pilgrim solo album in 1998.  The original recording was all in Yiddish!

The Pilgrims and the Jews reflected on what a great holiday it was, and then played poker all night long on the 8th night because no one wanted to go home. That same night a group from the Plymouth Synagogue won the Power Ball lottery and purchased the exclusive rights to make all gambling chips out of potatoes and leased a building in Poughkeepsie to manufacture “chips out of potatoes” which didn’t go over well.  Little did they know that only a few short years later, in 1853 that George Crum would invent the potato chip at Moon Lake Lodge resort in Saratoga Springs, New York.  The chips took a long time to make so they called them Delays Potato Chips and they were buy 1 get 1 free so no one ate just one.  But they didn’t go over so well because of the matzo consistency.

Rabbi Arlo Guthriestein played his banjo and the song Alice’s Restaurant which made the herring nostalgic for home.  The Rabbi was also hard of hearing which made everyone say “oy gevalt” which made their yamaka’s spin.

The Rabbi’s daughter, Gefilte, fell in love with the Indian Chief’s son, Always Fish and they were married and her name became Gefilte Fish.  They tried to pickle a herring but he wouldn’t fit in the jar because his wings were too wide.

The Rabbi took his canoe to the Island of Trid and walked up the hill to look for sacred water for the feast.  The Rabbi sent the Trid’s up the hill to get the water but a mean dragon kept kicking them down.  Finally, the Rabbi, accompanied by a Pilgrim and an Indian, walked up the hill themselves and the dragon did not kick them.  “Oh dragon, did you not kick us because this is Thanksgiving and Hanukkah?”  “No,” said the dragon, “Silly Rabbi, kicks are for trid’s”, and breakfast cereal was thus invented.

On the morning after the 8th evening everyone woke up in the Indian blankets, ate what remained of the chips, smoked all of the tobacco in the corn cob pipes, and proclaimed that someday, 152 years in the future, that there would be a Thursday Report and that their true story of the celebration of the first Thanksgiving/Hanukkah would be told in that Thursday Report, and that anyone who clicks here would be able to see Arlo Guthriestein’s “Alice’s Restaurant” story, which is highly recommended for people not busy texting their friends.

The “Menurkey”

With all the fuss about Thanksgiving and Hanukkah falling on the same day there have been many people coming up with slogans and merchandise about the two holidays.  Thanksanukkah, Hanugiving and Thanksgivingakkah are three very popular slogans that have been invented.  A Boston woman came up with the slogan “8 Days of Light, Liberty and Latkes.”

The menurkey is another mash up invention.  It was invented by a 9 year old boy from New York, Asher Weintraub.  It is a menorah shaped like a turkey.  Asher posted his idea on kickstarter.com and raised $48,345 to fund his invention.  The family hopes to sell as many as 2,500 menurkeys ($50 for the plaster version and $150 for the ceramic – click here to visit the website and purchase yours!) They have even come up with a song to commemorate the event.  Click here to listen to the song.  We have a feeling that the after Christmas sale prices will be better or pretending to enjoy their relatives. 

Judge Barbier’s Friday, November 22nd Decision on Causation – Taking the Lead out of BP’s Gas

by John Goldsmith and Alan S. Gassman

Last Friday, November 22, 2013, Judge Barbier, in the BP Deepwater Horizon case, issued a significant ruling to dismantle BP’s argument that each BP claimant must individually prove that the claimant’s losses were caused by the BP oil spill.

After strongly supporting the BP settlement in 2012 that released it from punitive damages and required it to assume that economic losses were directly caused by the BP oil spill.

BP has spent millions of dollar on a media campaign to criticize claimants who are following the settlement agreement and no longer have the right to pursue punitive damages for the significant damage to our economy that was caused by the BP spill.

Judge Barbier flatly rejected BP’s contention and attacked its positions as follows:

BP argues that the Settlement Agreement and Rule 23 require that only claims that are “traceable to the oil spill” be paid. Of course, the whole point of the class settlement was to resolve claims of persons who allege they have suffered economic losses attributable to the oil spill. But, in a class settlement, the parties agreed on an objective and specific method of proving whether or not a loss was caused by the oil spill. In the context of a class-wide settlement program, involving claims by tens of thousands of claimants, it would be infeasible to expect or require every claimant to prove actual, or factual, causation. Doing so would require thousands of individual trials of causation, defeating the whole purpose and intent of a class settlement.

Judge Barbier also attacked BP’s argument that it did not agree to an objective formula to determine causation. The order points to an e-mail between the BP Claims Administrator and BP’s lawyer with respect to the following example: a partner in a CPA firm was out on medical leave, and the only reason the firm suffered losses was due to the partner’s absence, which was clearly not caused by the oil spill. BP’s lawyer e-mailed in response:

“…extraneous non-financial data indicates that the decline was attributable to a factor wholly unrelated to the Oil Spill. Such “false positives” are an inevitable concomitant of an objective quantitative, data-based test.”

Judge Barbier also quotes from BP’s expert at the hearing approving the settlement:

“…all revenue and variable profit declines during the claimant selected compensation period are presumed to be caused by the spill, with no analysis required to determine whether the declines might have been due, at least in part, to other causes.”

The Judge also pointed to an e-mail to all of the parties to the settlement on December 12, 2012, which states:

“Counsel for BP and the PSC [the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee] agree with the Claims Administrator’s objective analysis of causation with respect to his evaluation of economic damages Claims, as previously set forth by Mr. Juneau in paragraph 2 of his October 10, 2012 policy announcement.”

Judge Barbier concludes his order by stating:

“In any event, the undersigned is certain that causation is not an issue before this Court, and will not consider any pleadings requesting that it be made a subject of re-evaluation.”

BP immediately filed an emergency motion in the Fifth Circuit which viciously attacks the judge in an unprecedented way.

BP is fanning the flames on the fuel that it dumped into our Gulf of Mexico and ecosystem.

For more information regarding BP Claims please join John Goldsmith, Dean Kent and Alan Gassman in a 30 minute CLE and CPE qualified webinar on Monday, December 9, 2013 at either 12:30 p.m. or 5:00 p.m.  If you would like to attend the 12:30 p.m. webinar please click here and if you would like to attend the 5:00 p.m. webinar please click here.

Winter quote

 Thursday Report Greatest Hits

This week we are featuring some of the greatest Thursday Report hits from 2013.

Please click here to see the entire list of Thursday Report topics from 2013.

Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog: Allocation of Wrongful Death Proceeds in Florida Probate

The personal representative has a duty to bring an action for the wrongful death of the decedent.  F.S. 768.20.  The Act provides for damages for the estate and “survivors.”  To read more about this please click here.

TurkeyApplicable Federal Rates

Below we have this month’s, last month’s, and the preceding month’s Applicable Federal Rates, because for a sale, you can use the lowest of the 3.

Federal Rates

Seminars and Webinars

BP CLAIM INCOME AND DEDUCTION CORRELATION – WHERE ARE WE NOW?

The BP Federal hearing to determine what methods of matching income to expenses for BP claims is scheduled for December 2nd, and we expect that there will be valuable feedback, and possibly definitive guidance issued by the next week.  Please therefore, mark your calendars for 12:30 p.m. or 5pm on Monday, December 9th for a complimentary 30 minute webinar with John Goldsmith and Dean Kent of the Trenam Kemker law firm.

Date:  Monday, December 9, 2013 | Two Sessions: 12:30 p.m. or 5pm

Location: Online Webinar

Additional Information: To register for the 12:30 session please click here.  To register for the 5pm session please click here.

THE FLORIDA BAR – REPRESENTING THE PHYSICIAN

Date: Friday, January 17, 2013

Location:  The Hyatt Hotel, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: The annual Florida Bar conference entitled Representing the Physician is designed especially for health care, tax, and business lawyers, CPAs and physician office managers and physicians to cover practical legal, medical law, and tax planning matters that affect physicians and physician practices.

This year our 1 day seminar will be held in the Hyatt Hotel near Walt Disney World.

A dinner for the Executive Committee of the Health Law Section of The Florida Bar and our speakers will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2013, whether formally or informally.  Anyone who would like to attend (dutch treat or bring wooden shoes) will be welcomed.  Your tax deductible hotel room to start a fantastic week near Disney, Universal, Sea World and most importantly Gatorland, can include a room at the fantastic Hyatt Hotel for a discounted rate per night, single occupancy.

FLORIDA BAR HEALTH LAW REVIEW 2014

Alan Gassman will be speaking on What Healthcare Lawyers Need to Know About Tax Law and Business Entities at this excellent annual Florida Bar conference that is attended not only for those who are taking the Board Certification exam but also healthcare lawyers and other advisors.

Other speakers will include Lester Perling who is the co-author of A Practical Guide to Kickback and Self-Referral Laws for Florida Physicians and a number of other books and publications.

Date:    March 7 – 8, 2014

Location: Hyatt, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: We thank Jodi Laurence for all of her hard work in making this conference as successful as it is.  For more information please contact Jodi at jl@flhealthlaw.com.

1st ANNUAL ESTATE PLANNER’S DAY AT AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW

Speakers: Speakers will include Professor Jerry Hesch, Jonathan Gopman, Alan Gassman and others.

Date: April 25, 2014

Location: Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

Sponsors:AveMariaSchool of Law, Collier County Estate Planning Council and more to be announced.

Additional Information: For more information on this event please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com.

NOTABLE SEMINARS PRESENTED BY OTHERS:

48th ANNUAL HECKERLING INSTITUTE ON ESTATE PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: January 13 – 17, 2014

Location:  OrlandoWorldCenter Marriott, Orlando, Florida

Sponsor:University of MiamiSchool of Law

Additional Information: For more information please visit: http://www.law.miami.edu/heckerling/

16th ANNUAL ALL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ESTATE, TAX, LEGAL & FINANCIAL PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Location: All Children’s Hospital Education and ConferenceCenter, St. Petersburg, Florida with remote location live interactive viewings in Tampa, Sarasota, New Port Richey, Lakeland, and Bangkok, Thailand

Sponsor: All Children’s Hospital

THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA TAX INSTITUTE

Date: February 19 – 21, 2014

Location: Grand Hyatt, Tampa, Florida

Presenters:  Martin McMahon, Jr., C. Wells Hall, III, Abraham N.M. Shashy, Karen L. Hawkins, Lawrence Lokken, Stephen F. Gertzman, James B. Sowell, John J. Rooney, Louis Weller, Ronald Aucutt, Karen Gilbreath Sowell, Herbert N. Beller, Peter J. Genz, Stephan R. Leimberg, John J. Scroggin, Lauren Y. Detzel, David Pratt and Samuel A. Donaldson

Sponsor:  UF Law alumni and UF Graduate Tax Program

Additional Information:  Here is what UF is saying about the program on its website: “The UF Tax Institute will provide tax practitioners and other leading tax, business and estate planning professionals with a program that covers the most current issues and planning ideas with a practical, informative, state-of-the-art approach.  The Institute’s schedule will devote separate days or half days to individual income tax issues, entity tax issues and estate planning issues.  Speakers and presentations will be announced as the program date nears to ensure coverage of the most timely and significant topics.  UF Law alumni have formed the Florida Tax Education Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, to organize the conference.”

The Thursday Report – 3D, Bloomberg Florida Law Summary, New SCIN Charts, and Hobby Losses

Posted on: November 21st, 2013

Abraham Lincoln Edition

 

The Hanukkah Solution – There are only 6 days before Hanukkah.  Buy one of our books at Amazon.com to allow plenty of time for re-gifting at Christmas.  It is better to re-gift than to not receive twice.  Click here to go to our Amazon.com page.

Dr. Who?

Doctors as Ranchers – Hobby Losses

Part III of our article “What You Need to Know About Florida Law to Advise Your Clients Who Live Here”

More Charts on SCIN-ing a GRAT

Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog: Autism: What Every Parent Should Know About Special Needs Trusts

Seminar of the Week: The Tampa February 19-21 University of Florida Tax Program Seminar – Weller, Detzel & Pratt

We welcome contributions for future Thursday Report topics. If you are interested in making a contribution as a guest writer, please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

 This report and other Thursday Reports can be found on our website at www.gassmanlawassociates.com.

Abe Lincoln

November 19th marked the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.  It is regarded as one of the most influential and greatest speeches in American history.  The speech was only 2 minutes long, during which time he spoke of our rights as human beings and Americans dictated by the Declaration of Independence.  Given during the Civil War, Lincoln spoke of the founding principles of our nation in terms of his time and struggles felt during the Civil War.

Actor Gregory Peck reciting the Gettysburg Address can be seen on youtube.com by clicking here.  The actual speech is below:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth, or run out of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Dr. Who Part 1

Dr. Who Part 2

On November 25th, science fiction fans can go to local movie theaters to see the 50th anniversary extravaganza of the Dr. Who show.

Dr. Who was first aired on the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) on the evening that John F. Kennedy died.  Dr. Who is an extra-terrestrial alien in human form who uses a small blue police public call box to transport him and his friends through time and space.  When he goes forward in time the future is revealed, and when he goes back in time, history and interaction occur.

This has been one of the most popular television series in British history, and is also very popular with U.S. audiences that are aware of it.

Douglas Adams wrote for Dr. Who and went on to adapt its ideas for the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

The November 25th theater extravaganza will certainly be as entertaining as the show.

Try it, you’ll like it!

You can also see the Dr. Who BBC new version that is currently on.  Check your local listings or watch it free on Amazon.

Dr. Who quotes:

“The universe is big.  It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous.  And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” – The Doctor

“You want weapons?”  We’re in a library!  Books!  The best weapons in the world!” – The Doctor

“Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan!” —The Doctor

“In 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important” – The Doctor

“Letting it get to you. You know what that’s called? Being alive. Best thing there is. Being alive right now is all that counts.”  – The Doctor ignore coincidence. Unless, of course, you’re busy. In which case, always ignore coincidence.”— The Doctor

Doctors as Ranchers – Hobby Losses

Many clients engage in ranching or farm related activities and have a great passion for this, notwithstanding constant financial losses.

In this situation it is almost always best to continue taking the losses, notwithstanding the “hobby loss” rules.  Our write-up on the hobby loss rules as would apply to a physician who maintains a cattle farm that has recreational features such as skeet shooting, a swimming pool, and a guest house (where his or her legal and financial and tax advisors should be able to stay periodically and have productive meetings) is as follows:

If the taxpayer can show a bona fide profit motive and runs his activity in the manner of a business, can he overcome the “hobby” presumption caused by repetitive annual losses?

Yes.  Though an activity may be presumed to be a “hobby” if it does not make a profit in three of the past five years, “profits” are not necessary to prove an activity is “for-profit.”

If Dr. Smith keeps detailed records of his ranch’s finances, and also on the bloodlines of his herd, his herd’s breeding statistics, medication schedules, and any effort and expense at obtaining well-bred bulls, he improves the chances that his cattle operation will be deemed a for-profit enterprise.

An activity is engaged in for profit if the taxpayer entertained an actual and honest, even though unreasonable or unrealistic profit objective in engaging in the activity.  Stromatt v. CIR. U.S. Tax Ct. Summary Opinion 2011-42, No. 5339-07S (emphasis added).

Furthermore, if one objective of the operation was to have agricultural tax treatment, and an important motive here was to earn money on the appreciation of the ranch land and to be able to pay the taxes and insurances associated therewith, then the chances of success notwithstanding years of consecutive losses are significantly enhanced.

Factors that have proved successful in convincing a tax court of a cattle operation’s profit motive include:

  •         significant growth of herd during period being examined especially if in the operation‘s early stages
  •         record-keeping that documents breeding goals and outcomes
  •         the motive to earn money on the appreciation of real estate as an investment.

The Smith case and the Burrus case both support the proposition that “land banking” by farming, ranching, or other means is a legitimate business, as opposed to being a hobby. In the Smith case, the Court stated that the land appreciation and the cow and dairy farm were not considered a single entity. However, it recognized that the taxpayer’s investment in the land and buildings had the potential for appreciation and profit and considered that to be favorable to the taxpayer.

  See Burrus v. CIR, T.C. Memo. 2003-285 (Tax Court held that petitioner’s breeding documentation, bull sales records, considerable investment of personal time, and hiring of an experienced rancher to manage the operation in petitioner’s absence demonstrated a sufficient profit motive, overcoming the hobby presumption caused by the operation’s monetary losses in all six years under review).

Alternatively, large losses paired with substantial income from other sources will likely lead to a determination that farm/ranch is a hobby.  See Zuckerman v. CIR, T.C. Memo. 1984-192.

The head of cattle on Dr. Smith’s ranch, 35, may be important depending on the size of the ranch.  The ideal ratio varies based on the quality of the pasture, so I would like to know more about the property.  Size of herd could be used to demonstrate profit motive in two ways: 1) if the herd steadily increased in size over time, or 2) if the size of the herd during the time period in question represented the ideal cow-per-acre ratio for the particular property.

Page 3 – 4 of the M-5840 – Carrying on Hobby in a Manner Similar to a Profitable Activity – Hobby Losses, gives some good examples of cattle ranching activities that have, and have not, been successful in proving genuine profit motive.  It would be good to compare them to Dr. Smith’s operation.

Appreciation of the assets used in the activity can also be a factor favoring the taxpayer, but the appreciation needs to be likely to occur.  If such appreciation is “expected,” this increase in value may indicate a profit motive.  See Income Tax Regulations _ 1.183-2(b)(4).

Below is a quick overview of the nine factors the IRS uses to help determine if an activity is engaged in for profit or as a hobby:

  1. Does the time and effort put in to the activity indicate an intention to make a profit?
  2. Do you depend on income from the activity?
  3. If there are losses, are they due to circumstances beyond your control or did they occur in the start-up phase of the business?
  4. Have you changed methods of operation to improve profitability?
  5. Do you have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business?
  6. Have you made a profit in similar activities in the past?
  7. Does the activity make a profit in some years?
  8. Do you expect to make a profit in the future from the appreciation of assets used in the activity?
  9. Are elements of pleasure or recreation involved?

Part III of our article “What You Need to Know About Florida Law to Advise Your Clients Who Live Here”

Our Bloomberg BNA Tax Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal entitled “What You Need to Know About Florida to Advise Your Clients Who Live Here – Part III” concentrates on estate planning and creditor protection trust aspects for Floridians and those interested in asset protection trusts.  You can view the article by clicking here.

If you would like copies of parts I and II please email Janine Gunyan and Janine@gassmanpa.com.

Lou Mezzullo also has an excellent article entitled “Using Life Insurance to Satisfy Support Obligations in a Divorce”.  The article is so good that several tax lawyers have considered getting divorced so that they can use this technique.

If you would like a copy of Lou Mezzullo’s article contact Aen Webster at Bloomberg BNA at aen.webster@bipc.com.

More Charts on SCIN-ing a GRAT

Yesterday, we participated in a Bloomberg BNA Webinar entitled “Planning with Self-Cancelling Installment Notes and Private Annuities: Don’t Get Burned.”  We updated our materials on the SCGRAT and also have a chart on the SCGRAT – Self Cancelling Grantor Retained Annuity Trust technique.  You can view our chart and two new pages of text by clicking here.    We thank Stacy Eastland for his ideas and writing on the use of a leveraged LLC that can be contributed to a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust.  Be owed a SCIN by your LLC and see how good things could be.

Our webinar also discussed the Kite case.  The number one American tax musical video on youtube discussed the Kite case and can be viewed by clicking here.

Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog: Autism: What Every Parent Should Know About Special Needs Trusts

Parents of children with autism have many daunting tasks.  One task that is often put off until it is too late is making sure you have a back-up plan if you can no longer care for your child.

To read more about this please click here.

Seminar of the Week: The Tampa February 19-21 University of Florida Tax Program Seminar

Weller, Detzel & Pratt

(Not to be confused with Crosby, Stills & Nash)

 The Florida Tax Institute at the Levin College of Law at UF is scheduled for February 19 – 21, 2014.

Weller Pic

 

On Thursday, February 20, 2014, Louis S. Weller of Bryan Cave, LLP in San Francisco will speak on Current Issues in Section 1031 Exchange.

We are pleased to see real estate prices going up and clients who are being rewarded for having bought real estate “at the bottom” in 2008 or shortly thereafter.

Louis is uniquely qualified to give this presentation because of his 35 years of experience as a transactional and real estate lawyer, not to mention that he is the Real Estate Department Editor for the Journal of Taxation, past Chair of the Real Estate Committee of the American Bar Association, and of the Subcommittee on Like-Kind Realty Exchanges for the ABA.

Detzel Pratt

We are also very much looking forward to the presentation entitled Formula Clauses A-Z which will be given on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 10:30 am by Lauren Detzel and David Pratt.

This will be a very practical presentation.

Lauren received her J.D. from the University of Florida and has been named as one of Orlando’s Best Lawyers, as Trusts & Estates Litigator of the Year for 2013, and is Chair of the Wills, Trusts Committee of the RPPTL Section of The Florida Bar.

David is Florida Board Certified in both Taxation and Wills, Trusts and Estates.  He was a CPA with Arthur Anderson in New York City and served as Chair of the Florida Bar’s Tax Section.

He is an adjunct professor at the University of Florida College of Law (as is Lauren Detzel).

Please make sure you join us for their interesting presentation and visit our booth.

Booth Pic

Our booth will feature the special chair that we have funded for Professor Dennis Calfee.  We bought it at Walgreens and it has a 3 year warranty.

Calfee

 

Professor Calfee thanks so much for not changing my partnership tax grade.

APPLICABLE FEDERAL RATES

Federal Rates

Seminars and Webinars

BP CLAIM INCOME AND DEDUCTION CORRELATION – WHERE ARE WE NOW?

The BP Federal hearing to determine what methods of matching income to expenses for BP claims is scheduled for December 2nd, and we expect that there will be valuable feedback, and possibly definitive guidance issued by the next week.  Please therefore, mark your calendars for 12:30 pm or 5pm on Monday, December 9th for a complimentary 30 minute webinar with John Goldsmith and Dean Kent of the Trenam Kemker law firm.

Date:    Monday, December 9, 2013 | Two Sessions: 12:30 pm or 5pm

Location: Online Webinar

Additional Information: To register for the 12:30pm session please click here.  To register for the 5pm session please click here.

THE FLORIDA BAR – REPRESENTING THE PHYSICIAN

Date: Friday, January 17, 2013

Location:  The Hyatt Hotel, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: The annual Florida Bar conference entitled Representing the Physician is designed especially for health care, tax, and business lawyers, CPAs and physician office managers and physicians to cover practical legal, medical law, and tax planning matters that affect physicians and physician practices.

This year our 1 day seminar will be held in the Hyatt Hotel near Walt Disney World.

