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    Dr. Marcinko is originally from Loyola University MD, Temple University in Philadelphia and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in PA; as well as Oglethorpe University and Emory University in Georgia, the Atlanta Hospital & Medical Center; Kellogg-Keller Graduate School of Business and Management in Chicago, and the Aachen City University Hospital, Koln-Germany. He became one of the most innovative global thought leaders in medical business entrepreneurship today by leveraging and adding value with strategies to grow revenues and EBITDA while reducing non-essential expenditures and improving dated operational in-efficiencies.

    Professor David Marcinko was a board certified surgical fellow, hospital medical staff President, public and population health advocate, and Chief Executive & Education Officer with more than 425 published papers; 5,150 op-ed pieces and over 135+ domestic / international presentations to his credit; including the top ten [10] biggest drug, DME and pharmaceutical companies and financial services firms in the nation. He is also a best-selling Amazon author with 30 published academic text books in four languages [National Institute of Health, Library of Congress and Library of Medicine].

    Dr. David E. Marcinko is past Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious “Journal of Health Care Finance”, and a former Certified Financial Planner® who was named “Health Economist of the Year” in 2010. He is a Federal and State court approved expert witness featured in hundreds of peer reviewed medical, business, economics trade journals and publications [AMA, ADA, APMA, AAOS, Physicians Practice, Investment Advisor, Physician’s Money Digest and MD News] etc.

    Later, Dr. Marcinko was a vital recruited BOD member of several innovative companies like Physicians Nexus, First Global Financial Advisors and the Physician Services Group Inc; as well as mentor and coach for Deloitte-Touche and other start-up firms in Silicon Valley, CA.

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AICPA Gift and Estate Requests

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The American Institute of Certified Public Accounts Recommend

[By Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation]

At a September 13th hearing of the House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access, Jeffrey A. Porter of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts (AICPA) discussed recommended tax provisions to be considered in November.

A section of his testimony covered proposed gift and estate tax provisions:

1.  Generation Skipping Tax – AICPA requests that the technical GST  modifications passed in 2010 be made permanent.

2.  Estate and Gift Exemption – The $5 million exemption with indexing should be made permanent.  If a lower exemption is passed, there should be no recovery of gift taxes for transfers made in 2011 and 2012 with the larger exemption.

3.  Uniform Exemption Amount – The gift, estate and generation skipping tax exemptions should remain uniform to avoid undue complexity.

4.  Marital Portability – The option to permit use of the exemption of a prior deceased spouse should be made permanent.  Marital portability should also extend to generation skipping tax.

5.  State Tax Credits – Congress should reinstate a state tax credit.  Under the current system, many states have “decoupled” and the different federal and state systems have created undue complexity.

6.  Tax Liquidity – Revise the installment payment of taxes under Sec. 6166 and extend it to all types of business interest.

7.  Gift and Estate Brackets – Do not create gift and estate “cliff” brackets.  For example, a 15% and a 30% bracket could create great differences for taxpayers with moderately different-sized estates.

Conclusion

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On the US Tax Code Complexity

Recent Ways and Means Committee Meeting

By Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation

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At an April 13th 2011 hearing on the tax code before the Ways and Means Committee, witnesses noted that there is a general consensus on the complexity of the tax code.

Enter Albert Einstein

One witness quoted Albert Einstein, recipient of 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics. While he was the world expert on the Theory of Relativity, Dr. Einstein also commented that “the hardest thing in the world is to understand the income tax.”

At the hearing, Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) noted there are “nearly 4,500 changes in the last decade – 579 of them in 2010 alone – the code is too complex.” Other representatives and witnesses agreed that the sheer size and complexity of the Internal Revenue Code make compliance very challenging.

Enter the AICPA

Annette Nellen represented the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in the hearing. She indicated that there are five specific steps that could be taken to substantially reduce the complexity and cost of complying with the code. These include the following actions.

1. Higher Education Deductions and Credits – Reduce the Hope Credit, American Opportunity Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, the tuition and fees deduction and other benefits into one simple credit.

2. Education Phase Out – Create one definition for qualified education expenses and eliminate the multiple phase outs under the current system.

3. Kiddie Tax – For children with unearned income under age 18 or students under age 24, simplify the current method where they pay tax at their parents’ rate.

4. Mileage Rates – Create the same mileage rate for business purposes, medical purposes and qualified charitable travel.

5. Alternative Minimum Tax – Repeal the tax because it is too complicated to modify.

Enter the Financial Planner

Financial Planner Mark Johannessen is a CFP™ and Managing Director of a McLean, Virginia financial firm. He was President of the Financial Planning Association in 2008 and suggested that there are a number of Internal Revenue Code issues that make financial planning difficult.

