Secretary Mnuchin to Attend G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced that Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin will travel to Saudi Arabia to attend the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Riyadh from February 22-23, 2020.

“This trip will focus on advancing the Trump Administration’s economic agenda and working with international partners to address key economic and security issues to strengthen global growth,” said Secretary Mnuchin. “Meetings at the G20 provide an opportunity to continue productive engagement on a range of important issues, including international taxation, debt transparency and sustainability, digital assets, and efforts to combat terrorist financing.”

In Riyadh, Secretary Mnuchin will participate in the official G20 program and meet with his international counterparts, including with leaders from Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

Following the G20 meetings, Secretary Mnuchin will visit Abu Dhabi and Doha, where he will participate in bilateral meetings focused specifically on countering the financing of terrorist activities.

NOTE: Details are subject to change. Further information regarding the Secretary’s schedule will be made available in the days ahead. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Public Engagement Schedule.

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Avoid the rush: Track tax refunds using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool at IRS.gov

IR-2020-31, February 14, 2020

WASHINGTON — Offering time-saving alternatives to a telephone call, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers they can get fast answers to their refund questions by using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool available on IRS.gov and through the IRS2Go app.

The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, and the fastest way to get a refund is to file electronically and choose direct deposit. The time around Presidents Day is a peak period for telephone calls to the IRS, resulting in longer than normal hold times for callers.

The question most frequently asked this time of year is, “Where’s my refund?”. The IRS reminds taxpayers that IRS customer service representatives can only research a refund’s status if it has been 21 days or more since the taxpayer filed electronically or six weeks since they mailed a paper return.

Taxpayers can avoid the Presidents Day rush and get a personalized answer by using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool. All that is needed is the taxpayer’s Social Security number, tax filing status (single, married, head of household) and exact amount of the tax refund claimed on the return. Alternatively, taxpayers may call 800-829-1954 for the automated phone line, which provides the same information.

Within 24 hours of filing a return electronically, the tool can tell taxpayers that their returns have been received. That time extends to four weeks if a paper return is mailed to the IRS, which is another reason to file electronically and choose direct deposit.

Once the tax return is processed, “Where’s My Refund?” will tell a taxpayer when their refund is approved and provide a date when they can expect to receive it. “Where’s My Refund?” is updated no more than once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so taxpayers don’t need to check the status more often.

Refunds held for certain returns

As a reminder, by law, the IRS cannot release refunds for Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit tax returns before mid-February. “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go app will be updated with projected deposit dates for most early Earned Income Tax Credit/Additional Child Tax Credit refund filers by February 22.

The IRS expects most EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by the first week of March, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return. Taxpayers should check the “Where’s My Refund?” tool for their personalized refund date.

Please note: Ordering a tax transcript will not speed delivery of tax refunds nor does the posting of a tax transcript to a taxpayer’s account determine the timing of refund delivery. Calls to request transcripts for this purpose are unnecessary.

While the IRS still expects to issue more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible a particular tax return may require additional review and a refund could take longer. Many different factors can affect the timing of a refund. And, remember to take into consideration that many banks do not process payments on weekends or holidays and it can take time for a financial institution to post the refund to a taxpayer’s account or to receive it by mail.

IRS urges tax professionals, taxpayers to protect tax software accounts with multi-factor authentication

IR-2020-32, February 14, 2020

WASHINGTON — The IRS and its Security Summit partners today called on tax professionals and taxpayers to use the free, multi-factor authentication feature being offered on tax preparation software products.

Already, nearly two dozen tax practitioner firms have reported data thefts to the IRS this year. Use of the multi-factor authentication feature is a free and easy way to protect clients and practitioners’ offices from data thefts. Tax software providers also offer free multi-factor authentication protections on their Do-It-Yourself products for taxpayers.

“The IRS, state tax agencies and the private-sector tax industry have worked together as the Security Summit to make sure the multi-factor authentication feature is available to practitioners and taxpayers alike,” said Kenneth Corbin, Commissioner of the IRS Wage and Investment division. “The multi-factor authentication feature is simple to set up and easy to use. Using it may just save you from the financial pain and frustration of identity theft.”

Multi-factor authentication means returning users must enter their username/password credentials plus another data point that only they know, such as a security code sent to their mobile phone. For example, thieves may steal passwords but will be unable to access the software accounts without the mobile phones to receive the security codes.

