REM welcomes new head of Quality Control

Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP (REM) is pleased to announce the hire of Bonnie Mann Falk, CPA, MBA as new Quality Control Partner. Ms. Mann Falk brings nearly 30 years of experience, most recently serving as a Director in the Mazars USA LLP Quality & Risk Management Team, overseeing and performing engagement quality control reviews, providing technical guidance, developing and delivering training, and performing internal inspections.

Managing Partner Ellis Ende says, “With her wealth of knowledge and deep experience, Ms. Mann Falk is uniquely suited to hold this key position in the firm. We are excited to have her here and look forward to working together.”

“I am excited to bring my passion for quality and ability to transfer knowledge to contribute to and make an impact on the REM team, clients, prospects, and contacts,” says Ms. Mann Falk. “I look forward to elevating thought leadership, promoting the quality of REM, facilitating solutions, and building people capacity to face the challenges in our industry.”

IRS warns taxpayers of new email scam campaign distributing malware

If you’ve received an unsolicited email from the IRS, beware. The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit warns taxpayers and tax professionals about a new IRS impersonation scam campaign spreading nationally on email. The scammers use dozens of compromised websites and web addresses that pose as, complicating efforts to stop the scam and catch the individuals behind it.

The email scam began hitting taxpayers’ email inboxes last week. Subject lines of the emails use official-sounding phrases like “Automatic Income Tax Reminder” or “Electronic Tax Return Reminder.”



The emails contain links to a website that looks like, with details purporting to be about the taxpayer's refund, electronic return, or tax account. The scam emails contain a temporary password or other reasonable-looking login credentials to “access the files” to submit the refund. However, using these credentials doesn’t give the taxpayer access to files or a refund; instead, the user downloads malicious software (“malware”) onto their computer.

Scammers infect taxpayers’ computers with malware to try to gain control of the taxpayer's computer or covertly download software to steal passwords to sensitive accounts, such as financial accounts.

Taxpayers remain vulnerable to scams by IRS imposters sending fake emails or harassing phone calls

“The IRS does not send emails about your tax refund or sensitive financial information,” says IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “This latest scheme is yet another reminder that tax scams are a year-round business for thieves. We urge you to be on-guard at all times.”

The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or social media to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords, or similar access information for credit cards, banks, or other financial accounts.

The IRS also doesn't call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method (and it does not accept prepaid debit cards or gift cards). Any taxpayer who owes taxes will receive a bill in the mail before the IRS attempts any other type of communication. See’s Report Phishing and Online Scams at for more details.

If you believe you have received an IRS scam email, do not open it. Forward it to You can also feel free to contact your trusted REM advisor.

Also see:

Beware: dangerous tax account transcript scam runs rampant

Data protection recap: what have we learned?

Special report: 4 things you can do to protect your data

Is the IRS really emailing me?

REM establishes new presence in Florida

David Roer, CPA, MST

David Roer, CPA, MST

NEW YORK, NY (August 9, 2019) — Prominent New York metropolitan area accounting and consulting firm Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP (REM) is pleased to announce the relocation of a partner in its tax advisory–wealth preservation practices to Florida.

“Now more than ever, Florida is a thriving market for high net worth individuals,” said Ellis Ende, REM’s Managing Partner. “The East Coast especially is experiencing an influx of wealthy investors as New Yorkers move south to avoid the onerous SALT deduction limitation. REM is expanding to meet the demand for quality accounting and financial services.”

David Roer, CPA, MST, will be leading REM’s expansion into the state. He specializes in high net worth individuals, closely held businesses, and state and international taxation issues. “I feel this is a logical step for REM,” said Mr. Roer. “We’ve dipped our toes into the area before, but this is a genuine commitment. We feel confident that REM is the right fit.”

NPR's "Marketplace" features REM partner Ken Lindenbaum


REM partner Kenny Lindenbaum was interviewed for a segment on National Public Radio's "Marketplace." To listen, click here and scroll down to February 14. Kenny's quotes begin at 11 minutes and 10 seconds into the program.

"Marketplace" is NPR’s flagship business program, with over 14 million listeners throughout the U.S.

