ILN Today Post

Peterka Partners – The CEE Law Firm Newsletter 1Q 2017

CZECH REPUBLIC

New Act on Public Procurement

On 1 November 2016, the new Act on Public Procurement, reflecting three European Directives from 2014, came into effect in the Czech Republic. The new Act brings with it more extensive scope for the application of the general principles of public procurement (transparency, non-discrimination, equal treatment, proportionality, etc.).

Electronic Records of Sale

On 1 December 2016, the Act on Electronic Records of Sale entered into effect. Due to the Act, a new system of online information for the tax authorities on all cash payments received was introduced and it caused the closing of a few small businesses; however, no substantial problems have yet occurred.

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Aspects of the proceedings for the annulment and replacement of shares under Panamanian legislation

The purpose of the judicial procedure related to the annulment and replacement of shares contemplated in the Panamanian legislation is to request, before the corresponding authorities, the annulment and replacement of shares (registered or to the bearer) due to loss, destruction or theft, in which the owner must prove or justify his property right as well as the reason for making such request.

Article 961 of the Panamanian Commercial Code stipulates the following:

Article 961. Letters of exchange, shares, stocks, and obligations and other commercial titles may be annulled in court upon the request of the owner thereof proving his rights and the facts motivating such a request”.

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North Carolina: Governor presents his budget proposal for the 2017-19 biennium

Gov. Roy Cooper recently released his proposed budget for the biennium 2017-2019, Common Ground Solutions for NC. The governor said he wants to focus on “invest[ing] in a better educated, healthier and more prosperous North Carolina without raising taxes or fees.” The plan contains no proposals to increase taxes or fees, nor does it deploy nonrecurring funds on recurring needs.
The $23.5 billion plan includes an additional $1.1 billion of spending over the current budget, reported USNews. Gov. Cooper defended this as “’catch up’ after years of neglect in education spending by GOP lawmakers.” The governor opined that the GOP had spent too much on income and corporate tax cuts, thus highlighting the main policy differences between the parties. Indeed, one republican lawmaker criticized the proposal as “reckless,” warning that the “$1 billion spending spree would surely return us to the days of high taxes and multi-billion dollar deficits.”
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South Carolina: Support for a gas tax increase the rise

According to the American Petroleum Institute, the national average gas tax as of its January 1, 2017 quarterly update is 49.44 cents per gallon. This consists of the following:
  • State excise taxes: 21.3 cents
  • Other state taxes: 10.01 cents
  • Federal excise taxes: 18.40 cents
South Carolina’s gas tax is less than that, at 35.15 cents per gallon, because the Palmetto State’s portion is so much lower than the national average:
  • State excise taxes: 16.00 cents
  • Other state taxes: 0.75 cents
  • Federal excise taxes: 18.40 cents

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Jury still out on whether sin taxes change behavior

In March 2015, Berkeley, California was the first city in the nation to pass such a law subjecting sugary beverages to a tax, of a penny-per-ounce.
And last year, much was made of new sugar-sweetened beverage tax laws in Boulder, Colorado, and three California jurisdictions, Albany, Oakland, and San Francisco. Boulder’s tax is 2 cents per ounce; Albany’s is one-cent per ounce; Oakland passed a one percent increase of the general sales tax; and San Francisco’s beverage tax is one-cent per ounce.
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What employers need to know about the American Health Care Act

On Monday, March 6, House Republicans released the American Health Care Act, their long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly known as “Obamacare.” While the goal for Republicans over the last eight years has been to repeal the ACA in its entirety, for the most part the new bill leaves much of the existing legislation in place.

The reason why stems from the rules for the process in which Republicans seek to pass the American Health Care Act: budget reconciliation. The advantage of passing the ACA repeal and replace legislation as a reconciliation bill is that only a simple Senate majority is required for passage (some may recall that parts of the ACA were enacted using the same mechanism).

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What health care providers need to know about the American Health Care Act

On Monday, March 6, the House Republicans released the American Health Care Act – the long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly known as “Obamacare.” When the ACA was enacted in March 2010, major themes included expansion of coverage, improving the efficiency and quality of healthcare, and lowering the overall cost of insurance. While the goal for Republicans has been to repeal the ACA, the new bill leaves much of the existing legislation in place. The House’s proposed repeal and replace legislation attempts to reduce the federal government’s investment in the ACA’s expanded insurance coverage by repealing many of the taxes that were implemented to fund the ACA, restructuring the federal subsidies for health insurance premiums as flat tax credits, and reforming Medicaid.

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Guidane regarding the new I-9 form released

Form I-9, aka the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of all individuals hired for employment in the U.S. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual hired to work in the U.S. This requirement is equally applicable to U.S. citizens and non-citizens. Both employees and employers (or the authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form.
Although simple on its face, Form I-9 continues to trip up employers for a variety of reasons. After revamping the form at the end of 2016, on February 14, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released further guidance to assist employers. The new “Handbook for Employers – Guidance for Completing Form I-9” (also referred to as M-274) is available here.
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Review of court practice on application of particular provisions of section V.1 and article 269 of the Tax Code of Russia

On 16 February 2017 the Presidium of the Supreme Court of Russia adopted the review of court practice on application of particular provisions of section V.1 and article 269 of the Tax Code of Russia.

Key conclusions of the Supreme Court of Russia according to the review can be summarized as follows:

  • Transaction price deviating from the market level does not result in advantage

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D.C. Circuit Rejects NLRB Finding That FedEx Drivers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors and Raises Doubts As To Board’s Joint Employer Test

Steven M. SwirskyOver the past week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit weighed in on two separate related efforts by the Obama-Board to expand the protections of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”) to workers who are not in traditional employer-employee relationships.

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