Ways COVID-19 Can Affect Family Law Property Settlement

Family lawyers have started gaining lots of prominences, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary reason for that being, people, now prefer smaller nuclear families. This is where there are lots of property disputes going around.

The result is; people are searching for the best property settlement lawyers in their city.  This is especially the case for cities like Sydney and Melbourne, where many properties are around. Due to the multiple shares of properties in the city, family lawyers are in huge trend.

Now, you might say this was the case even before the Coronavirus pandemic occurred. Yes, in a way, you are true. But, after the whole forced lockdown period and growing requirement of maintaining social distance, many joint families, especially in Australia, have now started to part ways.

The big problem that arises due to this situation is who should be rewarded the property. To resolve the property dispute, family lawyers have slowly but gradually moved into the bigger picture. Many people have shown concern about how COVID-19 has changed the value of their assets at a proliferating pace. So, how do you resolve the property settlement cases on in such an unsettling environment?

There are certain questions that people have sent us which have left them undisturbed. And we are here to address these questions and give appropriate answers to our readers.

Let’s head straight to the questions and their solution in terms of the law.

Superannuation Values

Q: We mutually agreed upon a property settlement using a superannuation rollover to the other party. Now overnight, my superannuation balance has dipped to an all-time low. This has made the entire rollover thing unfair. What is the solution to this problem?

A: We would say that changes can be made depending upon the stage of your negotiation or whether you have court orders or a Binding Financial Agreement. Take the help from your family lawyer to get a solution to this problem.

Cash Payments

Q: We had a property settlement wherein I made a cash payment to the other party for their share of the house based on values a couple of months back. Now that the house prices have dipped by 25%, can this payment be adjusted?”

A: The answer to this question is yes in certain situations where this can be a possibility. However, you will have to discuss the facts of the particular matter with your family lawyer to get the right answer.

Business Valuations

Q: I had business assets from a part of our property pool, but its value has changed dramatically. There is a case where I will not be able to survive this pandemic due to the diminishing value of the property; what should I do?”

A: The answer to this question will depend upon your individual circumstances. You can get in touch with your family lawyer to renegotiate your property adjustment.

Apart from these questions, our readers ask other questions, which we have included in notable mentions below.

Since every family situation will be distinct and affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways, you need to discuss this with your family lawyer and ask for their help.

5 Steps that will Help You Search for the Best Tax Professional

With the tax season going on, you don’t want to delay searching for a tax professional. However, opting for tax preparation is not an easy feat.

It would help if you connected with the right tax professional from the beginning of the tax preparation. It would help if you kept in mind that the best tax preparers do more than fill out forms. They also need to watch out for the areas to ascertain potential savings, aid in the audit, and provide year-round guidance and support.

Comprehend your tax preparation requirements

The very first step to finding the best tax professional is to ascertain what services you require. Certain people look for basic tax returns, while others require a preparer handling complex tax situations. They also need to be available for consultation all year round. To know the rates of hiring these tax professionals, we advise you to look at the taxslayer audit assistance prices.

Certain CPAs concentrate primarily on audits. And those who opt for a career in tax preparation need to select from specific areas like individual, commercial, or real estate taxes.

In the same way, non-CPA tax preparers might have expertise in certain types of returns and not others.

Scrutinize your network for referrals

Once you have determined the scope of service required, the next step is to start searching. The best place to do this is to ask others for a recommendation or referral. Keep this in mind: A trusted attorney or insurance agent may also have connections with experienced tax professionals.

Confirm credentials

At the bare minimum, someone paid to prepare taxes requires a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) to file taxes with the IRS. But, almost anyone can get a PTIN, and there is no guarantee that a preparer is good at their job or offers the service you require. If you wish to file for more complex returns or help with tax-minimizing strategies, hire an enrolled agent, CPA, or tax attorney.

Take their interview

You can get a fair idea from the online reviews. However, nothing can replace a personal conversation. This is especially significant if you are searching for someone to partner with you for the long term.

Tax time can be very busy, so do not expect a long conversation. However, do ask for a five-to-10 minute phone call at the bare minimum. Here is some information that you can inquire from them:

How is data kept secure?

Do they charge a flat fee per form or an hourly rate?

How many returns do you complete per year?

Do you prepare all returns on your own, or do you have a staff to take care of that?

Do you know how to file for taxes online?

Look out for red flags

Not everyone who says he/she is a tax preparer is legitimate.

Watch out for these red flags:

  • Someone who promises a refund that is far more than anything you have received in the past
  • If it is difficult to find their physical address
  • Assessing a fee based on the size of your refund is a big violation of professional ethics

These are some of the steps to find the best tax professional and do tax preparation.