The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) postponed filing and tax payment deadlines for individuals, businesses, trusts, and estates in a series of notices published over the past few weeks.

The notices directly affect the deadlines for filing and paying income tax, estate tax, gift tax, and generation-skipping transfer tax.

IRS Notice 2020-18 provided relief for individual federal income tax return filing and payments due on April 15, 2020. Individual taxpayers must file and pay federal income taxes by July 15, 2020, to avoid accruing interest or penalties on unpaid federal income taxes for the 2019 tax year.
Continue Reading Treasury and IRS Extend Tax Deadlines for Individuals, Businesses, Trusts, and Estates

On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, the Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry (BCI) held a special meeting via teleconference to consider a Motion to Suspend All Deadlines (the “Motion”). The Motion extends all deadlines related to advance notifications, applications, compliance documentation, other contractual documents, and Industrial Tax Exemption Program local notices of action that are

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently approved the temporary relief proposed by both the Nasdaq Stock Market (NASDAQ) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) relating to compliance with the minimum price and minimum market capitalization continued listing standards of each exchange. In short, the cure period for regaining compliance with these standards is tolled through June 30, 2020. Listed companies that either (1) were in a cure period at the time the temporary relief took effect or (2) receive a notice of noncompliance after the temporary relief took effect and, in either case, have not regained compliance by June 30, 2020, will have their cure period either restart or begin on July 1, 2020. However, note that listed companies that receive a notice of noncompliance during the relevant toll period will still have to issue a press release, file a Form 8-K with the SEC, and, for NYSE-listed companies, submit a compliance plan to the NYSE.

Continue Reading Update: NYSE and NASDAQ Receive Approval for Additional Temporary Relief from Continued Listing Standards During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), the massive stimulus legislation passed on March 27, appropriated $100 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (the Relief Fund) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to be used “for necessary expenses to reimburse, through grants or other mechanisms, eligible health care providers for health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus,” other than expenses or losses that have been reimbursed from other sources (or that other sources were obligated to reimburse). As described in our earlier Client Alert CMS Gives Emergency Dollars to Medicare Providers . . . but With Strings Attached, HHS began the initial distribution of Relief Fund payments on April 10, with $30 billion divided among all providers that received Medicare payments during 2019 in proportion to their relative Medicare reimbursements during that year.
Continue Reading HHS Announces Next Distribution and Priorities for CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payments

The Louisiana Department of Revenue issued Revenue Information Bulletin (“RIB”) No. 20-011, which provides filing and payment extension relief for monthly Louisiana severance tax returns, payments, and reports due on April 25, 2020.

The RIB provides that the filing and payment deadline for the February 2020 monthly oil and gas severance tax return, which

On Thursday, April 23, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and United States Department of Treasury released a new question 31 and related answer as a supplement to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), which they previously published and have periodically updated since the program began. The recent addition, which is quoted below, appears to us to demonstrate the effects that public pressure is having on the SBA following the inability of a number of small businesses to participate in the first round of PPP funding:
Continue Reading Updated FAQ Issued Regarding the Paycheck Protection Program and Qualification for Loans

On April 21, 2020, the Senate passed in a pro forma session an “interim” coronavirus relief bill, titled the “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act” (the Senate Bill). The Senate Bill would amend the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), enacted March 27, 2020, to (i) increase the amounts authorized for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in accordance with Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act, the economic injury disaster loans, and emergency grants under the CARES Act, and (ii) authorize additional funding for hospital and provider recovery and coronavirus testing. Notwithstanding complaints that have been lodged by various constituencies about the structure, administration, and fairness of the PPP that was implemented by the CARES Act, the new legislation would not modify the PPP’s lending program, choosing instead to appropriate additional funding so that more small businesses are covered. The following is a summary of the key provisions of the Senate Bill.
Continue Reading Senate Passes Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act

Even though the casinos in Louisiana and Mississippi continue to be closed under orders from the states’ governors and gaming regulators to address the coronavirus pandemic, we can speculate what a reopened gaming industry might look like in the Deep South once those orders are lifted.

Prior to entry into a casino, guests may be asked questions about their recent travel or health or exposure to someone with the virus. Patrons may have to walk through a device to check for elevated temperatures before being admitted. Social distancing will become the norm, and casino floors may be marked to indicate minimum distancing for patrons at locations such as hotel check-ins.
Continue Reading What Will Reopened Casinos Look Like in Louisiana and Mississippi After the Coronavirus Shutdown Ends?

The Federal Reserve Board’s (Federal Reserve) open comment period on its proposed Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) ended on April 16, 2020. Hundreds of comments raising concerns and recommendations about the MSLP were submitted by companies, lenders, and industry groups, as well as by members of Congress. A number of the key concerns, which have been echoed by other commenters, were summarized by the US Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) in its comment letter to the Federal Reserve and the US Department of the Treasury. These recommendations include:

  • Increasing the loan term beyond four years.
  • Decreasing the minimum loan size.
  • Modifying employee and revenue thresholds.
  • Including US branches or affiliates of non-US institutions as Eligible Lenders.
  • Clarifying the reasonable efforts an eligible borrower must take to maintain its payroll and retain its employees.
  • Adjusting the current definition of EBITDA based on GAAP.
  • Easing restrictions that prohibit eligible borrowers from paying dividends to shareholders or engaging in stock repurchases.
  • Reconsidering the use of the secured overnight financing rate (SOFR) at the onset of the loan.
  • Expanding eligible loans under the Main Street Expanded Lending Facility beyond those anchored on preexisting term loans.
  • Clarifying the material terms of the participation agreement for the Special Purpose Vehicle.

Continue Reading MSLP Alert: End of Federal Reserve’s Comment Period, and Next Steps

On March 18, 2020, TCEQ’s Deputy Director of the Office of Environmental Enforcement (OCE), Ramiro Garcia, Jr., issued an instructive email on how regulated entities can request enforcement discretion in situations of unavoidable noncompliance as a direct result of the coronavirus. The email provides that the regulated entities should email both (OCE inbox) and with specific information regarding the request. “The email should contain at a minimum:

  • Concise statement supporting request for enforcement discretion
  • Anticipated duration of need for enforcement discretion
  • Citation of rule / permit provision for which enforcement discretion is requested”

Continue Reading TCEQ Issues Instructive Email on Enforcement Discretion