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- Do Not Take a Shot in the Dark: Important Considerations for Puerto Rico Employers Eyeing Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Programs
Multiple states and jurisdictions are reporting a deadly winter spike of COVID-19 infections. An excess of 220,000 cases of COVID-19 were reported in early December, a dramatic increase from the 44,783 reported in October. Nevertheless, a glint of hope flashes within the gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic: Operation Warp Speed, a partnership program between the public and private sectors to develop, produce, and mass distribute a COVID vaccine.
- Puerto Rico: A Testing Dilemma in Returning to Work Scenarios and the Governor’s Most Recent Executive Order
In conclusion, employers have multiple CDC-approved approaches to choose from when determining their return-to-work protocols. Employers opting for the test-based strategy are protected under the ADA so long as it is carried out according to current CDC guidelines. A case-by-case analysis should therefore be performed taking into consideration the particularities of each workplace and the circumstances surrounding the employee.
- Puerto Rico: Pandemic Assistance Packages and their Effect on Christmas Bonus Exemption for Private Employers
On November 16, 2020, the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources (“PR DOL”) issued Circular Letter No. 2020-05, discussing considerations for private sector employers when requesting an exemption from paying the Christmas Bonus to their employees where the employer received COVID-19-related economic assistance.
- So Very Hard to Go (Not)! In Pursuit of Puerto Rican Tax Incentives
So Very Hard to Go - The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has had a hard time in the last ten years. PR has suffered a combination of devastating events including the Island’s bankruptcy, a hurricane and COVID19. The Puerto Rican government introduced an incredible tax incentive program in 2012 to attract investment on the Island. All the unforeseen obstacles got in the way in my opinion. In my view, the Number 1 problem, is that the business owner or investor cannot make the sale to the spouse to move to Puerto Rico. No one would ever turn their back on significant tax incentive programs but for the dilemma, “How do I convince my spouse to move?” Please see full Publication below for more information.
- Isla del Encanto – Introducing Boricua Split Dollar
This article focuses on a combination of techniques, the use of a Puerto Rican tax-exempt company and the loan method of split dollar life insurance. What’s different in this approach is the fact that the business owner does not need to relocate to Puerto Rico. However, I am not going to trace the path the way that I usually do in my articles to legally accomplish the tax benefits of Puerto Rico without relocation. This information is the “secret sauce” that taxpayers need to pay for. Nothing personal, just business! The combination of the loan method of split dollar provides a mechanism for repatriating profits from the Puerto Rican tax exempt company to a trust-owned life insurance for the taxpayer’s benefit. Please see full Publication below for more information.
- Puerto Rico - Qualified Retirement Plans: 2020 Year-End Amendments Deadline Coming Soon
With the fourth quarter of 2020 upon us, it is time to evaluate the year-end amendments that may be needed for retirement plans that are tax-qualified in Puerto Rico. Unlike the Internal Revenue Service, which each year issues a list of required amendments to U.S.–qualified plans and their respective adoption due dates, the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (commonly known by its Spanish name, Departamento de Hacienda de Puerto Rico, or Hacienda) seldom requires mandatory amendments to Puerto Rico–qualified plans.
- Court Rejects Claim Based on Interpretation of Clause in Private Purchase and Sale Agreement of Shares and Other Matters
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico recently rejected a defendant’s arguments that a clause in a Private Purchase and Sale Agreement of Shares and Other Matters was invalid under Supreme Court case law but nevertheless agreed with the defendant’s interpretation of the clause and therefore dismissed the claim against it.
- FEMA's Award of Billions in Aid to Puerto Rico Could be the Beginning of an Infrastructure and Manufacturing Expansion
The White House announced an $11.6 billion aid package to Puerto Rico on Sept. 18 to aid it in its recovery from Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island and its infrastructure in September 2017. The funds will be granted by the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and the Puerto Rico Department of Education.
