A Presidential directive was issued on Saturday, August 8, 2020, deferring collection of certain U.S. payroll taxes normally withheld from employees’ paychecks from September 1 through the end of the year. The IRS issued guidance on August 28, 2020, attempting to implement the directive, allowing employers to defer withholding the employee portion of certain payroll taxes (where pretax wages or compensation during any biweekly pay period is less than $4,000) during the last four months of 2020. But this is no free lunch, as the withholding and payment of these taxes is only postponed until the period beginning Jan. 1,…
After acting decisively to support the economy in March, Congress has failed to agree on a subsequent round of spending. Key economic supports, like the $600 supplement to unemployment insurance payouts and a moratorium on evictions, were allowed to expire at the end of July. Presidential executive orders to continue certain protections are not likely to be very effective, resulting in a need for a more comprehensive legislative response. Should that be forthcoming, the Continuing Small Business Recovery and Payroll Protection Plan Protection Act recently introduced in Congress has wide support. The Act is intended to correct problems with the…
Senators on Friday urged the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration (SBA) to simplify the process for businesses to receive loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). “In this public health and economic emergency, we must do all we can to make sure our small businesses have the support and assistance they need to weather the crisis,” they said in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. Under the PPP, which was created by coronavirus relief legislation signed in late March, businesses and non profits can get loans that are forgivable if they maintain their payrolls. Treasury and the SBA released an 11 page form last month for…
More than $130 billion in Payroll Protection Program funding is still available for small businesses, independent contractors, and nonprofits, but the opportunity is about to end. While the time to spend PPP money was just extended, the last day a PPP request (and essentially free money) can be made is only weeks away – June 30th, 2020. More requirements were just released over the weekend on how the program works once you have the funds to spend. The most important of these are that at least 60% of the PPP funds must be spent on compensation costs, and the employee head count requirement (should you have employees)…
Amendments to the SBA Payroll Protection Program became law on Friday, June 5th, which extend the time to spend PPP money from eight (8) weeks to twenty-four (24) weeks. However, relying on this new 24 week time has disadvantages, due to penalties from pay reductions or lower headcounts during the extended 16 weeks time. If you already have a PPP loan, you do have the option of retaining the original eight (8) week time period. If your 8 weeks is nearly up, it is time to start preparing the eleven-page SBA Loan Forgiveness Application, unless you wish to see your…
Congress just passed changes to the PPP program, now headed for presidential approval: Extends the eight-week spending period of PPP funds for an additional 16 weeks Increases the repayment time for unforgiven funds to five years for most applicants Changes the forgiveness requirement maximum for non-payroll expenses from 25% to 40%, with a severe penalty if the 40% is exceeded Permits full forgiveness where the employer shows it is unable to reinstate or replace furloughed or former employees, under specified circumstances Extends FICA Tax deferment to PPP borrowers A number of points remain subject to SBA interpretation/guidance, which we expect soon after the bill becomes law. The PPP program has grown…
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…