COVID-19 Updates/Highlights:

  • 5-5-2020 - PPP Loan Forgiveness:  Guidelines are being issued - see News and Articles (5-5-2020); It is important (in QuickBooks) to properly account for the Loan as a "Liability" and all wages/salaries paid against the Loan will REDUCE the Liability.  This produces a clean report of what the PPP funds were spent on.  Remember, you cannot reduce your full time workforce during this period or reduce any one person's salary by more than 25% (see detailed article).  Also, it is the business owner's responsibility to use the funds within 8 weeks after receipt AND submit a request to your bank (lender) for forgiveness.  Make sure you find out from your bank how to do this and what documents / reporting requirements they have as soon as possible. 
  • Action Needed for Social Security Beneficiaries with Dependents and Who Do Not File Tax Returns to Receive $500 Per Child Payment by Wed. 4-22-2020. See News and Articles for details.  All other social security recipients should begin seeing their stimulus checks soon.

     

  • UPDATE:  The government is working to fund additional monies to the SBA programs including the PPP so you should still put in your application should the funds be approved.

  • Need to update your payment info or check status of Stimulus Check, click here:

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

  • 4-10-20: IRS launches tool for non-filers to help receive information for Stimulus Payments - go here:   https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here
  • Many small business owners who applied for the PPP program are now receiving requests for documentation for phase 2 from their banks (4-8-2020).
  • Paycheck Protection Program update:   The applications are available; however, the banks are issuing different guidelines for approval to make an application.  If you were not able to submit an application, more guidance will become available.   Also, Sole Proprietors are included in this program however now cannot apply until April 10th.  (IMPORTANT:  Visit sba.gov for other options.)
  • Sales Tax due in April has been extended until April 30th
  • TPP deadline has been extended until May 15th 
  • FL Annual Report Filing extended until June 30th (from May 1st)
  • The Stimulus Bill is now Law
  • IRS extended the date to FILE & PAY Tax Returns/Taxes to July 15 (from April 15)
  • Details on updating Address/Bank Information from IRS for stimulus checks will be released shortly
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PPP also for Self-Employed
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COVID-19 - Summary of Business Legislation
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Summary of Legislation by Katie Lomness, CPA
CARES-Act-Summary-Letter-Lomness-CPA.pdf
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COVID-19 - Summary of Individual Legislation
Coronavirus_COVID-19_Legislation_-_Indiv
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Filing & Payment Deadlines - Additional Guidance FAQs
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Summary of Legislation by Kenneth Hoffman, EA
CARES ACT Client Letter - Kenneth Hoffma
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New COVID-19 SCAMS --- Be On Alert!

nsacct.org / News sources are reporting that there are new email scams circulating that are designed to steal data from the computers of tax professionals. These emails are masquerading as an official message from the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, claiming to offer coronavirus prevention advice in a downloadable attachment. This attachment is designed to plant malicious software which can log keystrokes, capture screenshots, and send stolen data to the attackers through encrypted email. Tax professionals should never click on links or download files from people they do not know.


April 1, 2020:

Paycheck Protection Program

You can begin applying on Friday, April 3rd

Small businesses and sole proprietorships hoping to secure a loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program can begin applying Friday. The Treasury Department has released information for borrowers and lenders, posted an application and urged applicants to act quickly.  Contact your bank for participation details. 


April 2, 2020:

What the Cares Act Means for the Self-Employed

On March 27, an emergency relief bill now known as the CARES Act became law to help bolster the U.S. economy as the country battles the coronavirus. The new law covers a broad cross-section of the economy — including the freelance sector. Of particular note, the relief package gives jobless workers bigger unemployment checks over a longer period of time, including freelancers and the self-employed, who are typically excluded from collecting these benefits.

Here’s what freelancers can expect to receive in terms of financial relief under this new law:

 

Unemployment Insurance

 

· All self-employed workers, contractors, government employees, individuals seeking part-time work, and workers who quit their job or can’t reach their place of work as a result of COVID-19 are among those eligible for unemployment benefits.

 

· The law allows individuals to claim unemployment benefits for an extended period of time (up to four months) and waives the typical one-week waiting period to start receiving benefits.

 

· Weekly unemployment benefit payouts are increased by $600.

 

· The law revives the “Emergency Unemployment Compensation” program for 13 additional weeks on top of states’ standard programs, meaning that if your state’s usual benefit period for unemployment payments is 26 weeks, you could receive up to 39 weeks with this federally funded extension.

 

· Federal funds will be distributed to state unemployment agencies, and all benefits will be administered through your state. If you have not yet done so, submit your application to your state's unemployment assistance program now. Each state may require different supporting documentation; find your state and its requirements here.

 

One-time Stimulus Payment

 

· On an individual basis, freelancers are eligible to receive a direct cash payment of up to $1,200 for each adult ($2,400 for couples), as well as $500 for each child if they meet the income limit of $75,000. People with no federal tax liability will receive only $600. It is anticipated that checks will be cut April 6.

 

· The individual checks start to phase out from $75,000 to $99,000 ($150,000 to $198,000 for couples filing jointly) in adjusted gross income based (AGI) on 2019 income tax returns. (Your 2018 returns will be used to calculate your AGI if the more recent information is not available). Ultimately, the package will be “reconciled after the fact” with your 2020 earnings, meaning if you earn more or less this year, you may have to pay back some of the relief money or get a bigger rebate next year.

 

Other Relief

 

· The law allows corporations to delay estimated tax payments until October 15, 2020. Self-employed people can also delay payroll taxes.

Disability insurance for freelancers

 

· In addition, the Department of Education is suspending student loan payments until September 30, 2020 without penalty.

The Paycheck Protection Program May Help Freelance Businesses

 

Another element of the CARES Act is the Paycheck Protection Program. Under this program, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will distribute $350 billion in small business loans that can be partially forgiven if companies meet certain requirements. The objective of the program is to provide up to eight weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans.

 

Here are the key points about the Paycheck Protection Program:

 

· The program is expected to be enacted no later than two weeks from the date the CARES Act was signed into law.

 

· The program is retroactive to Feb. 15, 2020. This is to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back to work.

 

· The loans are only available to companies with 500 or fewer employees that were in business on Feb. 15, 2020. This includes freelancers, independent contractors, and sole proprietorships.

March 31, 2020:

UPDATE REGARDING NEW LAW GOING INTO EFFECT MIDNIGHT, APRIL 1ST

With all the questions being asked about loans, keeping employees employed, and sick leave, here is a brief summary of our understanding.  Also, please know that whether to keep employees hired is an employment law question that should be addressed to an attorney prior to midnight tonight as the law goes into effect April 1st, midnight.  From a business counsel point of view, if you cannot afford to continue to pay employees without them working (without the company generating any income) for the next few months, unfortunately the advice we are hearing from various business advisors is to lay off employees prior to midnight tonight; however it is  important you first consult with an attorney.  These decisions may also affect loan qualifications so make sure to speak to a loan officer and/or attorney about this as well.  These are legal matters and not all are tax matters however, we want to provide the general opinions that we are hearing from other sources.  Each business is unique and has its own decisions to make.  Please review the 3 attachments provided by a nation-wide Employment Law Attorney.  If you need a referral for an attorney, please contact us.  

 

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18mar20-families-first-act-cv.pdf
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21march20-cv-furlough.pdf
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