Alerts Archive

  • Nov 08 2016

    The IRS in Notice 2016-62 recently announced the Cost-Of-Living Adjustments for 2017 for various caps on benefits. 

  • Oct 27 2016

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on October 26, 2016 voted to update Rules 147 and 504. 

  • Oct 13 2016

    Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have each put forward plans for paid parental leave and assistance with the cost of childcare. However, as expected the plans differ significantly. The Clinton Plan is broader, more progressive, and more reliant upon government-administered programs.

  • Oct 10 2016

    This alert follows up on our August 4, 2016, alert titled, “Upcoming Employee Benefit Plan Deadlines.” The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines for calendar year plans for October and November.

  • Sep 26 2016

    Comparison of Clinton and Trump Tax Proposals

    As the 2016 Presidential Election approaches the Democratic and Republican candidates and their staff are busy refining and promoting their respective economic and tax reform proposals. While neither candidate is proposing a real fundamental change to our system of taxation both have put forward proposals that would significantly impact both individuals and businesses. As expected, Clinton’s proposals ...

  • Sep 22 2016

    Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have each put forward plans for paid parental leave and assistance with the cost of childcare. However, as expected the plans differ significantly.

  • Sep 21 2016

    This survey discusses only the mandated reporter statute in North Carolina. If your organization is governed by a state licensing agency, such as education or child care, then that agency likely has its own set of reporting requirements. Be sure to consult those regulations if they apply to you.

    This survey lists only broad categories, and is not legal advice. If you need legal advice about your specific situation, please consult an attorney licensed in your ...

  • Sep 21 2016

    This survey discusses only the mandated reporter statute in Florida. If your industry is governed by a state licensing agency, such as education or child care, then that agency likely has its own set of reporting requirements. Be sure to consult those regulations if they apply to you.

    This survey lists only broad categories, and is not legal advice. If you need legal advice about your specific situation, please consult an attorney licensed in your state.

    WHO Must ...

  • Sep 21 2016

    Mandated Reporter Laws are different in each state regarding child abuse and neglect. The following surveys discuss the Mandated Reporter Laws in select states that have set laws to prevent abuse and neglect.

  • Sep 12 2016

    On August 4, 2016, the Treasury Department issued proposed regulations that would, if implemented, significantly curtail valuation discounts applied to intra-family transfers of family business interests. Final adoption of these regulations is expected in December 2016. Clients who would like to take advantage of discounted valuations of family business interests for estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax purposes are urged to act before ...

  • Aug 12 2016

    On August 4, 2016, the IRS published a temporary regulation for partnerships wanting to elect into the new partnership audit procedural rules that were enacted in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 on November 2, 2015. Treas. Reg. §301.9100-22T. The regulation provides guidance on how, when and where a partnership can elect into the new partnership audit regime. The regulation is effective from August 5, 2016, through August 5, 2019. 

    If a partnership chooses to ...

  • Aug 12 2016

    We have all heard the hue and cry from many employers regarding the impending change to the “white collar” exemptions to the FLSA’s overtime rules. As a reminder, the current minimum salary threshold is $455/week, or $23,660/year. The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final regulation imposes a new threshold that nearly doubles the minimum salary to $913/week (or $47,476/year) on December 1, 2016. The rule also includes automatic escalators every three ...

  • Aug 04 2016

    This client alert follows up on our prior alerts entitled "Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines." The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines (and/or "Heads Up" for coming deadlines) or other important dates for August and September 2016 for calendar year plans:

    August 14 - (within 45 days after the close of the second calendar quarter) Deadline for a plan administrator to distribute benefit statements for the second quarter to participants ...

  • Aug 04 2016

    Recently, the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) sent a notice regarding alcohol license renewals and some have asked whether this requires immediate action. The short answer is, “no.” We have been advised by the DOR that they made a mis-statement, and they are NOT currently accepting 2017 renewals.

  • Jul 25 2016

    When the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540, 194 L. Ed. 2d 635 (2016), earlier this year, it was received by compliance professionals with mixed reactions. Many were thrilled with the Supreme Court’s ruling which seemingly provided a defense to purely statutory-damages-based consumer lawsuits. Others were cautious not to read too much into the Supreme Court’s decision. Based on recent rulings out of courts in the ...

