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Important Updates

Posted in: Chamber News

We are in this together and remain Columbia County Strong!  As a Chamber we are dedicated to continuing to keep you updated on critical and important information that will assist your business during these times.

FACE COVERINGS ARE NOW REQUIRED FOR ALL ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES

Governor Cuomo is requiring employees of essential businesses in contact with others to wear face coverings at their employer’s expense starting tonight, Wednesday, April 15, 2020 8:00 p.m.

PPP UPDATE

Attached is a breakdown of PPP approvals by State, loan size, and industry. In NYS, 40,975 PPP loans have been approved for $11,737,950,918. Nationally, over 1 million loans have been approved for nearly $250 billion. For the most current and accurate information about PPP, please continue to visit their website at www.sba.gov/PPP. The Treasury Department page also contains updated helpful FAQ’s at  https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/assistance-for-small-businesses. To find a PPP lender, search here: https://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find.

New Interim Final Rule published on treasury.gov regarding self-employed and partnership PPP applications: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Interim-Final-Rule-Additional-Eligibility-Criteria-and-Requirements-for-Certain-Pledges-of-Loans.pdf

Updated FAQ: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Frequently-Asked-Questions.pdf

EIDL UPDATE

Many of you have been asking a lot of questions about the status of your applications for the EIDL program and Advance. If you have a confirmation # for your application from the streamlined portal that went live on 3/29, but have not received any updates yet, they do not need to contact the customer service #. Your application is still in process, and is being processed in the order that they were received. We are hearing reports of Advance disbursements AND loan approvals in our district from small businesses. I know patience is difficult right now, but the applications are being worked through.

CARES ACT UPDATE

I realize that some of the information below is quite technical but they represent some frequently asked questions to accountants by their clients who are applying for Cares Act relief.  We thought some of you may have similar questions and may benefit from some of the answers. We advise you to seek assistance directly with your tax professional for specific questions. The information provided below is just for informational purposes and should not be considered as professional advice from the Chamber.

Delay of payment of employer payroll taxes – CARES Act Section 2302

Does applying for the Paycheck Protection Program jeopardize the Social Security tax deferral?

The CARES Act provided employers and self-employed individuals the ability to defer payment of the employer share of the Social Security tax obligation (6.2%) for the remainder of 2020 with one-half of the deferred employment tax required to be paid in each of the following two years ending December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2022.

The Act made clear that this deferral was not available to any taxpayer that “has had” indebtedness forgiven as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Some cautious practitioners worried that a taxpayer applying for a PPP loan and anticipating forgiveness might jeopardize one or both of these assistance programs if the taxpayer availed itself of the Social Security tax deferral.

Update:  In the FAQ released by the IRS on April 10, 2020, the IRS made clear that a PPP loan recipient can still defer the payment of its share of Social Security taxes without penalty through the date the lender issues a decision to forgive the loan. Thereafter, the employer is no longer eligible to defer but any amounts previously deferred will continue to be deferred into 2021 and 2022.

Modifications for net operating losses (“NOLs”) – CARES Act Section 2303

Does a request for a tentative refund apply to 2018 NOLs?

The CARES Act allows NOLs arising in tax years 2018 through 2020 to be carried back to each of the five tax years preceding the loss year. The fastest way to obtain a refund from an NOL carryback is to request a tentative refund by filing Form 1139 (for corporations) or Form 1045 (for taxpayers other than corporations). Those forms, however, need to be filed within 12 months of the close of the tax year in which the NOL arose, meaning this quick refund procedure was unavailable for losses arising in a taxpayer’s 2018 tax year. In other words, taxpayers were unable to take advantage of the expedited tentative carryback procedure for such NOLs and, instead, generally would be required to file an amended return.

Update:  In Notice 2020-26, the IRS grants a six-month extension of time to file a Form 1045 or Form 1139, as applicable, to taxpayers that have an NOL that arose in a tax year that began during the 2018 calendar year and that ended on or before June 30, 2019.  Thus, for an NOL that arose in a calendar year ending December 31, 2018, the taxpayer now must file the tentative refund claim by June 30, 2020. On the top of the applicable form, “Notice 2020-26, Extension of Time to File Application for Tentative Carryback Adjustment” must be written.

The IRS generally processes those tentative refund claims within 90 days, which ideally means taxpayers will receive much needed liquidity relatively quickly. On April 13, 2020, the IRS released a FAQ which provides as follows regarding the method for filing the applicable form:

“Starting on April 17, 2020 and until further notice, the IRS will accept eligible refund claims Form 1139 submitted via Fax to 844-249-6236 and eligible refund claims Form 1045 submitted via fax to 844-249-6237. Before then, these fax numbers will not be operational. We encourage taxpayers to wait until this procedure is available rather than mail their Forms 1139 and 1045 since mail processing is being impacted by the emergency.”

