Publications

Hinckley Allen Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
01/27/2017
Rebecca F. Alperin
Donna M. Niles
Tracy A. Vitols
Did You Know? The Latest in ERISA & Employee Benefits

President Trump signs executive order aimed at minimizing burdens of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).President Trump’s executive order calls for federal agencies to “exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden,” on individuals or businesses. This reflects the President’s determination to eliminate the mandates that require individuals to carry health insurance, and for businesses with more than 50 employees to offer it. However, President Trump lacks the authority to eliminate those…

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2017 Real Estate Tax Abatement Process

With the New Year upon us, now is the time for property owners to review their real estate tax assessments to determine if a tax abatement or appeal is warranted. Hinckley Allen has successfully handled numerous tax abatements and tax appeals in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The tax abatement process varies from state to state but, in all instances, requires strict adherence to filing deadlines and procedures. Our experienced team works with clients to reduce their real estate taxes. We help identify which assessments are worth challenging and assist in all steps of the appeals process. Below summarizes some imm…

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Hinckley Allen Public Finance Alert
12/14/2016
Antonio D. Martini
IRS Releases Final Issue Price Regulations for Tax-Exempt Bonds

On December 8, 2016, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service released Treasury Decision 9801, which sets forth final regulations providing a revamped definition of the “issue price” of tax-exempt bonds under the arbitrage bond rules of Section 148 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. These new regulations, which come after two rounds of proposed issue price regulations, in 2013 and 2015, represent a substantial departure from the issue price standard that has been in place since the early 1990s. The new definition of “issue price” will apply to tax-exempt bonds sold on or after June 7, 2017.The new regulations mark a…

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CONNstruction, Southern New England's Construction Journal
12/13/2016
Jared Cohane
Recovery: The Connecticut Contractor's Toolbox for Getting the Green

Hinckley Allen Trusts & Estates Newsletter
12/08/2016
Leon C. Boghossian III
Claire N. Carrabba
Robert B. Levine
Doris J. Licht
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What Changes Might We Expect with Trump Presidency?

As a result of the recent election, both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government will be under Republican control. President-elect Donald Trump and the House Republicans have formulated their own tax plans, and changes to the tax code are very likely. Although the specifics of what will happen are unknown at this time, here is some of what we may expect during the next couple of years.The current federal estate and gift tax structure provides that each individual can transfer up to a total of $5.45 million ($5.49 million in 2017) during life and at death. Each individual may also make gifts of up to $14,000 per person…

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Hinckley Allen Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Update
12/05/2016
Rebecca F. Alperin
Tracy A. Vitols
Donna M. Niles
2016 Year End Compliance Update - Are You Ready?

While there are no major legislative changes required for 2016, there are some important compliance deadlines that are rapidly approaching. Plan sponsors can use the chart below to stay on track and maintain compliance.We also note, for your reference, annual notifications that plan sponsors are required to distribute by December 1st of each year if they maintain a safe harbor plan, a plan with an auto-enrollment feature, or a plan that provides for a qualified default investment alternative.Automatic Enrollment Features: Provide an annual notice describing the enrollment features and automatic contributions to the Plan.Qualified Default I…

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LinkedIn Pulse
12/05/2016
Nathan R. Sabourin
From the Stage to the Court Room: My Non-Traditional Path to a Legal Career

There are a lot of skills we learn throughout our undergraduate and legal education – reading, persuasive writing, and research. While these are undoubtedly important lessons, there is an essential component missing from legal education: theater.Long before I came to work for Hinckley Allen, I was a student of theater. First, as a theater major at St. Lawrence University and then as a student at The New Actors Workshop, I learned the finer points of acting and improvisation (“improv”) from the three-headed monster that was Mike Nichols, George Morrison, and Paul Sills. While I couldn’t have foreseen the traditional path my career took…

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Hinckley Allen Retail Real Estate Newsletter
12/02/2016
Thomas Bhisitkul
Carving Out Rogue Tenants from Shopping Center Lease Exclusives

In shopping center leases, retail tenants often negotiate for exclusive use covenants—i.e., agreements by the landlord not to lease, or otherwise allow the occupancy of, other space in the remainder of the shopping center for uses that compete with the tenant. The exclusive use rights are integral to the retail tenant’s conduct of its business, and to the value of its leasehold, within the center. If, for instance, an electronics retailer commits to paying rent on a location for five (5) or ten (10) years (or longer), and to investing significant capital in planning, permitting and constructing a new store site, it needs to have assurance…

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Hinckley Allen Retail Real Estate Newsletter
12/02/2016
Jomarie T. Andrews
Approaches to Carve-Out Guarantees

