32A — December 21, 2012 - January 10, 2013 — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


M id A tlantic R eal E state J ournal

IVINGSTON, NJ — Ken Uranowitz has been named president 37-year multi-family brokerage professional carries on tenets of firm’s founders Gebroe-Hammer Associates names Ken Uranowitz president L

expenses. Certain states also provide tax benefits to givers. 6. Write next semester’s tu- ition checks before year end. TheAmerican Opportunity Tax Credit or the Lifetime Learning higher-education tax credit al- lows you to claim a 2012 credit based on prepaying tuition for academic periods that begin in January through March of next year if your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for 2012 quali- fies. Prepaying next semester’s tuition may result in a bigger credit for you on this year’s Form 1040. If your 2012 AGI is too high to be eligible for the Lifetime Learning credit, you might still qualify to deduct up to $2,000 or $4,000 of college tuition costs. 7. Prepay state taxes. Figure out approximately how much in state taxes you will owe in April of 2013. If you pay them in December 2012 you can deduct them on your 2012 federal tax return. You do not want to do this if the deductions move you into the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) bracket. Deductions for state and local income, sales and property taxes are disal- lowed by the AMT and may be further reduced next year, even if Congress reinstates the expired sales-tax deduction for 2012. 8. If you are thinking about selling appreciated stock in the next few years, youmay want to do so by the end of this year so you can pay the lower tax on the gain. You can repurchase the shares and sell them later. But a note of caution here — selling long-term holdings can shrink overall invested capital and af- fect future wealth. Work closely with your advisor to evaluate was hired as a sales associate by Morris Hammer, following a lengthy appeal by his watch- maker/jeweler father, whose business was across the street from Gebroe-Hammer’s offices. Although there was much hesi- tation on Hammer’s part to hire someone so young, he recog- nized Uranowitz’s potential and assigned him to a sales territory that primarily focused on Essex County and the Oranges. “Like everyone who starts out in this business, I had to ‘pay my dues’ in the begin- ning,” said Uranowitz, who has served, during his tenure at the firm, as VP, senior VP and

full deduction while skipping capital-gains tax on the asset’s growth. Cash donations to charities are often deductible up to 50% of adjusted gross income, while the limit for gifts of other assets is often 30% (disallowed portions typically carry over to future years). A note about donating IRA as- sets to charity: Since 2006, IRA owners 70½ and older had been able to give up to $100,000 of the required payout directly to a charity, with no deduction, but no taxable income either. This provision expired at the beginning of 2012 and has not yet been reinstated. 3. Gift up to $13,000 to rela- tives or friends. Such gifts are tax-free and there is no limit to the number of recipients as long as the value of each gift doesn’t exceed $13,000. Cash is often the best gift, as presents of assets such as stock carry their “cost basis” with them. It’s also possible to forgive $13,000 of a loan instead and payments of tuition and medical expenses are tax-free as well, but the giver must write the check to the provider. 4. Make an extra mortgage payment, or pay down princi- pal. Taxpayers typically can- not accelerate more than one month of mortgage interest, but that may be a help if the mortgage-interest deduction will be curbed next year. You can also pay down principal with cash which reduces overall interest. 5. Contribute to 529 educa- tion savings accounts. Assets in these accounts enjoy tax-free growth, and withdrawals from them are tax-free when used for tuition and other qualified “Ken Uranowitz embodies the tenets of our iconic found- ers, who wisely entrusted him to carry forth their vision for continued growth and success in the ever-evolving commer- cial real estate market,” said Gebroe. “In addition to his extraordinary deal-making achievements that span almost four decades, Ken has become a well-respected mentor whose dedication to imparting Mel Gebroe and Morris Hammer’s teachings upon the next gen- eration of investment brokerage professionals is unrivaled in the industry.” At the age of 20, Uranowitz

