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COVID-19 and its Impact on Real Property Appraisals

Nobody really saw it coming.  It was like a tsunami.  Few alive today can say they’ve lived through a pandemic.  Yes, we had heard about it.  We read stories coming from China, Korea, and Italy, but everyone was completely unprepared for this reality.  Shut down?  Everything?  Really?

Small Business Cybersecurity - How to Get Started

I was recently a panelist for a webinar on Cybersecurity and Fraud Vulnerability during COVID-19. Many audience members owned or worked for small businesses, and were overwhelmed by the scope and scale of the risks the panel discussed. They didn’t know where to even start the process of addressing such risks. They wondered how a small business should approach the management and mitigation of cybersecurity and fraud risks without the sophisticated systems and financial means of larger companies.

As Bob Dylan put it, The Times They are a-Changin’

Dylan’s iconic song was an anthem for social and political change, a call for people to realize change will happen, no matter what. More than 45 years later, the lyrics are still relevant, especially in the estate and gift tax universe. That means individuals and business owners must be sure to update their estate planning arrangements to take advantage of current conditions. There have been a number of important developments that should be considered to design an estate or gifting plan that best suits individual needs.

U.S. House Approved Legislation

The U.S. House approved legislation Thursday, May 28, 2020, making it easier for small businesses and other recipients of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding to qualify for forgiveness of the loans.

Inflation-adjusted HSA Figures for 2021

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) allow eligible individuals to make deductible contributions that can be withdrawn tax-free for reimbursement of eligible medical expenses.

For 2021, the limitation on HSA deductions is $3,600 (up from $3,550 for 2020) for an individual with self-only coverage under a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) or $7,200 (up from $7,100 for 2020) for family coverage.

An HDHP is defined as a health plan with:

20 Questions to ask instead of "how are you doing right now?"

My friend Joe Duffy (Award-Winning author of “Being a Supervisor 1.0: A Handbook for the New, Aspiring, and Experienced Supervisor”) recently sent me an article published by Elizabeth Weingarten for Ideas 42.  When I read it, I was reminded how often I start a conversation these days with the typical question, “How are you?” - to which I receive the usual response -  “I’m fine. How are you?”

Ownership Transfer

Owners of privately held companies are wise to document in an agreement the terms of any potential transfer of ownership, should a triggering event occur.  When a new company is formed, the founders rarely think about what could happen in 5 to 10 to 50 years.  Initially, everyone trusts everyone, and, of course, everyone will live forever.  Why should founders even think about a transfer of ownership?  All current members are in it for the long haul!

Paycheck Protection Program Fraud

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), established by the CARES Act, is a Small Business Association (“SBA”) loan intended to help businesses with 500 or fewer employees keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis. Congress initially allocated $349 billion to the program in the first stimulus package, and added an additional $310 billion in April.

COVID-19, Economic Obsolescence and Your Assets’ Value

When appraising an asset, there are three types of depreciation to be considered, physical depreciation, functional obsolescence, and economic (external) obsolescence.

Physical depreciation is exactly what it sounds like. It is a decrease in property value due to physical wear and tear, deterioration, exposure to various elements, physical stress, the passage of time, and similar factors. Depending on the cost to cure, physical depreciation can be curable or incurable. Normally, physical deterioration is considered first.