It also includes a table with some differences between the current credits available for COVID related leave.
The IRS has published this flowchart to help determine if employee retention credits can be used by a company.
It also includes a table with some differences between the current credits available for COVID related leave.
This is what we have been able to glean so far from SBA and Department of the Treasury notices (along with CPA and Law firm interpretations).
The SBA will be relying on banks to gather and submit the required paperwork for PPP Loan forgiveness. Fully expect some banks to ask for more documentation than others. Some banks are asking for the PPP funds to go into a separate account. Keep very good records and be prepared to submit details.
Loan forgiveness will be based upon maintaining headcount, maintaining wages for each employee and payroll cost/other cost ratio.
Headcount reduction is determined by dividing the base FTE headcount during the 8 weeks of the PPP loan by the base FTE headcount during the look back period. The look back period is either from 1/1/20 to 2/29/20 OR 2/15/19 to 6/30/19 at the borrower’s discretion. There is no definition yet of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. Until that is issued, the best advice is to use 30 hours of part-timers = 1 FTE as that’s been used before by the agencies involved.
Forgiveness is reduced for not maintaining wages per employee. The lookback period for wage level is 1st Q 2020. If any employee’s salary is reduced by more than 25% during the 8 weeks of the PPP then the forgiveness is reduced dollar-for-dollar by the dollar amount of the portion beyond the 25% reduction. For employees earning more then $100,000, reductions are only considered if the employee ends up below $100,000 annualized in the more than 25% reduction. There has been no guidance given yet on how to calculate or compare these periods, for now, best advice is to use a weekly average for both periods.
And lastly at least 75% of the forgiveness must be payroll costs. Payroll costs include wages, commission, tips, paid leave, insurance premiums, retirement contributions, etc. Wages above $100,000 annualized to any single employee are excluded. The rest (up to 25%) must be for mortgage, rent or utilities. If more is spent in non-payroll categories the forgiveness will still cap based upon the 75% / 25% ratio.
There is no final guidance on the order of reduction, but everything I have read is presuming that the headcount reduction will be first and then the wage level reduction and then the 75% / 25% calculation will be last. In most cases this produces the biggest overall reduction in forgiveness so it’s safest for projections.
A company had 10 FTE employees during the preferred look back period. During the PPP period they had 6 FTE employees. They reduced 1 of the employee’s wages by 30% (by reducing their hours average from 30 to 21 but keeping their rate at $11.00 an hour). During the PPP period they spent $30,000 on payroll, $4,000 on rent and $2,000 on utilities. They are looking for $36,000 in forgiveness.
They have a 60% reduction due to headcount, therefor $21,600 is eligible for forgiveness.
The wage reduction beyond a 25% reduction is $132 for the 8 weeks, therefor $21,468 is eligible for forgiveness.
Their payroll was 83% of the total, so the rent/utilities forgiveness is not reduced, therefor $21,468 is eligible for forgiveness.
The remaining $14,532 becomes a loan at 1% to be paid back over 2 years.
I don’t think I quite made the 1 sheet reference target, and even still this misses a lot of the finer details.
There are a couple of ways that employers could not keep headcount or wage levels during the 8 weeks of PPP but restore them by 6/30/20 and still get forgiveness, but there are no details at all on how that works or how long after 6/30/20 they’d have to keep those levels restored so I’ve left that off.
Future guidance may change everything here. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to help.
1. IRS launches tool to help non-filers register for Economic Impact Payments
To help millions of people, the Treasury Department and the IRS launched a new web tool allowing quick registration for Economic Impact Payments for those who don’t normally file a tax return. The non-filer tool, developed in partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, provides a free and easy option designed for people who don't have a return filing obligation, including those with too little income to file. The feature is available only on IRS.gov, and users should look for Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here to take them directly to the tool.
"People who don't have a return filing obligation can use this tool to give us basic information so they can receive their Economic Impact Payments as soon as possible," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "The IRS and Free File Alliance have been working around the clock to deliver this new tool to help people."
Economic Impact Payments will be distributed automatically to most people starting next week. Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018 will receive the payments automatically. Automatic payments will also go in the near future to those receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits and Railroad Retirement benefits.
For more information and additional updates, visit IRS.gov/coronavirus.
2. IRS extends more tax deadlines to cover individuals, trusts and estates
The Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service this week announced extensions of additional key tax deadlines for individuals and businesses.
