News and Events - Press Releases

April 23, 2015 - Press release – New Reserve Study Standards

Porter & Lasiewicz partner Gary Porter, CPA has long been recognized as a leader in the community association and timeshare industries. Mr. Porter has also been long involved in preparation of reserve studies, reserve study methodology, and reserve study software development. Gary Porter is also president of the International Capital Budgeting Institute (ICBI) and president of Facilities Advisors International, a reserve study company.

ICBI announced the adoption of new professional reserve study standards effective April 16, 2015. These standards, known as Generally Accepted Reserve Study Principles and Generally Accepted Reserve Study Standards, represent the culmination of a year-long effort by ICBI to provide standards for better reporting of reserve studies for the community association and timeshare industries. These standards represent the biggest change in the reserve study process in twenty years and will result in better reliability and consistency of reporting in reserves.

ICBI president Gary Porter formed a team of 16 industry professionals from six countries for this process. The ICBI standards committee included a broad spectrum of industry professionals that were able to provide a perspective reflecting all stakeholders in the industry. These are truly global standards and are already being applied in several countries.

The primary differences of the new ICBI standards as compared to previously existing standards are best summarized in four broad categories:

1) A more comprehensive definition of components – The standards expand and clarify the definition of components to reflect the true maintenance responsibility of the association. This results in greater consistency and reliability in reserve studies.

2) A more definitive description of service levels – ICBI provides for three service levels; independent study, reserve management plan (collaborating with the association), and consulting.          

3) A requirement for consistent calculations – ICBI standards establish requirements for consistent calculation methods and software capable of making accurate calculations. Standards also require consistent terminology definitions.                               

4) A consistent and uniform approach to reporting on reserve studies – ICBI standards require specific, consistent reporting formats on a summary basis, generally with a report of no more than 20 pages. Supplemental schedules providing the detail are generally separated from the basic report.

The result to the public is a reliability and uniformity that benefits all users of reserve studies.

There are articles providing a more complete description of these standards in the Linkedin groups “Condo and HOA Finances” and “Condo and HOA Reserve Studies.” Another financial related group is “Condo and HOA Taxes.” All are open groups, but you have to be a member of Condo and HOA Finances before you can join the other two.

ICBI                www.capitalbudgeting.org

Standards        http://www.capitalbudgeting.org/index.php/rs-professional-standards

Committee      http://www.capitalbudgeting.org/index.php/rs-standards-committee

March 15, 2015 - Gary Porter had an article published "Another look at Fraud" in the Focus Magazine for the Los Angeles Chapter of CAI.

October 26 - 27, 2014 - Gary Porter presented a session on timeshare association reserve studies at the TBMA (Timeshare Board members Association) conference in San Diego, California.  There were a number of other individuals presenting sessions on various aspects of timeshare operations.

August 5, 2014 - Porter & Lasiewicz, CPAs received notice from the IRS that an application prepared by the firm for a homeowners association in Texas has been approved by the IRS for tax exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(4).  This Association was previously recognized as exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(7) as a recreational organization, and categorized as a "private club."  The Association had a number of factors that indicated (7) was the wrong section of the Code, and that (4) was a better fit.  We applied for exemption Code Section 501(c)(4) under the premise that the Association, although it did have limited restricted access of certain common areas, was essentially open to the public, and therefore qualified for exemption under Code Section 501(c)(4). 

Due to the nature of its operations, this Association will recognize little federal income tax benefit, other than reduction of tax risk, but will receive significant tax benefit by now qualifying for exemption from Texas state sales tax on purchases.  This will result in savings of an amount that is multiples of the cost to obtain exempt status, and the annual savings is equal to several thousand dollars.

August 2, 2014 - Porter & Lasiewicz, CPAs received notice from the IRS that an application prepared by the firm for a public charity in Arizona has been approved by the IRS for tax exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).  This charitable organization is related to an age restricted Association of more than 20,000 homes that is exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(4).  The primary purpose of the charitable organization is to provide assistance to the elderly that live within the Association and surrounding areas.

The related Association is so large that, by itself, it qualifies as a "community" as contemplated in the Internal Revenue Code.  The work of the new charitable organization will provide significant benefits primarily to fixed income senior citizens, and will reduce the burdens of local government.

P&L, CPAs is proud to have played a small part in the creation of this organization.

May 17 - 18, 2014 - Gary Porter attended the 2014 APRA symposium in Orlando, Florida.  The symposium included eight hours of continuing education on a number of technical reserve study topics.

May 14 - 16, 2014 - Gary Porter attended the 2014 CAI National conference in Orlando, Florida.  In addition to attending a number of educational sessions and the reserve professionals "shoptalk" session, Gary met with a number of management companies and large scale associations.