Multi-factor authentication protections are now commonly offered by financial institutions, email providers and social media platforms to protect online accounts. Users should always opt for multi-factor authentication when it is offered but especially with tax software products because of the sensitive data held in the software or online accounts.

The IRS reminded tax professionals to beware of phishing scams that are commonly used by thieves to gain control of their computers. Thieves may claim to be a potential client, a cloud storage provider, a tax software provider or even the IRS in their effort to trick tax professionals to download attachments or open links. These scams often have an urgent message, implying there are issues with the tax professionals’ accounts that need immediate attention.

The IRS also reminds tax professionals that they can track the number of returns filed with their Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) on a weekly basis. This helps ensure EFINS are not being misused. Simply go to e-Services, access the EFIN application and select EFIN status to see a weekly total of returns filed using the EFIN. If there are excessive returns, contact the IRS immediately.

Taxpayers can learn more about identity theft and how to protect themselves at Identity Theft Central on IRS.gov.

Tax professionals can learn more about protecting data, signs of theft or reporting data thefts Identity Theft Information for Tax Professionals. Also, Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data (PDF), provides a comprehensive overview of steps to protect computer systems and client data.

FTC Requires Veterinary Service Providers Compassion First and National Veterinary Associates to Divest Assets in Three Local Markets

Veterinary service providers Compassion First and National Veterinary Associates, or NVA, have agreed to divest facilities in three locations to MedVet Associates, LLC, to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that Compassion First’s proposed $5 billion acquisition of NVA would violate federal antitrust law. 

The FTC alleges that, as proposed, the acquisition would harm competition in three local geographic markets for various specialty and emergency veterinary services by eliminating close, head-to-head competition between Compassion First and NVA. In some markets, the acquisition would result in a merger to monopoly. The acquisition increases the likelihood that Compassion First could unilaterally raise prices or decrease quality for specialty and emergency veterinary services, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges that the proposed acquisition would harm competition in the following markets:

  • Asheville, N.C./Greenville, S.C.: Specialty veterinary services for internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, and surgery services, and emergency veterinary services;
  • Norwalk, Conn./Yonkers, N.Y.: Veterinary neurology and radiation oncology services; and
  • Fairfax, Va./Manassas, Va.: Emergency veterinary services.

To remedy the proposed transaction’s anticompetitive effects, the order requires Compassion First and NVA to divest three clinics – NVA’s REACH Specialty Clinic in Asheville, N.C., Compassion First’s Veterinary Care Center in Norwalk, Conn., and Compassion First’s Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia in Manassas, Va. – no later than 10 business days after the acquisition closes. The divestiture buyer, MedVet Associates, LLC, operates specialty and emergency veterinary clinics in other geographic markets and is well positioned to operate the three divested clinics.

Further details about the consent agreement are set forth in the analysis to aid public comment for this matter.

The Commission vote to issue the complaint and accept the proposed consent order for public comment was 5-0. The FTC will publish the consent agreement package in the Federal Register shortly. Instructions for filing comments appear in the published notice. Comments must be received 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Once processed, comments will be posted on Regulations.gov.

NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $43,280.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about how competition benefits consumers or file an antitrust complaint. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Ski-Doo Maintains Focus on Cutting-Edge Innovation and Wows the Crowd at Club BRP

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BRP expands availability of the 850 E-TEC Turbo for 2021. ©BRP 2020

Cancun, Mexico, February 13, 2020 – BRP (TSX: DOO; NASDAQ: DOOO) unveiled its latest Ski-Doo innovations during the company’s three-day Club BRP event in Cancun, Mexico, attended by hundreds of Ski-Doo dealers. The star of the show was the 2021 Ski-Doo model year lineup, which is designed from the rider down to enable some of the most incredible adventures on the planet.

There was news in all segments of the 2021 lineup that will excite and entice riders of every type. One of the driving elements behind the Ski-Doo trail lineup was the desire to improve cornering. There was a yearning to get into and out of corners with no ski lift, ensuring better contact and more predictability. To accomplish that, Ski-Doo addressed three specific elements – the front and rear suspensions and the skis. After relentless trial and fine-tuning, the result is a trail lineup that corners more confidently than ever before and brings a new level of stability, bump capacity and comfort.

