Berman Hopkins Tax Philosophy
Pay No Tax Before its Time– Berman Hopkins adopted Federal Judge Learned Hand’s philosophy on taxation as quoted in the famous case of Gregory vs. Helvering “anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes. Over and over again, the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.”
Cost Segregation Studies
Cost Segregation Studies isolate shorter tax lives on real property assets to accelerate deductions and reduce taxable income. Based on an engineering study, you gain significant depreciation write-offs, even allowing you to catch up prior years’ depreciation. Through a landmark Tax Court Case, taxpayers have gained the ability to segregate their real property assets into the underlying use of the assets tax lives, often reducing the depreciable life from 40 years to 5 to 15. This opportunity can be used for purchased or constructed buildings of most industries.
Choosing the best retirement plan for the owners and their employees is a critical task. We try to maximize retirement benefits for the owners unless they have other motives. Navigating the Tax Code for the maximum tax benefits is what we do best. We can also assist in finding reputable investment advisors.
Succession Planning & Exit Strategies
After spending their entire life working toward building a company, owners must also learn that their involvement will someday come to an end. The desire to maximize the value of the company is always a key factor in this consideration. This will include developing key management, establishing value through financial statements, and building goodwill. An owner may transfer his equity of the company to family members, key employees, to all employees (through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan) or to third party purchasers. Properly structuring the transaction in any of these methods is crucial to ensure the continued success of the company and remaining employees, minimizing the tax impact of the sale and making sure that owner notes to finance the transaction will be successfully settled.
Research & Development Tax Credits
This credit is not just for the “Big Boys” – it applies to many businesses. It is also misunderstood as to qualify your R&D simply must be “technological in nature, indented to be useful in the development of a new or IMPROVED business component, and the activities must have elements of experimentation”. That is right out of the IRS code. Let us help you get the most of this.
Mergers and Acquisitions/Due Diligence
Don’t be shortchanged or taxed to death on your buy/sell transactions. Opportunities exist to modify the taxation or deductibility of equity sales and purchases. However, there are also a lot of hidden traps, and only very experienced advisors such as Berman Hopkins can help you navigate these waters.
IRS Negotiations & Controversies
Berman Hopkins has an outstanding history of favorable results in tax controversy cases, both federally and at the state level. Using our immense technical expertise, combined with a great mutual respect with tax agents, we have saved clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and penalties.
International Tax Issues
Berman Hopkins is experienced in dealing with inbound and outbound cross-border transactions, foreign income tax credits and exclusions and structural entity designs to minimize tax rates on sales of export property. Utilizing considerable resources of treaty and jurisdictional research materials, as well as our affiliation in the International Group of Accounting Firms, we can assist clients in a myriad of foreign tax issues.
Tax Accounting Methods
Liability Protection & Entity Selection
Protect your Wealth– How you organize or reorganize your business is absolutely critical to first building your business wealth, and then protecting it from creditors of all sorts (some are valid, but many are just looking for easy money).