Rodman & Rodman’s Kathy Parker Cites Challenges of Tax Incentive Complexities at Massachusetts Solar Summit 2012

(L to R) Massachusetts Solar Summit panelists Craig Huntley, Principal at Solect Energy, a major Massachusetts-based solar developer and Kathy Parker, CPA, MST, Partner at Rodman & Rodman, P.C, and a member of the accounting firm’s “Green Team” Renewable Energy and Cleantech Practice.

“While IRS Section 1603 Tax credits, combined with Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECS), created a boom in the Massachusetts Solar Industry, many solar companies are sitting on an inventory of solar panels and other materials for projects that have not begun construction by the end of the 2011 eligibility period,” Kathy Parker, CPA told a standing room only audience at the 2012 Solar Summit in Marlborough, MA, on June 13, 2012. Parker is a Partner at Rodman & Rodman, P.C, and a member of the accounting firm’s “Green Team” Renewable Energy and Cleantech Practice.

“Although the 1603 tax code provides ‘Safe Harbor’ provisions, qualifying for this protection can be a tricky process” said Parker. “Much of the tax code is vague, and qualification will depend on how materials purchases were accounted for and assigned to specific projects,” explained Parker. “Qualification is often based on subjective decisions by IRS examiners”, noted fellow “Financial Side Panel” member Craig Huntley, Principal at Solect Energy, a major Massachusetts-based solar developer.

Parker went on to explain that as 1603 grants expire and solar projects begin to get larger, financing will become more complicated. Where smaller projects were often financed by individuals and S Corporations with passive income that could take advantage of tax credits, it will become a challenge to find investors with enough of a tax appetite to invest in larger projects. Project and partner structuring to take advantage of tax incentives will become increasingly important, noted Parker.

“Commercial lenders are becoming more comfortable evaluating solar projects as reasonable risks, but as projects get bigger they become more complicated as the number of products and participants grows,” noted David Costello, Senior VP – Commercial Lending at Commerce Bank & Trust Company. “Banks will demand full disclosure on all parties involved in a project,” said Costello.

Panel moderator, Vincent Devito, Partner at law firm Bowditch & Dewey, explained that the solar industry in Massachusetts remains vibrant, but the industry will continue to rely on state and federal subsidies to attract investors. “These subsidies provide accelerated payback that can be as short as three years,” said Devito.

Summit keynote speaker, Ann Berwick, Chair – MA Department of Public Utilities, pegged present installed solar power capacity at 110 MW, citing state goals to bring capacity to 250 MW by 2017 and 400 MW by 2020.

About Rodman & Rodman P.C.

Founded in 1961 and listed in the Boston Business Journal’s “Top 50 Firms”, Rodman & Rodman, P.C. provides accounting, tax and business services to small and medium-sized companies. With a focus on strategic planning, Rodman & Rodman goes beyond traditional accounting services and takes a proactive approach when serving clients to increase, preserve and sustain clients’ financial net worth. The Rodman & Rodman Green Team is a specialized green energy and clean technology accounting and tax services practice within Rodman & Rodman, P.C. that serves “green” clients throughout the U.S. The company is Green Business Certified and in 2010 and 2011 was named one of the “Best Accounting Firms to Work For” in Accounting Today.

From business valuations, taxation, audits, fraud detection and prevention services and succession planning to a variety of accounting IT services including software selection, implementation and training, the team at Rodman & Rodman serves as comprehensive advisors to clients. For individual clients, the company offers personal advisory services such as planning for real estate transactions, obtaining financing, estate planning and retirement planning as well as planning for college education.

Rodman & Rodman, P.C. are located at 3 Newton Executive Park in Newton and 25 Braintree Hill Office Park in Braintree, MA. For more information, email info@rodmancpa.com, visit their website at www.rodmancpa.com or contact (617) 965-5959.

Larry Rice, CPA of Rodman & Rodman Speaks to Town of Barnstable Employees & Boston Students

Larry Rice, CPA, Director of Strategic Consulting of Rodman & Rodman P.C., a firm of Certified Public Accountants and business strategists catering to clients throughout New England, recently spoke to Barnstable government employees including town employees, teachers and administrators, in a day-long seminar held at the town library.

Rice, an expert speaker whose most recent appearances include segments on New England Cable News (NECN), spoke about individual taxes, new laws, opportunities regarding deductions and the tax benefits of saving for college with Cape Cod employees.

Last week, Rice spoke to students at North Bennet Street School in Boston about starting their own business and the tax ramifications.

As a knowledgeable and “easy to understand” source, Rice has served small business for 25 years and appeared on NECN, Bloomberg TV’s Small Business Program, CN8 Money Matters, WBZ Radio, WROL’s “About the House” and countless other programs and publications.

Rice is available for speaking engagements. Dedicated to helping businesses and individuals achieve their short and long term goals, Rice can share his knowledge on a variety of topics including:

Individual Tax Strategies

New Tax Laws & their Impact on You and Your Business

10 Successful Business Strategies

Diagnosis of a Sales Call

Competing in your Market – Do you base it on Price?

Creating a Turnkey Business

Perceived Indifference – Are your customers really buying based on price?

