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The IRS Provides More Flexibility for Cafeteria Plans

06/06/2020

On May 12, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service released IRS Notices 2020-29 and 2020-33 creating more flexibility in cafeteria plan to address concerns raised by employers and employees stemming from COVID-19.

Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020

06/05/2020

On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the “Act”). The Act was meant to make the provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”) more lenient to allow recipients to take full advantage of the forgiveness provisions and to defer taxes.

Wealth Transfer Planning During the COVID-19 Crisis

06/05/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive disruption in our relationships and lifestyles. Millions are out of work and a number of businesses will not weather the storm. Going to the office, hanging out with friends, celebrating with family—all curtailed as public health professionals and public officials battle the scourge. The equity markets are also roiled by the dislocations and uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Values in stock portfolios are subject to wild fluctuation, interest rates are at historical lows, and all this as a backdrop to what will certainly become political discord on tax policy. Although many feel helpless, or wonder what can be done, these unfortunate events do create opportunities for wealth transfer planning.

The Good Faith Necessity Certification Requirement under the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program: A Borrower's Update

05/19/2020

For the past few weeks, many small businesses that received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) have wrestled with the decision of whether to keep the money or give it back after confusing guidance from the Treasury Department and the Small Business Association (“SBA”) raised questions about the good faith necessity certification. Much to their relief, new guidance released May 13, 2020 provides a certification safe harbor for businesses receiving loans under $2 million.

How To Get Your Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiven: An FAQ Guide for Small Businesses and Self-Employed Individuals

04/23/2020

So now that you have received your PPP loan, how do you ensure that you take the correct steps to have that loan forgiven? What are other issues that you should be concerned about? Below you will find a series of questions and answers Kennerly Montgomery has prepared regarding the necessary steps to help small businesses stay “healthy” during these rather unhealthy times.

TN Court of Appeals: Premises Liability - Who is exercising control?

04/20/2020

The Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Jones v. Earth Fare, Inc., a Knox County premises liability case, on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, which shows how good deeds don’t go unpunished. If you own or lease commercial real estate, this opinion might affect any future liability in insurance/injury litigation you may have.

Are COVID-19 Business Losses Covered By Insurance?

04/14/2020

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the American economy, and that businesses had little time to prepare and react. Many business owners have questions regarding whether their existing insurance policies provide coverage for losses associated with this crisis. The short answer? “Maybe.”

CARES Act: Small Business Loans

04/13/2020

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) became law. Given the harsh impact that mandated closures and reduced business opportunities created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act provides aid to small businesses struggling to cope with the economic uncertainty of the pandemic in the form of loans and grants through the Small Business Administration (“SBA”).

We've Got Your Six (Reasons for Paid Sick Leave Under the FFCRA) Covered.

04/10/2020

The DOL has issued some much-needed guidance on applying the six qualifying reasons for paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Act”). We’ve summarized the six qualifying reasons, including the new guidance, below.

CARES Act Provides Early Access to Retirement Funds and Other Retirement Plan Relief

03/27/2020

The much-awaited phase three of coronavirus-related legislation passed the House and was signed into law the afternoon of March 27, 2020. Known as the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, the almost 1,000-page stimulus package contains several provisions impacting retirement plan access and operation.

DOL Provides Limited Guidance on New Families First Coronavirus Response Act

03/26/2020

Although formal regulations will not be released until sometime in April, the DOL issued some guidance this week in the form of frequently asked questions (“FAQs”), providing answers to at least some of the questions arising from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) passed last week.

A Summary of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act for Employers and Employees

03/20/2020

On March 19, phase two, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”), was signed into law. Of the chief inclusions, Congress made testing for the coronavirus free without deductibles or copayments under group health plans and governmental insurance programs, and it also provided waivers for certain programs relating to school lunch programs and SNAP benefits. However, the most important codifications for both employers and employees are the introduction of mandatory paid sick leave and an emergency expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).

