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Michael Kovacs, CPA

Michael Kovacs, CPA

Author's details

Name: Michael Kovacs, CPA
Date registered: February 8, 2011

Contact Information

Phone: 312-670-7444
Fax: 312-670-8301



Mike has served as an accountant for closely-held businesses for more than 30 years. He has been with ORBA since 1986 and is a member of the firm's Real Estate Group. He joined the firm as a tax season intern and became a Director in 2000. Mike’s work focuses on providing accounting, tax and business consulting services to mid-size companies in a variety of industries, including real estate, manufacturing and financial services. Mike is also one of the firm’s experts in audits of employee benefit plans.

Latest posts

  1. Consider Your Options with Non-Vested Participant Forfeitures — November 7, 2017
  2. Be Prepared for Your Next — or First — QDRO — April 4, 2017
  3. Lease with a Purchase Option … or Sale? It Matters to the IRS — November 17, 2016
  4. Is a Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan Right for Your Company? — September 6, 2016
  5. Real Estate Group Newsletter — Fall 2015 — October 16, 2015

Author's posts listings

Nov 07

Consider Your Options with Non-Vested Participant Forfeitures

As a way of encouraging long-term employment, employee benefit plans often provide a combination of vested and non-vested assets. When employees leave a company before their employer contributions have vested, they may forfeit those amounts based on how long they worked for the employer.

Apr 04

Be Prepared for Your Next — or First — QDRO

In the settlement of divorce cases, it is frequent to have the courts order that a portion of one spouse’s pension benefits be assigned to the other (soon to be former) spouse. However, it is up to the plan sponsor or administrator to determine whether the order qualifies as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). This article discusses common errors that plan sponsors encounter when qualifying a domestic relations order and how to handle the rejection of an order.

Nov 17

Lease with a Purchase Option … or Sale? It Matters to the IRS

Landlords who really wish to sell will often enter a lease with a tenant that includes an option to purchase the property. A lease option is a traditional lease with a purchase option that gives the tenant the exclusive right to buy the property at the price typically set from the beginning. However, the IRS might recharacterize the arrangement as a sale in the form of a contract for deed. This article explains how lease options work.

Sep 06

Is a Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan Right for Your Company?

Nonqualified deferred compensation plans enable key employees to defer a higher proportion of their current income to later years when they retire. While nonqualified plans often are perceived as only for top executives, they may also be right for upper-level staff. This article discusses what plan sponsors need to know about nonqualified deferred compensation plans.

Oct 16

Real Estate Group Newsletter — Fall 2015

ORBA’s Real Estate Group Newsletter is a quarterly publication focused on effective practice management. The Fall 2015 issue includes two articles, “Tenants in Trouble” and “Should I Improve Energy Efficiency in My Industrial Properties?”

Oct 06

Department of Labor Report on Auditors

In May, the U.S. Department of Labor issued their report, Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits, and it was embarrassing for our profession. Their report found that 39% of audits had one or more major deficiencies. As the auditors of more than 50 plans, Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams (ORBA) took this report very seriously.

Sep 29

Compliance Alert

This feature lists a few key tax reporting deadlines for October and November.

Aug 19

Tax Court Considers House Flipper’s Expense Deductions

With many real estate markets on the rebound, real estate investors are resuming house-flipping strategies. Investors must keep in mind that in order to deduct expenses related to the property, the expenses must be incurred in connection with a “trade or business.” This article describes how a taxpayer in one recent case learned the hard way that a trade or business requires more than just vague intentions to sell at some point. Ohana v. Commissioner, Nos. 16014-11, 25896-11, May 8, 2014 (U.S. Tax Court)

Jan 07

What You Need to Know About ADP/ACP Discrimination Testing

Every year plan sponsors must test employee benefit plans to ensure that the contributions made by and for rank-and-file employees, also known as non-highly compensated employees (NHCEs), are reasonably proportional to contributions made for highly-compensated employees (HCEs), generally the company’s owners and managers. This blog examines what all employers should understand about these non-discrimination tests.

Aug 11

What’s Coming Up from the Department of Labor

The Department of Labor (DOL) is working on several important initiatives in 2014 covering a broad range of retirement plan issues. This blog reviews some initiatives affecting qualified retirement plans.

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