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U.S. Treasury Secretary Announces Some Relief for Taxpayers Due to Coronavirus

In an unprecedented move, U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has announced some limited relief for taxpayers in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

What It Is

The relief provides some individuals and corporations an extension of time for the payment of their 2019 taxes. An individual who owes up to $1 Million and a corporation that owes up to $10 Million may have an additional 90 days to pay their 2019 taxes without incurring any interest or penalty for late payment. The relief is automatic says Mnuchin, requiring only that you file your tax return.

What It Is Not

This is not an extension of time to file your tax return. Individuals and C corporations must file their return or file for an extension by the April 15, 2020 filing deadline.

What We Don’t Know

The one thing that was not commented on is if there will be an extension of the due date for the first quarter estimated tax payment. Typically, individuals who are required to make estimated payments must make their first payment by April 15. Hopefully, guidance on this will be issued in the coming days.

State of Ohio

At this time, the State of Ohio has not issued any statement about extending either the due date or payment date for Ohio income taxes. The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants has written a letter to the governor requesting that an extension be put in place and we are currently awaiting a response.

This information is all based on the press conference at which Mnuchin spoke today. No formal guidance or announcements have come from the IRS at this time. We will continue to update you on any changes as guidance becomes available.

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.