Alerts Archive

  • Jun 07 2018

    If you have received a deluge of emails regarding updated privacy policies from services you use, you are not alone. They relate to a new set of data privacy rules that went into effect across the European Union on May 25, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The new rules have sweeping implications for businesses around the world.

  • Jun 05 2018

    An almost overlooked provision[1] in the recent amendments to the Dodd–Frank[2] legislation extends the benefits of the highly popular Regulation A+ offering regime to public companies for the first time.

  • May 21 2018

    On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court continued its work in evening the playing field for employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, the Court held that arbitration agreements between an employer and employee that contain a waiver of class or collective actions are enforceable.

  • May 17 2018

    The scandal in the USA Gymnastics program that came to light in 2017 recently prompted Congress to do what legislators do and pass a new law. As of February 2018, many youth sports leagues have new requirements for the reporting and prevention of child abuse, mandated by the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017. All youth sports leagues should be aware of the new rules, which requirements, even if they don’t apply ...

  • May 09 2018

    If your organization is gearing up for a non-residential summer program in Georgia, remember to review childcare licensing requirements. If your program cares for children less than 24 hours a day, then it must be either licensed or exempted from licensing requirements. 

  • May 08 2018

    The Time’s Up and #MeToo movements continue to affect change in workplaces across America. Most recently, comprehensive anti-sexual harassment measures have been passed on both the state and local levels in New York.

  • Apr 30 2018

    On December 22, 2017 President Trump signed into law the Tax Reform Reconciliation Act, also known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“the Act”). The Act is a major overhaul of the tax system and contains numerous revisions of tax laws applicable to both business and individual taxpayers, including professional service firms and their owners. Some states, including Georgia, have already enacted corresponding legislation.

  • Apr 11 2018

    The IRS recently announced that it will be discontinuing the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”) on September 28, 2018. Taxpayers wanting to enter the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program must postmark their Voluntary Disclosure Letter and requisite attachments (FAQ 24) by September 28, 2018. Taxpayers entering the program can avoid onerous penalties and possible criminal prosecution by voluntarily disclosing their offshore assets and ...

  • Apr 05 2018

    On April 2, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion that could have significant impact in the defense of misclassification claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). In Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, the Court held that the longstanding principle that exemptions under the FLSA should be construed narrowly was not supported by the statute. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for himself and four other justices, wrote:

    The Ninth Circuit ...

  • Mar 02 2018

    On March 1, 2018, the Georgia General Assembly adopted HB 918 which will significantly reduce income taxes payable by both individuals and corporations subject to taxation in Georgia. The major features of the bill are as follows:

  • Feb 26 2018

    After two years of dormancy, the IRS and State Department announced that they will begin denying and revoking passports for individuals with federal tax liabilities exceeding $51,000 authorized by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (“FAST Act”), P.L. 114-94, legislation enacted in December of 2015. On January 22, 2018, the IRS began certifying taxpayers’ seriously delinquent tax debts and submitting those certifications to the State ...

  • Feb 15 2018

    Conservation easements, done properly, are wonderful and legal. They protect land, water, air, and nature. Many scientists even believe that golf courses in urban areas serve an important conservation purpose. However, sometimes the courts may not be apprised of relevant studies related to the conservation benefits of golf courses. This can result in a ruling that does more harm than good.

  • Feb 06 2018

    For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, the Georgia legislature has expanded the film credit to cover “qualified post-production expenditures.” What is unique about this new law is that qualified post-production expenditures incurred in Georgia may relate to footage shot outside of Georgia.

  • Jan 24 2018

    Individuals who owe taxes to the federal government would do well to enter into some form of installment agreement to pay those taxes.

  • Jan 23 2018

    Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”), and it was signed into law in December 2017. Payroll department impacts from the new law are summarized. 

  • Nov 27 2017

    The current media attention being directed towards recent allegations (and in some cases admissions) of sexual discrimination, harassment, and/or assault by members of Congress, faculty or staff at educational institutions, and high-profile individuals in the media, sports and entertainment industries, as well as the resulting “#metoo” social media movement, are understandably increasing the incidence of claims against employers. The financial cost ...

  • Oct 26 2017

    The City of Atlanta’s Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee held a public hearing October 24, regarding a proposed amendment to the City of Atlanta’s Alcohol Code to increase alcohol license fees.

  • Oct 06 2017

    On October 5, 2017, the Georgia Department of Revenue proposed rules for implementing O.C.G.A. § 48-7-40.33, entitled the Georgia Musical Investment Act (“the Act”).

  • Sep 01 2017

    On Thursday, August 31, 2017, a Texas federal court invalidated the Obama Administration’s overtime rule increasing the minimum threshold salary required to qualify for the white collar exemption.

  • Aug 22 2017

    On August 21, 2017, the Georgia Department of Revenue released Policy Bulletin SUT-2017-07 providing a sales tax exemption for sales of tickets, fees, or charges for admission to certain fine arts performances or exhibitions at a facility owned by a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

  • May 05 2017

    Individuals investing in Conservation Easement Transactions have many questions. Why is the IRS attacking Conservation Easements?  Why do I have to file these extra forms?  When do I file the forms and what are the risks if I don’t file the forms?  Should I take the charitable contribution deduction and risk penalties if the IRS challenges the Conservation Easement?

  • Mar 07 2017

    On March 1, 2017, the Georgia House of Representatives voted 126-40 to adopt HB 329 which would convert the current graduated-rate individual income tax into a single, 5.4 percent flat-rate tax.

  • Jan 27 2017

    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 2017 for calendar year plans:

    January 16 – 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 2016. To the extent ...

  • Dec 22 2016

    On December 15, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA). Effective immediately, the law prevents companies from contractually prohibiting their consumers from “disparaging” them in any manner, effectively preventing those consumers from publishing anything negative about those companies online.

    The CRFA will make it illegal for companies to prohibit their consumers from leaving genuine negative reviews and/or ...

  • Dec 01 2016

    This client alert follows up on our prior alert titled, "Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines." The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines for calendar year plans for December 2016.

  • Nov 23 2016

    The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide emergency injunction effectively preventing the United States Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its hotly contested overtime rule.

    Brief Overview

    The rule, a summary of which is available here, was slated to go into effect on December 1, 2016. A collection of 21 states, however, sued the federal government arguing, among other things, that the DOL was not authorized to ...

  • 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 ...

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