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New Law Starts Clock Ticking for FDA to Issue Social Media Policy

For more than fifteen years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has struggled to craft a policy on how the Internet may be used to promote medical products. Now, the FDA has a firm deadline: July 9, 2014. On Monday, President Obama signed into law a bill that will require the FDA to finally state its policy on use of the Internet ?Çô including social media ?Çô to promote medical products that are regulated by the FDA. Under Section 1121 of the bill, the FDA has two years from the date the bill was signed into law to issue the new guidelines. The provision is one of several ?Ç£Miscellaneous Provisions?Ç¥ in a bill that reauthorizes the FDA to collect user fees from drug companies and creates new user fee programs for generic drug manufacturers. The FDA has been deliberating on the subject of online drug promotion since as early as… Continue Reading

IRS Announces Procedures to Assist Low Risk Overseas U.S. Taxpayers

New procedures go into effect on September 1, 2012, that, among other things, allow qualifying taxpayers to resolve certain concerns relating to participation in foreign retirement plans. The IRS provides the example that in some instances tax treaties allow for income deferral under U.S. tax law, but only if an election is made on a timely basis. The new procedures apply to low-risk taxpayers, defined as those with simple tax returns who owe $1,500 or less in tax for any of the covered years. To use the procedures, a taxpayers must file delinquent tax returns along with related information returns for the past three years. The taxpayer also must file delinquent FBARs for the past six years. Additional information can be found on the IRS website here.

IRS Releases Sample Language for Making 83(b) Elections

The Internal Revenue Service recently released Revenue Procedure 2012-29 to provide sample language for taxpayers?ÇÖ use when making an election under Section 83(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 83(a) generally provides that when the service provider’s rights in property received in connection with the performance of services become transferable and no longer subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture, then he must include the excess of the fair market value over the basis in property in income. Section 83(b) permits the service provider to elect to include in income the excess of the fair market value of the property at the time of the transfer over the amount paid for the property, as compensation for services, provided the election is made within 30 days after the transfer. The Revenue Procedure provides sample language that may be (but is not required to be) used for making such an election. The… Continue Reading

Dividends and Dividend Equivalents May be Performance-Based Compensation under Code ?º 162(m) Even if Received Prior to Vesting of Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units

The IRS has confirmed that dividends and dividend equivalents relating to restricted stock and restricted stock units (RSUs) are separate grants from the restricted stock and RSUs, and must separately satisfy performance-based compensation requirements in order to avoid being counted toward the $1 million deduction limit on compensation under Internal Revenue Code ?º 162(m). For example, if an employee?ÇÖs right to dividends and dividend equivalents vests and becomes payable only upon satisfaction of the same performance goals that apply to the related grants of restricted stock and RSUs, then the dividends and dividend equivalents are excluded from compensation for purposes of applying the $1 million deduction limitation. However, if an employee receives dividends and dividend equivalents at the same time that dividends are paid on the company?ÇÖs common stock prior to vesting of the restricted stock and RSUs and achievement of related performance goals, then these amounts are not qualified… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of Individual Mandate

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (?Ç£PPACA?Ç¥). The Court held that Congress has the power to adopt the individual mandate under its taxing power, but not pursuant to its authority under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In regards to the Medicaid Expansion under PPACA, the Supreme Court held that the Secretary of Health and Human Services cannot withdraw existing Medicaid funds to states for failure to comply with the requirements set out in the Medicaid Expansion. The overall Medicaid Expansion was otherwise upheld. Since the provisions of PPACA affecting employer-provided health plans have been upheld, employers must continue to comply with all applicable provisions of PPACA. National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, No. 11-393 (S. Ct. June 28, 2012).

July 2012