Monthly Archives: December 2014

Multistate Tax Update — December 31, 2014

According to recent statistics published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), during the 2014 tax filing season, the IRS received 149 million tax returns. Of the total returns received, 125 million were electronically filed, representing greater than 84 percent of the total returns received. Given the high rate of electronically filed federal tax returns, many states are moving to compel taxpayers to electronically file certain state tax returns. As outlined below, several states will mandate certain tax returns be electronically filed for the upcoming filing season, unless the taxpayer receives an appropriate waiver.

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Comment Period on Proposed Guidance and Proposed Rule That May Impact Health Insurance Issuers’ Offering of Private Health Insurance Products

By: Helaine I. Fingold

Stakeholders received two holiday gifts from the Obama Administration late on Friday, December 19, 2014, with the release of two proposed documents affecting health insurance issuers’ offering of private health insurance products both inside and outside of the Public Insurance Exchanges.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released its Draft 2016 Letter to Issuers in the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (“FFM”) (“Draft Letter”) more than a month earlier than the time frame under which CMS released its 2015 version of this document.  While the Draft Letter largely mirrors the provisions of the 2015 Letter to Issuers in the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces, or restates proposals from the proposed 2016 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (“2016 Payment Notice”), CMS does propose several significant changes for the 2016 application cycle.  These include use of an earlier timeline for application submission, review and approval, as well as a more extensive review of benefit offerings for compliance with non-discrimination requirements.

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David Austin quoted again in Business in Vancouver

David Austin was quoted in the December 23, 2014 edition of Business in Vancouver, “Site C approval raises B.C. skilled labour concerns“. In the article, David discusses the cost differences between the LNG and Site C developments.

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"Kirtland cult killings: LaTourette worked toward justice for the Averys," Steve LaTourette featured in The News-Herald

The defining moment of Steve LaTourette’s career in public service did not unfold in Washington, D.C., where he spent 18 years in Congress representing Northeast Ohio out of the 14th and, later, 19th U.S. House districts.

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Healthcare Alert: Medicare to pay for chronic care management — December 29, 2014

Commencing in January 2015, Medicare will pay qualified healthcare practitioners (namely, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse midwives) and their practice entities a chronic care management (CCM) monthly fee to coordinate care for Medicare beneficiaries who have multiple chronic conditions. This change expands Medicare payment policy to specifically allow for compensation for non-face-to-face management services. Medicare had previously accounted for such services as non-billable services incidental to an evaluation and management (E/M) visit.

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"Will Congress be more productive in 2015?" Steve LaTourette quoted in Telegraph-Forum

WASHINGTON – The 113th Congress is on track to be among the least productive in two decades. Will the next Congress be any better?

Newly empowered Republicans say yes — emphatically. After the GOP’s resounding victory in the 2014 elections, party leaders have touted plans to pass a sweeping overhaul of the tax code, a deficit-slashing 10-year budget plan, and economy-revving trade and jobs bills.

Others express strong doubts that the legislative gridlock will break come January, when the 114th Congress convenes.

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Lidings to advise EU Delegation on a real estate acquisition in Moscow

The European External Actions Service (EEAS), represented by the Head of the Delegation of European Union to Russia, has engaged Lidings as external legal counsel for advising on a potential acquisition of immovable property in Moscow. The firm’s appointment was confirmed in an official letter from the Head of EU Delegation to Russia Vygaudas Usackas to Lidings’ partner Sergey Patrakeev.

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OSHA’s Revised Recordkeeping and Reporting Rules for Retail in 2015

Very often OSHA complaints go hand in hand with union organizing campaigns and other concerted activity protected under the National Labor Relations Act, at union and nonunion operations.

Our colleague Valerie Butera has prepared a thoughtful analysis concerning OSHA’s revised recordkeeping and reporting requirements in retail: “What Do OSHA’s Revised Recordkeeping and Reporting Rules Really Mean for Retailers?”

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District Court Decision Vacates DOL Regulation Barring Third Party Employers from Claiming Exemptions for Companionship and Live-In Domestic Service Workers

By Brian Steinbach

On December 22, 2014, the District of Columbia federal district court vacated a new U.S. Department of Labor regulation, scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2015, barring third-party employers from claiming minimum wage and overtime exemptions for “companionship” domestic service workers, as well as a statutory overtime exemption for live-in domestic service employees.

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ILN Today Post

Exclusive Use Provisions – Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Retail Lease Agreements

The world of retail is competitive. Competition for the same customers by established brands, new brick-and-mortar concepts, and the ubiquitous threat of online competition all make it increasingly difficult to maintain a successful, profitable retail business. We all are familiar with the headlines that periodically proclaim the demise of well-known national retail chains. To survive and succeed in this hyper-competitive world, retailers look for every possible advantage.  More…

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