Buying or selling a business is a complicated transaction with many tax, legal and financial variables to consider. Although the sale or purchase of a business should never be compelled by tax considerations alone, taxes can have a substantial impact. Questions such as, what are the goals of the buyer and the seller, how should the transaction be structured, what types of entities are involved, should all be well thought out.
Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular both as a means for transportation and as a way to earn extra money. In June Garrett Camp, co-founder of Uber, estimated that there were 2 million Uber drivers providing rides to 65 million riders across the globe. The United States is one of the biggest markets for ridesharing, gaining a foothold several years ago in larger cities and eventually finding its way to small-medium metropolitan areas. In San Francisco alone there are 45,000 registered Uber and Lyft drivers, 12-percent of whom are active on a regular basis. These drivers account for 20-percent of the city’s traffic (about 570,000 average miles driven per day), leaving the area’s 1,800 licensed taxi drivers in the dust.
Many businesses have long-term assets on their balance sheets. For an asset to be considered long-term it needs to be held on a company’s balance sheet for more than a year and cannot be intended for sale. Examples of long-term assets include physical assets such as property, plant and equipment (PP&E) – machines, buildings, office equipment, vehicles, fixtures, land, computers, etc. These are all tangible assets. However, there are some intangible assets that are considered long-term such as goodwill, patents, research and development, and copyrights.
Taxes and New York State. When the two are said in the same sentence it usually met with “gasps” and “eye rolls” that can be heard and seen miles away. It is no secret that New York State has high taxes, with some suburbs outside of New York City paying the highest income taxes in the nation. This often leads to relocation of businesses and individuals. One review by Gannett found that New York has the “highest out-migration rate of residents in the nation." This all leads to the implementation of programs to help individuals and businesses such as Start-Up NY, and the Excelsior Jobs Program.
Divorce is difficult. Dividing assets and wealth throughout the process is often complicated and fraught with emotion. However, from a tax and financial perspective, planning opportunities exist when both parties are invested in everyone’s best interest. When we are dealing with situations of divorce, we use our expertise to make sure our clients understand that different assets have different tax liabilities, and we make sure they understand how certain assets of theirs will be taxed. In situations where there are significant assets, deciding who should get what can be a challenge, even in the most agreeable situations.