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Year-End Tax Newsletter: Planning for the End of 2019 and Beginning of 2020
Dykema, December 2019

Before 2019 comes to a close, it may be worthwhile to review the state of your tax, estate, and charitable giving plans. Along with the typical end-of-year considerations, it is important to remain aware of the effects of the 2017 tax act (informally called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017,” and herein the “2017 Tax Act”) that altered many longstanding rules and assumptions...

Department of Justice Announces Strike Force to Combat Antitrust Crimes in Government Procurements
Dykema, December 2019

On November 5, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division announced the establishment of a Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) to deter, detect, investigate, and prosecute criminal schemes that undermine the integrity of the government procurement process. One of the highlights of the PCSF is to reprioritize prosecutions of cartel conduct after a several-year decline...

Emerging Concerns Regarding Silica Exposure in the Engineered Stone Industry
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

The dangers of workers developing silicosis amid the fabrication of engineered stone has become a topic heavily discussed in the news and elsewhere recently. Silicosis is a lung disease that develops from the exposure and inhalation of silica particles. On Oct. 2, National Public Radio (“NPR”) aired a story entitled “Workers Are Falling Ill, Even Dying, After Making Kitchen Countertops...

Key Takeaways from USDA Final Interim Rules for Domestic Hemp Production
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

Introduction On Oct. 31, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its highly anticipated interim final rules, establishing the USDA Domestic Hemp Production Program to be administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)...

IRS Issues 2020 Limits for Retirement Plans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

On November 6, 2019, the IRS announced in Notice 2019-59 cost of living adjustments to the qualified plan dollar limits for 2020. Below is a summary of the limits that are generally relevant for most retirement plans. Effective January 1, 2020: The elective deferral limit for 401(k), 403(b), and eligible 457(b) plans is increased from $19,000 to $19,500. The catch-up contribution limit for those age 50 or older is increased from $6,000 to $6,500...

IRS Issues New Guidance on Cryptocurrency: Hard Forks and Other Utensils Are Taxable
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

After sending cryptocurrency enforcement letters in the summer of 2019, the IRS recently issued Revenue Ruling 2019-24 and an accompanying frequently asked questions (FAQs) with additional guidance on the taxation of cryptocurrency. The Revenue Ruling addresses the tax treatment of cryptocurrency "hard forks", where one version of the currency is split from its original ledger and a new version of the currency is created with a new ledger...

Is a Benefit Corporation Right for You?
Verrill, November 2019

The “benefit corporation” is a relatively new type of business entity. In 2010, Maryland became the first state in the U.S. to enact a statute recognizing and providing for the organization of this form of entity. In September, Maine joined 30 other states that have enacted benefit corporation legislation over the past nine years, and such legislation is currently pending in several more states...

Keep Medicare Enrollment Information Correct and Current or Suffer Consequences
Verrill, October 2019

While most providers understand the need to bill Medicare correctly, many often fail to recognize the potentially disastrous results of not keeping Medicare informed of your correct and up-to-date practice information. A recent case highlights the dangers of a seemingly innocent error, which resulted in a physician’s Medicare billing privileges being revoked...

The New Amendment to the KPK Law: Newly Passed Bill
Makarim & Taira S., October 2019

By the enactment of Law No. 30 of 2002 on The Corruption Eradication Commission, which was later amended by Government Regulation in lieu of Law No. 1 of 2015 on Amendments to Law No. 30 of 2002 on The Corruption Eradication Commission (“KPK Law”), the KPK was formed in 2002 in order to reduce the corruption prevalent in Indonesia...

USTR Announces List 4A Exclusion Request Process and Other US-China Trade Developments
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

The U.S.-China trade dispute continues to simmer with multiple significant developments in the past several weeks: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced the exclusion process for Chinese imports subject to List 4A Section 301 tariffs will open on Oct. 31, 2019 and conclude on Jan. 31, 2020. List 4A and 4B tariffs on an estimated $300 billion of goods imported from China, effective Sept. 1, 2019 and Dec...

PTSD Compensation for First Responders without Associated Physical Injury Revisited by the Ohio Legislature in New House Bill
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

With the recent proliferation of mass shootings and other deadly incidents, several states have taken on the issue of allowing mental and/or emotional impairments caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to be a compensable workers’ compensation condition for first responders without the requirement of a physical injury. In June 2019, House Bill 80, the budget bill for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, included such a proposal...

2019 New California Laws Impacting Cannabis Businesses
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

Governor Newsom has signed several bills that impact the cannabis industry by providing relief from federal income tax deduction limitations, encouraging minority participation, encouraging union membership, and clarifying some other existing regulations. The bills include: Assembly Bill 37 repeals the limitation on deductions for business expenses for cannabis businesses, which had previously conformed to Internal Revenue Code section 280E for state tax purposes...

