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Toledo Tax Law Blog

Handling the breach of a real estate contract

People and businesses generally expect the details of a contract to be honored once it is signed. Whether it is landlords or tenants, contractors or customers, construction companies or owners, the reason contracts are signed is to make sure that a party’s actions support a verbal agreement. However, this is not how it always goes in real life, which can mean that there is a breach of contract.

Resolving the dispute without court

Avoid these payroll tax mistakes

Whether you are looking to hire employees as you start your business or now need them since your business has grown, you take on certain responsibilities when you employ workers. You will need to ensure your workplace is free from discrimination and harassment, and you will need to ensure the safety of your workers.

You also take on financial responsibilities when you have employees. Payroll, benefits and taxes are the primary tasks you must address. One area where many business owners end up in trouble is with payroll taxes.

Determining the value of a business when selling

The biggest question when selling a business is trying to determine its value. Whereas a selling a home will be about the property, amenities and other things that can be compared to other listings, valuating a business can be more complex, and there is more than one approach to doing it.

Three common valuation methods

A quick list of last-minute tax tips

The clock is ticking, and April 15 is right around the corner. So we have provided this handy list of quick tips for helping taxpayers determine what they owe under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The new law means that there are many changes to how taxpayers crunch their numbers. Many are claiming that they will be paying more under the plan, but there are still opportunities to reduce one’s tax burden.

7 ways taxpayers can lower their obligations

Tom Petty's family fights over his estate

Millions of music fans mourned the loss of Tom Petty when he unexpectedly died in 2017. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer left behind a sizable estate to his wife and two daughters that was set up as a trust. However, the wife of 16 years and grown daughters from a previous marriage are in dispute over the control and direction of the estate.

According to the Los Angeles Times, wife Dana Petty is listed as the directing trustee of the estate, but daughters Annakim Violette and Adria Petty claim that they are also supposed to have a hand in the decision-making process on matters involving the estate. Each side has filed suits with the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

IRS expands leniency on filing

The first tax year under 2017’s Tax Cuts and Job Creation Act has left a lot of taxpayers and tax professionals confused and frustrated. Now with the April 15 deadline just around the corner, the agency announced that it would again expand the threshold for penalties to 80 percent of the total tax liability to receive penalty relief. This is down from the January 16 announcement of an 85 percent threshold, which was down from the IRS’s usual amount of 90 percent of the total obligation if filers wished to avoid penalty.

According to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement about the new adjustment, this 80 percent window will be a one-time-only deal. They did this because there has been so much confusion regarding the new laws. He also added: “The expanded penalty waiver will help many taxpayers who didn’t have enough tax withheld. We continue to urge people to check their withholding again this year to make sure they are having the right amount of tax withheld for 2019.”

Do you have minor children? If so, you need an estate plan

When you became a parent, you probably reacted as most Ohio parents did -- you want to make sure you take care of your kids and protect them. Right now, this means seeing to their daily needs, planning for their future and more. You take your responsibilities to your children seriously and work hard to fulfill them.

However, what happens to your children if you pass away before they reach adulthood? You may not have given this much thought since you are young, or relatively young, and you have plenty of years ahead of you -- or do you? Accidents and illnesses can happen unexpectedly. Have you taken steps to make sure someone will care for your children if the worst happens?

What is the tenant improvement allowance?

Residential rental properties will often get a fresh coat of paint before new tenants move in. Commercial spaces, however, will often need more work to accommodate the unique needs of the business tenants. This is generally paid for through a tenant improvement allowance, which is one of the most significant issues negotiated for a rental agreement. It not only dictates what will be done in preparation for the new tenant, but it also impacts how much the landlord charges in rent.

Two kinds of allowances

Americans feel obliged to pay taxes

The IRS has seen its’ staff size shrink, which has led to a mere .6 percent chance of a taxpayer audit. There is a President of the United States who brags about how little he pays in taxes. Nevertheless, the IRS’s annual survey says that Americans not only pay their taxes but that 9 out of 10 feels that it is their civic duty or a moral obligation.

This may come as a surprise to those who bemoan the moral decay of our society. Nevertheless, an estimated 81 to 84 percent of Americans voluntarily pay their taxes here in the U.S. According to the Atlantic, this is markedly higher than in the European Union where Germany tops the list at 68 percent, Italy sits at 62 percent, and the best guess about Greece is under 50 percent.

Leaving a bequest to a pet

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is famous for his influential work over a long and storied career before dying on February 19 at age 85. He continues to make news from the grave with an extravagant but not surprising bequest to his Birman cat, Choupette, of a portion of his estate estimated to be worth between $150 and $300 million.

Lagerfeld has gone on record many times about his love for Choupette and had even bemoaned the fact that human beings were not able to marry animals. Nevertheless, he provided the feline with a staff of two maids and driver as well as Dyson Supersonic hairdryer and an iPad. Choupette also had a Twitter account and a fashion line and did photo shoots.

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