  • Jul 14 2016

    In a widely expected ruling, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has again reversed existing precedent to make it easier for unions to organize workforces that include contingent workers.

  • Jul 01 2016

    With Michael’s Law going into effect today, I am getting a lot of calls from hospitality clients in a panic wanting to know what training and insurance requirements are necessary to become compliant with the new statute.

  • May 24 2016

    In Georgia, start-ups and new businesses are often able to attract investors, in part, because of Georgia’s “angel tax credit” program. Georgia’s angel tax credit program provides early investors in certain start-ups and new businesses (often called “angels”) a credit against their Georgia State income tax based upon their investments in certain qualified Georgia businesses.

    There have been two significant changes to the Georgia angel tax credit ...

  • May 18 2016

    The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division today announced its long-anticipated regulations changing overtime pay rules and exemptions. The final rules dramatically change implementation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and will impact virtually all employers. The new rules are set to take effect on December 1, 2016. 

    Key provisions of the new rules include the following:

    • Increases the salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476 a year, or from $455 to ...
  • May 16 2016

    On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 contained several significant changes to the procedural rules for federal income tax audits and the judicial process that are applicable to partnerships and other entities that are classified as partnerships for federal income tax purposes, like limited liability companies. These changes are a departure from how partnerships have been ...

  • May 13 2016

    This law alert follows up on our prior alerts entitled "Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines." The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines (and/or "Heads Up" for coming deadlines) or other important dates for May, June and July 2016 for calendar year plans:

    May 15 – Deadline for a plan administrator to distribute benefit statements for the second quarter to participants who have participant-directed accounts in a defined contribution plan.

  • May 13 2016

    Finally, some good news for software patents! On May 12, 2016, the Federal Circuit in Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. 2016), reversed a district court’s summary judgment that two software-based patents asserted against Microsoft Corp. lack patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. §101 in view of the patent eligibility tests expressed in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int'lAlice Corp. Pty Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, ___ U.S. ___, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014). The ...

  • May 10 2016

    Recently, U.S. Congress passed the landmark Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), which will now make its way to the desk of President Obama, who has already voiced his support and indicated that he intends to sign the DTSA into law. How does the DTSA affect your company? In short, it means that the federal courthouse doors are now open!

    Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

    Traditionally, lawsuits for misappropriation of trade secrets have been fought in state court and ...

  • May 10 2016

    On April 12, 2016, Governor Deal signed into law Senate Bill 255 (SB255) which was passed by the Legislature to repeal and replace the existing garnishment code. SB255 was drafted in response to orders from Judge Shoob of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia finding that the current garnishment code was unconstitutional because it did not provide adequate protection for claims of exempt funds and did not provide a quick enough adjudicative ...

  • May 04 2016

    On May 3, 2016, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it was amending its rules related to the thresholds for registration, termination of registration, and suspension of reporting under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These amendments implement provisions of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) and the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).

    SEC Chair Mary Jo White stated that, “With ...

  • Apr 22 2016

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) earlier this month released final regulations which significantly expand the more than 40-year-old definition of who is a plan fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) by virtue of providing investment advice for a fee. Thus the final regulations close the door on the spirited, six year debate between the DOL and the investment community over the challenges that the members of the investment ...

  • Apr 20 2016

    This is a follow-up on the IRS’ recent reminder to plan sponsors using pre-approved defined contribution plans (i.e., prototype and volume submitter plans) that they must adopt restated plan documents by the end of this month. Plan sponsors should have already received restated plan documents from their service provider to review and execute by April 30, 2016. However, if a plan sponsor uses these kinds of plans and has not received these documents, it needs to ...

  • Apr 11 2016

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has implemented new procedures which include electronic filing and which allow the EEOC to release an employer’s position statement to a charging party. The EEOC may release any information or documents which are not determined to be confidential.

    New Procedures

    The EEOC generally allows an employer 30 days to gather information and submit a position statement. Previously, submissions by an employer ...