May 5 - 6, 2014 - Gary Porter presented a session of unique aspects of timeshare association reserve studies at the TBMA (Timeshare Board Members Association) conference in Orlando, Florida.  There were a number of other individuals presenting sessions on various aspects of timeshare operations.  This was a great event featuring the top leaders of the timeshare industry.

April 28 - 29, 2014 - Gary Porter presented a session of unique aspects of timeshare association reserve studies for more than 200 resort managers at the VRI (Vacation Resorts International) conference in San Antonio, Texas.  There were a number of other individuals presenting sessions on various aspects of timeshare operations.  This was a great event with a great group of speakers.

May 5, 2014 - Gary Porter had an article published "The 2012 Syndrome and Reserve Funding" at the industry resource website, HOA Pulse.  This article discusses the "head in the sand" approach used by some individuals because "I won't be here when those expenditures are required."

March 26, 2014 - Gary Porter had an article published "Penny Wise, Pound Foolish = Big Problems " at the industry resource website, HOA Pulse.  This article discusses the pitfalls failing to perform routine maintenance that results in much larger long-term expenditure requirements.

January 15, 2014 - Gary Porter had an article published "Funding Reserves Based on Percentage of Assessments" at the industry resource website, HOA Pulse.  This article discusses the pitfalls of approaching reserves based on available funds rather than actual expenditure requirements.

December 4, 2013 - Gary Porter attended the 2013 Cooperator Florida conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  On the way back, he spent two days in Sandestin, Florida working on a reserve study for an exclusive private residence club.

December 4, 2013 - Gary Porter had an article published "Reserve Loans and Interest Deductions" at the industry resource website, HOA Pulse.  This article explains the tax issues related to deductibility of loan interest on loans made for reserve projects.

October 15, 2013 - Gary Porter had an article published "Who owns the Reserve Study report?" at the industry resource website, HOA Pulse.  This article discusses the different points of view regarding independent reports versus consulting reports.

September 19, 2013 - Gary Porter had an article published "Reserve Study Versus Insurance Appraisal or PCA" at the industry resource website, HOA Pulse.  This article explains the difference between the three different types of services commonly provided for homeowners associations.

September 4, 2013 - Gary Porter had an article published "Contingencies in the Reserve Study" at the industry resource website, HOA Pulse.  This article discusses the different ways that contingencies can be calculated and presented in the reserve study.

August 14, 2013 - Gary Porter had an article published "Selecting a Reserve Study Company" at the industry resource website, HOA Pulse.  This article helps the reader address the important issues in selecting a reserve study company.

August 14, 2013 - Gary Porter had an article published "Setting the Scope of the Reserve Study" at the industry resource website, HOA Pulse.  The most important, yet most overlooked step in the reserve study process is explained in detail.  This helps YOU take control of your reserve study.

July 24, 2013 - Gary Porter had an article published "Reserve Studies and Remaining Life" at the industry resource website, HOA Pulse.  Discusses the importance of determining remaining life and the various methods that can be used to calculate remaining life.

July 10, 2013 - Gary Porter had an article published "The Importance of the Reserve Fund" at the industry resource website, HOA Pulse.

May 7, 2013 - Gary Porter had an article published "Some Brief Notes on Roof Maintenance" at the industry resource website, HOA Pulse.

April 2013 - Gary Porter had an article published "Calculating Reserves" at the industry resource website, HOA Pulse.  HOA Pulse is one of the industry's most heavily visited websites, attracting thousands of readers each month.

April 27, 2013 - Gary Porter presented a session on reserve studies for more than 100 homeowner members as part of the Wildernest Board member Bootcamp in Silverthorne, Colorado.  Other speakers of the day presented sessions on insurance, legal update, regulatory issues, keyless entry systems, and board member responsibilities.  A great event with a great group of speakers.

April 2013 - Gary Porter was a speaker on a panel of three reserve professionals on the subject of contracts for reserve study services.  This discussion was part of APRA's 2013 symposium in San Diego, California.

April 2013 - Gary Porter attended the 2013 APRA symposium in San Diego, California.  The symposium included eight hours of continuing education on various reserve study topics.  Technical presentations included in the education courses included HVAC systems, Flat Roofing systems, legal issues.

April 2013 - Gary Porter attended the 2013 CAI National conference in San Diego, California.  He attended a number of educational sessions and the reserve professionals "shoptalk" session.

In addition, since this was CAI's 40th anniversary, special recognition was given to all of CAI's past presidents.  Gary Porter was CAI's 25th president, and participated in the opening general session ceremony, attended the Presidents Club meeting, and introduced a group of speakers at a Friday morning educational session.

January 2013 - Gary Porter speaks as a panel member at CAI's Law Seminar in Tucson, Arizona.  The topics were associations finances and reserve issues, as part of the CIRMS Masters Series of courses.  Other panelists included three insurance professionals, and representatives of FHA and FNMA.