Proposed Regulations Under the CCPA Provide Some Clarity, But Questions Remain
Verrill, October 2019

Earlier this month, the California Attorney General issued long-awaited proposed regulations (“Proposed Rule”) under the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”)[1] along with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Action and Initial Statement of Reasons explaining the Proposed Rule...

The Environment Bill 2019 - Water, Water, Everywhere
Shoosmiths LLP, October 2019

Part 5 of the Environment Bill, contains a number of disparate proposals relating to water – which could have major implications for many. Senior associate Joanne Sear and solicitor Grace Mitchell take a look at some of the key points in the Bill. Water resources planning According to its explanatory notes, the Bill is intended to “improve… water resources planning” and “facilitate… collaborative regional planning”...

Good Tax News for the Cannabis Industry: California Repeals 280E Limitation for Personal Income Tax
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

Existing law, the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), among other things, consolidates the licensure and regulation of commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis activities and authorizes persons to conduct specified commercial cannabis activities, as defined, in the state. The objectives of the new law are as follows: To provide tax equity to the cannabis industry...

IRS Finalizes New Hardship Distribution Rules for 401(k) and 403(b) Plans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

On September 23, 2019, the IRS published final regulations that amend the rules for hardship distributions from 401(k) and 403(b) plans. The regulations finalize the proposed regulations issued in November 2018 to implement statutory changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 intended to make it easier for plan participants to take hardship distributions...

Feinwachs Holds FCA Relator's Emails to Counsel, Even Though on Employer's Server, Protected as Work Product
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

In the False Claims Act (FCA) case of Feinwachs v. Minnesota Hospital Association, the district court recently upheld relator David Feinwachs’ claim of work-product privilege over emails sent to his work email account. No. 11-cv-0008, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155027 (D. Minn. Sept. 11, 2019).  Feinwachs was formerly general counsel of the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA), a trade association of Minnesota hospitals and health care systems...

Tax Issues to Consider when Providing E-Services to Russian-Based Clients
ALRUD Law Firm, October 2019

With effect from 1st. January 2019, Russia amended the rules relating to VAT taxation of electronic (online) services (e.g. provision of rights to use software, streaming music, films, gaming services, hosting, website and webpage support, etc.). The new regulations raised a number of questions that are considered in this article...

FDA Warns Consumers to Stop Using THC Vaping Products Amid Ongoing Investigation into Lung Injuries
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

Acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Norman Sharpless has issued a statement warning Americans to stop using vaping products that emit THC until further testing can be done. Federal and state public health agencies, including the FDA, have been investigating an unprecedented wave of 1,000-plus cases of severe lung injuries and deaths among consumers who claimed they used vaping products containing THC, nicotine, or both...

Cincinnati Is Latest City to Outlaw Hair Discrimination
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

Cincinnati, Ohio has joined a small but growing list of states and municipalities that ban discrimination on the basis of natural hair styles. On Oct. 9, 2019, the Cincinnati City Council voted 7-1 to add a hair-bias ban to the city’s existing non-discrimination law...

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations Regarding Individual Coverage HRAs
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

On Sept. 30, 2019, the IRS issued proposed regulations regarding how the employer-shared-responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and certain nondiscrimination rules under the Internal Revenue Code (Code) will apply to individual coverage health reimbursement accounts (HRAs). The proposed regulations aim to facilitate the adoption of individual coverage HRAs by employers on or after Jan. 1, 2020.   Background On Oct...

The Requirement to Use the Indonesian Language is Regulated Further
Makarim & Taira S., October 2019

Background After ten long years of the issuance of Law No. 24 of 2009 on the National Flag, Language, Emblem, and Anthem (“Language Law”), the Government of Indonesia has finally issued an implementing regulation of the Language Law, ie Presidential Regulation No. 63 of 2019 on the Use of the Indonesian Language (“PR 63/2019”). It came into effect on 30 September 2019.   Key provisions which may be relevant to businesses   a...

EU Removes UAE from Tax Blacklist
Afridi & Angell, October 2019

The European Union (EU) has removed the UAE from the EU’s blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. The EU Blacklist The EU maintains a blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. The EU has published criteria on tax transparency, fair taxation and implementation of anti-BEPS measures that EU Member States undertake to promote...

UAE Ministry of Finance Issues Guidance on Economic Substance Regulations
Afridi & Angell, October 2019

A previous in Brief dated 7 July 2019 discussed UAE Cabinet Resolution 31 of 2019 Concerning Economic Substance Regulations (the UAE Economic Substance Regulations or the Regulations). The UAE Economic Substance Regulations designated the UAE Ministry of Finance as the Competent Authority...

IRS Issues Guidance on Uncashed Distribution Checks
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

Last month, the IRS issued new guidance on the tax treatment of uncashed distribution checks from qualified retirement plans. In Revenue Ruling 2019-19, the IRS ruled that a participant's failure to cash the required distribution check she received from a qualified plan did not permit her to exclude the distribution from her taxable income or alter her employer's obligation to withhold taxes from the distribution and report it as taxable income...

 

 

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