Get Your 2008 Business Structure Plans in Order!

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At my office we’re getting end-of-year notices from government offices every day. These are the notices that tell us how long we’ve got to get filings in, and what it will take to get a 2008 filing date as we approach Christmas and the end of the year. If you’re still sitting on the fence thinking about a new business structure, setting up a Solo 401(k) plan, getting a Trust Sandwich into place – it’s time to make a decision!

Most states are pretty good about giving you a 2008 filing date, as long as the paperwork gets in before Dec 31st. Getting that paperwork processed, however, is another story. If you actually want the business structure in your hand before the end of the year you’ve probably got another 5-7 working days at best to get things done. Alternatively you can pay the expedited or preferential processing fees that most (but not all!) states offer and get things done in 2-3 days. Some states are already slowing down. We’re seeing issues with New York, and California brought in a new program in September that changed the turnaround from same day (for walk-ins) to a minimum of 5 days. Even Nevada’s getting slow right now. Unless you are willing to pay the expedite fees, you can count on at least a week to get anything filed.

For Solo 401(k) plans, you’re also beginning to come up against a time crunch. I called the folks at Pensco this morning to see what their holiday schedule & 2008 deadlines were looking like. They told me that in most cases a Solo 401(k) plan can be established within 2 days, assuming you’re going to be providing funding when you sign the paperwork. If you’re rolling funds over from another plan, it’s going to be hard to say. You may want to make a contribution to get your plan started and let the rollover funds hit when they hit.

Where Trust Sandwiches are concerned there’s lots of moving pieces. You’ve got the business structure, as well as all of the trust documents and deeds to have prepared. Then there’s arranging for signature, notarization and return – not to mention getting the property transfer deeds into the hands of the County Recorders, to be processed. And all the while there’s going to be staff Christmas parties, early closings, and folks who are more than a little distracted at times to contend with.

All of this is going to add up to some unnecessary pressure you can certainly do without. Avoid missing a deadline (or finding yourself the recipient of an unplanned-for tax hit). Take a look at your outstanding business matters and make sure you’ve got everything in order.

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