REM celebrates Halloween with party and costume contest

For the past three years, the REM Social Events Committee has hosted the Annual Halloween Costume Contest at the three REM office locations. After a busy tax season with stressful days and late nights, it was great to see REM staff dress up in creative, scary, and fun individual and group costumes. This is an annual opportunity to relax, enjoy time with coworkers and reach out and touch base with colleagues we don’t get a chance to interact with in our daily life at the office. “The Halloween costume contest gives employees a chance to show their creative sides and have a little fun while they’re doing it,” says Committee founder Michelle Greco. Michelle’s Co-Chair Nicole Aufiero agrees. “After the October 15th deadline, we all deserve a break. So, each office decorates and throws a party where staff can mingle and enjoy some Halloween cheer.”

Each office celebrated with a party and plenty of treats and the results of the much-awaited costume contest. Each REM office had their own group of judges. Prizes were awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and the group with the best costume. The winning costumes ranged from a Golfer, Mrs. Claus, a Flapper, and a pair of Tired Pregnant Ladies.


The Broadway office winners were:

  • 1st place: Armine Arushanova, Mrs. Claus

  • 2nd place: Amna Atiq, Serena Williams

  • 3rd place: Wendy Strauss, Angel of Darkness

  • Group costume: Margaret Peza and Jackie Peabody, Tired Pregnant Ladies


The Melville office winners were:

  • 1st place: Josefa Cabral-Ruddy, Flapper

  • 2nd place: Nicole Aufiero, Wednesday Addams

  • 3rd place: Karen Szilagyi, Creepy Scarecrow

  • Group costume: Michelle Greco, Joanna Rubinstein, Monica Lala, Kosta Kokkosis and Luca Palermo, Twister


The New Jersey office winners were:

  • 1st place: Steve Bower, Golfer

  • 2nd place: Urmi Bhavsar, Cowgirl

  • 3rd place: AJ DaPonte, Odell Beckham, Jr.

  • Group costume: Alvin & The Chipmunks: Clara Stricchiola (Alvin), Roz Martino (Theodore), and Shirley Della Torre (Simon)

The lucky winners received $50 gift cards for 1st place, $25 for 2nd place, $10 for 3rd place and the best overall group $15 gift card per person. Another REM Social Events Committee success.

Stay tuned for more fun at REM…

Crain's New York Business names Misuraca one of the top "Notable Woman in Accounting"

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Congratulations to Yasmine Misuraca, CPA, CFE for her recent accolade from CRAIN'S New York Business as one of the top Notable Women in Accounting and Consulting for 2018. Among her other accomplishments, Yasmine is the founder and partner-in-charge of REM's Forensic Accounting practice, has authored articles for the CPA Journal, taught seminars on forensic accounting and cryptocurrency, and served as an expert witness in high-profile court cases.

Kudos, Yasmine. We are excited to see what comes next.

Evan Piccirillo contributes thought piece to New York Real Estate Journal

MELVILLE, NY - REM Tax Manager Evan Piccirillo, CPA's article “Pitfalls of the New IRS Interest Expense Limitation” appeared in the August 7, 2018 edition of the New York Real Estate Journal.

Evan provides tax and business advisory services to a diverse range of clients. With over fifteen years of experience serving the tax needs of commercial real estate owners and investors, Evan provides strategic advice on entity structuring, tax planning, and financing.

Evan is an accomplished author and public speaker. He lives with his family in Long Island, New York.


Michael Joy profiled in New York Real Estate Journal

NEW YORK CITY - Michael T. Joy, CPA is profiled in the most recent issue of the New York Real Estate Journal. Mike is the partner-in-charge of REM's Real Estate practice, the firm's largest industry area.

From a diverse accounting background, Mike leverages his broad audit experience to provide clients with forward-thinking financial and strategic advice. As a member of REM's Executive Board, Mike takes an active role in encouraging younger audit staff. He is highly regarded for his strong client relationships.


REM sponsors "Fresh to New York" event in NYC

Brian Glavotsky, CPA (left)

Brian Glavotsky, CPA (left)

Joseph DeMartinis, CPA (right)

Joseph DeMartinis, CPA (right)

NEW YORK CITY - Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP was a proud sponsor of "Fresh to New York," a professional and social networking event for new NYC residents and established New Yorkers looking to learn more about top NYC professions.