see IRS Publication 502. 12. Set up a health savings account for 2012. Qualified taxpayers can make 2012 con- tributions to HSAs as late as April 15, 2013, but the account has to exist by year end. 13. Use up any funds in a medical flex-spending account because they don’t carry over (although some employers will allow workers to spend 2012 funds in the first weeks of 2013). Next year, the contribu- tion limit will be $2,500 which is less than some employers currently allow. 14. Maximize your contribu- tions to employer-sponsored retirement plans. Unlike IRAs, the deadline for 401(k) contribu- tions is December 31. This year, the employee limit is $17,000, or $22,500 for workers 50 or older. This pretax contribution has two benefits: It bolsters savings and reduces adjusted gross income that might qualify the taxpayer for benefits that phase out at higher incomes. 15. For certain individuals, it may be worthwhile to consider converting partial or all funds in traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs, which could reduce the individual’s future modified adjusted gross income and re- duce exposure to both higher ordinary tax rates and the 3.8% Medicare surtax. Thorough year-end tax plan- ning is especially important in light of the fiscal uncertainty. Be sure to call your advisor to- day to discuss the options that would be best for you. Alexander Narcise, CPA is a partner with Wiss & Co., LLP. Greg Price is a manager- with Wiss & Co., LLP. n Under Uranowitz’s guidance, the firm recently closed out a record-setting 3Q12 with 30 multi-family deals totaling 1,400 units valued at more than $100 million. In one four-week timeframe alone, Gebroe-Ham- mer closed 13 deals represent- ing 724 units, which sold for in excess of $54 million. n markets, including NY; PA, including Philadelphia; and throughout the Northeast. Wearing multiple “hats,” he oversees a team of 24 brokerage professionals and support staff while remaining hands-on and extremely active on the sales- front.

the right options for you. 9. Dividend income is cur- rently taxed like long-term capital gains but as of Jan 1, 2013, qualified dividends will be taxed at the applicable or- dinary income tax rates (with the highest rate scheduled to be 39.6% after 2012). One potential strategy is for inves- tors to think about switching from dividend-paying stocks to growth stocks since growth stocks have the potential to rise in value and typically do not pay dividends. Investors then do not have to pay taxes until they sell the stock. 10. Properly evaluate your capital losses. Investment loss- es can offset investment gains plus up to $3,000 of ordinary income, both for single and joint filers. Note that “wash sale” rules penalize buyers who acquire the same asset within 30 days of selling at a loss. 11. Accelerate anticipated medical expenses: Starting in 2013, the health care law increases the threshold for deducting medical from ex- penses that exceed 7.5% of income (10% for AMT payers) to 10% for everyone except those 65 and over (their rate will remain 7.5%). This means that taxpayers who have been thinking about large medical expenditures such as braces or Lasik eye surgery may want to consider doing them this year in order to increase your chanc- es of meeting the deduction threshold. Note that the IRS’s list of what’s deductible is far broader than what insurance typically reimburses, extend- ing to contact-lens solution, assisted-living costs and even special education. For details, For the past 37 years, Ura- nowitz has consistently set new industry records for sales and the number of units sold, which total in the billions of dollars and thousands of units. He also has spearheaded Gebroe- Hammer’s rise and dominance within the multi-family invest- ment arena while overseeing the firm’s expansion into new managing director. “Both Mel Gebroe and Morris Hammer were my mentors, teachers and father figures, and I feel it is my duty and honor to carry on their legacy and vision. I look forward to doing so for many, many years to come.”

of Gebroe- H a m m e r Associates , one o f t he region’s dom- i nant c om- mercial real es tat e bro - kerage firms, a n n o u n c e d

Ken Uranowitz

chairman Alan Gebroe . The 37-year industry veteran has risen through the ranks since being hired by Mel Gebroe and Morris Hammer at the firm’s inception in 1975.

Year-End Tax Planning on the Edge of the Fiscal Cliff . . .

28 million Americans may fall into the AMT bracket. • If not extended, popular tax extenders that expired at the end of 2011 would expire forev- er, including the deduction for premium mortgage insurance for itemized filers, the provision for tax-free IRA withdrawals for charitable contributions for those over age 70½, business tax credits for research and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for businesses. In addition, 2013 marks the debut of new Medicare taxes enacted as part of President Obama’s health-care initiative. These taxes will strike high- income households and include a 3.8% flat levy on net invest- ment income that falls above $200,000 for single filers and $250,000 for joint filers, and a 0.9% tax on wages above those thresholds. This is in addition to the 1.45% that workers pay toward Medicare on all wages. How can individual taxpayers prepare? 15 things to consider with your advisor. When meeting with your advisor to discuss year-end tax planning, here are some items you should be evaluating: 1. In the past, postponing income until the next year and accelerating deductions in the current year was a good strategy for certain individu- als. However, with tax rates possibly heading up in 2013, the opposite strategy might work this year. Work with your advisor to determine which is right for you. 2. Make charitable gifts. The best value often comes from donating appreciated as- sets, because donors can get a continued from page 2A

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