May 2012 - Gary Porter attended the 2012 APRA symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The symposium included eight hours of continuing education on various reserve study topics.  Technical presentations included in the education courses included swimming pools, decking, flooring systems, and energy efficient systems.

May 2012 - Gary Porter attended the Community Associations Institute (CAI) National conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

November 12, 2011 - Gary Porter presented at a Reserve and Budgeting Seminar and NEW Utah State Law in Salt Lake City, Utah.

June 2011 - Gary Porter attended the 2011 APRA (Association of Professional Reserve Analysts) symposium in Chicago, Illinois.  The symposium included eight hours of continuing education on various reserve study topics.  Technical presentations included in the education courses included elevator maintenance, siding installation and maintenance issues, and window installation and maintenance issues.

January 25, 2010 -  The Firm recently received notice from the IRS that an application prepared by the firm for a homeowners association in Hawaii has been approved by the IRS for tax exempt status under Code Section 501(c)(4).

This master association has almost 3,000 lots, and is home to more than 8,000 residents.  The Association is not gated, and contains 20 smaller condominium and single family home associations.  Maintenance activities include maintaining parks, trails and paths that are open to the general public.  The Association’s clubhouse is also available for public use on a fee basis.  In addition, the Association’s patrol service coordinates with local law enforcement agencies in combating crime, and the Association has a very active graffiti prevention and cleanup program.

Tax refunds claimed for the tax years open under the statute of limitations far exceeded all costs related to the filing, and the Association’s future tax savings are substantial each year.

P&L, and its predecessor, Porter and Company, CPAs have prepared more tax exemption applications than any other tax professional serving the HOA industry.  All exemption applications submitted that have been processed by the IRS have ultimately been approved.  We usually have several applications pending at any given time.  Most tax exemption applications submitted have been for associations allowing substantial public access to their common areas, such as the one in Hawaii described above.  However, we have also successfully gained tax exempt status for several gated associations that meet other criteria, and have successfully regained tax exempt status for several associations that had previously had their exempt status revoked by the IRS.  Our expertise with the tax exemption process has benefited many associations across the country.

For more information on tax exemptions for homeowners associations, contact Gary Porter CPA at (805)433-6022 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  View our website at www.501c4taxexempt.com.

December 3, 2009 - Gated association gains tax exempt status.  P&L, and its predecessor, Porter & Company, CPAs recently received notice from the IRS that a homeowners association in the southeastern U.S. has been approved by the IRS for tax exempt status under Code Section 501(c)(4). 

This association consists of more than 5,000 lots and is a gated community.  It is very rare for a gated association to qualify as a tax exempt social welfare organization.  However, this association qualified for tax exemption because it is large enough to constitute a community in and of itself, and because it also performs a number of quasi-governmental functions. 

The activities performed include road maintenance for more than 40 miles of roads, security patrol coordinated with Sheriff’s department, architectural review board, and community governance.  The Association is also home to a County Fire Department station, and the association is designated as a first responder in case of emergencies.  Recreational activities consist of boating, equestrian trails, and sports courts serving the community.  The Association also operates timeshare units that are available to the public.

The Firm has prepared more tax exemption applications than any other tax professional serving the HOA industry, and we have successfully regained tax exempt status for several associations that had their exempt status revoked by the IRS.  Our experience has benefited many associations across the country. 

For more information on tax exemptions for homeowners associations, contact:
Gary Porter CPA
805-433-6022
View our website at www.501c4taxexempt.com

November 16, 2009 - P&L, through its predecessor Porter & Company CPAs, recently received notice from the IRS that two more associations have been approved by the IRS for tax exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(4). One association, located in Orange County, California, consists of approximately 2,000 homes and provides trails and nature preserves to the surrounding communities. The other association, located in San Diego County, California, consists of almost 3,000 homes and maintains streets, trails, and a nature preserve open to the public. The addition of these two association brings the count to more than 80 associations successfully approved, with none denied exempt status. Cumulative tax savings to our clients now exceeds $17 million.

And, we still have several exemption applications pending for associations from Hawaii to the east coast and points in between.

The Firm has prepared more tax exemption applications than any other tax professional serving the HOA industry. We have successfully regained tax exempt status for several associations that had their exempt status revoked by the IRS. We have successfully re-filed for exempt status where others tried and failed. We have successfully gained exempt status where other tax professionals and advisors stated that the associations would not qualify. We snatched one association from the gaping maw of the IRS just as it was ready to issue a significant tax deficiency notice based on the IRS audit of the Form 1120 tax return. Our experience has benefited many associations all across the country.

For more information on tax exemptions for homeowners associations, contact:

Gary Porter CPA

Voice 805.433.6022

Fax 805.426.8177

and view our website at www.501c4taxexempt.com