Penning Group Blog

The Penning Group blog is written and edited by the advisors and attorneys of The Penning Group, providing practical business, personal, and legal information. To view blog posts by category, choose a topic area from the sidebar menu.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

With only seven weeks left in the year, it's certainly time to think about year-end tax planning!

If you're considering buying a new car, you'll want to do it before December 31 in order to take advantage of a special sales tax deduction on up to $49,500 of the cost of a new vehicle bought before 2010. If you don't itemize, you can add the sales tax on to your standard deduction.
On the other hand, if you're planning to convert a traditional IRA to a Roth, you may want to wait until next year as the tax on 2010 conversions can be spread out over two years instead of one. 2010 is also the year that the ban on IRA conversions by high-income earners disappears. Taxpayers in the...

Read More...
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Criminals use many methods to steal personal information from taxpayers. They can use your information to steal your identity and file a tax return in order to receive a refund. Here are ten things the IRS wants individuals to know about identity theft so you can avoid becoming the victim of a scam artist.

  1. Identity thieves get your personal information by many different means, including stealing a wallet or purse or accessing information you provide to an unsecured Internet site. They even look for personal information in your trash. They also pose as someone who needs information through a phone call or e-mail.
  2. The IRS does not initiate contact with a taxpayer by...
Read More...
Sunday, October 25, 2009

What happens to your business if you suddenly do not show up one day and are unable to come to work for an extended period of time, such as a month or longer? Being prepared for an unexpected event may seem overwhelming, but according to the book, Being Prepared*, it can be easily broken down into two categories: things that happen to your stuff and things that happen to you. If something happens to your stuff, you call people—the IT consultant for computer problems or the disaster specialist for flooding, fire, etc. When something happens to you, however, a plan is necessary for the continued management of your business, particularly if you are the sole owner or sole...

Read More...
Monday, October 12, 2009

Businesses wishing to raise capital by issuing and selling securities (typically "stock") face a complex maze of laws, rules and regulations, both at the federal level and in each state where the securities are to be offered and sold. These laws govern the process for the registration of the securities, set forth the criteria which must be met in order for the securities to be exempt from registration, regulate the conduct of those involved in the offer and sale, provide for enforcement and set forth fines, penalties, and both civil and criminal liability for violations.

This regulatory landscape changed in Michigan on October 1, 2009 when the new Michigan Uniform Securities Act...

Read More...
Monday, September 28, 2009

On September 2, 2009, John Buckley, Chief Tax Counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee, shared his opinion regarding the future of the federal estate tax: "I think you will probably see a one-year extension based on the statutory pay-go." Mr. Buckley was referring to the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2009 (H.R. 2920). This bill passed the House in June, 2009. If enacted, it will undo some currently scheduled expenditures and tax provisions, including the previously scheduled permanent extension of the estate and gift tax at 2009 levels.

The permanent extension of the $3.5 million exemption, coupled with the 45% top estate tax, would cost the government...

Read More...