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New PPP Loan Forgiveness Guidelines and Applications Released (06-17-20)

A revised PPP loan forgiveness application and guidelines, and a new “EZ” loan forgiveness application, have been released to incorporate the changes made by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act and provide additional guidance. PRESS RELEASE – SBA and Treasury Announce New EZ and Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program

The application and revised interim rules clarify that, for borrowers using the new 24-week loan forgiveness covered period, the maximum compensation eligible for loan forgiveness:

  • Per employee is increased to $46,154 (24 ÷ 52 × $100,000) plus covered benefits such as health care, retirement contributions, and state payroll taxes; and
  • For owners, is capped at 2.5 months of 2019 compensation, with a maximum of $20,833 (2.5 ÷ 12 × $100,000). Note: The application specifically lists self-employed individuals, general partners, and owner-employees, so it appears corporation owner-employees are included in this cap.

The new application instructions also clarify that:

  • Eligible payroll costs do not include any employer health insurance contributions made on behalf of self-employed individuals, general partners, or S corporation owner-employees;
  • Employer retirement contributions made on behalf of a self-employed individual or general partner are also excluded from payroll costs; and
  • Employer retirement contributions on behalf of owner-employees are capped at 2.5 months’ worth of the 2019 contribution amount. This limit is included on the EZ application but is not included on the full forgiveness application or in the updated interim final rule, but it is possible it will be added in the future.

The new simplified EZ application is available to be used by borrowers who:

  • Are self-employed and did not list any employees on their original loan application; or
  • Have employees, but are not subject to any loan forgiveness reduction due to salary or full-time equivalent employee reductions.

The revised interim rules and loan applications and instructions are available at:
https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP-IFR–Revisions-to-the-Third-and-Sixth-Interim-Final-Rules.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/3245-0407-SBA-Form-3508-PPP-Forgiveness-Application.pdf
https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP-Loan-Forgiveness-Application-Instructions_1_0.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP-Forgiveness-Application-3508EZ.pdf
https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP-Loan-Forgiveness-Application-Form-EZ-Instructions.pdf

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PPP Loan Forgiveness Extension Bill Sent to President (06-04-20)

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (H.R. 7010) was passed by the House and Senate and is now on its way to the President. The President has indicated that he will sign the bill.

Key provisions of the bill include:

  • Extending the loan forgiveness covered period from eight weeks to 24 weeks from the loan origination date, as long as the covered period does not extend beyond December 31, 2020. This means that borrowers will now be able to have all PPP loan amounts paid during this extended covered period forgiven as long as the amounts are expended for qualified purposes (payroll, rent/mortgage interest, and utilities). Borrowers who received the loan prior to the bill’s date of enactment may still elect to use either the original eight-week loan forgiveness period or the new 24-week period;
  • Only allowing loan forgiveness if at least 60% of the total loan proceeds are used for payroll costs. Currently, forgiveness is limited so that at least 75% of the forgiveness amount is for payroll costs;
  • Eliminating the full-time employee equivalent employee reduction provision if the business can document that the reduction was due to the business’s inability to:
    • Rehire individuals who were employees on February 15, 2020, and hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions by December 31, 2020; or
    • Return to the same level of business activity as the business was operating at before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with sanitation, social distancing, or any other worker or customer safety requirement related to COVID-19 imposed by specified federal agencies during the period beginning on March 1, 2020, and ending December 31, 2020;
  • Allowing for a five-year rather than a two-year maturity date for:
    • All loans made on or after the bill’s date of enactment; and
    • Loans made earlier than that date, if both the lender and borrower mutually agree;
  • Deferring payments of principal, interest, and fees on any PPP loan until the SBA remits the borrower’s loan forgiveness amount to the bank (previously, this period was six months to one year from the loan origination date); and
  • Allowing taxpayers to qualify for payroll tax deferral even if they’ve received PPP loan forgiveness.
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Hacker working on computer cyber crime

Don’t be fooled during this critical time.

Read more about how scammers are taking advantage of the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

Taxpayers should be on the lookout for calls and email phishing attempts regarding the Coronavirus, or COVID-19 that could lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft. Because criminals take every opportunity to perpetrate a fraud on unsuspecting victims during times of need, taxpayers should also be skeptical about text messages received and websites and social media attempts to request money or personal information.

 

Retirees Targeted

Seniors should be especially careful at this time. In most cases, the IRS will deposit economic impact payments (sometimes called recovery rebates or stimulus payments) into the direct deposit account taxpayers previously provided on tax returns and taxpayers should not provide their direct deposit or other banking information for anyone to input on their behalf into the secure portal.

For retirees, the $1,200 payments are sent automatically. There is no additional action or information is needed on their part to receive this. Retirees – including recipients of Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099 − should also know that they will not be contacted by the IRS via phone, email, mail or in person asking for any kind of information to complete their economic impact payment.

 

What to Watch Out For:

Scammers use a number of techniques including:

  • Emphasizing the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” The official term is economic impact payment.
  • Asking the taxpayer to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.
  • Asking by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment.
  • Suggesting that they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
  • Mailing the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

Unsolicited emails, text messages or social media attempts to gather information that appear to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), should be forwarded to phishing@irs.gov.

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Individual Tax Return Form on table. Tax time concept. Top view Mock up

Tax Payments Due Dates Delayed!

2019 Tax Return and 2020 Estimated Tax Payments Due 7/15/20.

 

As a reminder, taxpayers now have until July 15, 2020, to file and pay federal income taxes originally due on April 15 and no late-filing penalty, late-payment penalty or interest will be due. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this relief has been expanded to include additional returns, tax payments and other actions:

  • 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 now qualify for the extra time.
  • 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.

Extension of time to file beyond July 15

  • Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline can request an extension to October 15, 2020, by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
  • Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns.

