Jeffrey Zudeck, Partner-in-Charge of Philadelphia Office, Featured on SmartCEO Panel Discussion "How to Prepare Your Business for Succession, M&A, Audits and Other Tax Liabilities."
By Tina Irgang
No one likes to think about taxes, and we’re all tempted to postpone our tax planning until the last possible moment. SmartCEO gathered some of Philadelphia’s top tax advisors to make the case that being prepared early for events such as an audit, a CEO succession or an acquisition can significantly increase benefits and reduce your liability risk. The experts also share their insight into how you can lower the risk of fraud at your company.
What are the concerns your clients are facing right now, and what are the key tax issues they are dealing with?
Zudeck: Our clients are facing competitiveness against countries with lower tax rates and lower wage rates, and they’re trying to figure out how they’re going to operate better in the global market as the economy seems to be picking up.
What are the best practices CEOs can implement to protect their assets from fraud?
Zudeck: I really think it starts with the top – the executive management team needs to set the standards of behavior that will protect the assets of the company.
For business owners considering an exit in the next five years, what tax considerations should they take into account?
Zudeck: From a tax perspective, they need to look at what type of entity structure they have, and gain an understanding of how that could affect their ultimate net cash after sale. For example, if they’re a C corporation that was converted to an S, is there built-in gains tax?
What are some of the preparation steps that you saw in some recent successful M&A deals?
Zudeck: Whether you’re the buyer or the seller, you need to understand the goals and objectives of both sides that come to a deal. You also have to understand the marketplace you’re dealing in to be able to navigate through the trends that are going on in the marketplace. But most importantly, you have to really go through and understand on an after-tax basis what you’re looking to get out of it, and try to maximize the structuring and planning to do that.