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Notices Required Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act03/26/2020

On March 18, 2020, the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”).  Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor provided sample posters for private and public employers to post prior to April 1, 2020. Here is a link to the DOL poster for private employers. Also, the DOL provided guidance regarding the manner of providing notice to employees…

Non-Performance of Contractual Obligations During the COVID-19 Pandemic03/23/2020

The economic uncertainty caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses and commercial relationships worldwide.  As COVID-19 continues to spread, businesses may experience disruptions that make it difficult or impossible to fulfill their contractual obligations.  Under certain circumstances, those disruptions may justify non-performance.  One such escape hatch is a force majeure clause, which is a provision contained…

Zone of Insolvency and Fiduciary Duties – a Brief Summary of What Directors and Officers Need to Know03/23/2020

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses and commercial relationships worldwide. As commercial operations continue to be shuttered and revenues cut off, principals of companies will likely find themselves questioning where their obligations and responsibilities lie when the entity’s solvency is questionable.  When a corporation is solvent, the fiduciary duties of the corporation's board of directors run to…

Are COVID-19 Losses Covered By Business Interruption Insurance?03/23/2020

Covid-19 is disrupting businesses, their supply chains and their customers and causing major losses. Governors of Illinois, California, New York and Pennsylvania have issued “stay at home” and similar orders impacting employees and many businesses. Are any of these losses covered by insurance? The answer is maybe. The type of insurance a business carries and the specific insurance policy language are critical to determine…

Illinois Governor Issues Executive Order Requiring Individuals to Stay at Home03/20/2020

This afternoon, Governor Pritzker issued an Executive Order in response to COVID-19 (No. 8).  The Order is effective as of Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. through Tuesday, April 7, 2020.  Here is a link to the Order. The Order provides that: All individuals in Illinois are to stay at home or at their place of residence, except as…

Chicago Mayor Announces Payment Extension for Local Taxes03/20/2020

On March 19, 2020, Chicago Mayor Lightfoot announced that the City of Chicago will extend the due date for “small businesses” to pay the following Chicago taxes to April 30, 2020: Bottled Water Tax, Checkout Bag Tax, Amusement Tax, Hotel Accommodations Tax, Restaurant Tax, and the Parking Tax. The City requires that taxpayers pay these taxes on or before the…

Families First Coronavirus Response Act03/19/2020

On March 18, 2020, the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”).  Below is a summary of the employer requirements under the Act: Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act Covered Employers Employers with fewer than 500 employees and covered public sector employers must provide up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave for a qualifying need related to…

Indicate Precisely What You Mean to Say: The Importance of Accuracy on UCC-1 Financing Statements03/18/2020

UCC-1 Financing Statements are an integral tool in a secured creditor’s toolbox. They perfect a lender’s interest and broadcast notice of this perfected lien to all present or future creditors, putting out the warning that a security interest against the debtor’s collateral exists. An effective financing statement has three requirements: (1) the debtor’s name; (2) the creditor’s name; and (3)…

COVID-19 Guidance for Illinois Employers03/17/2020

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading across the globe and we wanted to assist you in considering all risk assessment and mitigation tools available.  We recommend assembling a management team to determine best next steps and implement an emergency plan.  Plan considerations should include cash flow concerns, remote working possibilities, IT considerations, quarantine possibility and company specific concerns. Businesses should…

A Warning: Cook County Assessor’s Real Property Income and Expense (RPIE) Letter02/26/2020

The Cook County Assessor’s Office has recently begun mailing invitation letters to solicit participation in its Real Property Income and Expense (“RPIE”) system. The goal of the system is to collect extensive data to assess commercial properties in Cook County. It utilizes both an online portal and mailed forms for data collection. The Assessor will target properties used for the…

Updates to Employment Laws – Here’s What You Need to Know01/01/2020

Changes to Federal and Illinois laws will likely require you to update your employment practices and policies. Below is a summary of new acts and amendments affecting Illinois employers. Federal Updates The Fair Labor Standards Act Overtime Rules (effective January 1, 2020) Raises the “standard salary level” for executive, administrative and professional exemptions from $455 per week to $684 per…

New Year, New Trust Law12/16/2019

New Beneficiary Notice Requirements For Trusts that Become Irrevocable After December 31, 2019 Effective January 1, 2020, the Illinois Trust Code (“ITC”) will replace the Illinois Trust and Trustees Act as the law governing Illinois trusts. With the adoption of the ITC, Illinois becomes the 34th state to adopt a form of the Uniform Trust Code. Most of the new…

New “Just Housing Ordinance” Changes Tenant Screening Procedures in Cook County12/10/2019

Ordinance Prohibits Initial Inquiry of Tenant Criminal History On April 25, 2019, Cook County Commissioners approved an amendment to the Cook County Code, known as the “Just Housing Ordinance," that prohibits the denial of a tenant’s application or continuing occupancy of residential real property based on criminal convictions. Specifically, landlords may no longer inquire about, consider, or require disclosure of…

