Our law firm offers a wide range of legal and tax services to our individual, trust, estate and business clients. We strive to provide personalized quality legal and tax service on a timely basis. Below we have listed the legal and tax services that we offer to our clients along with a brief description. As the list below is by no means all-inclusive, please feel free to inquire about a legal or tax service if you do not see it listed.
Estate, Tax, Probate and Business Attorney Services
Business Entity Selection
Choosing the proper type of entity to conduct your business is a crucial decision that can have longstanding tax and business implications, positive or negative. We can assist you in evaluating the pros and cons of using a regular C corporation, an "S" corporation, a sole proprietor, limited liability company, family limited partnership or some other form to operate your business. The form and type of compensation, retirement plan and other benefits should be explored as part of this process.
To explore some of the basic non-tax considerations involving the proper entity for a particular business venture please go to our hypertext article entitled Choice of Business Entity: Legal, Financial and Other Non-Tax Concerns
To see some of the basic legal, accounting and tax considerations involving an LLC please go to our hypertext legal guide entitled LLCs: The Basics.
We offer guidance in determining the best legal entity to hold investment real estate in light of liability protection and tax considerations. For our article highlighting some of these issues please go to the hypertext legal guide entitled Pennsylvania LLCs and Real Estate which also discusses Philadelphia transfer tax implications.
Finally to adequately protect individual shareholders from corporate debt, please see our legal guide by going to the following hypertext article entitled Shareholder Protection From Corporate Debt: Piercing The Corporate Veil.
Business Succession Planning
Effective coordination of the transition of your business to your successors is critical for the continuity and preservation of the business once you decide to remove yourself from the company's day to day operations. We can assist you in developing a strategically sound plan that will facilitate continued success for the business, while at the same time maximize the ultimate payout to the retiring party for his interest in the business.
Our many years of experience in tax and legal business planning allows us to draft the appropriate documents to address the complex issues of any business continuation plan.
Usually such plans will combine both income tax as well as gift and estate planning strategies. For an article published by Mr. Fromm at the Journal of Accountancy that explores the possibilities please go to and read the hypertext article entitled Gifting Shares of Stock In A Bad Economy
Buying & Selling a Business
Our many years of experience in tax and legal business planning allows us to address the complex issues of buying or selling a business. We can assist you in developing and implementing a strategically sound plan that will facilitate this transaction.
The proper legal documentation to facilitate the structuring of the purchase or sale of a business is a critical step in the process of buying or selling a business. Using proper due care and dligence in crafting of the legal documents to address the particular terms of the transaction as well as other required provisions such as warranties, representations and guarantees is essential and imperative.
As part of this process, we also address critical issues such as cash flow analysis, tax considerations, and proper security terms and mechanisms to insure that the amount due from any sale are received by the seller.
In any event, the drafting of carefully thought out legal documents are often times critical to any successfull business sale.
Estate and Probate Administration
Estate administration is a complex, detailed and often confusing process. Estate administration has its own legal and tax requirements along with various filing, notice and election deadlines for probate and orphans court. In addition, there are various filing and tax elections involving federal and state taxes that require attention. For example, Pennsylvania has its own inheritance tax rules that do not follow federal estate tax rules. For more details about Pennsylvania tax rules please see my article Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax: The Basics by hitting this hypertext or going to the left hand column of the home page.
Often times, family members, with no legal training, believe that they can handle an estate administration on their own. By not being aware of various legal and tax requirements, this type of self-representation often creates unknown additional problems for the immediate family and later generations. In the end, such unknown mistakes can be quite costly to the family. For more on this issue please see my article entitled Estate Administration: Do Not Try This On Your Own.
Our legal, tax and practical experience in estate administration facilitates effective, efficient, responsive and timely estate administration for the family. We can help avoid costly and expensive mistakes and give peace of mind by providing the comprehensive and necessary legal and tax assistance to families coping with the grief of the loss of a beloved member of the family.
