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As Seen In 2012

Three Men Standing

Virtually anyone who read the news in the last four years knows the name Madoff.Not only did the story of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme dominate headlines, the ramifications of his fraud have weighed heavily on every victim’s, litigating attorney’s and businessperson’s mind since his arrest in December 2008.


Accounting and advisory firm Marcum LLP has introduced the Marcum Commercial Construction Index, a quarterly index that will track the performance of the U.S. commercial construction industry.


Retailers may not see a sales surge this weekend as ho-hum discounts and fears about imminent tax hikes and cuts in government spending give Americans fewer reasons to open their wallets in the last few days before Christmas.


Businesses across the nation are struggling to find talented accounting and finance professionals, specifically business systems analysts, tax accountants and auditors. And they’re coping by seeking out less qualified individuals or increasing the salaries they’re willing to pay.


As President Barack Obama and House Republicans fight over taxes and the deficit, charities on Long Island are worried about cuts in gift-giving because tax deductions on donations may be slashed.


Maryland's same-sex couples will soon be allowed to marry, but they won't be allowed to file joint income-tax returns - making Maryland the first state to legalize gay marriage without giving extra tax privileges to the couples.


From a financial standpoint, same-sex married couples have much to gain - and some to lose - if the Supreme Court overturns the federal Defense of Marriage Act.


Nanette Lee Miller, West Coast Partner-In-Charge of Assurance Services, Interviewed on Bloomberg TV’s Bottom Line Show


Gradual pickup in the economy notwithstanding, the construction sector hasn't always been reaping the benefits, as a trio of new reports indicate. Locally, the New York Building Congress says the number of stalled development sites citywide has crept up 17% since this past February, effectively wiping out the improvements seen in this metric during 2011, while accounting and advisory firm Marcum LLP, also headquartered here, sees a wide gap between the residential and nonresidential sectors when it comes to year-over-year construction spending nationally.


The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a pair of cases challenging the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and of California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage, and the cases could have tax ramifications.


Marc Malloy, after being invited to testify before the Senate Finance Committee, called up his dad earlier this year to brag a little.


Medicare surcharge strategies get more complex for those who have trusts. Trusts are subject to the Medicare tax on the lesser of their undistributed net investment income for the year or the excess of their adjusted gross income over a threshold, currently $11,650.


Accounting and advisory firm Marcum LLP has introduced theMarcum Commercial Construction Index, a quarterly index that will track theperformance of the U.S. commercial construction industry.


Nonresidential construction droppednationally in the third quarter even as the economy continues to grow, theaccounting firm Marcum LLP reported Thursday in a new index.


U.S.investment in nonresidential construction declined 4.4 percent in the thirdquarter, according to the debut edition of the Marcum Commercial ConstructionIndex.


During the interview, Ms. Miller discussed the Supreme Court’s decision on same sex marriage and the review of the legality of Proposition 8 - California's ban on same-sex marriage.


With Election 2012 behind us and the so-called "fiscal cliff" dead ahead, accountants across the country are preparing individual and corporate clients for an economic blow that could make the 2008 housing bust look like a bad night at the poker table.


So far, so good. Parking lots are filled, malls are packed, and customers are finding waits at checkout lines.


From midnight on Thanksgiving night until 3 a.m., Julia Dvir's store, "The Closet," will further discount her jewelry, hats, belts, and purses (already 40-60 percent off).


The cliché is that accounting is dry and boring, but Cecelia Garber would tell you otherwise.


First of Long Island Corp., a Glen Head-based bank, a few weeks ago moved its fourth-quarter dividend up one month – from Jan. 13 to Dec. 7 – in anticipation of a hike in the tax rate on dividends, a move likely to save shareholders hundreds of thousands of dollars collectively.


With all the buzz around the fiscal cliff and the Bush tax cuts that are set to expire in 2013, what tends to get overlooked is a tax that will definitely take effect in the new year: the 3.8% tax on investment income.


As negotiations over the fiscal cliff get underway in Washington, investors who crave the safety of blue chip stocks are bracing for big changes in how dividends are taxed.


When megastorm Sandy devastated parts of the Northeast, people raced to help: They donated money by text and credit card, scoured their closets for items to share and drove to the most ravaged areas to aid in the cleanup efforts.


Marcum LLP has issued a set of 10 essential estate planning tips for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and other nontraditional families.


Despite all of the uncertainty surrounding the Fiscal Cliff (the possible expiration of the 2003 tax cuts on December 31), one thing remains sure: we will all still have to pay taxes. Some fundamental changes to the current tax code will take effect on January 1. Following are some of the highlights to keep in mind for your 2013 financial planning.


Tax laws allow companies and business owners to claim deductions by helping their own employees in federally declared disaster zones.


If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman, many same-sex couples could be in for substantial tax windfalls.


