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1927

Changes to Charitable Giving Limits in the CARES Act

The newly passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) contains two provisions that will be of interest to folks who want to help their communities this year.  Section 2104 creates an above the line deduction of up to $300 for contributions made in 2020. This is important because after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) a couple years ago, many folks no longer itemize, which means that they are not eligible to receive a tax benefit for the charitable deductions that they make over the course of the year. So, if you now claim the standard deduction, individual taxpayers can claim a deduction for the amounts up to $300 that they donate to charity. They don’t let you double-dip though, so if you itemize, you would claim your deductions on Schedule A as usual.

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Family Law Experts Issue Recommendations for Co-Parenting During Pandemic

Lots of families are struggling with how to best protect and parent children as the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, divorced parents may have additional concerns, such as “Is it safe to allow my children to travel to their other parent’s house for parenting time?,” “How can supervised parenting time continue if it was usually held at a restaurant?,” and “When is spring break, anyway?”

While each family may decide to approach these issues differently, the Oregon Statewide Family Law Advisory Committee (“SFLAC”) has issued recommendations for families who cannot reach their own agreements. Some common issues are addressed.

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Creative (and free!) Options When You Can’t Hit the Gym

We have a few free and fun ways to get moving and out of your head when you can’t get out of the house.

The recent Stay-at-Home order issued in Portland, Oregon has many of us adjusting to the new day to day life of remote work. It can be a hard balance when your work and home life all take place in the same building. Remember to take a few minutes for yourself and your mental wellness – stretch, or engage in a form of exercise you enjoy.

Though we are still able to go outside for walks and recreation (allowing for 6 feet of distance), Portland weather isn’t always so accommodating. If you’re in need of a creative way to move, but don’t have the space for an at home gym, we have a few suggestions.

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Congress Passes CARES Act, Adds Forgivable Loan Program for Small Businesses

Late in the evening on March 25th, the United States Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) by a vote of 96-0. The House passed the Act on Friday, March 27th. President Trump is expected to sign the Act very soon. While SamuelsLawBlog.com will provide additional details on the CARES Act in the coming days, here are additional details of the Act’s significant $349 billion expansion of the Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) Section 7(a) loan program.

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COVID-19: Resources

We’re getting a lot of questions right now about what resources are out there for individuals and businesses. I recommend taking a look at this comprehensive list that Representative Blumenauer’s office is developing and maintaining, for a start.

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Senate Bill Provision Offers Hope to Small Business

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Senate is currently debating S. 3548, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the “CARES Act.” It is estimated that the CARES Act could provide a $1 to $2 Trillion stimulus in economic aid to both businesses and workers.

While multifaceted, one provision sets forth a significant benefit to small businesses that can apply for forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA).

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Family First Law & What It Means

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides, among other benefits, emergency paid sick leave and emergency family medical leave to employees affected by COVID-19.

There are many facets of the emergency law with complex details. Below is a brief overview of the major changes that many employers must consider during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to contact an attorney for more details regarding the requirements specific to your situation.

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Mnuchin Announces Deadline to File Extended by Tweet

In a tweet at about 10 am Eastern Time this morning, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced “We are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

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Extension: 90 Day Extension to Pay Taxes

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced today that individual taxpayers will now get a 90 day extension of time (through what Excel tells me is Tuesday, July 14, 2020) to pay 2019 income taxes, up to $1 million owed. Corporate filers will get the same period of time to pay up to $10 million in taxes owed.  During the period of time from April through July 14, taxpayers will not be subject to additional interest and penalties on amounts due for 2019. Individuals and businesses will still have to file their income tax returns by April 15, unless they file a request for extension.

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A Letter to our Clients: COVID-19

To our clients,
As we all continue to closely monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we wanted to share the proactive steps we, as a firm, are taking to ensure the health and safety of our clients, professionals, staff, families, and community. While we are following the rapidly changing health related guidelines and recommendations to help mitigate the Coronavirus’ impact, we are committed to offering the best legal representation to our clients, in the most health conscious way possible.

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ODR: Rules for Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax (CAT)

The Oregon Department of Revenue has posted a schedule of public meetings on its website. These meetings are intended to provide information to business taxpayers and tax professionals about the recently-adopted Temporary administrative rules for Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax (CAT). We encourage all business owners who anticipate having more than $1 million in gross receipts to learn about this new tax system in Oregon, which will not only apply to corporations. 