“The entire Ski-Doo team is as passionate about riding as our customers are,” said Marc Lacroix, Global Marketing Director, Ski-Doo. “We actively listen to their feedback, and use that input to raise the bar year after year. It’s an obsession to provide the best possible riding experience across all segments of the sport.”

In addition to improved cornering, Ski-Doo introduced an all-new Rotax 600 EFI engine for select models. The new powerplant provides easier starts, less maintenance, and quieter operation than the two engines it replaces, and marks the end of carbureted snowmobiles for Ski-Doo. It is an excellent option for value-seeking riders because of its reliability, affordability and simplicity, and it makes riders of all skill levels feel like they’re on a high-end sled, significantly improving the experience.

BRP now offers a complete lineup of 4-stroke ACE, 2-stroke E-TEC direct injected and 2-stroke EFI snowmobile engines – making Ski-Doo the only OEM to no longer use carburetors and fan cooled in Ski-Doo snowmobiles. With the 2021 lineup, Ski-Doo has the cleanest engine technologies in the industry, and remains the only brand permitted in Yellowstone National Park.

Also new for 2021 is the fact that every Ski-Doo snowmobile will be built on the acclaimed REV Gen4 platform, even entry-level price points. Ski-Doo REV Gen4 snowmobiles have turned heads and won the hearts of riders since its introduction in 2017. The platform completely transforms the ride experience by making the rider’s input into the vehicle dynamics easier and more natural, resulting in greater comfort and lower fatigue levels.

A World Premiere Technology: 850 E-TEC Turbo

Another technology that was lauded at the event is the all-new 850 E-TEC Turbo. High altitude riders have been raving about the ground-breaking new engine since its release in mid-January. The 850 E-TEC Turbo is a factory-built, 2-stroke turbo engine – a first of its kind in the industry. It will now be available on even more Ski-Doo models in 2021, allowing more riders to experience the thrill of maximum horsepower at high-altitude destinations. It’s a dream for deep-snow lovers who can reach higher playgrounds more easily for incredible powder runs.

Introducing BRP GO!

Topping off the news for the 2021 Ski-Doo snowmobile lineup is an all-new digital, highly visible LCD gauge available on select models. The gauge pairs with a new BRP GO! app that offers highly desired features like turn-by-turn navigation and route-sharing. Riders can set a destination or create an itinerary from points of interest, and get turn-by-turn directions on official snowmobile trails, even offline.

Details on the complete 2021 Ski-Doo snowmobile lineup, as well as clothing and accessories can be found at your authorized Ski-Doo dealer. And for more information, visit www.SkiDoo.com.

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About BRP

We are a global leader in the world of powersports vehicles, propulsion systems and boats built on over 75 years of ingenuity and intensive consumer focus. Our portfolio of industry-leading and distinctive products includes Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft, Can-Am on- and off-road vehicles, Alumacraft, Manitou, Quintrex, Stacer and Savage boats, Evinrude and Rotax marine propulsion systems as well as Rotax engines for karts, motorcycles and recreational aircraft. We complete our lines of products with a dedicated parts, accessories and clothing to fully enhance the riding experience. With annual sales of CA$5.2 billion from over 120 countries, our global workforce is made up of more than 13,000 driven, resourceful people.

www.brp.com

@BRPNews

Ski-Doo, Lynx, Sea-Doo, Can-Am, Rotax, Evinrude, Manitou, Alumacraft, Quintrex, Stacer, Savage and the BRP logo are trademarks of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

For information:

Steve Cowing                                                         Brian Manning
Media Relations and PR Manager, Ski-Doo           Lead, Global Consumer Public Relations
Tel: 651-755-2520                                                  Tel: 913-424-9709
[email protected]                                          [email protected]

Tesla Announces Offering of Common Stock

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tesla, Inc. (“Tesla”) today announced that it intends to offer approximately $2 billion of common stock in an underwritten registered public offering. Tesla has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to approximately $300 million of additional common stock.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, will participate by purchasing up to $10 million of common stock in this offering. In addition, Larry Ellison, a member of Tesla’s Board of Directors, will purchase up to $1 million of common stock.

