Ways to Pull Your Business Through Uncertain Times – Our Guide

May 29, 2020 in Accounting, Covid-19, Resources

As we continue to wait for pandemic curves to flatten, businesses all over the world are feeling the pressure of forced shutdowns. Many are scrambling to reassess finances and keep operations running for an indefinite period of time. As uncertainties become unprecedented, here are a few key areas to shift your focus to in order to help your business survive.

1. Redirect Your Focus

If your focus has been on how to increase sales and revenues or improve efficiencies and profitability, now is the time to work with an accounting service to zero in on your balance sheet. Keep an eye on your working capital and start forecasting your cash flow with an accountant. This can help keep your finances predictable for the next 30 to 60 days.

2. Work on Receivables and Payables Management

To avoid any unforeseen financial disasters, tighten up on your receivables. Start working on halted collections and offer discounts for early payments and even long-overdue payments. Stretch out AP payments for as long as possible without damaging your relationship with key suppliers. Review your customer credit risk to prepare for the impact of the pandemic over the long run. Identify those who may be at risk and begin limiting their credit.

3. Take Note of Your Inventory

An inevitable drop in demand will result in inventory levels that may be too high for your business to manage. If such is the case, you’re going to want to reassess your safety stock levels and lower ones you can afford to lose without hindering customer demand. Consider low or negative margin sales and how you might be able to convert excess inventory into cash.

4. Negotiate Your Supply Line

It’s likely that your suppliers are sitting on excess inventory just like you are. Use this as an opportunity to negotiate lower prices in order to increase your leverage.

5. Reduce Discretionary Costs

While most of your focus will remain on your balance sheet, it may also be time to cut costs. Immediate cash flow opportunities might include reducing your 401k Plan to zero or whether you can pay the match at the end of the year instead of during your pay periods. You can consider leasing larger purchases that you can’t defer rather than buying altogether. Try to obtain COVID-19 tax credits and cash flow savings related to deferrals to obtain payroll savings.

6. Assess Your Financing

If you haven’t yet teamed up with any bookkeeping services, you probably should. You’ll want to consider drawing down on your line of credit while it remains available and assess how significant your cash flow situation is. You might have to look at recapitalization opportunities such as taking advantage of SBA lending or economic injury disaster loans.

7. Prepare for the Rebound

Though today holds significant uncertainty, major financial institutions predict a large bounce back in GDP by the third quarter of 2020. Remember that while it may be your business’ main goal to survive, it is also to take part in the eventual upswing. This means remembering to prioritize your supplier and customer relationships and, most importantly, your employees.

Conclusion

Trying to keep your business from going underwater may seem nearly impossible in the middle of a pandemic. But with the right business growth services, such as ours at A4E, we can take the stress of bookkeeping and other finances off your shoulders and into our own hands.

If you’re looking for effective business growth services in Boston, MA, we’ll be sure to take note of your pain points and provide you with exactly what you need.

A Condensed Guide on the CARES Act for SMEs

May 15, 2020 in Accounting, Covid-19, Resources

Given the current pandemic, social distancing measures and quarantine lockdowns are in order. To risk the further spread of infection, consumers are forced to stay at home, while nonessential businesses are ordered to temporarily close down. Businesses falling under commerce are not considered essential services, so the closure of these operations have the potential to affect small businesses negatively in terms of finance.

You may be one of the small business owners worrying about the state of not only your lack of resources but your employees’ payroll. Fortunately, the newly passed CARES Act offers several benefits for you, as well as your employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

What is the CARES Act?

The CARES Act, which stands for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, is a stimulus package designed specifically for individuals and businesses directly affected by the pandemic, which serves as an economic relief. $2 trillion is allocated to those covered by the Act, and $377 billion of the funds will go to small business owners with 500 or fewer employees.

What benefits does the CARES Act offer small businesses?

From the $2 trillion budget, the CARES Act provides $10 billion for Emergency Economic Injury Grants. This grant can be as much as $10,000 for each small business owner, which is enough to cover operating costs.

The Small Business Debt Relief Program is also offered, where $17 billion is available for six months of payments to help small business owners pay current non-disaster Small Business Administration loans.

