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Buckley Fine is excited for 2021, a new year already filled with prosperity and growth for our clients and friends. Providing the highest level of service remains our top priority, and we are excited to announce the addition of new team members that share this same commitment to clients and the community.
On December 27th, President Donald Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (“Act”), a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill designed to provide additional aid and fund the government through September 2021. While the new legislation does not include the $2,000 individual stimulus checks the President requested, it does include $600 payments to Americans who earned less than $75,000 in the previous tax year and an additional $300 to extended weekly unemployment benefits. The Act provides additional aid for small businesses, including a forgivable loan program similar to the original Paycheck Protection Program, PPP2. COVID-affected businesses that have not already taken a PPP loan may apply for forgivable loans under this Act, and severely distressed businesses may apply for second loans. The program was also expanded to allow additional types of businesses and certain non-profits to apply. Effectively overruling the IRS’ position, the Act also provides that recipients of forgiven PPP loans may [...]
Business owners have faced several challenges this year. Tasked with unprecedented obstacles to keep the doors open and ensure the health and safety of their employees, businesses have one more hurdle to overcome this year. Before year end, every Illinois employer is required to provide all employees with sexual harassment prevention training that complies with the Illinois Human Rights Act. Employers must train employees by December 31, 2020 and on an annual basis thereafter. This training must include: an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with the Illinois Human Rights Act; examples of conduct that constitutes unlawful sexual harassment; a summary of relevant Federal and State statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment, including remedies available to victims of sexual harassment; and a summary of responsibilities of employers in the prevention, investigation, and corrective measures of sexual harassment. Failure to comply with this training could result in the entry of an order imposing [...]
Late Wednesday, the IRS released Revenue Ruling 2020-27, which clarified its stance on the timing of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness and related tax implications. This much anticipated guidance arrived just in time for businesses to make any necessary adjustments before year end. When PPP loans were first issued, many believed the intent was to provide businesses with a forgivable loan that would be excluded from taxable income and ease the burden of continuing operations during the pandemic. However, back in May, the IRS issued Notice 2020-32, which informed taxpayers that “no deduction is allowed for an eligible expense that is otherwise deductible if the payment of the eligible expense results in forgiveness of the covered loan.” Many saw this ruling as a back-door way to convert the loans into taxable income. Even though the IRS was not directly taxing forgiven PPP loans, they were increasing taxable income by not allowing [...]
While all eyes were on the election, the Internal Revenue Service announced the official estate and gift tax exemptions for 2021. The annual gift exclusion will remain the same, allowing individuals to give $15,000 to as many individuals as desired, each year. The federal estate tax exemption will increase from 2020’s $11.58 million to reach another record high at $11.7 million per person for 2021. This means an individual could shield $11.7 million from federal estate or gift taxes, and a married couple could safeguard $23.4 million with proper planning. While the IRS’s 2021 federal estate and gift tax exemption announcement was official, the exemption amount is far from certain. In 2026, the exemption is scheduled to revert to $5 million indexed for inflation. However, President Elect Joe Biden proposed reducing it even further to $3.5 million per person. With uncertainty still looming around Democratic or Republican control of the [...]
If you are thinking about gifting assets before year-end, consider creating an irrevocable trust to receive the gift. You can name the intended gift recipients as the trust beneficiaries, such as children, grandchildren, and even your spouse. With proper planning, your spouse can be both the primary beneficiary and trustee of the irrevocable trust, providing some control over the gifted assets. This is commonly known as a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT). Children and grandchildren are typically included as secondary beneficiaries, so the trustee can distribute assets among your descendants too. SLAT planning offers a flexible way to provide for different generations of your family while removing assets from your taxable estate. Gifts to a SLAT will use your lifetime exemption from federal estate tax, but will allow the trust's assets to pass to your children estate tax free. If you apply the generation-skipping transfer tax (GST) exemption, the trust's assets will [...]
David Buckley and Linda Fine introduce you to Buckley Fine, LLC, a law firm comprised of 26 team members serving families and businesses in the Barrington, IL area concentrating on Estate Planning, Estate and Trust Administration, Business Law, Litigation, Employment Law, and Real Estate Law.