Heritage Advisors and Kennedy, Ehrler and Associates, LLC Announces Company Merger

Heritage Advisors and Kennedy, Ehrler and Associates, LLC Announces Company Merger

Feb. 23, 2016PRLogPHOENIX, Ariz. – PHOENIX, Ariz. – Heritage Advisors, LLC in Phoenix, Arizona continues to change the market place with their multidisciplinary approach. In a continued effort to do so, they take pride in announcing the recent merger with Kennedy, Ehrler and Associates, LLC.

The merger allows Heritage Advisors & Kennedy, Ehrler and Associates LLC to expand their current tax operations while deliver a multifamily office experience.

About Heritage Advisors.  Heritage combines tax, law, wealth management and insurance practices to provide a specialized family office experience. Tax services include tax planning, accounting services, restructuring, business valuation, international, mergers & acquisitions and sales.

Heritage offers some of the most innovative and cutting edge strategies in the industry, often reaching well beyond the natural limitations of any singular professional working in isolation.

About Kennedy, Ehrler and Associates, LLC.  Kennedy, Ehrler and Associates are a full service C.P.A. firm, with an emphasis on individual, professional, and small business clients. From bookkeeping and accounting services to reviewed financial statements, projections, tax preparation of all kinds, cash-flow analysis, lease-buy comparisons, investment analysis, retirement and estate planning, Kennedy/Ehrler can provide the tools to allow you to make informed decisions about your personal and business finances.

The team utilizes their extensive knowledge, expertise and experience to maximize productivity.  This concept allows a more personal understanding of your industry.

Contact
Rikay Eyman, Heritage Advisors: 602-569-9959
Michael Frost, Heritage Advisors: 602-569-9959
***@heritageadvisorsllc.com
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35 under 35