Tax managers Brian Glavotsky, CPA and Joseph DeMartinis, CPA represented REM, answering questions about tax filing requirements for residents, the accounting profession, and tax planning for new New Yorkers on a budget. “It was a unique and fun atmosphere for people to mingle, and it was nice to be a good resource for people who are new to the area and need help getting established.”

The sold-out event took place July 11 at the WeWork Tower 49 in Midtown East.

Philip Ammirato joins Raich Ende Malter


Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP (REM) is pleased to announce that Philip Ammirato has joined the firm as Chief Operating Officer. As a former senior vice president at several prominent regional and national banks headquartered in the New York metropolitan area, Mr. Ammirato has decades of experience overseeing the operations of financial institutions, including marketing, sales, human resources, internal accounting, and finance.

“Mr. Ammirato will focus on the future growth and stability of our firm,” REM’s Managing Partner Ellis Ende said. “Phil has been a friend of our firm for over 30 years. We are confident in his leadership and management experience. Phil’s presence will allow REM’s partners to focus on what’s most important: our clients.”

“For years in my previous capacity as a senior VP and banking professional, I had the pleasure of working with REM, as well as with many of REM’s clients,” Mr. Ammirato said. “It is gratifying now to be part of REM, overseeing its daily operations and leveraging my knowledge of the banking industry for the benefit of REM’s clients.”

Mr. Ammirato will be dividing his time among the firm’s offices in New York City, Long Island, and New Jersey.

Yasmine Misuraca article featured in CPA Journal

Yasmine Misuraca, CPA, CFE, Partner-in-Charge of REM's Forensic Accounting and Dispute Advisory practice, has a featured article in the current issue of the CPA Journal.

Over the course of her career, Yasmine has worked on many high profile cases. In her article, she discusses her background and why she was drawn to forensic accounting, as well as an inside look at some of her professional experiences.

Over the course of my career I have worked on a variety of high profile cases, including frauds involving household names and divorces that were the subject of television movies. Although each engagement is unique, the common denominator is that I’m still enthusiastic about every new one. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing you were part of a successful outcome for a client—and the truth.
— Yasmine L. Misuraca, CPA, CFE

The full article can be found here. Congratulations, Yasmine.

Future of Long Island CRE Summit

Left to right: Evan Piccirillo, Jodi Bloom-Piccione, Amy Frushour Kelly, and John Kmetz.

Left to right: Evan Piccirillo, Jodi Bloom-Piccione, Amy Frushour Kelly, and John Kmetz.


REM is proud to have been a corporate sponsor for the "Future of LI CRE Summit," held in Plainview by the New York Real Estate Journal. Commercial real estate is a large part of REM's practice, and we take every opportunity to be involved in conferences and events to educate and inform owners, management companies, lenders, brokers, and others involved in real estate.

Michael Joy and Jodi Bloom-Piccione, partners and leaders of REM's real estate industry group, attended, as well as tax supervisor and REM Cycle editor Evan Piccirillo, communications manager Amy Frushour Kelly, and CMO John Kmetz.

Misuraca discusses accounting challenges for cryptocurrencies and ICOs

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and related transactions such as Initial Coin Offerings are becoming more frequently encountered in the business world.  While the practical aspects of using these new tools present many difficulties, the questions of how to account for cryptocurrencies and related issues are even more complex.  Join Yasmine L. Misuraca, CPA, CFE, Partner-in-Charge, Forensic and Dispute Advisory Services at Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP and George M. Wilsonworkshop leader at SEC Institute as they explore:

  • What are cryptocurrencies and other “digital tokens?”
  • How are cryptocurrencies used in the current business environment?
  • Overview of “blockchain” distributed ledger systems
  • Are cryptocurrencies securities?
  • SEC scrutiny of the ICO process and related enforcement cases
  • Where could cryptocurrencies fit into the current accounting model?
  • Where might the accounting model need to be adjusted for cryptocurrencies?
  • Accounting alternatives for cryptocurrencies in the current environment
  • Possible disclosures for cryptocurrencies
  • Being ready for future developments

Registration is still open here.

REM launches ThinkLab for blockchain accounting

(Left to right) Tyler Russell and Arthur J. DaPonte.

(Left to right) Tyler Russell and Arthur J. DaPonte.