Estate Planning: Wills, Trusts & Other Related Estate Planning Documentation
Effective estate planning facilitates the orderly transfer of assets to your beneficiaries while providing security and protection for your surviving spouse and children. Comprehensive estate planning can eliminate or minimize the tax due on the transfer of your personal wealth or your business. For an exploration of some of these issues please go to our hypertext article entitled Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett: Estate Plan Wake Up Call
As part of comprehensive estate planning the use of various gifting techniques are usually employed to tax advantage of various tax breaks. For a discussion of the federal gift tax rules please go to the hypertext article entitled Gift Tax Rules and Gift Tax Returns
For business owners, providing for business continuity and succession of ownership is essential to the continued success of the business. Business transition planning can minimize family discord after the death of the owner of such family business. For an interesting article exploring these isssues please go to our hypertext article entitled Gifting Shares of Stock In A Bad Economy
We can guide you through the complex process of getting your financial affairs in order. It is imperative to properly effecuating your estate plan with the proper legal documents such as wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney, and advance medical directives/living wills.
Often overlooked is determining the proper beneficiary designations for life insurance, retirement plans, IRAs, Roth IRAs, and annuities. Coordinating these designations with the overall estate plan and documents is an overlooked part of estate planning. Our firm offers the experience and understanding as to how to best coordinate these diverse assets into an integrated, well conceived estate plan for the specific client's estate planning needs and goals.
Any solid estate plan includes not only the drafting of appropriate legal documents, but should also include an analysis of how assets are currently titled between family members. As a result of such review, the realignment of assets may be required between spouses, or by making various gifts to family members or to charitable trusts, if appropriate, or by changing beneficiaries of life insurance, retirement plans, IRAs and annuities.
The implementation of the various aspects of the best estate planning strategy must be based on each family's particular or special needs. All these complex considerations need to be blended and combined to create a well conceived, comprehensive, effective estate plan that will actually work.
Finally, changes to the family situation, finances and other events should trigger the review of the current estate plan. For some of the events that should trigger a call to action and analysis, please see the legal guide entitled ESTATE PLANNING HOT BUTTONS. Please do not hesitate to contact us to assist you in updating your estate plan. We are here to help you in this most important matter.
Estate & Trust Tax Preparation
The timely filing of estate, gift and fiduciary income tax returns is a crucial step in the estate and gift tax area. Individuals are required to file gift tax returns when present interest gifts are made of over $13,000 per year to one person. If the gift is not of a present interest then a gift tax return must be filed regardless of the amount of gift. Often times filing such gift tax returns have strategic implications for the overall estate planning of a family. For a discussion of the federal gift tax rules please go to the hypertext article entitled Gift Tax Rules and Gift Tax Returns
Estates may be required to file a federal estate tax return or an inheritance tax return in the state where the decedent died. For example, Pennsylvania requires the filing of an inheritance tax return and its rules are different than the federal rules. For more details about the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax please go to the article entitled Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Return: The Basics. In addition, fiduciary income tax returns are often times required at both the federal and state level. There are various elections and tax planning associated with the filling of such returns.
Various trusts may have to file annual fiduciary income tax returns. In addition, many states impose filing reports with the court or to the beneficiaries or both.
Expert Witness in Tax Matters
Practicing tax law for over 30 years with an LL.M. in taxation from the New York University graduate tax program and as a former CPA has allowed Mr. Fromm the opportunity to function as an expert witness in legal malpractice cases involving tax matters.
IRS, State and Local Tax Representation
During Mr. Fromm's thirty years as a lawyer dealing with many taxing authorities, he has gained valuable insight, experience and understanding of how the various taxing authorities operate and the procedural steps required before these taxing bodies to help ensure his clients are being properly represented before the various federal, state and local tax agencies.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Finding the right business partner for your company can be a difficult task. We can assist you in the merger or acquisition process by drafting of the appropriate legal documents and assessing such critical elements as tax considerations; product/service compatibility; competitive tactics and position; financial impact; and cash flow considerations.
Pension & Profit Sharing Plans
Qualified retirement plans (e.g. defined-contribution or defined benefit plans, Keoghs, SEPs…) can provide significant tax advantages for closely held businesses and self-employed individuals. We can assist you in evaluating the type of pension or retirement plan that will best serve the retirement needs of you and your employees.
To avoid plan disqualification and minimize interest and penalties for failure to keep retirement plans in compliance with applicable retirement plan laws, we have been involved with submission of applications under the Voluntary Compliance Program (VCP). For our legal guide highlighting this procedure please go to the hypertext legal guide entitled Failing To Update Retirement Plans: Avoid Plan Disqualification & Penalties By Using the VCP Program
Our services include determining whether a Roth conversion makes tax sense.
