Mar 26, 2020

The Rent Payment Crisis in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Calendar with Rent Due

FORCE MAJEURE CLAUSES AND PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR COMMERCIAL LANDLORDS AND TENANTS In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial landlords and tenants are now in uncharted territory facing complete or partial shutdown of business operations as a result of governmental restrictions and preventative social distancing measures. Just how long this business interruption will last is still uncertain, leaving landlords and tenants scrambling to assess the damages and strategize on whether and how to enforce their rights. In these uncertain times, commercial landlords and tenants should carefully review their leases and, if needed, seek legal advice to ascertain their rights and obligations…. Read more

Mar 25, 2020

IRS Clarifies Impact of Postponed Tax Deadline on Retirement Plans, IRAs and HSAs

Tax Help

Last week, following President Trump’s March 13, 2020 declaration of a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) postponed the April 15, 2020 deadline for filing and paying income taxes to July 15, 2020. See IRS Notice 2020-18.  On March 24, 2020, the IRS issued guidance in the form of frequently asked questions to clarify certain aspects of the postponed deadline for filing and paying income taxes.  The IRS indicated that it will update the frequently asked questions periodically and additional guidance may be provided. With respect to qualified retirement plans, individual retirement arrangements (IRAs),… Read more

Mar 25, 2020

Employer Guidance on Preparing the Workplace for COVID-19

Coronavirus OSHA

Coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) is a respiratory disease caused by the COVID-19 virus and has been declared a Pandemic by the World Health Organization.  To reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions on businesses, workers, customers, and the public, it is important for all employers to plan now for COVID-19. For employers who have already planned for influenza pandemics, planning for COVID-19 may involve updating plans to address the specific exposure risk, sources of exposure, routes of transmission, and other unique characteristics of COVID-19.  Employers who are not prepared for a pandemic event should prepare themselves and their workers as… Read more

Mar 25, 2020

May Deadline for Florida Small Business Emergency Loan Program

Bridge Loan Photo

In response to the COVID-19 Florida Public Health Emergency declared by Governor Ron DeSantis per Executive Order 20-52, the Governor implemented the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program (“Bridge Loan”), managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (“DEO”). As a benefit of the Bridge Loan, eligible small businesses have the opportunity to receive short-term, interest-free loans (for a term of one year) of up to $50,000, and in special cases of up to $100,000 as warranted by the need of the eligible small business.  Applications are required and are available online now. The deadline to submit an application… Read more

Mar 25, 2020

HHS Office for Civil Rights Issues Guidance to Help Ensure First Responders and Others Receive Protected Health Information about Individuals Exposed to COVID-19

Photo of ambulance

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance on how covered entities may disclose protected health information (PHI) about an individual who has been infected with or exposed to COVID-19 to law enforcement, paramedics, other first responders, and public health authorities in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. The guidance explains the circumstances under which a covered entity may disclose PHI such as the name or other identifying information about individuals, without their HIPAA authorization, and provides… Read more

Mar 24, 2020

Force Majeure in the Time of COVID-19 – FAQS for the Middle Market Executive

Force Majeure photo

In these exceptional times, to paraphrase the Scottish poet Robert Burns, “The best laid plans of mice and men / Often go awry.” The millions of contracts, agreements, purchase orders, arrangements, and customary practices, and the broad-scale coordination that underpins the global economy and supply chain, have become fractured in a matter of weeks due to the sudden appearance of COVID-19. The widescale, hopefully temporary, waves of disruption have left many businesses casting about for anything to grab hold of to help steady their ships. It is in this context that the much-neglected Force Majeure clause (“FMC”) has had a… Read more

Mar 23, 2020

COVID-19 and Disaster Relief Payments Under IRC Section 139

Tax Relief Payments

On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national emergency in connection with the coronavirus disease.  The specific nature of this declaration triggered the provisions of Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code, which provides preferential tax treatment of certain types of relief payments.  This SGR Tax Blog posting will outline the applicable rules for such payments, in three specific scenarios: payments to employees payments to employees from captive or controlled charitable organizations payments from third-party charitable organizations Relief Payments to Employees While Section 139 applies to a variety of relief, the most likely payments that employers may be interested… Read more

Mar 23, 2020

April 15th Income Tax Deadline Postponed

Tax Deadline Postponed

In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, on March 20, 2020 the IRS released Notice 2020-18 which postpones the April 15, 2020 income tax filing due date to July 15, 2020.  The Notice applies to any “person” with a federal income tax payment (including self-employment tax payments) or federal income tax return due April 15, 2020 (an “Affected Taxpayer”).  Person includes individuals, trusts and estates, partnerships, and corporations. For an Affected Taxpayer, the due date for filing federal income tax returns and making federal income tax payments due April 15, 2020 is automatically postponed to July 15, 2020.  In… Read more

Mar 23, 2020

NY Governor Cuomo Signs Two Executive Orders

Executive Order Photo

The New York office is open and (remotely) running.  All of our attorneys have the same SGR provided laptop that seamlessly interfaces with our firm-wide IT infrastructure. All of our various  practice area resources are available inter- and intra-office. EXECUTIVE ORDER PERMITTING LEGAL DOCUMENTS TO BE AUDIO-VIDEO “NOTARIZED”: Governor Cuomo has signed an Executive Order permitting legal documents to be  audio-video “notarized”. We invite our New York clients to contact Nellie Lefteratos at should you need your legal documents “notarized”. The Executive Order  that follows establishes the remote signing protocol. Any notarial act that is required under New York State… Read more

Mar 23, 2020

Employer Protection of Personal Health Information Related to COVID-19 Pandemic

Coronavirus COVID-19 Caution Road Side Sign

On Friday, March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national state of emergency related to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The states of Florida, Georgia, New York, California, Washington and others have also declared states of emergencies related to the pandemic. Professional and college sports teams are postponing or cancelling their seasons, concerts, meetings and other large gatherings are being cancelled, and schools are closing at a rapid pace. All of these steps are aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19. Congress passed and President Trump has now signed the ‘Families First Coronavirus Response Act’’  to provide health plan coverage for… Read more