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McBrayer Blogs

Showing 9 posts from October 2015.

Nothing is uncertain like death taxes

There's a saying about death and taxes, the certainty thereof, which has been oft repeated to the point of weariness. While it is true that the imposition of taxes is a certainty, the shape and form of such taxes, especially in an estate planning context, is anything but. Just when one believes the ground to be firm in any particular tax context, the sands begin shifting. The federal estate tax has been just such an example the past several years, and estate plans should account for future uncertainty. More >

Health insurance company UnitedHealth discussing possible merger

In the health care industry, saying competitive and operating efficiently is important for survival, and businesses in this industry need to continually seek to consolidate resources to ensure they are operating in as streamlined a fashion as possible. One of the tools that is sometimes used in this effort is mergers and acquisitions. When companies combine resources and markets in a well-planned merger, they can help to ensure greater success. More >

Law Firm Management: Principles Should Determine Our Methods

Much ink has been spilled over the various alleged evils attributed to the legal profession. One such evil is the adequacy of the methods by which lawyers do business. There seems to be continual debate over every single facet of the law practice, from client billing methods to the working conditions of attorneys in firms. This focus on only the methods by which we do business is a bottom-up approach, centered on technique and form over substance. Such an approach ignores and therefore fails focus on the values the firm has chosen to embody. More >

Tax evasion vs. tax planning/avoidance: knowing the difference is important

Last time, we began speaking about recent recommendations made by an international organization regarding tax avoidance which will reportedly make it harder for businesses to take advantage of tax law. As we noted, the recommendations raise the important question of the distinction between tax avoidance and tax planning. More >

FASB Updates Materiality Guidance

The Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") recently issued both a proposed Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") and a proposed concepts statement that address the issue of materiality in financial reporting. These proposals are part of FASB's disclosure framework project, a systematic effort to create a framework for financial statement disclosures to make them more effective. FASB's latest proposals clarify the definition of materiality and move it from the accounting realm into the legal one. More >

International organization addresses issue of tax avoidance

At the beginning of the week, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development—an international organization founded to advise industrial nations on economic policy—proposed a plan to address what has become an important international issue: tax avoidance. The OECD, in response to a request to look at the tax rules international companies use to navigate tax planning, came up with recommendations which are supposed to address concerns about tax avoidance.  More >

Responding to challenges in the merger review process, P.2

In our last post, we began speaking about the merger review process and the potential challenges that can come up for companies. One particularly aspect of the review process that can be a sticking point is the period after the preliminary review of a premerger filing, when the reviewing agency (either the Federal Trade Commission or the Department of Justice, as the case may be) could either terminate the waiting period early, allow it to expire on its own, or make a Request For Additional Information. More >

Preserving Assets in a Will Contest

There may come a time when one finds it necessary to contest a will, and there can be legitimate reasons for doing so. This course of action is likely to cause emotions to run high, and it could be likely that a beneficiary under the will at issue may, upon receipt of estate assets, choose to sell, gift, convert or otherwise dispose of those assets, even during the pendency of the will contest. It becomes paramount for the contesting party, then, to preserve those assets for the duration of the litigation, if only to ensure that the estate remains intact by the end of the action. The mechanism for preserving the estate is not unique to estate administration and probate, but rather a simple and effective equitable remedy, injunctive relief. Injunctive relief effectively freezes the status quo and prevents depletion of the estate assets until all claims are settled. More >

Responding to challenges in the merger review process, P.1

When two companies propose a merger, there are a lot of things that need to fall into place to make the deal successful. Aside from the business, financial and logistical aspects of the merger, there are various legal issues that must be addressed. This includes submitting the merger to the scrutiny of federal regulators. More >

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