ORLANDO, FLORIDA – William R. Lowman, Jr., Heidi W. Isenhart and Alexander “Alex” S. Douglas, II, partners with the law firm of ShuffieldLowman, have been selected as 2015 Florida Super Lawyers. Stephanie Cook has been named a Rising Star.

Super Lawyers, owned by Thomson Reuters, recognizes attorneys who have distinguished themselves in their legal practice.  The selection process is multi-phased and rigorous.  Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third-party research and validation of the attorney’s professional accomplishments.  The final published list represents five percent of the total lawyers in the state of Florida.

A founding partner of the firm, Lowman’s practice areas include corporate, business taxation, mergers & acquisitions, securities, intellectual property, estate planning, charitable trusts and foundations, families with closely held businesses, executive compensation planning and general tax law. Lowman is one of only six Orlando area business/corporate lawyers named to the Super Lawyers list.

Isenhart was named by Super Lawyers as one the top 50 women lawyers in the state and one of only three elder law attorneys to make the list in the Orlando area. In addition to elder law, Isenhart also practices in Medicaid planning, guardianship, probate and trust administration, probate and guardianship litigation, estate planning and special-needs trusts.

Douglas, one of only three Super Lawyers in the Orlando area named for estate and trust litigation, practices in the area of fiduciary and commercial litigation, with extensive experience in trust, probate and guardianship litigation.

Rising Star Stephanie Cook practices in commercial and civil litigation, construction law, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, fiduciary litigation and labor and employment.

ShuffieldLowman’s four downtown offices are located in Orlando, Tavares, DeLand and Daytona Beach. The firm is a 34 attorney, full service, business law firm, practicing in the areas of corporate law, estate planning, real estate and litigation. Specific areas include, tax law, securities, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, trademarks and copyrights, estate planning and probate, planning for families with closely held businesses, guardianship and elder law, tax controversy – Federal and State, non-profit organization law, banking and finance, land use and government law, commercial and civil litigation, fiduciary litigation, construction law, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, labor and employment, environmental law, and mediation.

  1. Income. If you make more than $200+ thousand dollars a year your chance of an audit jumps from .86% or 1 out 116 up to 2.701% which is 1 out of 37. If you make over a million dollars it is 1 in 13 chances. If you make less than $200 thousand then your chance of being audited is .78%.
  2. Information Returns. A miss match between information returns such as 1099s, W-2s, etc. and your personal return.
  3. Personal Deductions. Higher than average deductions for your income bracket.
  4. You run a small business and you are filing a Schedule C. The Schedule C reflects higher or lower gross sales than most sole proprietors, especially, if your business is cash intensive such as taxis, car washes, bars, salons, restaurants, and so forth. As opposed to C-Corps, the IRS is shifting its emphasis to S-Corps, small LLCs, and small partnerships.
  5. Taking large charitable deductions. IRS has statistical averages based on income brackets.
  6. Claiming rental losses. IRS is aggressively scrutinizing these, especially, where people are claiming to be real estate professionals and showing lots of income from non-real estate activities. There is a special audit project just for this.
  7. Taking alimony deductions. The IRS knows that court orders frequently do not meet the requirements to qualify as alimony, so they are looking at this issue frequently. They also want to make sure that the paid spouse is reporting the alimony as income.
  8. Writing off losses for a hobby. You must make money three out of five years, or the IRS will challenge your so-called “business” as a hobby.
  9. Business meals, travel, and entertainment. Large amounts set off alarm bells, especially, if they are too high for the type of business or profession. Documentation of this area is critical and, if it is not there, you will lose the deduction.
  10. Failure to report foreign bank accounts. IRS has received billions in this recent area and wants more.
  11. Claiming 100% business usage of a vehicle. IRS does not like this. Make sure you document with mileage logs and precise calendar entries as to usage. If you are buying a vehicle late in the year and writing it off, this is a red flag. If you are taking both depreciation and standard mileage rates this is incorrect and a red flag.
  12. Claiming day trader losses on a Schedule C. Investor losses are subject to a 2% cap of adjusted gross income. People trying to avoid this try to qualify as traders and get ordinary losses and avoid the 2% limitation.
  13. Gambling. First, is the failure to report winning or claiming big losses. Also, people frequently attempt to be classified as professional gamblers so they can take the cost of their lodging, meals and so forth.
  14. Claiming a home office deduction. Here there is an exclusive use issue. In other words, are you using the portion of your home exclusively for work? Also, it must be the principal place of the business.
  15. Engaging in currency transactions. If you are dealing with large cash deposits you may be triggering suspicious transaction reports by banks or any other financial institutions, and this can result in an audit.