Here are more benefits that small businesses can receive through the program:

  • The Paycheck Protection Program: This allows small businesses with existing loans to pay up to eight weeks of employee payroll services costs, which includes all benefits. The funds for this program can also be used to pay interests, specifically on rent, utilities, and mortgage payments.
  • Employee Retention Credit: Launched by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service, this program allows small businesses to keep their employees on their payroll. At a time where the unemployment rate is high, the program seeks to stop the further increase.
  • Expanded Unemployment Insurance: On top of what state unemployment programs pay, the unemployment insurance has been expanded by 13 weeks. This also includes a four-month $600 benefits enchantments. This program covers freelancers, gig workers (Uber drivers), and even furloughed employees.

What does the CARES Act offer employees?

The most beneficial program offered by CARES act is the expanded unemployment insurance. Originally only running from 26 weeks, it has now been expanded to 39 weeks. An additional $600 payment will be added on top of the weekly benefit amount eligible employees receive. Moreover, Americans will also be able to receive one-time stimulus checks of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.

How do small business owners apply for the CARES Act benefits?

Eligible small business owners can apply for the CARES Act through the Paycheck Prevention Program, which was launched last April 3. Any application shall undergo through an existing Small Business Administration, which can be the following:

  • A federally insured depository institution
  • A federally insured credit union
  • Farm Credit System institution

For more information on loans and grants applications for the CARES Act, visit the Small Business Administration’s portal here.

What this means for small businesses

It is difficult to navigate through the new normal—your business may be suffering unimaginable losses, and you may be juggling all possible ways to support your employees through a difficult time. Although the end remains to be seen, getting help is still possible. Through the CARES Act, your small business may just see the pandemic through!

If you’re looking for accounting services in Boston, MA, our CPA-qualified accountants and financial experts are ready to help. Contact us today to learn more about our bookkeeping, taxes and CFO services!

I received my PPP. Now what?

May 15, 2020 in Accounting, Covid-19, Resources

Now that you have received your PPP loans as a business owner, I can see the relief in your face. But the big question now is what do I need to do to ensure the loan amount is forgivable?

The PPP has come out with a set of guidelines on what a small business has to do in order to get the loan amount forgiven. Here are our suggestions on how to stay compliant with those rules.

Suggestions

1) Qualified uses: At least 75% of your PPP loans need to be used for payroll expenses (independent contractor’s pay does not count towards payroll expenses). The remaining amount of the loan can be used for mortgage interest, rent, and utilities.

2) Spend it within 8 weeks: From the time the loan was issued, please keep in mind that your loan amount is based on 2.5 months of your payroll expenses, which is 10 weeks’ worth of payroll. However, you only have 8 weeks to spend it in order for your loan to be forgiven. If you need to adjust your payroll timing or headcount to pay out the whole PPP loan within 8 weeks, do so. Any loan amount not used for the qualified purposes will not be forgiven.

3) Payroll headcount needs to be maintained: Compare the average number of full-time employees for the 8 weeks following the loan disbursement with 1) employee headcount from Jan 1, 2020 to Feb 29, 2020 or 2) headcount from Feb 15, 2019 to June 30, 2019. Ensure that the headcount for the 8 weeks following the loan disbursement is equal to or larger than either of the comparison periods.

Exemption: Many employers are complaining that their headcount levels cannot be maintained due to employee refusal to return to work. There is an exemption of this headcount rule if the employer can provide either of the following:

  • A written re-hire offer with the same rate of pay and number of hours before the employees were laid off and.
  • A rejection to the offer from the employee.

Employees who refuse offers will no longer be able to continue with the unemployment benefits.

4) Payroll amount needs to be at least 75% from the most recent quarter: Before the 8 week loan period is complete, with the exception of any employees who receive more than $100,000 in salaries in 2019. Any reduction in pay lower than the 75% level will reduce the forgivable portion of the loan by the difference between the employee’s current pay and 75% of the original pay.

If you have previously laid off or furloughed any employees or reduced their original pay by more than 25%, you are able to reinstate their pay and rehire them before June 30, 2020.

5) Documentation and books need to be maintained: Lenders will ask you to provide the following documents. You need to have these ready:

  • Form 941
  • Payroll records
  • Other health insurance and retirement contribution documents to support your claim.

6) Currently, the forgivable loan is not taxable and expenses used under the forgivable portion of the loan is therefore not tax deductible to prevent double dipping. This means your expenses need to be clearly labeled in your books and to identify the expenses being paid by the PPP Loans. Also, we recommend business owners to house their PPP loans in a separate bank account so any expenses paid out of PPP loans are traceable and easily trackable. This will be very helpful when it comes time to file your 2020 tax returns and provide proof of your expenses.