A dinner for the Executive Committee of the Health Law Section of The Florida Bar and our speakers will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2013, whether formally or informally.  Anyone who would like to attend (dutch treat or bring wooden shoes) will be welcomed.  Your tax deductible hotel room to start a fantastic week near Disney, Universal, Sea World and most importantly Gatorland, can include a room at the fantastic Hyatt Hotel for a discounted rate per night, single occupancy.

FLORIDA BAR HEALTH LAW REVIEW 2014

Alan Gassman will be speaking on What Healthcare Lawyers Need to Know About Tax Law and Business Entities at this excellent annual Florida Bar conference that is attended not only for those who are taking the Board Certification exam but also healthcare lawyers and other advisors.

Other speakers will include Lester Perling who is the co-author of A Practical Guide to Kickback and Self-Referral Laws for Florida Physicians and a number of other books and publications.

Date:    March 7 – 8, 2014

Location: Hyatt, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: We thank Jodi Laurence for all of her hard work in making this conference as successful as it is.  For more information please contact Jodi at jl@flhealthlaw.com.

1st ANNUAL ESTATE PLANNER’S DAY AT AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW

Speakers: Speakers will include Professor Jerry Hesch, Jonathan Gopman, Alan Gassman and others.

Date: April 25, 2014

Location: Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

Sponsors:AveMariaSchool of Law, Collier County Estate Planning Council and more to be announced.

Additional Information: For more information on this event please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com.

NOTABLE SEMINARS PRESENTED BY OTHERS:

48th ANNUAL HECKERLING INSTITUTE ON ESTATE PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: January 13 – 17, 2014

Location:  OrlandoWorldCenter Marriott, Orlando, Florida

Sponsor:University of MiamiSchool of Law

Additional Information: For more information please visit: http://www.law.miami.edu/heckerling/

16th ANNUAL ALL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ESTATE, TAX, LEGAL & FINANCIAL PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Location: All Children’s Hospital Education and ConferenceCenter, St. Petersburg, Florida with remote location live interactive viewings in Tampa, Sarasota, New Port Richey, Lakeland, and Bangkok, Thailand

Sponsor: All Children’s Hospital

THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA TAX INSTITUTE

Date: February 19 – 21, 2014

Location: Grand Hyatt, Tampa, Florida

Presenters:       Martin McMahon, Jr., C. Wells Hall, III, Abraham N.M. Shashy, Karen L. Hawkins, Lawrence Lokken, Stephen F. Gertzman, James B. Sowell, John J. Rooney, Louis Weller, Ronald Aucutt, Karen Gilbreath Sowell, Herbert N. Beller, Peter J. Genz, Stephan R. Leimberg, John J. Scroggin, Lauren Y. Detzel, David Pratt and Samuel A. Donaldson

Sponsor:  UF Law alumni and UF Graduate Tax Program

Additional Information:  Here is what UF is saying about the program on its website: “The UF Tax Institute will provide tax practitioners and other leading tax, business and estate planning professionals with a program that covers the most current issues and planning ideas with a practical, informative, state-of-the-art approach.  The Institute’s schedule will devote separate days or half days to individual income tax issues, entity tax issues and estate planning issues.  Speakers and presentations will be announced as the program date nears to ensure coverage of the most timely and significant topics.  UF Law alumni have formed the Florida Tax Education Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, to organize the conference.”

 

 

The Thursday Report – 11.14.2013 – Don’t “Hesch-itate” To Read This!

Posted on: November 14th, 2013

The Estate Tax Fight of the Decade – What To Do For A Client With A Short Life Expectancy – Don’t “Hesch-itate” to see this poster!

Jonathan Blattmachr & Alan Gassman:Stepping Up Efforts to Step-Up Basis for Married Couples, a Leimberg Information Services Article

Materially Participate to Avoid the 3.8% Tax on Business Entity Ownership

Individual Health Care Penalties

Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog: Unclaimed Property in Florida: You May Be Pleasantly Surprised!

Item of Interest – Pilates, Yoga, Free Food, Drinks and Good Health on McMullen Booth Road this Saturday Evening

We welcome contributions for future Thursday Report topics. If you are interested in making a contribution as a guest writer, please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

This report and other Thursday Reports can be found on our website at www.gassmanlawassociates.com.

To register for this Bloomberg BNA Tax & Accounting webinar please CLICK HERE and use the top secret code of LWJHAGEW to receive $100 off the cost of the webinar.

If you are unable to attend the webinar but would like a copy of the materials please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com

The Estate Tax Fight of the Decade – What To Do For A Client With A Short Life Expectancy –
Don’t “Hesch-itate” to see this poster!

BNA WEBINAR AD.4

*The above poster was not endorsed by Bloomberg BNA Tax & Accounting, the IRS, KFC, AARP, Ed Wojnaroski, Larry Katzenstein or Moe or Curly. Please display it with great caution. Sarah Palin does not approve this message.

The $1 Billion Dollar Davidson Prize Fight – Coming to a Tax Court Near YOU!

Don’t miss Larry Katzenstein’s discussion with Ed Wojnaroski on whether the IRS has a chance to prevail in the Davidson case.

To register for this Bloomberg BNA Tax & Accounting webinar please CLICK HERE and use the top secret code of LWJHAGEW to receive $100 off the cost of the webinar.

If you are unable to attend the webinar but would like a copy of the materials please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

Blattmachr Cartoon Final

Our article “Stepping Up Efforts to Step-Up Basis for Married Couples” was published last night in the Leimberg Information Systems Estate Planning Newsletter.  The chart from the article is as follows:

No Planning

JEST or Special Power of Appointment Trust Arrangements

Alaska Community Property Trust

Drafting and Design Time to Implement None. Requires sophisticated drafting and implementation. Can be simple to install.
Creditor Protection Attributes No effect. Will typically expose assets to creditors to each owner spouse unless further planning is effectuated. Alaska creditor protection law applies.
Annual Maintenance Costs None beyond what client is already paying. None but best to review assets and allocation within JEST trust periodically. $3,000 per year payment to Alaska trust company and requiring that the clients follow appropriate formalities if they want to have creditor protection attributes.
Administration After Death of First Spouse No special provisions needed. Must meet with qualified planner to decide how to allocate assets between one or two credit shelter trusts and administration issues. Can simply dissolve trust or maintain trust and step up has occurred.
Degree of Tax Certainty Non-applicable. The Service may challenge the stepped up basis and funding of a credit shelter trust from the assets of the first dying spouse. Statutory support and over decades of community property case law eliminates stepped up basis and full credit shelter trust funding issues.

Jonathan G. Blattmachr is one of the country’s most well recognized estate planning authors and lawyers and has developed many priceless concepts and strategies that the profession uses every day.  He was a practicing attorney for approximately 40 years at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.  Jonathan continues to be extremely active, being a director of Pioneer Wealth Partners, LLC, a boutique wealth advisor firm in New York, Director of Estate Planning for the Alaska Trust Company, co-developer with Dallas Attorney Michael L. Graham of Wealth Transfer Planning, a computerized drafting and advice system for lawyers, the author of many books (including Income Taxation of Estates and Trusts with Professor Ladson Boyle and The Circular 230 Deskbook with Professor Mitchell Gans, both published by the Practising Law Institute) and articles, trustee for many wealthy families and a frequent lecturer across the country.  Mr. Blattmachr can be contacted at jblattmachr@hotmail.com

To view a copy of the article please click here.

Materially Participate to Avoid the 3.8% Tax on Business Entity Ownership

 There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 7 ways to materially participate in an active business owned by an S corporation or partnership in order to avoid the 3.8% Medicare tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 1411.  The 3.8% Medicare tax applies to net investment income. Net investment income includes interest, dividends, capital gains, rental and royalty income, non-qualified annuities, income from businesses involved in trading of financial instruments or commodities, and passive business activities. However, income from an active  trade or business that is owned by an S corporation or a partnership is exempt from the 3.8% Medicare tax, if the activities of the taxpayer are not “passive activities” under the passive loss rules of Internal Revenue Code Section 469.

An activity is not a “passive activity” if the activity involves a trade or business in which the taxpayer materially participates. Internal Revenue Code Section 469 and the Treasury Regulations thereunder define material participation as regular, continuous, and substantial involvement in the operations of the activity.

Under the Regulations, the following 7 tests are used to establish whether a taxpayer materially participates in an activity:[1]

1.  If the taxpayer participates in the activity for at least 500 hours during the taxable year, then the taxpayer materially participates in the activity.

The taxpayer’s participation must be done while the taxpayer owns an interest in the activity. Further, the participation must be “in connection with the activity,” which is not necessarily limited to direct involvement in the main operations of the activity.[2]

2.  It is sufficient if the taxpayer does substantially all of the work in the activity, even when considering the work of non-owners of the activity.  However, the taxpayer=s participation includes that of his or her spouse for the purposes of this test.  The amount of hours that the taxpayer spends on the activity does not matter.[3]

3.  The taxpayer materially participates if he or she works more than 100 hours in the activity during the year, and no one else (including individuals who do not have any ownership in the activity) works more than the taxpayer.

This test includes work done by individuals that do not own an interest in the activity. For example, if the taxpayer=s employee, who does not own an interest in the activity, participates more than the taxpayer, then the taxpayer cannot satisfy this test.[4]

4.  If the activity is a significant participation activity (SPA), and the taxpayer participated in all SPA=s for more than 500 hours for the year, then the taxpayer is considered to be materially participating in the activity.

An SPA is an activity, other than a rental activity, that the taxpayer would not be treated as materially participating under any of the other tests, but in which he or she participates for at least 100 hours. The aggregate participation of the taxpayer in all of his or her SPAs must exceed 500 hours.[5]  Any participation by the taxpayer=s spouse is considered as participation by the taxpayer for the purposes of this test.

5.  The taxpayer is considered to materially participate in an activity for a particular taxable year if he or she materially participated in such activity in any 5 of the prior 10 years. This test only applies to years in which the taxpayer owned an interest in the activity.[6]

6.  If the activity is a personal service activity and the taxpayer materially participated in that activity in any 3 prior years, then the taxpayer is considered to be materially participating in the activity.  Personal service activities include services performed in health, law, engineering, architecture, accounting, actuarial science, performing arts, or consulting. It also includes any other trade or business in which capital is not a material income-producing factor.[7]

7.  The taxpayer materially participates in an activity if, based on all of the facts and circumstances, the taxpayer participates in the activity on a regular, continuous, and substantial basis during such year. However, this test only applies if the taxpayer works at least 100 hours in the activity, no one else works more hours than the taxpayer in the activity, and no one else receives compensation for managing the activity.[8]

What if the taxpayer’s spouse participates in the business? The taxpayer’s spouse’s participation is included when determining whether the taxpayer materially participated.[9] The taxpayer and his spouse are viewed as one person, regardless of whether they file joint income tax returns.  This applies to all 7 tests.

An estate or a trust is treated as materially participating in an activity if the executor or fiduciary is materially participating in the activity.[10]  Participation of a beneficiary of an estate or trust does not matter.[11] However, a trust that is materially participating in an activity generally will not be considered a trust for tax purposes.[12] Instead, the trust will be taxed as a corporation under Treasury Regulation Section 301.7701-4.[13]

 Individual Health Care Penalties

At the end of August, the IRS finalized the rules for the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act.  Since the Supreme Court has ruled that the individual mandate constitutes a tax, the IRS will be responsible for collecting it.  CNN describes the penalty implications as follows: “Under the new rules, individuals choosing not to carry insurance are subject to a penalty of $95 per person each year, or 1% of household income, whichever is greater, beginning in 2014.  Over time, the penalty increases, so that by 2016 the penalty is $695 per person, or 2.5% of household income.  Subsequent years will be calculated based on a cost-of-living formula.”

The graphic below illustrates the application of the mandate:

Health Care Penalty Box FINAL

 Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog: Unclaimed Property in Florida: You May Be Pleasantly Surprised!

 You may think it is not possible that you or a family member have any “unclaimed” property held by the State of Florida – and you could be wrong!

Click here to read more about this interesting topic.

Item of Interest – Pilates, Yoga, Free Food, Drinks and Good Health on McMullen Booth this Saturday Evening

Kapok Pilates & Wellness (located across the street from Sam Ash music in Clearwater) is a fully equipped Pilates studio including private sessions, small group classes, Pilates mat, yoga, Tai Chi, Aerial Yoga and more.

Their Grand Opening Celebration is this Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 7pm.

Kapok Pilates & Wellness

908 North McMullen Booth Road

Clearwater, FL 33759

727-365-8574

Enrich your body and mind with exercise, movements, positive thoughts, visions and colorful foods, but not Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Applicable Federal Rates

Federal Rates

Seminars and Webinars

BP APPELLATE & TRIAL JUDGE MATCHING OF INCOME & EXPENSE DECISIONS

Date: Thursday, November 14, 2013 | Two sessions to choose from: Breakfast 7:30 – 8:20 or dinner 6:00 – 6:50 p.m.

Location: Trenam Kemker, 101 E. Kennedy Blvd, Suite 2700, Tampa, FL 33602

Additional Information: To register for the breakfast session please click here.  To register for the dinner session please click here.

CREDITOR PROTECTION FOR FLORIDA PHYSICIANS & BP CLAIMS SEMINAR – SANDSPUR FICPA MONTHLY MEETING

Date: Monday, November 18, 2013 | 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Location: TGIFridays, Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL

Additional Information: If you are interested in attending this seminar please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

PLANNING WITH SELF-CANCELLING INSTALLMENT NOTES AND PRIVATE ANNUITIES: DON’T GET BURNED

Date:    Wednesday, November 20, 2013 | 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Speakers: Professor Jerry Hesch, Lawrence Katzenstein, Edward P. Wojnaroski, Alan S. Gassman and Kenneth J. Crotty

Additional Information: To register for this webinar please click here.  If you would like to receive a copy of the materials for this webinar please email Janine Gunyan and Janine@gassmanpa.com

ESTATE PLANNING COUNCIL OF MANATEE COUNTY SEMINAR

Alan Gassman will be speaking to the Estate Planning Council of Manatee County on “AN ESTATE AND TAX PLANNER’S YEAR END PLANNING CHECKLIST – PRACTICE SYSTEM STRATEGIES IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES”.

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013 | 12:00 p.m – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Bradenton County Club, 4646 9th Avenue W, Bradenton, FL34209

Additional Information:  To register for this event please visit the Estate Planning Council of Manatee County website at http://www.estateplanningcouncilofmanateecounty.org/events/event/10036

MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES CONTINUING EDUCATION PRIMARY CARE CONFERENCE

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of LEGAL, TAX AND FINANCIAL BOOT CAMP FOR THE MEDICAL PRACTICE – A SPECIAL TAX, ESTATE PLANNING AND LAW CONFERENCE FOR PHYSICIANS

Date: December 13, 2013 – 12:00 pm – 4:40 pm and December 14, 2013 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Topics and Meeting Times:

Friday, December 13, 2013

  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm –  2013 Tax Changes
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm The 10 Biggest Mistakes that Physicians Make in their Investments and Business Planning
  • 2:10 – 3:10 pm Lawsuits 101
  • 3:10 – 3:40 pm  – Essential Estate Planning
  • 3:40 – 4:40 pm  – Deductions for Physicians

Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • 8:00 – 9:00 am – Medical Practice Financial Management
  • 9:00 – 10:00 am – Physician Compensation
  • 10:10 – 11:10 am – Asset Entity Planning for Creditor Protection and Buy/Sell Arrangements
  • 11:10 – 11:40 am – Tax Structures for Medical Practices
  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm – 50 Ways to Leave Your Overhead
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm – Retirement Plan Options for Physicians
  • 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Stark Naked or Well Prepared? (Please do not come to this session naked.)

Location:GrandHyattTampaBay, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, Florida

Additional Information:  For more information please visit www.MER.org  Please note that the program qualifies for continuing education credit for physicians.

THE FLORIDA BAR – REPRESENTING THE PHYSICIAN

Date: Friday, January 17, 2013

Location:  The Hyatt Hotel, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: The annual Florida Bar conference entitled Representing the Physician is designed especially for health care, tax, and business lawyers, CPAs and physician office managers and physicians to cover practical legal, medical law, and tax planning matters that affect physicians and physician practices.

This year our 1 day seminar will be held in the Hyatt Hotel near Walt Disney World.

A dinner for the Executive Committee of the Health Law Section of The Florida Bar and our speakers will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2013, whether formally or informally.  Anyone who would like to attend (dutch treat or bring wooden shoes) will be welcomed.  Your tax deductible hotel room to start a fantastic week near Disney, Universal, Sea World and most importantly Gatorland, can include a room at the fantastic Hyatt Hotel for a discounted rate per night, single occupancy.

FLORIDA BAR HEALTH LAW REVIEW 2014

Alan Gassman will be speaking on What Healthcare Lawyers Need to Know About Tax Law and Business Entities at this excellent annual Florida Bar conference that is attended not only for those who are taking the Board Certification exam but also healthcare lawyers and other advisors.

Other speakers will include Lester Perling who is the co-author of A Practical Guide to Kickback and Self-Referral Laws for Florida Physicians and a number of other books and publications.

Date:    March 7 – 8, 2014

Location: Hyatt, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: We thank Jodi Laurence for all of her hard work in making this conference as successful as it is.  For more information please contact Jodi at jl@flhealthlaw.com.

1st ANNUAL ESTATE PLANNER’S DAY AT AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW

Speakers: Speakers will include Professor Jerry Hesch, Jonathan Gopman, Alan Gassman and others.

Date: April 25, 2014

Location: Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

Sponsors:AveMariaSchool of Law, Collier County Estate Planning Council and more to be announced.

Additional Information: For more information on this event please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com.

NOTABLE SEMINARS PRESENTED BY OTHERS:

48th ANNUAL HECKERLING INSTITUTE ON ESTATE PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: January 13 – 17, 2014

Location:  Orlando World Center Marriott, Orlando, Florida

Sponsor:University of Miami School of Law

Additional Information: For more information please visit: http://www.law.miami.edu/heckerling/

16th ANNUAL ALL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ESTATE, TAX, LEGAL & FINANCIAL PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Location: All Children’s Hospital Education and ConferenceCenter, St. Petersburg, Florida with remote location live interactive viewings in Tampa, Sarasota, New Port Richey, Lakeland, and Bangkok, Thailand

Sponsor: All Children’s Hospital

THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA TAX INSTITUTE

Date: February 19 – 21, 2014

Location: Grand Hyatt, Tampa, Florida

Presenters:       Martin McMahon, Jr., C. Wells Hall, III, Abraham N.M. Shashy, Karen L. Hawkins, Lawrence Lokken, Stephen F. Gertzman, James B. Sowell, John J. Rooney, Louis Weller, Ronald Aucutt, Karen Gilbreath Sowell, Herbert N. Beller, Peter J. Genz, Stephan R. Leimberg, John J. Scroggin, Lauren Y. Detzel, David Pratt and Samuel A. Donaldson

Sponsor:  UF Law alumni and UF Graduate Tax Program

Additional Information:  Here is what UF is saying about the program on its website: “The UF Tax Institute will provide tax practitioners and other leading tax, business and estate planning professionals with a program that covers the most current issues and planning ideas with a practical, informative, state-of-the-art approach.  The Institute’s schedule will devote separate days or half days to individual income tax issues, entity tax issues and estate planning issues.  Speakers and presentations will be announced as the program date nears to ensure coverage of the most timely and significant topics.  UF Law alumni have formed the Florida Tax Education Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, to organize the conference.”


[1]IRS Publication 925 (2012).

[2]IRS Regs.’ 1.469-5(f)(1).

[3]Bloomberg BNA, U.S. Income Portfolios: Real Estate Portfolio 549-2nd: Passive Loss Rules.

[4]Id.

[5]IRS Regs.’ 1.469-5T(c); IRS Regs.’ 1.469-5T(a)(4).

[6]Bloomberg BNA, U.S. Income Portfolios: Real Estate Portfolio 549-2nd: Passive Loss Rules.

[7]Id.

[8]Id.

[9]26 U.S.C. ‘ 469(h)(5).

[10]Bloomberg BNA, U.S. Income Portfolios: Real Estate Portfolio 549-2nd: Passive Loss Rules.

[11]Id.

[12]Id.

[13]Id.

The Thursday Report – November 7, 2013 – $5.34m/$14k/UF LLM 2.21.14 TPA Conference

Posted on: November 7th, 2013

Updated Estate Tax Charts including the new $5,340,000 Exemption Amount

Seminar Spotlight of the Week – UF LL.M. Tax Institute Program Details – Attend One or More of Wednesday, Thursday and/or Friday, February 19 – 21, 2014 in Tampa and Win a Bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken to Share with 5 of your Favorite Friends.

HIPAA Changes 2013 by Anita Ramirez

Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog – Florida Guardianship Quick Reference Guide

Lemmings to the Sea

We welcome contributions for future Thursday Report topics. If you are interested in making a contribution as a guest writer, please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

This report and other Thursday Reports can be found on our website at www.gassmanlawassociates.com.

Updated Estate Tax Charts including the new $5,340,000 Exemption Amount and the new FICA/FUTA Limit of $117,000

We now know formally that the estate tax exemption will increase from $5,250,000 to $5,340,000 on January 1, 2014.  Gifting next year can therefore be based upon $14,000 per recipient plus $90,000 plus whatever the client has left of their exemption amount.

Also, set your calendar to get with clients three years after they have filed their 2012 gift tax return if you did not use all of their exemption amount but reported discounts that would do so.  If you do not know what the above means and you have wealthy clients call someone who does!  The client will appreciate it and the someone who does will really appreciate it.

Please let us know if you would like a Microsoft Excel version of any of the below charts.  Please feel free to use them in your practice.

New Estate Tax Law Summary

2013 Tax Rates Chart.1a

Protective Trust Logistical Chart

Revised Protective Trust Logistical Chart

The below chart is an updated version of our SCGRAT chart which describes an idea that can be used if you want to use a self-cancelling installment note and are concerned about whether the service would require it to be valued based upon a willing buyer/willing seller standard.  This is derived from materials and lectures in the past by Stacy Eastland.  We welcome any and all questions, comments and suggestions with respect to this.

Please join Jerry Hesch, Larry Katzenstein, Ed Wojarnoski, Alan Gassman and Kenneth Crotty for the Bloomberg BNA Webinar Planning with Self-Cancelling Installment Notes and Private Annuities: Don’t Get Burned and give us your questions, comments and suggestions on planning with self-cancelling installment notes and private annuities.

If you would like to attend the webinar please click here to register.  If you are unable to attend but would like a copy of the materials please email Janine@gassmanpa.com

Be there or be a quadrilateral!

