Joseph Kohler To Receive The 2013 Columbus Bar Community Service Award

Joseph E. Kohler will be awarded the prestigious 2013 Columbus Bar Community Service Award at the Columbus Bar Foundation’s Annual Meeting on May 16th.  The award recognizes Joe’s contributions to the central Ohio community and his commitment to helping others.  Now of counsel with Kohler & Smith Co., LPA, Joe founded Kohler & Smith Co., LPA in 1976 with a passion for client service.  Congratulations, Joe!

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So You’ve Filed Your 2012 Taxes . . .

What should you do with the copies of your returns and the supporting tax documentation once you have filed your taxes?  Generally, the government has three years from the due date of the return, or any extension, to audit your returns and assess additional taxes.  Therefore, at an absolute minimum, you should retain all filed forms, schedules, and supporting documentation for at least that long.  While there is no limitation on the government auditing a return that was fraudulently prepared, the three year look-back period provides a time frame for the vast majority of filers.

Many taxpayers keep their tax records forever.  While this may be beneficial for your own edification, there typically is no tax related reason requiring you to maintain those records for more than the look-back period.  However, some important documents and supporting materials that are important to keep are documents related to your investments (i.e., purchase price, reinvested dividends, splits, etc.) and settlement statements for real estate.  Any document related to a capital asset that you have not yet disposed of may be needed to determine gain or loss in the future.

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Ohio’s New Domestic Asset Protection Trust Statute

In December of 2012, Ohio governor John Kasich signed into law The Ohio Legacy Trust Act that becomes effective March of 2013.  Ohio now joins a minority of states allowing for such trusts.  While these domestic asset protection trusts cannot be used to avoid child support or alimony payments, the trusts may be used as an asset protection tool for debtors to avoid the attacks of other creditors thereby protecting his or her family’s assets.  Along with the passage and implementation of The Ohio Legacy Trust Act, Ohio has increased its homestead exemption to $125,000 providing even further asset protection.

With these new statutes in place, Ohio now becomes one of the leading asset protection states.  The domestic asset protection trust provides another estate planning tool that could prove to be invaluable for your family’s estate plan.  Call (614) 888-4911 today to talk to an attorney to discuss how these new statutes may benefit your family.

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IRS Releases 2013 Contribution Limits

The IRS has raised the contribution limits for most 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and 457 plans to $17,500 for 2013, up from $17,000 in 2012.  Further, employees who are over 50 can contribute an additional $5,500 as a catch-up contribution to their tax-deferred plan.

Also, the annual gift tax exclusion has been increased from $13,000 in 2012 to $14,000 in 2013.  This gift tax exclusion applies per donee.

The IRS tax laws and regulations are constantly changing.  Make sure that you and your family are continuing to maximize the various deductions, credits, and programs available by contacting Kohler & Smith Co., LPA today at (614) 888-4911.

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Charging Orders and a Settling of Ohio LLC Law

On May 4, 2012, Ohio enacted several new provisions relative to its limited liability company law (including R.C. 1705.18). One of the main reasons for creating a limited liability company (“LLC”) is to separate and distinguish the assets and liabilities of the business and the assets and liabilities of the individual owners (called “members”) of the company.  One concern that arises is what a creditor of an individual member can do to force the company to satisfy the debts of that individual member.  This can result in an otherwise profitable business being forced to absorb or pay for a member’s personal debt to avoid possible liquidation, dissolution, sale of company assets, or other legal remedies to satisfy that member’s individual debt.

However, Ohio’s law now expressly provides that a “charging order” is the sole and exclusive remedy of a creditor of a member against that member’s interest in an LLC. This means that a creditor only has the right to a member’s share of distributions from the LLC if, and when, such distributions are made by the LLC.  Previously, Ohio law was unclear and unsettled concerning a creditor’s rights and was thought to perhaps include, in addition to a charging order, seizure, execution, garnishment, or foreclosure on the member’s interest.  Thus, with the enactment of the new law, a creditor may not foreclose on the member’s interest or seize LLC assets.

Due to the recent change in the law, Ohio now is considered a favorable asset protection state, similar to Nevada, Delaware, Alaska, Wyoming, and other popular domestic asset protection states.  Accordingly, it is important for every business owner to ensure that he/she explore utilizing an LLC, whether through a new formation or conversion from a corporation or other entity.  It is equally important to ensure that an existing LLC was created properly and is adhering to prudent formalities to maintain the limited liability protection and charging order limitation under Ohio law.

Please contact the attorneys at Kohler & Smith with any questions or concerns.

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Who Owns The Space Above (Or Below) Your House?

Ever wonder how much space above or below your house is yours as a land owner?  Check out this interesting article to find out more.

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Two Small Business Tax Credits for Tax Year 2012

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is continuing to promote two small business tax credits that are available to certain businesses that satisfy the programs’ criteria.  The first credit is an expanded credit for hiring veterans and the second credit is aimed at encouraging small business owners to offer health insurance coverage to employees.

The expanded Work Opportunity Tax Credit could provide for-profit businesses up to $9,600 per veteran and up to $6,240 for tax-exempt organizations that hire veterans.  While the maximum credit is awarded to employers who hire veterans with a service related disability, some level of credit is available to all employers who meet the program’s criteria.

The insurance related credit is available to small business owners that pay at least half of the premiums for employee health insurance coverage.  This credit is aimed at employers that hire small to moderate income workers.  For tax years 2010 through 2013, the maximum credit is 35% of premiums paid and the maximum credit is increasing to 50% in 2014.

Tax laws change frequently and there are many programs, deductions, and credits that individuals and businesses may be eligible to receive.  Call the attorneys at Kohler & Smith Co., LPA today to see if you or your business can take advantage of any of these items.

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