First, there are temporary provisions. For example, the 2011 tax rate on dividends is 15%, but the scheduled tax rate on dividends in 2013 is 43.4%. While it’s possible that Congress could change the law between now and 2013, it makes investment planning very difficult.

Second, many changes are temporary and Congress tends to act very late in the year. Congress passed the IRA Charitable Rollover for 2010 on December 17. By that date, most individuals had already taken their required minimum distribution. Johannessen indicated that the late date “negatively impacted both the individuals’ planned charitable giving” and also the charities who received fewer gifts.

Third, the uncertainty in estate tax law continues to make planning quite difficult. While the current exemption is $5 million and there now is portability for couples, the current law only applies for 2011 and 2012. To do good planning, it is essential to know what the law will be in future years.

Assessment

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Conclusion

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Understanding the 2010 Estate Tax Basis Problems

AICPA Tax Basis Issues

By Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation

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At a July 27, 2010 conference sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Treasury Representative Catherine Hughes discussed the basis issues that are arising concerning 2010 decedents.

2010 Estate Tax Repeal

While the estate tax is repealed during 2010, under Internal Revenue Code Sec. 1022 there are new and complex rules on basis adjustments. For large estates, a majority of the assets will be transferred with a “flow through” of the basis. That is, the heirs will be able to use the basis of the decedent in any future sales for the purpose of reporting capital gain. Because many decedents have few or no records of the basis, it is quite possible that these heirs will pay capital gains tax on the full value of future sales.

Allowances for Basis “Step-Up”

However, there are allowances for a basis “step-up” of $1.3 million. In addition, for a surviving spouse, the basis step-up can be $3 million. The step-up in basis cannot be greater than the fair market value of the applicable property. Determining how to allocate the adjusted basis step-up in an estate has caused great concern among estate planning attorneys and CPAs. Treasurer Representative Hughes stated, “I anticipate there will be a lot of mistakes where there isn’t an affirmative allocation” of basis. Treasury is studying the situation and may issue guidance with recommended default allocation rules.

Assessment

While Congress continues to debate estate tax law and, therefore, has not made any decision on a potential retroactive estate tax, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center this week released an estimate of the potential number of 2011 taxable estates. If a $1 million exemption is applicable in 2011, there will be an estimated 43,500 estates subject to tax. If the 2009 exemption amount of $3.5 million per decedent is applicable next year, the number of taxable estates is reduced to $650,000.

Editor’s Note: The discussion in Washington on the practical aspects of allocating the basis step-up now suggests that there may not be a mandatory retroactive estate tax law. With the pending election, it now seems very likely that Congress will not act on the estate tax before December. The Senate continues to have great difficulty developing a plan acceptable to 60 Senators and to the House of Representatives. However, Senators now recognize that a $1 million exemption and tax on 43,500 estates will impact a large number of middle-class children and other beneficiaries. Therefore, it seems quite likely that a compromise should be passed in December. However, as the AICPA basis adjustment discussion suggests, this compromise is now less likely to mandate an extension of the 2009 exemption for 2010. As a result, attorneys and CPAs will need to address the very complex and uncertain basis adjustment problems for 2010 estates.

Conclusion

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Tax Tips for Under or Unemployed Medical Professionals

Status Still Possible for Physicians and Nurses

By Sean G. Todd, Esq., M. Tax, CFP©, CPA

Tax Attorney

Certified Public Accountant
Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner

Terminated, reduced-in-force, or out of work in 2009? As the April 15th tax deadline approaches, medical professionals and all other under/unemployed folks might have questions regarding their tax returns – unchartered waters for many. More people than ever before may be experiencing the effects of losing their jobs for the first time, or receiving unemployment benefits, and are uncertain about the tax consequences that relate to all this. So, in these difficult times, give some consideration to working with a professional to help you make the right decisions.   

Labor Department Reports

The US Labor Department report issued on February 6, 2009 showed that nearly 2.6 million jobs were lost over the course of 2008, the highest yearly job loss total since 1945. The official unemployment rate is at 7.2%, a 16 year high, according to the labor department. For your assistance, I’ve prepared some of the most common questions along with the answers. Here are several questions and answers to help you through this stressful time.

1. Do I have to still pay my taxes if I was out of work in 2008?

More likely than not! The IRS requires anyone who received a W-2 from their employer and made at least $8,950 (if you’re single and under 65 years old), or made at least $400 if you’re self employed, to file a tax return. These are the baseline cutoff numbers. If you’re anticipating a tax refund, you must file – even if you didn’t work at all. The IRS will not just send you a refund – you must file and claim your refund. Despite being unemployed, you still are required to file your taxes – often times a new level of frustration begins during this already confusing and frustrating time.    

