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“Text Me?” Proposed Electronic Disclosure Rule Would Allow Greater Flexibility for Retirement Plans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

Under a new proposed rule, certain required disclosures could be provided electronically to all retirement plan participants, including former employees and beneficiaries. On October 23, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a proposed rule intended to expand the use of internet technology to furnish ERISA-required disclosures to plan participants, and to reduce printing and mail expenses...

New California Employment Laws for 2020
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

2019 was a banner year for Governor Gavin Newsom. The Governor signed numerous bills into law, most of which are not employer friendly. For an in-depth analysis of how each law might affect your organization, contact your Hanson Bridgett labor and employment lawyer and/or join us for our Annual Client Seminars on January 28, 2020 (Walnut Creek), January 29, 2020 (Sacramento), or January 30, 2020 (San Francisco). Unless otherwise indicated, each new law takes effect on January 1, 2020...

CalPERS Issues Guidance on Uniform Allowance Reporting
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

A few weeks ago, CalPERS issued a Circular Letter to provide guidance to contracting agencies about reporting the uniform allowance, a statutory form of special compensation that applies only to classic CalPERS members. The Circular Letter provides much needed guidance about the uniform allowance, specific examples of reportable and non-reportable items, and reporting standards...

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...

Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash Attempt a U-Turn on AB 5 via New Ballot Initiative
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

The fate of Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) may be headed to the voters. Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have unveiled the Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act, a $90 million ballot initiative targeting AB 5. AB 5, signed by Governor Newsom on September 18, 2019, is expansive legislation that has potentially significant impact on California employers. AB 5 broadly adopts a new test for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, with far-reaching implications...

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...

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...

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...

IRS Form 1099-K Payment Reporting Under California AB 5
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

On September 18, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom approved Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) to limit the classification of workers as independent contractors in the state. The new law, effective January 1, 2020, will increase payroll tax responsibilities for California companies that must reclassify workers as employees...

Recent California Court of Appeal Decisions Highlight Importance of Process and Need for Signature of Authorized Individual to Secure Binding Arbitration Agreement
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

Two recent opinions of the California Court of Appeal address the enforcement of arbitration agreements in the senior care setting when executed by someone other than the resident. The Court of Appeal's decisions in Valentine v. Plum Healthcare Group, LLC (2019) 37 Cal.App.5th 1076 (Valentine) and Lopez v. Bartlett Care Center LLC (2019) ____ Cal.App...

Update on Epple: California's "New" Procedure for Providing Medical Interventions Requiring Informed Consent to SNF Residents Who Lack Both Capacity and a Legal Representative
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

California Health and Safety Code section 1418.8 outlines the requirements a skilled nursing facility (SNF) must follow when a physician prescribes a medical intervention that requires informed consent for an "unfriended" resident, meaning an individual who lacks capacity and does not have a person with legal authority to make health care decisions on their behalf. Section 1418...

Court Upholds Plan Administrator's Interpretation in Recent ERISA Case
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

On August 16, 2019, the Ninth Circuit ruled in O'Rourke v. Northern California Electrical Workers Pension Plan, et al. that the board of trustees for an ERISA-covered multiemployer pension plan did not abuse its discretion by broadly interpreting the plan's ambiguous trade-based suspension of benefits provision to preclude a participant’s claim for early retirement benefits...

Recent Increase in IRS Enforcement of ACA Reporting Penalties
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

Recently, the IRS has intensified enforcement of information reporting compliance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Information reporting penalties apply in addition to any penalties assessed for failures to meet the employer shared responsibility provisions, known as the employer mandate...

Insurers Beware: California's Notice-Prejudice Rule Is a "Fundamental Public Policy"
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

For those insurers that seek to circumvent California’s notice-prejudice rule, the California Supreme Court has just made that more difficult. In Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Company, 845 F.3d 993 (9th Cir. 2017), the Ninth Circuit certified questions to the California Supreme Court, including: “Is California's common law notice-prejudice rule a fundamental public policy for the purpose of choice-of-law analysis?” (Pitzer College, 845 F.3d at 994...

Insurers Beware: California’s Notice-Prejudice Rule Is a “Fundamental Public Policy”
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

For those insurers that seek to circumvent California’s notice-prejudice rule, the California Supreme Court has just made that more difficult. In Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Company, 845 F.3d 993 (9th Cir. 2017), the Ninth Circuit certified questions to the California Supreme Court, including: “Is California's common law notice-prejudice rule a fundamental public policy for the purpose of choice-of-law analysis?” (Pitzer College, 845 F.3d at 994...

Coping with COPA – New San Francisco Law Requires Owners of Certain Apartment Buildings to Offer to Sell to Nonprofits
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

The information in this article is based on new regulations issued by the City of San Francisco, and supersedes the article published in early June of this year.   San Francisco has recently enacted the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA), a law that provides San Francisco nonprofits with the right to purchase apartment buildings of three or more units before they are put on the market...

CalSavers State-Sponsored Retirement Plan Has Officially Launched
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

As of July 1, 2019, registration officially opened for CalSavers, California's new retirement savings program, formerly known as Secure Choice. CalSavers is a mandatory state-sponsored program for private sector and nonprofit workers whose employers do not offer a retirement plan. Under CalSavers, eligible employers with five or more employees must register with the California State Treasurer’s office as a participating employer in CalSavers...

New Regulations for Binding Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements with Long-Term Care Residents
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

In 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued regulations that prohibited long-term care facilities from entering into pre-dispute arbitration agreements with residents and their families. Shortly thereafter, those regulations were successfully challenged in federal court, and CMS has not attempted to enforce them. On July 18, 2019, CMS issued a final rule that will formally rescind the ban on pre-dispute arbitration agreements with long-term care residents...

CalPERS Announces New Fees for Section 218 Agreements
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

CalPERS Announces New Administrative Fees for Section 218 Agreements The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), the California State Social Security Administrator (SSSA), announced in July that it will begin charging new administrative fees to public agencies for Section 218 Agreements to pay the cost of administering the SSSA program...

California Supreme Court Potentially Slows Down the Expansion of the Legal Cannabis Market
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

In Union of Medical Marijuana Patients v. City of San Diego, the California Supreme Court unanimously held that the City of San Diego failed to analyze the potential environmental impacts of its medical marijuana dispensary law. While the main issue in this case was the definition of a project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the ruling has important ramifications for the legal cannabis market as a whole...

New Timing Requirements for Certain California Eviction Actions Take Effect September 1
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

On September 1, 2019, AB2342 and its new timing requirements for issuing certain eviction notices and for answering eviction lawsuits go into effect in California. AB2343 amends California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 1161(2) and (3) regarding 3-day notices to pay or quit and 3-day notices based on neglect or failure to perform other conditions or covenants of the lease or agreement...

The IRS is Coming for Your Cryptocurrency
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

This summer, the IRS significantly increased its efforts to police the taxation of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other similar cryptocurrencies. On July 26, 2019, the IRS announced that it had begun sending letters to taxpayers who potentially failed to pay cryptocurrency taxes associated with digital currency transactions or failed to properly report those transactions. By the end of August, the IRS anticipates that it will have sent over 10,000 letters to taxpayers...

Bureau of Cannabis Control Publishes New Distributor Fact Sheets
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

The Bureau of Cannabis Control recently published two new fact sheets on its website as a resource for industry stakeholders, licensees, and the general public. The facts sheet help everyone better understand the different responsibilities of the cannabis distributor (Type 11) and the cannabis distributor transport only (Type 13) licensee by providing a list of required procedures and guidelines for various distribution activities...

 

 

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