Last month, the IRS announced that taxpayers generally have until July 15, 2020, to file and pay federal income taxes originally due on April 15. No late-filing penalty, late-payment penalty or interest will be due.
Notice 2020-23 expands this relief to additional returns, tax payments and other actions. As a result, the extensions generally now apply to all taxpayers that have a filing or payment deadline falling on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. Individuals, trusts, estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers qualify for the extra time. This means that anyone, including Americans who live and work abroad, can now wait until July 15 to file their 2019 federal income tax return and pay any tax due.
More information on tax relief is available at IRS.gov/coronavirus.
3. CARES Act: Guidance available on net operating losses
The Internal Revenue Service this week issued guidance providing tax relief under the CARES Act for taxpayers with net operating losses, in addition the agency issued tax relief for partnerships filing amended returns.
COVID Relief for taxpayers claiming NOLs
Revenue Procedure 2020-24 provides guidance to taxpayers with net operating losses that are carried back under the CARES Act by providing procedures for:
In Notice 2020-26, the IRS grants a six-month extension of time to file Form 1045 or Form 1139, as applicable, with respect to the carryback of a net operating loss that arose in any taxable year that began during calendar year 2018 and that ended on or before June 30, 2019. Individuals, trusts, and estates would file Form 1045, and corporations would file Form 1139.
COVID relief for partnerships with NOLs
The IRS also issued Revenue Procedure 2020-23, allowing eligible partnerships to file amended partnership returns using a Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income, by checking the “Amended Return” box and issuing amended Schedules K-1, Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, to each of its partners. Partnerships filing these amended returns should write “FILED PURSUANT TO REV PROC 2020-23” at the top of the amended return.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020.
The Act 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 enable employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.
To take immediate advantage of the paid leave credits, businesses can retain and access funds that they would otherwise pay to the IRS in payroll taxes. If those amounts are not sufficient to cover the cost of paid leave, employers can seek an expedited advance from the IRS by submitting a streamlined claim form that will be released next week.
The Act provided paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for COVID-19 related reasons and created the refundable paid sick leave credit and the paid child care leave credit for eligible employers. Eligible employers are businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees that are required to provide emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family and medical leave under the Act. Eligible employers will be able to claim these credits based on qualifying leave they provide between the effective date and Dec. 31, 2020. Equivalent credits are available to self-employed individuals based on similar circumstances.
The Act provides that employees of eligible employers can receive two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 100% of the employee’s pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined, and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and seeking a medical diagnosis. An employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, to care for a child whose school is closed or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can receive two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 2/3 the employee’s pay. An employee who is unable to work due to a need to care for a child whose school is closed, or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, may in some instances receive up to an additional 10 weeks of expanded paid family and medical leave at 2/3 the employee’s pay.
Paid Sick Leave Credit
For an employee who is unable to work because of Coronavirus quarantine or self-quarantine or has Coronavirus symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis, eligible employers may receive a refundable sick leave credit for sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate, for a total of 10 days.
For an employee who is caring for someone with Coronavirus, or is caring for a child because the child’s school or child care facility is closed, or the child care provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus, eligible employers may claim a credit for two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate, for up to 10 days. Eligible employers are entitled to an additional tax credit determined based on costs to maintain health insurance coverage for the eligible employee during the leave period.
Child Care Leave Credit
In addition to the sick leave credit, for an employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for a child whose school or child care facility is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus, eligible employers may receive a refundable child care leave credit. This credit is equal to two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay, capped at $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate. Up to 10 weeks of qualifying leave can be counted towards the child care leave credit. Eligible employers are entitled to an additional tax credit determined based on costs to maintain health insurance coverage for the eligible employee during the leave period.
Prompt Payment for the Cost of Providing Leave
When employers pay their employees, they are required to withhold from their employees’ paychecks federal income taxes and the employees' share of Social Security and Medicare taxes. The employers then are required to deposit these federal taxes, along with their share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, with the IRS and file quarterly payroll tax returns (Form 941 series) with the IRS.
Under guidance that will be released next week, eligible employers who pay qualifying sick or child care leave will be able to retain an amount of the payroll taxes equal to the amount of qualifying sick and child care leave that they paid, rather than deposit them with the IRS.
The payroll taxes that are available for retention include withheld federal income taxes, the employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and the employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes with respect to all employees.
