December 5, 2020

New York City

Apparently, PwC NYC Staffer Is a COVID-19 Victim

According to a post on r/accounting, PwC closed its two offices in New York City this weekend after a NYC employee tested positive for the coronavirus. Covid19 case at pwc NYC office from Accounting Also, posts on Reddit and Fishbowl have indicated other cases of COVID-19 in Big 4 U.S. offices, which we haven’t confirmed […]

Here’s a Look Inside Deloitte’s New Office Location at 30 Rock

Long ago, we broke the news that Deloitte would be consolidating its New York City offices into one location at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. This is exciting moment for all the NYC employees who will spend hours and hours staring a new blandly colored walls. This past week, there was a little fiesta to celebrate the […]

What if Deloitte Moved Out of New York City?

What happens when you’re the Prized Catch of the New York City real estate market? You threaten to move your operations to New Jersey or Connecticut, of course!

Per a report on GlobeSt.com: “According to IDA documents, Deloitte notes that it is ‘currently assessing options’ for its metro area real estate strategy, ‘including the evaluation of existing in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.’”

One could assume that this is just a ploy by Deloitte to frighten the IDA into approving $21 million in tax benefits, but Deloitte – currently in four different buildings around the city – bit back with teeth:

In New Jersey, Deloitte US firms “have significant operations, including recently expanded, underutilized class A office space.” Similarly, Deloitte has more than 30,000 square feet of “underutilized” office space in Connecticut, and adds that “various other jurisdictions are being considered” for future growth.

Now before you East Village wannabe socialites and Park Slope stroller pushers freak, let’s break this down.

Deloitte isn’t going anywhere. Corporate Tax breaks are nothing new, right baseball fans?

Even if it were to move across the Hudson to New Jersey, it is doubtful the firm would go farther than Jersey City. Sure, there are comrades in Parsippany; but it would be very difficult to maintain a city presence from exit 45 off of Rte 80. But from a staffing perspective, this would be corporate suicide. What University of Texas (“at Austin” – sure, sure) graduate wants to move to New York City and Not. Actually. Be. In. New York. City?

Recruitment – shot.

Talent retention – HAHAHA.

A handful of current employees thankful their NJ Transit days are over – okay, I’ll give you that one.

Listen – in reality, this is a rather simple case. Manhattan is bleeding vacant office space; Deloitte is promising 2,100 new jobs; no one really wants to take the PATH train to work every morning. This should be a rather slam dunk case.

Unless, of course, Connecticut governor Jodi Rell catches wind that the Green Dot is looking for a new home.

PwC Report: Venture Capital Activity in New York Jumps While Silicon Valley Sees a Slide

This story is republished from CFOZone, where you’ll find news, analysis and professional networking tools for finance executives.

Silicon Valley is still central headquarters for venture capital activity in the US. But it looks like the New York City area is trying to play catch up.

A new report shows an increase in the region both in the amount of startup funding and the number of deals for two consecutive quarters, while activity in Silicon Valley dropped.


The report, from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, found that financing for companies in and around the Big Apple increased to $566 million in the first quarter. That was an 18.9 percent rise from the previous quarter, also a 34 percent year-over-year increase. A total of 75 firms received money in the first quarter, up 13.6 percent.

In Silicon Valley the story was very different. Investment dollars and numbers still won out over New York, of course. But the trend was down. Total funding of $1.5 billion in the first quarter represented a 21.4 percent drop from the fourth quarter 2009, while the number of deals fell 24.6 percent over the same period.

Overall share of VC money also rose in New York and fell in Silicon Valley. In New York, it reached 12 percent, up from 9.2 percent in the fourth quarter 2009, compared to 32.3 percent for Silicon Valley, down from 37.5 percent.

This New York- area investment growth reflects recent efforts by venture capitalists and the New York City government to rev up funding.

A few examples:

Last spring, New York law firm Lowenstein Sandler started First Growth Venture Network, which provides mentoring for newbie CEOs from venture capital firms, angels and more-seasoned executives.

Last fall, they announced the first 15 CEO mentees. Late last year, seven successful entrepreneurs launched the Founder Collective to make $50,000 to $1 million investments in very early-stage ventures in New York, as well as the Boston area.

In early 2009, NYC Seed, a partnership of venture capital, non-profits and universities, made its first investments in several seed-stage ventures.

Last week, I wrote about trends in angel investing and noted that such financing provides more money for startups than venture capital. Still, although VCs invest in a small percentage of all new companies, they do support enterprises with potential to become real powerhouses. So, the New York area economy clearly benefits both in the short and long-term from this financing activity.

Although it’s doubtful these firms will ever match the contribution in tax dollars and jobs provided by Wall Street.

Panic Isn’t Necessary if Your Tax Preparer Got Swept Up in “Operation Brass Tax”

With less than a week until April 15th, it’s safe to assume that some people are finally getting a tad anxious about the upcoming deadline. If you live in New York and happen to be one of these procrastinators, it may be wise to check with your tax professional, not only because they hate it when you show up on the 13th – 15th with nary a clue about what you earned in 2009 but also because if you’re really unlucky, your tax pro instead was just total shiester and got caught up in “Operation Brass Tax.”


