October 20

Guest column: Retain federal tax deduction for alimony

first_imgThose agreements or judgments made prior to December 31, 2018 will not be affected.Under the current system, the spouse who pays alimony (also known as maintenance/spousal support) gets to deduct the amount from his or her federal tax filing.For instance, if someone pays $10,000 annually in spousal maintenance, that amount is subtracted from that person’s income, and the remaining amount is taxed.The one receiving spousal maintenance pays taxes on the alimony received, but usually at a lower tax rate than the one providing maintenance, since it is usually the higher income spouse who ends up paying the lower income party.The intent and result was to make the funds paid between the parties go further by reducing the amount that goes to taxes.Now, alimony will be treated the same as child support, whose payment has never been tax deductible.A big issue going forward, then, is how to handle the conflict that may arise when one spouse cannot provide the full amount of support needed by the other spouse. Categories: Editorial, OpinionA provision in the federal tax bill recently signed by President Donald Trump will seriously impact divorcing couples in 2019.The bill eliminates tax deductions for alimony payments — a provision that has been in place for 75 years.Without this provision, both spouses lose money in different ways. The spouse paying alimony will be unable to claim a deduction that could save thousands of dollars, and the spouse receiving alimony may receive less money as a result.For any separation agreement or divorce decree issued after December 31, 2018, the federal tax deduction goes away. This has traditionally been a sticking point in divorce negotiations, but removing the tax deductible aspect from spousal maintenance could increase the amount of acrimony between the two sides and lead to longer, more emotional negotiating processes or hearings.If the amount winds up being too high for the spouse providing alimony, payments could be delayed or missed altogether, which leads to arrests, court actions and even prison sentences.The spousal support formula passed by New York state several years ago calculates alimony based on income and presumed the tax deductibility option would factor into the calculations.With that tax benefit phasing out, the question is whether or not New York will review and modify its mathematical formula to compensate for the change.Because the elimination of the federal tax deduction on alimony payments only affects couples who execute separation agreements or finalize their divorces on or after Jan. 1, 2019, it is recommended that you discuss the advisability of finalizing matters before New Year’s Day rolls around again.Barbara J. King, Esq. is a partner with Tully Rinckey PLLC in Albany. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

September 20

Travel nightmare: U.S. Customs system goes down

first_imgHave a flight to catch tonight? Well you may be in for a longer wait time than usual.Sources are reporting that due to a failure in the U.S Customs computer system, several airports around the US are experiencing difficulties with checking people in.Airport employees are now being forced to manually check in guest which is resulting in extremely long wait times.While it is unclear what caused the system to go down, TMZ is reporting that some sources believe that it may be the result of a cyber attack. This working theory, however, has not been confirmed.JFK, LAX and Dulles are just some of the airports being affected.JFK has since released a statement informing passengers of the outage and asking them to check their flights before coming to the airport.“Officers are processing passengers manually so please check with your airline for the latest status of any flight impacts.”This is a developing story.Read more here.last_img read more

September 16

Garrett Adcock balances 2nd year of law school and playing Division I football

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 19, 2016 at 9:08 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 It took only three years for Garrett Adcock to graduate with a biology degree from the University of New Mexico. But with two years of football eligibility remaining, he needed something else to do. More of a challenge, something more to work toward. So, he chose to pursue law.“Hey, I have this crazy idea,” he told his adviser about two and a half years ago. “I want to apply to law school.”Adcock was one of only nine FBS players who had earned a bachelor’s degree as a junior. This year, he’s the lone senior football player in the country enrolled in his second year of law school. The redshirt senior right tackle is also an integral force for the Lobos (1-2), who come off a 7-6 record and bowl game appearance in 2015.A true freshman in 2012, Adcock earned eight starts and appeared in 12 games. He started 10 games as a redshirt sophomore in 2014. He missed most of last season with injuries, but again is starting on the offensive line this year.About two years ago, the New Mexico coaching staff had a “long” discussion but agreed Adcock could manage law school’s academic load with Division I football. He had graduated with a 4.03 GPA, and in 2015, NFL.com rated him as the fifth-smartest college football player. The Lobos coaching staff didn’t hesitate much, even if it meant Adcock’s classes would conflict with team activities.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA typical day for Adcock starts around 6 a.m. with treatment, breakfast, team workouts and practice. After, he grabs lunch and is in class from 1-5 p.m. Every evening, he reads 50-70 pages a night. Some days, he also prepares legal briefs and presentations.When the Lobos travel, he often pulls out a book “as thick as a brick” to catch up on reading, said Jack Lamm, a redshirt senior on the Lobos offensive line who lived with Adcock for three years. Adcock tutored Lamm in calculus, and has also helped other teammates in their classes.“You see some guys on their phones, on their tablets watching shows,” Lamm said of team flights and bus rides. “And then you see Garrett with a 3-inch textbook, leather bound fancy writing on the side, reading page after page.”“There was hardly ever a time he wasn’t studying,” Lamm said. “Not compulsiveness, he just took his studying seriously and it’s paid off drastically.”One day last semester, Adcock turned in a brief for a law class. Then he gave an oral argument in front of an attorney. Then he skedaddled to football practice, donning a suit, briefcase in hand. He “rushed into practice, breathing hard,” and got ready to train, before changing back into a suit later that day for another law class.Courtesy of University of New Mexico Athletics“It hit me like damn, this is pretty crazy,” the 6-foot-2, 288-pound Adcock said. “It’s not normal, but a lot of fun. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”From a young age, Adock showed academic drive. By the time he arrived at elementary school, he was at a high school reading level, his mother said. Adock’s kindergarten teacher, Clara Wetherford, said “he always wanted to help” other students with assignments and activities. She’d often tell him not to do work for others.At age 15, he began taking online classes through a local community college. On weekends in high school, Adcock rarely partied. Instead he studied and worked out. He graduated as valedictorian of his class with a 4.6 GPA.Now, he spends holiday breaks in Ghana, where his family opened a hospital and school.He came into college with 31 credits, the equivalent of one academic year. He’s now a finalist for the Marshall and Rhodes Scholarships, which provide some of the top college students in the country a chance to study for two years at Oxford University. After he graduates from law school, the three-time Mountain West Academic All-Conference player wants to get an MBA or study medicine.Two weeks before classes started his freshman year, Adcock phoned Derek Sokoloff, senior academic coordinator for athletics at UNM, to introduce himself and inquire about how he could earn his degree as fast as possible. On one of his first days of that semester, Adcock walked into Sokoloff’s office with a checklist. He had circled the classes he wanted to take and mapped out his degree plan, along with additional summer classes he wanted to take.“I’m like, ‘You’re a freshman and you’ve basically just done my job,’” Sokoloff said. “From Day 1, he has hit the ground running. It’s insane what he can do.” Commentslast_img read more