William L. Abrams Offers Suggestions on What Taxpayers Can Do if They Missed the October 15 Extension Deadline

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — Those who did not file their taxes or make their payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on April 15 were given another six months to do so. However, there are some people who still did not file or pay. Instead of ignoring the situation, William L. Abrams of Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP (AGMB) says it is still possible to work out an agreement with the IRS.

According to the IRS, approximately 15 million people filed for an extension during the 2018 tax year. Usually, people are granted extensions if they can show reasonable cause for not paying on time. To prove reasonable cause, at least 90% of the balance must be paid before April 15 and the rest of the amount due is sent in with the return. Those who can prove it may have their late filing penalties waived; otherwise, if reasonable cause cannot be shown, the filer has to pay a penalty of 5% of the balance if they file late.

“If you don’t have the money, the IRS won’t come and take your house or your car,” Mr. Abrams says. “The easiest solution is to file your return and then work out a payment plan. However, you may accrue interest as a result of late payments.”

If the amount is too great, Mr. Abrams urges filers to notify the IRS immediately. “Someone will say, ‘I owe $50,000, and I don’t have the money,’” he says. “An agent will work something out with you. Just make sure that this doesn’t become a habit. There have been late filers who have chronically abused the system.”

If the return is incomplete, then an amended return can always be filed. Mr. Abrams says, when filing returns, it’s better late than never. “The worst thing you can do is not file it,” he says. “Where people get in trouble is when they don’t address the issue. If you are unsure what to do, contact an experienced tax law attorney to help you with your issues.”

Mr. Abrams is the Partner in Charge of AGMB’s tax law practice. For more information about the law firm, visit agmblaw.com.



About Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP

Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP is a full-service law firm dedicated to smart, practical and cost-effective counsel. The firm’s diversity of experience enables its attorneys to provide comprehensive and creative counsel to their clients. The firm counsels a vast array of clients and a variety of businesses, including banking institutions, real estate brokers, start-up and middle market companies, real estate developers, cooperatives and condominiums, trade organizations, entertainment companies, performing artists, insurance companies, personal services firms, hedge funds, wholesalers, distributors, transportation companies and product manufacturers. Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP has locations in New York, New York; Los Angeles, California; and Melville, New York. For more information, visit agmblaw.com.

Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP Presents BEST Program for Real Estate Professionals

Provides Balance between Sales and Marketing and Compliance and Risk Mitigation

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP (AGMB) has announced that the firm is offering the BEST (Balance Equals Success for your Team) program, which is designed to foster the growth and success of real estate brokers and their agents, while also protecting commissions and avoiding lawsuits, intervention from regulators, and consumer complaints.

AGMB works with real estate brokerages (and their managers, in-house attorneys, and agents) in a collaborative fashion to create an all-encompassing program which focuses on balancing and integrating a real estate broker’s marketing and sales platforms with proven risk mitigation and compliance strategies and techniques.

As part of the program, AGMB will provide direct legal advice to the real estate brokerage and the company’s agents through AGMB Legal Hotline, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is ideal for managers who are overwhelmed with the need to support their agents and answer many complicated, complex questions and scenarios.

As part of the BEST program, the firm offers continuing education classes through its AGMB Training Center, Ltd. These training sessions cover various topics, including the Fair Housing, regulations regarding advertising and marketing materials, code of ethics, 1031 exchanges, conducting due diligence and more.

One of the challenges real estate brokers and agents face is keeping up with changes in federal, state and local laws and regulations. In the case of fair housing laws, real estate agents may find themselves in violation of the law not because they intend to discriminate but because they are unaware of these regulations. Failure to stay abreast of laws and regulations may result in damaging legal action.

“The BEST program will help real estate brokers and their agents succeed by assisting them in closing more sales, while complying with the latest rules and regulations in the industry,” says Neil Garfinkel, Managing Partner, AGMB. “Our goal is to balance the compliance practice with the sales and marketing.”