Managing Your Cash Flow

Small Businesses Need To Be Strategic Too

Internal Controls and The Small Business

Why Every Business Should Know Its Conversions

Business Is Like Football

Referrals – The Easiest Way To Grow Business

To schedule Larry Rice, CPA as a speaker, contact Jen Reading at Rodman & Rodman, (617) 965-5959.

Rodman & Rodman, P.C.

Founded in 1961, Rodman & Rodman, P.C. provides accounting, tax and business services to small and medium-sized companies throughout New England. With a focus on strategic planning, Rodman & Rodman goes beyond traditional accounting services and takes a proactive approach when serving clients to increase, preserve and sustain clients’ financial net worth. The company has been named one of the “Best Accounting Firms to Work For” in Accounting Today and is listed in the Boston Business Journal’s “Top 50 Firms”.

From business valuations, taxation, audits, fraud detection and prevention services and succession planning to a variety of accounting IT services including software selection, implementation and training, the team at Rodman & Rodman serves as comprehensive advisors to clients. For individual clients, the company offers personal advisory services such as planning for real estate transactions, obtaining financing, estate planning and retirement planning as well as planning for college education. Rodman & Rodman, P.C. are located at 3 Newton Executive Park in Newton and 25 Braintree Hill Office Park in Braintree, MA. For more information, visit their website at www.rodmancpa.com or contact (617) 965-5959.

Larry Rice CPA

Why Wesley Snipes got caught. Celebrity or not, non-filers can run but they cannot hide from the IRS.

Matthew Previte, CPA

NATICK, MASSACHUSETTS…

The simple answer as to why Wesley Snipes will soon begin serving a three-year sentence for tax evasion is that he didn’t file his tax returns for 1999 through 2004 and also tried to get a $7 million refund in 2006 on returns filed before he stopped filing in 1999. The broader answer is that in 2010, the IRS has more sophisticated resources, more personnel, and more incentive (nearly $345 billion owed to the federal government, which has a budget deficit in the trillions) than ever before to track down non-filers. In 2010 and beyond, if you fail to file your tax returns, chances are exceptional that you will get caught.

“What non-filers do not realize is the IRS will prepare a Substitute For Return (SFR) for you if you don’t file a tax return yourself. Only that SFR will not have the vast majority of the deductions you might be entitled to had you filed on your own,” said Matthew J. Previte, CPA, a local taxpayer advocate expert and owner of TaxProblemsRUs.com. “So, if you don’t file a tax return for several years like Mr. Snipes, the IRS has the technology to prepare an SFR for you and then will start burying you with severe penalties and interest based on that grossly inflated SFR assessment.”

Fortunately for non-filers, the IRS generally only looks back six years for unfiled tax returns. Yet without including all the deductions one might be entitled to, those SFR assessments can be grossly inflated due to that lack of deductions. The IRS can also utilize any number of resources to calculate income. For example:

  • Bank accounts – IRS can track non-filer accounts and review your deposit and spending histories.
  • Credit card spending – IRS can track overseas and domestic spending to prove income.
  • Audits of payees – Often times the people non-filers pay for goods and services are audited and that can alert the IRS to the payer’s non-filing.
  • IRS whistleblower programs – Does anybody else know you haven’t filed? An ex-wife or significant other? Perhaps a vindictive business associate? IRS whistle-blower programs raise the red flag and agents are more than happy to follow those leads.

So, with all the mechanisms available to the IRS to catch non-filers, why do people still not file?

“The reasons vary. Everything from bad advice from tax protestors and unscrupulous tax advisors to financial or health problems to even just plain old general neglect. Once one year is unfiled, fear and embarrassment most often perpetuate the problem, causing additional years to go unfiled. Some might even think if they don’t file, they won’t ever have to pay taxes. I’ve represented quite a few people who haven’t filed for 25 years or more,” said Previte. “The reality is, with the resources the IRS now has, non-filers will get caught and the punishment, if prosecuted and proven guilty like Mr. Snipes, is one year in prison per year you don’t file up to six years. If you’re lucky enough to avoid prosecution and jail time, the IRS will still bury you in taxes, penalties, and interest.”

Continues Previte, “The real irony about non-filers is that by filing their tax returns—even if they don’t have the money to pay the IRS—they have more options to resolve their tax debts than by not filing their tax returns.”

Some of those options include:

  • Offer in Compromise program
  • Payment plan
  • Bankruptcy
  • Uncollectible status
  • Penalty Abatement
  • Lien Subordination
  • Innocent Spouse Relief

“These are just a few of the scenarios where having a qualified licensed tax professional represent you—instead of pulling your bed covers over your head and praying you don’t get caught–can literally save you thousands of dollars and dramatically reduce the likelihood of prison time,” said Previte. “At the very least, it can lessen the stress and anguish that come with having tax debt hanging over your head and your family’s.”

For more information on TaxProblemsRUS.com, please visit www.TaxProblemsRUs.com. To schedule a free confidential consultation, call 877-259-8200.

About  TaxProblemsRUs.com and Matthew J. Previte, CPA, PC

TaxProblemsRUs.com is the official Web site of Matthew J. Previte, CPA, PC, a Massachusetts tax firm representing individuals and businesses before the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities in all 50 states. Based in Natick, Massachusetts, Matthew J. Previte, CPA, PC has been representing both individuals and businesses with tax problems for 22 years. To schedule a free confidential consultation, call 877-259-8200 or, for more information, visit www.TaxProblemsRUs.com.