Happy Birthday Steve!

posted by veropa

May 14, 2017– Our Senior Attorney, Steve Lauer, is turning 65 this weekend! The whole office celebrated his birthday on Thursday by surprising him with a decorated office, presents, and cake. Congratulations on joining Medicare!

Happy Birthday Tricia!

posted by veropa

May 5, 2017– Tricia Rowe, our office administrator and legal assistant, is celebrating her birthday today! The office celebrated with cake and presents on Thursday.



Eva Lauer Passed the Bar

posted by veropa

April 10, 2017– Our new Associate Attorney, Eva Lauer, who began working in the office at the beginning of March, was informed that she passed the Florida Bar exam this morning. Congratulations Eva! 

Check out the article in the TCPalm  here.

April 20, 2017– Eva was sworn in by Judge Griffin at the Indian River County Courthouse. Most of the office was able to come watch her recite the Oath of Attorney (pictured below). She is now practicing law until she returns to the University of Florida to study for her Masters in Taxation this August.




Vero Beach resident Eva Lauer graduates from UF law school

posted by veropa

GAINESVILLE — Vero Beach resident and 2010 Saint Edward's School graduate Eva Lauer graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida in Gainesville on Thursday, Dec. 15.

Lauer graduated with honors in June 2014 from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. In addition, Lauer learned on Dec. 20 that she was admitted to the Graduate Tax Program at UF. She will begin her Master in Tax Law studies in August 2017 after taking the Florida Bar in February.

After passing the Florida Bar exam, Lauer will practice law in Vero Beach with her father, E. Steven Lauer.

Check out the article in the TCPalm  here.



Vero Beach Tax Attorney’s Advise on IRS Offers in Compromise

posted by veropa

As a Florida Bar Board Vero Beach Tax Lawyer, I am qualified to give advise on and help you in the preparation of Offers in Compromise. According to the IRS web site:

"An offer in compromise allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. It may be a legitimate option if you can’t pay your full tax liability, or doing so creates a financial hardship. We consider your unique set of facts and circumstances:

  • Ability to pay;
  • Income;
  • Expenses; and
  • Asset equity.

We generally approve an offer in compromise when the amount offered represents the most we can expect to collect within a reasonable period of time. Explore all other payment options before submitting an offer in compromise. The Offer in Compromise program is not for everyone. If you hire a tax professional to help you file an offer, be sure to check his or her qualifications.

Make sure you are eligible

Before we can consider your offer, you must be current with all filing and payment requirements. You are not eligible if you are in an open bankruptcy proceeding. Use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier to confirm your eligibility and prepare a preliminary proposal.

Submit your offer

You’ll find step-by-step instructions and all the forms for submitting an offer in the Offer in Compromise Booklet, Form 656-B (PDF). You can also view the “Complete Form 656″ video. Your completed offer package will include:

  • Form 433-A (OIC) (individuals) or 433-B (OIC) (businesses) and all required documentation as specified on the forms;
  • Form 656(s) – individual and business tax debt (Corporation/ LLC/ Partnership) must be submitted on separate Form 656;
  • $150 application fee (non-refundable); and
  • Initial payment (non-refundable) for each Form 656.

Select a payment option

Your initial payment will vary based on your offer and the payment option you choose: Lump Sum Cash: Submit an initial payment of 20 percent of the total offer amount with your application. Wait for written acceptance, then pay the remaining balance of the offer in five or fewer payments.

Periodic Payment: Submit your initial payment with your application. Continue to pay the remaining balance in monthly installments while the IRS considers your offer. If accepted, continue to pay monthly until it is paid in full.

If you meet the Low Income Certification guidelines, you do not have to send the application fee or the initial payment and you will not need to make monthly installments during the evaluation of your offer. See your application package for details.

Understand the process

While your offer is being evaluated:

  • Your non-refundable payments and fees will be applied to the tax liability (you may designate payments to a specific tax year and tax debt);
  • A Notice of Federal Tax Lien may be filed;
  • Other collection activities are suspended;
  • The legal assessment and collection period is extended;
  • Make all required payments associated with your offer;
  • You are not required to make payments on an existing installment agreement; and
  • Your offer is automatically accepted if the IRS does not make a determination within two years of the IRS receipt date.

If your offer is accepted If your offer is rejected
  • You must meet all the Offer Terms listed in Section 8 of Form 656, including filing all required tax returns and making all payments;
  • Any refunds due within the calendar year in which your offer is accepted will be applied to your tax debt;
  • Federal tax liens are not released until your offer terms are satisfied; and
  • Certain offer information is available for public review at designated IRS offices.
  • You may appeal a rejection within 30 days using Request for Appeal of Offer in Compromise, Form 13711 (PDF).

