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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...

'Tis the Season to Be on Heightened Alert: FBI Warns of Targeted Cyber Attacks
Dykema, November 2019

Hackers delight in targeting U.S. companies during the holiday season triggering a year-end spike in cyber-attacks, with Carbon Black reporting a 57.5 percentincrease in attempted cyber-attacks during past holiday seasons. This year we can expect that threat actors across the globe will remain online throughout the holiday season, looking to capitalize on the distraction of the holidays and the increased internet traffic that comes with online holiday shopping...

The Shift From DOJ Enforcement to Administrative Review for HUD False Claims Act Violations
Dykema, November 2019

The False Claims Act (“FCA”) is one of the most powerful anti-fraud weapons available to the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”). It permits treble damages and makes penalties available for each false claim the defendant submitted to a federal payor. The DOJ effectively deployed the FCA against mortgage lenders in the aftermath of the sub-prime lending crisis to obtain, in some cases, billion-dollar settlements...

H-1B Visas – New H-1B Cap Registration Rules and Other Potential Changes
Dykema, November 2019

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule on January 11, 2019, introducing electronic registration requirement for employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The final rule went into effect on April 1, 2019, though the electronic registration requirement was suspended Fiscal Year 2020 (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020) to allow USCIS to complete user testing and ensure the system and process are fully functional...

2019 Mergers & Acquisitions Outlook Survey
Dykema, November 2019

The results of Dykema's Annual Mergers & Acquisitions Outlook Survey are in! This annual survey tracks the marketplace to gauge the direction of the M&A market and economy for the coming year. As with previous installments of the survey, our firm canvassed leading company executives and outside advisors in the M&A space to ask them to share their observations and insights into how the U.S. economy and domestic and global matters will impact the M&A market...

Judge Halts Presidential Proclamation Suspending Visas for Immigrants Without Health Insurance
Dykema, November 2019

The U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, issued a 28-day temporary restraining order (TRO) in an unusual weekend session just before the “Presidential Proclamation on Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Will Financially Burden the United States Healthcare System” was to go into effect on November 3, 2019. Judge Michael H. Simon agreed to “freeze things the way they are” so a determination can be made on the merits of the case...

How to Boost Business - and Employee Morale - by Partnering with Your Law Firm
Dykema, October 2019

CHEAT SHEET Investment. Implementing a mentorship program between a corporation and a law firm does not require significant monetary investment, rather a considerable time investment. Diversify activities. After identifying and understanding the needs and profiles of participants, create activities that include trainings, CLEs, social events, and facility and firm visits. Benefits...

U.S. Supreme Court Clears the Way for Visually-Impaired to Sue Over Allegedly Inaccessible Websites and Apps
Dykema, October 2019

Yesterday, in a closely-followed case, the Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal brought by the Domino’s pizza chain, which sought to overturn the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision that entities selling online must make their websites and apps accessible to people with disabilities...

Qualified Opportunity Zones–Benefits of Using C-Corporation Structure
Dykema, October 2019

As investor interest in qualified opportunity zones (“QOZ”) grows, both qualified opportunity funds (“QOFs”) and investors should be aware of the benefits of organizing QOFs as C-Corporations. C-Corporation QOFs may take advantage of the reduced corporate income tax rate of 21 percent and the benefits under Section 1202 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”)...

Department of Labor Announces Final Rule Changing Salary Level Tests
Dykema, September 2019

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced its Final Rule increasing the minimum salary level employees need to be paid in order to be deemed an exempt white collar employee, provided the employees otherwise meet the applicable duties and salary basis tests. The rule has been long-awaited since the predecessor Obama administration-era rule was enjoined by a Texas federal court in 2016...

Michigan Fast-Tracking PFAS Drinking Water Standards
Dykema, September 2019

Michigan is moving rapidly toward promulgating health-based drinking water standards for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)...

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Expert Challenge to Clinical Judgment Decision in Hospice False Claims Act Litigation
Dykema, September 2019

On September 9, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued an important decision for health care providers, especially those in the hospice industry. In U.S. v. AseraCare, Inc.,No.16-13004, Slip. Op. (11thCir. September 9, 2019), the Court held that a “reasonable disagreement between medical experts” about prognosis for a terminally ill patient, without more, cannot establish falsity. Slip. Op. at 3...

The QOZ Clock is Ticking
Dykema, August 2019

As the first of several deadlines under the Qualified Opportunity Zone (“QOZ”) program rapidly approaches, investors still on the sidelines are discovering that time is running out on the ability to take advantage of the full suite of tax benefits under the program. December 31, 2019 marks the last day in which investors may roll over capital gains into Qualified Opportunity Funds (“QOF”) and obtain a 15% reduction in the amount of the deferred gain...