Cube and Squire with text

 

SCGRAT Chart

 Seminar Spotlight of the Week – University of Florida Tax Institute Announced – Make Sure to Mark Your Calendar for One or More of Wednesday, Thursday and/or Friday, February 19 – 21, 2014 and Win a Bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken to Share with 5 of your Favorite Friends

The long awaited announcement of details about the University of Florida Tax Institute that will be held in Tampa, Florida on the above dates was transmitted by the announcement that you can review by clicking here.

Estate Planners can attend the Friday morning half-day session which will include talks by Steve Leimberg of Leimberg Information Services who will speak on Marketing an Estate Planning Practice, Conference Chair Lauren Detzel and David Pratt who will speak on Formula Clauses: A-Z, and the number one tax and estate planning humorist Professor Samuel A. Donaldson from the University of Georgia who will provide an estate planning tax law update and jokes far superior to anything you will ever read in a Thursday Report.  Vests optional – lets chip in a buy this guy a jacket!

Donaldson with text

Many of us will also attend the Wednesday and Thursday sessions which will include UF Tax Law Professor Martin J. McMahon, Jr. on Current Developments in Income Taxation, a panel discussion on Current Developments in International Taxation led by Professor Lawrence Lokken, Louis S. Weller of BryanCave, LLP on Current Issues in Section 1031 Exchanges and Peter J. Genz of King & Spaulding, LLP on Debt Workouts.

There is a welcome reception on Wednesday evening and a University of Florida Foundation reception also open to all attendees on Thursday evening.

The program will be held at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay and rooms can be reserved now at the very reasonable rate of $219.  This is the Hyatt that has the wonderful Armani’s restaurant on the top floor with a spectacular sunset view from the bar and outdoor observatory.  Nothing could go better with fried chicken!

Best of all, we will have a booth at the program and will be giving out buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken to lucky Thursday Report readers who win our contest by (1) contributing to the Thursday Report between now and February 19, 2014, (2) attending this conference, and (3) to be determined.

We will also be providing complimentary training sessions and free 15 month software subscriptions to our ever improving estate tax and installment sale software calculation and illustration program.  Further details on the software and an immediate download can be obtained by emailing estateview@gassmanpa.com.  An instructional webinar entitled Estate Trek: The Next Generation of our EstateView Planning Software that lasts only 20 minutes can be viewed by clicking here.

If you have a dual screen computer please consider putting the software on the left side and watching the webinar on the right side.  If you are left handed only or only read Hebrew you can reverse that.  We have a federal grant under which we are studying this possibility.

You can be adept at using this software at under 15 minutes (which is .3 of an hour if you are counting billable time).

We applaud Lauren Detzel and the members of her committee for all of their hard work in making this tax conference a new and successful part of estate planning and tax education in Florida and for their support of the University of Florida LL.M. in taxation program.  Lauren can be reached at LDetzel@deanmead.com.

Detzel with text

 HIPAA CHANGES 2013
By Anita Ramirez

Anita Ramirez.1

Anita Ramirez is the president of AER Consulting, Inc. and has over 35 years experience in health care management.  She has provided services to physicians in analyzing existing practices, identifying and rectifying problem areas, and new practice start-ups.  Ms. Ramirez has also functioned in the trenches as a clinic administrator overseeing marking, personnel, finance and administrative operations.  She has been featured in several local and national publications and has appeared on many local television programs.  She was on the adjunct faculty of Hillsborough Community College from 1976 to 2000 teaching courses on medical office practices and procedures; office automation, supervision, leadership training and customer service.  She can be reached at aerconsulting.aer@verizon.net.

Below is her article.

In March 2013, many changes were done to HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).  These changes are to be implemented and made effective by all providers by September 23, 2013.  It is imperative that all providers update their HIPAA materials which include policies, procedures and forms.  HIPAA is conducting on site visits to ensure that all providers are compliant with HIPAA.

Business Associate Agreements (BA):

New BA Agreements are required.  Under the rule, the definition of a BA is broadened to generally include all entities that create, receive, maintain, or transmit PHI (Protected Health Information) on behalf of a covered entity.  This expanded definition will now cover a number of organizations that previously might not have been subject to the regulations.  This now also includes sub contractors of BAs (defined as a person to whom a BA delegates a function, activity or service); patient safety organizations, health information organizations, e-prescribing gateways and personal health record vendors.  The rule makes BAs directly liable for compliance with many of the same HIPAA privacy and security standards and requirement that practices must abide by.  BAs are also now subject to the same enforcement actions and fines as practices.

Common BAs are:  billing service, transcription services, off-site record storage and retrieval, record disposal service (shredding company), practice management software vendor, electronic medical record software vendor & ITA company.

The manual and HIPAA CD provided by AER Consulting, Inc. includes the BA agreement, the BA questionnaire, that you need to have the BA complete and return to you so that you show that you have done your due diligence in ensuring that your BA is HIPAA compliance, as well as a cover letter to use to send the new BA Agreement and Questionnaire to your BAs.

Breach Notification:

The new rule significantly revises the definition of a PHI “breach.”  This revised definition makes it more likely that an inappropriate disclosure will be considered a breach and trigger notification requirements   Practices are required to notify affected patients and in cases affecting 500 or more individuals, the local media when a breach occurs.  However, this interim final rule stated that practice professionals did not have to initiate the notification process if they could demonstrate that the breach would not result in any “significant risk of harm” to the patient (reputation, financial or other harm).  This “harm standard” was modified in the omnibus rule to create what HHS calls “a more objective process for assessing whether PHI has been compromised.”

Practice professionals must now assume that an impermissible acquisition, access, use or disclosure of PHI is a breach unless there is a low probability that the PHI was compromised.  To demonstrate low probability, practice professionals must conduct a risk assessment that includes the following:

•           The nature and extent of the PHI involved

•           The unauthorized person who used the PHI or to whom the disclosure was made

•           Whether the PHI was acquired or viewed

•           The extent to which the risk to the PHI has been mitigated

HHS also removed the previous breach exception for PHU in a “limited data set” that did not include patient birth dates or zip codes.

Patient Rights:

HITECH granted patients the right to a copy of their medical records in an electronic format if they were stored electronically.  Patients also have the right to ask for a list of whom their records have been given; therefore, practices must keep a log of all persons or entities that have received a patient record.

Security:

You must perform a complete Risk Assessment on a yearly basis with the report showing what needs to be corrected and a plan showing the corrections required and done.

The HIPAA manuals must have a complete set of policies and procedures for Privacy and for Security.  The one P & P that has been added and expanded is “Information system Activity Review.”   This is the random audits of staff using the PHI.  The purpose of the P & P is to implement procedures that review system activity to determine if any EPHI is accessed, used or disclosed in an inappropriate manner.  Be sure to discuss this with your IT people and set up a process and logs to do this.

Job Descriptions:

Job descriptions must now include the access level of each employee for the practice software access.  There are sample job descriptions included in the material.

Yearly Training and Education:

It is recommend that providers have yearly HIPAA education retreats with the compliance officer, committee and Department Heads.  In turn the department heads can then meet with their staff and do education with their staff and document this education.  All new staff can have their HIPAA education during their orientation and training by viewing the training portion of the HIPAA CD along with the rest of their orientation.

Anita was also kind enough to provide us with the actual law she is referring to, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Lemmings to the Sea

Lemon Cartoon

 “People are what they wanna be, they’re not lemmings to the sea” - Blink 182

This lyric from Blink 182’s song “Lemmings” refers to the popular saying “like lemmings to the sea” or “don’t be a lemming.” This saying is a metaphor for people who blindly follow others. Many people believe this saying originated from the 1958 Disney documentary “White Wilderness.” In the film, lemmings were shown jumping off a cliff into the Arctic Ocean.1 This gave the premise that lemmings will literally jump off a cliff if the lemming in front of them jumps. The film won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.2

However, in 1982, the CBC program “The Fifth Estate” found that the lemmings in White Wilderness did not jump off the cliff, but were pushed off by a rotating platform operated by the Disney film crew.3 Also, the scene was not shot at the Arctic Ocean, but at the Bow River near Calgary, Canada.4 The show also discovered that a scene showing a polar bear cub falling down an ice slope was actually shot in a film studio in Calgary.5

Although Disney’s lemming scene was fake, there is some truth to the lemming’s behavior. Lemmings have strong biological urges to migrate when the population is too large.6 Lemmings can swim so when the lemmings come across a body of water they will try to cross it.7 If the body of water is too large for the lemmings, then many lemmings become exhausted and drown.8 This migratory behavior is the premise for the misconception of the lemming’s “mass suicide.”

While Disney popularized the idea of lemmings committing mass suicide, lemmings have fallen into misconceptions for centuries. In the 1530’s, Zeigler of Strasbourg, a geographer, claimed that lemmings fell from the sky in stormy weather and would die out when the grass grew back in the spring.9  In the 19th century, Intuits believed that the lemmings lived in the stars and would descend to the earth during snow storms.10

The first popular culture reference to lemmings committing mass suicide is in Cyril M. Kornbluth’s 1951 short story “The Marching Morons.”11 In the short story, the main character uses his knowledge of lemmings migrating into the sea to save the day.12  In 1955, Carl Banks, a Disney Studio illustrator, created an Uncle Scrooge comic titled “The Lemming with the Locket.”13 This comic showed a mass of lemmings jumping over cliffs.14  Three years after the Disney illustrator’s comic, White Wilderness was released.

Since the Disney documentary was released, lemmings references have been dropped all over popular culture. A video game and a board game have been made in reference to falling lemmings.15 In the 2008 U.S. Senate race, the lemmings scene from White Wilderness was used in a campaign ad for Andrew Monroe Rice.16 In the music world, the lemming scene was the inspiration for Dead Kennedy’s 1988 song “Potshot Heard Round the World.”17 In addition to Blink 182’s “Lemmings,” Graham Parker makes the same reference in his 1978 hit “Don’t Ask Me Questions.”18 Also, the lemmings starred in a 1985 Super Bowl commercial.19
________________________
1  “White Wilderness (film)”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Wilderness_%28film%29. (Last updated June 8, 2013).
2  “White Wilderness”, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052389/awards?ref_=tt_awd.
3  “White Wilderness”,  http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/lemmings.asp. (Last updated Aug. 19, 2007).
4  “White Wilderness (film)”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Wilderness_%28film%29.
5  Id.
6  “Lemming”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemming. (Last updated Oct. 7, 2013).
7  Id.
8  Id.
9  Dr. Karl S. Kruszelnicki, “Lemmings Suicide Myth”, http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2004/04/27/1081903.htm?site=science/greatmomentsinscience, (Published Apr. 27, 2004).
10  Id.
11  “Lemming”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemming#cite_note-13
12  “The Marching Morons”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marching_Morons
13  “Lemming”, http://en.wikipedia.com/wiki/Lemming#9cite_note-13
14  Id.
15  “Lemmings,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemming#cite_note-13.
16  “White Wilderness,” http://en.wikipedia.org/White_Wilderness_%28film%29
17  Id.
18  Id.
19  “Lemmings,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemming#cite_note-13

Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog – Florida Guardianship

Florida guardianship is typically used in two situations – either when a person may be incapacitated or when a minor receives assets in excess of $15,000.

If a guardianship is sought because someone may be incapacitated, then typically the court sets two hearings. At the first hearing, the court determines whether the person is incapacitated; at the second, the court appoints a guardian if the person is determined to be incapacitated.

To read more on this interesting topic, please click here.

Applicable Federal Rates

Federal Rates

Seminars and Webinars

Would you like a copy of our Salt Lake City Estate Planning Council materials?

Alan Gassman’s lectures today at the Salt Lake City Estate Planning Council seminar are as follows:

  1. Practical Estate Planning With A $5.25 Million Exemption
  2. Why Dentists are Different Than Doctors
  3. Interest Free Loans

If you would like to see the materials for any of these lectures please let us know.

If you would like for Alan to speak to your group and are willing to provide 2 buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken, a podium, a microphone, 7 cough drops and a glass of water please contact us.

Alan’s auto response if you email him today is as follows:

I’m speaking on Thursday in Salt Lake City,
The content is dry yet I’ll try to be witty.
The subject is taxes and planning for dentists;
I doubt that I’ll see even seven Adventists.
In case I’m unable to hold you in thrall
Remember you do have the option to call (727.442.1200)
For laughing gas in case I don’t let you sleep.
I’m warning you now, that it’s going to get deep.
I hope that you drill me with questions all day
And yet far away from my mouth you do stay.
A mouth is a tax lawyer’s weapon of choice,
His shoulders are puny, his biceps are woise,
And so pettifoggery can come in handy.
My thanks to the planners who chose this resort
I’m happier here than I would be in court.
And Florida boys ski from the time we can float,
(Though it’s strange that I haven’t seen even one boat).
Well, time to get going, I’ve plenty to say
Enough you’ll have heard by the end of the day.
So much you’ll have heard, and my voice you’ll admire,
I’m sure I’ll be picked for the Tabernacle Choir.
Or else I’ll be dumped in the lake in this town
The only thing being, at least I won’t drown.

SALT LAKE CITY ESTATE PLANNING COUNCIL’S FALL, ONE DAY “TAX AND DEDUCTIBILITY OF YOUR SKI TRIP” INSTITUTE

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of PRACTICAL ESTATE PLANNING, WITH A $5.25 MILLION EXEMPTION AMOUNT, ESTATE TAX PROJECTION PLANNING, AND WHY DENTISTS ARE DIFFERENT

Date: Thursday, November 7, 2013

Location: Hilton Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah

Additional Information:  Please support this one day annual seminar conveniently located near skiing and tourism opportunities.  If you would like to attend this event or receive the materials please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

BP APPELLATE & TRIAL JUDGE MATCHING OF INCOME & EXPENSE DECISIONS

Date: Thursday, November 14, 2013 | Two sessions to choose from: Breakfast 7:30 – 8:20 or dinner 6:00 – 6:50 p.m.

Location: Trenam Kemker, 101 E. Kennedy Blvd, Suite 2700, Tampa, FL 33602

Additional Information: To register for the breakfast session please click here.  To register for the dinner session please click here.

CREDITOR PROTECTION FOR FLORIDA PHYSICIANS & BP CLAIMS SEMINAR – SANDSPUR FICPA MONTHLY MEETING

Date: Monday, November 18, 2013 | 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Location: TGI Fridays, Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL

Additional Information: If you are interested in attending this seminar please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

PLANNING WITH SELF-CANCELLING INSTALLMENT NOTES AND PRIVATE ANNUITIES: DON’T GET BURNED

Date:    Wednesday, November 20, 2013 | 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Speakers: Professor Jerry Hesch, Lawrence Katzenstein, Edward P. Wojnaroski, Alan S. Gassman and Kenneth J. Crotty

Additional Information: To register for this webinar please click here. If you would like to receive a copy of the materials for this webinar please email Janine Gunyan at janine@gassmanpa.com

ESTATE PLANNING COUNCIL OF MANATEE COUNTY SEMINAR

Alan Gassman will be speaking to the Estate Planning Council of Manatee County on “AN ESTATE AND TAX PLANNER’S YEAR END PLANNING CHECKLIST – PRACTICE SYSTEM STRATEGIES IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES”.

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013 | 12:00 p.m – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Bradenton County Club, 4646 9th Avenue W, Bradenton, FL34209

Additional Information:  To register for this event please visit the Estate Planning Council of Manatee County website at http://www.estateplanningcouncilofmanateecounty.org/events/event/10036

MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES CONTINUING EDUCATION PRIMARY CARE CONFERENCE

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of LEGAL, TAX AND FINANCIAL BOOT CAMP FOR THE MEDICAL PRACTICE – A SPECIAL TAX, ESTATE PLANNING AND LAW CONFERENCE FOR PHYSICIANS

Date: December 13, 2013 – 12:00 pm – 4:40 pm and December 14, 2013 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Topics and Meeting Times:

Friday, December 13, 2013

  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm –  2013 Tax Changes
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm – The 10 Biggest Mistakes that Physicians Make in their Investments and Business Planning
  • 2:10 – 3:10 pm – Lawsuits 101
  • 3:10 – 3:40 pm  – Essential Estate Planning
  • 3:40 – 4:40 pm  – Deductions for Physicians

Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • 8:00 – 9:00 am – Medical Practice Financial Management
  • 9:00 – 10:00 am – Physician Compensation
  • 10:10 – 11:10 am – Asset Entity Planning for Creditor Protection and Buy/Sell Arrangements
  • 11:10 – 11:40 am – Tax Structures for Medical Practices
  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm – 50 Ways to Leave Your Overhead
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm – Retirement Plan Options for Physicians
  • 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Stark Naked or Well Prepared? (Please do not come to this session naked.)

Location:Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, Florida

Additional Information:  For more information please visit www.MER.org  Please note that the program qualifies for continuing education credit for physicians.

THE FLORIDA BAR – REPRESENTING THE PHYSICIAN

Date: Friday, January 17, 2013

Location:  The Peabody Hotel, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: The annual Florida Bar conference entitled Representing the Physician is designed especially for health care, tax, and business lawyers, CPAs and physician office managers and physicians to cover practical legal, medical law, and tax planning matters that affect physicians and physician practices.

This year our 1 day seminar will be held in the Peabody Hotel near Walt Disney World, which is world famous for its daily “march of the ducks” through the lobby (wear easy to clean shoes) and maybe we will have peking duck for dinner.

A dinner for the Executive Committee of the Health Law Section of The Florida Bar and our speakers will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2013, whether formally or informally.  Anyone who would like to attend (dutch treat or bring wooden shoes) will be welcomed.  Your tax deductible hotel room to start a fantastic week near Disney, Universal, Sea World and, most importantly, Gatorland can include a room at the fantastic Peabody Hotel for a discounted rate per night, single occupancy.

1st ANNUAL ESTATE PLANNER’S DAY AT AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW

Speakers: Speakers will include Professor Jerry Hesch, Jonathan Gopman, Alan Gassman and others.

Date: April 25, 2014

Location: Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

Sponsors:Ave Maria School of Law, Collier County Estate Planning Council and more to be announced.

Additional Information: For more information on this event please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com.

NOTABLE SEMINARS PRESENTED BY OTHERS:

48th ANNUAL HECKERLING INSTITUTE ON ESTATE PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: January 13 – 17, 2014

Location:  Orlando World Center Marriott, Orlando, Florida

Sponsor:University of Miami School of Law

Additional Information: For more information please visit: http://www.law.miami.edu/heckerling/

16th ANNUAL ALL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ESTATE, TAX, LEGAL & FINANCIAL PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Location: All Children’s Hospital Education and Conference Center, St. Petersburg, Florida with remote location live interactive viewings in Tampa, Sarasota, New Port Richey, Lakeland, and Bangkok, Thailand

Sponsor: All Children’s Hospital

THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA TAX INSTITUTE

Date: February 19 – 21, 2014

Location: Grand Hyatt, Tampa, Florida

Sponsor:  UF Law alumni and UF Graduate Tax Program

Additional Information:  Here is what UF is saying about the program on its website: “The UF Tax Institute will provide tax practitioners and other leading tax, business and estate planning professionals with a program that covers the most current issues and planning ideas with a practical, informative, state-of-the-art approach.  The Institute’s schedule will devote separate days or half days to individual income tax issues, entity tax issues and estate planning issues.  Speakers and presentations will be announced as the program date nears to ensure coverage of the most timely and significant topics.  UF Law alumni have formed the Florida Tax Education Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, to organize the conference.”

The Thursday Report – 10.31.13 Tax-a-ween, SCIN-a-GRAT, Deaf Interpreters

Posted on: October 31st, 2013

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cartoon

 

next set of cartoon and picture of office

 

Our article “Re-Tooling Estate Plans After ATRA 2012 for Married Couples with Estates Over $10.5 Million”

Seminar Spotlight of the Week – The Florida Bar Advanced Health Law Topics and Certification Review Course 2014

Accommodations for Hearing Impaired Patients Under ADA Title III

SCIN-ing the GRAT

Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog: Dying Without a Will in Florida: Who Gets What

2013 Trust Nexus Survey by Steven Roll and Lauren Colandreo 

We welcome contributions for future Thursday Report topics. If you are interested in making a contribution as a guest writer, please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

This report and other Thursday Reports can be found on our website at www.gassmanlawassociates.com.

Our article “Re-Tooling Estate Plans After ATRA 2012 for Married Couples with Estates Over $10.5 Million”

We realized this week that we did not make our June 2013 Probate Practice Reporter article entitled “Re-Tooling Estate Plans After ATRA 2012 for Married Couples with Estates Over $10.5 Million” by Howard Zaritsky and Alan Gassman available to our readers.

This article is still current and can be viewed by clicking here.

We thank Howard Zaritsky for teaching us so much and giving us the opportunity to write with him.

Seminar Spotlight of the Week – The Florida Bar

Advanced Health Law Topics and Certification Review 2014

Alan Gassman will be speaking at The Florida Bar’s Advanced Health Law Topics and Certification Review course which takes place March 7th and 8th in Orlando, Florida.  Alan will be speaking on Tax Aspects of Healthcare Entities.  Please support this important event.  Contact Jodi Laurence at jl@flhealthlaw.com for more information.

Accommodations for Hearing Impaired Patients Under ADA Title III

Under Title III of the ADA “[n]o individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.”

A private medical office is an example of a place of public accommodation that must comply with Title III. Therefore, the client has a duty “to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services, unless the entity can demonstrate that taking such steps would fundamentally alter the nature of the good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation being offered or would result in an undue burden (i.e. significant difficulty or expense).” 28 CFR §36.303(a).

Under Title III, the physician, not the hearing impaired person, chooses the appropriate accommodation and if an interpreter is needed, the physician chooses the interpreter. Tucker, Bonnie Access to Health Care for Individuals with Hearing Impairments, 37 Hous. L. Rev. 1101, 1115-1116 (2000). Therefore, although the physician may exercise broad discretion in choosing the type of aid, she must assure that it complies with Title III.

II. What Types of Aids are Required?

The ADA requires places of public accommodation to have “appropriate  auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities.” 28 CFR §36.303(c).

The following sections (A, B and C) are excerpts from the DOJ’s publication entitled The Americans with Disabilities Act: Title III Technical Assistance Manual 27, III-4 320 (1993). According to the DOJ, there is no requirement for a certified interpreter. The patient must only be provided a qualified interpreter who is capable of understanding the patient’s method of communication and is able to  communicate specialized medical vocabulary from the physician to the patient. In other words, “[t]he interpreter must be able to interpret both receptively and expressively”.

In the case at hand, the client must make sure that her employee will be able to communicate specialized vocabulary to the patient. It is also important that the employee be able to understand the dialect of sign language or method of communication  used by the particular patient (e.g. fingerspelling, lip reading, American Sign Language, Signed English, etc).

