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Haven’t received your stimulus payment? What can you do…

If you haven’t received your CARES Act taxpayer stimulus payment go to “Get My Payment” website at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment and enter your direct deposit information to order to receive an electronic economic impact payment.  This is needed by noon on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. As a reminder, individuals could receive up to $1,200 and married couples could receive up to $2,400.  Parents could also receive $500 for qualifying children.  For more information, you can read IR-2020-92 at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/act-by-wednesday-for-chance-to-get-quicker-economic-impact-payment-timeline-for-payments-continues-to-accelerate  

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The IRS clarifies the deductibility of PPP-funded expenses

The IRS has issued new guidance addressing a question that has lingered since the launch of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) — whether expenses paid for with forgiven, tax-free PPP loan proceeds are deductible business expenses under Section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). The guidance in IRS Notice 2020-32 doesn’t provide the answer borrowers hoped for, but that may yet come. The root of the question The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act created the widely publicized PPP to help some employers cover their payrolls during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. PPP loans are subject to 100% forgiveness if certain criteria are met, and the amounts forgiven are excluded from the borrower’s gross income. This is notable because forgiven debt generally is taxed as cancellation of debt income. The program is open to U.S. businesses with fewer than 500 employees — including sole proprietors, self-employed individuals, independent contractors and nonprofits — affected by COVID-19. The loans may be used to cover payroll, certain employee healthcare benefits, mortgage interest, rent, utilities and interest on any other existing debt, for eight weeks after receipt of funds. Forgiveness is available for payments for payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities. While the CARES Act explicitly states that forgiven PPP loan amounts aren’t included in the borrower’s gross income, it doesn’t expressly state whether borrowers can claim business expense deductions for the expenditures the forgiven amounts cover. Notice 2020-32 comes in response to requests from the tax community for clarification on this point. The IRS’s position Unfortunately, the guidance states that no deduction is allowed for an expense that’s otherwise deductible if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a PPP loan. It explains that, to prevent a double tax benefit, IRC Sec. 265 disallows a deduction for any amount otherwise allowable as a deduction that’s allocable to tax-exempt income (other than interest). The IRS asserts that forgiven PPP funds constitute such tax-exempt income. In other words, the IRS maintains that a business shouldn’t be allowed to avoid taxable cancellation of debt income on forgiven PPP loan amounts and also to deduct the payments made with those loan amounts. The result for borrowers essentially is an offset of the tax benefit — the forgiven amounts are excluded from gross income but the deduction(s) for those amounts are eliminated. The pushback The IRS may not have the last word on the deduction issue, though. Members of Congress are signaling that the expenses paid by forgiven PPP loan proceeds should indeed be tax deductible. For example, both Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, have indicated that the IRS interpretation runs contrary to the goal of the PPP. They’ve said they would like the discrepancy to be remedied legislatively in the near future. It’s also possible that a borrower will challenge the IRS stance in court. Or the IRS simply could succumb to […]

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SBA extends the PPP repayment deadline for self-certification

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has extended the repayment deadline for Payroll Protection Program (PPP) borrowers that wish to take advantage of the “good faith” self-certification of eligibility option. The deadline is now automatically extended from May 7, 2020, to May 14, 2020. Companies that repay their loans by that date preempt the possibility of criminal liability if they’re subsequently found ineligible for PPP loans. The loans are intended to help small businesses with fewer than 500 employees weather the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but some large companies have applied for and received funds. Extended safe harbor In April 2020, the U.S. Treasury and the SBA issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) on PPP loans. One question asks whether businesses owned by large companies with adequate sources of liquidity to support their ongoing operations qualify for PPP loans. The SBA explained that — in addition to reviewing applicable affiliation rules to determine eligibility — all borrowers must evaluate their economic need for a loan under the standards in effect at the time of the loan application. The standards are set by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established the PPP, as well as subsequent regulations. Among other things, borrowers must certify that their PPP loan request is necessary. Specifically, they must certify that “current economic uncertainty” makes the loan necessary to support ongoing operations. The certification must be made in good faith, taking into account the borrower’s current business activity and ability to access other sources of liquidity in a way that’s not “significantly detrimental” to the business. The FAQs originally provided that any borrower that applied for a loan prior to April 24, 2020, and repays the funds in full by May 7, 2020, would be deemed by the SBA to have made the certification in good faith. As of May 5, 2020, though, the FAQs have been revised to reflect an extension of this safe harbor to May 14, 2020. The extension will be automatically implemented, with no need for borrowers to apply for it. Potential criminal liability Companies that don’t take advantage of the safe harbor and are later found ineligible for the PPP could face criminal liability, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The loan application notes that making a false statement to obtain a guaranteed loan from the SBA is punishable by imprisonment of up to five years and/or a fine of up to $250,000. A borrower that falsely self-certified also could be subject to criminal or civil liability under the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA permits treble damages, or triple the amount of the government’s actual damages, as well as civil penalties, imprisonment up to five years and a fine up to $250,000 for criminal liability. A tangled web Be aware that, according to a recently revised IRS FAQ, companies must repay their PPP loans by May 7, 2020, to qualify for the employee retention credit. We can help you with business consulting and evaluate all of the potential strategies […]