One boom, megabust, and sort-of-boom after they first went into effect, the expiration of George W. Bush-era tax cuts could goose the top individual dividend income-tax rates to more than 43 percent from the current 15 percent. This comes at a time when companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index lug about $900 billion in cash, a 40 percent jump since 2008 that has made them net suppliers of cash to the rest of the economy.


Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is kicking off its Black Friday deals earlier than ever, as more stores open their doors for holiday deals even before shoppers have polished off turkey dinners.


Robert Spielman, Tax & Business Services Partner, was interviewed on Bloomberg Radio's Taking Stock on November 5, 2012.


The recent decision by a federal appeals court regarding the Defense of Marriage Act suggests gay couples may want to file something known as a protective refund claim with the Internal Revenue Service in the event the Supreme Court overturns the law, according to accounting experts.


Accounting firms based in Long Island and the New York metropolitan area have been expanding to other regions of the country, leveraging a valuable asset beyond their balance sheet: their zip code.


Taxes that are largely a concern of the very rich will soon affect far more people unless Congress steps in.


A recent decision by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the Defense of Marriage Act creates an immediate opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered families to file protective tax refund claims, according to the accounting and advisory firm Marcum LLP.


Most C-suite executives and their boards would rather leave tax issues in the hands of the accountants. Slogging through the byzantine tax code is a task better suited to CPAs, with at least a fighting chance of making sense of it all.


With taxes in flux because of the looming expiration at year-end of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, it is time for investors to play the capital gains and losses game.


Banks have tightened their underwriting standards after the financial crisis, making It difficult for many small businesses to get loans.


Accountants are urging companies to pay dividends this year rather than wait until next year, when rates are slated to nearly triple.


Enough about the ”fiscal cliff.” What about the dividend cliff?


In a swift overhaul, top officials of troubled teen clothier Wet Seal Inc. -- including the chairman -- were ousted and replaced by board members handpicked by an activist shareholder that directed the coup.


U.S. retailers’ September same-store sales topped analysts’ estimates, led by discount and specialty-apparel chains that benefited from back-to-school shopping, while department stores trailed projections.


U.S. retailers’ September comparable store sales slowed from the summer trend, heightening the stakes for how the upcoming holiday season will play out.


With Bush-era tax cuts expiring and election uncertainty in full throttle, small manufacturers are facing the possible loss of bonus depreciation and other anxieties.


Nature abhors a vacuum, per an ancient Latin proverb (natura abhorret vacuum). Nature recognizes a vacuum as a vacancy to be filled and, often, as an opportunity to thrive.


The tax was created as part of a $2.3 billion state bailout of the MTA as it faced a record deficit. In 2011, certain small businesses and private schools were exempted from paying the tax.


Summer is usually a time to relax and take a vacation, but not so if you are involved in regulatory compliance at a major hedge fund. Deadlines for hedge fund advisers to comply with new US regulations are coming thick and fast. In fact, the deadline already has come and gone for the first hedge funds to file Form PF, the enormous document including around 50 questions and requiring 2,000 data points that the SEC is demanding for newly registered funds under the terms of the Dodd-Frank Act.


Many cheered last year’s legalization of same-sex marriage in New York. Among those showering rice along with best wishes were perceptive accounting firms.


In the video, fictional office workers go about their day, making copies and getting coffee, when a man clad in black walks into the lobby and opens fire. Some of the employees run out the back; others lock office doors and turn out lights. When the shooter bursts into the break room, workers attack him with a chair and a fire extinguisher.


While most tax news in this election cycle is focusing on expiring tax cuts, what may be most revolutionary about 2012 is how many newly married same-sex couples are going to face a tax quagmire.


Nanette Lee Miller, West Coast Partner-In-Charge of Assurance Services, was interviewed on KGO Radio in San Francisco regarding the end of the post-IPO lockup period on Facebook shares today.


In light of The Bourne Legacy's recent release, we caught up with an unlikely figure behind the scenes of the successful franchise, producer Jeffrey Weiner. Weiner has served as managing partner of a national accounting firm, Marcum LLP, for more than 20 years and became Bourne-series author Robert Ludlum’s estate executor when he died in 2001.


A healthier housing market helps, but the construction sector still faces an uphill battle as new projects dry up.


As kids head back-to-school, parents focus on replenishing and replacing kids’ gear, but this year even the basics have gotten more complicated, creating a new nightmare for parents.


As the flood of work stemming from the decade-old Sarbanes-Oxley Act slows to a trickle and a weak economy makes growth tougher, national accounting firms are aggressively growing their consulting business, a reversal of moves to restrict this practice area.


Contending with the fragmented, ever-changing landscape of tax and financial laws and regulations impacting our community is an immense challenge.


A ranking of the nation's largest accounting firms based on revenue placed several Long Island-based companies – and many with big operations in the region – among the top 100.