Further, the requirement of a qualified interpreter is not required in all scenarios, and can be supplemented with another alternative. The appropriateness of an accommodation depends on the nature and extent of the relationship. For example, according to the DOJ publication The Americans with Disabilities Act: Title III Technical Assistance Manual 27 , III-4.3200 (1994 Supplement), where a hearing impaired patient must go to his doctor for a bi-weekly check up, during which the nurse records the patient’s blood pressure and weight, “[e]xchanging notes and using gestures are likely to provide an effective means of communication at this type of check-up.” This accommodation is deemed appropriate due to the length of the visit and the nature of the communication.

In the case at hand, the client’s patient requires 12 sessions of physical therapy. Due to the length and nature of the relationship, the client should air on the side of caution and use a qualified  (but not certified) interpreter.

The following excerpts can be found at: http://www.ada.gov/taman3.html

            A. III-4.3100 General

Who decides what type of auxiliary aid should be provided? Public accommodations should consult with individuals with disabilities wherever possible to determine what type of auxiliary aid is needed to ensure effective communication. In many cases, more than one type of auxiliary aid or service may make effective communication possible. While consultation is strongly encouraged, the ultimate decision as to what measures to take to ensure effective communication rests in the hands of the public accommodation, provided that the method chosen results in effective communication.

ILLUSTRATION: A patient who is deaf brings his own sign language interpreter for an office visit without prior consultation and bills the physician for the cost of the interpreter. The physician is not obligated to comply with the unilateral determination by the patient that an interpreter is necessary. The physician must be given an opportunity to consult with the patient and make an independent assessment of what type of auxiliary aid, if any, is necessary to ensure effective communication. If the patient believes that the physician’s decision will not lead to effective communication, then the patient may challenge that decision under title III by initiating litigation or filing a complaint with the Department of Justice (see III-8.0000).

Who is a qualified interpreter? There are a number of sign language systems in use by persons who use sign language. (The most common systems of sign language are American Sign Language and signed English.) Individuals who use a particular system may not communicate effectively through an interpreter who uses another system. When an interpreter is required, the public accommodation should provide a qualified interpreter, that is, an interpreter who is able to sign to the individual who is deaf what is being said by the hearing person and who can voice to the hearing person what is being signed by the individual who is deaf. This communication must be conveyed effectively, accurately, and impartially, through the use of any necessary specialized vocabulary.

Can a public accommodation use a staff member who signs “pretty well” as an interpreter for meetings with individuals who use sign language to communicate? Signing and interpreting are not the same thing. Being able to sign does not mean that a person can process spoken communication into the proper signs, nor does it mean that he or she possesses the proper skills to observe someone signing and change their signed or fingerspelled communication into spoken words. The interpreter must be able to interpret both receptively and expressively.

If a sign language interpreter is required for effective communication, must only a certified interpreter be provided? No. The key question in determining whether effective communication will result is whether the interpreter is “qualified,” not whether he or she has been actually certified by an official licensing body. A qualified interpreter is one “who is able to interpret effectively, accurately and impartially, both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary.” An individual does not have to be certified in order to meet this standard. A certified interpreter may not meet this standard in all situations, e.g. , where the interpreter is not familiar with the specialized vocabulary involved in the communication at issue.

            B. III-4.3200 Effective communication.

In order to provide equal access, a public accommodation is required to make available appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication. The type of auxiliary aid or service necessary to ensure effective communication will vary in accordance with the length and complexity of the communication involved.

            C. III-4.3300 Examples of auxiliary aids and services

Auxiliary aids and services include a wide range of services and devices that promote effective communication. Examples of auxiliary aids and services for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing include qualified interpreters, notetakers, computer-aided transcription services, written materials, telephone handset amplifiers, assistive listening systems, telephones compatible with hearing aids, closed caption decoders, open and closed captioning, telecommunications devices for deaf persons (TDD’s), videotext displays, and exchange of written notes.

SCIN-ing the GRAT

Are you planning to use a SCIN?

If your client has a short life expectancy and estate tax exposure the SCIN may still be the best instrument around, despite the IRS’s challenges in the Davidson case and CCA 201330033.

We might have a solution to insulate clients from potential estate tax issues if it turns out that SCINs have to be valued based upon what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller as opposed to using the standard tables. See our SCIN the GRAT Chart below.

An article we wrote with Jerry Hesch on this subject for Leimberg Information Services can be viewed by clicking here.

If you are interested in commenting the galleys for the article that we are presently working on for Estate Planning Magazine with Jerry Hesch and Ed Wojnaroski (who is the author of the BNA Portfolio on SCINs and Private Annuities) please clicking here.

A tentative chart that outlines the discussion that we will have with Jerry Hesch, Larry Katzenstein and Ed Wojnaroski at the Bloomberg BNA webinar scheduled for November 20, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. is shown below.  To register for the webinar please click here.  To receive a copy of the materials that will be used during the Webinar please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

SCIN PRIVATE ANNUITY GRAT (not good if Grantor dies early)
Can be valued based upon standard life expectancy tables, if taxpayer has better than 50% chance of living one year. This is being contested by the IRS. Safe, under Treasury Regulation Sections 20.2031-7(d); 20.7520-3(b) Safe, under Internal Revenue Code Section 2702(a)(2)(B); 20.7520-3(b).
Must pass the “probability of exhaustion test” (significant minimum value held under trust and/or by guarantors). No. Yes- According to Treasury Regulation Section 1.7520-3(b)(2)(i); 20.7520-3(b)(2)(i); 25.7520-3(b)(2)(I), but is the IRS’s position under the Regulation incorrect? – See Katzenstein, Turning the Tables: When do the IRS Actuarial Tables Not Apply?, Thirty-Seventh Univ.of Miami Inst. On Est. Planning, Ch. 3 (2003). No, if structured as a Walton-style GRAT.
Must make annual payments. Probably, interest only until it balloons. No- The Kite case allowed no payments for the first 9 years. Yes.
Compatible with defective grantor trust. Yes. Subject to probability of exhaustion test. Yes, it is a Grantor Trust.
Payments must include principal. Not until it balloons. Probably not- as in the Kite case. Equal or increasing payments would represent income and principal conceptually.
Explainable to the client. Yes. Yes. Slightly more complicated.
Income tax imposed upon death. Possibly not, but IRS may not agree.  (See Zaritsky, Tax Planning for Family Wealth Transfers §12.04[h], (4th ed. 2002)) No. No- but on death, there is a negative estate tax impact.
Stepped up basis on death of seller if assets are sold or transferred to individuals or non-grantor trusts. Only to the extent of payments made before the death of the seller.  The purchaser only gets basis to the extent of payment actually made. Only to the extent of payments made before the death of the seller.  The purchaser only gets basis to the extent of payment actually made. Non-applicable–  GRATs do not involve sales of assets.
Stepped up basis if assets are sold or transferred to grantor trusts. Yes, hopefully. (See Blattmachr, Gans and Jacobson, Income Tax Effects of Termination of Grantor Trust Status by Reason of the Grantor’s Death, Journal of Taxation, September 2002) Yes, hopefully.  (See Blattmachr, Gans and Jacobson, Income Tax Effects of Termination of Grantor Trust Status by Reason of the Grantor’s Death, Journal of Taxation, September 2002) Yes, hopefully.  Depending upon structuring.
Possible usury issues for older taxpayer. Yes, unless the risk premium is applied to the note principal. No. No.
Are Payment Rights Creditor Protected? Generally not, but can be held by family limited partnership or other entities that provide charging order or creditor protection. Yes, in several states. Yes, in several states.

We welcome all questions, comments and suggestions on the above.

Today we will be SCIN-ing black cats with our GRATS!

black cat.2

 

Maybe next week we will talk about a fox in sox!

Fox in Socks

 

SCIN CHART

 

Phil Rarick’s Informative Blog: Dying Without a

Will in Florida: Who Gets What

Phil Rarick is back with another great blog entry on the subject of dying without a Will in Florida.

“A common question we get from relatives of family members who die without a Will is who gets what.  The answer depends on Florida’s laws of interstate succession.”  – Phil Rarick.

For more information on this interesting topic please click here.

2013 Trust Nexus Survey by Steven Roll and Lauren Colandreo

Bloomberg BNA Tax & Accounting authors Steven Roll and Lauren Colandreo have just published an excellent special report on multi-state trust taxation and planning in the August 23 edition of Tax Management Weekly State Report.  This is the first edition of a report that will be published annually.  It should get better every year.

 You can read the report in its entirety by clicking here.

If you have any questions on state taxation of irrevocable trusts, you can email Steven Roll at sroll@bna.com

We thank Steven and Lauren for their excellent article.

Applicable Federal Rates

SHORT TERM AFRs

MID TERM AFRs

LONG TERM AFRs

November 2013 Annual 0.27% Annual 1.73% Annual 3.37%
Semi-Annual 0.27% Semi-Annual 1.72% Semi-Annual 3.34%
Quarterly 0.27% Quarterly 1.72% Quarterly 3.33%
Monthly 0.27% Monthly 1.71% Monthly 3.32%
October 2013 Annual 0.32% Annual 1.93% Annual 3.50%
Semi-Annual 0.32% Semi-Annual 1.92% Semi-Annual 3.47%
Quarterly 0.32% Quarterly 1.92% Quarterly 3.46%
Monthly 0.32% Monthly 1.91% Monthly 3.45%
September 2013 Annual 0.25% Annual 1.66% Annual 3.28%
Semi-Annual 0.25% Semi-Annual 1.65% Semi-Annual 3.25%
Quarterly 0.25% Quarterly 1.65% Quarterly 3.24%
Monthly 0.25% Monthly 1.64% Monthly 3.23%

 Seminars and Webinars

NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE FOR CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION (ICLE) HEALTH LAW SYMPOSIUM – AN ALL DAY SEMINAR

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of WHAT HEALTH LAWYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLORIDA LAW

Date: Friday, November 1, 2013 | 9am – 5pm (Mr. Gassman speaks from 1:10 pm until 2:10 p.m.)

Location:SetonHallLawSchool, Newark, New Jersey

Additional Information:SetonHallUniversity in South Orange, New Jersey was founded in 1856, and they have remodeled since.  Today, Seton Hall has over 10,000 students in its undergraduate, graduate and law school programs and is in close proximity to several Kentucky Fried Chicken locations.

NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE FOR CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION (ICLE)_SPECIAL 3 HOUR SESSION

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of WHAT NEW JERSEY LAWYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLORIDA LAW – A 3 HOUR OVERVIEW BY ALAN S. GASSMAN

Date: Saturday, November 2, 2013

Location: Wilshire Grand Hotel, West Orange, New Jersey | 9am – 12pm

Additional Information: Please tell all of your friends, neighbors and enemies in New Jersey to come out to support this important presentation for the New Jersey Bar Association.  We will include discussions of airboats, how to get an alligator off of your driveway, how to peel a navel orange and what collard greens and grits are. For additional information please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

SALT LAKE CITY ESTATE PLANNING COUNCIL’S FALL ONE DAY “TAX AND DEDUCTIBILITY OF YOUR SKI TRIP” INSTITUTE

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of PRACTICAL ESTATE PLANNING, WITH A $5.25 MILLION EXEMPTION AMOUNT, ESTATE TAX PROJECTION PLANNING, AND WHY DENTISTS ARE DIFFERENT

Date: Thursday, November 7, 2013

Location: HiltonDowntownSaltLake City, Utah

Additional Information:  Please support this one day annual seminar conveniently located near skiing and tourism opportunities.  If you would like to attend this event or receive the materials please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

BP CALCULATIONS FOR CPAs: TRICKS & TRAPS

Date:    Thursday, November 14, 2013 | 8:00 am and 6:00 p.m.

Location: Trenam Kemker, 101 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 2700, Tampa, FL 33602

Additional Information:  We will be holding two seminars on Thursday, November 14, 2013.  To register for either seminar please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

ESTATE PLANNING COUNCIL OF MANATEE COUNTY SEMINAR

Alan Gassman will be speaking to the Estate Planning Council of Manatee County on “AN ESTATE AND TAX PLANNER’S YEAR END PLANNING CHECKLIST – PRACTICE SYSTEM STRATEGIES IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES”.

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013 | 12:00 p.m – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Bradenton County Club, 4646 9th Avenue W, Bradenton, FL34209

Additional Information:  To register for this event please visit the Estate Planning Council of Manatee County website at http://www.estateplanningcouncilofmanateecounty.org/events/event/10036

MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES CONTINUING EDUACTION PRIMARY CARE CONFERENCE

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of LEGAL, TAX AND FINANCIAL BOOT CAMP FOR THE MEDICAL PRACTICE – A SPECIAL TAX, ESTATE PLANNING AND LAW CONFERENCE FOR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS

Date: December 13, 2013 – 12:00 pm – 4:40 pm and December 14, 2013 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Topics and Meeting Times:

Friday, December 13, 2013

  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm –  2013 Tax Changes
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm The 10 Biggest Mistakes that Physicians Make in their Investments and Business Planning
  • 2:10 – 3:10 pm Lawsuits 101
  • 3:10 – 3:40 pm  – Essential Estate Planning
  • 3:40 – 4:40 pm  – Deductions for Physicians

Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • 8:00 – 9:00 am – Medical Practice Financial Management
  • 9:00 – 10:00 am – Physician Compensation
  • 10:10 – 11:10 am – Asset Entity Planning for Creditor Protection and Buy/Sell Arrangements
  • 11:10 – 11:40 am – Tax Structures for Medical Practices
  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm – 50 Ways to Leave Your Overhead
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm – Retirement Plan Options for Physicians
  • 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Stark Naked or Well Prepared? (Please do not come to this session naked.)

Location:GrandHyattTampaBay, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, Florida

Additional Information:  For more information please visit www.MER.org  Please note that the program qualifies for continuing education credit for physicians.

THE FLORIDA BAR – REPRESENTING THE PHYSICIAN

Date: Friday, January 17, 2013

Location:  The Peabody Hotel, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: The annual Florida Bar conference entitled Representing the Physician is designed especially for health care, tax, and business lawyers, CPAs and physician office managers and physicians to cover practical legal, medical law, and tax planning matters that affect physicians and physician practices.

This year our 1 day seminar will be held in the Peabody Hotel near Walt Disney World.

A dinner for the Executive Committee of the Health Law Section of The Florida Bar and our speakers will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2013, whether formally or informally.  Anyone who would like to attend (dutch treat or bring wooden shoes) will be welcomed.  Your tax deductible hotel room to start a fantastic week near Disney, Universal, Sea World and most importantly Gatorland can include a room at the fantastic Peabody Hotel for a discounted rate per night, single occupancy.

THE FLORIDA BAR ADVANCED HEALTH LAW TOPICS AND CERTIFICATION REVIEW 2013

Date:    March 7-8, 2014

Location: Orlando, Florida – More Information to Follow

Additional Information: For more information on this event please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

1st ANNUAL ESTATE PLANNER’S DAY AT AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW

Speakers: Speakers will include Professor Jerry Hesch, Jonathan Gopman, Alan Gassman and others.

Date: April 25, 2014

Location: Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

Sponsors:AveMariaSchool of Law, Collier County Estate Planning Council and more to be announced.

Additional Information: For more information on this event please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com.

NOTABLE SEMINARS PRESENTED BY OTHERS:

48th ANNUAL HECKERLING INSTITUTE ON ESTATE PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: January 13 – 17, 2014

Location:  OrlandoWorldCenter Marriott, Orlando, Florida

Sponsor:University of MiamiSchool of Law

Additional Information: For more information please visit: http://www.law.miami.edu/heckerling/

16th ANNUAL ALL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ESTATE, TAX, LEGAL & FINANCIAL PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Location: All Children’s Hospital Education and ConferenceCenter, St. Petersburg, Florida with remote location live interactive viewings in Tampa, Sarasota, New Port Richey, Lakeland, and Bangkok, Thailand

Sponsor: All Children’s Hospital

THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA TAX INSTITUTE

Date: February 19 – 21, 2014

Location: Grand Hyatt, Tampa, Florida

Sponsor:  UF Law alumni and UF Graduate Tax Program

Additional Information:  Here is what UF is saying about the program on its website: “The UF Tax Institute will provide tax practitioners and other leading tax, business and estate planning professionals with a program that covers the most current issues and planning ideas with a practical, informative, state-of-the-art approach.  The Institute’s schedule will devote separate days or half days to individual income tax issues, entity tax issues and estate planning issues.  Speakers and presentations will be announced as the program date nears to ensure coverage of the most timely and significant topics.  UF Law alumni have formed the Florida Tax Education Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, to organize the conference.”

The Thursday Report – 10.24.13 – Decanting, Elective Share Techniques, BP and Spicy Brownies

Posted on: October 24th, 2013

Decanting with Diane Zeydel – A FREE Webinar on Tuesday, November 5th at 12:30 p.m.

Colonel Sanders for Senate?

BP – Must Expenses Correspond to Revenue? Monday’s Judicial Order

The Lethal Weapon – Does your Child Drive? A Parent’s Guide to Teenage Driving

Physician Survey Report

Depositions – A Question and Answer Guide

New Elective Share Planning Technique, an article by Tom Ellwanger

The Estate Planner’s Guide to the Right to Die

We welcome contributions for future Thursday Report topics. If you are interested in making a contribution as a guest writer, please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

This report and other Thursday Reports can be found on our website at www.gassmanlawassociates.com.

Decanting with Diane Zeydel – A FREE Webinar on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.

Zeydel

On Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 12:30 p.m., noted attorney Diane Zeydel will be joining Alan Gassman for a webinar on Decanting Irrevocable Trusts – Giving an Old Trust a Facelift in a free 15 minute program “that will cut to the chase on what the present situation is on decanting and trust reformations in Florida”.

Diane will speak on the recent Morse v. Kraft case and how it affects decanting and reformations of irrevocable trusts in Florida.

Diane is clearly one of the most talented, well published, and influential trusts and tax lawyers in the country, and we are honored to have her time and attention in this area.  You can sign up for this free 15 to 20 minute webinar by clicking here.

Please also feel free to send any questions that you might have to agassman@gassmanpa.com and we will be sure to ask Diane to address these during her discussion.

If you would like to have any other individuals or topics on our webinars please just let us know.

Please also keep in mind that we have 2 Bloomberg BNA webinars coming up that should be of interest.

On October 30, 2013 at 12:30 we will be discussing year-end tax planning and features Alan Gassman, Ken Crotty and Chris Denicolo.

The other webinar on November 20, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. is on planning with self-cancelling installment notes and private annuities after the recent Davidson and IRS CCA, and features Jerry Hesch, Larry Katzenstein, Ed Woknaroski, (who wrote the BNA Portfolio on Self-Cancelling Installment Notes and Private Annuities), Ken Crotty and Alan Gassman.

You can receive a $100 discount on either or both of these programs by using the top secret, highly confidential and extremely complicated sign-up code of “Gassman7″.  If it was Gassman7 it would be ___ characters long.

Colonel Sanders for Senate?

Colonel Sanders for Senator

We thought we were joking a few weeks ago when we showed Colonel Sanders indicating that he would vote as an independent (click here to see).  One of our students (on the clock and without us asking) found the below photo of Colonel Sanders and his bid to run for state senate before he founded Kentucky Fried Chicken.

 We are glad that he didn’t win, or we never could have started the Thursday Report.  Since then there have been buckets of Thursday Reports read by many advisors and clients who have thereafter had to wipe grease off of their hands.  Too bad he didn’t put herbs and spices in brownies.  He would have been way ahead of his time.

BP Update – Last Friday’s Decision by the Federal District Court with Respect to Whether to Require the Accrual Method of Accounting to Be Used for All BP Claims

While the Claims Administrator and appellate proceedings have been permitting the cash method of accounting to be used for determining BP claim eligibility and payments, the recent 5th Circuit Court of Appeals order to the federal trial judge to evaluate the matching of revenue and expenses to determine an appropriate process resulted in last Friday’s order that the Claims Administrator would, within 7 days (which runs tomorrow) provide “a declaration outlining the criteria. . .to determine whether:

  1. A claim is “supported by sufficiently-matched, accrual-basis accounting”. . .
  2. The matching of revenues and expenses is or is not an issue with respect to the Business Economic Loss.

Many of us take this to mean that going forward businesses and individuals who are on the cash basis of accounting will need to show that revenues and expenses are appropriately timed in a manner that does not distort economic reporting.

This is not good news for most BP claimants, or for those of us involved in representing BP claimants, but some number of BP claimants will actually be benefited by this type of matching analysis.

The trial court judge obviously does not have a background in accounting.  The accrual method of accounting is generally considered the best way to match revenues and expenses, and the judge refers to a requirement of having “properly-matched accrual-basis records.”  It is hard to think of a situation where accrual-basis accounting would not be “sufficiently matched”, but stay tuned as we keep you posted on what the Claims Administrator comes up with.

In addition, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal has a hearing scheduled for November 4th to hear a request that has been made to set aside the entire settlement.   We do not expect that the settlement will be set aside and we do expect that BP will continue to pay out billions of dollars in damages as businesses and individuals continue to file claims.

Claims will probably only accelerate up through the April 1, 2014 claims deadline, which we do not expect will be extended.

We thank Trenam Kemker lawyer John Goldsmith and Dean Kent for a very interesting and practical discussion of “tricks and traps for CPA’s calculating BP Claims” last night in Tampa.

This presentation will be updated and repeated in downtown Tampa at the offices of the Trenam Kemker Law Firm in mid November.

We will continue to keep you posted on developments in this area.

To view a webinar on BP Oil Spill Claims please click here.

The Lethal Weapon – Does Your Child Drive?

A Parent’s Guide to Teenage Driving

Car 

Time after time we are hired by parents whose minor child has gotten into an accident while driving the parent’s car or driving with the parent’s consent.

There is a lot of confusion over whether the liability emanates from what is signed when the learner’s permit is received or what is signed when the actual driver’s license is received.  Be very careful and make sure clients know about this.

Third Year Stetson Law student, India Ingram, has done a great job writing the following:

The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of the tires.  ~Dorothy Parker

The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

A tree never hits an automobile except in self-defense. ~American Proverb

Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts do.  ~Jason Love

Getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage into adulthood for most teens.  Many teens spend hours dreaming of all the things they will do when they can finally drive on their own, everything from taking the girlfriend to KFC to driving off to Vegas. However, this new found freedom comes with a lot of responsibility.  Although, teenagers are giddy with excitement to hit the road, parents often have mixed feelings.  Many of their concerns are warranted and pragmatic. Under Florida law, a parent may be liable for their teen’s willful or negligent misconduct behind the wheel.

