When a tenant violates the terms of their lease, it’s hardly surprising that their landlord will start eviction proceedings. But what happens if the property is sold in the midst of those proceedings?

A clever attorney may try to paper over a dubious act with layers of legitimate-looking transactions. But if the court decides the real motivation was to commit fraud, the whole arrangement can topple like a house of cards.

A number of new laws became effective on New Year’s Day, including a major change in the homeowner’s exemption for personal residences. If you or a family member owns a home – or you may need to collect a debt from a California homeowner – the new rules could be important.

The $2.3 trillion federal spending bill signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, formally known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, included $900 billion in stimulus relief for the COVID-19 pandemic, and a long list of other government spending measures.

However, the law also includes a number of provisions that may be very important for your personal and business tax planning. As outlined below, these include new tax credits, extensions of credits that were set to expire, more generous rules about Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans, and many others.

A year-end approaches, this is a good time to think about planning moves that may help lower your tax bill for this year and possibly next.

New tax rules have been enacted to help mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of which should be considered as part of this years’ planning, most notably elimination of required retirement plan distributions, and liberalized charitable deduction rules..

Higher-income earners must be wary of the 3.8% surtax on certain unearned income. The surtax is 3.8% of the lesser of:

(1) net investment income (NII), or (2) the excess of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) over a threshold amount ($250,000 for joint filers or surviving spouses, $125,000 for a married individual filing a separate return, and $200,000 in any other case).