The aggregate gross proceeds of the offering, assuming full exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional securities, would be approximately $2.3 billion before discounts and expenses. Tesla intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to further strengthen its balance sheet, as well as for general corporate purposes.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Morgan Stanley are acting as lead joint book-running managers for the offering, with Barclays, BofA Securities, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities, and Wells Fargo Securities acting as additional book-running managers, and Societe Generale acting as co-manager.

An effective registration statement relating to the securities was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2019. The offering of these securities will be made only by means of a prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. Copies of the preliminary prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus may be obtained from (i) Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Attn: Prospectus Department, 200 West Street, New York, NY 10282, telephone: 866-471-2526, facsimile: 212-902-9316 or email: [email protected] or (ii) Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Attention: Prospectus Department, 180 Varick Street, 2nd Floor, New York, New York 10014.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. The securities being offered have not been approved or disapproved by any regulatory authority, nor has any such authority passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of the registration statement, the prospectus contained therein or the prospectus supplement.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding the proposed public offering of common stock and Tesla’s intended use for the proceeds of the offering, are “forward-looking statements” that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations, and as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, actual events or results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Please refer to the registration statement on Form S-3 on file with the SEC and the prospectus and prospectus supplement included or incorporated by reference therein, as well as the other documents Tesla files on a consolidated basis from time to time with the SEC, specifically Tesla’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K. These documents contain and identify important factors that could cause the actual results for Tesla on a consolidated basis to differ materially from those contained in Tesla’s forward-looking statements. Tesla disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements.

Tesla Wordmark Red.png

Source: Tesla, Inc.

TSX Delisting Review – Acerus Pharmaceuticals Corporation. (ASP, ASP.WT)

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Copyright © 2020 TSX Inc. All rights reserved.

IRS: Avoid the rush after Presidents Day holiday; Use IRS’ online tools to get help

IR-2020-30, February 13, 2020

WASHINGTON — With a surge of tax returns expected the two weeks following the February 17 Presidents Day holiday, the Internal Revenue Service is offering taxpayers several tips and various time-saving resources to get them the help they need quickly and easily.

To help avoid this period of high telephone demand, the IRS encourages taxpayers and tax preparers to use online resources available at IRS.gov. And when it comes time to file, taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically and choose direct deposit for faster refunds. Filing electronically reduces tax return errors as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information.

Here are a few featured tips to avoid the rush.

  • Use IRS.gov to track refunds. The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. IRS customer service representatives cannot answer refund questions until it has been 21 days or more since the taxpayer filed electronically, or six weeks since they mailed a paper return. But taxpayers can track their refund anytime by using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go app. Taxpayers can also call the IRS refund hotline at 800-829-1954.
     
  • Taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit can use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool to track refunds too. By law, the IRS cannot release refunds that include EITC or the ACTC before February 15. “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go app will be updated with projected deposit dates for most early EITC/ACTC refund filers by February 22. IRS expects most EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by the first week of March, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return.
     
  • Use IRS.gov to find answers to tax questions. IRS offers a variety of online tools to help taxpayers answer common tax questions. For example, taxpayers can search the Interactive Tax Assistant, Tax Topics, Frequently Asked Questions, and Tax Trails to get faster answers.
     
  • Let free tax software or free volunteer assistance do the work. Most taxpayers who want to prepare their own returns can file electronically for free with IRS Free File. Alternatively taxpayers who qualify can get free tax help from trained volunteers at community sites around the country.
     
  • Turn to a trusted tax professional. To find more information about choosing a tax return preparer, including understanding the differences in credentials and qualifications, visit www.irs.gov/chooseataxpro.
     
  • Use digital payment options if additional tax is owed. Some taxpayers may receive a smaller refund or even owe an unexpected tax bill when they file their 2019 tax return particularly if they didn’t do a Paycheck Checkup in 2019. Taxpayers should use the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator to make sure they are withholding enough tax in 2020.
     
  • Make an appointment before visiting an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers. Anyone who needs face-to-face service should make an appointment before showing up. Most TAC visits can be avoided by using online tools available on IRS.gov.
     
  • Call the employer first for that missing Form W-2. Those who have not received a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from one or more employers should first contact the issuer to inform them of the missing form. Those who do not get a response must still file on time and may need to use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement (PDF), or Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans and IRA’s Insurance Contracts (PDF).
     
