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 2021 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.
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 Internal Revenue Service announced that tax season will begin on Friday, February 12, 2021, when they will start accepting and processing 2020 tax returns. The tax filing deadline will be Thursday, April 15, 2021.
Traditionally, tax season starts in late January; however, the IRS delayed the start date to allow more time to prepare following the December 27, 2020 tax law changes.
To read more on the recently released tax law changes, visit our UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PROGRAMS.
State of California Tax Filing Deadline
The California tax filing and tax payment deadline is April 15, 2021 for all individuals and businesses entities for 2020 tax returns and payments.
More information can be found at the California Franchise Tax Board website.
General Financial Support
Paycheck Protection Program
First Draw PPP Loans – The Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department reopened the Paycheck Protection Program for First Draw Loans the week of January 11, 2021.
Second Draw PPP Loans – The Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department began accepting applications for Second Draw PPP Loans on January 13, 2021.
PPP Loan Forgiveness – Contact your PPP Lender and complete either the SBA Form 3508, SBA Form 3508EZ, SBA Form 3508S, or a Lender equivalent. We are happy to assist you in calculating loan forgiveness amounts.
Recent legislation now allows eligible expenses related to forgiven PPP loans to be deducted by businesses that received the loans.
The legislation also creates a simplified forgiveness application for businesses that took PPP loans under $150,000.
Businesses that received a cash advance through EIDL Advance also will no longer have to deduct the advance from their PPP loan forgiveness amount.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA)
The CAA was signed into law at the end of 2020. This program was a massive tax, funding, and spending bill that contained a nearly $900 billion coronavirus aid package.
See our brief coverage of The Consolidated Appropriations Act.
The CARES Act
The CARES Act was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020 and provided a $2 trillion federal stimulus package that included much-needed relief to individuals, businesses, and our economy.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
The requirement that employers provide paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expired on Dec. 31, 2020.
While employers are not required to provide the FFCRA leave after Dec. 31, 2020, they will be eligible for tax credits for wages paid with respect to the leave if they provide the FFCRA leave between January 1, 2021 and March 31, 2021 on a voluntary basis.
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, nonprofit organizations of any size, and U.S. agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
To apply for the COVID-19 EIDL, visit the SBA COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans webpage.
The recent legislation passed in December 2020 is providing an additional 11 weeks of benefits, on top of the additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits that was part of the CARES Act. The legislation also includes a $300 per week supplement to unemployment benefits.
To learn more about unemployment benefits available, visit the EDD website.
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.
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.