Category: Finance / Taxes

Change in Transfer Tax Law on Transfers of Partnership Interests

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania imposes a 1% transfer tax on transfers of real estate.  In most counties other than Philadelphia, the local governments generally charge a matching 1% transfer tax.  The City of Philadelphia charges a 3% transfer tax in addition to the 1% payable… Continue reading

Where to Invest Your Money?

It’s no joke – there are few investment choices in today’s economy that offer any significant return without taking on significant risks.  As an example, interest rates on 5-year  certificates of deposit are below 2%.  Interest on your checking account?  Forget it.  The stock market… Continue reading

New Annual Property Tax Appeal Deadline

  Over the past few years, the number of appeals by property owners from their real estate assessments has increased significantly as a result of the decline in values in the real estate market.  Property owners who wish to file appeals from their assessments are… Continue reading

Marital Deduction and Non-Citizen Spouses

One of the most important tools used in federal estate taxing planning is the estate tax marital deduction.  This deduction normally provides for an unlimited deduction for any transfers made to the surviving spouse. Unfortunately, this deduction is not automatically available when the surviving spouse… Continue reading

Philadelphia Tax Assessment Appeals -10-1-11 Deadline

In February, the ex-judge, from Luzern County, Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr., 61, was found guilty on twelve counts of racketeering, conspiracy, fraud and filing false tax returns in connection with his part in the “Cash for Kids” scheme that shocked Pennsylvania’s legal community.   On August… Continue reading

Joint Bank Account Law – Back to the Future

In our Spring 2010 issue we reviewed two significant Pennsylvania Superior Court decisions about joint ownership of bank accounts.  In that article we described how the Superior Court had decided, in particular instances, that the terms of a will could override the survivorship features that… Continue reading

We Have a Tax Code. Yea! Boo!

In 2001 Congress adopted a Tax Code revision which for technical reasons expired after ten years.  The parties have been at loggerheads over permanent revisions to the Code; as far back as 2005, I wrote here that a resolution seemed near.  Perhaps in terms of… Continue reading

Creditor Beware – Preferences in Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy not only stops collection efforts against the bankrupt party, but it can effectively “avoid” payments made in the past.  An “avoidance” of a payment essentially orders the creditor to repay the debtor.  The Bankruptcy Code gives the debtor and/or the bankruptcy trustee several devices… Continue reading

Do’s and Don’ts when Ponzi Knocks

Few negative connotations can match that of Charles Ponzi; the “Ponzi Scheme” is indelibly etched into our consciousness as a colossal swindle. Ponzi in 1920 placed an advertisement in newspapers promising a 50% return on investments in 45 days and 100% return in 90.  It… Continue reading

The Roth IRA Conversion Window – for You?

The Roth IRA is a retirement account created under the Internal Revenue Code.  It has some of the very desirable attributes of and differs significantly from the “traditional” IRA.  The Roth IRA is funded with after-tax dollars (as opposed to pre-tax dollars which fund the… Continue reading