IRS Commissioner Requests Help from Tax Pros Share the message with your clients The IRS Commissioner, Charles Rettig, recently contacted tax professional groups with an appeal for help from the nation’s tax professionals. His message stressed the importance that the taxpaying public is made aware of the Economic Impact Payments that are currently available to millions of qualifying Americans. The IRS has created flyers for you to share with your clients, to post on your website and social media sites and to share in whatever ways you can with members of your community. We appreciate that the IRS looks to tax professional groups to spread this message. We strongly encourage you to share the information on these important payments. To stay up-to-date on all the latest tax news and office resources to help you and your clients navigate the coronavirus situation, visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus. Commissioner Rettig’s Request In his request, the Commissioner said: At the IRS, we are soon going to be coordinating the delivery of Economic Impact Payments in the amount of $1,200 to every eligible American. As you know, things are moving fast in a most difficult environment and we want to get this right, from every perspective. The IRS has strong … Read More
The CARES Act Part I – Stimulus Payments The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) consists of about 880 pages touching every industry. Over the next couple of days, we will address a separate section each day to break it down for you. A note of caution here – while the Act has passed and we have the basics of what is provided, until we receive guidance from the Internal Revenue Service there are still many unknowns on how this is going to administered. There are a number of “experts” out there on social media expressing their opinions. Rely on the experts in our industry, wait for final instructions from the IRS, and before sharing information be sure it is coming from a reliable source. Part I: Stimulus Payments Of course, the most urgent topic on everyone’s mind is how much of the stimulus payment they will receive and when will they get it? The Washington Post has put out a “stimulus calculator” to help people determine the amount of the stimulus payment based on their income and family size. So, what we know today about the stimulus payment: When will the stimulus payments come out? It … Read More
IRS unveils new People First Initiative; COVID-19 effort temporarily adjusts, suspends key compliance programs To help people facing the challenges of COVID-19 issues, the Internal Revenue Service announced a sweeping series of steps to assist taxpayers by providing relief on a variety of issues ranging from easing payment guidelines to postponing compliance actions. “The IRS is taking extraordinary steps to help the people of our country,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “In addition to extending tax deadlines and working on new legislation, the IRS is pursuing unprecedented actions to ease the burden on people facing tax issues. During this difficult time, we want people working together, focused on their well-being, helping each other and others less fortunate.” “The new IRS People First Initiative provides immediate relief to help people facing uncertainty over taxes,” Rettig added “We are temporarily adjusting our processes to help people and businesses during these uncertain times. We are facing this together, and we want to be part of the solution to improve the lives of all people in our country.” These new changes include issues ranging from postponing certain payments related to Installment Agreements and Offers in Compromise to collection and limiting certain enforcement actions. The … Read More
Expanded FMLA and Sick Leave Guidance from US Dept of Labor The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020. FFCRA will help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The legislation will ensure that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus while at the same time reimbursing businesses. The guidance – provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document – addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage; how small businesses can obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law. The … Read More
Update on Services During COVID-19 Pandemic From Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security “I want you to hear directly from me how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our services. The first thing you should know is that we continue to pay benefits. Be aware that scammers may try to trick you into thinking the pandemic is stopping your Social Security payments but that is not true. Don’t be fooled. To protect you and help stop the spread of this coronavirus, we cannot accept visitors in our offices at this time. There are several other ways you can get help. Many services are available online at www.socialsecurity.gov. If you have a critical need that you cannot address online, we can help you over the phone. Please visit our COVID-19 web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus/ to find out what services we are continuing and which ones we are suspending, how to contact us, and important information about deadlines we are extending to ease the burden on you and medical providers during this pandemic.” To get more Social Security news, follow the Press Office on Twitter @SSAPress.
Coronavirus Information Relevant to Tax Professionals As of this writing there are two provisions to help American businesses and their employees as a result of the coronavirus. The first action was introduced by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide disaster loans to small business. Subsequently, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. There is another bill currently working its way through Congress and we will provide information once it has passed through both Houses of Congress and has been signed by the President. SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza has announced. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President. The governor of each state must apply for this relief, which most states have already processed. A complete listing of those states approved for relief is available here. “SBA is strongly committed to providing the … Read More