February 13, 2016

Case Studies

Saved Celebrity Family $80,000 in Estate Taxes

After being retained by an A-List Hollywood Celebrity to handle certain complex IRS tax matters, an unexpected estate tax issue arose related to valuation of a large, non-mainstream type of asset.

A team including the most prominent business managers, estate and tax lawyers, accountants, ‎bookkeepers, and valuation experts worked on this estate, and I continued to raise an issue that was bothering me…the aforementioned asset was being valued at a much higher amount than I thought was appropriate.

The reason given by the celebrity’s veteran team of experts was that “we don’t want to trigger an IRS audit of the estate.” I found their concern to be almost comical.  Of course I too would not want to trigger an IRS audit; however the reason for my strong assertion regarding the inflated valuation of this asset ‎was that it simply was being valued much too high thereby costing the estate close to $100,000 in extra estate taxes due.

Finally, at the last minute, just before the estate tax return was filed, this illustrious team of professionals acquiesced and agreed with me.

The result was my unilaterally saving the estate’s heirs approximately $80,000 in estate taxes.

I received an email from the celebrity (who I never even met) thanking me for my outstanding service, and then I was told by her personal manager that she wanted me to review the estate tax return prepared by the family’s accounting firm, further validating her sincere appreciation and wholehearted trust in my tax expertise and the excellent results I achieved for her and her family.

AT&T Divestiture (Anti-Trust)

Worked with Chief Engineering Officer and his team of over 50 engineers in developing systems protocols for inter company billing for AT&T long lines (“Long Distance”) and Bell Operating Companies (“Local”).

Worked closely with management and was lead accounting architect for billing systems which are still being used today.

Received highest commendation from the office of the CEO and my accounting firm’s leaders.

This took place while I was working for the largest accounting firm in the world.

Commodities & Future Broker/Dealer

Not everyone hires me, only smart people do.

Case in point, the president of a commodities & futures broker/dealer was referred to me to consult as a forensic accountant on an ongoing legal case.

The issue was whether the account management fees and commissions being paid to a specific individual were legal in substance and form.

My extensive research uncovered that the current payment structure was in violation of regulatory rules and regulations. However, with a minor change in this process all would be appropriate, legal and avoid any potential regulatory problems.

The owner informed me that his team of attorneys and accountants had everything under control.

The end result is that he was found guilty and permanently barred from the securities industry.

If he had hired me and followed my recommendations, he would be still be in business.

IRS Estate Tax Audit

A wealthy electronics entrepreneur and thoroughbred horse owner was referred to me several years ago by a prominent Palm Beach attorney regarding his deceased sister’s ongoing estate tax audit.

As executor of the estate he had his lifelong team of attorneys and accountants handling his relatively complex financial affairs including this IRS audit.

He was advised by his experts that the IRS audit should be settled and agreed to by paying the proposed tax increase of $240,000. They indicated emphatically to him that there was nothing further that they could do for him… he should just agree, settle and pay what’s due.

After I got involved and painstakingly reevaluated the situation, I was able to protest the proposed $240,000 settlement and had it reduced by $60,000.

This took assertively challenging the assigned IRS agent’s methodology (he was a credentialed CPA & attorney) and going over his head to IRS management to plead my case which they agreed with.

“Livesaver” to Mid-Western Family

A few years ago a well-known commercial debt workout specialist referred a tax-burdened family to me that needed urgent assistance with their back IRS and Illinois tax delinquencies.

After they initially decided not to hire me and went elsewhere for assistance with their problem, 18 months later they returned to me asking again for my assistance.

The case had “snowballed” out of control under the responsibility of their prior professional, and I quickly prevented levies and garnishments of their retirement funds, bank accounts, wages, consulting fees and primary residence.

The end result was instead of paying the IRS $250,000 a down payment and $3,000 a month for 10 years, due to my thoroughly documented case (which the veteran IRS agent indicated was the most clearly documented and best paperwork presentation that she’s ever seen in her twenty year career) we were able to settle for zero dollars and thereby saved $850,000 in IRS taxes, penalties and interest.

Music Mogul Tax Settlements

A Wall Street investment banker referred one of his world famous clients to me, a pioneer in the rock and roll music industry.

Prior to hiring me, this client had used entertainment business managers who managed the most well-known A-list music, TV, and film celebrities.

I got involved after several others had tried repeatedly to solve this extremely complex IRS and multi-state/city tax problem.

After approximately four years of strenuous on and off negotiations with the IRS, we have positioned ourselves to quality for bankrupting the $4 million tax balance due.

The $1 million in state/city tax debts are still being worked on.

Hedge Fund Manager

In the Mid-2000’s when this sophisticated and very successful stock trader initiated thousands of trades in one single security, the computer systems of his brokerage firm (a very well-known Boston-based company) could not handle such a large volume of trades in one single stock.

The result was a meltdown of the trading database with no way to supply him with trading records to calculate his annual gains and prepare the hedge fund’s tax return.

I stepped in and implemented a special proprietary software program, generated a 350 page report, and we were able to calculate the gains to the penny.

I now handle all CFO and tax work for his and his partner’s businesses.

OIC Hardship/Innocent Spouse Exception Relief Approved by Commissioner of Tax Aggressive State

I was able, using my deep rolodex of high-level contacts, to get a large bank account seizure/levy unfrozen and returned my client, the wife of a significant tax debtor.

Her income was minimal in the several years where joint tax returns were erroneously filed, as a result of the bad advice given by her husband’s accountant (who handled their tax filings).

The taxing authority, at it’s highest executive level, agreed with my hardship presentation. The bank account levy was then immediately released.

This is the first time ever that this was approved by this particular state.

Famous Reality TV Star Saves Several Hundred Thousand Dollars In IRS Penalties

I was able to negotiate with an IRS Revenue Officer, an over-the-top aggressive IRS collection agent, who said my case presentation was “beautiful” and that she very rarely agrees to abatements.

In fact, I had her giggling at some of my stress-relieving jokes during our tense interactions.

This case was referred to me by one of the most prominent CPA music tax partners in the country who told me he was terrified to deal with her due to her scare tactics, etc.

Since then I have been referred his business management firm’s most difficult tax cases and have succeeded in winning every one.