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Puerto Rico Is Open For Business

Puerto Rico has the highest vaccination in the nation. More than 73% of the total population is fully vaccinated. The U.S. national average is just over 57%. The ports opened in June 2020 and San Juan held its first live concert this past summer. It is important to remember that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and there is no need for visas. The banking system is almost identical to the mainland, and the Island uses the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. dollar as its currency. There are thousands of flights from the U.S. to Puerto Rico daily and all main airlines fly to the Island.

Puerto Rico is known for its tax incentives program to promote the investment of foreign companies in the Island. The Puerto Rico Incentives Code (Act 60) passed on July 1, 2019, has standardized 15-year term tax exemptions, which could be extended for an additional fifteen years. Some of the exemptions are directed to Export (Services and Goods), Financial and Insurance Services, Visitor Economy, Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Farming, Creative Industries, Entrepreneurship, Air and Sea Transport.

All residents of Puerto Rico are exempt from U.S. federal taxes, and Puerto Rico is in charge of making its own local tax laws. As an example, an export service company that sets up an office in Puerto Rico can get a 4% corporate tax rate and full tax exemption on all dividends. The company is only required to hire one local employee if the company's annual revenue is over $3 million. Furthermore, the Act offers full exemption from all local taxes on passive income to individuals that have not lived in Puerto Rico for the last ten years. It also requires the individual to purchase residential property and to donate at least $10,000 a year to a local non-profit.

The location of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean makes it ideal for business. The Island has two international airports, and it has three major ports. Furthermore, Puerto Rico's legal system is similar to the mainland, and the Island’s law schools are approved by the American Bar Association. Attorneys admitted in U.S. jurisdictions can appear ad hoc without much trouble. In addition, there is a United States District Court, and its appeals are taken to the First Circuit in Boston.

Puerto Rico provides similar benefits as any tax haven jurisdiction and also provides a strong rule of law to protect the interest of any business. Puerto Rico is the best of both worlds.

For additional questions, please contact International Law Attorney Omar Carmona at ocarmona@bmdpl.com.

New York, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Delaware Become the latest States to Adopt Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners

While the COVID-19 pandemic certainly created many obstacles and hardships, it also created many opportunities to try doing things differently. This can be seen in the instant rise of remote work opportunities, telehealth visits, and virtual meetings. Many States took the challenges of the pandemic and turned them into an opportunity to adjust the regulations governing licensed professionals, including for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).

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.