How does a taxpayer apply for a tentative refund claim for an NOL arising in a 2017 straddle tax year?

For taxpayers with NOLs that arose in a tax year beginning before January 1, 2018 and ending after December 31, 2017 (i.e., a 2017 straddle tax year), the CARES Act provides that such NOLs are eligible for the two-year carryback and 20-year carryforward that existed prior to the changes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”) enacted for NOLs arising in tax years after December 31, 2017.

The CARES Act allows taxpayers to elect to forgo the NOL carryback, and instead treat losses arising in tax years 2018 through 2020 as NOL carryovers.

Update:  Revenue Procedure 2020-24 provides guidance to taxpayers regarding this election.  Specifically, it provides that a taxpayer may elect to waive the carryback period for an NOL arising in the 2018 or 2019 tax year by attaching a statement to its timely filed federal income tax return for its first tax year ending after March 27, 2020. A taxpayer must include a separate statement for each of the tax years (2018 and/or 2019) for which the taxpayer intends to make the election. In addition, the election statement must provide that the taxpayer is electing to apply Code section 172(b)(3) under Revenue Procedure 2020-24 and the tax year for which the statement applies. This election, once made, is irrevocable.

Deductibility of interest expense temporarily increased – CARES Act Section 2306

Can a taxpayer withdraw a real property trade or business election under Code section 163(j)(7)(B) to take advantage of the changes made by the CARES Act?

A taxpayer that qualified as a real property trade or business could elect, pursuant to Code section 163(j)(7)(B), to be excepted from the interest limitation rules under Code section 163(j), generally in exchange for being subject to less favorable depreciation rules, including being ineligible to claim bonus depreciation on certain property. Because the CARES Act (1) temporarily increased the general limitation on the deductibility of interest expense from 30% of adjusted taxable income (“ATI”) to 50% of ATI for tax years beginning in 2019 and 2020, and (2) fixed the retail glitch to treat “qualified improvement property” (“QIP”) as 15-year property, meaning it qualifies for 100% bonus depreciation, taxpayers that elected out of the application of Code section 163(j) may be regretting that decision.

Administrative Guidance for Partnerships Claiming Benefits under the CARES Act

Can partnerships subject to the centralized partnership audit regime file amended returns to access CARES Act provisions?

For tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, partnerships subject to the centralized partnership audit regime (referred to as “BBA partnerships”) generally were prohibited from filing an amended return after the due date of the partnership’s return. Instead, such partnerships generally were required to file an AAR.  If an AAR were filed, partners generally would not be able to take advantage of CARES Act benefits from an AAR until they file their current year returns, which could be in 2021.

Update:  Revenue Procedure 2020-23 expedites partnerships’ access to the CARES Act provisions by permitting eligible partnerships to file amended returns for tax years beginning in 2018 and 2019. A partnership is eligible for this relief if it filed its Form 1065 and furnished Schedules K-1 to its partners for its tax years beginning in 2018 and 2019 prior to the issuance of Revenue Procedure 2020-23.

To take advantage of this simplified procedure, a partnership must file an amended Form 1065 (with the “Amended Return” box checked) and furnish the corresponding Schedules K-1 to its partners before September 30, 2020. The amended Form 1065 must have “FILED PURSUANT TO REV PROC 2020-23” written at the top and a statement with the same notation must be attached to each Schedule K-1 sent to partners. Notably, such amended returns may take into account both tax changes brought about by the CARES Act and any other tax attributes to which the partnership is entitled to by law.   

Employee retention credit for employers subject to closure due to COVID-19 – CARES Act Section 2301

With qualifications, this provision makes available a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of qualified wages paid or incurred by employers to employees from March 13, 2020 through December 31, 2020. The credit is limited to the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, paid to an employee during such period. The credit is generally available to employers (1) whose operations were suspended in full or in part due to the COVID-19 related shut-down order, or (2) whose gross receipts declined by more than 50 percent when compared to the same quarter in the prior year. For employers with a 2019 average of more than 100 full-time employees, qualified wages are wages paid to employees who are not working due to COVID-19 related shut-down orders. For smaller employers, all wages qualify for the credit, whether the employer was open or closed during the crisis. Special rules apply to tax-exempt entities and otherwise eligible employers are denied the credit if they receive a small business interruption loan authorized under Section 1102 of the CARES Act.

As always the Chamber is available to assist you with any questions you may have at 518-828-4417 or mail@columbiachamber-ny.com.

Together we will get through this! Jeffrey C. Hunt, CCE
President and CEO
Columbia County Chamber of Commerce
Columbia County Stands Strong Together!

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