Non-recourse commercial real estate loans and carve-out guarantees have changed considerably over the years. Non-recourse loans developed as a way for a real estate developer to promote a project, without personal liability, in a manner that tax benefits and deductions could be passed on to passive investors. In early non-recourse loans, carve-outs were limited to the basics: fraud, misrepresentation, misappropriation of insurance or condemnation proceeds.More recently, carve-outs have become more extensive, in response to lender’s concerns on delays in their ability to realize on collateral, or losses relating to “bad acts.” Carve-outs…

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Providence Business News
12/02/2016
Charles W. Normand
Health Care Changes Near

President-elect Donald J. Trump and congressional leaders have stated they will attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as "Obamacare." While the future of Obamacare is unclear, our health care system will continue to undergo profound change in the way health care is delivered and reimbursed.The federal Medicare and Medicaid programs continue to move the health system away from traditional fee-for-service payment models to alternative payment models. APMs focus on the quality of care provided and reward better-coordinated, more cost-effective care, and impose financial risks if providers do not meet quality …

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International Comparative Legal Guides
12/02/2016
Mark Hichar
3 Updates on Fantasy Sports Contests in the United States - Changes Over the Past Year and What May Be Ahead in the Future

Hinckley Allen Labor & Employment Alert
11/28/2016
Lisa A. Zaccardelli
Christina L. Lewis
Laurel M. Gilbert
Federal Court Blocks New Department of Labor Overtime Regulations

On November 22, 2016, a federal district court in Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the new DOL overtime regulations that were set to take effect on December 1st of this year. And while this fight is far from over, it does effectively put on hold implementation of the regulations.Under the DOL's new regulations, the minimum salary level for most white collar employees would increase to $913 per week, or $47,476 per year -- about twice the current minimum ($455/$23,660).  Additionally, the minimum salary for the "highly compensated" employee exemption would have increased to $134,000 annually. The new regulations also …

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Hinckley Allen Tax Alert
11/02/2016
Daniel L. Gottfried
Final Treasury Regulations under Section 385 Released to Prevent Earnings-Stripping and Reclassify Debt as Equity

Since the advent of the US Income Tax Code, the question of whether an interest constitutes debt or equity for US tax purposes has been the source of debate. Amid great concern and criticism, the Treasury Department published final regulations under Section 385 on October 21, 2016. These final regulations create additional guidance to consider when answering this timeless question. This Alert provides historical context for the debt/equity analysis together with a brief summary of the final regulations.Debt vs.Historically, the question of whether an interest constitutes debt or equity for US tax purposes has been determined by reference to a…

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Hinckley Allen
10/13/2016
Beyond the Summer: Taking it Back to the Classroom

This summer, I had the opportunity to work as a Summer Associate in the Boston office of Hinckley Allen. The Summer Program provided me with invaluable lessons I’m using back in the classroom for my final year of law school, and beyond. Be Open Minded: The Hinckley Allen Summer Program taught me to operate at a high level of professionalism. Working with established attorneys in various offices and practice areas, including Construction, Litigation and Tax, not only challenged me, but allowed me to be a “sponge,” soaking up as much information and advice as possible. In order to take maximum advantage of the experience, I kept an ope…

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Proposed New Rules Will Eliminate Discounts on Transfers of Interests in Family-Owned Entities

In September, the IRS announced proposed Treasury Regulations which, when finalized, will make sweeping changes to the way in which ownership interests in family-owned businesses or family-owned investment entities will be valued for federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax purposes. Fortunately, the new regulations in most instances will not apply to transfers that occurred prior to the regulations becoming finalized, which likely will occur sometime in early 2017. Thus, if you have been thinking about making transfers of interests in a family-owned business or investment entity, you should consider doing so prior to y…

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More Restrictions on Physician Noncompetes Ahead?

The nation’s health care system is in the midst of a structural shift that has been accelerating with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. A paradigm change in reimbursement from the traditional fee-for-service model to payment-based on quality and outcomes is changing healthcare delivery, resulting in significant industry consolidation.As a result, providers are consolidating, and hospitals and health systems are employing physicians in an effort to achieve economies of scale and control the full continuum of care. To protect their investment and market share, hospitals and health systems typically impose contractual noncompete r…

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Hinckley Allen Public Finance Alert
08/23/2016
Antonio D. Martini
IRS Releases New Management Contract Safe Harbor Guidance for Tax-Exempt Bond Financed Facilities

On August 22, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service released Revenue Procedure 2016-44 (“RP 2016-44”), which lays out a new and significantly liberalized safe harbor model for management contracts affecting facilities that are financed with tax-exempt bonds. RP 2016-44 establishes a broad, principles-based approach to management contracts that is likely to afford State and local government bond issuers, as well as qualified 501(c)(3) bond borrowers (collectively, “Qualified Users”), substantial flexibility to craft arrangements with third parties for the management and operation of assets financed with tax-exempt bonds, without giving ri…

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