  1. Describe what your company does? Heritage Advisors is a multi-disciplinary financial services firm that combines, under one roof, the primary financial professionals required to build life-long wealth. Our firm provides a specialized family office experience, previously only available to ultra-high net worth individuals, by combining a law firm, CPA firm, wealth management firm, and insurance firm. Our business model allows us to give much more comprehensive advice than any single professional working in isolation. Our ultimate goal of helping our clients build and preserve wealth is achieved by collectively focusing asset preservation, financial planning, and investment management through the common lens of strategic tax planning. The orchestration of attorneys, CPAs, and financial advisors allows our clients to ask any financial-related questions during any given meeting and instantly receive an appropriate response by the respective professional and immediately put into motion any necessary steps to accomplish the plan.
  2. Describe the success you have experienced. When reflecting back on the past several years, we are much more inclined to describe our success in philosophical terms versus financial. We have successfully implemented a middle-market multi-disciplinary practice, which is a tremendous philosophical shift in the professional services industry. We believe the market is moving in our direction and that a decade from now there will be far fewer single-discipline financial professionals. We believe we are many years ahead of the curve. Our measure of success is the overwhelmingly positive reception the market has given us with respect to the viability of a multi-disciplinary practice. As described below, we have experienced exponential growth. We believe our business model offers a more complete and therefore better level of service, and the amount of growth we have experienced is an indication that the market agrees.
  3. Describe the growth your company has experienced and what spurred that growth. We founded the company in January of 2014. At that time the company consisted of three individual – myself, and Michael Frost, the two founders, and one wealth management employee. Roughly 21 months later, we now have 20 employees in two states. We have grown from approximately 150 clients to just over 2,000. Additionally, our wealth management practice has grown from $4 million of assets under management (“AUM”) to over $101 million as of today. Many advisors will work their entire career without reaching the $100 million AUM mark, which is a significant accomplishment in our profession. As noted above, we believe our growth is mostly attributable to our superior business model. We are very good at our given professions, but there are many professionals that are equally good at their respective profession. Our exceptional growth is therefore attributable to a firm that is fundamentally different than our competition.
  4. Give one example of a challenge you have faced and how you handled it. CPAs, financial advisors, and attorneys naturally have different personality types. Our greatest challenge was addressing the cultural difficulties that follow rapid expansion exacerbated by the inherently different personal types across the various disciplines. We have made it clear that each profession is an equal part of the overall equation and that no one discipline is more important than the others. When we enter a meeting, we take our respective profession’s hats off and we collectively and systematically solve our clients’ problems. That approach to building life-long wealth has created an atmosphere that rewards collective team work, rather than individual professional accomplishments. As a result, our firm’s culture has quickly generated a wonderful and collaborative environment.
  5. How you funded your business. The business was originally funded with $14,000 from both Ralph and Michael. At that time, it made up every penny we both had in savings. We were all in.
  6. What are your non financial goals for 2016? Our major firm initiative for 2016 is to expand brand recognition throughout our two geographic markets – Phoenix and San Francisco. We believe we have proven concept in an extraordinarily convincing way. We have also hired an exceptional team and therefore have the capacity to accept new business. Those two components are the foundation upon which we can now build our brand and become more widely recognized. We have been actively attending community events, updating marketing materials, and developing a deliberate marketing strategy.
  7. Why did you become an entrepreneur? We believed deeply that there was an opportunity in the market to make a material impact in the way financial professionals provide advice to clients. The market was deficient, and clients were not receiving as complete of guidance as they deserve.
  8. What motivates you as an entrepreneur? We have always enjoyed the thrill of taking a calculated risk. When we were all-in with every penny of savings we both had, it created a high that in indescribable, a passion that only an entrepreneur can truly appreciate. Our deep confidence in our business model reinforced our nerves during difficult moments, but ultimately the thrill of taking a risk in order to move an age-old profession is what motivates us.
  9. What skills are necessary to be a successful entrepreneur? (1) Servant leadership with appropriate delegation. As leaders in a new company, we must strike a healthy balance between truly serving those who work for us, while having the courage to delegate responsibility. It is important for our employees to look at us not as dictators, but as leaders who serve the company alongside the other members of the team. (2) Focus on long term values versus near term opportunities. To move a market, it is essential that we have a focus on the long-term health of the company, even if it is at the expense of short-term profit. (3) Leaders marked by humility and thoughtfulness. Our employees are our most valuable asset. The challenge is to empower them to uphold the vision we set for the company and execute with excellence. The tone starts at the top, and we believe it should be marked by humility and thoughtfulness.
  10. Why are we a good candidate for 35 under 35? Entrepreneurs need to be able to set a vision for a market shifting idea, leave the security of a job to pursue it, and build a team to implement it. Finally, entrepreneurs need to actually be successful in moving a concept from a business plan into a profitable operation. Without each one of those components, a good idea is merely a good idea, and not a business. We have accomplished each element and created many jobs as a result. Most importantly, we believe we are serving our clients in a superior way. For those reasons, we believe we are excellent candidates and we are honored to submit our application for the 35 entrepreneurs under 35 years old competition.
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Heritage Advisors acquires Minyard & Co., P.C.

Heritage Advisors acquires Minyard & Co., P.C.

October 1st 2014 – PHOENIX, Ariz. – Heritage Advisors, LLC in Phoenix, Arizona makes strides to make their mark on the financial sector. They take pride in announcing the recent acquisition of  the Phoenix based accounting firm Minyard & Co., P.C.

The acquisition provides enhanced services to both the Heritage & Minyard clients. Heritage clients will gain the tax and accounting expertise of the seasoned Minyard staff, whereas the Minyard clients will be introduced to the cutting edge Heritages multi-discipline approach.

About Heritage Advisors.  Heritage combines tax, law, wealth management and insurance practices to provide an all encompassing client experience. Heritage offers some of the most innovative strategies in the industry, often reaching well beyond the natural limitations of any singular professional working in isolation.

About Minyard & Co., P.C.  – Minyard & Co., P.C. is a boutique tax and accounting firm that has always sought to provide it’s clients with full service capabilities. In a continuation of expanding those service capabilities, Minyard & Co. is  proud to have joined with Heritage Advisors, a multi-disciplinary practice of tax, law and wealth management services. The addition will provide enhanced accounting, trust, estate, tax, investment, insurance and wealth management to our clients.