For more information about the law firm, visit agmblaw.com.

Neil B. Garfinkel Appointed Member of the New York State Real Estate Board

Neil B. Garfinkel
Neil B. Garfinkel

NEW YORK, NEW YORK —Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP (AGMB) has announced that Neil B. Garfinkel, the firm’s Managing Partner and the Partner in Charge of its Real Estate and Banking Practices, has been appointed to the New York State Real Estate Board by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The term is for two years.

The New York State Real Estate Board has the authority to promulgate rules and regulations affecting real estate brokers and salespersons as they relate to the Real Property Law. As part of its responsibilities, the board studies the operations of the laws and regulations affecting real estate brokers and makes recommendations on related pending or proposed legislation.

Mr. Garfinkel has dedicated his legal career to the representation of the real estate brokerage and mortgage industries. He proudly serves as Broker Counsel to the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), where he hosts the REBNY Legal Line and authors the REBNY Question of the Week. Additionally, he and AGMB serve as Counsel to the Empire State Mortgage Bankers Association and the New York State Mortgage Brokers Association. He maintains the Senior Real Estate Specialist designation and is certified by the New York Department of State as an instructor of real estate courses. Mr. Garfinkel enjoys teaching and speaking about a variety of real estate and lending topics and he is frequently quoted in publications and media outlets nationwide.

He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, National Association of Realtors, New York State Association of Realtors, Long Island Board of Realtors, National Association of Mortgage Brokers, New York Association of Mortgage Brokers (Diamond Member), Mortgage Bankers Association of New York, and Community Bankers Mortgage Forum.

Mr. Garfinkel resides in Great Neck, New York, where he serves as a Trustee of the Village of Kensington.

The New York State Real Estate Board consists of the state’s Secretary of State, the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services and 13 appointed members who are either real estate brokers or public members.

“It is an honor to be appointed to this prestigious board,” Mr. Garfinkel said. “I look forward to working with other members of the board in providing the necessary guidance on how rules and regulations affect real estate brokers in the state.”

For more information, visit www.agmblaw.com.

Michael G. Barone Named Counsel to the New York Association of Mortgage Brokers

Michael G. Barone
Michael G. Barone

NEW YORK, NEW YORK —Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP (AGMB) has announced that the firm, and specifically, Michael G. Barone, the Managing Partner of the firm’s Mortgage Compliance Practice, have been named Counsel to the New York Association of Mortgage Brokers (NYAMB). The firm already serves as Counsel to the Empire State Mortgage Banking Association.

Mr. Barone has extensive experience in representing and providing guidance to nationally recognized mortgage lenders and brokers and has worked on all types of federal and state compliance, transactional and litigation matters for the past 20 years. He is also a frequent speaker at various mortgage industry and association meetings across the country.

Mr. Barone is admitted to the Bars of New York State and New Jersey. He is a graduate of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, where he served as the Notes and Comments Editor for the Labor and Employment Law Journal.

The NYAMB has recently announced the creation of the NYAMB Compliance Line. The purpose of the NYAMB Compliance Line is to provide members who have questions or concerns regarding residential mortgage compliance matters with an experienced, centralized source of information. Questions called into the Compliance Line will be responded to by Mr. Barone and AGMB’s team of attorneys.

Mr. Barone will also be providing quarterly webinars, which are available to NYAMB members and serve as a frequent contributor to the NYAMB newsletter.

Based in Mamaroneck, New York, NYAMB is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) trade association established in 1985 and is recognized as the leading state trade organization in the wholesale mortgage industry throughout the state of New York. NYAMB brings mortgage professionals together through its vast array of education and networking events.

“AGMB is a Diamond Member of the NYAMB and it is an honor to serve as Counsel to a wonderful organization of which we have been members for so many years,” Mr. Barone said. “I will use my knowledge and experience in providing the necessary legal guidance in assisting the organization in meeting its mission.”

For more information about the law firm, visit www.agmblaw.com.