Category: Tax

GSRJ Says Goodbye to Peggy Ugent

With a mixture of fondness and heavy hearts, we recently sad goodbye to Peggy Ugent, who retired in April after nearly 12 years with the firm. As GSRJ’s Director of Tax and Accounting, Peggy used her extensive expertise and background in U.S tax matters to counsel firm attorneys on income and transfer tax considerations with regard to proposed business transactions, choice of entity structure, and investment in pass-through entities. She has not disappeared from the industry completely, though; as the current chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Trust, Estate and Gift Tax Technical Resource Panel, she continues to share her deep knowledge of complex domestic and international tax issues.

Lauren Fitte

GSRJ Associate Lauren Fitte Named Texas Rising Star

For the first time ever, GSRJ associate Lauren Fitte has been selected for inclusion in the 2018 Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars list! Lauren has been with GSRJ since early 2017. She specializes in designing tax-efficient structures for U.S. and non-U.S. families and advises with regard to both inbound and outbound investment planning, inheritance planning, asset protection, tax compliance matters, international trust and estate planning, and pre-immigration planning. Ms. Fitte is a certified mediator who has published several articles on international estate planning and taxation. She is also a contributing editor to the four-volume treatise Asset Protection: Domestic and International Law and Tactics, published by Thomson/West group and updated quarterly.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. No more than 2.5% of up-and-coming lawyers in Texas are named to Rising Stars, as determined by Thomson Reuters.

Michael Ripp to Speak at Int’l Tax Conference

GSRP Partner Michael Ripp will present “Life Insurance and Annuities: Effective Tools in Pre-Immigration Tax Mitigation” at the 35th Annual International Tax Conference. Scheduled for January 5 and 6 in Miami, the conference is sponsored by the Tax Section of the Florida State Bar Association. The session will addresses the various applications of life insurance and annuity products for mitigating the federal tax consequences of immigrating to the U.S., whether temporarily or permanently. It will also emphasize the use of private placement contracts and other cost-efficient products of particular interest to the high net worth immigrant.

Michael’s primary expertise is advising non-U.S. individuals regarding the tax and legal issues involved in pre-immigration planning, temporary residency, and planning for gifts to their U.S.-resident families, both during lifetime and at death. A significant portion of his practice also involves advice regarding mechanisms for deploying leverage in the acquisition or monetization of assets, including real estate.


GSRP Adds New Offshore Tax Compliance Practice Area

The world is shrinking. Overseas connections are expanding. Families are spread across countries and continents. Many people in the United States (and U.S. citizens living abroad) are beneficiaries of foreign trusts or estates, and even more seek to invest overseas.

These trends have not gone unnoticed. Congress, the Internal Revenue Service, and other governmental agencies are ramping up enforcement efforts and getting results. The IRS hired about 3,300 new agents and tax compliance officers in 2009-2010 alone!

The regulatory landscape has changed dramatically since passage of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance provisions of the HIRE Act of 2010 (“FATCA”). And in recent years, the IRS has offered two separate voluntary disclosure programs to U.S. persons who had failed to fully report foreign assets.

GSRP is a law firm with in-house senior accounting expertise and a robust offshore and domestic tax compliance practice. The boutique nature of our firm allows us to deliver highly-personalized services. Our clients in the U.S. and abroad are much more than just files. Our technical expertise and proven processes, which utilize the latest technology, enable us to provide services that are reasonably-priced and timely-delivered.

Firm News from 2007

Cindy Grossman presented at the Oklahoma Society of CPAs 2007 Annual Meeting in Tulsa; her session was titled “The New Texas Franchise Tax: What Practitioners Need to Know.”

Michael Ripp, Mari Reed, and Cindy Grossman were named to the Texas Rising Star list for 2008, as published by Super Lawyers magazine. Rising Stars represent the top 2.5% of up-and-coming lawyers in the State of Texas, as determined by Law & Politics magazine.

Leslie Giordani and Derry Swanger are named to the Texas Super Lawyers list for 2008, as published by Super Lawyers magazine. Super Lawyers represent the top 5% of lawyers in Texas, as determined by Law & Politics magazine. Each attorney is featured in the Texas Super Lawyers Edition in the October issue of Texas Monthly magazine.

Leslie Giordani, Derry Swanger, Michael Ripp, and Steve Phillips were selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America© 2008. They foursome was featured in a special section of American Lawyer magazine (published November 2007).

We welcomed Stephen L. Phillips as a firm partner. Prior to joining us, he was a partner at Cantey Hanger, L.L.P., in Fort Worth, Texas. We also welcome new associate Cindy L. Grossman, who was also previously with Cantey Hanger, L.L.P.

Leslie Giordani and Bob Chesner presented “Deploying Alternative Investing Strategies via PPLI” at the 14th Annual Family Office Forum, in Chicago. The conference was held June 5-7.

Leslie Giordani and Bob Chesner co-chaired the IIR 5th Annual Event: Alternative Investing Through Life Insurance and Annuities. She also participated in a panel discussion called “Investor Control In Depth: Analysis with Case Examples.” The even was held February 26-27 in Miami. Michael Ripp presented at the same event–a session titled “Trend Focus: Are Annuities Gaining Ground on Life Insurance?”–and was a panelist for a session titled “Intermediate Course on Private Placement Life Insurance, Annuity, and Alternative Investment Products: Understanding the Tax, Product, and Regulatory Issues.“ 

We welcomed Bob Chesner as our new director of insurance; prior to joining the firm, Mr. Chesner was vice president of global affluent and corporate markets group at American International Group, Inc. and the chief marketing officer for AIG Life of Bermuda, Ltd.