In addition to being a Vero Beach Estate Planning attorney and a Vero Beach Probate Attorney, I am Florida Bar Board Certified in Tax. We have recently had success with clients in having Offer in Compromise accepted by the IRS. The net result is tax savings and elimination of penalties and interest that have saved our clients a bundle!

Notices Required by Obama Care by October 1, 2013

posted by veropa

Obama Care for Businesses

If you are an employer with gross income in excess of $500,000 per year, you need to give you employees the Notices on this government Website by Oct. 1, 2013.

https://www.healthcare.gov/what-do-i-need-to-tell-my-employees-about-the-marketplace/

When is a stepchild an 'Heir'?

posted by veropa

Florida is unique in its quirky “homestead” laws, which govern the descent and conveyance of an individual’s primary residence or “homestead” and protect the homestead from the claims of creditors. This blog does not pertain to the tax break that homeowners receive as a result of the homestead tax exemption.

A homestead is protected from the claims of a decedent’s creditors under Section 4 of Article X of the Constitution of the State of Florida if it passes under a Will or Trust to “heirs” of the decedent. The Florida Supreme Court in Synder v. Davis, 699 So. 2d 999 (Fla. 1997) held that an “heir” is someone who takes a decedent’s property under Section 732.103 of the Florida Statutes as if the decedent died “intestate” which means without a Will.

So what happens if the Will provides that homestead property passes to a stepchild of the decedent? Don’t we normally associate as “heir” with a “blood” relative? Is the homestead protected from creditors? In a broad extension of the common meaning of “heir”, the Court is Traeger v. Credit First National Association, 864 So 2d 1188 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004) found that since a stepchild can inherit as an intestate heir under Section 733.103 (5) if there is no living “kindred” of the decedent, then a bequest to a step child is protected from the claims of creditors. Also, the homestead is entitled to protection even if there are living “kindred” of the decedent who did not received the homestead as a result of the decedent’s death.

For any questions regarding Florida’s homestead laws, please contact us!



U. S. Supreme Court Rules on University of Texas’ Affirmative Action Policy- the Affect on ​Abigail Noel Fisher

posted by veropa

June 27, 2013– Florida is unique in its quirky “homestead” laws, which govern the descent and conveyance of an individual’s primary residence or “homestead” and protect the homestead from the claims of creditors. This blog does not pertain to the tax break that homeowners receive as a result of the homestead tax exemption.

A homestead is protected from the claims of a decedent’s creditors under Section 4 of Article X of the Constitution of the State of Florida if it passes under a Will or Trust to “heirs” of the decedent. The Florida Supreme Court in Synder v. Davis, 699 So. 2d 999 (Fla. 1997) held that an “heir” is someone who takes a decedent’s property under Section 732.103 of the Florida Statutes as if the decedent died “intestate” which means without a Will.

So what happens if the Will provides that homestead property passes to a stepchild of the decedent? Don’t we normally associate as “heir” with a “blood” relative? Is the homestead protected from creditors? In a broad extension of the common meaning of “heir”, the Court is Traeger v. Credit First National Association, 864 So 2d 1188 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004) found that since a stepchild can inherit as an intestate heir under Section 733.103 (5) if there is no living “kindred” of the decedent, then a bequest to a step child is protected from the claims of creditors. Also, the homestead is entitled to protection even if there are living “kindred” of the decedent who did not received the homestead as a result of the decedent’s death.

For any questions regarding Florida’s homestead laws, please contact us!



Planning for Individuals and Married Couples Whose Estate Exceeds the Applicable Exclusion Amount

posted by veropa

June 27, 2013– Planning for individuals whose estates exceed $5,250,000 and couples whose combined estate exceed $10,500,000, will be similar to the planning done before the Act was passed. In particular, these clients should take advantage of annual gifting of the annual exclusion amount, which is $14,000 for 2013; gifts that are eligible for discounts, such as Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT), Grantor Retained Unity Trusts (GRATS), and Family Limited Partnerships (FLPS); and gifts to charity, whether outright or in Charitable Remainder Trusts.

Utilizing the applicable exclusion amount of the first to die by transferring this amount to beneficiaries, other than the spouse, or by creating a Credit Shelter Trust for the spouse, which will not be taxed in the estate of the surviving spouse, will continue to be the back bone of these clients’ estate plan.

Finally, clients in this category should consider asking their parents or other relatives who might be transferring assets to them during lifetime or at death to place these assets in trust for them rather than making an outright gift or bequest so that the assets will not be included in their gross estate. These Generation Skipping Trusts can also provide that the client is the Trustee with principal invasion power, subject to an ascertainable standard, and have the additional advantage of creditor protection.

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