Leave Policy Review: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

03/12/2020

Here are six points you need to consider in reviewing your sick, annual, PTO, or unpaid leave policies as COVID-19 continues to spread.

The SECURE Act: A (Very) Brief Introduction

02/03/2020

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the SECURE Act into law. The following is a brief overview of some of the key changes as they relate to retirement plan administration.

New Concealed Carry Law Eases Access to Handguns

01/31/2020

As of January 1, 2020, Tennessee citizens will find it easier to obtain a concealed carry permit for a handgun. This law differentiates between the current, older permit law, now known as the “enhanced handgun carry permit,” and the new, more limited permit, referred to as a “concealed handgun carry permit.”

501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations and Lobbying Revisited: Grassroots Lobbying

01/30/2020

“Direct Lobbying” refers to communications with legislators or legislative staff members that specifies and expresses a view on a particular piece of legislation. Another type of lobbying, Grassroots Lobbying, is also governed by general rules under Internal Revenue Code § 4911.

Reminders That Planning Requires Attention to Details

01/29/2020

Two recent cases in probate law highlight the importance of thorough planning. Clients of Kennerly, Montgomery & Finley benefited from both cases and current and future clients should note the lessons to be learned.

The Complexities of the Statute of Repose in Construction and Related Litigation

11/08/2019

Perhaps one of the most critical issues to parties involved in—or threatened with— construction litigation is timing. As a plaintiff, failure to bring your claim within the required time limit can bar your claim.

Tennessee's Marital Asset Protection ("MAP") Trust

11/07/2019

Tennessee Code Annotated § 35-15-510 enables married clients to transfer property to a joint trust—the Marital Asset Protection Trust (MAP Trust)—and obtain the same asset protection as property held as tenancy by the entirety. This was previously unavailable with the use of revocable trusts.

Clarifying the Tennessee Public Records Act

11/06/2019

Looking into the Recent Scripps Media, Inc. Case

The IRS Updated 401(k) Hardship Regulations

11/05/2019

Here's what you need to know.

Recent Changes to Trust and Estate Laws in Tennessee

07/30/2019

In May, Governor Lee signed two new bills which made several changes to Tennessee law in the areas of wills, estates, and trusts. Some key changes are outlined in this article.

Is Tennessee's Income Taxation of Trusts Constitutional?

06/24/2019

On Friday, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that North Carolina's tax on trust income attributable to contingent beneficiaries is unconstitutional on due process grounds. What does that mean for Tennessee which has the same law?

Proposed Rules on Faith-Based Social Services

11/10/2015

Nine federal agencies recently proposed rules that aim to clarify the rights and responsibilities of faith-based and community social service organizations receiving Federal funds. In this month’s KM Church Law Newsletter, Michael R. Crowder discusses the substance of these proposed rules, the background behind the rules, and any recent developments.

Registering Trade and Service Marks in Tennessee: A Brief How-to Filing Guide

08/11/2015

Trademarks are important to protecting and preserving the brands and reputations of businesses ranging from small start-ups to established multinational companies. State and federal trademark registration help protect marks by providing statutory protections on top of established common law rights. In this article, Zack R. Gardner and Prof. Brian Krumm (University of Tennessee College of Law) briefly discuss trademarks and provide a how-to practitioners guide to state and federal trademark registration.

What The NLRB Thinks About Your Employee Handbook

06/24/2015

The National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel recently released important guidance on employee handbook provisions that have been found unlawful. Ben D. Cunningham’s memo discusses the General Counsel’s guidance and its implications for all private employers.

An Introduction to the Ministerial Exception

06/12/2015

The ministerial exception prevents the application of anti-discrimination laws to the employment relationship between religious institutions and their ministerial employees. In this month’s KM Church Law Newsletter, Michael R. Crowder and Zack R. Gardner discuss generally the background behind the ministerial exception, recent developments to the doctrine, and the ambiguities that still exist.