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Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPPL)

Proceeds that are forgiven will generate reduced income tax deductions. The IRS has just released IRS Notice 2020-32 that informed the public if a taxpayer requests and is approved some or all of the PPPL to be forgiven, then that amount that we used for expenses related to payroll, health care, rent, interest expense and other related qualified costs will not be deductible. This IRS notice is related to Internal Revenue Code Section 265, which stated in summary that expenses related to tax-exempt income are not tax deductible. Also, consider that GAAP will treat the accounting differently for loan forgiveness. “ASC 405-20 provides accounting guidance relevant to the extinguishment of liabilities. Under ASC 405,when a debtor is legally released from a liability, the debt is considered extinguished via “legal defeasance.” Based on the information available at this time, loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program appears to fit the characteristics of a legal defeasance and could therefore be accounted for as a debt extinguishment.” Please reach out to us if you have any specific questions. We have attached a link for you to read IRS Notice 2020-32 at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-20-32.pdf

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Financial/Accounting/Income Tax Thoughts During This Period of COVID-19

During 2008/2009, the Great Recession, we learned some things. When the economy is hurt, there are some things we can do to be better prepared, and there are some actions we can take to benefit from the financial stress. During those times, the banks took steps to reduce or close lines of credit and end banking relationships. If you feel this might be an issue for you, and you would like to have more cash, then consider drawing down on your line of credit to hold the cash. This will generally give you the opportunity to get more cash in your bank before the bank would reduce your line of credit. Now, I have not heard from anyone that they banks are doing this yet, but we are going through some financially challenging times. Each individual should consider if this strategy is a good strategy for them and weigh the costs of the interest expenses. Perhaps after a couple of months you can repay the line of credit. Keep your accounting up to date, as the banks might want to check your financial statements to continue your leading relationship. Consider if you can benefit from any of the tax law updates, which we have written about. Did you have a net operating loss in 2018, and if so, contact us to discuss how you can get a refund. Were you limited in the amount of interest expense you could deduct in 2018? If so, contact us. One item in the CARES Act that we did not write about, which was brought up by a client of ours, is that for 2020, the charitable deduction limitation is removed. The law previously stated that a taxpayer cannot take a charitable deduction in 2020 if the deduction exceeded 60% of their adjusted gross income (AGI), but with the CARES Act, that limitation has been removed. However, the requirements in general are that the donation must be in cash and typically must go to a 501(c)(3) charity. If you are interested in more information about this, please contact us so we can discuss the whole law and see if this could benefit you. Some other items to consider: Due to the stock marketing value dropping, this might be an opportunity to do some estate and gift tax planning with reduced values of securities. Contact us to discuss if you are interested. If your business revenues have dropped, then most likely the value of your business has probably been reduced. This can provide an option to provide key employees with some equity participation at a reduced value if that will benefit the company. Again, each business is unique, so contact us to discuss. We are hoping that the economy will be opening back up soon throughout the entire country. We are here to help, so contact us if you need our assistance.

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Preparing for Loan Forgiveness Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

In preparing for receipt of any funds from the Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPPL), one should consider setting up a separate bank account to deposit the PPPL funds in and then to pay out expenses that qualify for loan forgiveness. First, let’s review section 1106 Loan Forgiveness under the CARES Act. It states, Borrower shall be eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the amount spent by borrower during an 8-week period after the origination date of the loan on: payroll costs (wages up to $100,000 annually per employee, health insurance, and some state taxes) interest payment on mortgages incurred prior to February 15, 2020, payment of rent on any lease in force prior to February 15, 2020 and; payment on any utilities for which service began before February 15, 2020. Recent updates also stated that 75% or more of the loan forgiveness needs to be for payroll. So, our suggestion is to open a bank account specifically for the PPPL proceeds and qualified expenses listed above. They have the qualified expenses listed above paid out of that account, and hopefully this process will make is easier for banks to see the qualified expenses were paid using the PPPL proceeds and hopefully allow for an easy process for the loan forgiveness. This PPPL process has been challenging for more applicants, so perhaps this separate bank account will make it easier is requesting for loan forgiveness in the future. As long as the business sets up the bank account early and requests checks, then we would expect these qualified expenses can be paid out of this designated account. Please note this is not a full explanation of the CARES Act or the PPPL program.  For more information please review our previous posts and speak with your tax advisor. Please contact us if you have any questions.

