Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

IRS to Start Automatically Sending Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments in July

The American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) expands the Child Tax Credit for tax year 2021. In addition to expanding the Child Tax Credit, the Act provides for advance payments of the 2021 Child Tax Credit.

Beginning in July, the IRS will automatically send Advanced Child Tax Credit payments to eligible taxpayers based on their 2020 tax return (or 2019 tax return if the 2020 tax return has not been filed and processed yet). The amount of the advanced payment will be up to $300 each month for each qualifying child under 6 years old at the end of 2021 and $250 each month for each qualifying child between 6 and 17 years old at the end of 2021. For example, if you have 2 qualifying children, one 4 years old and one 8 years old, you may receive up to $550 each month in advance child tax credit payments.

These payments are an advance on the child tax credit a person will claim on his/her 2021 tax return. Therefore, when a person files his/her 2021 tax return, the child tax credit amount will be reduced by the total amount of advance child tax payments received between July and December. That means that you may be required to repay some or all of the advanced child tax credit on your 2021 tax return.

Who is an eligible taxpayer?

Eligible taxpayers are:

  • Married taxpayers filing a joint return or Qualifying Widows with income up to $150,000;
  • Head of Household taxpayers with income up to $112,500; and
  • All other taxpayers with income up to $75,000.

Who is a qualifying child?

A qualifying child is one who:

  • Has a valid social security number
  • Lived with the eligible taxpayer for at least half the year
  • Is related to the eligible taxpayer
  • The eligible taxpayer provides more than 50% of the child’s support

What does this mean?

This means that unless a person opts out, he/she will automatically receive advance child tax credit payments. Therefore, the refund amount you are expecting may be reduced. This also means that parents that alternate claiming a dependent on their tax returns may now owe money to the IRS in 2021 rather than receiving a refund.

In the coming months, the IRS has stated taxpayers will have the opportunity to opt out of the advance child tax credit payments. The IRS has also stated taxpayers will have the opportunity to update information with the IRS such as filing status or number of qualifying children.

For additional questions related to the advance child tax credit payments, please contact BMD Tax Law Attorney Tracy Albanese at tlalbanese@bmdllc.com or (330) 253-9195.

The Masks Are Back: New OSHA Regulations for Healthcare Employers

Employment Law After Hours is back with a News Break Episode. Yesterday, OSHA published new rules for healthcare facilities, including hospitals, home health employers, nursing homes, ambulance companies, and assisted living facilities. These new rules are very cumbersome, requiring mask wearing for all employees, even those that are vaccinated. The only exception is for fully vaccinated employees (2 weeks post final dose) who are in a "well-defined" area where there is no reasonable expectation that any person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will be present.

New OSHA Guidance for Workplaces Not Covered by the Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard

On June 10, 2021, OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for occupational exposure to COVID-19, but it applies only to healthcare and healthcare support service workers. For a detailed summary of the ETS applicable to the healthcare industry, please visit https://youtu.be/vPyXmKwOzsk. All employers not subject to the ETS should review OSHA’s contemporaneously released, updated Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. The new Guidance essentially leaves intact OSHA’s earlier guidance, but only for unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers (“at-risk” meaning vaccinated or unvaccinated workers with immunocompromising conditions). For fully vaccinated workers, OSHA defers to CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People, which advises that most fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, or local laws or individual business policies.

Employer Liability for COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

As employers encourage or require employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine, they should be aware of OSHA recording obligations and potential workers’ compensation liability. Though OSHA has yet to revise its COVID-19 guidance in response to the latest CDC recommendations, OSHA has revised its position regarding the recording of injury or illness resulting from the vaccine. Until now, OSHA required an employer to record an adverse reaction when the vaccine was required for employees and the injury or illness otherwise met the recording criteria (work-related, a new case, and meets one or more of the general recording criteria). OSHA has reversed course and announced that it will not require recording adverse reactions until at least May 2022, irrespective of whether the employer requires the vaccine as a condition of employment. In its revised COVID-19 FAQs, OSHA states:

The New Rule 1.510 - Radical Change for Summary Judgement Procedure in Florida

In civil litigation, where both sides participate actively, trial is usually required at the end of a long, expensive case to determine a winner and a loser. In federal and most state courts, however, there are a few procedural shortcuts by which parties can seek to prevail in advance of trial, saving time, money and annoyance. The most common of these is the “motion for summary judgment”: a request to the court by one side for judgment before trial, generally on the basis that the evidence available reflects that a win for that party is legally inevitable and thus required. Effective May 1, 2021, summary judgment procedure in Florida has radically changed.

Vacating, Modifying or Correcting an Arbitration Award Under R.C. 2711.13: Three-Month Limitation Maximum; Not Guaranteed Amount of Time

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that neither R.C. 2711.09 nor R.C. 2711.13 requires a court to wait three months after an arbitration award is issued before confirming the award. R.C. 2711.13 provides that “after an award in an arbitration proceeding is made, any party to the arbitration may file a motion in the court of common pleas for an order vacating, modifying, or correcting the award.” Any such motion to vacate, modify, or correct an award “must be served upon the adverse party or his attorney within three months after the award is delivered to the parties in interest.” In BST Ohio Corporation et al. v. Wolgang, the Court held the three-month period set forth in R.C. 2711.13 is not a guaranteed time period in which to file a motion to vacate, modify, or correct an arbitration award. 2021-Ohio-1785.