While BPW is categorized as an essential business due to the importance of tax filing and compliance services, our physical office is closed, but we are all successfully working hard remotely to protect you and our staff.
We are in full swing into the tax season and encourage businesses and individuals to stay in compliance, be proactive with tax planning, and to find opportunity or alternatives in these unparalleled times. If you have any questions, you may call our regular business phone numbers and main line at (805) 963-7811.
Designated staff are regularly checking our drop box and incoming mail to be processed, so please feel free to drop hard copy tax documents in the secure outdoor box located in the garage. Any requested paper copies of tax returns will be issued at a later date.
Navigating COVID-19 Resources
BPW has compiled a list of resources for you and your business that we hope you will find helpful as we all navigate through the impacts and changes transpiring from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Below you will find information on federal and state tax updates and a comprehensive guide to financial resources, including highlights on the $2 trillion stimulus package and legislation on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act regarding coverage of sick pay and family leave.
In addition, we would like everyone to be aware of the increase in fraudulent activity occurring across the globe. Please think twice to protect yourself again scams. They could occur over the phone, in phishing emails, or on malicious websites. Please see more information below.
At BPW, we want to help guide you through these uncharted waters with our resources and expertise with your best interest and goals in mind. We’ll continue to monitor and update these resources as new legislation is passed. We are all in this together and will get through this together.
We hope you are all staying safe and in good health.
Federal Tax Filing Deadline
The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service extended the federal tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, 2020 to give all individuals and businesses an extra 90-day extension to file their returns.
This extension applies to any taxpayer who is expected to file an income tax return or payment by April 15, such as an individual, a trust, an estate, a corporation, or any type of unincorporated business entity. The deadline also extends 1st and 2nd quarter estimated tax payments to July 15, which includes self-employment income tax payments.
If your business has a filing deadline of May 15 or June 15, the federal extension does not apply to these filing dates and businesses will have to file and pay by these deadlines to stay compliant.
Additional information can be found on the IRS’ Filing and Deadline FAQs page.
State of California Tax Filing Deadline
The California Franchise Tax Board extended the income tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15 for all individuals and businesses entities for 2019 tax returns and payments, 2020 1st and 2nd quarter estimated payments, 2020 LLC taxes and fees, and 2020 non-wage withholding payments.
More information can be found at the California Franchise Tax Board website.
General Financial Support
The CARES Act
The CARES Act was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020 and provides a $2 trillion federal stimulus package that includes much-needed relief to individuals, businesses, and our economy.
Highlights of the package include:
- Individual Recovery Rebate Credit
- Use of retirement funds
- Expanded unemployment coverage
- Increased charitable contribution deduction
- Payroll tax credit
- Expanded use of net operating losses
- Excess business loss rule suspended
- Alternative minimum tax credit
- Increased limit for business interest deduction
- Bonus depreciation for qualified improvement property
- Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program
- Economic stabilization industry lending program
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
On March 18, 2020 the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was passed to provide mandatory paid family leave, mandatory medical and emergency paid sick time, and refundable employer tax credits for employers who pay these benefits.
Generally, this applies to businesses with under 500 employees. The employer credit for wages paid for mandatory paid family leave is equal to 100% of the wages paid to each employee, limited to $200 per day per employee with a maximum credit of $10,000 per employee. The employer credit for wages paid for mandatory medical and emergency paid sick time is equal to 100% of wages paid to each employee, limited to $511 per day for employees who are sick, with a $5,110 maximum, and $200 per day if the employee is caring for a sick family member or a child who is at home due to a school closure, with a $2,000 maximum. There are similar credits available to self-employed individuals.
Read more at the U.S. Department of Labor website.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) for small businesses and private nonprofits that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The SBA recently updated the terms of the loan and extended the deferment timeframe from four months to the first 12 months of the loan. Loans can be up to $2 million and have a long-term repayment schedule of up to 30 years.
EIDL is available to the entire state of California and now includes an Emergency Economic Injury Grant of up to $10,000 within three days of applying for EIDL. Apply on the SBA website directly.
Federal Interest Rates
The Federal Reserve has announced that it will cut interest rates to 0% and take additional steps to stabilize the economy.
The Secretary of the Education will be waiving interest on all student loans held by the Federal Government.
California has removed any waiting periods for unemployment and disability insurance for residents who lost work or have had hours reduced due to the coronavirus outbreak. The state is offering a more seamless, expedited approach to administering unemployment assistance. To learn more about unemployment benefits available, visit the EDD website.
California Financial Relief Package
Governor Newsom signed off on a substantial financial relief package to residents across the state who are financially affected by the outbreak.
This package includes support from major financial institutions to allow impacted borrowers more flexibility in repaying their loans. These provisions include a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments, 90 days free from late fees or charges, 60 days of non-initiated foreclosure sales or evictions, and a no negative credit impact for borrowers taking advantage of COVID-19 relief. Read more on the financial relief package. Note that many of these relief provisions are not automatic, and we recommend that you contact your bankers and lenders directly to obtain relief.
Qualified Disaster Relief Payments
When there is a federally declared disaster, an employer may make tax-free payments to reimburse or pay the employee for certain expenses that are not otherwise compensated for insurance and are not income replacement or other compensatory payments. Qualified payments include reasonable and necessary personal, family, living or funeral expenses incurred as a result of a qualified disaster.
Examples of expenses directly related to COVID-19 might be medical expenses and medications not covered by insurance, funeral expenses of the employee’s family, childcare or tutoring due to school closures, and increased telecommuting costs such as computers, utilities, and supplies. These payments are excludible from the employee’s gross income and are deductible to the employer. A business would be prudent to have a policy in place for such payments.
Business Interruption Insurance
If your business has experienced significant losses during the pandemic, ask your insurance provider if you may be eligible for business interruption insurance. Often policies will not cover the pandemic currently, but this is an area where we may see some changes as the industry considers public need and demand. If it’s not covered for this emergency, it may provide a better security blanket if a next time should occur.
Cybersecurity and Fraud
Unfortunately, we have to be mindful of fraudulent activity and scammers all the time, but during tax season and global crises, criminal activity is heightened. Criminals are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal information and money. The U.S. Secret Service issued an alert to the public on what to watch out for.
Be aware of fake emails from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other organizations that have news on the coronavirus. And please be careful when any site asks you for your personal information and do not give any personal information over the phone.
Please remember: Do not open email attachments or click links within the email if you do now know the sender; do not provide any personal information in response to an email or phone call; always verify the web address to ensure its legitimacy by double checking for misspellings or incorrect domain names.
Health and Human Services
Continue to maintain healthy habits as instructed by our health administrations. Be sure to wash your hands frequently, keep social distancing, avoid touching your face, stay at home (especially when sick), cover your mouth with your elbow when coughing or sneezing, and diligently clean common areas, and sanitize packages and groceries before bringing them into your household.
We are thinking about our clients and friends in the community during this time, sending well wishes, and already looking forward until the next time we see each other. Until then, stay safe and healthy. Please contact our office at (805) 963-7811 if you need any help navigating these resources.