FLORHAM PARK, NJ (April 18, 2018) – Prominent New York metropolitan area accounting and consulting firm Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP (REM) is pleased to announce REM ThinkLab, an effort to provide thought leadership on blockchain accounting. As cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum gain ground in global commerce, an understanding of blockchain, the digital ledger technology used to record cryptocurrency transactions, is essential for the accounting profession. To aid clients and colleagues in parsing this new tech, REM ThinkLab will publish periodic whitepapers, as well as thought pieces on The REM Cycle, Raich Ende Malter’s tax blog.

Considering the relatively recent technology involved, it is only fitting that this project is the product of the firm’s younger generation of staff. REM ThinkLab is helmed by Arthur J. DaPonte, CPA, and Tyler Russell, who have already co-authored a blockchain whitepaper, an illustrated blog post, and a comprehensive glossary of blockchain technology terms for newcomers. They are currently developing a CPE course on the topic and plan to take it on the road this summer.

DaPonte and Russell are confident that blockchain is ultimately a source of new business for accountants. “As industries harness the power of blockchain to become more efficient and effective in their operations, CPAs and auditors will play an integral role in providing the public with the assurance that these processes will require,” he said. Russell added, “We are very enthusiastic about the potential implications of these new technologies on our profession and strive to stay ahead of the learning curve.”

Cornelius V. Kilbane, Jr., Partner-in-Charge of the Firm’s New York City office, agrees. “At this point, everyone has heard of blockchain and how it will revolutionize the accounting industry, but with REM ThinkLab, we are actively examining the blockchain process and its applications. As always, Raich Ende Malter is looking to the future and embracing new technology.”

Lindenbaum speaks at real estate seminar

Tax partner Ken Lindenbaum onstage at the Garden City Hotel Grand Ballroom.

Tax partner Ken Lindenbaum onstage at the Garden City Hotel Grand Ballroom.


GARDEN CITY, NY (April 13, 2018)  Congratulations to tax partner Kenneth Lindenbaum on being an invited speaker at "Destination Florida" at the historic Garden City Hotel in Garden City, New York on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

Mr. Lindenbaum spoke about investment options, the costs and benefits of relocation, and retirement choices for high net worth individuals.

"Destination Florida" was sponsored by Douglas Elliman. Other speakers included Elliman chair Howard M. Lorber, Jay Phillip Parker (CEO Florida Brokerage, Douglas Elliman), and Jonathan Miller (President/CEO of Miller Samuel Inc.).

Special report: New partnership audit rules allow IRS to impose tax assessments on partnerships


Abstract: A new partnership audit regime gives the IRS the ability to impose tax assessments on partnerships under audit. Here, we discuss the options available to partnerships. Doing nothing or making an uninformed decision could cause the partnership to pay a higher than necessary tax assessment and/or cause the partnership and its partners to waste time and money on unnecessary compliance. As always, we strongly encourage our clients to consult with their trusted tax professionals before making these decisions.

For years ending after December 31, 2017, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (“BBA”) created a new Centralized Partnership Audit Regime (“CPAR”). These new rules are applicable to all entities treated as a partnership for federal tax purposes and for the first time, makes partnerships liable for U.S. federal income tax assessments.

Why are the new rules important?

Absent a timely election out by qualifying partnerships (discussed below), these rules fundamentally change how tax is assessed and collected upon a partnership audit. For starters, partnerships will be required to designate a partner (or other person) with a substantial presence in the U.S. to be the Partnership Representative (“P-REP”) who will have the sole and binding authority to act on behalf of the partnership with the IRS. The P-REP effectively replaces the Tax Matters Partner of the old TEFRA partnership audit rules that are repealed by the BBA.

The general/default rule will have partnerships paying a tax (“imputed underpayment”) using the highest Section 1 tax rate in effect (currently at 37% for 2018), ignoring (1) the nature of the adjustment(s) (for example, long-term capital gains that would otherwise be subject to a lower tax rate) and (2) the nature of the partners (for instance, a partner that is a tax exempt entity not subject to an income tax). Favorable adjustments that do not offset unfavorable adjustments will be a reduction to income in the adjustment year (usually the year that the audit closes). There are significant and tedious rules surrounding the grouping and netting of unfavorable and favorable adjustments, which are outside the scope of this summary.