In Florida, the first step to freedom is obtaining a learner’s permit.  To obtain a learner’s permit you must be at least 15 years old and have completed a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course.  Once at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the teen must pass a written exam, vision, and hearing test.  The final step to the freeway is having a parent sign the Parental Consent Form in the presence of a driver license examiner.

In Aurbach v Gallina, 753 So.2d 60, 65 ( Fla. 2000), the Florida Supreme Court held, a parent can only be held vicariously liable for his or her minor child’s negligent operation of a vehicle, absent any property value in the vehicle, i.e. ownership, if the parent signed the Parental Consent for a Driver Application of a Minor form, pursuant to Florida Statute 322.09.  By signing the parental consent form, the parent or guardian permits the minor to obtain a driver’s license and assumes the obligations imposed by 322.09. Under 322.09, any negligence or willful misconduct of a minor when driving shall be imputed to the parent or guardian who signs the application of such minor for a permit or license, and the parent or guardian shall be jointly and severally liable with such minor for any damages caused by such negligence or willful misconduct.

After a year of driving with a licensed driver at least 21 years old, your teen can obtain an operator’s license. To obtain an operator’s license the teen will have to take a driving test and a parent or guardian has to certify that the teen has had 50 hours of driving experience (10 hours of which were at night). The Parental Consent form that was signed when receiving the learner’s permit remains in effect and expires when the teen turns 18 or with a written request to cancel the minor’s license.

However, a parent’s liability may not end when the child reaches the age of 18. Florida also recognizes the “dangerous instrumentality doctrine.” Under the dangerous instrumentality doctrine, an owner who gives authority to another to operate the owner’s vehicle, by either express or implied consent, has a non-delegable obligation to ensure that the vehicle is operated safely. Hertz Corp. v. Jackson, 617 So. 2d 1051, 1053 (Fla. 1993).If a child that has reached majority drives a car that is titled in the parent’s name, then the parent may be liable for the actions of his or her adult child when behind the wheel. To avoid liability once your teen has reached majority, it is best to have the vehicle your teen is driving titled in his or her own name.

Automobile ownership liability can be limited by Florida Statute Section 324.021(9)(b)(3), which basically indicates that unless the owner of a vehicle has been negligent in entrusting the car to the driver, there will not be liability for negligence of the driver as long as the driver has at least $500,000 of liability insurance.  This does not apply when an accident occurs outside of Florida, and will not shield the parent from the liability that will otherwise apply as described.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, per mile driven, teen drivers have crash rates 3 times those of drivers 20 and older. Teen drivers are less experienced to deal with uncertainty on the road and more likely to engage in high-risk driving habits such as cell phone usage, high speeds, and having multiple passengers. Parental involvement can contribute to teenage driving awareness. Parents can limit liability by:

Not allowing their teen to obtain a driver’s license until the age of 18.

  • Investing in sufficient amounts of insurance.
  • Having their teen purchase and title his or her own vehicle.
  • Having a limit on the number of passengers allowed.
  • Discussing the dangers of cell phone use while driving.
  • Enforcing a curfew.
  • Discussing the dangers of alcohol use

New Elective Share Planning Technique, an article by Tom Ellwanger

 Ellwanger

A recent decision of Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal offers another alternative in planning for the Florida elective share.  The case is Dinkins v. Dinkins, 120 So.3d 601 (Fla. 5th DCA 7/26/2013).

Before getting to that case, let’s review what the elective share is and other planning devices which have existed.

The Elective Share

Florida allows individuals to disinherit a spouse, but a spouse may opt to take 30% of a deceased person’s assets—the “elective share”—unless the spouse has waived that right in a pre-marriage or post-marriage agreement.  See §§732.201 et seq., Florida Statutes.

Originally this right was limited to 30% of the probate assets—those assets in the decedent’s name alone.  It did not include joint assets, such contract rights as life insurance policies or retirement plans, assets held in a living trust, or assets gifted away shortly before death.  So, traditional planning for the client who wished to block the elective share involved transferring assets to a living trust or other form not reached by the elective share law.

The 1999 Florida legislature ended that game by broadening the elective share.  Since then, the 30% computation has included probate and non-probate assets; the cash value of life insurance policies; and even amounts gifted within one year of death.

What planning options, short of divorce, are left for the client who wishes to defeat or at least reduce a spouse’s elective share rights?

Post-Marriage Waiver

A spouse can waive elective share rights in a valid post-marriage agreement.  Under Florida law, the spouse must receive a “fair disclosure” of the client’s estate.  That and other legal requirements are set out in §732.702.

Of course, a client’s bargaining power after the marriage is likely to be considerably less than it might have been before the marriage.  Still, it might be possible to offer some incentives in such an agreement in order to secure an elective share waiver.  While Florida law does not require consideration for a post-marriage agreement to be valid (other than the mere execution of such an agreement), the law does not prohibit such consideration.

Controlling the Funding

Section 732.2075, Florida Statutes, prescribes the order in which a decedent’s assets are applied to satisfy an elective share.  However, the first sentence of that section permits the terms of a Will or a Revocable Trust Agreement to override the statutory scheme.  So, a client who cannot defeat the elective share can at least control what assets will pass to a spouse who makes the election.

Often a client is not necessarily concerned as much with defeating the elective share as making sure that the spouse does not wind up with the family business, the family farm, or the beach house which has been in the family since 1925.   Overriding the statutory scheme can help ensure that, if the client has sufficient other assets.

A client who does not have sufficient other assets may be able to at least deprive the spouse of control of an asset.  Suppose a business is recapitalized with voting and non-voting interests, and the non-voting interests are to be used to fund the elective share.

Of course, the same valuation arguments that apply for estate tax purposes are going to apply for computing the value of property for elective share purposes.  Section 732.2095(2) calls for the use of fair market value.  Because non-voting stock is worth inherently less than voting stock, a client leaving a spouse non-voting stock to satisfy the elective share is going to have to leave more of it.

Using an Elective Share Trust

Property need not pass outright to count as elective share funding.  A client can leave assets in a marital-type trust and get varying levels of credit, depending on the trust terms.

The trust must provide the spouse with all income for life (or use of the trust property); the spouse must be able to compel the trustee to make trust property productive; and no one other than the spouse can direct the payment of income or principal to anyone other than the spouse.  Id.  §732.2025(2).

Fifty per cent of the value of such a trust is credited against the elective share obligation.  If the trustee is given the power to distribute principal for the spouse’s health, support, and maintenance, 80% of the value is credited.  If the spouse is given a general power of appointment over the trust principal, the credit climbs to 100%–although in this case the general power must allow appointment to the spouse’s estate, not just the creditors of the spouse’s estate.  See id. §732.2095.

By the way, an elective share trust does not need to be created at death.  An irrevocable trust created during life can qualify.  In that case, the valuation depends upon the values when the trust was created—so, no benefit if values increase, but no detriment if they go down.

The Dinkins Approach

Yet another approach has now presented itself, courtesy of the Fifth District Court of Appeal’s opinion in Dinkins v. Dinkins, 120 So.3d 601 (Fla. 5th DCA 7/26/2013).

In that case the decedent’s revocable trust agreement offered the spouse a choice:  $5 million in cash if the spouse waived both (i) a QTIP trust established for her benefit, and (ii) her elective share right.

The spouse argued that this provision amounted to an unenforceable penalty clause for instituting trust proceedings.  The court disagreed.  The clause did not take away the spouse’s right to an elective share; it simply gave the spouse an alternative.  So, the court permitted the provision to stand.

Imagine a combination of this approach with the use of less desirable assets to fund the elective share.  One could fund the elective share with non-voting stock or other assets perhaps not readily convertible to cash which might tie the spouse to unfriendly family members for the rest of the spouse’s life.  Or one could fund the elective share by using a trust, leaving the spouse to some extent at the mercy of a trustee not tied to the spouse (subject to legal rights which, as a practical matter, the spouse may be reluctant to bring litigation to enforce).

How much cash would it take to convince a spouse in such a situation to walk away from the elective share?  Less, no doubt, than the full value of the elective share rights.

In Dinkins, the husband’s property at death was estimated to be anywhere from $24 million to $55 million.  An elective share trust was apparently created to fund the elective share, subject to the option to take $5 million in cash.  While not completely clear from the opinion, it seems that the spouse was trying to use the existence of the option as a basis for invalidating the elective share trust, presumably leading to her getting assets outright.  The court’s opinion upheld the elective share trust and thus left the spouse with the choice of taking $5 million instead or living with the trust.  We can deduce from the existence of the litigation that neither option was very appealing.

Dinkins was not an earth-shaking opinion; it’s difficult to imagine any other ruling.  Still, it does point the way to another option when the elective share poses a threat.

The Estate Planner’s Guide To The Right to Die

            Our article “The Estate Planner’s Guide To The Right To Die” has been featured in Retirees Monthly and Wealth Management.com.  We thank Rich Santos for putting our article in the next edition.  We hope that implementation of the article does not unduly harm their circulation.

Please click here to read the article.

Physician Survey Report

We sent survey forms to a few hundred physicians asking them to answer the questions enumerated below.

Any physician can take this survey by clicking here.

The results thus far are quite interesting, and are as follows:

Of 24 doctors surveyed:

  •  50% are primary care physicians; 12.5% are family practice physicians and 37.5% are internal medicine physicians;
  • The majority of the doctors surveyed have been practicing 15 or more years, most are in groups of 6 or more and practice in an around the Tampa Bay area.
  • On the question of which health care plan is the worst for authorization of procedures and testing the answers ranged between United, Freedom and Wellcare.
  • Humana and Simply were rated as some of the best plans when it comes to authorization of procedures or testing.
  • Most but not all respondents noted that patients were not harmed due to the health care plans and delays in authorization of diagnostic testing and procedures.
  • No doctors responded that they have had a patient die due to the above delays.
  • Compared to 5 years ago, all of the respondents felt that hospitals and health care plans were less doctor friendly, patients were not better served, health care plans were not better for patients and Medicare has not changed significantly.
  • Half of the respondents felt that electronic medical records have helped their practice, however, most felt that EMRs hurt patients due to such issues as increased patient fees.
  • The respondents felt that insurance companies could be less restrictive; make authorizations easier and more user friendly; increase yearly maximums; pay expected coverages and be fair

 Depositions – A Question and Answer Guide

Many good litigators indicate that the time spent with the client preparing for a depo should be at least as long as the actual scheduled depo.

Clients are normally told to say as little as possible.

The following may be considered:

From the Pink Panther –

            Question: Does your dog bite?

Answer: No.

[Dog bites him.]

Question: I thought you said your dog doesn’t bite.

Answer: That’s not my dog.

From Get Smart –

Question: Can you please answer the door Hymie?

Answer: Sure.  I’m sorry door, what was the question?

From the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy –

Question:  What is the meaning of life, universe and everything?

Answer:  42.

From Monty Python and the Holy Grail –

Question:  How many times does a sparrow flap its wings?

Answer:  An English sparrow or an African sparrow?

From the Cartoon Displayed on the Desk of Maribeth Vongvenekeo, Alan Gassman’s Assistant –

Question (Boss):  Why aren’t you working?

Answer (Secretary):  I didn’t see you coming.

Working joke

Applicable Federal Rates

APPLICABLE FEDERAL RATES.October 2013

Seminars and Webinars

2013 MOTE VASCULAR SURGERY FELLOWS – FACTS OF LIFE TALK SEMINAR FOR FIRST YEAR SURGEONS

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of ESTATE, MEDICAL PRACTICE, RETIREMENT, TAX, INSURANCE, AND BUY/SELL PLANNING – THE EARLIER YOU START THE SOONER YOU WILL BE SECURE

Date: October 25 – 27, 2013 | Alan Gassman is speaking on Sunday, October 27, 2013

Location: TBD

Additional Information: Please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com for additional information.

DECODING HEALTHCARE SYMPOSIUM IN TAMPA

Alan Gassman will be moderating the Decoding Healthcare Seminar hosted by Fifth Third Bank.

Speakers will include Jason Altmire, Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Government and Community Affairs, Florida Blue, Coretha Rushing, Chief Human Resources Officer, Equifax, Inc., Stephen Mason, CEO Of BayCare Health System and Dr. Jay Wolfson, DrPH, JD, Associate Vice President of USF Health.

We sincerely thank Fifth-Third Bank, President Brian Lamb, Ryan Sloan and the Tampa Bay Business Journal for hosting this important public “town hall” discussion that will hopefully lead to improvement of our healthcare systems in the TampaBay area.

Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Location: Grand Hyatt, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, Florida

Additional Information: For more information on this event, please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

Bloomberg BNA – Estate, Estate and Gift Tax, and Trust Year-End Planning Webinar

Date: October 30, 2013

Time: 12:30 – 1:30

Location: Online Webinar

Additional Information: For more information on this event, please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE FOR CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION (ICLE) HEALTH LAW SYMPOSIUM – AN ALL DAY SEMINAR

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of WHAT HEALTH LAWYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLORIDA LAW

Date: Friday, November 1, 2013 | 9am – 5pm (Mr. Gassman speaks from 1:10 pm until 2:10 p.m.)

Location:SetonHallLawSchool, Newark, New Jersey

Additional Information:SetonHallUniversity in South Orange, New Jersey was founded in 1856, and they have remodeled since.  Today, Seton Hall has over 10,000 students in its undergraduate, graduate and law school programs and is in close proximity to several Kentucky Fried Chicken locations.

NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE FOR CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION (ICLE)_SPECIAL 3 HOUR SESSION

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of WHAT NEW JERSEY LAWYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLORIDA LAW – A 3 HOUR OVERVIEW BY ALAN S. GASSMAN

Date: Saturday, November 2, 2013

Location: Wilshire Grand Hotel, West Orange, New Jersey | 9am – 12pm

Additional Information: Please tell all of your friends, neighbors and enemies in New Jersey to come out to support this important presentation for the New Jersey Bar Association.  We will include discussions of airboats, how to get an alligator off of your driveway, how to peel a navel orange and what collard greens and grits are. For additional information please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

SALT LAKE CITY ESTATE PLANNING COUNCIL’S FALL ONE DAY “TAX AND DEDUCTIBILITY OF YOUR SKI TRIP” INSTITUTE

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of PRACTICAL ESTATE PLANNING, WITH A $5.25 MILLION EXEMPTION AMOUNT, ESTATE TAX PROJECTION PLANNING, AND WHY DENTISTS ARE DIFFERENT

Date: Thursday, November 7, 2013

Location: HiltonDowntownSaltLake City, Utah

Additional Information:  Please support this one day annual seminar conveniently located near skiing and tourism opportunities.  If you would like to attend this event or receive the materials please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

ESTATE PLANNING COUNCIL OF MANATEE COUNTY SEMINAR

Alan Gassman will be speaking to the Estate Planning Council of Manatee County on “AN ESTATE AND TAX PLANNER’S YEAR END PLANNING CHECKLIST – PRACTICE SYSTEM STRATEGIES IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES”.

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013 | 12:00 p.m – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Bradenton County Club, 4646 9th Avenue W, Bradenton, FL34209

Additional Information:  To register for this event please visit the Estate Planning Council of Manatee County website at http://www.estateplanningcouncilofmanateecounty.org/events/event/10036

MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES CONTINUING EDUACTION PRIMARY CARE CONFERENCE

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of LEGAL, TAX AND FINANCIAL BOOT CAMP FOR THE MEDICAL PRACTICE – A SPECIAL TAX, ESTATE PLANNING AND LAW CONFERENCE FOR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS

Date: December 13, 2013 – 12:00 pm – 4:40 pm and December 14, 2013 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Topics and Meeting Times:

Friday, December 13, 2013

  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm –  2013 Tax Changes
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm The 10 Biggest Mistakes that Physicians Make in their Investments and Business Planning
  • 2:10 – 3:10 pm Lawsuits 101
  • 3:10 – 3:40 pm  – Essential Estate Planning
  • 3:40 – 4:40 pm  – Deductions for Physicians

Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • 8:00 – 9:00 am – Medical Practice Financial Management
  • 9:00 – 10:00 am – Physician Compensation
  • 10:10 – 11:10 am – Asset Entity Planning for Creditor Protection and Buy/Sell Arrangements
  • 11:10 – 11:40 am – Tax Structures for Medical Practices
  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm – 50 Ways to Leave Your Overhead
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm – Retirement Plan Options for Physicians
  • 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Stark Naked or Well Prepared? (Please do not come to this session naked.)

Location:GrandHyattTampaBay, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, Florida

Additional Information:  For more information please visit www.MER.org  Please note that the program qualifies for continuing education credit for physicians.

THE FLORIDA BAR – REPRESENTING THE PHYSICIAN

Date: Friday, January 17, 2013

Location:  The Peabody Hotel, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: The annual Florida Bar conference entitled Representing the Physician is designed especially for health care, tax, and business lawyers, CPAs and physician office managers and physicians to cover practical legal, medical law, and tax planning matters that affect physicians and physician practices.

This year our 1 day seminar will be held in the Peabody Hotel near Walt Disney World, which is world famous for its daily “march of the ducks” through the lobby (wear easy to clean shoes) and maybe we will have peking duck for dinner.

A dinner for the Executive Committee of the Health Law Section of The Florida Bar and our speakers will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2013, whether formally or informally.  Anyone who would like to attend (dutch treat or bring wooden shoes) will be welcomed.  Your tax deductible hotel room to start a fantastic week near Disney, Universal, Sea World and most importantly Gatorland can include a room at the fantastic Peabody Hotel for a discounted rate per night, single occupancy.

1st ANNUAL ESTATE PLANNER’S DAY AT AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW

Speakers: Speakers will include Professor Jerry Hesch, Jonathan Gopman, Alan Gassman and others.

Date: April 25, 2014

Location: Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

Sponsors:AveMariaSchool of Law, Collier County Estate Planning Council and more to be announced.

Additional Information: For more information on this event please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com.

NOTABLE SEMINARS PRESENTED BY OTHERS:

48th ANNUAL HECKERLING INSTITUTE ON ESTATE PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: January 13 – 17, 2014

Location:  OrlandoWorldCenter Marriott, Orlando, Florida

Sponsor:University of MiamiSchool of Law

Additional Information: For more information please visit: http://www.law.miami.edu/heckerling/

16th ANNUAL ALL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ESTATE, TAX, LEGAL & FINANCIAL PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Location: All Children’s Hospital Education and ConferenceCenter, St. Petersburg, Florida with remote location live interactive viewings in Tampa, Sarasota, New Port Richey, Lakeland, and Bangkok, Thailand

Sponsor: All Children’s Hospital

THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA TAX INSTITUTE

Date: February 19 – 21, 2014

Location: Grand Hyatt, Tampa, Florida

Sponsor:  UF Law alumni and UF Graduate Tax Program

Additional Information:  Here is what UF is saying about the program on its website: “The UF Tax Institute will provide tax practitioners and other leading tax, business and estate planning professionals with a program that covers the most current issues and planning ideas with a practical, informative, state-of-the-art approach.  The Institute’s schedule will devote separate days or half days to individual income tax issues, entity tax issues and estate planning issues.  Speakers and presentations will be announced as the program date nears to ensure coverage of the most timely and significant topics.  UF Law alumni have formed the Florida Tax Education Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, to organize the conference.”

Thursday Report – 10/17/2013 – Welcome Back Government, Same Sex Marriage, USAA & a Manatee

Posted on: October 17th, 2013

 
 
Giving new meaning to the word Thursday, not to mention
Wednesday, Friday and all of the other days.

Single Manatee.1

An Update from the Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute

4 Dangerous Initials – USAA Does Not Allow TBE

Counseling Same Sex Couples in a Post-DOMA America, an article by Alan Gassman, J.D., LL.M., and Danielle Creech, J.D.

Catch-22

New Jersey v. Florida – Fun Facts

Phil Rarick’s Client Blog: Florida Probate Attorney Fees

Seminar Spotlights of the Week

We welcome contributions for future Thursday Report topics. If you are interested in making a contribution as a guest writer, please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

This report and other Thursday Reports can be found on our website at www.gassmanlawassociates.com.

An Update from the Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute

Things are tame at Notre Dame!

Alan Gassman, Ken Crotty and Christopher Denicolo joined Professor Jerry Hesch is a session last night on Interesting Interest and planning with annuity contracts. If you would like to receive our outlines, please email agassman@gassmanpa.com.

Also, our new software program now includes installment sales to Grantor trusts and self-cancelling installment sales.  Notre Dame Institute attendees are receiving free 15 month subscriptions.  Let us know if you would like to be a beta tester.

One portion of the talk spoke about income tax planning with annuities.  Another part included a nutshell on annuity taxation.

Next week we will feature the nutshell and the planning strategy section, to be followed by other portions of our materials.

The charts that we shared can be viewed by clicking here.

A splendid time was had by all!”

Those of you who are with us in Indiana are welcome to come to the Gassman Law Associates table to pick up a free 15 month subscription to our new estate tax planning software, which now covers installment sales and self-cancelling installment sales.

If you are not at the Notre Dame Tax & Estate Planning Institute, get on a plane tonight and we can see you tomorrow!

4 Dangerous Initials – USAA Does Not Allow TBE

While most banks and brokerage firms that our clients work with allow TBE accounts, USAA does not.

 USAA is headquartered in Texas, and we have received confirmation from them in the past that their accounts are not considered to qualify as Tenancy by the Entireties accounts.

 Excerpts from a letter that we wrote to a married couple last week about how to handle ownership of their USAA account is as follows:

 A tenancy by the entireties account is a joint account between a husband and a wife that has certain characteristics available for accounts opened in Florida, Delaware, and other states that recognize tenancy by the entireties.

 I would therefore either move the USAA account to John’s living trust, or set up a simple Florida limited liability partnership which costs approximately $25 a year to maintain.  I would then place the USAA account into that partnership.

 It would be a bit safer from a creditor protection standpoint to instead form a Florida limited liability company.

 A limited liability partnership would prevent creditors of one spouse from reaching into the joint asset while the other spouse is living, but would not provide any protection for the surviving spouse if one spouse dies.

 The limited liability company would provide some creditor protection for Jane if John were to die.

 If the USAA account is moved to John’s revocable trust, then it will be exposed to potential creditor claims against John, which will notably include the risk of a car accident claim.

 If you have a $5,000,000 umbrella liability insurance policy then this may not be of as much concern.

 If John were to die first and this trust owns 5% of the LLC and Jane thereafter owns 95% (the 95% that was owned jointly by TBE) then creditors of Jane would not be able to reach into the LLC, but would instead only receive what is called a “charging order” that would permit them to be paid whatever Jane owes them if and when there is a distribution from the LLC.

 The judges cannot force a distribution, so Jane would be in a “stalemate” with the creditor because she could continue to control the LLC, but would not be able to make any significant withdrawals without paying the creditor.

