Monthly Archives: January 2012

Robert E. McKenzie and Elizabeth Thompson quoted in USA Today regarding Mitt Romney’s tax filing

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Robert E. McKenzie

Robert E. McKenzie

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Elizabeth Thompson

Elizabeth Thompson

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Robert E. McKenzie and Associate Elizabeth Thompson were quoted in a January 17 article in USA Today titled “Romney confirms he gets a big tax break.” The article discusses GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney’s financial disclosure after he was pressured by rival Rick Perry to disclose his tax returns. Romney confirms that most of his income comes from investments and is taxed closer to the 15% tax rate. Robert and Elizabeth comment in the article on this lower tax rate and analyze Romney’s tax status.

To view the article in full, click here.

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Robert E. McKenzie quoted in Accounting Today article on IRS’ voluntary disclosure programs

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Robert E. McKenzie

Robert E. McKenzie

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Robert E. McKenzie was quoted in a January 18 article in Accounting Today titled “Taxpayer Uncertainty Prompts Citizenship Renunciations.” The article discusses the Internal Revenue Service’s newest version of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure (OVD) Program, which is designed to give reassurance to taxpayers who have been hesitating to come forward and disclose their foreign bank accounts. Mr. McKenzie was interviewed about the new OVD program and advises that despite some improvements, he still sees problems with it, particularly the lack of a deadline.

To view the article in full, click here.

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Robert E. McKenzie provides thoughts in Forbes on Newt Gingrich’s payroll tax ploy

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Robert E. McKenzie

Robert E. McKenzie

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Robert E. McKenzie was interviewed for a January 22 article in Forbes.com on Newt Gingrich avoiding tens of thousands of dollars in Medicare payroll taxes in 2010 by using a technique the Internal Revenue Service has consistently and successfully attacked.

To read Mr. McKenzie’s comments and the complete article, please click here.

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ILN Today Post

PPS ready or PPS worried?

The new Personal Property Security regime commences on 30 January 2012.

Some businesses are not ready, but Gadens has the solution.  read more…

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A Closer Look At Environmental Regulations & Health Care Facilities

Guest Blogger SHEILA A. WOOLSON, a member of Epstein Becker & Green in Newark,  focuses her practice on complex litigation matters across a wide array of commercial and environmental  disputes.  In expertly handling the defense of environmental and toxic tort matters across New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvannia, Sheila draws on her training as a former professional  chemist in the pharmaceutical industry.  She represents clients in those types of  products liability and toxic tort claims where her  scientific background is a valuable asset.  In the following discussion, Sheila analyzes the potential CERLCA liability of medical facilities for the disposal of non-medical solid waste and makes practical recommendations concerning how medical facilites can limit their CERCLA exposure.

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Act Now Advisory: U.S. Supreme Court Holds Ministerial Exception Is Defense to Employment Discrimination Claims

by Allen B. Roberts, Amy J. Traub, and Christina J. Fletcher

Religious organizations and those they employ have anticipated guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court’s first opinion addressing the ministerial exception in the employment discrimination context. With its January 11, 2012, decision in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & Sch. v. EEOC, U.S., No. 10-553, the Court clarified that the First Amendment’s Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses bar the government from interfering with the “decision of a religious group to fire one of its ministers.” The Court recognized the “interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith, and carry out their mission.” Consequently, the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment give religious organizations the freedom to select their own ministers, and they trump employment discrimination laws.

Read the full advisory online

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TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE advises Tele2 Eesti on acquisition of Televõrgu AS

On 16 January, Tele2 Eesti and the state-owned energy giant Eesti Energia entered into an agreement for the purchase of Eesti Energia’s subsidiary Televõrgu AS for EUR 25 million. Being one of Estonia’s leading telecommunications companies, Televõrgu AS operates a nationwide fibre-optic telecommunications network and offers wireless internet access services named Kõu. The transaction will be closed after permission has been received from the Estonian Competition Authority.

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The EEOC probably prefers Coke: Pepsi agrees to pay $3M to settle charges relating to discriminatory background checks

For further evidence that the EEOC is ramping up enforcement efforts related to job applicant background checks, one need look no further than Pepsi.  Pepsi recently agreed to pay more than $3 million to settle EEOC charges alleging that Pepsi’s use of criminal background checks adversely affected more than 300 African American job applicants.  Click here to read the EEOC’s press release on this subject.

According to the EEOC, Pepsi’s background check policy led to Pepsi’s rejection of job applicants who had been convicted of minor offenses even when those convictions were unrelated to the jobs applied for.  Even more troubling, Pepsi relied on its background check policy to reject job applicants who had merely been arrested – but not convicted – of crimes.

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ILN Today Post

STAMP DUTY AND ITS EFFECT ON TRANSACTIONS

Stamp Duty is a tax that is levied on certain documents and transactions inclusive of, inter alia, conveyances, mortgages, cheques, marriage licences, memorandum and articles of association and on the sale of shares/change in beneficial ownership in a company/business.

The rates of stamp duty vary as to the nature of the instrument or transaction. In The Bahamas, stamp taxes are administered by the Public Treasury, a department in the Ministry of Finance, in accordance with a series of Stamp Duty Acts. Certain exemptions are however afforded by the relevant legislation. More…

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TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE advises Tele2 Eesti on acquisition of Televõrgu AS

On 16 January, Tele2 Eesti and the state-owned energy giant Eesti Energia entered into an agreement for the purchase of Eesti Energia’s subsidiary Televõrgu AS for EUR 25 million. Being one of Estonia’s leading telecommunications companies, Televõrgu AS operates a nationwide fibre-optic telecommunications network and offers wireless internet access services named Kõu. The transaction will be closed after permission has been received from the Estonian Competition Authority.

Televõrgu AS was established in 2001. Until 2025, the company will have in its possession 1,600 kilometres of fibre-optic telecommunications network and 135 base stations allowing for rapid transmission of huge volumes of data and voice communication throughout Estonia. Through the Baltic Optical Network alliance, Televõrgu AS is also a leading data communication operator in the Baltic countries.

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