There are many obvious inequities associated with the default rules of this new audit regime. For instance, if there has been a change in ownership, new partners could bear the economic burden for tax assessments relating to unfavorable adjustments (and/or benefit from favorable adjustments) relating to years when they were not partners. Fortunately, there are alternatives that can help alleviate some of these inherent inequities; though some of these options (which we will discuss shortly) will come with additional monetary cost and compliance. The P-REP will have many decisions to make, which at times may benefit some partners to the detriment of others.

While the focus of this memo is the effect that the new statute will have on the audit process, the new rules also affect the process for making adjustments to previously-filed partnership tax returns, which is outside the scope of this memo.

Election out for certain partnerships with 100 or fewer partners             

Certain partnerships may be able to “elect out” of the new rules if the following eligibility requirements are met:

  1. Fewer than 100 partners, meaning fewer than 100 K-1’s issued, or that have potential to be issued, e.g., a husband and wife joint K-1 counts as two and each S-corporation shareholder member counts as one.
  2. Must have eligible partners, meaning all partners must be one of the following: individuals; C corporations (including RICs and REITs); certain foreign entities that would be treated as a C corporation, were they domestic; S corporations; or an estate of a deceased partner.

Partnerships with trusts, partnerships, or LLCs (including disregarded entities/single-member LLCs) are not eligible to elect out.

This election is made yearly on the partnership’s timely filed tax return and is binding to the partnership and all the partners unless the IRS determines that the election was invalid.

If such an election is made, the partnership and the partners will be subject to the pre-TEFRA rules causing audits to be performed at the individual partner level; therefore expanding the potential scope of the audit. It will also be possible to for multiple partners to be audited by different auditors; having the potential for the same partnership item to be audited by several auditors with no requirement that their results conform to one another. Accordingly, partnerships should carefully weigh the pros and cons before making this election.

Other options are available

If the partnership is unable to elect out or chooses not to, the partnership will need to consider the various options available to them throughout the audit process. There are several modifications that a partnership can request to reduce the assessment; the partnership will also have the ability to elect to push out the audit adjustments and not pay the tax. Time constraints exist with each option, so procrastination could be costly.

Modification of imputed underpayments

A partnership that has received a notice of proposed partnership adjustment (“NOPPA”) may request one or more modifications to the proposed imputed underpayment.

The proposed regulations list several types of modifications, which include (but are not limited to):

  1. Amended returns by reviewed year partners. If one or more partners of the reviewed year return include their respective share of the NOPPA adjustment(s) on an amended return for such year (including any other affected intervening year(s), and pay all taxes due), then the imputed underpayment of the partnership shall be determined without regard to such adjustment(s).
  2. Tax-exempt partners. If the partnership demonstrates that a portion of the adjustment(s) is allocable to a reviewed year partner that would owe no tax by reason of its status as a tax-exempt entity, then the imputed underpayment will be determined without regard to such adjustment(s).
  3. Modification based on a rate of tax lower than the highest applicable tax rate. A modification based on a lower rate of tax may be requested with respect to a reviewed year partner that is a C corporation and adjustments with respect to capital gains or qualified dividends that are attributable to reviewed year partners that are individuals.
  4. Other modifications. Modifications that are not specifically described by the regulations may be requested and allowed if the IRS determines that such modifications are accurate and appropriate.

Alternative to payment of imputed underpayment by partnership (“push-out election”)

The partnership can also make an election (commonly referred to as the “push-out election”) and not pay the imputed underpayment. If elected, the partnership is not required to pay the imputed underpayment but is instead required to furnish statements to the reviewed year partners, who must then take into account their share of the partnership adjustments (both favorable and unfavorable), and calculate and pay their respective tax, penalties and interest (for the reviewed year and any affected intervening year). Refunds will not be issued for any year that the tax is lower as a result of such adjustments.

This election comes at the price of cumbersome compliance at both the partnership and partner level, and will be further complicated when tiered structures are involved. Furthermore, partners will also be subject to an additional 2% interest charge above the normal underpayment rate.

Now what?

