COVID-19 Tax Updates – 03-18-20

ATTN CLIENTS:

We are sure your emails have been flooded with updates from everyone, however, we’d be remiss if we didn’t share some of the recent developments and provide ongoing tips for those that may be impacted by this crisis.

During any time of crisis, knowledge is invaluable so make sure you stay informed with FACTS as best you can. Be cautious of what you read in social media settings. Misinformation can be very dangerous and even damaging.

We’re getting many calls about the bill the federal government is trying to pass and we have been very cautious to NOT give advice on any hearsay or snippets we’re reading out there in the media since the bill has NOT been passed as of this bulletin. Many have learned hard lessons by trying to “be the first” with enlightening information even before a bill becomes law. We saw similar cases with a few previous tax bills regarding the QBI deduction and SALT deductions, for those that itemize. Some very smart people tried to get way out in front of those issues with very creative & ill-advised advice, only to learn that the final bill closed the loopholes they were recommending.

So let’s be patient, let’s wait until a bill actually gets passed and please allow your advisors a couple of days to read and digest the content so they can advise you based on facts, NOT misinformation.

First, a couple of tips based on the information we have gathered thus far:

  • Just about every state (if not all of them) are constantly updating their unemployment claim requirements and processes so please continue to check the unemployment claims portion of your state’s website for updates.
  • Ask your payroll providers if they have created a special code for wages you may pay to your employees to help them out while your office is closed during this crisis, in case that information is needed for any benefits from any federal or state agencies.
  • We’ve been hearing that in lieu of wages, some practice owners are providing loans to their employees to avoid payroll taxes with the intent of having the employee repay once the practice opens back up and the employees come back to work…be VERY careful about this approach and consult your attorney about the legal consequences and proper loan documents.
  • Begin reaching out to your vendors, landlords, lenders, etc to see what they’re willing to do for you to help you through this crisis.
  • While the IRS would prefer that you file on time, by April 15th, we believe they will allow an extra 90 days, until July 15, 2020, for those individuals who owe less than $1million on their 2019 federal income tax return, to pay the balance due without penalty and interest. You may still file an extension to file your returns beyond April 15th
  • We do not know if this additional 90 day payment period will apply to your April 2020 estimated tax payment.
  • Many states are following suit and allowing additional time to pay 2019 taxes you may owe as of April 15, 2020, check your state’s website to find out for information.
  • The IRS has set up a separate page for future coronavirus news at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus
  • For those in designated disaster areas, the SBA has special programs in place for individuals and businesses that may need assistance, for more information, please visit www.sba.gov/disaster.

View Our March 17th Update Here