7) For self-employed (Sch. C) business owners, it’s even more important to maintain good record keeping of your books and documents to prove that you have met the PPP loan forgivable guidelines. This ensures funds are used appropriately.

8) The amount of forgivable loans for self employed individuals on owner’s compensation replacement is calculated based on your 2019 Sch. C net profit multiplied by 8/52 weeks. Any remaining amount will need to be used for mortgage interest, rent payments, and utilities.

9) For new businesses in 2020 that were not in existence in 2019 but were in business before Feb 15, 2020, there has not been clear guidelines from the SBA on how to calculate the owner’s compensation replacement yet. We will keep you updated.

10) File your 2019 tax returns and apply for forgiveness with your lenders. Deadline for the 2019 federal tax return has been extended. If you have already submitted your Sch. C to your lenders, you might want to file the tax return but delay the payment until July 15. You will also need to apply for forgiveness with your lenders after your 8 week period.

11) Some payroll credits are not allowed if you have a PPP loan. This is to prevent double dipping since the forgivable portion of the PPP loan is not taxable. So if you have a PPP loan, you will not be qualified for the Payroll Reduction Credit. For more information on what other credits and benefits your business is eligible for, please check out our article here.

If you’re looking for help filing your tax returns (including back tax filings), bookkeeping for your business, or catch-up bookkeeping services, please feel free to contact us. We want to ensure your books are clean, your taxes are up to date, and your PPP loans are forgiven.

 

Covid-19 Guide – Accounting Measures Every SME Should Take

May 6, 2020 in Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on small-to-medium enterprises. In many countries, their entire SME landscape has been all but leveled; the disruption of supply chains and suspension of labor means most shops have shuttered for the time being. With so much uncertainty, even after four months of lockdowns, business owners face the possibility of picking up the pieces on their own once things slowly get back to normal.

If you are an accountant for SMEs, you are in a unique position to help businesses during this tumultuous time. Accounting services are especially valuable today, as essential businesses attempt to operate normally, and as the rest of the industries try to catch up. Below are some of the first things accountants must do when helping companies transition to the new normal.

1. Learn of all aid options and apply these to clients

Seek out information on financial aid, emergency funding, or other forms of assistance provided by local and national government agencies. Knowing these would help you assist clients who are in most need of public support measures, such as service and hospitality providers.

For the industries most affected by COVID-19, you can advise and guide them through the processes needed to secure claims. You can also help them identify opportunities for diversification, and access to emergency financing from the government. You might also want to re-negotiate fees and payment schedules to fit their circumstances.

If you are a member of national accountancy organizations or networks, keep in touch with representatives. They may know of aid from other countries or transnational companies, or practices that can be beneficial when translated into the local context.

2. Address urgent cash flow and business needs

Review and adjust cash flow forecasts to reflect the current situation. This is perhaps the most important service you can provide clients at the moment. Stress the importance of continuing payments to suppliers, as this will help prevent further economic collapse. Determine if cuts in sales will significantly affect their ability to meet debt payments as well.

Sit down with the business owner and see how employee payroll services can continue at this time. Examine if the business can sustain alternative ways of delivering goods and services, or if they can make cuts in other departments like marketing and sales. Scaling back the production for some items might be necessary as businesses adjust to the limited capacity of suppliers to deliver at this time. You should also look into insurance claims for financial losses.

3. Help them keep up-to-date records and contracts

Help them update financial records so they can monitor closely their situation during this time. In many countries, internal revenue collections have been deferred, but this may lead to delays in filing taxes later on. Keep clear records and provide full tax services even amid COVID-19 to prevent the loss of financial data.

You can also help them renegotiate payment terms with suppliers and debtors. Construct offers like discounts for early payment or concessions for businesses that are unable to make loan payments. In certain situations, you may have to give advice on debt reorganization for insolvent companies; this is a better outcome than full liquidation.

4. Assist in medium-term planning

Though small businesses may currently be in survival mode, you can help prevent further collapse by helping them plan for the medium term. Help your clients figure out how to make the business viable without laying off employees. Retrenchment should be a last resort, and you must help clients access alternatives.

For example, employees may be willing to take temporary pay cuts instead of suffering redundancy. This will help the business pull through this time and prepare for a possible new peak in COVID-19 infections when restrictions are eased.

The importance for our small businesses

The coronavirus pandemic has turned business upside down. This is a critical moment in global economic history and everyone’s efforts certainly matter in keeping things going.