They have also posted new FAQ’s on their website relating to how the CAT will apply to: (1) wholesale sales made for resale outside of Oregon and (2) the retail and wholesale sale of groceries.

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Oregon Legislature Corrects Procedural Hurdle in ORS 124.100(6) for Financial Elder Abuse Claims

The National Adult Protective Services Association reports that 90% of financial abusers are family members or trusted others. And financial abuse is vastly under-reported: it is estimated that only one in 44 cases are reported to state protective services. Estimates of financial elder abuse and fraud costs range from $2.9 billion to $36.5 billion annually. 

The attorneys at Samuels Yoelin Kantor watch for legal changes that may affect our current and future clients. A new Oregon law, effective January 1, 2020, should help vulnerable Oregonians that have been victims of abuse by making it harder to dismiss civil actions for abuse under ORS Chapter 124. This chapter of the Oregon Revised Statutes is also known as the Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act (“Act”).

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Adequate Funding Needed to Support Court: Op Ed Article

The Oregon State Legislature is currently in full session and debating a proposed budget for Governor Brown’s approval. At stake is funding for our Oregon Courts. The Judicial Branch currently receives less than 3% of the total budget even though it is one of our three branches of government. SYK partner, Chris Costantino, in her role as President of the Oregon State Bar this year co-authored an article which was recently published in The Oregonian outlining the need to adequately fund our state courts in the 2019 budget. Right now, only one court house in the entire state is providing public services full time; other courts have limited time to answer phone calls or in-person requests. This is because court staffing has been cut by more than 12% since 2009.

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Senior Loneliness Line

Free 24/7 Senior Loneliness Line: A Caring Call

Clackamas County has launched a free and confidential 24/7 call-in at 503.200.1633 (or 800.282.7035) for adults older than 55 who live in Clackamas County. The Senior Loneliness Line supports seniors in the community who are feeling lonely, anxious, or having difficulty connecting. Staff members are primarily trained under Lines for Life, to be well-equipped for crisis management training and suicide prevention. Staff members are also mandatory reporters and have been trained on how to fill out reports to Adult Protective Services. 

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PIABA Panel - Expungement Proceedings

FINRA Expungement Proceedings

On April 4, 2019, SYK attorney Darlene Pasieczny joined co-panelist Kate McGrail and moderator Robert J. Girard II in Washington D.C. Together, they presented on FINRA expungement proceedings to an audience of securities attorneys, law professors, and state securities regulators attending PIABA’s Mid-Year Meeting.

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Attorneys Blachly & Pasieczny Present on Combating Financial Elder Abuse

Today, over 46 million Americans are 65 years of age or older. This accounts for nearly 15% of the population. According to the Population Reference Bureau, that number is projected to more than double by the year 2060. It will reach an estimated 98 million and 24% of the U.S. population. Approximately 1 out of every 10 Americans, age 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse. Estimates of financial elder abuse and fraud costs range from $2.9 billion to $36.5 billion annually

On Thursday, February 21st, SYK attorneys Victoria Blachly and Darlene Pasieczny will speak to the Oregon State Bar Securities Regulation Section about financial elder abuse in the securities industry. Their program “Recent Tools to Combat Financial Elder Abuse: Mandatory and Permissive Conduct Under FINRA Rules and Oregon Law for Securities Professionals,” will take a closer look at Oregon statues and FINRA rules regarding mandatory and permissive conduct for brokers and investment advisers when there is reasonable suspicion of financial abuse.

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Articles by SYK Attorneys Nelson and Pasieczny featured in the OSB Elder Law Newsletter

The January 2019, Volume 22 issue of the Oregon State Bar Elder Law Newsletter featured articles by two of SYK’s outstanding attorneys. Laura Nelson, whose practice includes estate planning, trust administration, and guardianship and conservatorship cases was featured on the first page of the newsletter. Darlene Pasieczny’s article, New Tools Help Financial Professionals Prevent Elder Abuse, examines mandatory and permissive conduct for Oregon securities professionals when there is reasonable suspicion of financial abuse. Pasieczny is a fiduciary and securities litigator. She represents clients in both Oregon and Washington in trust and estate disputes, elder financial abuse, securities litigation, and investors nationwide in FINRA arbitration.

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Think about 2018 Taxes Now!

We’ve had a lot of questions from clients about the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs act on normal, working Americans. IRS did a clumsy job with implementation, although in their defense the TCJA probably raised more questions than it answered. Also, one of the most surprising effects will be felt by taxpayers who live in high tax jurisdictions and who itemize their deductions.

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