Gibson Law Group - June 2018

DIVING DOWN

WITH GLG

JUNE 2018

GIBSONLAWGROUP.COM

(817) 769-4044

COMPETITION I N T H E C O U R T R O O M

Why I Love Fighting for My Clients

B efore the idea of becoming a lawyer had even popped into my mind, I was a fierce competitor on the field of my high school football team. Since I was little, I’ve lived for the thrill of competition — doing everything for my team in order to come out on top. Of course, as I learned when I began practicing law more than 10 years ago, the stakes in the courtroom are a lot higher than they are on the gridiron. Now, it’s not just a state championship trophy on the line, but the well- being of regular folks looking to succeed in their businesses and lives. I relish the opportunity to duke it out for the people I represent, using my considerable experience and ability to achieve the positive outcome I truly believe they deserve. Even before I went off to law school, I knew I wanted to be on the front lines of the law, bringing the battle to the courtroom. I didn’t want to fuss around with arcane motions or labyrinthine processes that judges and juries will never care about. In school, I learned the subtle distinction between attorneys that call themselves “litigators” and those that call themselves “trial attorneys.” The joke goes, as South Dakota Circuit Judge Cheryle Gering was quoted saying last year, “A litigator drinks wine and takes depositions. A trial lawyer drinks whiskey and tries cases.” I never wanted to be someone that couldn’t see the forest for the trees. I’d rather be in the trenches right alongside my client, getting things done. Luckily, when I first met David Gibson, after deciding I needed a change from my previous firm, I discovered he had the same philosophy. He may have gone to Cornell, but he’s one of the only Ivy League attorneys I’ve ever met with a pile of common sense to go along with his prestigious degree. For him and the entire rest of his team, it’s about getting results for the people we serve above all else. We’re

not a firm steeped in office politics and petty drama; we collaborate whenever possible to drive success, the interests of our clients constantly at the forefront of our minds. I’ve taken on my share of hard cases throughout my career, but no matter the circumstance, my focus is always first and foremost on the people I’m representing. As long as I believe in my client

and whatever obstacle they’ve been faced with, I check everything else at the door as soon as I enter the firm. I don’t care if they’re Republican, Democrat, gay, straight, black, white, brown, or anything else. If my clients come to me with a legitimate concern, they can depend on me to deploy the entirety of the resources and expertise at my disposal to do the best job I can. I may have been competitive on the football field back in the day, but that was only practice. The real competition comes when I’m in the courtroom, standing up for those who need it most.

–J.D. Milks

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ARE FRONT COMPANIES STILL BUSINESSES?

without too many questions about where the money came from or how much went through their operation. Racketeers could take funds obtained from criminal ventures, send them to Vegas, and claim them as house winnings. BARS Building a strong customer base is one of the toughest parts of any successful business. Well, when you can create customers out of thin air, you eliminate that variable. Before bars began to be regulated, this is precisely what made them ideal front companies. Bar owners could create invoices for patrons who never existed and use the cash from their hidden illegitimate practice to make these patrons appear real. SHELL CORPORATIONS The constant upkeep of a brick-and- mortar location can be a huge expense for any owner. But if your business only exists on paper, you don’t have to deal with any of those

Running a business is hard, but you know what’s even harder? Running a fake business. Front companies have been around since the early 1900s and have been steadily increasing in recent years. A front company is a business that presents itself as one entity but operates as another. They are usually set up by an organization with the intent of disguising an ulterior motive. In some cases, this is for good reasons. The CIA sets up front companies to give their agents legitimate backstories. In other cases, front companies are created to protect criminal organizations. Here are some of the latter. CASINOS Most businesses never get off the ground because they can’t find startup capital. You need these funds to pay employees, purchase operating space, and provide your service. In the case of the early days of Las Vegas, limited oversight and regulation allowed businesses to operate like the Wild West. Mafias could build casinos

CHANGES TO PARTNERSHIP

• An underpayment that results from a failure of a Partner to conform to the partnership reporting of an item is treated as a math error on the Partner’s return and cannot be abated. The underpayment may be subject to additions to tax. • The Partnership and the Partners are bound by all actions taken by the Partnership Representative. Partners have no rights to participate in the partnership proceeding. AUDIT RULES THAT MAY AFFECT YOU We recommend the Partnership consider adding a provision to its Partnership agreement if it wants to require Partners (current/ former) to cooperate by providing information or if Partners want to participate/have a voice in the proceedings. If The Gibson Law Group drafted your Partnership or LLC agreement, please contact us to discuss these changes. If you have any questions regarding the new IRS audit rules, please contact David Gibson at (817) 769-4044 or David.gibson@gibsonlawgroup.com.