Macy's reported a nearly 16 percent increase in net income for its second quarter, helped by cost-cutting and its strategy to tailor its merchandise to local markets.


Attacks on presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's Swiss bank account and overseas tax havens have revived scrutiny of an issue that has caused angst among many wealthy investors: offshore tax avoidance and the U.S. government's aggressive crackdown on tax dodgers.


The May 2012 edition of Accounting Today had several articles about auditor rotation. Dan Hood's editorial; Michael Cohn's cover article, "Hot topic, cool talk (mostly);" Bill Carlino's article, "The new breed of auditors;" and Miller & Bahnson's "Spirit of Accounting" all opined on the subject. I was awed by the fact that with all that space devoted to auditor rotation, there was not one word mentioned about ethics.


After merging with Kmart and becoming Sears Holdings Corp., the Sears brand has continued to struggle as it redefines itself for a new century and fights to turn around more than four years of falling sales.


While newspapers headline larger scale corporate fraud like R. Allen Stanford, Madoff, Tyco, etc., fraud often occurs in small and medium-sized businesses like ours and our clients'. A common type of fraud is defalcation or misappropriation of assets. A defalcation can involve a misappropriation of cash, supplies, inventory or other business property.


Since 2010, when the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) first published an exposure draft on lease accounting, the boards have been trying to come to an agreement on how to take two very different kinds of leases — equipment and rental — and account for them on the balance sheet. For years they had remained off balance sheet, typically in the footnotes of company financials.


With the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts again set to expire at the end f the year, new corporate tax proposals under serious consideration and $1.2 trillion in federal spending cuts due to kick in, businesses face myriad challenges in tax planning.


For those who have been operating for a time in the sector of China-based/U.S. listed companies it might come as a surprise that Drew Bernstein, of Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk LLP, was not keen on his firm taking on its first China client. In fact, it was his partner, Neil Pinchuk, who convinced him in 2000 that China was a good market for the firm.


Late last month, a Southern California man was sentenced to three years in jail for hijacking local ATMs to rob bank customers of more than $200,000. His method, called "skimming" is not new, and the authorities know how to defeat it.


Accounting firm Marcum established a practice focused on LGBT and other non-traditional families to help these clients navigate the complex and often-changing tax and financial landscape.


In states that recognize same-sex marriage, couples have to file a minimum of three tax returns if they want to file jointly because federal law doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.


The Supreme Court's decision on health care helps clear up--to a small but important degree--the outlook for those who expect higher taxes next year and want to plan around them.


Company owners preparing for retirement are finding unlikely buyers for their businesses in a down economy – their employees.


With GAAP still too complex and onerous for many small, private companies, some other financial-reporting alternatives are starting to look more appealing.


Many big firms are trying to make financial planning a lot more gay-friendly.A growing number of financial planning firms, including Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC, Fortune 500), Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MS, Fortune 500), UBS (UBS) and Marcum LLP, are launching divisions that focus solely on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (or LGBT) clients or helping their advisors get certified to handle the unique financial issues same-sex couples faces.


When Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation in February to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey, accounting firm Marcum LLP saw a business opportunity, as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — or LGBT — and nontraditional family communities began to fully recognize issues in filing their estate and income taxes.


It's simply complicated: The LGBT community faces unequal and often unfair tax treatment all over the country, each state having created its own policies regarding same-sex couples. Now, an accounting firm has decided to help.


More professionals are offering specialties to attract gay clients and serve non-traditional families.


Accounting firm Marcum LLP, which has offices in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami, has formed a national practice group to address the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals as well as non-traditional families.


Marcum LLP, one of the largest accounting and financial advisory firms in the nation, announced yesterday that it has launched its LGBT and non-traditional family practice group.


Saying it's seeking to provide better service to a group undeserved by accounting firms, Marcum has formed a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered and non-traditional family practice group.


Top 100 Firm Marcum LLP has launched a new Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and Non-Traditional Family Practice Group, to help LGBT and non-traditional individuals and families navigate changing tax and financial laws.


You can use your IRA to invest in real estate, thanks to a little-known provision in the IRS code. But that doesn't mean you should.


Aclient of New York tax attorney Janis CowheyMcDonagh recently found out some of this the hard way.


Turns out, J.C. Penney shoppers don't prefer predictable pricing over blockbuster bargains — at least not yet.


Ronald Friedman: People who got used to shopping in the T.J.'s and the Rosses, it's amazing you find the same labels in those stores as you do at Macy's.


The weather is getting warmer, flowers are blooming, the grass is growing and marriage season is once again upon us. While spring remains the prime time for weddings, many other traditional aspects of marriage have changed over time, including the age at which people get married. Indeed, today, the average age of women entering a first marriage is 26.1 years old, compared to 20.3 years old in 1960.


