- Taxes & IRS Issues
- Trust/Estate Plan
- Business Structure (Company)
- Short Sale
- Asset Protection
- Debt Settlement
Is it really true that the majority of Americans pay too much in taxes?
How can I know if I’ll save anything on taxes if I use your Firm?
Is there any way to get back the money I overpaid on my past taxes?
How far back can I amend my taxes?
Does amending my taxes raise my risk of being audited?
What happens if I get audited – will you help?
Does it ever make sense to go back farther than 3 years to amend my taxes?
What if I can’t pay the tax I owe – what can I do?
The IRS says I owe tax for a prior year – what should I do?
The IRS says I made a mistake on my taxes – what should I do?
An agent from the IRS contacted me and wants to meet – should I go?
Do I need an attorney for my IRS issue?
Why would I need a Trust/Estate Plan?
What is required to set one up?
Can a Trustee/Successor Trustee live in a different state?
What type of trust would I need?
Who or what can the beneficiaries be?
If I have a trust do I still need a will?
How do I make changes/updates to my Trust/Estate Plan?
What happens to my trust if I move to a different state?
When do you need a corporate structure?
Corporate structures (C-Corporation, Partnership or LLC for example) serve two important purposes:
(1) they provide liability protection for your personal assets when you are involved in a business activity that could give rise to liability, and
(2) they often provide greater opportunities for tax savings than would be possible if business activities are reported on the Schedule C associated with a personal return. If either of these situations apply to you, a corporate structure may be helpful in achieving your financial goals.
Why a LLC instead of a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, S or C Corporation?
Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships are “tax-free” entities in that they pay no tax. Any profits or losses realized by these entities pass directly to the owners to be taxed at the owner’s tax rate. These entities are usually simple to set up and often require only limited fees and a simple filing with the state corporation commission. However, neither structure provides ANY liability protection for its owners. Any liability that arises as a result of the owner (or partners in a partnership) subjects all owners to both professional and personal liability.
Corporations, on the other hand, provide complete liability protection. Anything occurring as a result of the actions of the corporation or its business activities does not impact the owner’s personally. Only those funds invested in the corporation are at risk and only the corporation’s assets (not the individual’s personal assets) can be used to satisfy any liability that arises. Unfortunately, income earned by the corporation is taxed twice; once at the corporate level and then again when the remaining profits are distributed to owners (capital gains tax). In addition, corporations must file annually with the state of incorporation and pay a fee each year as part of this annual filing process. S-Corporations, a special version of the corporation, can be used to eliminate the double-taxation problem but still have the other problems associated with the corporation in general.
A Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) can be used to get the benefits of all of these. LLC’s enjoy complete liability protection like a corporation and, if there are at least two owners (called “members” in an LLC); the LLC can elect to be treated as a partnership for tax purposes, thus eliminating the double taxation. In addition, filing requirements for LLC’s are usually very minimal and in many states there is also no annual filing requirement. For these reasons, LLC’s are often the best legal structure to use.
What is required to form a LLC?
The requirements to form an LLC vary by state but generally require that Articles of Organization be filled with the state and that these are then published through a newspaper or other means. These articles require a unique name for the corporation (not already in use by another entity in the state), identification of the Statutory Agent and Statutory Address (person physically located within the state boundaries that can receive official correspondence for the LLC) and the identification of the major owners/managers.
In addition to the Articles of Organization, the LLC should obtain a Tax Identification Number from the IRS (this can be done online) and establish an Operating Agreement. The operating agreement serves as the “rules” or “bylaws” for the corporation and is perhaps the most important document in the setup process. It should contain the rights, procedures, voting requirements, limits and expectations of all the members and managers. Because this document is the governing instrument for the LLC, it is often wise to have an attorney draft the document.
How do you maintain a LLC?
How do I go about changing/updating my LLC?
What protection does bankruptcy provide?
Who makes the final decision?
What is a Meeting of Creditors?
What is the Chapter 7 Timeline?
What is the Chapter 13 Timeline?
What about my Tax Returns?
When do I have to surrender my house or car?
What are 'Cram Downs' and 'Strip Off's'?
Will the debt forgiven in the bankruptcy be taxable to me (will I get a 1099)?
What impact will the bankruptcy have on my credit?
Will I be liable for Home Owner Fees?
What is a short sale?
In the event of a short sale, a lender can often release you free and clear from your mortgages and fully forgive you of any deficiency. In some cases, sellers can qualify to receive $3,000 cash back for relocation expenses from the lender directly at closing.
Why do I need your help?
How do I know I qualify for a short sale?
– Do you have a financial hardship? This can be anything from relocation, divorce, loss of income or job, major repairs needed without resources to make them, increased bills or increased living expenses.
– Are you behind on your mortgage payments, about to be behind on mortgage payments or facing default or foreclosure?
– Cannot sell your home due to a mortgage balance that is greater than your home value?
– Your mortgage payment has depleted all of your savings?
– Are you in a situation where you have to get your home sold?
How much does it cost me to list my home on the market?
Be wary of Realtors who charge sellers a “Short Sale Negotiation Fee”. Realtors often hire professional negotiators as most Realtors do not want to put in the time or do not have the short sale knowledge required to negotiate a short sale. Equity Solutions Realty has a broker who will list your property and negotiate your short sale at no cost to you.
How long does the short sale process take?
Why should I short sale rather than allow the property to foreclose?
What if I have a foreclosure sale date scheduled?
What is the HAFA incentive program?
I need relief from my debts…is Bankruptcy my only option?
So what are my options?
Short Sale – In a situation where it doesn’t make sense to keep the home, we can often arrange for the lenders to accept less than what’s owed on the outstanding notes in exchange for a full release.
Other Solutions – In some situations, a negotiated debt settlement may be a better approach, in other cases bankruptcy or some other type of legal approach will serve your objectives best. The initial consultation with an attorney will assist in making this determination.
What about all the calls from creditors and collection agencies?
Can I do a Short Sale or Short Refinance without your help?
What about the tax ramifications?
Will I end up with a 'Deficiency' if I do a Short Sale?
How will these options affect my credit score?
Do you guarantee the results?
Why would the bank accept a short-sale?
What are my rights if I'm contacted by a debt collector?
Can I still contact the bank after I've retained your services?
How much does it cost to retain your services?
Why should I worry about asset protection?
The law in your state likely provides some protection of the basic things but you’d be surprised how limited these protections are in most states.By taking steps to protect your assets, you greatly increase your chances of being able to control what happens with these assets, even if there were a judgment.