O'Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C. Covid-19 Resources

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law. Among a wide variety of other aims, the $1.9 trillion bill extended tax incentives for certain employers that chose to provide their employees with qualifying paid leave related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) was signed into law. The FFCRA contained two leave components: the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) and the Emergency and Family and Medical Leave Act (“EFMLA”). Under the EPSLA, employers with fewer than 500 employees were required to provide employees with up two weeks…
On Saturday, President Biden signed into law the COVID-19 Bankruptcy Relief Extension Act of 2021. This act extends the $7.5 million debt limitation under the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA) for another year, until March 27, 2022. Last year, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to provide emergency assistance for individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act temporarily increased the debt limitation under the SBRA from $2,725,625 to $7.5 million. The SBRA, which took effect on February 19, 2020, created Subchapter V of the Bankruptcy Code to provide…
Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. FEMA estimates that qualifying families can expect reimbursements of $3,000 to $7,000 out of the program’s total budget of $2 billion. To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet the following conditions: The death must have occurred in the United States; The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19; and The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen…
A little less than a month ago, the IRS reversed its original  position, and stated that businesses can deduct expenses paid for with the proceeds of a forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, as further detailed here.  However, in guidance issued on Friday, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue clarified that expenses that are paid with the forgivable PPP funds (in the first round) are not deductible for Wisconsin income/franchise tax purposes and must be added back to Wisconsin income in the year incurred or paid. Therefore, unless the legislature acts, businesses that have received PPP loans may find themselves…
Businesses can now deduct expenses paid for with the proceeds of a forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. The IRS, in Revenue Ruling 2021-2 issued today, reversed its original position that prohibited businesses with PPP loans from “double-dipping” by paying expenses with a forgivable loan, then writing off those expenses. Congress, in the latest COVID-19 relief bill, as we explained further here, explicitly stated that such expenses were deductible, forcing the IRS to reverse course. This ruling is sure to provide a significant tax benefit and relief for many small business owners who had availed themselves of the PPP…
Late Monday, Congress passed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill that includes a provision that allows business owners to claim tax deductions for expenses covered by Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan proceeds. The bill goes to President Donald Trump today, who is expected to sign it into law. Among other tax provisions, the bill specifies that business expenses paid with forgiven PPP loans are tax-deductible. This supersedes IRS guidance (as we previously discussed here) that such expenses could not be deducted and brings the policy in line with what the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and hundreds…
Yesterday, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service released guidance clarifying the tax treatment of expenses funded with forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans. This guidance, Revenue Ruling 2020-27 and Revenue Procedure 2020-51, strengthened the Treasury’s prior position in Notice 2020-32, as we previously wrote about here, which stated that expenses funded with forgiven PPP loan funds are not deductible. In Revenue Ruling 2020-27, the IRS answered the question of whether a taxpayer who paid otherwise deductible expenses with PPP funds can deduct those expenses in the taxable year in which the expenses were paid or incurred if, at…
As the development of a potential COVID-19 vaccine continues, so too do questions about the types of vaccines being developed and how they will be administered. Vaccines offer overwhelming public health benefits, but a small number of individuals who receive vaccines are harmed by them. Most claims alleging health problems caused by vaccines must be brought in the “Vaccine Court” of the United States Court of Federal Claims under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-1, et seq. The Act creates the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to handle vaccine-related claims. The program is administered…
Medical Malpractice Risk & Telemedicine Policies This article is the second of a two-part series on telehealth in Wisconsin. The first article of this series, available here, highlighted basic standards for regulatory compliance in the design of internal telehealth policies. This second article addresses the practitioner’s obligation to minimize patient harm (and thus practitioner liability) with attention to the medical standard of care when assessing when and how telehealth is appropriate for each patient. A. Maintaining Medical Standard of Care in Telemedicine Wisconsin medical providers must critically evaluate whether their use of a telemedicine platform would permit their evaluation…
I. Expansion of Telehealth to Meet Clinical Need Federal and state governments have resolved traditional barriers to telehealth – including  complexity of billing, lower reimbursement and privacy and security concerns – to facilitate the safe provision of medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic.[i]  The first article in this two-part series highlights basic standards for regulatory compliance in the design of telehealth policies.  The second article will address the practitioner’s obligation to minimize patient harm (and thus practitioner liability) with attention to the medical standard of care when assessing when and how telehealth is appropriate for each patient. II. Mechanics…
Late last week, the Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA) jointly released a new loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program loans of $50,000 or less. This new streamlined application removes calculations required on prior forms and simplifies documentation requirements, reliving both borrowers and lenders of the prior compliance burdens present in the older form. Pursuant to an interim final rule, the simper one-page application form, SBA Form 3508S, does not require borrowers to reduce their forgiveness amount for any reductions in full-time equivalent (FTE) employees or in salaries or wages. Additionally, the new form does not…
The IRS has reminded taxpayers who filed an extension that the October 15, 2020 due date to file their 2019 tax return is near. Taxpayers should file their tax returns on or before the October 15, 2020 deadline. Moreover, taxpayers with tax due should pay as soon as possible to reduce any penalties and interest. However, certain taxpayers may have more time to file and pay. Taxpayers with more time to file or pay include the following: service members and others serving in a combat zone who typically have 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file returns…
Recently, the Merit Shop Contractor magazine featured Attorney Joseph Gumina’s article entitled “COVID-19 & Liability.” In the article, Attorney Gumina emphasizes methods for construction employers to prevent and control worksite hazards relating to COVID-19. The article also discusses general safety and health mandates a construction employer should follow in order to help protect themselves from possible COVID-19 litigation. This article is a must read for all construction employers. Read the full article here.…
These days, litigators are routinely taking depositions and participating in hearings over Zoom or other videoconferencing apps and software. Frequently, these depositions and hearings are set up using videoconferencing systems chosen, hosted, and controlled by a court, an arbitrator, or a court reporter. There has been significant discussion and administrative guidance about the use of videoconferencing by health care providers since the pandemic began. Health care litigators should also consider the implications of video depositions or hearings on HIPAA security obligations. Zoom reports that it is HIPAA compliant. However, these features must be requested by the subscriber, typically through a…
On September 11, 2020, the Department of Labor  issued updated regulations regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act  and leave available under that law. These updates were issued in response to a recent federal district court ruling out of the Southern District of New York that invalidated portions of DOL’s original rules under the FFCRA because the agency exceeded its authority in issuing certain portions of its rules. These updated regulations are effective on  September 16, 2020. Most notably, the new DOL regulations update the definition of “health care providers” that are excluded from the FFCRA. The original definition included…
Most private health insurance coverage in the United States is employer-sponsored and governed by a federal law known as the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Navigating an appeal of a benefit denial issued by an ERISA-governed health plan can be confusing. A quick review of federal regulations governing ERISA benefit denials, which can be found here, suggests how challenging it may be for health care providers to navigate the ERISA claims landscape successfully. ERISA benefit denials are frequently written by a health insurer or third-party administrator (TPA) that is not the legal entity truly providing the health benefits…