While the IRS is still in the process of issuing and finalizing regulations for this regime, and the state response/impact is still unknown, the federal statute is in place and is not expected to be postponed. Therefore, it is still strongly recommended that partnerships should ready themselves now and start the process of amending their operating agreements to take into consideration such things like:

  1. Identifying the P-REP
  2. Limiting the P-REP’s liability and exposure for litigation from disgruntled partners
  3. Outline required communications between the P-REP and the partners during an audit. Regardless of such terms being included in an operating agreement, the actions of the P-REP will be completely binding on the partnership and its partners
  4. Cooperation clauses for partners dealing with such items as:
    1. Departed partners (amending returns, possible reimbursement of imputed underpayments paid by the partnership, etc.)
    2. If it is the partnership’s intention to elect out of the CPAR, there should be clauses eliminating a partner’s ability to transfer their interests to an ineligible partner (such as a trust or single-member LLC)

For further information, please contact Jodi Bloom-Piccione.

Special report: Update on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017.png

For the benefit of Raich Ende Malter clients, we have distilled the tax changes affecting individuals in the H.R. 1 tax bill into a comprehensive, accurate list. The information contained in this list is culled from several reliable sources. We believe these points are the changes most likely to affect you:

  • Lower income tax rates and brackets.
  • The standard deduction is increased to $24,000 for married individuals filing a joint return, $18,000 for head-of-household filers, and $12,000 for all other taxpayers, adjusted for inflation in tax years beginning after 2018.
  • The deduction for personal exemptions is effectively suspended by reducing the exemption amount to zero.
  • Child tax credit increased to $2,000 per qualifying child. The credit phases out at $400,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly and $200,000 for all other taxpayers. Certain non-child dependents will have a nonrefundable $500 credit. Refundable credit amount increases to $1,400 per qualifying child up to the base amount of $2,000. Earned income threshold for the refundable portion of the credit will be reduced from $3,000 to $2,500.
  • “Kiddie tax” law: Taxable income of a child attributable to earned income is taxed under the rates for single individuals, and taxable income of a child attributable to net unearned income is taxed according to the brackets applicable to trusts and estates. This rule applies to the child’s ordinary income and his or her income taxed at preferential rates. (Note: kiddie tax applies to a child if 1) the child either has not attained age 19 by the end of the tax year or is a full-time student under the age of 24, and either parent is alive; 2) the child’s unearned income exceeds $2,100 for 2018; and 3) the child does not file a joint return.)
  • Breakpoints for capital gains taxes remain the same, but will be indexed for inflation using the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U).
  • Gambling losses: All deductions for expenses incurred in carrying out wagering transactions (in addition to gambling losses) are limited to the extent of gambling winnings.
  • SALT deductions: For tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026, subject to the exception described below, state, local, and foreign property taxes, and state and local sales taxes, are deductible only when paid or accrued in carrying on a trade or business or an activity for the production of income. State and local income, war profits, and excess profits are not allowable as a deduction.
    • A taxpayer may claim an itemized deduction of up to $10,000 ($5,000 for a married taxpayer filing a separate return) for the aggregate of 1) state and local property taxes not paid or accrued in carrying on a trade or business or activity and 2) state and local income, war profits, and excess profits taxes (or sales taxes in lieu of income, etc. taxes) paid or accrued in the tax year. Foreign real property taxes may not be deducted.
    • For tax years beginning after December 31, 2016, in the case of an amount paid in a tax year beginning before January 1, 2018 with respect to a state or local income tax imposed for a tax year beginning after December 31, 2017, the payment will be treated as paid on the last day of the tax year for which such tax is so imposed. Therefore, a taxpayer who, in 2017, pays an income tax that is imposed for a tax year after 2017, can’t claim an itemized deduction in 2017 for that prepaid income tax.
  • Mortgage and home equity: For tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026, the deduction for interest on home equity indebtedness is suspended, and the deduction for mortgage interest is limited to underlying indebtedness of up to $750,000 ($375,000 for married taxpayers filing separately).
  • “Binding contract” exception: A taxpayer who has entered into a binding written contract before December 15, 2017 to close on the purchase of a principal residence before January 1, 2018, and who purchases such residence before April 1, 2018, shall be considered to incur acquisition indebtedness prior to December 15, 2017.
  • Refinancing: The $1 million/$500,000 limitations continue to apply to taxpayers who refinance existing qualified residence indebtedness that was incurred before December 15, 2017, so long as the indebtedness resulting from the refinancing doesn’t exceed the amount of the refinanced indebtedness.