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UPDATE: Loan Assistance EIDL

SBA has stopped accepting EIDL applications based on Lapse in Appropriations. Seems like SBA ran out of funding. You can read about it at https://lnkd.in/d92qPPW We feel each affected individual should contact their Congress person and request they approve additional funding without non-coronavirus items. There are discussions of additional funding, but we understand that there are political issues that include trying to add in non-coronavirus items which is slowing down the relief. IRS provides resources to check for your economic assistance check at: https://lnkd.in/eGznizg

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COVID-19: IRS announces more relief and details

In the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Americans are focusing on their health and financial well-being. To help with the impact facing many people, the government has provided a range of relief. Here are some new announcements made by the IRS. More deadlines extended As you probably know, the IRS postponed the due dates for certain federal income tax payments — but not all of them. New guidance now expands on the filing and payment relief for individuals, estates, corporations and others. Under IRS Notice 2020-23, nearly all tax payments and filings that would otherwise be due between April 1 and July 15, 2020, are now postponed to July 15, 2020. Most importantly, this would include any fiscal year tax returns due between those dates and any estimated tax payments due between those dates, such as the June 15 estimated tax payment deadline for individual taxpayers. Economic Impact Payments for nonfilers You have also likely heard about the cash payments the federal government is making to individuals under certain income thresholds. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will provide an eligible individual with a cash payment equal to the sum of: $1,200 ($2,400 for eligible married couples filing jointly) plus $500 for each qualifying child. Eligibility is based on adjusted gross income (AGI). On its Twitter account, the IRS announced that it deposited the first Economic Impact Payments into taxpayers’ bank accounts on April 11. “We know many people are anxious to get their payments; we’ll continue issuing them as fast as we can,” the tax agency added. The IRS has announced additional details about these payments: “Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018 will receive the payments automatically,” the IRS stated. Automatic payments will also go out to those people receiving Social Security retirement, survivors or disability benefits and Railroad Retirement benefits. There’s a new online tool on the IRS website for people who didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 federal tax return because they didn’t have enough income or otherwise weren’t required to file. These people can provide the IRS with basic information (Social Security number, name, address and dependents) so they can receive their payments. You can access the tool here: https://bit.ly/2JXBOvM This only describes new details in a couple of the COVID-19 assistance provisions. Members of Congress are discussing another relief package so additional help may be on the way. We’ll keep you updated. Contact us if you have tax or financial questions during this challenging time.

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The IRS announces new COVID-19-related assistance for taxpayers

The IRS and the U.S. Department of Treasury have announced new relief for federal taxpayers affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The IRS had already extended certain deadlines to file and pay federal income taxes and estimated tax payments due April 15, 2020, without incurring late filing penalties, late payment penalties or interest. The additional relief, outlined in Notice 2020-23, applies to a wider variety of tax filers. The IRS also has announced new tools for taxpayers expecting Economic Impact Payments (also known as “recovery rebates”). The extensions in a nutshell The extensions apply to taxpayers, including Americans living and working abroad, with filing or payment deadlines on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. Covered tax forms and payments include: Individual income tax payments and returns, Calendar-year or fiscal-year corporate income tax payments and returns, Calendar-year or fiscal-year partnership return filings, Estate and trust income tax payments and returns, Gift and generation-skipping transfer tax payments and returns, and Tax-exempt organizations’ payments and returns. The due dates for these payments and returns are automatically postponed to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers don’t need to contact the IRS, file any extension forms, or send letters or other documents to take advantage of the extensions. The accrual of interest, penalties and additions to tax for failure to file or pay will be suspended from April 1, 2020, to July 15, 2020, resuming on July 16, 2020. The IRS is also extending the earlier relief regarding quarterly estimated tax payments. As of now, the payments ordinarily due on both April 15 and June 15 aren’t due until July 15. This applies to individual and businesses that must make estimated tax payments. Extensions for other time-sensitive actions Notably, the IRS is giving taxpayers extra time to perform specified other time-sensitive actions originally due to be performed on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. Those include filing petitions with the U.S. Tax Court or seeking review of a Tax Court decision, filing claims for tax credits or refunds, and filing a lawsuit based on a tax credit or refund claim. Taxpayers generally have three years to claim refunds, so the deadline for 2016 refunds otherwise would be April 15, 2020 (three years after the April 2017 filing date for 2016 tax returns). Unfortunately for some taxpayers, the notice also provides the IRS with additional time to perform certain time-sensitive acts. It allows a 30-day postponement if the last date for performance of an action is on or after April 6, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. This extension could affect taxpayers who are currently under IRS examination, whose cases are with the Independent Office Appeals or who file amended returns or submit payments for a tax for which the assessment period would expire in that time period. Economic Impact Payment tools On April 10, 2020, the day after announcing the deadline extensions, the IRS launched a new online tool allowing quick registration for Economic Impact Payments for individuals who […]

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Mini Update – CARES Act

April 8, 2020 Dear Clients and Friends, The IRS and the Tax Foundation have released some facts, and Q&A regarding the CARES Act and Employee Retention Credits. Please note, we have provided some write ups about application of the CARES Act specific to our client base, but some of you may have additional questions. Please feel free to contact us at advisors@verticaladvisors.com and consider reviewing these sites. IRS FAQ: Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-employee-retention-credit-under-the-cares-act Tax Foundation FAQ: The CARES Act: https://taxfoundation.org/federal-coronavirus-relief-bill-cares-act/ Warmest Regards, Peter DeGregori Managing Partner

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