Chicago Adopts “Fair Work Week Ordinance”
Dykema, July 2019

Expansive Law Aimed at Predictive Scheduling for Workers, Limiting Employers’ Ability to Unilaterally Change Work Hours On July 24, 2019, the City of Chicago enacted the “Fair Work Week Ordinance,” requiring that many businesses provide workers with up to two-weeks advance notice of their work hours and schedules...

Illinois Municipalities Begin Debate on Recreational Cannabis Businesses
Dykema, July 2019

With the State of Illinois’ recent legalization of recreational cannabis, municipalities have started to debate whether to “opt in” to allow such businesses. While municipalities cannot prohibit the use of recreational cannabis, they can decide whether recreational cannabis businesses are allowed to operate within their boundaries. Local officials are just starting to consider the pros and cons of recreational cannabis businesses in their communities...

Lawsuit Filed to Stop August 1 Effective Date of San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
Dykema, July 2019

UPDATE III: Judge Agrees to Delay San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinance At a hearing this morning, Judge Sol Casseb entered the Agreed Order submitted by attorneys for the City and the businesses that filed suit regarding their agreement to delay the effective date of the PSL ordinance from August 1 to December 1...

USPTO to Require U.S. Counsel for Foreign-Domiciled Trademark Owners Effective Aug 3. Foreign Applicants & Registrants should take steps to ensure compliance.
Dykema, July 2019

On July 2, 2019, the PTO announced it will implement a rule requiring U.S. counsel for foreign-domiciled trademark applicants and registrants. The new rule is effective August 3, 2019, and applies to all trademark owners with a foreign address. We discussed the rule in ourFebruary Alert. For any new filings after the effective date, licensed U.S. counsel must be designated...

Lawsuit Filed to Stop August 1 Effective Date of San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
Dykema, July 2019

Effective August 1, employers with more than five employees working in the City of San Antonio must provide to all such employees paid sick leave (“PSL”) of up to 64 hours per year (for employers with more than 15 employees) or 48 hours (for employers with 15 or fewer employees) for a variety of reasons related to themselves or family members; employers with five or fewer employees are not required to comply with the PSL ordinance until August 1, 2021...

Kaestner: States Cannot Tax Trusts Based Solely on Residency of Beneficiaries
Dykema, July 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court recently released its opinion inNorth Carolina Department of Revenue v. Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust, largely vindicating the understanding of most estate planners: A state cannot tax the income of a trust where the only connection to the state is the presence of the trust’s discretionary beneficiary. Facts inKaestner The facts inKaestner, in brief, are as follows...

Michigan Opens the Door for Expanded Solar Development on Farmland
Dykema, June 2019

On Monday, June 3, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announced MDARD’s decision to allow for commercial solar energy development on land currently enrolled in the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program, commonly known as PA 116. PA 116 was established in 1975 and is designed to preserve farmland and open space in Michigan...

Do You Know What the Capital Gains Rate Will Be in 2026?
Dykema, June 2019

Among the many benefits of investing in a qualified opportunity fund (QOF) is the deferral of tax on current capital gains. Specifically, if an amount equivalent to a current capital gain is invested in a QOF within 180 days of the realization event, the tax generally will not come due until the earlier of the year in which the QOF investment is disposed of or 2026...

Illinois Tax Amnesty—A Limited Time Opportunity for Significant Benefits
Dykema, June 2019

The Illinois legislature has approved and Governor Pritzker has signed into law significant revisions to the Illinois Tax Delinquency Amnesty Act (35 ILCS 745/10). The new amnesty program is the first in Illinois since 2010 and is an important opportunity for noncompliant taxpayers to resolve both known and previously unknown Illinois tax obligations. The amnesty program will run from October 1, 2019, through November 15, 2019, and is generally open to all taxpayers...

Is Growing and Dispensing Cannabis a Sin?
Dykema, June 2019

In mid-May, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin told the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government of the Senate Appropriations Committee that cannabis businesses would not be eligible for Opportunity Zone (“OZ”) tax benefits...

DOJ’s New Civil Division Cooperation Guidelines For False Claims Act
Dykema, May 2019

On the heels of the DOJ Criminal Division’s revisions to itsCorporate Enforcement Policyto encourage cooperation, the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch has issued its owncooperation guidelinesthat identify a non-exhaustive list of types of cooperation that may entitle entities or individuals to cooperation credit...

 

 

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