An extension to file is not an extension to pay any taxes owed. Taxpayers requesting additional time to file should estimate their tax liability and pay any taxes owed by the July 15, 2020, deadline to avoid additional interest and penalties.

Estimated Tax Payments

Relief is also extended to estimated tax payments due June 15, 2020. This means that any individual or corporation that has a quarterly estimated tax payment due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, can wait until July 15 to make that payment, without penalty.

Unclaimed Refunds

There is a three-year window of opportunity to claim a refund from prior years’ tax returns. If taxpayers do not file a return within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury. For 2016 tax returns, the normal April 15 deadline to claim a refund has also been extended to July 15, 2020.

If you have any questions regarding the coronavirus pandemic and your taxes, help is just a phone call away.

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FAQ: Did the new law change capital gains taxation?

How did the new tax law, TCJA, changed the Capital Gains Rates and the Kiddie Tax? New Brackets!

 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act did not directly change the tax rate on capital gains: they remain at 0, 10, 15 and 20 percent, respectively (with the 25- and 28-percent rates also reserved for the same special situations). However, changes within the new law impact both when the favorable rates are applied and the level to which to may be enjoyed.

 

Capital gains rates

The maximum rates on net capital gain and qualified dividends are generally retained after 2017 and are 0 percent, 15 percent, and 20 percent. The breakpoints between the zero- and 15-percent rates (“15-percent breakpoint”) and the 15- and 20-percent rates (“20-percent breakpoint”) are generally the same amounts as the breakpoints under prior law, except the breakpoints are indexed using the new C-CPI-U factor in tax years beginning after 2018. For 2018:

  • the 15-percent breakpoint is $77,200 for joint returns and surviving spouses (one-half of this amount ($38,600) for married taxpayers filing separately), $51,700 for heads of household, $2,600 for estates and trusts, and $38,600 for other unmarried individuals; and
  • The 20-percent breakpoint is $479,000 for joint returns and surviving spouses (one-half of this amount for married taxpayers filing separately), $452,400 for heads of household, $12,700 for estates and trusts, and $425,800 for other unmarried individuals.

“Zero” rate. In the case of an individual (including an estate or trust) with adjusted net capital gain, to the extent the gain would not result in taxable income exceeding the 15-percent breakpoint, such gain is not taxed.

Comment. The breakpoints are not aligned with the new general income tax rate brackets. For example, alignment for joint filers would have the 15-percent breakpoint at $77,400 rather than $77,200; and, more significantly, 20 percent at $600,000 rather than at $479,000. Instead, they continue the alignment themselves more closely to the prior-law rate brackets.

Comment. As under prior law, unrecaptured section 1250 gain generally is taxed at a maximum rate of 25 percent, and 28-percent rate gain is taxed at a maximum rate of 28 percent. In addition, an individual, estate, or trust also remains subject to the 3.8 percent tax on net investment income (NII tax).

 

Kiddie tax

Effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, the “kiddie tax” is simplified by effectively applying ordinary and capital gains rates applicable to trusts and estates to the net unearned income of a child. A child’s “kiddie tax” is no longer affected by the tax situation of his or her parent or the unearned income of any siblings.

Taxable income attributable to net unearned income is taxed according to the brackets applicable to trusts and estates, with respect to both ordinary income and income taxed at preferential rates. For 2018, that means that the 15-percent capital gain rate starts at $2,600 and rising to 20 percent when $12,700 is reached.

 

Carried interest

Capital gain passed through to fund managers via a partnership profits interest (carried interest) in exchange for investment management services must meet an extended three-year holding period to qualify for long-term capital gain treatment. Under new Code 1061(a), if a taxpayer holds an applicable partnership interest at any time during the tax year, this rule treats carried interest as short-term capital gain—taxed at ordinary income rates— based on a three-year holding period instead of the usual one-year period.

 

SSBIC rollovers

For sales after 2017, the new law repeals the election to defer recognition of capital gain realized on the sale of publicly traded securities if the taxpayer used the sale proceeds to purchase common stock or a partnership interest in a specialized small business investment company (SSBIC). Prior to 2018 under former Code Sec. 1044, C corporations and individuals could elect to defer recognition of capital gain realized on the sale of publicly traded securities if the taxpayer used the sales proceeds within 60 days to purchase common stock or a partnership interest in a specialized small business investment company (SSBIC).

 

Like-kind exchanges

Like-kind exchanges have often been used to defer taxable gains. Going forward, like-kind exchanges are allowed only for real property after 2017 (Code Sec. 1031(a)(1)). Like-kind exchanges are no longer available for depreciable tangible personal property, and intangible and nondepreciable personal property after 2017. Gain on those assets will no longer be allowed to be deferred.

 

Code Sec. 199A deduction

The concept of capital gain is intertwined within the new passthrough deduction for partnerships, S corporations and sole proprietorships under Code Sec. 199A in several ways. A noncorporate taxpayer can claim a Code Sec. 199A deduction for a tax year for the sum of—

(1)

the lesser of —

(a) the taxpayer’s “combined qualified business income amount”; or

(b) 20 percent of the excess of the taxpayer’s taxable income over the sum of (i) the taxpayer’s net capital gain under Code Sec. 1(h) and (ii) the taxpayer’s aggregate qualified cooperative dividends; plus

(2)

the lesser of —

(a) 20 percent of the taxpayer’s aggregate qualified cooperative dividends; or

(b) the taxpayer’s taxable income minus the taxpayer’s net capital gain (Code Sec. 199A(a), as added by the 2017 Tax Cuts Act).

Comment. As a result, the Code Sec. 199A deduction cannot be more than the taxpayer’s taxable income reduced by net capital gain for the tax year, making monitoring of capital gains a “must” for some taxpayers.

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