Sao Paulo to Introduce 'Netflix Tax.'

Brazilian city Sao Paulo is planning to introduce a tax on online streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify.

In December 2016, Brazil passed a law to extend the tax on services (Imposto sobre Serviços (ISS)) at a minimum rate of two percent to streaming services providers, requiring that they pay the levy to the municipalities where their customers are based.

The city is expected to introduce the levy from 2018.

Hurricane Preparation.

In the midst of preparing for Hurricane Irma, and similar natural disasters, it is important to keep certain documents safe and secure. For your convenience, we have put together a list of legal documents that should be maintained and protected.

  • ID / Passport(s).
  • Birth and Marriage certificates.
  • Social Security Cards.
  • Business / Corporate Contracts.
  • IMMIGRATION and NATURALIZATION documents.
  • Any and all ESTATE PLANNING documents.
  • Insurance contracts (i.e. home, vehicle, life, health, etc.).
  • Promissory notes. 
  • Any and all ORIGINAL documents. 

Also, things to keep in mind: 

  • Place all aforementioned documents in water tight bags or containers;
  • Take photos of your house or apartment for insurance purposes (pro tip: consider hiring a drone company); and
  • Scan or take photos of all your documents. 

Cardona-Diaz and Hernandez, P.L., would like to wish all our friends and family a safe and secure hurricane passing. Remember to remain alert and cautious during and after the storm, as debris and fallen electrical lines could prove to be dangerous.

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Recession of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

In a Press Release issued today, Tuesday, September 5, 2017, by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department announced its decision to initiate the wind down of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, more commonly referred to as DACA.

In the instant Press Release, the DHS states that “no current beneficiaries will be impacted before March 5, 2018, nearly six months from now, so Congress can have time to deliver on appropriate legislative solutions. However, […] no new initial requests or associated applications filed after today will be acted on.”

As of today, September 5, 2017, the June 15, 2012 memorandum that created DACA has been formally rescinded, and the initiation of the orderly wind down of the program has been put in place. This process will help limit disruption to current DACA beneficiaries, while providing time for Congress to seek a legislative solution.

Congrats to Mrs. Marianna Cardona-Diaz, Esq.

Mrs. Marianna Cardona-Diaz, Esq., has been selected as a 2017 Lawyer of Distinction, placing her in the top 10% of attorneys across the United States.

Lawyers of Distinction members have been selected based upon a review and vetting process from the organization’s Selection Committee. After a thorough review of credentials, attorneys are nominated by the organization’s Selection Committee. Lawyers cannot pay for this nomination. These potential candidates who meet the criteria of the organization’s screening process have demonstrated a high degree of peer recognition and professional competence, placing them in the top 10% of all attorneys in the United States. Lawyers of Distinction does not offer membership to more than 10% of attorneys in any given state. Lawyers of Distinction uses its own independent criteria, including both objective and subjective factors in determining if an attorney can be recognized as being within the top 10% of attorneys in the United States in their respective field. This designation is based upon the proprietary analysis of the Lawyers of Distinction organization alone and is not intended to be endorsed by any of the 50 United States Bar Associations or The District of Columbia Bar Association.

Congrats to Mr. Saidin M. Hernandez, Esq.

Mr. Saidin M. Hernandez, Esq., has been selected to the 2017 Florida Rising Stars list. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

USCIS Returns Unselected Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions.

USCIS announced on July 19, that it has returned all fiscal year 2018 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in our computer-generated random selection process.  USCIS previously announced on May 3, that it completed data entry of all selected cap-subject petitions. 

If you submitted an H-1B cap-subject petition between April 3 and April 7, 2017 and have not received a receipt notice or a returned petition by July 31, you may contact USCIS for assistance.

Florida May Drop Ties to Businesses Linked to Venezuela.

Amid an escalating political crisis in Venezuela, Florida may sever its connections to businesses that support the South American country’s government. Florida Governor, Rick Scott, announced he will continue on with a proposal that targets businesses helping the regime of President N. Maduro; such proposal could result in the State ceasing its business with companies tied to Venezuela. Florida already has current laws in place that prohibit the state from investing in companies that do business in Cuba, Iran, and Sudan.

USCIS to Resume H-1B Premium Processing for Physicians Under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that starting Monday, June 26, the agency will resume premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed for medical doctors under the Conrad 30 Waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers. The Conrad 30 program allows certain medical doctors to stay in the United States on a temporary visa after completing their medical training to work in rural and urban areas that have shortage of physicians.

Starting June 26, eligible petitioners for medical doctors seeking H-1B status under the Conrad 30 program, or through an interested government agency waiver, can file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Form I-907 can be filed together with an H-1B petition or separately for a pending H-1B petition.   

USCIS plans to resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions as workloads permit. USCIS will make additional announcements with specific details related to when they will begin accepting premium processing for those petitions.   

Until then, premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions. USCIS will reject any Form I-907 filed for those petitions, and if the petitioner submitted one check combining the Form I-907 and Form I‑129 fees, USCIS will have to reject both forms.

New Zealand to Implement New Legislation starting July 1, 207.

Starting July 1, 2017 New Zealand will implement AEOI standards as part of the second wave of member countries who have committed to the automatic exchange of information.

Summary of Amendments:

·         The New Zealand reporting period for Common Reporting Standard purposes will align with the New Zealand tax year (that is, the period ending March 31st).

·         The annual reporting deadline for financial institutions for each reporting period will be the following June 30.

·         Starting July 1, 2017, financial institutions will be required to apply the new specified due diligence procedures for all new accounts, and begin due diligence reviews of all pre-existing accounts. The due diligence for pre-existing individual accounts that are high value accounts (generally, accounts with an account balance exceeding US$1 million) is to be completed by June 30, 2018, taking into account the following:

·         The period between April 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018 is effectively a three-month grace period.

·         Given the July 1, 2017 start date, the grace period will effectively allow financial institutions 12 months to complete their due diligence reviews of high value accounts.

·         Importantly, any high value accounts identified as reportable during the grace period must be reported with respect to the reporting period of July 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.

·         The due diligence and reporting must also both be completed by the June 30, 2018 deadline.

·         New Legislation will also require foreign trusts to disclose more information to tax authorities, and will require mandatory registration with the Inland Revenue. Such information to be provided at registration will result in substantial disclosures of information pertaining to the foreign trust.

 

Supreme Court Lifts Most of Injunction that Blocked President Trump's Travel Ban.

The Supreme Court is letting the Trump administration enforce its 90-day ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries, overturning lower court orders that blocked the ban.

The action isn't expected to set off the kind of chaos seen around the world when Trump signed the first travel ban into effect on Jan. 27. That's partly because travelers with a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States" will be allowed in.

The revised travel ban, with the court's limitations, can go into effect this week, based on a memorandum recently signed by the president. It allows travelers with green cards and visas to continue entering the U.S., but still forbids all refugees. That means some refugees may get stuck, but nowhere near the number of people ensnared by the first ban.

The revised travel ban, issued in March, blocks most new immigrants from six predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days. As a result of the high court's action, the ban can be implemented along with a long-delayed review of vetting procedures used to screen foreigners trying to enter the United States.