For tailored CFO services in Boston, MA, get in touch with our accountants at A4E today.

Coronavirus in the Workplace – What You Need to Know

April 15, 2020 in Covid-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly spreading from country to country, and the cases in the US only continue to rise. As such, employers must keep track of any developments and adjust accordingly. These actions should maintain a safe workplace, as well as appropriate monitoring and responding to the situation. These include compliance with labor laws and alternative efforts, such as working remotely. Here’s a quick guide on the extent of your responsibility as an employer:

Why do employers need to think about COVID-19?

Should employers continue with normal working conditions, you risk exposing your employees to the COVID-19. While a relatively mild disease for some, the vulnerable sectors easily fall to the disease. In fact, one in every five of the COVID-19 positive ends up needing hospital treatment. You must take certain measures, which are discussed in detail below.

Your responsibilities as an employer: An overview              

Apart from disseminating information on observing proper hygiene, you may be dealing with other business concerns. That includes efforts to reduce other possible effects of the coronavirus in the workplace, such as labor standards and laws.

Efforts to ensure employee safety

  • Reinforce good hygiene practices and safety precautions – The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to provide employees with a healthy and safe workplace. With the threat of the pandemic, employers are naturally expected to uphold this law with the utmost importance, such as taking basic preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection and spread. These include constant reminders of hand washing, as well as providing soap, sanitizers, tissues, and masks.
  • Have your employees work remotely – Being in a digital age, you have all the means to migrate your business operations to remote work. Should you choose to do so, remember to consider security risks that may arise. As an employer, you are also required by law to provide IT support and loan equipment, as these are necessary to their job functions. Employees must also be paid for all hours worked, as well as reimbursed for work-related expenses (internet and electricity).

A review on labor standards and laws in the context of coronavirus pandemic

  • The FMLA leave The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is specifically designed for people dealing with serious health conditions and those who need to care for sick family members. This act requires employers with at least 50 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for particular health-related instances.

The symptoms of the COVID-19 are flu-like, but considering its adverse effects, it can be considered as a “serious health condition” depending on the circumstances (e.g., the elderly or immuno-compromised). With these in mind, an employee infected with the coronavirus or an employee taking care of a family member with the same disease may be permitted to take the FMLA leave. It is important to note, however, that an employee with no disease and refusing to report to work out of fear cannot qualify for the FMLA leave.

  • Wage and hour issues – According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees who do not work cannot be paid. The FLSA minimum wage and overtime rules pertain to applicable hours worked during an entire workweek, so employees who do not work during such weeks are not entitled to wages. The only exception is the FLSA “white collar” employees, which pertain to the people paid on a salary basis, not hourly.

The employer is also required to pay employees according to employment contracts, collective bargaining agreements, or any other contractual obligations that may apply. Keep in mind that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has allowed employees to telecommute, deducing it as an effective way for employers to remain in operation while avoiding the risk of coronavirus infections.

Conclusion

More than the labor acts and guidelines discussed above, it is imperative for businesses to remain vigilant. Most employers have drafted business continuity plans that enable them to run smoothly, which can be helpful for events like dealing with a pandemic. Those plans may include remote work, which should detail precise working hours for non-exempt employees to avoid unnecessary overtime work. Additionally, the payroll department should be included as part of a business continuity plan. However, certain transmissions and processes should be considered, especially when dealing with valuable data.

If you’re looking for reliable, trusting accountants for entrepreneurs, schedule a free consult with us. We’re here to help your business through this crucial time.

The major differences between EIDL vs PPP

April 14, 2020 in Covid-19

There are two major COVID-19 related loans currently available for small businesses: Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Payroll Program (PPP). The goals for these loans are to provide cash flow to sustain the operations of small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, which is so much more important than ever given the current economic environment.

However, there are many confusions surrounding the two loan programs and their features. We’ve prepared a simplified comparison between the two loans to help guide you in your decision on which to apply for.

The major differences you should know between EIDL vs PPP

EIDL

PPP

Who Is Eligible?
  • Small business with less than 500 employees
  • Non profit organizations
  • Sole proprietors with or without employees
  • Independent contractors
  • Small business with less than 500 employees
  • Non profit organizations
  • Sole proprietors with or without employees
  • Independent contractors
  • Need to be in business before Feb 15 2020
Maximum Loan Amounts
  • $2 million
  • $10 million
Cash Advance (not required to be paid back)
  • