Legal Updates

Temporary regulations issued on early election of new partnership audit rules

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA) provided for new partnership audit rules that significantly change the way IRS partnership audits will be handled. While these rules are not mandatory until January 1, 2018, partnerships can elect to be subject to the new rules now. Temporary regulations were issued last month, specifying how a partnership can elect into the new rules for IRS audits prior to the 2018 effective date. In addition to providing mechanical rules for early use of the new audit provision, these regulations give some insight into issues that the IRS is beginning to identify as the effective date approaches.
The new audit rules will allow the IRS in most cases to assess any additional tax resulting from the audit against the partnership itself – eliminating the need to proceed against the individual partners. Read more…
Read full article

BC Executor’s Guide to Probate and Estate Administration

The Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), Greater Vancouver Area Chapter has launched their BC Executor’s Guide to Probate and Estate Administration. This guide is prepared as a resource for the Executor of an estate where a charity is a beneficiary of a gift under a Will. It was produced with the assistance of Raman Johal of Clark Wilson LLP and is sponsored by the CAGP Greater Vancouver Area Chapter as part of its LEAVE A LEGACY™ initiative in British Columbia. To order this guide, click here.

Read full article

Russian Federal tax service issued a review of court practice on registration of legal entities

The Federal tax service (hereinafter – the “FNS”) in its letter1 dated 04 July 2016 analyzed court cases related to the activities of registering bodies (hereinafter – the “Review”). This time FNS focused on the issues of proper introduction of various records pertaining to legal entities’ corporate status in the state register of legal entities (hereinafter – the “EGRUL”).

Key issues the FNS draws attention, confirming its position with conclusions in the case law, can be summarized as follows:

  • For the purposes of making amendments to EGRUL with regards to withdrawal of a company member from the company, it is improper to indicate in the application (under form Р14001) “entering record on new participant” as a reason of entering changes. Entering record on termination of former participant is required instead, as well as filling in, among others, page “З” featuring data on the amount of shares, belonging to the company, in the company’s charter capital.
Read full article

The surrogacy debate in India

“The parents construct the child biologically, while the child constructs the parents socially.”

Law Commission of India, Report No. 228, August 2009

Surrogacy, understood universally, as also defined in the Indian National Guidelines for regulation of IVF clinics (“National Guidelines”), means:

“an arrangement in which a woman agrees to carry a pregnancy that is genetically  unrelated to her and her husband, with the intention to carry it to term and hand over the child to the genetic parents for whom she is acting as a surrogate”.

Read full article

Contributed to a property purchase? Here’s how to protect your investment

Buying a property is often the biggest investment a person will make in their lifetime.  It therefore stands to reason that people want to ensure that their investment is protected.  The recent case of Haque v Raja[1]provides a reminder that, if you don’t appear on the title of a registered property that you’ve contributed to and you don’t live in it as well, you must protect your interest.Ownership of a property may be divided into the ‘legal’ ownership and the ‘beneficial’ ownership.  The legal owner is the person (or persons) recorded as owning the title of the property at the Land Registry (most properties are registered these days), while the beneficial owner is the person (or persons) having the benefit of the property.  While often the same people have both the legal and beneficial ownership, there may be circumstances where the position is less straightforward.

Read full article

New Improved Criteria for Citizenship by Exemption

On Friday, 16th of September 2016, the Cyprus Government revised the economic criteria and conditions of the Scheme for Cyprus citizenship by investment (the “Scheme”) so as make it more attractive for non-Cypriot investors wishing to acquire Cypriot Citizenship.

The most important change is that an applicant is, now, only required to make an investment of €2.000.000, instead of €5.000.000 as had previously applied.  The required investment can be in real estate, tourism and infrastructure projects or in shares or financial instruments of companies operating in Cyprus, including investment in Alternative Investment Funds. The Scheme also allows the investment in Cyprus Government Bonds for a maximum amount of €500.000.

Read More

Read full article

Twenty-One States Allege the New White Collar Salary Thresholds are Unlawful

A group of 21 states (“the States”) has filed a Complaint in the Eastern District of Texas challenging the new regulations from U.S. Department of Labor that re-define the white collar exemptions to the overtime requirements of the FLSA.  The States argue the DOL overstepped its authority by, among other things, establishing a new minimum salary threshold for those exemptions.

Pursuant to the new regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor, effective December 1, 2016:

  • the salary threshold for the executive, administrative, and professional exemption will effectively double from $23,660 ($455 per week) to $47,476 ($913 per week);
  • “Highly Compensated Employees” (“HCEs”) must earn annual compensation of at least $100,000; and
  • an indexing mechanism will be applied to automatically update the salary threshold and the HCE compensation requirement every three years.
Read full article

Insurers with a “Direct Interest” may Join the Party

By Daniel Paperny

1. Introduction

The BC Supreme Court’s recent decision in MacPherson v White, 2016 BCSC 1151 establishes that an insurer can successfully apply to be added as a party to a lawsuit which it has a direct interest in, even if the insurer has no contractual right or legislative standing to be added.

Read full article

ACA Information Reporting: Ensuring Big Data Analyses Do Not Lead to Big Penalties

By Michelle Capezza (Member of the Firm, Epstein Becker Green) and Howard Gerver (President, ACA Managed Services)

As employers prepare the Affordable Care Act information reporting filings for the 2016 year that will be due in 2017 (notably the 1094/1095 B&C), the good faith standard of compliance, and the potential for inaccuracies, is no longer available.  In order to seek a waiver of penalties for the 2016 filings made in 2017, an employer will need to meet a standard of reasonable cause and no willful neglect.  With this standard, an employer must show that there are significant mitigating factors or the failure was due to certain events outside their control and the filer acted responsibly.  While “responsibly” remains subjective, the employer must be able to demonstrate that the same level of quality assurance and audit rigor that is applied to other governmental reporting must be applied to the 1095 and 1094 IRS reporting processes. Also, at this time, anticipate that the filings will need to be made with the government, and to the employees (and other recipients), under the regular schedule without extensions: (i.e., the disclosures to employees will be due the last day of January following the calendar year in which coverage was provided; forms must be filed with the IRS by the last day of February if filing on paper or March if filing electronically (which is required for employers with 250 plus returns)).

Read full article

Top Five Takeaways from MedPAC’s Meeting on Medicare Issues and Policy Developments — September 2016

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (“MedPAC”) met in Washington, DC, on September 8-9, 2016. The purpose of this and other public meetings of MedPAC is for the commissioners to review the issues and challenges facing the Medicare program and then make policy recommendations to Congress. MedPAC issues these recommendations in two annual reports, one in March and another in June. MedPAC’s meetings can provide valuable insight into the state of Medicare, the direction of the program moving forward, and the content of MedPAC’s next report to Congress.

Read full article