In addition, we regularly determine the choice of beneficiaries of retirement plans from an estate and income tax planning perspective and the determination of the advantages to layering of contingent beneficiaries to allow for post-mortem planning for the beneficiaries.
Successful implementation and periodic review of your overall financial plan taking into account tax, non-tax and legal factors to ensure financial independence during your working years and through your retirement years. As part of this process, changes in tax laws and changing circumstances are taken into account during these periodic reviews.
Tax Exempt Organizations: Formation and Tax Exempt Status Qualification
Formation of tax exempt organizations and obtaining qualified tax exempt status from the IRS. Legal guidance as to tax, operational and governance compliance requirements. Legal assistance as to tax return requirements.
Tax planning is an essential element of the tax preparation process. By making tax planning part of your overall business strategy, you can use our experience and access to the most current new developments in the tax laws to minimize both your current and future tax liabilities. For example, employers who have been having problems with classifying workers correctly now have an opportunity to eliminate this risk at small cost. Our office informs clients about this opportunity and assist them in the implementation of this program. For details of this program please hit the hypertext article entitled Employers Playing Tax Games with Workers: IRS Offers Way to Come Clean. This article discusses this new IRS Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program that will allow for past payroll tax relief when an employer agrees to reclassify their workers as employees.
Tax Planning & Preparation
Tax planning and preparation form a winning combination for our successful individual and business clients. Whether you are an individual or a multi-tiered partnership, we can develop tax strategies that take advantage of new tax laws and legislation. In addition, we offer practical advice on positions to be taken on tax returns. For example returns are prepared by our office with an awareness of IRS audit risk. For a discussion of this issue please go to the following hyperlinked article entitled IRS Tax Audits Triggers: Do Not Shoot Yourself In The Foot. For a discussion of the federal gift tax rules and tax return filing requirements, please go to our hypertext article entitled Gift Tax Rules and Gift Tax Returns
Our significant investment in computerized tax preparation and research software enables us to accurately and efficiently prepare returns for various types of entities including individuals, corporations, partnerships, trusts, estates, and not-for-profit organizations.
We prefer to take a proactive over a reactive approach to tax services. By keeping current on new tax laws and legislation, we are in a position to identify key tax planning opportunities that minimize both your current and future tax liabilities. For an article highlighting the tax law changes please go to the hypertext article entitled Individual Tax Breaks Under 2009 Tax Act. We provide our individual and business clients with the tax expertise, knowledge and updates throughout the year. For an article discussing the new IRS guidance on cell phones please go to the hypertext article entitled CELL PHONES: IRS ISSUES NEW TAX BREAKS. Please hit the hypertext article entitled Employers Playing Tax Games with Workers: IRS Offers Way to Come Clean that discusses the new IRS Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program that will allow for past payroll tax relief when an employer agrees to reclassify their workers as employees Tax services offered include but are not limited to:
•Tax planning & return preparation for the following taxpayers:
Estates and trusts. Preparation of IRS Form 706 estate tax returns, IRS Form 1041 fiduciary income tax returns, final lifetime income tax returns of the decedent, Form 709 gift tax returns, Form REV-1500, inheritance tax return, PA Form 41, fiduciary tax return, Pennsylvan ia final lifetime income tax return for the decedent, PA-40.
•Representing clients before the IRS, Pennslyvania and other states as well as Philadelphia and other local taxing authorities.
•Divorce and support tax issues. For an article covering the IRS change in the two year rule for innocent spouse status please go to the hypertext legal guide entitled Innocent Spouse Relief: IRS Now Limits Two Year Rule
•Tax impact and tax planning involving buying or selling of a business from both an income and estate tax perspective. In addition, our office prepares and negotiates the proper legal agreements and related legal and tax documentation necessary to implement the sale of a business or shares of stock of a corporation selling a business. Such documentation is done with an eye toward tax planning and the avoidance of tax problems and tax audits.
•Expert witness on tax matters. Mr. Fromm has appeared as an expert witness in estate administation, income tax malpractice litigation as well as an expert in retirement plan cases.
PHONE NUMBER: 215-735-2336