Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. Alerts and Updates

On November 19, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted amendments to modernize a number of financial disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K. The amended rules take effect on February 10, 2021. Companies will be required to comply with the amended rules for their first fiscal year ending on or after August 9, 2021. A company may elect to comply before its mandatory compliance date if it complies with all of the amended rules in their entirety. The amendments include the following: Elimination of Item 301 – Selected Financial Data. The amendments eliminate Item 301, which had required the…
The 2020 CARES ACT created the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) to encourage employers to continue to retain employees during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The ERC was originally available through December 31, 2020. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (the Disaster Relief Act), signed into law by President Trump on December 27, 2020, extends the availability of the ERC to wages paid before July 1, 2021, expands certain eligibility requirements and the amount of the credit for 2021 and retroactively allows employers who receive Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans in 2020 to be eligible for the credit.…
GENERAL DEVELOPMENTS The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 Impact on Employer-Sponsored Health and Retirement Plans On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA). The CAA represents the federal government’s latest attempt to provide relief from the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic and it includes numerous provisions affecting both health and welfare as well as qualified retirement plans. Additional details on the health and welfare plan provisions and the qualified retirement plan provisions are available in the preceding links, but generally, the CAA impacts employers and plan sponsors as follows: Health and Welfare Flexible Spending…
On January 14, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the City of Chicago did not violate section 362(a)(3) of the Bankruptcy Code, one of the many “automatic stay” provisions designed to protect debtors in bankruptcy, when it retained and refused to return the debtors’ impounded motor vehicles following their bankruptcy filings. The Supreme Court’s decision reversed a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and resolved a long-standing circuit split on the issue. The Court of Appeals held that the City of Chicago’s practice of withholding debtors’ impounded motor vehicles was an “exercise” of…
Among its many provisions, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the CAA) provides greater flexibility for employees who were enrolled in health and dependent care flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) in 2020, or are enrolled in 2021. The CAA provides for the following optional relief for health and dependent care FSAs: Carryovers from 2020 to 2021 and 2021 to 2022 Participants may carry over unused health FSA or dependent care FSA funds from the plan year ending in 2020 to the plan year ending in 2021, and from the plan year ending in 2021 to the plan year ending in 2022. Unlike…
On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law another COVID-19 aid package, the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 (the Act). The Act includes several key tax provisions that are intended to provide relief and stimulate the economy. The Act includes aid for individuals in the form of direct payments, jobless aid and rental assistance as well as aid to airlines, small lenders, entertainment venues, farmers, Amtrak and small businesses. The key tax provisions included: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Expansion and Modifications Temporarily allows a 100 percent deduction for business meals Extends deadlines for CARES Act payroll and leave…
On November 2, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted amendments to its rules to facilitate capital raising in exempt offerings under the Securities Act of 1933 (the Securities Act). These amendments increase clarity and flexibility in the conduct of offerings, harmonize disclosure requirements and expand some exemptions. These amended rules take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The main areas addressed by the amendments include: Integration principles and application. Integration doctrine seeks to prevent an issuer from avoiding registration by artificially dividing a single offering into multiple offerings. The amendments increase the flexibility for…
In the final days of 2020, the nearly 5,600-page Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the CAA) became law. The pandemic relief and government spending package includes a myriad of provisions that affect group health plans and insurers. With most health coverage provisions taking effect for the 2022 plan year or sooner, and the CAA’s promise of regulations, group health plan sponsors will want to start preparing early. The CAA also included a number of provisions relevant to retirement plans, which are summarized in our prior alert, Appropriations Act Includes Several Provisions Applicable to Qualified Retirement Plans. Below is a brief…
Signed into law on December 27, 2020, the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (the Act) aims to address the continuing challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic for small businesses. The Act aims to achieve this in part by extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), allocating more than $284 billion for new PPP loans. The Act (along with recent SBA guidance) revives traditional PPP loans (now referred to as PPP “first draw” loans) (PPP1) and creates a new variety of PPP loans (referred to as PPP “second draw” loans) (PPP2). PPP1 loans are available to qualified…
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) includes several provisions affecting qualified retirement plans. A relaxation of the partial plan termination rules should provide relief to plans which see unusual turnover in the number of active participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other provisions, including an amendment of the CARES Act which allows coronavirus related distributions to be made from money purchase pension plans, may provide retroactive relief to plan sponsors. Finally, a series of disaster relief provisions is intended to assist participants affected by certain non-COVID disasters in the past year. Although plan sponsors may wish to adopt some of…
On December 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the much-anticipated Coronavirus relief bill, formally titled the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the Act), into law. In addition to COVID-19 relief measures, the Act includes significant amendments to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Beginning April 1, 2020, the FFCRA required employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two types of paid leave to qualified employees: Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Expanded Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA). Employers could claim a tax credit against the employer portion of Social Security taxes for up to 100% of EPSL and EFMLA…
The City of Milwaukee recently distributed property tax bills for the 2020 assessment, payable in 2021. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the payment options have changed.  The following payment options apply for the City of Milwaukee only: Pay Online Visit www.milwaukee.gov/treasurer to pay by credit or debit card. While there is typically a 2.75% convenience fee to pay with a credit or debit card, the City is waiving the convenience fees for such payments during the period of December 21, 2020 through December 31, 2020. The 2.75% convenience fee will be applied to credit or debit card payments after December 31, 2020. Pay by Phone Call (414) 286-2240…
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the government’s responses to it, many individuals and businesses that ordinarily don’t do business with the government have applied for and received financial or other assistance under various government relief programs. Congress is poised to authorize another round of pandemic relief and economic stimulus packages, which will once again demand that applicants and participants comply with specific program requirements. Whether aware of it or not, those participating in pandemic-related relief programs face exposure to potentially significant liability under one of the government’s most powerful civil enforcement tools, the False Claims Act (FCA).…
If 2020 has given us anything, it is the opportunity to become more flexible. Flexibility is key to any good wealth transfer plan. Below is a review of a few significant transfer tax planning considerations to keep in mind: 1. Gift and Estate Tax Exemption. The gift and estate tax exemption amount will increase from $11.58 million per person to $11.7 million in 2021. For married couples, each spouse can use the exemption, resulting in a combined 2021 exemption amount of$23.4 million (assuming proper planning and elections are made). Note: Per the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, on January…
On December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a guidance pertaining to COVID-19 vaccination in the workplace. This guidance focuses on the interplay between mandatory vaccination programs and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII). Following are the key takeaways for employers: Pre-Vaccination Screenings are “Disability-Related Inquiries” that May Disclose Information about a Disability Employers that require employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination from the employer, or through a third-party contactor, must treat pre-vaccine screening questions as “disability-related inquiries” under the ADA as the questions are likely to…
RETIREMENT PLAN DEVELOPMENTS DOL Finalizes Pooled Plan Provider Registration Requirements The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finalized registration requirements for “pooled plan providers” offering “pooled employer plans” through its final regulation, which became effective on November 16, 2020. Beginning on January 1, 2021, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act) authorizes newly permitted pooled plan providers to begin offering pooled employer plans. The pooled plan provider is named fiduciary for a pooled employer plan and is responsible for performing most administrative and fiduciary functions for the plan. Pooled plan providers are required to register…