Our tax services consist primarily of tax advice rendered in connection with advice in our other areas of practice.
Federal, state and local tax laws are complex and touch every aspect of our lives. Structuring businesses, estates, trusts and nonprofits is important for minimizing tax liability and still being compliant with the law. Not choosing the appropriate legal structure for a business can translate to unnecessary tax burdens on the profits of the business. On the other side, claiming inappropriate deductions or other tax benefits can result in audits, penalties, and additional taxes. Even innocent mistakes can have very inconvenient and expensive consequences.
We want to take the time with you in the beginning to make sure your business or estate is set up for the most taxation benefits. We are also pleased to take the time to help you restructure your business or revisit your trusts and estate plans.
Charitable organizations are generally exempt from income tax but may be taxable on certain types of income and have special and have tax reporting requirements. The type of nonprofit organization or foundation you establish determines what you can do without risking your tax exemption and how the organization must report to the taxing authorities. Working with San Luis Obispo tax lawyers helps you understand the tax obligations as well as other financial obligations associated with operating a nonprofit organization and fulfilling the nonprofit’s mission.
With the exception of estate or gift tax returns (Forms 706/709), Toews Bio & Abram, Inc. does not prepare tax returns or represent clients in field-level audits. As tax attorneys based in San Luis Obispo, we do, however, advise accountants and other tax preparers on the reporting of specific transactions for income tax purposes. We may assist with IRS appeals and tax court petitions in appropriate cases.
Tax Questions We Can Help You Answer
Here is a sampling of the kinds of tax questions we address most frequently:
- What form of trust will take the best advantage of available estate and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions without unduly complicating the estate plan?
- Are lifetime gifts and other strategies designed to minimize transfer taxes appropriate for the client’s estate? We counsel on family partnerships, irrevocable trusts, charitable remainder trusts and other tax-advantaged arrangements.
- How should transfers of tax-deferred assets, such as IRAs and section 401(k) plans, be handled when the owner dies?
- Should a business be conducted through a legal entity or be a proprietorship, and, if a legal entity is used (corporation, partnership, LLC), which one will have the best results for income, franchise, self-employment and property tax purposes?
- In a startup business, what is the tax treatment of “service partners” who contribute services but not assets, and how can they be given equity shares without incurring immediate income taxes on the value of those shares?
- If a business is to be sold, should the sale take the form of a merger or stock sale or should it be structured as a sale of assets? Asset sales may be safer for buyers but can result in substantial sales taxes on certain assets and income taxes resulting from depreciation recapture for sellers.
- How should property be transferred to minimize reassessable “changes of ownership” that can result in major property tax increases? Many transactions can be legitimately framed in different ways, often with drastically different property tax results.
- What is the best way to structure ownership of real property used in an incorporated business?
- What is the best structure from a tax standpoint for real estate development projects?
- For clients with charitable intentions, how should their gifts be structured to maximize income, estate and gift tax benefits? We recommend and structure many charitable gift arrangements including foundations, split-interest charitable trusts, bargain sales to charity and others as appropriate.
- What business activities can an operating charity engage in without losing its tax exemption, and how can the benefit of other, non-permitted business activities be retained without putting the exemption at risk?
Get in Touch with a San Luis Obispo Tax Attorney
Nearly all business activities, estate plans and estate settlements have tax consequences, which are important enough to determine or at least influence the structural advice we give in many cases. We therefore make it a point to be sure that the tax consequences of the arrangements we recommend have been thoroughly considered.
At the same time, we rarely recommend doing anything for tax reasons which would not otherwise make business sense – put another way, we believe that tax factors should influence but not drive basic business and estate planning decisions.
We are happy to answer your questions and to meet with you in person for a deeper look into your tax related issues. Call us today to speak with a seasoned San Luis Obispo tax lawyer.