Did you know that...
- COVID-19 Legislation Updates:
Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources: Starting April 1, 2020, the Small Business Administration ("SBA") has a website addressing resources for small businesses, the self-employed, and independent contractors. The new website includes information on the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, SBA debt relief, SBA Express Bridge Loans, and other guidance and resources for individuals and businesses suffering economic damage from the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition to general information on eligibility and criteria for participating in the various programs, the website provides online applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Low-Interest Disaster Loans.
CARES Act: On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act") into law. A major component of the CARES Act includes billions of dollars in relief through direct payments of $1,200 to US citizen taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes ("AGI") of $75,000 or less and couples with AGI of $150,000 or less, plus additional money for children in their households. It also includes loan relief under certain circumstances.
The CARES Act includes billions in direct relief in unemployment insurance benefits. It creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program to provide payment to those not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits who are unable to work as a direct result of COVID-19. The Act extends coverage to qualified workers who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment (if permitted under state law), do not have sufficient work history, or otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment under state or federal law and become unemployed or cannot find work due to COVID-19. This provision covers independent contractors.
FFCRA: On March 18, 2020, the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA") into law. The FFCRA establishes two new leave rights for employees. First, an Emergency Paid Sick Leave provides employees with up to 80 hours of leave time for certain COVID-19 related reasons. Second, it provides a limited expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") for absences due to an employee's need to care for a child under the age of 18 who is home due to school or day care closures or because their caregiver is unavailable as a result of COVID-19. The FFCRA also establishes a right for employers to receive tax credits for 100% of the payments made to employees pursuant to these two leave provisions (plus the cost of the employer's health insurance premiums during the leave). Both of these leaves of absence apply to private employers with fewer than 500 employees, and both are effective April 2, 2020 and are scheduled to expire December 31, 2020.
- 2020 Standard Mileage Rates: The 2020 standard mileage rate for business miles driven is 57.5 cents per mile. The standard mileage rate for medical expenses is 17 cents per mile. The standard mileage rate for members of the Armed Forces on active duty who move related to a permanent change of station is 17 cents. The standard mileage rate for charitable purposes is 14 cents per mile.
- The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020: This Act was signed into law December 19, 2019. It repeals three health care taxes that were originally enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, makes many changes to retirement plan rules, extends several expired tax provisions, provides disaster tax relief, and repeals the provision that taxed exempt organizations when they provided parking to their employees. The Act incorporates the text of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 and is designed to encourage retirement savings and to simplify administrative requirements in order to make it easier for employers to offer retirement plans.
- 2020 Retirement Plan Dollar Limits: The IRS announced the 2020 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) with respect to retirement plan limits. Many, but not all, limits are changed for 2020 since the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment. Carefully review the 2020 contribution limits for your specific retirement plan.
- 2019 Business Lawyer of the Year - USA: Sari Ann Strasburg received the 2019 Business Lawyer of the Year - USA from Corporate LiveWire. The Global Award judges note that "Ms. Strasburg's law firm won Corporate LiveWire's Excellence in Business Law award 2018, but it is her personal success and achievements as a lawyer that the judges honour this year. The judges believe that Ms. Strasburg's achievements throughout her career prove her exceptional capabilities in providing effective legal services for the business sector. They also show her dedication to her continued development in the practice of business law and involvement with relevant bar associations." Further, "Ms. Strasburg has dedicated more than 35 years to business law and we believe that she has shown an exceptional level of success during this time, having now established her own firm for over 16 years and gaining large influence in her jurisdiction." Global Award Article (PDF)
- NH Market-Based Sourcing: Starting in 2021, the NH Business Profits Tax on business income will be calculated using Market-Based Sourcing. This gives companies time to put a mechanism into place to track the location of its customers. Simply claiming income on the NH BPT return is not an adequate explanation for failing to properly allocate income to the customer's location. If a return is not filed, there is no statute of limitations protection on the imposition of the tax against the business at a future date, even years later.
- Tariffs: What is a Tariff? A Tariff is a tax by another name. When one country imposes a tax on foreign products entering that country, that is an import tariff. That tax has to be paid upfront and the additional cost will ultimately be paid by the consumer.
Example: Assume a widget costs $100 on Day 1. On Day 20, Country A puts a 10% tax on widgets entering Country A. The cost of the same widget is now $110. Country A collects $10 as Income from Tariffs. So who pays that $10? The Foreign Manufacturer may be willing to pay all or a portion of the $10 out of its profits--for a time. Eventually, the Consumer will cover the additional cost. How? On Day 50 the Consumer's new price is $110 for the same widget. The Foreign Manufacturer pays the $10 Tariff to Country A so the widget can get to the Consumer. When Consumer pays $110 for the widget, the Foreign Manufacturer gets that $10 back. The Consumer covers the additional cost of the Tariff.
- 2019 Standard Mileage Rates: The 2019 standard mileage rate for business miles driven is 58 cents per mile. The standard mileage rate for medical expenses is 20 cents per mile. The standard mileage rate for members of the Armed Forces on active duty who move related to a permanent change of station is 20 cents. The standard mileage rate for charitable purposes is 14 cents per mile.
- Sales and Use Tax Decision: Immediately after the decision in the Wayfair case, many states asserted their right to collect sales and use tax. On June 21, 2018, the US Supreme Court held that states can assert nexus for sales and use tax purposes without requiring the seller have a physical presence in the state. The decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., et al means that states can collect tax from out-of-state retailers including those selling online. Expect to see more states enacting economic nexus laws.
- Preeminent Lawyers: Sari Ann Strasburg received a Lifetime Achievement Award from America's Top 100 Attorneys in 2017. Sari is listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers.
- Awards: Sari Ann Strasburg received the 2019 Business Law Firm of the Year - USA by Global Awards 2019, Professional Sector Network. She was awarded the 2018 Global Excellence Award for Leaders in Commercial Law in New Hampshire by Acquisition International. She is the Winner of two awards given by US Business News: the 2018 Legal Elite Award for Best Solo Business Law Firm in New Hampshire and the 2018 Legal Elite Award for Excellence in Corporate Law. Sari is the Winner of the 2018 Corporate LiveWire Award for Excellence in Business Law. She received the 2017 and 2016 Global Legal Award for Best Complex Business Lawyer in New Hampshire. She has received international recognition for her strategic work on complex legal issues. Sari received the 2016 Women in Law Award for Female Lawyer of the Year in New Hampshire. Announced by Corporate Vision magazine in November, the awards are given to those who have achieved professional excellence within their specialist area, influencing other women to pursue legal careers, and working with and mentoring other female lawyers.
- Rating: Sari Ann Strasburg has received Martindale-Hubbell's AV Preeminent Rating, its highest professional distinction. According to Martindale-Hubbell, "AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence."
- DirectWomen Board Institute: DirectWomen selected Sari Ann Strasburg for the Board Institute Class of 2009. She and 20 top women lawyers from across the country were chosen for the program, designed to identify and promote qualified women lawyers to serve on corporate boards of public companies. An initiative of the American Bar Association, the Tide Center and Catalyst, Inc., the Institute provides a credential of board readiness for service on major U.S. corporate boards while also promoting the independence and diversity required for good corporate governance.
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