Blog2023-08-14T21:20:51+00:00

The Beggs & Lane Blog

Florida’s State Sales Tax on Commercial Leases of Real Property

Florida imposes sales tax on commercial leases of real property, including industrial, office, and retail properties. If the real property is occupied by a for-profit business, it is generally considered commercial, subject to a few exceptions as set forth in Section 212.031, Florida Statutes. Effective June 1, 2024, the sales tax imposed on commercial leases dropped from 4.5% to 2.0%, plus any applicable discretionary sales tax levied by the county in which the property is located. The total rent charged for the privilege to use or occupy real property includes base rent, percentage rents, and similar charges. The sales tax [...]

June 18th, 2024|

Navigating False Claims Act Investigations: The Crucial Role of Individual Representation

The False Claims Act (FCA) is used by the government to combat fraud claims, allowing whistleblowers to bring forth allegations of wrongdoing on behalf of the government (called “qui tam” lawsuits). The FCA provides that any person who knowingly submits, or causes to submit, false claims to the government is liable for three times the government’s damages plus a penalty that is linked to inflation.  This is a primary tool used by the government to combat fraud.  For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023, the Department of Justice obtained more than $2.68 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases [...]

June 3rd, 2024|

Understanding the Federal Sentencing Guidelines

A close understanding of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines is a critical component to effective representation in U.S. District Court criminal cases.  The Guidelines are published by the U.S. Sentencing Commission and serve as a roadmap for judges, prosecutors, and defense counsel to determine the potential exposure and appropriate sentence for individuals convicted of federal crimes. Enacted in 1987, the Guidelines provide a structured framework that considers various factors such as the nature and circumstances of the offense, the defendant's criminal history, and any relevant mitigating or aggravating factors. Central to the application of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines is the calculation [...]

May 20th, 2024|

Federal Tax Cases on the Rise

Tax-related investigations and prosecutions appear to be on the rise.  The Inflation Reduction Act provided $80 billion in additional funding to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Much of this funding has been dedicated to enforcing tax compliance through the hiring and training of agents. The IRS-Criminal Investigation Agency (IRS-CI) investigates criminal tax fraud and other financial crimes.  In the past year, they have emphasized areas of focus to include (i) cryptocurrency and cybercrimes and (ii) sanctions-related investigations. The crime of tax evasion is found at 26 U.S.C. 7201.  It states: Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade [...]

April 29th, 2024|

What is a Civil Investigative Demand?

Federal government agencies have many tools to obtain private information from people and entities prior to the initiation of formal court proceedings.  One tool is a Civil Investigative Demand (CID).  This is an administrative subpoena that demands the production of documents, answers to interrogatories, and/or oral testimony under oath.  For example, the False Claims Act expressly authorizes the government to use civil investigative demands in False Claims Act investigations and describes the process the government must follow, 31 U.S.C. § 3733.  Failure to comply with the CID opens up the recipient to civil and criminal liability.  The CID must be [...]

April 5th, 2024|

Physician Speaker Programs — Kickbacks, Healthcare Fraud, and Warnings

Physicians and other healthcare providers (HCPs) are often invited to participate in speaker programs that include presentations on pharmaceutical products, medical devices, and healthcare initiatives.  These are frequently company-sponsored events where an HCP may be paid an honorarium and remuneration for costs including mileage and meals.  These arrangements are not per se inappropriate under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and False Claims Act (FCA).  However, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Department of Justice (DOJ) have signaled an increasing skepticism about these programs. In the last several years, the government has investigated and resolved numerous fraud cases involving allegations [...]

March 20th, 2024|
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