Audit industry professionals are cautiously optimistic that recent changes to the audit market in China could actually improve the quality of audits in China going forward. The changes, designed to rapidly increase the prominence of Chinese leadership at the Big Four firms, could initially prove awkward, but over the long-term might help China boost its ranks of qualified accounting professionals.


Business owners who feel they’re having a tough time getting loans aren’t imagining things, according to Alan Markowitz, a New York City assurance partner at Marcum LLP, a national CPA firm. But companies that take some smart steps early on, have a better shot at getting OK’d for a loan.


Because same-sex marriage laws differ depending onjurisdiction, advisors need to get educated on how to navigate the increasinglycomplex financial issues facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendercommunity, according to experts in the field.


It has also unsettled much of the retail clothing world as fears grow that few will be able to compete with a stepped-up Amazon.


Consumers also are in a better mood, according to Ron Friedman, head of the retail practice at Marcum, a national accounting firm.


What if you did an installmentsale in a prior year? You could try to sell the note to a third party, whichwould cause you to recognize the gain, suggests Joseph Perry, a CPA with Marcumin New York City. Or ask the original buyer to pay off more of the note thisyear, at a discount.


Ronald S. Friedman, the head of the retail group at Marcum LLP, an accounting firm that advises department stores and manufacturers, said the average markup for apparel at a department store began around 65 percent.


This article is focused on the taxation of equity-based compensation and does not specifically address deferred compensation. Since equity compensation awards may include some level of deferral because of vesting requirements, the terms ‘‘equity compensation’’ and ‘‘deferred compensation’’ are sometimes used interchangeably.


Joe Perry, partner-in-charge of tax services at the accountingfirm Marcum LLP in New York,said he has seen a ten- fold increase in clients being audited, including atleast five under the more intense scrutiny of a new IRS task force that istargeting high net-worth taxpayers.


With the first-quarter close rapidly approaching, companies and their auditors are still trying to determine how they will comply with a new rule that adjusts the method for measuring fair value and requires significant new disclosures.


Joseph Perry, Partner-in-Charge of the Tax & BusinessServices practice at Marcum LLP, an accounting firm in New York, added thatmany companies may want to make announcements on dividends before potential newrules in Congress that will significantly raise the tax rate for dividends gointo effect next year.


Tax season is here again -- and if you have questions about how to complete your return, you're certainly not alone.


In the article, Mr. First said, "You also can form an investment committee and a distribution committee so that you aren't leaving all decisions to a corporate trustee."


The IRS is stricter in terms of its matching, as well as certain questions being asked which go to the heart of compliance, said Joe Perry, partner-in-charge of tax at Top 100 Firm Marcum. "For example, Schedule C and the other business forms ask if you are required to file Form 1099, and if so, did you? It's used for matching purposes. If an individual or business takes a deduction for expenses, another company should be picking up that income."


The IRSis on the prowl—possibly for you. Thanks to improved detection systems andcomputerized checks, the IRS can more easily identify red flags that triggeraudits, says Joseph Perry,a partner at Marcum LLP, a public accounting firm. “They definitely contact taxpayers more frequently,” he adds.


As an auditor in China since 1999 whose firm serves as the independent auditor for over 25 Chinese companies and as an independent director of two Chinese companies, I have spent hundreds of hours on early morning conference calls, logged hundreds of thousands of miles on trans-polar flights, visited perhaps 100 Chinese cities and sat through hundreds of board meetings.


In the article, Mr. Friedman  said, “They can close stores, reduce inventory, terminate employees, and raise capital, but nothing is being done to improve their image or products in the stores.”


In the article, Mr. Giugliano commented that the accounting erred in treating returned products as exchanged products. Additionally, Mr. Giugliano said, “The company accepted returns for expired and short-dated products, and replaced those products with currently dated, similar products.


In the article, Mr. Farrington said, “Accounting firms, including us, are working hard to make sure we have the ability to advise. The firm has to make sure that it has adequate resources to meet the needs of current clients as well as prospective clients.”


In the article, Mr. Friedman said, "The image is atrocious. The stores are old and they're run down. They don't look like a nice place to visit. I don't think that the Sears we see today can be around from a year today. It has to change."


But what if a parent dies without talking with the children? First, the siblings need to agree on who is in charge, be it a family member or a professional, and give that person final say, advises Robert Spielman, an estate-planning lawyer and certified public accountant with Marcum LLP in Melville, N.Y. Next, they should determine who was promised something and who wants something that was important to him or her.


Regarding "Sweet scenario with state aid" [Business, Jan. 2], there are many federal and state programs, such as the one offered to Tate's Bake Shop in East Moriches, that can benefit businesses of all sizes.


James T. Ashe’s encounter with Hollywood as a numberscrunching gumshoe started out with a big heist and ended with the suspecttaking the big sleep.





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