The new Centralized Partnership Audit regime is now in effect for partnerships, including limited liability companies (LLCs) and family partnerships that are treated as partnerships for tax purposes. The new regime was enacted by the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) and applies to all partnerships for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Partners should review their current Partnership Agreement with their attorney to address the following changes. Revisions will likely need to be made to the Partnership or Operating Agreement. • The BBA requires that each Partnership designate a “Partnership Representative” who does not need to be a Partner but has the sole authority to act on behalf of the Partnership and to bind the Partnership and its Partners. This is an annual designation. The Partnership Representative replaces the “tax matters Partner” under the old rules but without the attendant protections for Partners. • There is no longer a requirement to give Partners notice of any audit commencement, negotiations, etc. All information is conducted through the Partnership Representative.

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GIBSONLAWGROUP.COM

(817) 769-4044

TAKE A SUMMER VACATION FROM OVERSTIMULATION

complications. This is one reason shell corporations make great front companies. Shell companies aren’t illegal by any means, but they can be used in illegal ways. Many criminal organizations use them to hide money from investigators or to make illegal profits seem legal. Operating a front company is hard because there is no shortcut to success. Truly successful companies achieve their missions through vision and values, not fronts. Integrity makes people resonate with a brand, and that’s one thing you can’t fake.

SUDOKU THE ADVANTAGES OF A MEDIA DETOX

Everyone deserves a summer vacation. The problem is that in our interconnected world, you could travel to Tahiti and still feel like you’re tethered to your desk. That’s because it’s not hard to inundate yourself with every little bit of work-related minutia even when you’re supposedly on vacation. While constant connectivity is a boon for many aspects of our lives, it can put a damper on your break in a hurry. It’s hard to enjoy your time away if you’re constantly being reminded of what’s going on at home or the office. If you can’t help but check your updates constantly, you should consider a media detox while on vacation. A detox doesn’t require you to unsubscribe from social media services or unplug your TV forever. Instead, think of it as a vacation from the overstimulation so many of us experience. Ask yourself which aspects of your media diet are causing more stress than they’re worth, and take a break from them for a little while. If you’re not mindful of your media consumption and participation, it tends to pile up. When you detox, it’s a lot easier to identify which parts of your media diet are essential and which are only a burden. Who knows? You may return from your vacation and realize that you enjoy cutting back on some of those device-centric activities. Of course, the benefits are even greater when you’re on vacation. Because most of us consume media in small chunks throughout the day, it’s easy to overlook how much that time adds up. All those hours you spend on Facebook could be used to, you know, enjoy your time away doing fun activities or relaxing. Unless you have an unlimited supply of vacation time (and who does?), you should be selective in the way you spend it. Remember, media isn’t the cause of all your problems. Used mindfully, it can actually increase happiness and satisfaction. The problem is that we are so mired in the media muck that we can’t get a perspective on how much is too much. Your summer vacation is the perfect time to take a break.

THE ANSWER ( )

TAKE A BREAK

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(817) 769-4044

1550 NORWOOD DR., STE. 402, HURST, TEXAS 76054

GIBSONLAWGROUP.COM 1304 W. WALNUT HILL LN. STE. 212 IRVING, TX 75038 (817) 769-4044

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(817) 554-1778

INSIDE Senior Attorney J.D. Milks on His Competitive Spirit Even a Front Company Needs a Business Plan Changes to Partnership Audit Rules That May Affect You

Unplug and Start Livin’

Take a Break!

Cut Down on Flight Costs With This Simple Rule

THE BEST TIME TO BOOK A FLIGHT

Save Big on Airfare With This Simple Rule

According to the CheapAir.com study, in which they evaluated 921 million airfares, the best time to book is 21–105 days in advance of your flight, on average. If you want to get even more specific, try to book 55– 75 days out, and book on a Sunday. Many travelers swear by Tuesday and Wednesday bookings, but as Condé Nast Traveler reports, Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corporation say that Sunday is the way to go, based on data from billions of flights. Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the cheapest days to actually fly, though. The CheapAir.com study also pinpoints the absolute best windows for specific seasons: 54 days for winter trips, 75 days for spring, 76 days for summer, and 45 days for fall. Of course, these are averages, but if you stick to these rules and check fares regularly on sites like Kayak.com, SkyScanner.com, Momondo.com, and on the handy app Hopper, you can rest easy knowing you’re getting close to the best price possible.

In case you haven’t noticed, traveling is expensive. It can feel like you’re signing away your soul when you sit down to plan a vacation. But when it comes to flights, there’s good news: They’re getting cheaper! According to a 2017 report published by online travel company ODIGEO, long-distance trips across Europe fell 7 percent last year. Luckily, the same trend is reflected in North American airlines as they engage in a price war to woo a growing base of ultrafrugal travelers. Still, a $600 summer flight to Honolulu isn’t exactly pocket change. What’s worse, flight prices are slippery; CheapAir.com’s 2017 Annual Airfare Study determined that the fares for any given trip go up or down an average of 71 times, about $33 each shift. When you purchase your flight is nearly as important as where you’re going. But how do you choose a booking window that will maximize your savings?

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