On May 3, 2019 the SEC proposed amendments to Regulation S-X to simplify financial disclosure requirements for public companies relating to acquisitions and dispositions of businesses.  Among other changes, the amendments would modify the significance tests applicable to acquisitions as set forth in Rule 3-05 of Regulation S-X, which sets forth the number of years of financial statements of the acquired business that must be filed with the SEC. Specifically, the proposal would amend (i) the investment test to require a comparison of a company’s investment in an acquired ...

On April 2, 2019, the SEC adopted new rules allowing for the filing of redacted material contracts without the need to apply for confidential treatment.  The rules, included in Item 601(b) of Regulation S-K, provide that information contained in material contracts may be redacted, provided the redacted information (i) is not material and (ii) would be competitively harmful if publicly disclosed.  In order to properly redact such information, companies must comply with specific requirements, including marking the exhibit index of the filing to indicate that portions of a contract ...

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted on March 20, 2019 to adopt amendments to certain disclosure requirements for public companies. These amendments are intended to modernize and simplify disclosure requirements and make it easier for investors to access and analyze material information. Other expected benefits are lower costs and burdens on companies, improved readability and navigability of disclosure documents and reduced repetition of immaterial information.

Some of the disclosure simplifications include the following:

Rule

Summary Description of Amended ...

The Internal Revenue Service has issued additional guidance regarding the qualified business income deduction under Code Section 199A in the form of a notice.  Notice 2019-07 contains a proposed revenue procedure that provides for a safe harbor, solely for purposes of Code Section 199A, under which certain rental real estate enterprises will be treated as a trade or business. For more information on this and other U.S. federal income tax issues, please contact Drew Griesser at 513-639-3909, Margaret Kubicki at 513-579-6913 or Mark Sims at 513-579-6966.

With 2018 behind us, it is time to look ahead to the 2019 reporting season. This advisory highlights some of the changes, new rules, and “best practices” from 2018 that SEC reporting companies will need to address in 2019.

Despite a cloud of perceived volatility in value and a stringent regulatory environment at the SEC, cryptocurrencies are still making strong progress toward mainstream use. Beginning on November 26, 2018, Ohio became the first U.S. state to accept Bitcoin for tax payments in an effort to become a national leader in blockchain technology. Initially, Ohio will only allow businesses to use Bitcoin to pay for taxes, but this offering may eventually expand to individual filers. Moreover, the Ohio State Treasurer has expressed an interest in expanding this process to other cryptocurrencies.

On September 29, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced that CEO and Chairman of Tesla, Elon Musk, had agreed to settle securities fraud charges brought by the SEC and that Tesla had agreed to settle SEC charges that it failed to have required disclosure controls and procedures covering Mr. Musk’s tweets.

On August 17, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) finalized a series of amendments to its rules and forms with the aim of reducing redundant and outdated disclosure requirements for public companies. Although many of the modifications simply “clean up” references and cross-references that have become outdated due to changes in accounting terminology or other revisions to the SEC’s forms and rules, several of the amendments do serve to remove certain disclosure requirements previously required by the SEC. The summary below outlines those modifications that may be of significance to public companies.

On July 17, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018.” This bill is the third piece of the “Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act” legislation, and its aim is to reform capital markets to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs in accessing capital. The bill is set to be voted on by the Senate during the fall and will become effective 90 days after it is signed by the President.

Several companies have asked us about the status of registrations and qualifications of security token offerings (STOs) / initial coin offerings (ICOs) with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There is not much to report.

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