- Puerto Rico Health Department Adopts Additional Measures To Manage COVID-19 Pandemic
Additional measures adopted by the Puerto Rico Department of Health to manage the COVID-19 pandemic include administrative fines for noncompliance. Regulation No. 9210 applies to natural persons (visitors and residents), as well as legal entities in Puerto Rico, and went into effect on August 21, 2020...
- New Puerto Rico COVID-19 Order Mandates Health Department Reporting, Sunday Closing
Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez has signed Executive Order 2020-062 (EO) to extend most of the prior COVID-19 pandemic limitations and restrictions, institute important additional restrictions, set a mandatory Sunday lockdown, and require employers to notify the Puerto Rico Department of Health by email of any employee who is suspected of having COVID-19 or who has tested positive to COVID-19...
- Expatriation Lite: Leaving The U.S. Tax System While Retaining Your Citizenship
As many Miami residents who earn income abroad may be aware, the United States is one of only two countries in the world that taxes its citizens and residents (collectively, “U.S. taxpayers”) on their worldwide income. Therefore, a U.S. taxpayer that earns only foreign source income will be...
- Could Bondholders Bring Claims Against Puerto Rico Bond Issuers in Courts Outside Puerto Rico?
As Puerto Rico prepares to access the public markets with a new bond issue, the Wall Street Journal reports that the list of demands from some potential investors include, in addition to a high interest rate and as much security as the issuer can provide, the issuer’s consent to the adjudication in ...
- Be PREPAred: PREPA Bondholders Greet Puerto Rico’s Bankruptcy Legislation With Federal Lawsuit
On Saturday, June 28, Puerto Rico’s Governor Padilla signed into effect Puerto Rico’s new bankruptcy law for certain revenue bond issuers. Within 24 hours of the statute’s enactment, two mutual fund complexes owning approximately $1.7 billion in bonds of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PR...
- This Year in San Juan? - Making the Move from Miami to Puerto Rico
I was recently in San Juan in late November 2014. I am not very nostalgic by nature, but on this trip was struck by a strong sense of how much Puerto Rico reminded me of the Panama Canal Zone – tropical climate, American infrastructure and American legal system, and strong U.S. federal government...
- Puerto Rico's Qualifying Employees May Use Paid Sick Leave to Care for Others
Effective December 31, 2015, all employers in Puerto Rico with at least 16 employees must allow eligible employees to use up to 5 paid sick leave days to care for an ill spouse, parent, or child. Eligible employees are those covered by the Puerto Rico Minimum Wage, Vacation, and Sick Leave Act (i.e....
- Top Eight Guidelines to Litigate Employment Claims under Puerto Rico’s Unique Summary Proceeding
A litigation trap that can ensnare unwary employers who may be sued in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a piece of employment legislation that allows expedited proceedings: Law No. 2 of October 17, 1961 (“Law No. 2”), as amended, known as the “Law for the Summary Proceeding of Employment Claims.”...
- Deadline for Plan Sponsors to Submit Qualification Amendments with the Puerto Rico Treasury is Fast Approaching
Employers that sponsor an employee retirement plan in Puerto Rico must review plan amendments and/or restatements adopted during 2016 to determine whether they need to submit their plan documents to the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (“Puerto Rico Treasury”) for qualification....
- Expanding the Unconditional Right to Intervene: A Win for UCC’s
Expanding a split among circuit courts, the First Circuit recently set precedent promoting the unconditional right of creditors’ committees to participate in all aspects of bankruptcy cases. Reversing a lower court, in In Re: The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, the First...
- Deadline to Report Qualified Payments for Disaster Assistance with the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury is Soon Approaching
On October 4, 2017, the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (the "PR Treasury") issued Administrative Determination No. 17-21 (AD 17-21) to exclude from gross income certain payments employers made to employees for disaster assistance related to Hurricane María. These payments to...
- Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury Issues Guidance on the Federal Employee Retention Benefit for Certain Employers Affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria
On September 29, 2018, the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport Extension Act of 2017, as amended (the “Act”), was adopted to, among other goals, provide tax relief to those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The Act includes an employee retention benefit (the “Benefit”) available to eligible...