On May 19, 2020, the Department of Labor issued revised interim enforcement guidance by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concerning its recordkeeping requirement related to recording cases of COVID-19 for non exempt workplaces. Under previous interim enforcement guidance published on April 10, OSHA had temporarily exempted most employers from determining whether a recorded case was “work-related,” defined as an event or exposure in the work environment either causing or contributing to the resulting condition, or significantly aggravating a pre-existing injury or illness. Pursuant to the May 19 revised guidance, however, OSHA has effectively removed this temporary exemption, meaning…
Yesterday, the SBA and Treasury Department released the application for business owners in order to have their PPP loan forgiven. The form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including: Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness Borrower-friendly implementation…
Sales of commercial buildings located in Chicago declined from $16 billion in transactions in 2018 to $8.07 billion in 2019 per a study by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).  2019 was the worst year for the sales of commercial property which includes office, apartment, hotels, retail and industrial properties since 2013 when transactions totaled $7.55 billion.  […]
It should not take a pandemic to remind us all of our own mortality and the need to plan for our loved ones. However, the lethal spread of the COVID-19 virus highlights why it is so important to have a sound strategy in place to minimize taxes and maximize the value of your estate. We […]
In these uncertain and stressful times, it is important to have a contingency plan in place should you or a loved one become ill. We suggest thinking about the following items: A review of your estate planning documents, as some documents may require modification. For example, you probably don’t want your living will to prohibit intubation, a common treatment for the virus. Likewise, some Power of Attorneys contain “springing powers,” which are contingent on the principal being certified as disabled by a doctor. Such a certification may not be practical at the moment as doctors continue to focus on treating virus…
The traditional tax day of April 15 has passed and millions of Americans are taking advantage of the three-month reprieve given by the federal government and many states in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Depending on your individual circumstances, you might be looking to file as quickly as possible in order to collect your refund. […]
While Zoom appears to be more popular than GoToMeeting, Google Duo and other platforms (most consider the Zoom software more user friendly), Zoom seems to raise more security issues than most business professionals may be comfortable with. As a result of this concern, a class action lawsuit alleging privacy violations has been filed against Zoom in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Cullen v. Zoom Video Communications Inc. 5:20-cv-02155. If you are using Zoom, review this article for tips on improving security: https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/security/a31982009/iszoom-safe/. Zoom has received significant criticism on privacy and security issues, and the company…
Since March, federal and state governments have engaged in a variety of methods designed to safeguard Americans’ health and financial security in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. At any time, taxes have a direct impact on our lives, so it’s natural that some of the key provisions of the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, […]
The U.S. Department of Labor previously issued guidance in the form of fourteen Q&A’s pertaining to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which went into effect on April 1, 2020, and which we included in our March 25th blog post. Since then, the U.S. DOL has expanded upon that initial list of Q&A’s, providing much needed detail and clarification. The supplemental text of the most recent DOL guidance is provided below. The entire list of Q&A’s can be accessed by visiting the DOL’s website at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions. Who is a covered employer that must provide paid sick leave and expanded family…
(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay ) The CARES Act, Public Law 116-46, signed into law 03/27/2020, see https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/748, expanded unemployment benefits to include business owners and self-employed individuals. This means that you, as an owner or self employed individual with lost income as a result of Coronavirus shutdowns, can apply for Illinois unemployment insurance, in the same way as employees of firms covered by the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act can. This article explains how: a. You can immediately file with the Illinois Department of Employment Security as a sole proprietor under your Social Security Number as employer and employee,…
You are eligible to receive a government bailout! Under “INCREASED ELIGIBILITY FOR CERTAIN SMALL BUSINESSES AND ORGANIZATIONS,” the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) explicitly notes that nonprofit organizations meeting the size limitation of “less than 500 employees.” Despite being called loans, the PPP actually provides free money, 100% backed by the federal government: as long as you prove you used it for eligible purposes, the lender must forgive the entire amount you can provide such proofs for. You can get up to 2.5x your monthly average payroll obligations covered, and use it for covering payroll, interest on a mortgage, rent, and/or…
You are eligible to receive a government bailout! Fellow indies, whether you are self-employed, independent contractors, or sole proprietors: this could be your salvation. The CARES act, passed into law as H.R.748, specifically makes the new paycheck protection loans available for “eligible self-employed individuals,” meaning anyone who works in a trade or business and who is not the employee of another employer, as defined in the IRS code section 1402. These loans are available for up to 2.5 times your average monthly net income as an independent contractor, and any amount used to pay yourself that doesn’t bring your annualized…
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) has been signed into law.  A significant part of this legislation provides financial assistance to small businesses by means of the “Paycheck Protection Program.”   This program will provide small businesses with loans which can be forgiven, in whole or part, based upon the borrower’s willingness and ability to maintain its pre-crisis level of employment.  The program generally applies to businesses with 500 or fewer employees. The maximum amount a company can borrow is the lesser or $10,000,000 or the amount determined based on a formula of approximately 2.5 times…
In the past week, as concern about the novel coronavirus pandemic has gripped the country, a number of our clients have reached out to SFNR to update or prepare estate planning documents for them. One of the documents at the forefront of clients’ minds is their Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney.  This document grants a trusted person the ability to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event you cannot make them for yourself.  Though no one envisions a virus or other illness or accident striking close to home, making your wishes concerning treatment clear will ease the…