CONTACT 

Rikay Eyman, Heritage Advisors: 602-569-9959

Michael Frost, Heritage Advisors: 602-569-9959

 

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The Heritage Project

The Heritage Project enables us to give back to our senior clients by capturing their legacy in a short autobiography.  We will sit down with them and through a series of interviews, record the memories, events, and moments of their life.  Imagine the wisdom that could be shared and the stories that can be passed on for generations to come!  After writing the story we will publish the autobiography and, with the client’s permission, upload it to our website.

Please contact us if you and your family would like to participate in this exciting project!

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Phoenix financial services firm looks to acquire Houston CPA firms

Phoenix-based Heritage Advisors LLC, which recently changed its name from ANF Wealth Management, is actively eyeing certified public accountant firms in Houston, Austin and California for expansion by acquisition over the next two years.

Heritage has roughly $20 million in assets under management in Texas, with equal weight in Austin and Houston, said Michael Frost, the company’s president.

Frost is already working with a Houston-based business broker to scout CPA firms.

“Almost all of our new business comes through the tax-planning business,” said Frost.

Frost said that by acquiring accountants, the business can expand its main entry portal for new clients.

Heritage has $95 million in total assets under management, and its revenue has increased by more than 200 percent year over year in 2014, said Frost.

Frost attributes the firm’s growth to its multidisciplined service offering and targeting of clients that have investible wealth in the range of $1 million to $10 million. The firm offers wealth management, accounting, insurance and legal services, striving for an all-inclusive approach for clients who may want to streamline the financial services they use.

“The masses have not been treated with true wealth management, which is tax, law, wealth management and insurance under one roof. Heritage has been able to provide this to the common investor, which is something that hasn’t been in the market,” said Frost.

Houston’s fragmented wealth management market also makes the city particularly hospitable to a newcomer like Heritage, said Frost.

New York-based Bessemer Trust apparently felt the same way when it opened a Houston office in late October.

via bizjournals.com

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4 Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Estate planning is one of the most neglected aspects of the average American’s financial strategy. Obviously, accepting one’s mortality is one of the biggest obstacles to estate planning. No one looks forward to planning for the future of their assets after they pass. In addition, an unfortunate number of people postpone estate planning, believing they have plenty of time to prepare, but postponement can significantly impact their options. Between dread and misconception, it is little wonder that half of Americans lack a will and even fewer have an estate plan at all. We’ve selected some common estate planning mistakes to avoid in order to best provide for those you leave behind.

Wishes Not Documented

Estate planning goes beyond the allocation of assets, the creation of a will is vital to ensuring a person’s wishes are clearly documented and enforceable. A will not only protects survivors from the possibility of probate, but clearly defines beneficiaries, helping to eliminate possible bitterness and uncertainty. Aside from financial considerations, a will is also vital to account for the care of any surviving children. Anyone not wishing to leave these decisions up to the state should consider having a will written up.

Life Insurance Coverage

Having an adequate life insurance policy is vital to the financial future of all families. Lower income families should at least pursue term insurance coverage to replace lost wages in the event of a death. More wealthy families may need the proceeds from insurance to provide liquidity upon the death of the insured.

While a life insurance policy cannot fill the void of losing a loved one, a lack of insurance can make an unthinkable situation impossible to recover from.

Neglecting an Estate Plan

Over the course of time there are several factors that can directly impact the need and scope of an estate plan. Wills should be edited as soon as reasonably possible to account for major life events such as a birth, divorce or a newly blended family. A testator of a will should also remain sensitive to any major factors in the lives of guardians, beneficiaries, or executors that may alter the roles within the will. It’s also extremely important to make sure that beneficiaries named in a will match any trusts left to those parties.

Changing tax laws can also have a dramatic impact on a family’s estate plan. Though estate planning has received some much needed stability in recent years, tax law is still subject to the whim of legislators, and can change from year to year. Due to the complexity of these laws, we encourage you to partner with a professional estate planner to revisit or establish an up to date tax strategy.

Not Gifting Assets Before Death

People looking to reduce their taxable estate should consider gifting assets to family and friends each year, as long as they do so within the gift tax exclusion limit. This is not only an excellent way to reduce the tax burden of your estate after passing, it also helps to establish your beneficiaries’ financial responsibility.