2. Will I have a tax liability? 

It depends. It depends on a variety of factors since every taxpayer’s tax situation is unique, based on the facts and circumstances of the taxpayer. Some factors may impact a person’s filing requirement such as: if you only had unemployment compensation throughout the year, you may owe some tax on the checks you received. A severance package could also give you a tax bill, as could dividends and interest from investment income. Other factors which also need to be considered would include tax deductions and other life changes as a result of being unemployed: out-of-pocket medical expenses; sale of your home as a result of downsizing or even independent contractor income you might have received.

3. Do I have to include my unemployment checks in taxable income?

In a word, yes. Unemployment compensation is included as taxable income for federal purposes and most state tax returns. When applying for unemployment, we recommend that you elect tax withholding. You can choose whether you want federal and/or state income taxes automatically taken out of your unemployment benefits. If you choose to withhold, federal income taxes are withheld at a 10% rate, while the state rate varies. But since many cash-strapped Americans opt not to withhold – come April they may have to pay up during an already stressful time when extra cash is often times not available. So if you are not electing any tax withholding, a tax bill may be an unwelcome surprise when you file your 2008 return.

4. What if I “took” money from my 401(k)?

The answer depends on the definition of “took”. If you took a loan from your 401(k), exclude this from taxable income. You may owe taxes if you took money out of a retirement plan or 401(k) to supplement your unemployment checks. That counts as income and is taxable too. The taxes are in addition to a 10% penalty on early withdrawals if you’re below the age of 59-1/2. A special election is available to many taxpayers to avoid this 10% penalty on early withdrawals which many do not know about – costing even more in taxes. 

5. What if I did some supplemental work as an independent contractor?

In the attempt to continue to earn an income after being unemployed, you might have done some freelance or project work. Being unemployed allowed you the flexibility to become self-employed. That is the positive side of things – you earned income. Here is the negative side: if you earned some income doing odd jobs or consulting services while unemployed, you’re subject to income tax AND self-employment tax on that income. To report that supplemental work, taxpayers must include a Schedule C with their income tax return, which details the income and expenses for the year. This is where we see a lot of errors – individuals do not prepare schedule C for this type of earnings. If you earned over $30,000 and are now unemployed – you may go to www.lostmyjobtaxprep.com for an exclusive offer.  If you earned more than $600 during one of the projects, expect to receive tax form 1099 and you must include that as taxable income on your income tax return. Also note that if you made less than $600, then you will not be issued a 1099 but are still required to report this income as well on your tax return.

6. Relocated for the new job?

If the new job required you to relocate for the position, you may be able to deduct the moving expenses not reimbursed by your new employer. But there’s a distance test you must meet to qualify for the deduction. The new job site has to be 50 miles further than the distance from your old residence was from the old job, according to Tom Ochsenschlager, vice president of taxation for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants [AICPA]. This basically prevents you from trying to deduct a move within the same metropolitan area.

7. Are my job search expenses deductible?

Those who were on the job hunt last year can utilize the tax code to their benefit and qualify for a larger refund. There are a slew of tax deductions available. In fact, many of the expenses incurred while looking for a job can be deducted, which can result in some serious tax savings.

Tax Checklists

As readers and subscribers to the Medical Executive-Post are aware, there is a quality initiative in clinical medicine that promotes the use of checklists. So, here is a good, but partial list of those things you need to keep track of:

  • Anything you spend on creating, printing and mailing your resume is deductible.
  • Anything you spend on a career coach or headhunter.
    Any long distance, cell or fax charges directly associated with your job search.
  • Transportation costs such as a bus, taxi, train or plane to an interview is deductible.
  • Mileage costs accrued when you drive to interviews and even to the unemployment office. [Between Jan. 1, 2008, and June 30, 2008, taxpayers can claim 50.5 cents per mile, between July 1, 2008 and Dec. 31 2008 taxpayers can claim 58.5 cents per mile].
  • All job related parking fees and tolls; and,
  • All meals and lodging if the interview was out of town.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/a-homer-simpson-moment-of-clarity-on-medical-quality

Further Explanations

You cannot deduct the cost of the “new interview suit” as it does not qualify as a uniform. Also forget about deducting the value of your time as the IRS deems it to be worthless for tax deduction purposes. So too, forget about deducting your new Coach “briefcase” and matching “interview” shoes – they too are disallowed.  It’s the responsibility of each taxpayer to keep receipts related to any of these expenses in order to substantiate them when filing. In a self-serving interest, we always recommend consulting a professional tax preparer for help.  

Two New Websites

There are two websites especially beneficial for individuals who have lost their jobs and are concerned about protecting their 401(k) account. Individuals who are still employed can benefit from the information provided on the site as well.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated.

Speaker:If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com 

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Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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