Samantha Breslow published in Tax Notes State – “Debugging the (State Tax) Code: Outdated Sales Tax Terminology”12/09/2019

Read the full article on Tax Notes here (subscription required). Samantha Breslow discusses how the sluggishness of legislation does not often adjust itself to the speed and terminology of technology. However, there are a few states that are adapting to overcome the discrepancies. Download a PDF of the full article here. Debugging the (State Tax) Code: Outdated Sales Tax Terminology…

Marilyn Wethekam published in Tax Notes – “The Intersection of State Tax Policy and Federal Tax Reform”11/25/2019

Read the full article on Tax Notes here (subscription required). Marilyn Wethekam discusses how federal tax reforms do not always coincide with state tax policies. Download the full article here. The 2017 enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made significant changes to the federal tax system. One of the drivers for the reform was to make the United States…

Chris Lutz published in State Tax Notes – What to Do With Public Law 86-27209/25/2019

Read the full article on State Tax Notes here (subscription required). In his new column on State Tax Notes, Chris discusses how states and Congress should address challenges presented by Public Law 86-272 and criticizes state efforts to interpret the law out of existence. In the past 15 years, the state corporate income tax landscape has undergone significant change. Although…

Data Scraping Survives! (At Least For Now…) Key Takeaways From 9th Circuit Ruling on the hiQ vs. Linkedin Case09/20/2019

The original case was brought in California federal district court in 2017 by a company (hiQ) trying to protect its business of using publicly posted user data on LinkedIn. The California federal district court awarded a temporary restraining order against LinkedIn. This order allowed hiQ to keep scraping data off of LinkedIn’s platform on employees in connection with one of…

New Higher Majority Requirement for Condominium Deconversions in Chicago – Here’s What You Need to Know09/20/2019

Chicago Passes New Legislation Effective Immediately On September 18, 2019, the Chicago City Council unanimously passed a new ordinance that increases the percentage of owners required to approve the sale of a condominium building in the City. The ordinance, introduced by Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward), increases the required unit owner vote on a deconversion condominium sale to 85% of…

The Small Business Reorganization Act Arrives in February 2020 – Here’s What you Need to Know09/06/2019

With President Trump’s signature August 23rd, the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (“SBRA”) will officially take effect in February 2020. The SBRA is designed to fill a gap in the current bankruptcy laws by providing a framework for small businesses to successfully reorganize in bankruptcy court.  As noted by the senate bill’s sponsor, Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, “Chapter 11…

Two Illinois Amnesty Programs are Arriving in October: HMB Addresses the Changes08/19/2019

Starting October 1st, 2019, two new Amnesty programs will arrive in Illinois. One will cover all taxes administered by the Department of Revenue. The other program will cover franchise taxes. Before these programs come into play, members of the HMB State and Local Tax practice provide insight into what these changes will look like. Taxes Administered by Department of Revenue…

Marilyn Wethekam Published in State Tax Notes – To Share Tax Information or Not Is the Question08/06/2019

Disclosing tax return information has always been a dicey topic. Under the guise of transparency, there have been several proposals by tax advocates over the years to disclose tax information. The focus of these proposals has generally been on the taxes paid by corporate America and the use of tax planning strategies. As a general principle, this type of limited…

David Machemer Published in Journal of State Taxation – The Lessor’s Burden: Tax Challenges for Illinois Equipment Leasing08/06/2019

Illinois’ tax treatment of leases is an anomaly when compared to most other jurisdictions.[1] The general rule in most jurisdictions is to impose sales tax on the receipts collected from the lessee, the actual user of the equipment. However, Illinois differs, at least in the context of a long-term lease (i.e., more than one year), by treating the lessor of…

As Reports of Hacking and Wire Fraud/BEC Scams Increase, Here’s What You Can Do to Prepare06/12/2019

Business Email Compromise ("BEC") is a scam perpetrated by cyber criminals to attack businesses that first began to be tracked and reported by the FBI in 2013. BEC typically consists of phony or phishing emails that appear to originate from a company executive or member of a company's accounting or finance department containing fraudulent payment instructions with the objective to…

Illinois Legislative Update: What You Need to Know06/07/2019

As you may be aware, the Illinois legislature recently completed its 2019 legislative session. This session was particularly productive from a tax legislation perspective and we would like to update you on the key state and local tax changes that may affect you or your business. Please do not hesitate to contact any member of the HMB SALT team if…

Counseling a Cannabis-Related Business Overview04/24/2019

David provides an overview of the regulation of cannabis and considers the top legal issues faced by a cannabis-related business, focusing on the conflict between federal law and state laws where medical or adult use recreational marijuana is legal.

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