If there are not sufficient payroll taxes to cover the cost of qualified sick and child care leave paid, employers will be able file a request for an accelerated payment from the IRS. The IRS expects to process these requests in two weeks or less. The details of this new, expedited procedure will be announced next week.
If an eligible employer paid $5,000 in sick leave and is otherwise required to deposit $8,000 in payroll taxes, including taxes withheld from all its employees, the employer could use up to $5,000 of the $8,000 of taxes it was going to deposit for making qualified leave payments. The employer would only be required under the law to deposit the remaining $3,000 on its next regular deposit date.
If an eligible employer paid $10,000 in sick leave and was required to deposit $8,000 in taxes, the employer could use the entire $8,000 of taxes in order to make qualified leave payments and file a request for an accelerated credit for the remaining $2,000.
Equivalent child care leave and sick leave credit amounts are available to self-employed individuals under similar circumstances. These credits will be claimed on their income tax return and will reduce estimated tax payments.
Small Business Exemption
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be eligible for an exemption from the leave requirements relating to school closings or child care unavailability where the requirements would jeopardize the ability of the business to continue. The exemption will be available on the basis of simple and clear criteria that make it available in circumstances involving jeopardy to the viability of an employer’s business as a going concern. Labor will provide emergency guidance and rulemaking to clearly articulate this standard.
Labor will be issuing a temporary non-enforcement policy that provides a period of time for employers to come into compliance with the Act. Under this policy, Labor will not bring an enforcement action against any employer for violations of the Act so long as the employer has acted reasonably and in good faith to comply with the Act. Labor will instead focus on compliance assistance during the 30-day period.
For More Information
For more information about these credits and other relief, visit Coronavirus Tax Relief on IRS.gov. Information regarding the process to receive an advance payment of the credit will be posted next week.
Paying taxes is not optional – it’s the law. Taxpayers do have options when it comes to how they pay their taxes. The IRS offers several easy ways to pay taxes. Taxpayers can pay online, by phone or with their mobile device using the IRS2Go app, just to name a few.
Some taxpayers must make quarterly estimated tax payments throughout the year. This includes sole proprietors, partners, and S corporation shareholders who expect to owe $1,000 or more when they file. Individuals who participate in the gig economy might also have to make estimated payments.
Here are five options for taxpayers who need to pay their taxes. They can:
Gathering records before preparing tax return makes filing go smoother
As taxpayers are getting ready to file their taxes, one of the first things they’ll do is gather their records. To avoid refund delays, taxpayers should gather all year-end income documents before filing a 2019 tax return.
It’s important for folks to have all the needed documents on hand before starting to prepare their return. Doing so helps them file a complete and accurate tax return. Here are some things taxpayers need to have before they begin doing their taxes.
WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service successfully opened the 2020 tax filing season today as the agency begins accepting and processing federal tax returns for tax year 2019.
The deadline to file a 2019 tax return and pay any tax owed is Wednesday, April 15, 2020. More than 150 million individual tax returns for the 2019 tax year are expected to be filed, with the vast majority of those coming before the April 15 tax deadline.
"The IRS workforce has worked for nearly a year to prepare for the opening of tax season,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Our dedicated employees are committed to help taxpayers, process tax returns and serve the nation − not just through the April 15 tax deadline but throughout the year.”
While the IRS’ Free File program as well as many tax software companies and tax professionals began accepting tax returns earlier this month, processing of those tax returns begins as IRS systems open today.
The IRS expects about 90 percent of individuals to file their returns electronically. Filing electronically and choosing direct deposit remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund.
“The IRS reminds taxpayers there are many options to get help,” Rettig said. “Our website has around the clock information available and is the fastest way to get assistance. We’ve made improvements to the Free File program and filing electronically with direct deposit remains the best way to speed refunds and minimize errors. As always, experts in the nation’s tax professional community stand ready to help people navigate their tax issues. And we also remind people our IRS-trained community volunteers are ready to help file tax returns in locations across the country.”
Taxpayers: Rely on a reputable tax professional; IRS.gov can help
The IRS also reminds taxpayers that a trusted tax professional can prepare their tax return and provide helpful information and advice. Tips for choosing a return preparer and details about national tax professional groups are available on IRS.gov.
No matter who prepares a federal tax return, by signing the return, the taxpayer becomes legally responsible for the accuracy of all information included.
Please remember that GLM can help!
