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IRS Grants Additional Extensions and Suspends Collection Activity

More Extensions Granted for Filing Returns

In addition to those previously announced, the IRS has granted extensions for filing of the following returns and payments of amounts due for any of the returns listed below due after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020:

  • Form 706 - Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax;
  • Form 8971 – Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property form a Decedent;
  • Form 709 – United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax;
  • Any Estate Tax payment due as a result of an election under sections 6166, 6161, and 6163;
  • Form 990-T – Exempt Organization Business Income Tax;
  • Form 990-PF – Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947 Trust;
  • Form 4720 – Return of Certain Excise Taxes; and
  • All estimated payments made on Form 990-W; 1040-ES, 1041-ES, 1120-W.

(This is a change from the extension of only the first quarter estimate to include the June 15, 2020, estimate).

Collection Actions

The IRS is suspending most collection actions between April 1, 2020 and July 15, 2020.  The specific actions are outlined below:

  • Installment Agreements
    • Those which are currently in place will have all payments suspended between April 1 and July 15. However, if you are paying by automatic debit, you must contact your bank to suspend the payment.  If you do so, please remember to contact your bank to have payments resume in July.
    • New installment agreements may be submitted on the IRS website for those eligible to automatically be qualified for an installment arrangement. All others will not currently be processed.
  • Offers in Compromise
    • Those with pending OICs will have until July 15 to provide any requested information. No request will be closed before July 15 unless the taxpayer has requested the closure;
    • All payments under current OICs may suspend payments until July 15. Be advised that interest continues to accrue during this period;
    • Any current OIC will not be defaulted for failure to file their 2018 return provided they file the return on or before July 15; and
    • New OIC applications may be filed but will not be worked. As a practical matter, these applications should not be prepared or submitted until closer to the July 15 date in order to avoid having to provide updated information.
  • Liens, Levies, and Passport Certifications
    • Automated liens and levies will be suspended during this period;
    • Liens and Levies initiated by field revenue officers will be suspended;
    • High income non-filers will continue to have collection actions during this period; and
    • New certifications to the Department of State for passport holds will be suspended during the period.
  • Private Debt Collection has not been suspended. However, from a practical standpoint there may not be much if any activity from private debt collectors.
  • Audits and Appeals
    • All in-person meetings have been suspended, but examiners will continue to work on matters remotely. Taxpayers are encouraged to respond to any correspondence they receive if they are able.
    • New audits (including correspondence audits) will not be started UNLESS the IRS deems it necessary to protect the government’s interest.
    • Appeals officers will continue to work cases. Conferences will be held by telephone or videoconference.

For questions, or more information, please contact BMD Tax Member, Priscilla Grant at pag@bmdllc.com or 330.253.5934.

Explosive Growth in Pot of Gold Opportunity for Bank (and Other) Cannabis Lenders Driving Erosion of the Barriers

Our original article on bank lending to the cannabis industry anticipated that the convergence of interest between banks and the cannabis industry would draw more and larger banks to the industry. Banks were awash in liquidity with limited deployment options, while bankable cannabis businesses had rapidly growing needs for more and lower cost credit. Since then, the pot of gold opportunity for banks to lend into the cannabis industry has grown exponentially due to a combination of market constraints on equity causing a dramatic shift to debt and the ever-increasing capital needs of one of the country’s fastest growing industries. At the same time, hurdles to entry of new banks are being systematically cleared as the yellow brick road to the cannabis industry’s access to the financial markets is being paved, brick by brick, by the progressively increasing number and size of banks that are now entering the market.

2021 EEOC Charge Statistics: Retaliation & Impact of Remote Work

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its detailed information on workplace discrimination charges it received in 2021. Unsurprisingly, for the second year in a row, the total number of charges decreased as COVID-19 either shut down workplaces or disconnected employees from each other. In 2021, the agency received a total of approximately 61,000 workplace discrimination charges - the fewest in 25 years by a wide margin. For reference, the agency received over 67,000 charges in 2020, and averaged almost 90,000 charges per year over the previous 10 years.

Ohio’s Managed Care Overhaul Delayed – New Implementation Timeline

At the direction of Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) launched the Medicaid Managed Care Procurement process in 2019. ODM’s stated vision for the procurement was to focus on people and not just the business of managed care. This is the first structural change to Ohio’s managed care system since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) approval of Ohio’s Medicaid program in 2005. Initially, all of the new managed care programs were supposed to be implemented starting on July 1, 2022. However, ODM Director Maureen Corcoran recently confirmed that this date will be pushed back for several managed care-related programs.

Laboratory Specimen Collection Arrangements with Contract Hospitals - OIG Advisory Opinion 22-09

On April 28, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) published an Advisory Opinion[1] in which it evaluated a proposed arrangement where a network of clinical laboratories (the “Requestor”) would compensate hospitals (each a “Contract Hospital”) for specimen collection, processing, and handling services (“Collection Services”) for laboratory tests furnished by the Requestor (the “Proposed Arrangement”). The OIG concluded that the Proposed Arrangement would generate prohibited remuneration under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) if the requisite intent were present. This is due to both the possibility that the proposed per-patient-encounter fee would be used to induce or reward referrals to Requestor and the associated risk of improperly steering patients to Requestor.

Property Owner Protection from Tax Valuation Challenges

New legislation provides significant new protections for commercial property owners against challenges to valuation primarily by local school boards and prohibiting side agreements to avoid tax valuation changes. The Ohio Legislature has approved House Bill 126 which will go into effect July 2022 but will effectively apply to the 2023 tax valuation year.