  • Apr 11 2016

    With increasing frequency employees are claiming disabilities based on work-related stress. Some employees are asking for accommodations such as transfers to new supervisors, working from home, additional leave, and alternative jobs. These requests may require an employer to make a determination of whether the employee has a disability and potential accommodations for the alleged disability.

    Is Stress a Disability?

    Under the broader definition of ...

  • Mar 04 2016

    The IRS announced in its February 29, 2016, edition of “Employee Plans News” that plan sponsors did not need to answer the following new compliance questions on the 2015 Forms 5500 and 5500-SF:

    • Form 5500 – Preparer information at the bottom of page 1;
    • Schedule H – Lines 4o-p and 6a-d;
    • Schedule I – Lines 4o-p, 6a-d;
    • Schedule R – New Part VII, lines 20a-c, 21a-b, 22a-d and 23; and
    • Form 5500 SF – Preparer information at the bottom of page 1 and lines 10j, 14a-d, and ...
  • Feb 26 2016

    This client alert follows up on our prior alerts entitled "Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines." The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines (and/or "Heads Up" for coming deadlines) or other important dates for March and April 2016 for calendar year plans:

    March 1 - Deadline for existing multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs) to file Form M-1 for 2015 with the Employee Benefits Security Administration. 

    March 1 - Deadline for a plan ...

  • Feb 02 2016

    The beginning of a new year is always a good time to review and strengthen child protection policies, where a few simple precautions can yield important benefits.

    Goals: The goals of child protection policies include (1) accident prevention; (2) abuse prevention; (3) anti-bullying measures; and (4) mandated reporter responsibilities (including recognizing harm that occurs elsewhere). Also assess other risks that your program may face, such as parental ...

  • Jan 26 2016

    Many employers are unaware of the accuracy required by the federal government in the completion of I-9 documents. Only when the government conducts an audit do these employers learn the extent of mistakes they have been making for years. Committing errors on documents may result in penalties of up to $1,100 for each I-9 form. Thus, a mistake on 100 forms could result in penalties exceeding $100,000. In addition, employing individuals who are ineligible to work because ...

  • Jan 14 2016

    This client alert follows up on our prior alerts entitled "Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines." The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines (and/or "Heads Up" for coming deadlines) or other important dates for January and February 2016 for calendar year plans:

    January 15 – Deadline for the plan administrator of self-insured health plans to pay all or at least the first installment of the transitional reinsurance fee for 2015 ($44 per ...

  • Dec 31 2015

    The IRS earlier this week in Notice 2016-4 announced that the deadline for furnishing or filing six related Obamacare information returns otherwise due as early as February 1, 2016, has been extended. More specifically,

    (1) the deadline for furnishing a copy of Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals has been extended from February 1, 2016 to March 31, 2016, and

    (2) the deadline for filing Forms 1094-B, 1094-C, 1095-B and 1095-C with the IRS has been ...

  • Dec 08 2015

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a reminder this afternoon to all employers who had 50 or more full time or full time equivalent employees in 2014 of their obligation to file the Obamacare tax returns for 2015. The unusual twist here is that the reporting requirement will apply to employers who were not required under Obamacare to provide coverage to their full time employees in 2015 because they had less than 100 full time and full time equivalent employees in ...

  • Nov 20 2015

    This client alert follows up on our prior alerts entitled "Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines." The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines (and/or "Heads Up" for coming deadlines) for December 2015 for calendar year plans:

    December 1 - Deadline for the plan administrator of a group health plan or the insurer of group health plan, whichever is applicable, to provide a summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) to participants and beneficiaries ...

  • Nov 09 2015

    On October 30, 2015, more than three years after the passage of the Jumpstart Our Small Business Startups Act of 2012 (the “JOBS Act”) the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted rules that implement the “crowdfunding” provisions of Title III of the JOBS Act.  

    Title III of the JOBS Act and the SEC’s rules promulgated thereunder (referred to herein as “Regulation CF”) have been called some of the most sweeping changes to U.S ...