 

Counseling Same Sex Couples in a Post-DOMA America, an article by Alan Gassman, J.D., LL.M., and Danielle Creech, J.D.

Recognizes Same Sex Marriage

Allows Same Sex Marriage if Married Elsewhere

Prenuptial Agreements Upheld

Tenancy by the Entirety Allowed for Same Sex Couples

Prohibits Workplace Discrimination due to Sexual Orientation

Will Spouse Have Rights to Homestead

Permits Joint Adoption

California

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Florida

No

No

No

No

No

No

No[1]

Nevada

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes[2]

Yes

North Carolina

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

Texas

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

New Jersey

No[3]

No[4]

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

New York

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

 The U.S. Supreme Court’s U.S. v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry decisions, the IRS’ pronouncement of equality for income, estate and gift tax purposes, and Pope Francis’ comment that the Catholic Church should not interfere in the lives of gays and lesbians have made 2013 a banner year for gay rights and marital, tax, government and employer benefit, creditor, and estate planning for same sex couples. Individuals who are in same sex relationships must now determine whether they would like to be married if they are not married, where to live, whether to have prenuptial agreements in place, how to handle beneficiary designations, whether they can adopt, and many other things.

While these decisions have tremendously expanded gay rights in the United States, the differences between state and federal laws still hold back the gay rights movement to some degree. Thus, attorneys should prepare to start counseling their same sex clients with respect to their legal rights (or lack thereof) in various jurisdictions.[5]

Chart.2

Same-Sex Marriage Throughout the United States

About 43% of the United States population live in a state that has some sort of protection for same sex couples. Thirteen states recognize same sex marriage in the United States (Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, New York, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maryland, Maine, Washington, Delaware, Rhode Island and Minnesota) along with the District of Columba and certain Native American tribes. Nevada, Wisconsin, and Oregon have created a limited legal same sex marriage recognition while Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, and New Jersey recognize civil unions[6] for same sex couples.

The other 35 states either have a constitutional or statutory ban on same sex marriage. This becomes an issue when a same sex couple gets married in a state allowing same sex marriage but then moves to a state that has an outright ban on same sex marriage.

Estate Planning and Tax Advantages

On Thursday, August 29, 2013, the IRS ruled that same sex couples will be considered as married for federal income, estate and gift tax purposes. Any same sex marriage legally entered into in one of the 13 states that allow same sex marriages (see chart below) the District of Columbia, or a foreign jurisdiction having legal authority to sanction same sex marriages is covered under this ruling; notwithstanding whether the spouses live in a state or other jurisdiction that recognizes their marriage legally.

Before the IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17, a same sex couple would not receive full married couple benefits under the estate and gift tax laws unless they were (1) married in a state that recognizes same sex marriages and (2) resided in a state that also recognizes same sex marriages.

The above interpretation is consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in the United States v. Windsor case as discussed in our Leimberg Newsletter #2123, which was entitled Many Affluent Same-Sex Couples Will Be Leaving Florida and Where They Should Go. This piece was premised upon the Court’s decision that a same sex couple would not be considered married for tax purposes if the state where they resided did not recognize the marriage. That changed very quickly!

The rules and implication thereof were very thoroughly explained by George Karibjanian in Steve Leimberg’s Estate Planning Email Newsletter Archive Message #3137 that was published on September 3rd and can be viewed by clicking here.

As the result of Rev. Ruling 2013-17, affluent married couples now have the option to move to states that may not recognize same sex marriage to avoid state inheritance taxes, state estate taxes, and state income taxes. For example, a same sex couple could go to New York to get married and move to Florida to avoid income taxes and inheritance taxes. Florida does not recognize same sex marriage, however, so they would not have the advantage of the creditor protection accorded to tenancy by the entireties assets as they would if they decided to live in Delaware instead. Not to mention it is also a pretty darned neat place to live (when it is not 100 degrees outside with 100% humidity and the power is not working because of a lightning storm).

Revenue Ruling 2013-17 provides that Internal Revenue Code Section 6511 gives same sex married couples the option of amending their prior tax returns, going back 3 years from the time the return was filed or 2 years from the time the tax was paid, whichever is later. Same sex couples may also choose to leave the prior returns in tact or to amend one or more prior tax years. This gives same sex couples some very good choices for income tax planning purposes.  Almost all affluent same sex couples (or couples where one spouse is affluent) will want to go to a good income tax advisor with the right software to help determine what years they should amend and what years they should not amend.

Any gift tax return that involved a transfer to a spouse that used up any portion of the donor spouse’s estate tax exemption should probably be amended to regain the exemption amount, unless there are other items on the gift tax return that are best not re-opened, such as large gifts with questionable values to non-spouse individuals.

Amending a gift tax return will give the IRS three years after the date of the amendment to revisit all aspects of the gift tax return amended.

An increase in federal protections also means that same sex couples residing in states that don’t recognize same sex marriage will not be as negatively impacted by the state’s lack of recognition of gay marriage.  Rev. Ruling 2013-17 will largely benefit gay and lesbian’s who are serving in the military or working for the federal government.  A spouse recognized by the military or federal government will receive benefits from the federal government, and state laws will not apply.

However, same sex couples should be mindful that some limitations still exist to the federal protections.  For example, veteran benefits do not apply in the same way as benefits to active duty service members.  If a same sex couple gets married in a recognition state and then moves to Florida, it is unlikely that the Department of Veterans Affairs will recognize the marriage.  But if a same sex couple lives in a recognition state when benefits take effect and later moves to a non-recognition state, then the VA will likely continue dispensing the benefits.  This same scenario will likely be true for both Social Security and Medicare benefits, but a further analysis of the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) rulings is provided below.

State Does the State Recognize Same Sex Marriage? Does the State Recognize Tenants by the Entireties (with pure protection?) Does the State have an estate tax or inheritance tax? Exemption Amount; Highest Estate and/or Inheritance Tax Rate (if applicable) Does the State have an Income Tax? Highest Income Tax Rate (if applicable)
California Yes No No N/A Yes 13.30%
Connecticut Yes No Estate Tax (and state Gift Tax) $2,000,000; 12% Yes 6.70%
Delaware Yes Yes No (repealed for deaths after June 30, 2013) N/A Yes 6.75%
District of Columbia Yes Yes Estate Tax $1,000,000; 16% Yes 8.95%
Iowa Yes No Inheritance Tax (but spouses and descendants are exempt) No exemption; 15% Yes 8.98%
Maine Yes No Estate Tax $2,000,000; 12% Yes 7.95%
Maryland Yes Yes Estate Tax and an Inheritance Tax (but spouses and descendants are exempt from the Inheritance Tax) $1,000,000 (estate only); 16% (estate); 10% (inheritance) Yes 5.75%
Massachusetts Yes No Estate Tax $1,000,000; 16% Yes 5.30%
Minnesota Yes No Estate Tax (and state Gift Tax) $1,000,000; 10% Yes 7.85%
New Hampshire Yes No No N/A Only on dividend or interest income 5.00%
New York Yes No Estate Tax $1,000,000; 16% Yes 8.82%
Rhode Island Yes No Estate Tax $910,725; 16%` Yes 5.99%
Vermont Yes Yes Estate Tax $2,750,000; 16% Yes 8.95%
Washington Yes No Estate Tax $2,000,000; 19% No N/A

“Pure Protection” refers to those state laws which protect Tenants by the Entireties assets from the creditors of only one spouse.

 Same sex couples who are not formally married in one of the recognition states should consider whether the estate and gift tax and income tax advantages of getting married outweigh potential disadvantages. These disadvantages can include;

  • having to leave qualified plan benefits to a surviving spouse who will not sign a waiver associated therewith,
  • having alimony and property settlement rights vest in a new spouse if the new spouse will not sign a binding prenuptial agreement as requested by the other spouse,
  • having to have the new spouse on the healthcare plan of an employed spouse whose employer requires this,
  • having to inform an employer that a same sex marriage exists in order to comply with personnel, office and associated requirements (which may occur in states that do not prevent discrimination against gays and lesbians, such as Florida. However many cities and counties in Florida have enacted ordinances prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace),
  • having to decide who to invite to the ceremony and who is going to pay for it or,
  • whether to go to Justice Ginsberg’s house since she will probably not charge because it would have to be disclosed on her income disclosure form.

Advisors who represent one or more members of an affluent same sex couple will need to reach out to let them know that if and when they are married they can have a new estate tax plan that includes marital deduction planning, Qualified Terminable Interest Property trust planning, and associated rights and responsibilities.

Medicaid.

Many elderly Americans rely upon medicaid to pay for nursing home care after their limited Medicare benefits run out. When one spouse needs to have Medicaid nursing home benefits and the other spouse has assets, the assets have to be spent down in many cases before Medicaid will apply. The spouse whose assets have to be spent down even though he or she does not need nursing home care is called the “community spouse.”  Individuals who are concerned about Medicaid eligibility will want to think about this, and possibly purchase long term care insurance to make this issue less of a factor.

Liability for Medical and Other Expenses of a Spouse.

Some states require one spouse to be responsible for medical and other liabilities incurred by the other spouse. Other states, including Florida, do not unless there has been an explicit guarantee signed. This is another factor that many same sex couples will consider in determining whether to marry.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Protection in the Workplace.

Protection of gay clients in the workplace due to sexual orientation is also an issue to consider when counseling same sex couples.

Federal law protects federal employees from discrimination due to sexual orientation, but they have not yet successfully passed a law that outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation in private workplaces. Thus, state law continues to govern in this particular area.

However, this may all change after the Senate votes on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act later this year. If passed, this bill will provide comprehensive protections against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity to lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (“LGBT”) workers in all 50 states!

While twenty-one (21) states have banned sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace, many states have failed to follow this growing trend. However, many of the cities and counties in states that don’t provide sexual orientation protection have enacted local ordinances that prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in private workplaces. This is illustrated in the chart below. These jurisdictional ordinances do vary as to degree of protection, i.e. not all permit workers to file private lawsuits against employers and some only regulate workplaces having more than a certain minimum number of employees, thus it is important to specifically look at the specific jurisdiction’s degree of protection when filing a suit for workplace discrimination.

US Counties and Cities with Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Protection – 2013

                 USA.1

PURPLE State, county, or city protects sexual orientation and gender identity with anti–employment discrimination ordinance

BLUE   State, county, or city protects sexual orientation with anti–employment discrimination ordinance

PINK State, county, or city protects sexual orientation and gender identity solely in public employment

TEAL State, county, or city protects sexual orientation in public employment[7]

GRAY State, county, or city does not protect sexual orientation and gender identity in employment

 

Prenuptial Agreements

When a same sex couple that is validly married in another state lives in a non-friendly state, it is probably also useful to have them consider a prenuptial agreement. In some states, if a same sex married couple lives in a state that does not recognize their marriage, they are not provided the option of obtaining a divorce. Thus, if the partners have a disagreement of how to split up the marital assets the court will have no available remedy.

 However, if a couple has a prenuptial agreement, the contract between the partners may provide a court a way to divide up the marital assets. Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that a court in a state hostile to same sex marriage will uphold same sex prenuptial agreements, but it does not hurt to draft one as a safety net.

 This divorce prohibition in certain states could change in the not too distant future, and, if so, alimony and property settlement rights might date back to when the couple was originally married, as opposed to dating back to when the state legislature and governor might sign such legislation into existence.

 Powers of Attorney

Furthermore, same sex couples should carry Powers of Attorney just in case the state they are domiciled in does not recognize their marriage. Since a Power of Attorney is contractual in nature and not dependent on relationship status, a gay individual can appoint their partner to make financial and medical decisions for them in certain circumstances.

 Any hospital receiving federal funding, including Medicare/Medicaid, is required to honor any valid Powers of Attorney, even if it is between same sex partners. President Barack Obama, Presidential Memorandum – Hospital Visitation (April 15, 2010) (available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-hospital-visitation). This order was the result of a Florida lawsuit, Langbehn v. Jackson Memorial Hospital, in which the hospital refused to acknowledge the Plaintiff’s valid Health Care Power of Attorney over her dying lesbian partner.

 Planning for Same Sex Couple’s Children

When planning for same sex couple’s children, more things need to be considered than just establishing a will and trust.

 For instance, it is also important to consider that in all 50 states, same sex parents who are not the birth parent MUST obtain second-parent adoptions for their children to be actually recognized as a legal parent. Dan Ebner, Roundtable, LGBT Litigator (American Bar Association, Sept. 12, 2013) (copy of transcript on file with Gassman and Associates). Neither a marriage license of the parent’s nuptials nor a birth certificate signed by the non-biological parent are enough to give a same sex partner parental rights to their child. Id. Thus, a court order of adoption is required. Id.

This was the major issue of the Ohio Supreme Court case In re Mullen. Kelly Mullen and Michelle Hobbs decided that they wanted to have a child. In re Mullen, 953 N.E.2d 302, 304 (Ohio 2011). Mullen got in contact with a male friend to be a sperm donor (he signed away any legal rights to the baby), and she gave birth in July 2005.Id. However, the couple began having problems and Mullen moved out with their child. Id. Hobbs filed an action to obtain visitation rights, but the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Hobbs had no rights due to the fact that “Mullen did not create an agreement to permanently relinquish sole legal custody of her child in favor of shared legal custody with Hobbs.” Id at 309.

However, an issue arises in states that do not allow for second-parent adoption. In these states, same sex parents should execute a co-parenting or joint custody agreement to ensure custody if a dispute arises. It is not certain that these agreements will be upheld in every state’s court; however, having same sex parents draft and sign these agreements help prove intent to a court during a custody dispute. In “Estate Planning for Children of Same-Sex Couples”, Joan Burda encourages planners to stray away from using “joint parenting agreement” and rather title the agreement “joint custody agreement.” Joan Burda, Estate Planning for Children of Same-Sex Couples, Vol. 3, No.2 (September 2013). Furthermore, when drafting wills or trusts be careful when using the word “parent” because sometimes this can be construed to mean biological parent. Id.

 Some factors to address in a co-parenting or joint custody agreement are:

  • Who will the child live with?
  • Who will make major decision such as health care and schooling decisions for the child?
  • Will the child spend part of the week (month or year) living with one parent and part of the week (month or year) with another? And will both parents share in making major decisions?
  • How will both parents provide for their child’s medical and educational needs?
  • In what religion, if any, will the child be raised?
  • What financial, familial, or other resources will each parent offer?
  • How each parent resolve disputes?
  • What each parent will do if either parent moves?
  • What will be done if one of the parents violates the agreement?

Human Rights Campaign, Second Parent Adoption, http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/second-parent-adoption (accessed Oct. 1, 2013).

Legal Practice Etiquette

Socially Acceptable Terminology For Same Sex Couple Conversations NOT SO Socially Acceptable Terminology for Same Sex Couple Conversations
“Partner”[8] “Husband” or “Wife”
“Special Rights” “Equal Rights”
“Gay” or “Lesbian” “Homosexual”
“Relationship” or “Couple” “Homosexual Couple”
“Sexual Orientation” “Sexual Preference”

With the prospect of more same sex couples, advisors will also want to be wary of proper etiquette.  According to the GLAAD Media Reference Guide which advises journalists on using appropriate terms, preferred terms include “gay,” “gay man,” “lesbian,” or “gay person/people” rather than “homosexual.”  In addition, “sexual orientation” or “orientation” is preferred, while “sexual preference” is considered offensive.  Steven Petrow, a New York Times contributor addressing questions on gay and straight etiquette, suggests that the most practical approach is to listen to how a couple introduces themselves or refers to each other, since this will vary from couple to couple. This is an important matter to consider, and advisors should be careful to avoid “downgrading” a couple’s status.  As Petrow explains, “[w]ith all the work that it took for [same sex couples] to make their relationship legal in New York, my pal was not about to settle for ‘friend’ to describe the man he’s been partnered with for nearly three decades.”  When in doubt, Petrow advises that you should not be shy to ask the couple directly how they would like to be referred to.  “It’s not a nosy question–it’s a respectful one,” he says.

Other Considerations

Also consider some advantages vs. disadvantages of marriage shown below.

Advantages of Marriage Disadvantages of Marriage
Savings with sharing a single health insurance plan: While the rules vary by state and employer, many health insurance companies already offer benefits to domestic partners and same-sex unions; others require marriage for shared coverage. Responsibility of health care: Depending on which state you live in, if your spouse cannot pay their health care bills, then you may be held liable for the cost.
Security benefits go to the surviving spouse: Widowed spouses are entitled to their spouses’ Social Security benefits if they are greater than their own. Loss of benefits if you get remarried: If you are a widow or widower receiving a deceased spouse’s retirement benefits or social security benefits you may lose those benefits if you get remarried before the age of 60.
No Employer Taxes: If you work for your spouse, they do not have to pay social security taxes or unemployment taxes on your behalf. Spousal debt responsibility: In community property states, most debt incurred by either spouse during marriage are owed jointly by the couple, even if only one spouse signed for the debt.
“Being Married” – Dr. Phil “Being Married” – Rodney Dangerfield

While Post-DOMA America is still not providing same sex couples with complete equality, the federal and state governments are working tirelessly to achieve this goal. One thing is for certain: as the landscape continues to grow more inclusive, lawyers can anticipate a wide array of new considerations and techniques for same sex couples.

Social Security Benefits and Taxation – We are hopeful that the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) will announce this year that same sex couples who had marriage ceremonies and registration in states that recognize same sex marriage will be treated as married for social security tax purposes, but that is not always a good thing.

Our draft language with respect to social security benefits and taxation that will be adapted once we know where the SSA is heading is as follows:

While Medicare and the IRS officials are using the “place of celebration” standard to determine if a same sex couple is eligible for benefits, the SSA is using a “place of residence” standard in determining spousal benefits. This means that for Medicare and IRS determinations as long as the couple is legally married, it doesn’t matter where they may live, but for SSA benefits a same sex married couple living in a non-recognition state will not receive benefits as a couple. For example, a same sex couple in Florida may not receive the same social security benefits as a same sex couple in Massachusetts until final determinations are made by the SSA.

 However, the SSA is working on fixing this “kink”, and there is an expectation that this will be resolved soon to ensure uniformity throughout the states. Once the Social Security Administration resolves this issue, same sex couples will be offered more financial benefit options for their spouse and family, such as surviving spouse benefits after their spouse dies.

The SSA has started processing spousal claims for same sex couples. They encourage same sex couples to start applying right away, even if they are not eligible, it will preserve the filing date used when determining the start of benefits.

It is important to note to clients that entering into a same-sex marriage may cause a loss of or a lowering of their existing social security income (“SSI”) benefits. Marriage can not only effect eligibility for SSI, but benefits can change from an individual rate to a couple rate and social security income is taxed differently. However, marriage will not affect retirement or social security disability insurance (“SSDI”) benefits.

Social security income may be taxable, depending upon the amount of other income a same sex couple receives. If a taxpayer only receives social security income or railroad retirement benefits, the benefits are generally not taxable and the taxpayer may not need to file a federal income tax return.

If a taxpayer receives income in addition to social security income, and one half of the social security benefits plus other income exceeds a “base amount,” then up to 85% of the social security income can be taxable. The 2012 base amount for single filers is $25,000 and for married taxpayers filing a joint return is $32,000.

There is a complicated sliding scale formula under Code § 86 to determine how much of social security benefits are taxable. Generally, gross income includes 50% of social security benefits but no more than 85% depending upon the amount of other income a taxpayer receives during the year.  IRS Publication 915 contains a Worksheet that is helpful in determining the amount of social security income that is subject to income tax.

Example:

John and Sam, a same sex married couple, receive annual social security income of $10,000 each, for a total of $20,000. John also receives taxable pension income of $8,000. None of the social security income is taxable because their income of $28,000 is less than the $32,000 base amount that applies for married joint filers.

If John receives taxable pension income totaling $25,000 then $1,500 of their Social Security income will be taxable.

If John receives taxable pension income totaling $50,000 then 85% of their Social Security income will be taxable.

Social Security income is included in the calculation of Modified Adjusted Gross Income for purposes of calculating the Medicare contribution tax. Therefore, taxpayers having significant net investment income will have more reason to defer Social Security benefits.

Assuming a reasonable or long life expectancy, it is generally beneficial for an individual who is eligible to receive Social Security on or after age 62, to delay receipt of payments until he or she reaches full retirement age. If an individual’s full retirement age is 65 and he or she elects to receive Social Security benefits at age 62, the benefit amount is reduced by 20%.  The reduced benefit amount decreases to 13.3% at age 63 and 6.66% at age 64. The reduction takes into account that a person is receiving benefits over a long period of time. Therefore, an individual can either receive lower monthly amounts over a longer period of time or receive higher monthly amounts over a shorter period of time.

If an individual delays receiving Social Security benefits after full retirement age, he or she may be eligible for a delayed retirement credit. The following chart, available at http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/delayret.htm shows the percentage increases when an individual delays receipt of retirement benefits.

Increase for Delayed Retirement

Year of Birth*

Yearly Rate of Increase

Monthly Rate of Increase

1933-1934

5.5%

11/24 of 1%

1935-1936

6.0%

1/2 of 1%

1937-1938

6.5%

13/24 of 1%

1939-1940

7.0%

7/12 of 1%

1941-1942

7.5%

5/8 of 1%

1943 or later

8.0%

2/3 of 1%

The chart below, available at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/ar_drc.html demonstrates the advantages of delaying Social Security benefits. The “Primary Insurance Amount” is the amount an individual would receive at his or her normal retirement age. As the chart shows, a person born between 1943-1954, whose normal retirement age is 66 can receive a 32% increase in benefits by delaying receipt of benefits until they reach age 70. Further information on this topic can be found on Social Security Administration website, www.ssa.gov.

