Law Offices of Givner & Kaye Newsletter | November Issue 


         For the past 37 years I have been privileged to provide tax advice to individuals and closely-held businesses in the metropolitan Los Angeles area, usually working closely with their CPAs and lawyers.  This firm has rock solid continuity: both our corporate and probate paralegals have been with me for three decades, and the two senior lawyers have been with me for a combined total of over four decades. 


          The purpose of this newsletter is to provide additional guidance, on a monthly basis, of a type that you are not likely to find elsewhere. We hope you enjoy the information and advice contained in this newsletter, and we encourage you to contact us if you have suggestions for what you would like to see in future mailings.

          Also, if you haven't already, we invite you to follow us on social media using the buttons to the right of this introduction. That way you can stay informed of all of our latest news, updates, advice, seminars, videos, pictures, and more! 

           Best Regards,

           The Law Offices of Givner & Kaye

Featured Article: Taxation of Damages
        There are sixteen million lawsuits filed in this country every year.  Are the damages that you receive taxable income?  The answer is almost always "yes."  If you get compensated for lost profits, then the damages are taxable the same as the profits would have been.  If you get compensated for lost wages, the damages you receive are taxable in the same way and you will usually receive a W-2. 
          There are exceptions, the biggest of which is a payment for a personal physical injury.  That is free of income tax.  However, the IRS will fight hard against a claim that money you receive is for a personal physical injury.  Damages for emotional distress are taxed unless they are triggered by a physical injury. 
          The biggest shock relates to legal fees.  What if you receive $1,000,000 and the lawyer gets paid 40% on a contingency?  If you are in a combined 50% state and federal income tax bracket, as you are likely to be in California, you will end up with $1,000,000 minus $500,000 in tax minus $400,000 in legal fees = $100,000.  In other words, you will be the third largest beneficiary of the lawsuit behind the government and your lawyer.  That will not be the case if the legal fees relate to some types of discrimination.
          Conclusion: if you are involved in a lawsuit, talk to a tax lawyer as soon as the lawsuit is filed.  If you wait until the settlement has been signed, you are likely to be in for a large, unpleasant surprise. 

         Check out my article on taxation of damages from Accounting Today, or visit our website for more information on how Givner & Kaye can help you.

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Here's a photo from a recent Thursday Insights Seminar with Craig Boyd Garner, Esq. called "Health Care Reform Goes Live: The Affordable Care Act in Fiscal Year 2014".

Bruce Givner
In This Issue
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Tax Tip of the Month
If you have a business or a lot of real estate, talk to us about a captive insurance company.  A deduction of $100,000 to $1,200,000 is possible.

Contact Us Today!

Single Malt Year End Tax Planning

Dec. 6, 2:30-4pm

Come in and get your end-of-the-year tax planning questions answered by Bruce and Owen while sampling the finest single malt Scotches in the world.
Call (310) 207-8008 or email to reserve your shot glass today!

Check out our two latest published articles:

"Death is Not the Only Capital Gains Loophole" in the L.A. Daily Journal

"Doing Well By Doing Good With Year-End Tax Planning" in Accounting Today

Attorney Spotlight: Bruce Givner
Bruce Givner's moment as Forrest Gump.  I was tangentially involved in the two presidential scandals of the last 40 years.   
For the Watergate scandal that resulted in President Nixon's resignation, I was the last person legally inside the 6th floor offices of the DNC the night of the break-in.  I walked across the street to Howard Johnsons with Frank Wills who then went back to the hotel and discovered the tape on the door that resulted in the arrest of the burglars.  Later there was an article about Frank in the New York Times Sunday Magazine entitled "Footnote To History: Frank Wills".  There was one footnote in the article about a "mystery man" who walked across the street with him "whose identity has never been discovered."  I was furious and wrote a scathing letter to the Times that I had been interviewed by the FBI, Secret Service, Washington Police, Fred Thompson (counsel to the Republicans), etc.  They printed my letter.  One of my professors at Columbia Law was aware of it and the Columbia Law Observer ran an article entitled "But For Him, Nixon Might Still Be President."  The author of an article from Harpers Magazine viewed me as a "control" and from where I was decided that McCord was a double agent.  I have glanced at a few books on Watergate over the years and I am mentioned in perhaps 3 of them.

Then, in about 1982, as a young tax lawyer, I represented a well-known radiation therapist when a young radiation therapist joined his group.  Sixteen years later I was being called by press outfits around the country to comment on the skills of my by then former partner Bill Ginsburg who represented that radiation therapist - Monica Lewinsky - for a couple of months.  Bill just died about 6 months ago but, as you know, he became famous for the "Full Ginsburg."  If you Google "Bill Ginsburg Bruce Givner" you'll see items from the Washington Post, NY Times and U.S. News and World Report.
For over three decades, our experienced Los Angeles estate planning, asset protection and expert tax attorneys have met each client's unique planning needs by collaborating with our longtime partners - attorneys, accountants, business managers, financial planners, stockbrokers and insurance professionals. Contact Givner & Kaye today!

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12100 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 445
Los Angeles, CA 90025

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