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Posts published in “COVID-19”

PPP Forgiveness – Finally an Easier Way

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The SBA just announced this week the opening of their Direct Forgiveness Portal at https://directforgiveness.sba.gov/ that will launch on August 4, 2021 for loans of $150,000 or less. The borrower’s bank will need to opt in to this program and so far, over 600 banks have elected to participate. This will enable about 2.17 million borrowers to apply through the portal, which represents 30% of loans $150,000 or less that have not yet submitted for forgiveness. The SBA has put in place a customer service team to answer questions and directly assist borrowers with their forgiveness applications, whether they are…

Startup Businesses – COVID-19 Relief Funds Now Available

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If you are a business that started after February 15, 2020, you, unfortunately, discovered that there was not much government support available to you. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC) and other help were only available to businesses that started prior to that date, reason being that the government figured that you knew what you were getting into if you started after that date, therefore, you did not need any relief. On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, which extended support to existing businesses and also included…

American Rescues Plan Act – COBRA Subsidy

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While I do not necessarily write about benefits for individuals, this one happens to affect the employer, or should I say, their previous employer, which could be you. The ARP Act allows involuntarily terminated employees under Subtitle F – Preserving Health Benefits For Workers to receive premium assistance on their COBRA. The premium assistance is in the form of 100% paid for health insurance for the separated employee and their dependents for the coverage period beginning April 1 to September 30, 2021. Newly terminated employees just entering eligibility for COBRA are eligible for the premium assistance, as well as those…

FFCRA Sick & Family Leave is New and Improved

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The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was the first COVID-19 Act passed by Congress on March 18, 2020. Back then, the belief was that COVID-19 would be a short-lived inconvenience where an employee may need to take a couple weeks off from work, and this Act was to allow them that benefit without cost to the employer. Here we are, a year later, still feeling the effects. The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) 2021, passed on December 27, 2020, extended this federal paid leave until March 31, 2021, and we now find further extension and expansion in the recently-passed American…

American Rescue Plan Act – Restaurant & Bar Grants

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Attention Restaurants! More relief is in sight with $26.8 billion allotted to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, with $5 billion reserved for small establishments with less than $500,000 in revenue for 2019.  The process will open ‘within weeks’ at sba.gov.  As soon as the official web page is released, I will publish it, and funds will be available on a first come, first served basis.  Although, during the initial 21 days, the SBA will prioritize grants to women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses. This Fund is not only for restaurants, but also includes bars and “similar places of business in which the…

Employee Retention Tax Credit – The Little Known Tax Benefit

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If your business was impacted by COVID-19, there is a significant amount of unclaimed money quite possibly waiting for you.  The amount is up to $33,000 PER EMPLOYEE.  But why have you not heard of this? Back when the CARES Act was signed by the President on March 27, 2020, COVID-19 was expected to be short-lived (remember the “15 Days to Slow the Spread” plan?) thus, the benefits were to provide short-term relief.  There were a few different major benefits in that Act, but a business was only able to select one.  This included the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the…

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 – Business Benefits

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On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.  This is an Act that is signed each year, thus the 2021 suffix, and basically includes the federal government’s budget for 2021. It also includes a large section of COVID-19 related benefits for businesses. The following is a summary of what has passed.  It is a bit lengthy of a “summary,” but all good stuff. FFCRA Sick and Family Paid Leave The FFCRA tax credit has been extended through March 31, 2021, although the employer mandate has not been extended.  This means that an employer can decide whether or not…

PPP Loans in Excess of $2 Million – Audit Process Begins

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On the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application, many certifications were made by the borrower. An important one to highlight is “current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” It is a somewhat simple statement that the SBA further indicated that borrowers are acting in good faith, taking into account their current business activity and their ability to access other sources of liquidity sufficient to support their ongoing operations in a manner that is not significantly detrimental to the business. For example, it is unlikely that a public company with substantial market…

SBA Procedural Notice o Sale of Business or Assets and PPP

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On October 2, 2020, the Small Business Administration issued a five page Procedural Notice 5000-20057 regarding “change of ownership”.  This is a very concerning topic at this point in the game as many companies have changed ownership in one form or another due to the slow-down, since receiving their PPP funding.  Here is what is considered a change of ownership; 1.      20% or more of the common stock or ownership interest is sold or transferred, including to an affiliate or an existing owner of the entity, 2.      50% or more of the assets (measured by FMV) is sold or transferred, whether in…

State Income Tax Withholding Considerations

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Unless you live and work in one of the following nine states that do not tax wages, you are required to withhold state income tax on wages paid to your employees: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.  While this may sound simple enough, there are a number of considerations that need to be made, and we will go over them here, including the COVID-19 wrench in the machine. The Form First up is the form itself.  There are a few states that did not adopt their own state withholding tax form, so here is…