First off, we’ll just say that we’re not sure who at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York or the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division was given the modest charge of naming this particular operation but it obviously sucks. We’re not expecting you have an imagination like JK Rowling or anything but guys, c’mon.

But enough with trivial matters, the main concern is that there are many New Yorkers that are completely going batshit crazy because A) they recently found out that their tax preparer was a robbing them blind and B) they have no idea how they are going to get their tax return filed in less than a week without help because reading the instructions is NOT. AN. OPTION.

Twenty-six phony tax experts in Manhattan and the Bronx have been charged by the SDNY/IRS for pulling a smorgasbord of scams including, “stolen identities of children to falsely claim them as dependents on clients’ returns; claiming “business losses” from fictitious businesses; using stolen identities, including Social Security numbers, of deceased individuals to list as the ‘taxpayers’ on fraudulent returns, and taking the resulting refunds themselves.”

All this chicanery has U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara upset because these tax professionals are supposed to be the good guys!

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and IRS Special Agent-in-Charge Patricia Haynes unsealed charges Thursday against the tax preparers. Sixteen were in custody, four had been previously charged and face new charges, and six remain at large. “Professional tax preparers are supposed to be gatekeepers, not facilitators of fraud,” said Bharara in a statement.

Some might argue that this is just another reason why regulating tax preparers is the best idea the IRS has ever had. Of course then you remember that these regulations will probably drive these tax prep lemonade stands underground anyway.

While that’s another matter entirely, there’s no cause for concern. There’s plenty of tax gurus in New York like the guy who got mixed reviews on Craigslist. If venturing to Queens isn’t a solution then you can always, you know, file the extension.

26 NYC Tax Preparers Charged with Tax Fraud [Web CPA]
More New York Tax Trouble:
Investigation Reveals that 30% of Tax Preparers in NYC Lied About Rapid Refunds

Investigation Reveals that 30% of Tax Preparers in NYC Lied About Rapid Refunds

For whatever reason, people crave their tax refunds like Big 4 recruits crave tchothkes. Accordingly, someone came up with the bright idea of “refund anticipation loans” or rapid refunds. Web CPA is reporting that the New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs has investigated nearly 800 tax preparers throughout the City and issue over 2,000 citations for violations including illegal advertising of the rapid refunds.


Getting your refund ASAP is the personal mission of every tax-American but if preparers lie about the fact that they’re actually loan sharks, then that’s when the City will get after you:

Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz noted that RAL costs can amount to as much as a 500 percent interest rate. “The truth is that RALs are such a bad idea that tax preparers and lenders generally need to lie about them in order to sell them,” he said at a press conference Tuesday. “Lying about them in New York is illegal.”

Mintz’s investigators found that three out of 10 tax preparers in the city were misleading their customers about their rights, and in most cases telling them or deceptively advertising that a refund loan was just a rapid refund or a same-day refund. “In the Bronx, over half the preparers that we inspected got it wrong and were issued violations,” he said.

C’mon Bronx tax prep, you’re better than that…

The silver lining in this little story? The City will collect a $1 million and by the grace of God, tax preparers are actually messing up less, as the compliance rate reached 69% in the 2010 investigation up from 65% in ’09 and 56% in ’08.

We here at GC have harped on the upcoming tax preparer regulation, most recently the declaration by the IRS that the new regs are the most important step taken EVER. While that particular statement remains to be hyperbole of the highest order, the new regs will certainly drive these tax prep/loan sharks underground. Whether that’s good or bad depends on your comfort level with black market tax prep services. The IRS doesn’t care; they’ll be coming heavy either way.

NYC Cracks Down on Income Tax Preparer RALs [Web CPA]

Meticulous Records Save Billionaire $27 Million in Taxes

julian_robertson.jpgSo you’re Julian Robertson and you’re a billionaire right? You’re on the Forbes list &mdash right behind that cheater Raj but ahead of Wilbur Ross! &mdash and you don’t have many worries.
Except for the City of New York trying to nab $27 million dollars from you! Subways stations falling apart, government employees being laid off. Bah. That’s over 1% of your net worth (based on Forbes’ latest count) and you’ll be damned if the City is going to get their grubby mitts on it.


WSJ:

At issue was Mr. Robertson’s whereabouts on four days during [2000]: April 15, July 23, July 31 and Nov. 16. The other 362 days were accounted for, with documentary proof of 183 days spent in the city and 179 spent outside. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance argued that because he didn’t have documentary proof for the four days, he was therefore a resident and owed city taxes of $26,792,341.

Four days. Four days standing in between you and $27 million. As we mentioned, it’s not like this is a substantial amount but this was one of those qualitative over quantitative decisions: “$27 million, an amount important enough to the hedge-fund manager that he and his staff spent hours and developed a complicated calendar system to track his whereabouts.”
See? It’s the principle. Robertson is bending over backwards to play by the rules since he once told an assistant — who meticulously tracks New York City days and non-New York City days — that crossing the GW Bridge at 11:45 pm is considered a New York City day.
Between the human GPS and Robertson’s wife saying there was no way he was in the City — she doesn’t stand for him being ‘in her hair’ prior to vacay — the court was convinced that he wasn’t a New York City resident. Can’t say Robertson didn’t work for it.
In Tax Case, 4 Days Save Robertson $27 Million [WSJ]