No one looks forward to addressing what happens when they pass, but it’s an issue we all must face. Due to the complexity of estate planning, we encourage you to partner with an estate planning advisor to avoid some costly mistakes.

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How Does Portability Fit Into Your Estate Plan?

In recent past, the waters of estate and gift taxes have been made murky by legislative uncertainty. Thankfully, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) served to bring some clarity and permanence to the estate planning landscape. This provides an ideal opportunity for families to revisit their estate plans.

The ATRA made permanent changes to the federal transfer tax system, exemption rates are currently 5.34 million (10.68 if married) and a top tax rate of 40%. ATRA also made permanent the popular portability provision, at which we’ll take a closer look.

How Does Portability Work?

In simplest terms, portability allows the first spouse to die to transfer his or her unused estate tax exclusion amount to the surviving spouse, who can then use it for their gift or estate tax purposes. Now that we’ve defined portability, let’s look at how it works.

Under portability, a surviving spouse can use the deceased spousal unused exemption amount to make lifetime gifts or to shelter bequests at death. This provides an alternative to the traditional estate planning for wealthy married couples in which a credit shelter trust, or a bypass trust is set up to utilize the deceased’s unused exemptions. This effectively gives the surviving spouse full control of the unused exemption amount, including who gets the benefit of the exemption amount.

Details to Consider

There are a few limitations to portability that impact your overall estate plan, and should be considered.

  • Portability does not impact state taxes ~ There are 19 states that impose an estate/inheritance tax. These taxes are separate from federal taxes, hence portability doesn’t effect them.
  • Portability does not control bequests ~ While portability allows a married to leave 10.68 million to their heirs without incurring federal estate taxes, couples should still include traditional strategies to control how and when their heirs receive the assets.
  • Portability does not cover asset appreciation ~​ Any appreciation on a deceased spouses assets are added to the estate of the surviving spouse. If this  amount exceeds the surviving spouses estate exculsions, tax will be due on the difference.
  • Generation skipping transfer is not portable ~ Portability doesn’t apply to GST exemptions, any unused portion will not transfer to a surviving spouse.

The Importance of Balance

Though recent legislation has brought stability to estate planning, it’s done little to lessen the complexity. While portability is a popular provision, it is best utilized within a diverse and flexible estate plan. Whether you choose to partner with us or another professional estate planner, we strongly recommend seeking guidance to balance portability with traditional strategies to best protect your estate.

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Intro to an IRS Offer in Compromise

If you are a taxpayer finding yourself unable to meet your full tax liability, or believe doing so will cause a financial hardship, filing an Offer in Compromise (OIC) with the IRS may be an option. However, before filing an OIC, it’s important to know what it is, how the process works, and if you qualify.

What is an OIC?

In simplest terms, an OIC is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles their tax liability for less than the full amount owed. Though we would all love to have less tax liability, very few taxpayers qualify. The approval of an OIC is based on the IRS’s determination as to whether they can reasonably expect to collect in full, either as a lump sum or through a payment agreement.

When the IRS calculates a taxpayer’s reasonable collection potential, they examine one year’s future income for offers paid in five months, and two years future income for offers paid in 6 to 24 months. All offers must be paid in full within 24 months of acceptance. A taxpayer should be aware of all IRS payment options before considering an OIC.

It bears mentioning that there is no legal right to have a tax debt reduced, it’s up to the discretion of the IRS. Currently only about 25% of OICs submitted were accepted by the IRS. You do have the right to take a rejection to the IRS Appeals Board.

Who Qualifies For an OIC?

Before filing an OIC, a taxpayer should determine if they qualify. There are several conditions that must be met before a taxpayer is qualified to have an OIC considered by the IRS. The IRS must establish that there is some doubt as to whether they can collect, this is called doubt as to collectibility, or that collection would create undue financial hardship. In order to qualify, a taxpayer must also be current with all filing and payment requirements, and cannot be in open bankruptcy proceedings.

