Jeffrey M. Rosenblum, P.C.
A Fresh Start

January 2013 Archives

Pioneering video game company files bankruptcy

The decision to file bankruptcy can be a difficult one, but in financially challenging times, it may be a sound option. Filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy can help a struggling business reorganize debt in an effort to keep it from going under. Businesses facing this difficult choice should get an understanding of debt reorganization and how bankruptcy laws can benefit a business.

THQ bankruptcy woes continue with scheduled auction

A business bankruptcy generally occurs because a company faces overwhelming debt. Companies may file for Chapter 11 to gain some relief from creditors while attempting to reorganize the business so that debts can be discharged. Our New York readers are already familiar with video game maker THQ's Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to save itself, but an upcoming auction may divest it of its most valued assets, meaning many THQ employees will likely find themselves out of work.

IRS Announces Guidance on the Principal Reduction Alternative Offered in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)

The Internal Revenue Service today announced guidance to borrowers, mortgage loan holders and loan servicers who are participating in the Principal Reduction AlternativeSM offered through the Department of the Treasury's and Department of Housing and Urban Development's Home Affordable Modification Program® (HAMP-PRA®).To help financially distressed homeowners lower their monthly mortgage payments, Treasury and HUD established HAMP, which is described at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov. Under HAMP-PRA, the principal of the borrower's mortgage may be reduced by a predetermined amount called the PRA Forbearance Amount if the borrower satisfies certain conditions during a trial period. The principal reduction occurs over three years.

For New York couple, disaster both natural and manmade

Very few people buy a home anticipating foreclosure. However, circumstances can create a situation where an otherwise-solvent family can suddenly struggle to pay bills, particularly where the home suffers from severe damage due to a natural disaster. Combine this with additional issues, including issues with building permits, and families in New York can experience foreclosure nightmares.

IRS Announces Simplified Option for Claiming Home Office Deduction; Eligible Home-Based Businesses May Deduct up to $1,500

The Internal Revenue Service today announced a simplified option that many owners of home-based businesses and some home-based workers may use to figure their deductions for the business use of their homes. The new simplified option is available starting with the 2013 return most taxpayers file early in 2014.The new optional deduction, capped at $1,500 per year based on $5 a square foot for up to 300 square feet.The new option provides eligible taxpayers an easier path to claiming the home office deduction. Currently, they are generally required to fill out a 43-line form (Form 8829) often with complex calculations of allocated expenses, depreciation and carryovers of unused deductions.

Long Island foreclosures rise as home sales fall

Foreclosure is a disheartening reality for people suffering from financial challenges due to unemployment, natural disaster, medical expenses and other unpredictable circumstances. Regardless of past payment history, a homeowner's sudden inability to make mortgage payments can lead to lengthy court battles and even eviction. The combination of a failing housing market and a devastating natural disaster has left numerous Long Island homeowners struggling to stop home foreclosure as the state deals with an overwhelming backlog of cases.

IRS Plans Jan. 30 Tax Season Opening For 1040 Filers

Following the January tax law changes made by Congress under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA), the Internal Revenue Service announced today it plans to open the 2013 filing season and begin processing individual income tax returns on Jan. 30.The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on that date after updating forms and completing programming and testing of its processing systems. This will reflect the bulk of the late tax law changes enacted Jan. 2. The announcement means that the vast majority of tax filers -- more than 120 million households -- should be able to start filing tax returns starting Jan 30.

IRS Provides Updated Withholding Guidance for 2013

The Internal Revenue Service released updated income-tax withholding tables for 2013 reflecting the changes by Congress to avoid the fiscal cliff.The updated tables, issued today after President Obama signed the changes into law, show the new rates in effect for 2013 and supersede the tables issued on December 31, 2012. The newly revised version of Notice 1036 contains the percentage method income-tax withholding tables and related information that employers need to implement these changes.

Game maker THQ undergoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy

While the term "bankruptcy" may invoke negative feelings, it is often a chance to relieve stressful financial times and reduce the pressures associated with being in debt. In the business world, Chapter 11 actually allows for a company to continue to operate while restructuring current debts. In many cases, a company filing for Chapter 11 can move into the future more viable and competitive. Game maker THQ has recently started the process of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Similarly sized companies all over Long Island may face the same economic challenges that this business does.