  • Medical expense deductions: For tax years beginning after December 31, 2016 and ending before January 1, 2019, the threshold on medical expense deductions is reduced to 7.5% for all taxpayers. The rule limiting the medical expense deduction for AMT purposes to 10% of AGI doesn’t apply to tax years beginning after December 31, 2016 and ending before January 1, 2019.
  • Charitable contribution deduction limit increased: For contributions made in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026, the limitation for cash contributions to public charities and private foundations is increased to 60% of AGI. Contributions exceeding the 60% limit are generally allowed to be carried forward and deducted for up to five years, subject to the later year’s ceiling.
  • Casualty losses: Under the Act, taxpayers can take a deduction for casualty losses only if the loss is attributable to a declared disaster.
  • Alimony treatment: For any divorce or separation agreement executed after December 31, 2018, or executed before that date but modified after it (if the modification expressly provides that the new amendments apply), alimony and separate maintenance payments are not deductible by the payor spouse and are not included in the income of the payee spouse. Instead, income used for alimony is taxed at the rates applicable to the payor spouse.
  • Miscellaneous itemized deductions: For tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before Jan. 1, 2026, the deduction for miscellaneous itemized deductions that are subject to the 2% floor is suspended.
  • “Pease” limitation on itemized deductions is suspended.
  • Repeal of ACA mandate: For months beginning after December 31, 2018, the amount of the individual shared responsibility payment is reduced to zero. This repeal is permanent.
  • Alternative minimum tax (AMT): For tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before Jan. 1, 2026, the Act increases the AMT exemption amounts for individuals as follows:
    • For joint returns and surviving spouses, $109,400.
    • For single taxpayers, $70,300.
    • For marrieds filing separately, $54,700.
    • Under the Act, the above exemption amounts are reduced (not below zero) to an amount equal to 25% of the amount by which the income of the AMT taxpayer exceeds the phase-out amounts, increased as follows:
      • For joint returns and surviving spouses, $1 million.
      • For all other taxpayers (other than estates and trusts), $500,000.
      • For trusts and estates, the base figure of $22,500 and phase-out amount of $75,000 remain unchanged. All of these amounts will be adjusted for inflation after 2018 under the new Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) inflation measure.
  • ABLE account changes: Effective for tax years beginning after the enactment date and before January 1, 2026, the contribution limitation to ABLE accounts with respect to contributions made by the designated beneficiary is increased, and other changes are in effect as described below. After the overall limitation on contributions is reached (i.e., the annual gift tax exemption amount; for 2018, $15,000), an ABLE account’s designated beneficiary can contribute an additional amount, up to the lesser of 1) the Federal poverty line for a one-person household; or 2) the individual’s compensation for the tax year.
  • Expanded use of 529 accounts: For distributions after December 31, 2017, “qualified higher education expenses” include tuition at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school, up to a $10,000 limit per tax year.
  • Discharged student loan debts for reasons of death or permanent disability will be excluded from gross income.
  • Recharacterization of IRA contributions: For tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, the rule that allows a contribution to one type of IRA to be recharacterized as a contribution to the other type of IRA does not apply to a conversion contribution to a Roth IRA. Thus, recharacterization cannot be used to unwind a Roth conversion
  • ·Rollover period extended for rollover of plan loan offset amounts. For plan loan offset amounts which are treated as distributed in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, the period during which a qualified plan loan offset amount can be contributed to an eligible retirement plan as a rollover contribution will be extended to the due date (including extensions) for filing the Federal income tax return for the tax year in which the plan loan offset occurs (the tax year in which the amount is treated as distributed from the plan).
  • Self-created property: Certain self-created property will no longer be treated as a capital asset. Effective for dispositions after December 31, 2017, the Act excludes patents, inventions, models or designs (whether or not patented), and secret formulas or processes, which are held either by the taxpayer who created the property or by a taxpayer with a substituted or transferred basis from the taxpayer who created the property (or for whom the property was created), from the definition of a “capital asset.”
  • Estate and gift tax: Increased exemption amount. For estates of decedents dying and gifts made after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026, the Act doubles the base estate and gift tax exemption amount from $5 million to $10 million. The $10 million amount is indexed for inflation occurring after 2011 and is expected to be approximately $11.2 million in 2018 ($22.4 million per married couple).