Taxpayers can use the IRS’s online Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier(link is external) to determine eligibility.

How Does The Process Work

The process for submitting an OIC begins with completing IRS form 656, Offer in Compromise. Form 656 must be mailed with an application fee of $150 attached. In addition to form 656, a Collection Information Statement (form 433-A) must be submitted. If married, the IRS may also request your spouse’s data be included on form 433-A. Be warned, this is only the first step in a long, complex, and arduous process. Due to the difficulty of having an OIC considered, we strongly recommend consulting a tax advisor before filing.

Why Seek Help?

After all necessary forms are submitted, the IRS will request a multitude of financial documentation, everything from pay stubs to vehicle registrations will be expected. This often results in taxpayers submitting box loads of  records for the IRS to review, any overlooked (or lost) documents can result in rejection of an offer.

If an OIC is rejected, any information given by the IRS can be utilized to ramp up it’s collection efforts against a taxpayer. In addition, interest continues on the full tax debt throughout the review process. It’s because of these factors (coupled with the IRS’s 75% rejection rate) that it makes sense for a taxpayer to be certain of acceptance before submitting an OIC.

Whether you choose Minyard or another firm, a CPA can establish your likelihood of  IRS acceptance, before investing the considerable time and cost of an OIC review. Once establishing a reasonable certainty of success, a CPA will then help to determine an amount to offer, file all forms, and ensure all supporting documentation is properly submitted. In short, a tax professional can be the difference between IRS acceptance and the nightmare of a rejected OIC.

If you’re a taxpayer finding yourself in trouble with the IRS, please contact us. We can analyze your situation, and help determine if an OIC is your best course of action.

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Partnership Form 1065 Stiff Penalties for Late Filing

Late Filing of Return

A penalty is assessed against the partnership if it is required to file a partnership return and it (a) fails to file the return by the due date, including extensions or (b) files a return that fails to show all the information required, unless such failure is due to reasonable cause. The penalty is $195 for each month or part of a month (for a maximum of 12 months) the failure continues, multiplied by the total number of persons who were partners in the partnership during any part of the partnership’s tax year for which the return is due. (So, if you have 5 partners you will be charged $975 for each month the return is not filed.) If the partnership receives a notice about a penalty after it files the return, the partnership may send the IRS an explanation and the Service will determine if the explanation meets reasonable-cause criteria. Do not attach an explanation when filing the return.

Failure To Furnish Information Timely

For each failure to furnish Schedule K-1 to a partner when due and each failure to include on Schedule K-1 all the information required to be shown (or the inclusion of incorrect information), a $100 penalty may be imposed with respect to each Schedule K-1 for which a failure occurs. (So again, say you have 5 partners. This will be an additional $500 to add to the accumulated late filing penalty’s.) The maximum penalty is $1.5 million for all such failures during a calendar year. If the requirement to report correct information is intentionally disregarded, each $100 penalty is increased to $250 or, if greater, 10% of the aggregate amount of items required to be reported, and the $1.5 million maximum does not apply.

When To File

Generally, a domestic partnership must file Form 1065 by the 15th day of the 4th month following the date its tax year ended as shown at the top of Form 1065.

For partnerships that keep their records and books of account outside the United States and Puerto Rico, an extension of time to file and pay is granted to the 15th day of the 6th month following the close of the tax year. Do not file Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns, if the partnership is taking this 2-month extension of time to file and pay. Attach a statement to the partnership’s tax return stating that the partnership qualifies for the extension of time to file and pay. If the partnership is unable to file its return within the 2-month period, use Form 7004 to request an additional 3-month extension.

For further information call our office at 602-266-1060.

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IRS Videos Address Your Responsibility Under ACA

The IRS announced (on Monday) that they’ve released a number of new YouTube videos discussing the shared responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act and a variety of tax return filing topics.  You can find the IRS YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/irsvideos(link is external).

The video addressing the ACA features IRS Commisioner John Koskinen explaining who is affected by the individual shared responsibility provision, who must have health insurance or an exemption. He also discusses qualifying plans, the types of exemptions available, and what happens if you don’t have coverage or an exemption.

 

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