Ministerial Housing Allowance: A Brief Overview

05/18/2015

Federal law allows members of the clergy to exclude a “ministerial housing allowance” from income for federal income tax purposes. In this month’s KM Church Law Newsletter, Zack R. Gardner discusses generally what constitutes a “ministerial housing allowance”, who may take the allowance, and the rules governing when the allowance may be taken.

Retirement Plan Options for Tax-Exempt Organizations: QLACs

04/13/2015

Recent IRS regulations provide longevity protection by allowing individuals to defer required minimum distributions from certain qualified retirement plans past age 70 1/2. This article by Michael Crowder discusses QLACs.

Churches and the FMLA’s New Definition of “Spouse”

04/02/2015

The Department of Labor recently published a new rule under the Family Medical Leave Act amending the definition of “spouse” for FMLA purposes. Michael R. Crowder and Zack R. Gardner discuss the new rule and its implications for Churches and Church-related organizations in this month’s KM Church Law Newsletter.

Social Security for Married Couples

03/25/2015

We have recently been learning some new things here at Kennerly Montgomery regarding estate planning and retirement planning. Please find attached our Estate Planning Newsletter. This particular edition focuses on optimizing Social Security benefits for married couples.

COBRA Continuation Coverage: Incapacity Exception for Premium Payments

03/06/2015

"What is COBRA continuation coverage, and who pays for it?" and other questions will be answered in this article.

Public Chapter 995 - Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”)

02/05/2015

Effective July 1, 2014, Public Chapter 995 amends several of Tennessee’s existing employment statutes to bring them in line with their related federal counterpart. Specifically, the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”) has been amended to remove liability for individual supervisors or agents for claims against the employer.

The Supreme Court’s Decision Overturning Yard-Man

01/27/2015

On January 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected the rule established by the Sixth Circuit in International Union, United Auto., Aerospace, & Agricultural Implement Workers of Am. v. Yard-Man, Inc., 716 F.2d 1476 (1983). In M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the Court rejected the Sixth Circuit’s inferences concluding that (i) if a benefit plan’s provisions were silent as to termination, then those benefits were to vest for life and (ii) provisions were “illusory” if they benefit one class while not benefiting another...

Certificate of Employability

01/26/2015

Tennessee’s general assembly passed a new statute allowing convicted criminals to apply for a certificate of employability and providing protection to employers who hire employees who have received a certificate of employability. Ben Cunningham’s memo, attached, discusses the new statute.

DOL Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Changes to the FMLA Definition of “Spouse”

07/22/2014

In the wake of the United States v. Windsor decision striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Department of Labor (DOL), on June 26 2013, revised the definition of spouse for FMLA purposes to include same-sex spouses legally married and residing within a state that recognizes same-sex marriages.

Affordable Care Act Update

07/10/2014

Final Regulations Published on the 90-Day Waiting Period Limitation

"Church Plans" and ERISA

05/01/2014

A “church plan” is generally exempt from the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) unless the plan sponsor affirmatively elects ERISA coverage.

Retirement Plan Options for Tax Exempt Entities

05/01/2014

Which plan is right for you and your employees?

Employee Benefits FAQs on Same-Sex Marriage

12/20/2013

Which states recognize same-sex marriage? Does Federal law recognize same-sex marriages? How does the Windsor decision affect payment of federal taxes? Does Windsor impact employee benefit plans? How does Tennessee treat same-sex marriages? Do any local governments in Tennessee provide benefits to the same-sex spouses of their employees? Has anyone ever challenged the Tennessee constitutional language prohibiting same-sex marriages?

Employee Benefits FAQs on Required Minimum Distributions

07/18/2013

What are RMDs, and when does a retirement plan participant/IRA owner begin withdrawing RMDs? How are RMD amounts calculated? What consequences do plan participants and plan sponsors face after failing to withdraw full and timely RMDs? What are the RMD rules for retirement accounts and IRAs that are inherited?

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