YearofBirth Normal Credit for each year of Benefit, as a percentage of PIA, beginning at age
Retirement delayed retirement
Age after NRA (percent) 62 63 64 65 66 67 70
1924 65 3 80 86 23 93 13 100 103 106 115
1925-26 65 3 12 80 86 23 93 13 100 103 12 107 117 12
1927-28 65 4 80 86 23 93 13 100 104 108 120
1929-30 65 4 12 80 86 23 93 13 100 104 12 109 122 12
1931-32 65 5 80 86 23 93 13 100 105 110 125
1933-34 65 5 12 80 86 23 93 13 100 105 12 111 127 12
1935-36 65 6 80 86 23 93 13 100 106 112 130
1937 65 6 12 80 86 23 93 13 100 106 12 113 132 12
1938 65, 2 mo. 6 12 79 16 85 59 92 29 98 89 105 512 111 1112 131 512
1939 65, 4 mo. 7 78 13 84 49 91 19 97 79 104 23 111 23 132 23
1940 65, 6 mo. 7 77 12 83 13 90 96 23 103 12 110 12 131 12
1941 65, 8 mo. 7 12 76 23 82 29 88 89 95 59 102 12 110 132 12
1942 65, 10 mo. 7 12 75 56 81 19 87 79 94 49 101 14 108 34 131 14
1943-54 66 8 75 80 86 23 93 13 100 108 132
1955 66, 2 mo. 8 74 16 79 16 85 59 92 29 98 89 106 23 130 23
1956 66, 4 mo. 8 73 13 78 13 84 49 91 19 97 79 105 13 129 13
1957 66, 6 mo. 8 72 12 77 12 83 13 90 96 23 104 128
1958 66, 8 mo. 8 71 23 76 23 82 29 88 89 95 59 102 23 126 23
1959 66, 10 mo. 8 70 56 75 56 81 19 87 79 94 49 101 13 125 13
1960 and later 67 8 70 75 80 86 23 93 13 100 124

A spouse can also elect to receive one-half of his or her spouse’s benefit if they start receiving benefits at their full retirement age. A spouse who is eligible for a spousal benefit and his or her own benefit, can elect to take the spousal benefit and delay receiving his or her own benefit.  This may result in a higher benefit due to the delayed retirement credits.

 PLANNING TIP

Defer receiving Social Security benefits until reaching full retirement age. This increases the monthly benefit amount and also minimizes the Medicare 3.8% contribution tax because Social Security benefits are included in the calculation of Modified Adjusted Gross Income for purposes of the 3.8% tax calculation.

 Conclusion.

There is a tremendous opportunity for financial tax and legal advisors to help same sex couples to decide whether to marry, where to live, and how to handle their estate planning, creditor protection planning, tax planning, and other situations.

This will take a great deal of study and consideration, and will not be an “one size fits all” analysis.

The biggest social adjustment in our country so far this century is an exciting time for those of us in the counseling professions.



[1] Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals ruled that a statute from 1997 which prohibited “homosexuals” from adopting was unconstitutional. Florida Dept. of Children and Families v. Adoption of X.X.G., 45 So. 3d 79 (Fla. 3d Dist. App. 2010).

[2] Will receive rights to Homestead if registered with the state as domestic partners.

[3] Recognizes same sex civil unions. Office of the Attorney General: Formal Opinion No. 3-2007 (February 16, 2007).

[4] Recognized as having same legal force as civil union or domestic partnership.

[5]While there are some instances when joint representation of same sex couples is acceptable, it is always a good idea to suggest that one party retain separate legal representation. See your state Bar rules for applicable rules on client joint representation.

[6]The decision in Windsor made it clear that the federal government will not recognize civil union marriages. Thus, someone who has exercised their right in these states to enter a civil union or domestic partnership are in a state of limbo for federal rights. Helen Casale, Roundtable, LGBT Litigator (American Bar Association, Sept. 12, 2013) (copy of transcript on file with Gassman and Associates)

[7]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_counties_and_cities_with_sexual_orientation_and_gender_identity_protection.svg

[8] Steven Petrow, Is it Gay Husband? Lesbian Wife? Or What?, New York Times (November 27, 2012).

Catch-22

Many of our readers missed the opportunity to read Catch 22, which explains a lot about real life and the law.

All you have to do is turn to page 42 and read our favorite excerpt, which is as follows: and then it’s… there was only one catch and that was Catch 22 and then agreed”.

 Joseph Heller did a great job with this book, and thereafter wrote a play called “We Bombed in New Haven” and books that included Something Happened, Good as Gold, I think, and something else.

Heller was a fantastic humorist, but one of our favorite quotes, which was written down by a friend when they were visiting a billionaire’s penthouse in New York was as follows:

Heller: I have something this person doesn’t have.

Friend: What is it?

Heller: Enough.

How many of us have enough?  Read Catch 22 and see if you have enough, or if you have had enough!

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.

 “It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.

New Jersey v. Florida – Fun Facts

We are really looking forward to our talks in New Jersey on November 1st on WHAT HEALTH LAWYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLORIDA LAW and November 2nd on WHAT NEW JERSEY LAWYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLORIDA LAW – A 3 HOUR OVERVIEW

It is interesting to compare the 2 states:

NJ-FL.1

Phil Rarick’s Client Blog: Florida Probate Attorney Fees

This quick guide is designed to inform lay persons who may be named the personal representative (or executor) in a will of the engagement options for a probate attorney and presumptive Florida probate attorney fees.     Click here to read the block post. 

Seminar Spotlights of the Week

Manatee with Dolphin - New

Seminar 1

Alan Gassman will be speaking at a Estate Planning Council of Manatee County Seminar on Thursday, November 21, 2013.  His topic is “AN ESTATE AND TAX PLANNER’S YEAR END PLANNING CHECKLIST – PRACTICE SYSTEM STRATEGIES IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES”.

The seminar takes place at the Bradenton Country Club from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  To register for this event please visit the Estate Planning Council of Manatee County’s website here.

Seminar 2

Alan Gassman and John Goldsmith will be presenting a seminar next Wednesday, October 23, 2013 on BP Calculations for CPAs – Tricks & Traps.

The seminar will be at the Holiday Inn Express at 4750 N. Dale Mabry in Tampa. To register for the event please click here.

Applicable Federal Rates

APPLICABLE FEDERAL RATES.October 2013

Seminars and Webinars

PINELLAS COUNTY ESTATE PLANNING COUNCIL HALF-DAY SEMINAR

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of HOT TOPICS FOR ESTATE PLANNERS, including same sex marriage, estate tax planning software (with all attendees to receive a free beta version of our new software), and other important topics.

Sandra Diamond will speak on the new Florida laws that impact estate planning, amending of decanting existing irrevocable trusts, and other recent Florida law developments.

Barry Flagg will speak on insurance and estate planning.

Sean Casey of Fifth-Third Bank will give an economic update.

Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 | 8:00 am – 12:00 p.m. (60 MINUTE PRESENTATION)

Location: TBD

Additional Information: To attend the meeting or to receive information on joining the Council  please click here or email agassman@gassmanpa.com

BP CALCULATIONS FOR CPAS: TRICKS & TRAPS SEMINAR WITH JOHN GOLDSMITH AND ALAN GASSAMAN

Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 | 6:00 p.m.

Location: Holiday Inn Express, 4750 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa, FL

Additional Information:  Each attendee will receive written materials and a wine tasting and light hors d’ oeuvres will be served.  To register for the event please click here.

2013 MOTE VASCULAR SURGERY FELLOWS – FACTS OF LIFE TALK SEMINAR FOR FIRST YEAR SURGEONS

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of ESTATE, MEDICAL PRACTICE, RETIREMENT, TAX, INSURANCE, AND BUY/SELL PLANNING – THE EARLIER YOU START THE SOONER YOU WILL BE SECURE

Date: October 25 – 27, 2013 | Alan Gassman is speaking on Sunday, October 27, 2013

Location: TBD

Additional Information: Please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com for additional information.

DECODING HEALTHCARE SYMPOSIUM IN TAMPA

Alan Gassman will be moderating the Decoding Healthcare Seminar hosted by Fifth Third Bank.

Speakers will include Jason Altmire, Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Government and Community Affairs, Florida Blue, Coretha Rushing, Chief Human Resources Officer, Equifax, Inc., Stephen Mason, CEO Of BayCare Health System and Dr. Jay Wolfson, DrPH, JD, Associate Vice President of USF Health.

We sincerely thank Fifth-Third Bank, President Brian Lamb, Ryan Sloan and the Tampa Bay Business Journal for hosting this important public “town hall” discussion that will hopefully lead to improvement of our healthcare systems in the Tampa Bay area.

Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Location: Grand Hyatt, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, Florida

Additional Information: For more information on this event, please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

Bloomberg BNA – Estate, Estate and Gift Tax, and Trust Year-End Planning Webinar

Date: October 30, 2013

Time: 12:30 – 1:30

Location: Online Webinar

Additional Information: For more information on this event, please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE FOR CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION (ICLE) HEALTH LAW SYMPOSIUM – AN ALL DAY SEMINAR

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of WHAT HEALTH LAWYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLORIDA LAW

Date: Friday, November 1, 2013 | 9am – 5pm (Mr. Gassman speaks from 1:10 pm until 2:10 p.m.)

Location: Seton Hall Law School, Newark, New Jersey

Additional Information: Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey was founded in 1856, and they have remodeled since.  Today, Seton Hall has over 10,000 students in its undergraduate, graduate and law school programs and is in close proximity to several Kentucky Fried Chicken locations.

NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE FOR CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION (ICLE)_SPECIAL 3 HOUR SESSION

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of WHAT NEW JERSEY LAWYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLORIDA LAW – A 3 HOUR OVERVIEW BY ALAN S. GASSMAN

Date: Saturday, November 2, 2013

Location: Wilshire Grand Hotel, West Orange, New Jersey | 9am – 12pm

Additional Information: Please tell all of your friends, neighbors and enemies in New Jersey to come out to support this important presentation for the New Jersey Bar Association.  We will include discussions of airboats, how to get an alligator off of your driveway, how to peel a navel orange and what collard greens and grits are. For additional information please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

SALT LAKE CITY ESTATE PLANNING COUNCIL’S FALL ONE DAY “TAX AND DEDUCTIBILITY OF YOUR SKI TRIP” INSTITUTE

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of PRACTICAL ESTATE PLANNING, WITH A $5.25 MILLION EXEMPTION AMOUNT, ESTATE TAX PROJECTION PLANNING, AND WHY DENTISTS ARE DIFFERENT

Date: Thursday, November 7, 2013

Location: Hilton Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah

Additional Information:  Please support this one day annual seminar conveniently located near skiing and tourism opportunities.  If you would like to attend this event or receive the materials please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

ESTATE PLANNING COUNCIL OF MANATEE COUNTY SEMINAR

Alan Gassman will be speaking to the Estate Planning Council of Manatee County on “AN ESTATE AND TAX PLANNER’S YEAR END PLANNING CHECKLIST – PRACTICE SYSTEM STRATEGIES IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES”.

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013 | 12:00 p.m – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Bradenton County Club, 4646 9th Avenue W, Bradenton, FL 34209

Additional Information:  To register for this event please visit the Estate Planning Council of Manatee County website at http://www.estateplanningcouncilofmanateecounty.org/events/event/10036

MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES CONTINUING EDUACTION PRIMARY CARE CONFERENCE

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of LEGAL, TAX AND FINANCIAL BOOT CAMP FOR THE MEDICAL PRACTICE – A SPECIAL TAX, ESTATE PLANNING AND LAW CONFERENCE FOR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS

Date: December 13, 2013 – 12:00 pm – 4:40 pm and December 14, 2013 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Topics and Meeting Times:

Friday, December 13, 2013

  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm –  2013 Tax Changes
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm The 10 Biggest Mistakes that Physicians Make in their Investments and Business Planning
  • 2:10 – 3:10 pm Lawsuits 101
  • 3:10 – 3:40 pm  – Essential Estate Planning
  • 3:40 – 4:40 pm  – Deductions for Physicians

Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • 8:00 – 9:00 am – Medical Practice Financial Management
  • 9:00 – 10:00 am – Physician Compensation
  • 10:10 – 11:10 am – Asset Entity Planning for Creditor Protection and Buy/Sell Arrangements
  • 11:10 – 11:40 am – Tax Structures for Medical Practices
  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm – 50 Ways to Leave Your Overhead
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm – Retirement Plan Options for Physicians
  • 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Stark Naked or Well Prepared? (Please do not come to this session naked.)

Location: Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, Florida

Additional Information:  For more information please visit www.MER.org  Please note that the program qualifies for continuing education credit for physicians.

THE FLORIDA BAR – REPRESENTING THE PHYSICIAN

Date: Friday, January 17, 2013

Location:  The Peabody Hotel, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: The annual Florida Bar conference entitled Representing the Physician is designed especially for health care, tax, and business lawyers, CPAs and physician office managers and physicians to cover practical legal, medical law, and tax planning matters that affect physicians and physician practices.

This year our 1 day seminar will be held in the Peabody Hotel near Walt Disney World, which is world famous for its daily “march of the ducks” through the lobby (wear easy to clean shoes) and maybe we will have peking duck for dinner.

A dinner for the Executive Committee of the Health Law Section of The Florida Bar and our speakers will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2013, whether formally or informally.  Anyone who would like to attend (dutch treat or bring wooden shoes) will be welcomed.  Your tax deductible hotel room to start a fantastic week near Disney, Universal, Sea World and most importantly Gatorland can include a room at the fantastic Peabody Hotel for a discounted rate per night, single occupancy.

1st ANNUAL ESTATE PLANNER’S DAY AT AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW

Speakers: Speakers will include Professor Jerry Hesch, Jonathan Gopman, Alan Gassman and others.

Date: April 25, 2014

Location: Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

Sponsors: Ave Maria School of Law, Collier County Estate Planning Council and more to be announced.

Additional Information: For more information on this event please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com.

NOTABLE SEMINARS PRESENTED BY OTHERS:

48th ANNUAL HECKERLING INSTITUTE ON ESTATE PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: January 13 – 17, 2014

Location:  Orlando World Center Marriott, Orlando, Florida

Sponsor: University of Miami School of Law

Additional Information: For more information please visit: http://www.law.miami.edu/heckerling/

16th ANNUAL ALL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ESTATE, TAX, LEGAL & FINANCIAL PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Location: All Children’s Hospital Education and Conference Center, St. Petersburg, Florida with remote location live interactive viewings in Tampa, Sarasota, New Port Richey, Lakeland, and Bangkok, Thailand

Sponsor: All Children’s Hospital

THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA TAX INSTITUTE

Date: February 19 – 21, 2014

Location: Grand Hyatt, Tampa, Florida

Sponsor:  UF Law alumni and UF Graduate Tax Program

Additional Information:  Here is what UF is saying about the program on its website: “The UF Tax Institute will provide tax practitioners and other leading tax, business and estate planning professionals with a program that covers the most current issues and planning ideas with a practical, informative, state-of-the-art approach.  The Institute’s schedule will devote separate days or half days to individual income tax issues, entity tax issues and estate planning issues.  Speakers and presentations will be announced as the program date nears to ensure coverage of the most timely and significant topics.  UF Law alumni have formed the Florida Tax Education Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, to organize the conference.”

Thank you to our law clerks that assisted us in preparing this report.

Great Quotes, LLC Notes and Dolphins with Boats

Posted on: October 10th, 2013

Ken Crotty’s LLC Clinic – Interest Exchanges

Physician Owned Distributorships

Checker’s Chief Operating Officer Super-Sizing His Jail Time: Theft of Over $300,000 in Sales Taxes

Dan Sullivan Quotes

Questions and Answers About the Thursday Report

Phil Rarick’s Client Blog Entries: Moving to Florida: Tips on How to Avoid the Tax Traps

Seminar Spotlight – BP Calculations for CPAs – Tricks & Traps Seminar

We welcome contributions for future Thursday Report topics. If you are interested in making a contribution as a guest writer, please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

This report and other Thursday Reports can be found on our website at www.gassmanlawassociates.com.

Political Pics.1

 

Ken Crotty’s LLC Clinic – Interest Exchanges

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The new LLC Act provides that the majority in interest of an LLC can force minority members to participate in sales.

Proper language to accommodate this statute is essential.

We thank Gary Teblum for explaining this provision to us.

Here is more detail:

If a person or entity wants to purchase 100% ownership of an LLC and this has been approved by a majority of members, then objecting members can be required to participate in the sale, and dissenting members will be entitled to be paid based upon the appraisal right procedure described below.

The new LLC Act authorizes interest exchanges in Sections 605.1031 through 605.1036.

The new Act applies the interest exchange concept from corporate law to LLCs. Under the old Act, the concept of interest exchanges did not apply to  LLCs.  In an interest exchange, the separate existence of the acquired entity is not affected and the acquiring entity receives some or  all of the interests. An interest exchange also allows for an indirect acquisition through consideration from another or related entity.

Under Section 605.1031, a domestic LLC may acquire interests of another domestic or foreign entity in exchange for interests, securities, obligations, money, other property, or rights to acquire interests or securities. Additionally,  605.1031 also allows for the acquisition obtained to be a combination of  interests, securities, obligations, money, other property, or rights to acquire interests or securities. A foreign entity may also be party to an interest exchange if authorized by the organic law in the foreign entity’s jurisdiction of formation.

Section 605.1032 provides that a plan of interest exchange must be in a record and must contain:

1. The name of the acquired entity;

2.  The name, jurisdiction of formation, and type of entity of the acquiring entity;

3. The manner and basis of converting the membership interests of each acquired LLC into interests, securities, obligations, money, other property, rights to acquire interests or securities, or any combination of the foregoing;

4. If the acquired entity is a domestic LLC, any proposed amendments or restatements of its Articles of Organization or Operating Agreement to become effective as of the date of the interest exchange;

5.  The other terms and conditions of the interest exchange; and

6. Any other provision required by law or in the acquired and acquiring entities’ jurisdictions of formation.

In addition to the requirements above, a plan of interest exchange may contain other provisions not prohibited by law.

A plan of interest exchange is not effective unless it has been approved pursuant to the rules stated in Section 605.1033(1). Written notice of meetings must be given to all members who have a right to vote not less than 10 days and not more than 60 days before the date of the meeting.  Such notice may be waived in writing.

A domestic acquired LLC in the interest exchange must have approval by a majority-in-interest of its members and approval of each member that will have interest holder liability unless an exception applies. Such approval by each member is not necessary if the Operating Agreement of the company provides for the approval of an interest exchange in which some or all of its members become subject to interest holder liability by the vote or consent of fewer than all the members.

Amendments to a plan of exchange may be made only with consent of each party to the plan unless the rules of the LLC provide otherwise.  An amendment must be approved in the same manner the plan was approved.  A plan of interest exchange may be abandoned after it was approved as provided in Section 605.1034(3) and (4).

After a plan has been approved, articles of interest exchange must be signed and delivered for filing. When an interest exchange becomes effective, the interests in the acquired company cease to exist or are converted or exchanged, and the acquiring entity becomes the interest holder.  The members holding the acquired interests are entitled only to the rights provided under the plan and any appraisal rights under the new LLC Act.

Physician Owned Distributorships

Public Policy Prohibiting Physician Owned Distributorships

 Many physician advisors are surprised to hear that the law may permit a surgeon or other doctor to request that the hospital or surgery center order a medical implant or device from a company that the physician has an ownership interest in.

This would not be considered a referral that would be prevented under the Stark Law if the device is not considered a designated health service, and may not violate the anti-kickback statute if the purchase of the device is not considered to be a payment in consideration of the referral of the patient to the hospital, or the health care facility.

Nevertheless, these arrangements have been studied by and commented upon both legislatively and by the Office of Inspector General, and significant risk can apply.

The following memorandum by recent Stetson law school graduate, Sydney Smith, who is now an associate with Laird A. Lile, P.A., in Naples, does a great job of describing the present situation.

Typically, a manufacturer sells implantable medical devices directly to a hospital or surgical center and often provides other services such as order and delivery, stocking and re-stocking, sterilization, selection, and assistance to surgeons in the operating room.1  The creation of physician owned distributorships (PODs) has drastically changed the manner in which medical devices are supplied by allowing physicians to act as middle-men in the supply chain. These POD agreements often do not offer the extent of services offered by traditional manufacturing agreements.

A basic POD is created when a small group of investors, typically consisting of physicians, creates a company that manufactures or distributes surgical implant devices. Individuals invited to invest in the company are primarily physicians who have the ability to generate referrals for the company and will potentially use the products in their own surgeries. Because physicians operating at hospitals and surgical centers have wide discretion in determining which implants or devices will be used, legislators are concerned that physician investors, in an attempt to boost the profits of the POD, will use products of lower quality or products that are not appropriate for the procedure. [senate report].  Hough investors will their ability to generate referrals for hospitals or surgical centers to induce hospitals or surgical centers to use medical devices from their PODs.2

Because physicians have wide discretion in selecting medical devices for their patients, and because physicians participating in PODs are often acting as manufacturers, buyers, and sellers of their own medical devices, these POD arrangements have been called into question under the federal kick-back laws governing payments made under federal health care programs, such as Medicare or Medicaid.

Indicia of a Suspect Contract

The Office of the Inspector General has issued numerous Special Fraud Alerts regarding the legitimacy of physician owned distributorships, and has also issued numerous guidance documents on the general subject of physician investments in referral entities, including the 1989 Special Fraud Alert on Joint Venture Arrangements. According to the OIG’s 1989 report, “a joint venture may take a variety of forms: it may be a contractual arrangement between two or more parties to cooperate in providing services, or it may involve the creation of a new legal entity by the parties, such as a limited partnership or closely held corporation, to provide such services.” [Emphasis added.]3

The 1989 Special Fraud Alert on Joint Ventures, was amplified by a 2006 advisory opinion from the Department of Health and Human Services, gives a non-exhaustive list of suspect features of joint ventures tending to show a violation of federal Law. According to the 2006 opinion, these features, as applied to “joint ventures” in the 1989 report, are currently applicable to physician investments in medical device manufacturing and distribution entities, such as PODs.4

Accordingly, the following arrangements should be avoided when creating a POD:5

I. Choice of Investors:

a. Physicians who are expected to make a large number of referrals are offered a greater investment opportunity in the joint venture than those anticipated to make fewer referrals.
b. Physician investors are actively encouraged to make referrals to the joint venture, and are encouraged to divest their ownership interest if they fail to sustain an “acceptable” level of referrals.
c. The joint venture tracks its sources of referrals, and distributes this information to the investors.
d. Investors are required to divest their ownership interest if they cease to practice in the service area, for example, if they move, become disabled or retire.
e. Investment interests are nontransferable.

