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Applying for a Business License in 2020? You May Need to Consider Your Water Quality Impacts
Hanson Bridgett LLP, December 2019

With a new year comes changes. And one change is a law tying business license applications to California's water quality laws. Beginning January 1, 2020, Senate Bill 205 will require that certain applicants for either a new business license or a renewal from cities or counties show that they are complying with the federal Clean Water Act and California's Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act...

Final Opportunity Zone Regulations Released
Hanson Bridgett LLP, December 2019

On December 19, 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS issued final regulations (T.D. 9889), which provide much-anticipated guidance on tax-favored qualified opportunity zone investments. The 544-page regulation package generally retains the same approach and structure of the proposed regulations issued in October 2018 and April 2019 (prior Hanson Bridgett analysis available)...

Retirement Plan Changes and “Cadillac Tax” Repeal Included in Domestic Appropriations Package
Hanson Bridgett LLP, December 2019

This week, Congress passed and President Trump is expected to sign a domestic spending package that includes significant changes affecting retirement plans in the SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act, and a permanent repeal of the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage that was enacted with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The SECURE Act is the most comprehensive set of changes to retirement plan rules in many years...

Under New California Law, Health Care Entities Must Promptly Report Allegations of Sexual Abuse or Sexual Misconduct to Licensing Boards
Hanson Bridgett LLP, December 2019

Under a new state law that takes effect January 1, 2020, California health care facilities and other entities must report any written allegations that a physician or other healing arts licensee has sexually abused or engaged in sexual misconduct with respect to a patient. Sexual misconduct is defined as "inappropriate contact or communication of a sexual nature." SB 425 (Hill) amends the Business and Professions Code to add a new provision, Section 805.8...

California Individual Mandate for Health Coverage Takes Effect in 2020
Hanson Bridgett LLP, December 2019

Starting next year, California residents who don’t have health care coverage could face a state tax penalty. Under the new Minimum Essential Coverage Individual Mandate, California residents who fail to maintain minimum essential coverage for themselves and their dependents could owe a state tax penalty, unless they qualify for an exemption...

Four Weeks to California Consumer Privacy Act: Are You Ready?
Hanson Bridgett LLP, December 2019

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) becomes effective on January 1, 2020. As the CCPA deadline looms, businesses need to act now to be ready. In this article, we provide an overview of the CCPA, key changes to the final law, and steps businesses can take to be ready for the CCPA...

Disgorgement: A Longstanding SEC Weapon, Now Under Attack
Hanson Bridgett LLP, December 2019

On November 1, 2019, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Liu v. Securities Exchange Commission, No. 18-1501. The Court will decide whether the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) may seek and obtain disgorgement from a defendant as equitable relief for a securities law violation. The outcome will have widespread implications for corporate and securities lawyers...

“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...

"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...

 

 

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