Further changes to the tax bill are possible, but unlikely. If you have questions about how these points will affect you, please contact your trusted REM tax professional.

The Senate’s tax reform bill: what you need to know

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The proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in the Senate by the narrowest margin on Friday. If passed and signed into law, it will create sweeping changes to the tax code. Along with a lower corporate tax rate, the bill makes significant tax changes for individuals. Here are some items which may affect you:

  • It’s still a work-in-progress. There are still significant differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. This will require reconciliation, and there is potential for many changes before the bill moves on to the White House for signature. Therefore, all of the following is subject to change.
  • The standard deduction will nearly double—but the bill also eliminates the personal exemption, which could offset the higher deduction, particularly in the case of families with many dependents.
  • Deductions for state and local income taxes (SALT) will be eliminated. Property taxes will still be deductible ($10,000) for taxpayers who itemize.
  • Threshold for estate tax will double, making it applicable to even fewer individuals and couples.
  • The individual healthcare mandate would be eliminated in order to help pay for some of the other tax cuts.
  • There will be a new deduction for certain pass-through income of 23%.
  • The alternative minimum tax will remain, both for corporations and for individuals.

Everyone’s tax situation is different. We are closely following the bill as it is refined by Congress, and will send updates on major changes. In the meantime, should you have any questions, please contact your trusted REM advisor.

Raich Ende Malter Welcomes New Tax Principals

Prominent New York metropolitan area accounting and consulting firm Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP (REM) is pleased to announce the expansion of its tax advisory and wealth preservation practices with the addition of two new tax principals.

Johnpaul Crocenzi, CPA

Johnpaul Crocenzi, CPA

Melissa Abbott, CPA, JD

Melissa Abbott, CPA, JD


Johnpaul Crocenzi, CPA joined the firm this week as a principal specializing in high net worth individuals and their businesses. With nearly 20 years of experience in tax-saving strategies and planning, Mr. Crocenzi advises clients on complex tax matters, estate planning, business succession planning, and transaction structuring.

The firm promoted Melissa Abbott, CPA, JD from senior manager to principal. Ms. Abbott specializes in tax compliance and planning for trusts, estates, and private foundations. She performs detailed research and analysis of complex tax issues for her high net worth clients, concentrating on fiduciary income and estate tax.

“High net worth individuals and their families, their businesses, and the private foundations they support comprise a large percentage of Raich Ende Malter’s client base,” confirms Ellis Ende, Managing Partner. “We are enormously pleased to have Mr. Crocenzi and Ms. Abbott on board as key members of our ever-growing tax advisory and wealth preservation team.”

Yasmine Misuraca joins REM as Partner-in-Charge of Forensic and Dispute Advisory


Prominent New York metropolitan area accounting and consulting firm Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP (REM) is pleased to announce that Yasmine L. Misuraca, CPA, CFE has joined the firm as the Partner-in-Charge of its Forensic and Dispute Advisory practice. Ms. Misuraca has over 20 years of public and industry accounting experience and specializes in forensic accounting. Ms. Misuraca’s track record includes testifying on a large, high-profile case for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as working as a consultant for major law firms and privately-held companies. She will be located in the firm’s headquarters in New York City.

“Ms. Misuraca will focus on the growth of our firm’s forensic accounting practice,” REM’s Managing Partner Ellis Ende said. “Calculating and analyzing economic damages, conducting fraud investigations and forensic examinations, and analyzing financial issues as part of case strategy are what many attorneys, government agencies, and private clientele need from accountants. We are thrilled to have Ms. Misuraca on board at Raich Ende, and look forward to leveraging her expertise in this practice area.”

I’m excited to lead the Forensic and Dispute Advisory group,” Ms. Misuraca said. “Due to an increase in cases involving asset misappropriation, financial statement misrepresentation, and securities and regulatory compliance violations, our focus at REM will be to provide clients with the analysis and support needed to achieve positive dispute resolutions, as well as advising clients on how to take preemptive steps to protect their assets.”