II. Financing and Profit Distribution

a. The amount of capital invested by the physician is disproportionately small and the returns on investment are disproportionately large when compared to a typical investment in a new business enterprise.
b. Physician investors invest only a nominal amount, such as $500 to $1500.
c. Physician investors are permitted to “borrow” the amount of the “investment” from the entity, and pay it back through deductions from profit distributions, thus eliminating even the need to contribute cash to the partnership.
d. Investors are paid extraordinary returns on the investment in comparison with the risk involved, often well over 50 to 100 percent per year

In 2003, the OIG issued a Special Advisory bulletin addressing the legitimacy of joint ventures between physicians and physician owed entities. According to this report, a joint venture typically exists when the owner of a business expands into a related line of business, which is dependent on referrals from the owner’s original business.6 Although this report specifically addresses joint ventures and does not mention PODs, the suspect characteristics applicable to joint ventures should be considered when considering investment in a POD. According to this report, captive referral bases, where the newly created business predominantly or exclusively serves the owner’s existing patient base, are inherently suspect. Further, scrutiny is heightened when the owner does not intend to expand the newly created business to serve new customers, and makes no bona fide efforts to do so.7 Additionally, where there the owner’s primary contribution to the joint venture is referrals and the owner makes very little financial investment, there is indicium of a suspect relationship.8

The most recent Special Fraud Alert, issued March 26, 2013, emphasizes that PODs are “inherently suspect” and should be strictly construed under the anti-kickback law, 1128B(b)(1 – 2).9  According to 1128B(b)(1 – 2):

(1) Whoever knowingly and willfully solicits or receives any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe, or rebate) directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind—

(A) in return for referring an individual to a person for the furnishing or arranging for the furnishing of any item or service for which payment may be made in whole or in part under a Federal health care program, or
(B) in return for purchasing, leasing, ordering, or arranging for or recommending purchasing, leasing, or ordering any good, facility, service, or item for which payment may be made in whole or in part under a Federal health care program, shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $25,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both. [Emphasis added]

(2) Whoever knowingly and willfully offers or pays any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe, or rebate) directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind to any person to induce such person—

(A) to refer an individual to a person for the furnishing or arranging for the furnishing of any item or service for which payment may be made in whole or in part under a Federal health care program, or
(B) to purchase, lease, order, or arrange for or recommend purchasing, leasing, or ordering any good, facility, service, or item for which payment may be made in whole or in part under a Federal health care program, shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $25,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both. [Emphasis added]

The Office of the Inspector General began to closely scrutinize physician owned distributorships specifically after the June 2011 report from the U.S. Senate Finance Committee entitled “Physician Owned Distributors (PODs): An Overview of Key Issues and Potential Areas for Congressional Oversight. This report heavily criticizes PODs and states that “the very nature of PODs seem to create financial incentives for physician investors to use those devices that give them the greatest financial return and that, in the process, patient treatment decisions may be based on personal financial gain.”10

In its 2013 report, the OIG specifically lists questionable features in physician investment contracts. These are as follows:11

I. Selecting investors because they are in a position to generate substantial business for the entity;
II. Requiring investors who cease practicing in the service area to divest their ownership interests;
III. Distributing extraordinary returns on investment compared to the level of risk involved;
IV. The size of the investment offered varies with the expected or actual volume of value of devices used by the physician;
V. Distributions are not made in proportion to ownership interest, or physician-owners pay different prices for their ownership interests, because of the expected or actual volume or value of devices used by the physicians;
VI. Physician-owners condition their referrals to hospitals or ASCs on their purchase of the POD’s devices through coercion or promises, for example, by stating or implying they will perform surgeries or refer patients elsewhere if a hospital or an ASC does not purchase devices from the POD, by promising or implying they will move surgeries to the hospital or ASC if it purchases devices from the POD, or by requiring a hospital or an ASC to enter into an exclusive purchase arrangement with the POD;
VII. Physician-owners are required, pressured, or actively encouraged to refer, recommend, or arrange for the purchase of the devices sold by the POD or, conversely, are threatened with, or experience, negative repercussions (e.g., decreased distributions, required divestiture) for failing to use the POD’s devices for their patients;
VIII. The POD retains the right to repurchase a physician-owner’s interest for the physician’s failure or inability (through relocation, retirement, or otherwise) to refer, recommend, or arrange for the purchase of the POD’s devices;
IX. The POD is a shell entity that does not conduct appropriate product evaluations, maintain or manage sufficient inventory in its own facility, or employ or otherwise contract with personnel necessary for operations;
X. The POD does not maintain continuous oversight of all distribution functions; and
XI. When a hospital or an ASC requires physicians to disclose conflicts of interest, the POD’s physician-owners either fail to inform the hospital or ASC of, or actively conceal through misrepresentations, their ownership interest in the POD.

It is important to note that the factors above create a non-exhaustive list of considerations that should be analyzed on a case-by-case basis, and should not be used as a blueprint for how to structure a lawful POD. Because federal law requires that a physician knowingly or willingly solicit or receive remuneration, intent may be found using the above factors.

The OIG has also indicated that disclosures to patients regarding the physician’s financial interest in a POD may not be sufficient to avoid liability. The OIG states that the following preamble to the safe harbor provision relating to ASC referrals is applicable to PODs:

“…disclosure in and of itself does not provide sufficient assurance against fraud and abuse…[because] disclosure of financial interest is often part of a testimonial, i.e., a reason why the patient should patronize that facility. Thus, often patients are not put on guard against the potential conflict of interest, i.e., the possible effect of financial considerations on the physician’s medical judgment.”12

Conclusion

This appears to be a very risky area for physicians who are in small arrangements that appear exposed under the factors enumerated by the OIG.


1 Physician Owned Distributors (PODs): An Overview of Key Issues and Potential Areas for Congressional Oversight (April 2011).

2 Id.

3 The 1989 Special Fraud Alert was reprinted in the Federal Register in 1994. See 59 FR 65372 (December 19, 1994). The Special Fraud Alert available at: http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/docs/alertsandbulletins/121994.html.

4 Letter from Vicki Robinson, Chief, Industry Guidance Branch, Department of Health and Human Services, OIG, Response to Request for Guidance Regarding Certain Physician Investments in the Medical Device Industries (Oct. 6, 2006).

5 The 1989 Special Fraud Alert, 59 FR 65372 (December 19, 1994).

7 Id.

8 Id.

9 42 C.F.R. 1128B(b)(1 – 2).

10 Physician Owned Distributors (PODs): An Overview of Key Issues and Potential Areas for Congressional Oversight (April 2011).

11 Special Fraud Alert: Physician-Owned Entities (March 26, 2013). http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/docs/alertsandbulletins/2013/POD_Special_Fraud_Alert.pdf

12 See 64 Fed. Reg. 63,518, 63,536 (Nov. 19, 1999).

Checker’s Chief Operating Officer Super-Sizing His Jail Time: Theft of Over $300,000 in Sales Taxes

By: Danielle Creech, J.D.

What are you doing to help make sure that your clients are not having monies embezzled by financial officers?  Quite likely if this company had had a good checks and balances arrangement with their CPA firm this would have never happened.

Mark Williams, the Chief Operating Officer of Jaxchex, Inc., was arrested on September 5, 2013. He has been charged with the theft of over $300,000 in sales taxes owed to the state of Florida from 2010 to 2011.

Jaxchex, Inc. owns and operates nine Florida Checkers in Clay, Duval, and Flagler counties.  According to investigators, Williams failed to send the state any sales taxes collected from these locations during the past two years. If convicted, Williams will face up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 worth of fines plus repayment of tax, interest, and penalty costs.

Theft of sales tax in Florida is an ongoing problem faced by the Florida Department of Revenue. Marshall Stranburg, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Revenue, commented, “It is an honor to serve the vast majority of Florida business who comply with state tax requirements. For those that don’t, it is our job to enforce the law and ensure honest businesses are not placed at a competitive disadvantage by those who ignore the law or intentionally collect and steal taxpayer dollars.”

Under Florida law, sales tax is the property of the state the moment it is collected and is due the beginning of each month. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 212.15 (West). A person that intentionally deprives or defrauds the state by failing to remit these tax funds is criminally punishable. The severity of the crime charged is based on the amount of stolen revenue. See Fla. Stat. Ann.§§ 775.082-775.084 (West). Furthermore, the Florida Department of Revenue is entitled to issue a warrant for the full amount of the taxes due.

It seems that Florida Checkers’ Franchise Chief Operating Officer has successfully super-sized his order of criminal sanctions with a side of fines.

Click here to see the Florida Department of Revenue’s news release.

Dan Sullivan Quotes

Many professionals and entrepreneurs are well aware of entrepreneurial coaching guru Dan Sullivan, who is the founder and leader of the Strategic Coach program.

Dan has some fantastic original thoughts and techniques for developing professional and personal achievement and enjoyment of the experience.

Some of our favorite Dan Sullivan quotes, and brief commentary thereon, are as follows:

  • Always make your future brighter than your past.

It is very easy to get caught up in things from the past that may disappoint or be of concern, but what good does that do you?  We live to make the most of the now and the future.  Exciting and feasible goals, and taking the proper steps to achieve them will bring a much better peace of mind.

Can clients be nudged that way in the conference room? Absolutely!

  • The problem is never the problem.  The problem is that you don’t know how to think about the problem.

“Problems analysis” is a process that many people are completely unaware of.  The “problem” itself is usually not the real issue.

If you take a few minutes to write down the obstacles that have caused the problem, and possible solutions to each obstacle you might be amazed at how quickly the problem can be solved.

Taking this brief written analysis to someone uninvolved with the situation will often provide a quick solution.

Oftentimes the problem is not the problem – the way the person looks at the situation is the problem.

Dan Sullivan also says that “if you can afford to pay for the problem to go away then you don’t have a problem – you just have an expense.”

  • Frank Sinatra did not move pianos.

Are you doing what you do best and what you really like to do 80% of the time?  If not, how can you increase that ratio?

If you write down 4 things that you love to do and 4 things that you do a lot but should not be doing you can then begin to think through how to change your interactions with others to enhance the enjoyability and productivity of your work and personal life.

Dan Sullivan has also said that “if you like to make messes you will find someone who likes to clean them up.”  While modern computers, cell phones and other devices allow us to become a “one-man band”, we have to try to be very cognizant of what we are spending our time and energy on, and whether that is in the best interest of all concerned.

Dan has dozens of great quotes and amazing thoughts.  A super book that he has written is called The Dan Sullivan Question.  You can buy it on Amazon by clicking here.

Questions and Answers About the Thursday Report

1. Why Thursday?
This was going to be the Tuesday Report but the first edition was not ready until Thursday of the following week.

2. Where do you buy your content from?
Our content is 100% original, unless otherwise indicated.

3. How do you send the Thursday Report?
We use Constant Contact, which is a web-based contact system that gives us feedback on how many of these reports are opened and how many people click on which items. The humor items always get the most clicks, followed by recent developments.

4. How long does it take to produce the Thursday Report each week?
Don’t ask! But 90% of our content either comes directly from a client letter or memorandum, something we are adding to a chapter of one of the books or articles that we publish, or something we enjoy working on.

5. Where does this humor come from?
You call this humor?

6. Why all the Kentucky Fried Chicken jokes?
Why not?

7. What do you like best about the Thursday Report?
The great comments we get and the positive energy that is obviously radiated by this report – please keep those letters, cards and expensive gifts coming.

Phil Rarick’s Client Blog Entries: Moving to Florida: Tips on How to Avoid the Tax Traps

A common over-sight of persons moving to Florida is failing to take their trust.  They may have packed their trust and taken it with them, but the trust situs remains in their original state.  This is usually a mistake because . . . .

Read More:  Moving To Florida: Tips On How To Avoid The Tax Traps

Seminar Spotlight

Dolphins.1

On Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 6pm John Goldsmith, Dean Kent and Alan Gassman are hosting a free seminar for CPAs on BP Calculations for CPAs – Tricks and Traps for the Unwary.

            Each attendee will receive written materials.

            There will be a wine tasting and light hors d’oeuvres.

            To attend the seminar please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com

Compliments from last night’s Meet & Greet Cocktail Hour with Dr. Srikumar Rao

We had a party last night at the Meet & Greet with Dr. Rao.  Cynthia Touchton of Stifel Investment Services wrote us this email today:

Alan, so nice having a chance to speak with you and being able to attend your event! Dr. Rao will change many lives… thanks to you. I can’t wait to begin change with his book and workbook! Again, thank you for sharing Dr. Rao with others.

Warmest Regards
Cynthia V. Touchton

Join us and Dr. Rao this Saturday for an interactive workshop on the subject of ENHANCED EFFECTIVENESS AND ENJOYMENT OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL LIFE – 5 TOOLS YOU CAN START USING IMMEDIATELY at the Holiday Inn Express in Clearwater from 1:00pm – 6:00pm, with an optional question and answer session from 7:00pm – 8:00pm.

Please click here to register for this event.

Applicable Federal Rates

APPLICABLE FEDERAL RATES.October 2013

Seminars and Webinars

INTERACTIVE HALF-DAY WORKSHOP WITH DR. SRIKUMAR RAO

On Saturday, October 12, 2013 we are co-hosting an interactive workshop with Dr. Srikumar Rao on the subject of ENHANCED EFFECTIVENESS AND ENJOYMENT OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL LIFE – 5 TOOLS YOU CAN START USING IMMEDIATELY.

Date: Saturday, October 12, 2013 | 1:00 – 6:00 pm with an optional 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. question and answer session.

Location: Holiday Inn Express, U.S. 19 & Gulf-to-Bay Blvd, Clearwater, Florida

Additional Information:  To register for the event please click here.

NOTRE DAME TAX INSTITUTE

Jerry Hesch and Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of INTERESTING INTEREST QUESTIONS, PLANNING WITH LOW INTEREST LOANS, PRIVATE ANNUITIES, DEFECTIVE GRANTOR TRUSTS, AND PRIVATE AND COMMERCIAL ANNUITIES

Date: Wednesday, October 16 through Friday, October 18, 2013

Location: Notre Dame College, South Bend, Indiana

Additional Information: Professor Jerry Hesch’s Notre Dame Tax Institute will once again emphasize the importance of income tax planning and implications in addition to estate, estate tax, and related concepts.  Also Paul and attorney Barry will be discussing stepped-up basis tools and techniques, including our JEST Trust.

We welcome questions, comments and suggestions for the presentation that we are assisting Jerry in preparing and presenting.

PINELLAS COUNTY ESTATE PLANNING COUNCIL HALF-DAY SEMINAR

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of HOT TOPICS FOR ESTATE PLANNERS, including same sex marriage, estate tax planning software (with all attendees to receive a free beta version of our new software), and other important topics.

Sandra Diamond will speak on the new Florida laws that impact estate planning, amending of decanting existing irrevocable trusts, and other recent Florida law developments.

Barry Flagg will speak on insurance and estate planning.

Sean Casey of Fifth-Third Bank will give an economic update.

Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 | 8:00 am – 12:00 p.m. (60 MINUTE PRESENTATION)

Location: TBD

Additional Information: To attend the meeting or to receive information on joining the Council  please click here or email agassman@gassmanpa.com

BP CALCULATIONS FOR CPAS: TRICKS & TRAPS SEMINAR WITH JOHN GOLDSMITH AND ALAN GASSAMAN

Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 | 6:00 p.m.

Location: Holiday Inn Express, 4750 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa, FL

Additional Information:  Each attendee will receive written materials and a wine tasting and light hors d’ oeuvres will be served.  To register for the event please email Janine Gunyan at Janine@gassmanpa.com.

2013 MOTE VASCULAR SURGERY FELLOWS – FACTS OF LIFE TALK SEMINAR FOR FIRST YEAR SURGEONS

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of ESTATE, MEDICAL PRACTICE, RETIREMENT, TAX, INSURANCE, AND BUY/SELL PLANNING – THE EARLIER YOU START THE SOONER YOU WILL BE SECURE

Date: October 25 – 27, 2013 | Alan Gassman is speaking on Sunday, October 27, 2013

Location: TBD

Additional Information: Please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com for additional information.

DECODING HEALTHCARE SYMPOSIUM IN TAMPA

Alan Gassman will be moderating the Decoding Healthcare Seminar hosted by Fifth Third Bank.

Speakers will include Jason Altmire, Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Government and Community Affairs, Florida Blue, Coretha Rushing, Chief Human Resources Officer, Equifax, Inc., Stephen Mason, CEO Of BayCare Health System and Dr. Jay Wolfson, DrPH, JD, Associate Vice President of USF Health.

We sincerely thank Fifth-Third Bank, President Brian Lamb, Ryan Sloan and the Tampa Bay Business Journal for hosting this important public “town hall” discussion that will hopefully lead to improvement of our healthcare systems in the Tampa Bay area.

Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Location: Grand Hyatt, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, Florida

Additional Information: For more information on this event please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

Bloomberg BNA – Estate, Estate and Gift Tax, and Trust Year-End Planning Webinar

 

Date: October 30, 2013

 

Time: 12:30 – 1:30

 

Location: Online webinar

 

Additional Information: This new practical webinar from Bloomberg BNA, presented by Alan S. Gassman, Kenneth J. Crotty and Christopher J. Denicolo, concentrates on year-end planning techniques which practitioners need to consider for their clients.  This includes techniques that are available to utilize the clients’ lifetime gift exemption, to structure clients’ planning to reduce or eliminate possible income tax exposure, and the potential pitfalls and traps that need to be considered.  Practitioners should not miss this program. For more information on this event, please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

 

NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE FOR CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION (ICLE) HEALTH LAW SYMPOSIUM – AN ALL DAY SEMINAR

 

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of WHAT HEALTH LAWYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLORIDA LAW

 

Date: Friday, November 1, 2013 | 9am – 5pm (Mr. Gassman speaks from 1:10 pm until 2:10 p.m.)

 

Location: Seton Hall Law School, Newark, New Jersey

 

Additional Information: Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey was founded in 1856, and they have remodeled since.  Today, Seton Hall has over 10,000 students in its undergraduate, graduate and law school programs and is in close proximity to several Kentucky Fried Chicken locations.

 

NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE FOR CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION (ICLE)_SPECIAL 3 HOUR SESSION

 

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of WHAT NEW JERSEY LAWYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLORIDA LAW – A 3 HOUR OVERVIEW BY ALAN S. GASSMAN

 

Date: Saturday, November 2, 2013

 

Location: Wilshire Grand Hotel, West Orange, New Jersey | 9am – 12pm

Additional Information: Please tell all of your friends, neighbors and enemies in New Jersey to come out to support this important presentation for the New Jersey Bar Association.  We will include discussions of airboats, how to get an alligator off of your driveway, how to peel a navel orange and what collard greens and grits are. For additional information please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

SALT LAKE CITY ESTATE PLANNING COUNCIL’S FALL ONE DAY “TAX AND DEDUCTIBILITY OF YOUR SKI TRIP” INSTITUTE

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of PRACTICAL ESTATE PLANNING, WITH A $5.25 MILLION EXEMPTION AMOUNT, ESTATE TAX PROJECTION PLANNING, AND WHY DENTISTS ARE DIFFERENT

Date: Thursday, November 7, 2013

Location: Hilton Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah

Additional Information:  Please support this one day annual seminar conveniently located near skiing and tourism opportunities.  If you would like to attend this event or receive the materials please email agassman@gassmanpa.com

MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES CONTINUING EDUACTION PRIMARY CARE CONFERENCE

Alan Gassman will be speaking on the topic of LEGAL, TAX AND FINANCIAL BOOT CAMP FOR THE MEDICAL PRACTICE – A SPECIAL TAX, ESTATE PLANNING AND LAW CONFERENCE FOR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS

Date: December 13, 2013 – 12:00 pm – 4:40 pm and December 14, 2013 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Topics and Meeting Times:

Friday, December 13, 2013

  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm –  2013 Tax Changes
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm The 10 Biggest Mistakes that Physicians Make in their Investments and Business Planning
  • 2:10 – 3:10 pm Lawsuits 101
  • 3:10 – 3:40 pm  – Essential Estate Planning
  • 3:40 – 4:40 pm  – Deductions for Physicians

Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • 8:00 – 9:00 am – Medical Practice Financial Management
  • 9:00 – 10:00 am – Physician Compensation
  • 10:10 – 11:10 am – Asset Entity Planning for Creditor Protection and Buy/Sell Arrangements
  • 11:10 – 11:40 am – Tax Structures for Medical Practices
  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm – 50 Ways to Leave Your Overhead
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm – Retirement Plan Options for Physicians
  • 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Stark Naked or Well Prepared? (Please do not come to this session naked.)

Location: Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, Florida

Additional Information:  For more information please visit www.MER.org  Please note that the program qualifies for continuing education credit for physicians.

THE FLORIDA BAR – REPRESENTING THE PHYSICIAN

Date: Friday, January 17, 2013

Location:  The Peabody Hotel, Orlando, Florida

Additional Information: The annual Florida Bar conference entitled Representing the Physician is designed especially for health care, tax, and business lawyers, CPAs and physician office managers and physicians to cover practical legal, medical law, and tax planning matters that affect physicians and physician practices.

This year our 1 day seminar will be held in the Peabody Hotel near Walt Disney World, which is world famous for its daily “march of the ducks” through the lobby (wear easy to clean shoes) and maybe we will have peking duck for dinner.

A dinner for the Executive Committee of the Health Law Section of The Florida Bar and our speakers will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2013, whether formally or informally.  Anyone who would like to attend (dutch treat or bring wooden shoes) will be welcomed.  Your tax deductible hotel room to start a fantastic week near Disney, Universal, Sea World and most importantly Gatorland can include a room at the fantastic Peabody Hotel for a discounted rate per night, single occupancy.

1st ANNUAL ESTATE PLANNER’S DAY AT AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW

Speakers: Speakers will include Professor Jerry Hesch, Jonathan Gopman, Alan Gassman and others.

Date: April 25, 2014

Location: Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

Sponsors: Ave Maria School of Law, Collier County Estate Planning Council and more to be announced.

Additional Information: For more information on this event please contact agassman@gassmanpa.com.

NOTABLE SEMINARS PRESENTED BY OTHERS:

48th ANNUAL HECKERLING INSTITUTE ON ESTATE PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: January 13 – 17, 2014

Location:  Orlando World Center Marriott, Orlando, Florida

Sponsor: University of Miami School of Law

Additional Information: For more information please visit: http://www.law.miami.edu/heckerling/

16th ANNUAL ALL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ESTATE, TAX, LEGAL & FINANCIAL PLANNING SEMINAR

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Location: All Children’s Hospital Education and Conference Center, St. Petersburg, Florida with remote location live interactive viewings in Tampa, Sarasota, New Port Richey, Lakeland, and Bangkok, Thailand

Sponsor: All Children’s Hospital

THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA TAX INSTITUTE

Date: February 19 – 21, 2014

Location: Grand Hyatt, Tampa, Florida

Sponsor:  UF Law alumni and UF Graduate Tax Program

Additional Information:  Here is what UF is saying about the program on its website: “The UF Tax Institute will provide tax practitioners and other leading tax, business and estate planning professionals with a program that covers the most current issues and planning ideas with a practical, informative, state-of-the-art approach.  The Institute’s schedule will devote separate days or half days to individual income tax issues, entity tax issues and estate planning issues.  Speakers and presentations will be announced as the program date nears to ensure coverage of the most timely and significant topics.  UF Law alumni have formed the Florida Tax Education Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, to organize the conference.”

 

Thank you to our law clerks that assisted us in preparing this report.

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