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Toledo Tax Law Blog

Tax settlement companies may not offer the help you really need

Problems with taxes and the Internal Revenue Service can affect anyone. You may think you are in line to stay on top of your tax obligations only to later experience a major financial setback. As a result, you may not have the ability to pay your taxes, and your assets could be at risk of seizure by the IRS.

In this type of predicament, you undoubtedly want to do what you can to get back on track. However, it is wise to remember that some fast options are too good to be true. For instance, tax settlement companies may offer great results, but they may not actually follow through.

6 Tips for buying commercial real estate

The family home will be most American’s biggest investment. However, many individuals and businesses engage in buying commercial property. The purchase of commercial property involves the same concepts as residential property, but there are often different issues. And while some will close a home sale without an attorney, it is misguided to assume one does not need an attorney for commercial property purchases, particularly ones involving large amounts of financing. According real estate veterans, these six tips can help headaches or even financial ruin:

  1. Identify the sector of your proposed purchase: Is the property multi-family, retail, office, industrial or mixed use? Each sector has its own set of details to evaluate to determine if the deal is a good one.
  2. Assess the issues tied to that classification: This includes both unique characteristics of the property as well as those tied to the sector. For example, industrial will have very specific issues tied to environmental liability.
  3. Hire a structural engineer: Much like taking a used car to a mechanic before buying it, hiring an engineer will give information about the safety and longevity of a structure. Engineers look over surveys and other reports. They will also evaluate the quality of big-ticket items like the foundation, plumbing, roof, fire systems, HVAC, landscaping and more.
  4. Evaluate future costs: Property owners do not stay in business long unless they enter into agreements after clear-eyed evaluation of the risks. Review the real estate taxes, financial statements, utility statements and maintenance history.
  5. Check the title and permits: Ordinances will vary by jurisdiction. Do a title search to see if there are defects that could lead to disputes. The process can take weeks or years, so be prepared to discuss this with the seller.
  6. Have financing lined up: As with any major purchase involving a loan, it is best to figure out the financing before sending a letter of intent. Delays caused by not having finances in order can lead to the deal falling through.

Knowing when and how to contest a will in probate

Thinking about contesting a will during probate is a fairly common part of the process for many. Of course, the standing of the objecting party will have a lot of bearing on the matter with children of the decadent ranking much higher than a distant cousin once promised something. 

Why contest a will

Year-end tax advice for small business owners

The end of the year is coming up fast, particularly for small business owners. While there are a million details to resolve in what may be your busiest time of year, it is wise to think about the fiscal health of your business. There are a several tax and financial tips that can make a big difference going into the New Year.

6 quick tips that will help

Estate planning and special assets

The internet has made it easier to sell or determine the value of collectable objects. Nevertheless, families may have no idea what the value of some old stamps, rare books, comic books or even that vintage car. Perhaps a parent was a little self-conscious about how much they spent on pieces of art, or they simply saw no need to share the monetary value of their vinyl record collection.

Planning for the future

FTC shuts down overseas real estate scam

Real estate investments can be risky, particularly when it is for property outside the United States. Serial scammer Andris Pukke and others have now been charged with swindling more than $100 million out of American investors for property located in Belize. According to the Federal Trade Commission, this is the largest overseas scam that it has ever investigated and shut down.

Well known to authorities, Pukke allegedly conducted this scheme with cohorts while he was serving time in jail for obstructing justice. The project was reputedly a luxury development in the Central American country, which went under such names as Sanctuary Belize, Sanctuary Bay and The Reserve. The defendants are accused of selling luxury lots as Sanctuary Belize Enterprise (SBE) with a variety of amenities that would be completed soon.

Unwrapping the mystery of probate

After a loved one dies, you and your family will likely experience many endings and closings. Among these is the process of probate, which legally closes a deceased person's estate, pays any lingering debts and distributes the remaining assets.

To many, probate is a mystery since it seldom takes place in the public eye. It may seem to you that your loved one's probate is a long period of waiting, seemingly for no reason. However, many things are taking place while you wait, and you may benefit from understanding those steps and their purposes.

Last minute adjustments to lower your tax bill

This year was the beginning of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This means that taxpayers will likely need to make some adjustments to help reduce the potential for underpaying or overpaying their taxes. While there are just a few pay periods left before the end of the year, there are some tips that will work in the 11th hour for reducing or addressing your tax obligation.

Check your withholding

Paying taxes on a Mega Million jackpot or other windfall

The $1.6 billion Mega Millions and $620 million Powerball jackpots have prompted even the most causal of lottery players to jump in and give it a shot. Regardless of who won, the fact is that the federal government is going to get a sizable chunk of the winnings.

This prompts us to remind folks that it always a good idea to consult with a financial law attorney as well as other financial advisors to avoid overpaying one’s tax obligations, particularly when there is a major windfall. This is applicable to jackpot winners, those who won big bucks in Las Vegas or somehow came into a large amount of money in a lump sum or an annuity spread over several decades.

Commercial tenant rights in Ohio

Commercial tenants in Ohio enjoy many of the same rights as residential tenants. But really, it breaks down to the lease contract that both sides sign to determine what those rights and obligations are. Experts agree, it is always crucial to go over important contracts with a lawyer, particularly one with real estate law experience if a business is looking to rent a new commercial space. Not only can a lawyer point out any loopholes or other issues a landlord may use to their advantage, they can help negotiate the lease to ensure that it is binding in a court of law.

Common commercial real estate disputes

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