  • Use the IRS Services Guide (PDF) and the Let Us Help You page on IRS.gov to find additional ways to get help.
     
  • Use the Tax Information for Members of the Military page on IRS.gov for details on tax benefits for military members and veterans, filing options and more.

Defendants Responsible for International Business Coaching Operation to Pay More Than $17 Million in FTC Settlements

The key perpetrators of a massive international business coaching scheme known as My Online Business Education (MOBE) have agreed to pay more than $17 million as part of settlements with the Federal Trade Commission. 

The FTC’s complaint, filed in 2018, alleged that MOBE, a Malaysian company, lured consumers to join its online coaching program by promising a pathway to online entrepreneurship and vast riches on the internet, but then charged these consumers tens of thousands of dollars for worthless program membership upgrades.

According to the complaint, MOBE used online ads, social media, and live events to target U.S. consumers and swindled hundreds of millions of dollars, which the company then transferred to its various offshore bank accounts. 

“MOBE falsely promised consumers that it could teach them how to start a successful online business and earn six-figure incomes working from home, and consumers lost millions of dollars as a result,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “With this action, we’ve put an end to the MOBE scheme, but consumers should be on guard for any work-at-home pitch promising substantial income.”

Under the terms of the proposed stipulated final order against MOBE founder Matthew Lloyd McPhee, an Australian citizen who lives in Malaysia, McPhee would surrender more than $16 million from his personal and company accounts to the FTC. He would also be required to surrender his foreign real estate interests, including his ownership shares of resorts in Fiji and Costa Rica, to MOBE’s court-appointed receiver under terms previously approved by the court. The proposed order would also permanently ban McPhee from selling business coaching programs and investment opportunities.

The FTC has also settled claims against the estate of deceased defendant Russell Whitney. As required under the terms of this stipulated final order, which the district court approved in December 2019, the estate has surrendered more than $1.3 million held in Whitney’s various accounts to the FTC.

The FTC previously announced a settlement with defendant Susan Zanghi in December 2018. The FTC is seeking default judgments against the remaining defendants, including MOBE Ltd.    

The Commission votes approving the stipulated final orders with McPhee and Whitney’s estate were each 5-0. The FTC filed the proposed orders in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

NOTE: Stipulated final orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA): FFIEC Issues 2020 Version of A Guide to HMDA Reporting: Getting It Right!

FIL-9-2020
February 13, 2020

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA): FFIEC Issues 2020 Version of A Guide to HMDA Reporting: Getting It Right!

Printable Format:

FIL-9-2020 – PDF (PDF Help)

Summary:

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has issued the 2020 edition of A Guide to HMDA Reporting Getting It Right! for Home Mortgage Disclosure Act-related data collected in 2020 and reported in 2021. This compliance resource can help financial institutions better understand HMDA requirements, including the data collection and reporting provisions.

Statement of Applicability to Institutions with Total Assets under $1 Billion: This Financial Institution Letter applies to all FDIC-supervised institutions covered by HMDA based on the asset threshold and other conditions stated in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Regulation C.

Statement of FIL Rescission Date: This Financial Institution Letter will retire to inactive status one year after the date of its issuance, on February 13, 2021.

Highlights:

  • The FFIEC’s A Guide to HMDA Reporting: Getting It Right! summarizes key provisions of HMDA and its implementing regulation, Regulation C. The FFIEC is issuing the 2020 edition of the Getting It Right guide, which applies to data HMDA requires covered institutions to collect in 2020 and report to supervisory agencies by March 1, 2021.
  • Revisions to the 2020 edition are technical in nature. The 2020 edition presents information to aid HMDA compliance in the event of a merger or acquisition, and it updates the appendices to reflect recent amendments to Regulation C made by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
  • The CFPB’s amendments to Regulation C implement and clarify partial exemptions from reporting established by the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. These exemptions are available to certain institutions that are eligible based on the number of mortgages they originate and their Community Reinvestment Act ratings.
  • The regulatory amendments also extend a temporary increase in the HMDA coverage threshold with respect to open-end lines of credit. The temporary threshold of at least 500 lines of credit in each of the preceding two calendar years remains in effect for 2020 and 2021.