  • Oct 21 2015

    The IRS today in IR-2015-118 announced the cost of living adjustments for 2016 with respect to the dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement plan related limitations. There are not a lot of changes from 2015. For example, there is no change to what participants can contribute to a 401k plan ($18,000) and no change in the 401k catch up contributions for participants age 50 and over ($6,000). Click here to view IR-2015-118. Please contact Jan G. Marsh at ...

  • Oct 06 2015

    The European Union (EU) High Court this week struck down the 15 year-old "Safe Harbor" that has allowed United States businesses to operate there under a single set of privacy rules. Reacting to the Edward Snowden revelations about NSA spying programs, the EU Court ruled that companies in the U.S., which has no national set of privacy rules about consumer data, must now deal with the privacy regulators in each EU country rather than deal with a single, uniform, EU-wide ...

  • Sep 30 2015

    This client alert follows up on our prior alerts entitled "Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines." The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines (and/or "Heads Up" for coming deadlines) for October and November, 2015 for calendar year plans:

    October 2 - Earliest date (no more than 90 days before and no less than 30 days before beginning of a plan year) a plan administrator of a safe-harbor 401k plan needs to provide notice of its intent to use ...

  • Sep 23 2015

    We want to remind clients who had less than 100 full-time and full-time equivalent employees in 2014 but who have 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees in 2015 that what some have termed the "Obamacare hammer" now will fall on them effective January 1, 2016, and the hammer will fall on January 1 even if they have a group health plan which operates on a fiscal year basis rather than on a calendar year basis. Here are some points for these clients to consider:

  • Aug 19 2015

    The IRS for decades had a "favorable determination letter" program under which employers could get confirmation that their individually designed qualified plans such as 401(k) plans and the like met the IRS' requirements for a tax qualified plan. The IRS now has announced that this program will not be available after 2016 for individually designed "ongoing plans" except for "new plans" or "ongoing plans" that are terminating. We are sending this alert ...

  • Aug 11 2015

    This alert follows up on our May 20, 2015, alert, titled "Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines." The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines for calendar year plans for August and September: 

    August 14: Deadline for plan administrator to distribute benefit statements for the second quarter to participants who have participant-directed accounts in a defined contribution plan.

    August 14: Deadline for plan administrator for disclosing ...

  • Jul 15 2015

    On July 15, 2015, the Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (DOL) issued guidance regarding the proper classification of workers as independent contractors. The DOL claims that they are issuing the guidance because they are concerned that too many companies are misclassifying employees to escape overtime requirements, worker’s compensation and payroll taxes. The guidance is a reminder to employers that the DOL interprets ...

  • Jul 06 2015

    Today the United States Department of Labor (DOL) published proposed rules that will dramatically change which employees are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed rule changes are projected to increase the number of workers eligible for overtime from approximately 5 million to, in some estimates, 15 million. Under the proposed rules, it is possible that only those workers who earn at least $50,440 per ...

  • Jun 02 2015

    On Monday, June 1, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled in an 8-1 decision (EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc.) that retailer Abercrombie & Fitch violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it applied its “look policy” to a Muslim woman who wore a head scarf when she applied for employment. The applicant wore the head scarf (Hajib) for religious reasons. Abercrombie’s “look policy” was intended to maintain the retailer’s East Coast ...

  • May 28 2015

    Over the past few years, there has been an increasing amount of litigation involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). A lot of those disputes have centered on issues plaguing the industry, such as whether certain software is an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS), whether calls were made with express consent, and how a consumer can revoke consent. Case law has developed on both sides of these types of issues which has resulted in numerous ...

  • May 26 2015

    On March 25, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted final amendments to Regulation A, one of the key exemptions from the general requirement that securities be registered before sale. The amendments were adopted in response to changes in the Securities Act passed by Congress as part of the JOBS Act of 2012. How those amendments work, and how they create a pathway for growing companies to access capital markets, will have a significant impact on how ...

  • May 20 2015

    This alert follows up on the March 26, 2015 alert, titled “Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines” regarding upcoming employee benefit plan deadlines. As a reminder, the following deadlines are the most common deadlines applicable generally to calendar year plans for June and July.

    June 30: Deadline for processing corrective distributions for failed ADP/ACP test from a 401k plan with eligible automatic contribution arrangement without 10 percent excise ...

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