Gather documents and organize tax records
The IRS urges all taxpayers to make sure they have all their year-end statements in hand before filing. This includes Forms W-2 from employers and Forms 1099 from banks and other payers. Taxpayers should confirm that each employer, bank or other payer has a current mailing address or email address. Typically, year-end forms start arriving by mail – or are available online – in January. Review them carefully and, if any of the information shown is inaccurate, contact the payer right away for a correction.
In 2019, taxpayers who engaged in a transaction involving virtual currency will need to file Schedule 1, Additional Income and Adjustments To Income. The Internal Revenue Code and regulations require taxpayers to maintain records that support the information provided on tax returns. Taxpayers should maintain, for example, records documenting receipts, sales, exchanges, or other dispositions of virtual currency and the fair market value of the virtual currency.
To avoid refund delays, be sure to gather all year-end income documents before filing a 2019 tax return. Doing so will help avoid refund delays and the need to file an amended return. Filing too early, before receiving a key document, often means a taxpayer must file an amended return to report additional income or claim a refund. It can take up to 16 weeks to process an amended return and issue any related refund.
Most refunds sent in less than 21 days; however, some require further review and take longer
Just as each tax return is unique and individual, so is each taxpayer's refund. There are a few things taxpayers should keep in mind if they are waiting on their refund but hear or see on social media that other taxpayers have already received theirs.
Different factors can affect the timing of a taxpayer’s refund after the IRS receives the return. Also, remember to take into consideration the time it takes for the financial institution to post the refund to the taxpayer’s account or to receive a check in the mail.
Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, some tax returns require additional review and take longer to process than others. This may be necessary when a return has errors, is incomplete or is affected by identity theft or fraud. The IRS will contact taxpayers by mail when more information is needed to process a return.
Choosing electronic filing and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund. The IRS expects about 90 percent of individual tax returns will be prepared electronically using tax software.
The IRS reminds taxpayers that, by law, the IRS cannot issue refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. This applies to the entire refund − even the portion not associated with the EITC or ACTC. The IRS expects most EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by the first week of March, if the taxpayer chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return.
After refunds leave the IRS, it takes additional time for them to be processed and for financial institutions to accept and deposit the refunds to bank accounts and products. The IRS reminds taxpayers many financial institutions do not process payments on weekends or holidays, which can affect when refunds reach taxpayers.
Refund information will generally be available within 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of an electronically filed return on the Where's My Refund? tool on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go phone app. These tools will be updated with projected deposit dates for most early EITC and ACTC refund filers by Feb. 22, so those filers will not see an update to their refund status date on Where's My Refund? or through their software packages until then. The IRS, tax preparers and tax software will not have additional information on refund dates. Where’s My Refund? is the best way to check the status of a refund.
WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service confirmed that the nation’s tax season will start for individual tax return filers on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2019 tax year returns.
The deadline to file 2019 tax returns and pay any tax owed is Wednesday, April 15, 2020. More than 150 million individual tax returns for the 2019 tax year are expected to be filed, with the vast majority of those coming before the traditional April tax deadline.
“As we enter the filing season, taxpayers should know that the dedicated workforce of the IRS stands ready to help,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “We encourage taxpayers to plan ahead and use the tools and information available on IRS.gov. The IRS and the nation's tax community are committed to making this another smooth filing season."
The IRS set the Jan. 27 opening date to ensure the security and readiness of key tax processing systems and to address the potential impact of recent tax legislation on 2019 tax returns.
While taxpayers may prepare returns through the IRS’ Free File program as well as many tax software companies and tax professionals before the start date, processing of those returns will begin after IRS systems open later this month.
“The IRS encourages everyone to consider filing electronically and choosing direct deposit,” Rettig said. “It’s fast, accurate and the best way to get your refund as quickly as possible.”
Filing electronically flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information.
Taxpayers can get free help preparing and filing taxes through IRS Free File online or free tax help from trained volunteers at community sites around the country. The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they don’t have to wait until Jan. 27 to start their tax return or contact a reputable tax preparer.
In addition, IRS tax help is available 24 hours a day on IRS.gov, the official IRS website, where people can find answers to tax questions and resolve tax issues online. The Let Us Help You page helps answer most tax questions, and the IRS Services Guide links to these and other IRS services.
In true blog fashion, the last parts are at the top of the page. Scroll all the way down and work your way back up to read them in order.
Tom is the Business Development Manager for GLM. If you are interested in learning more about GLM's services, contact him: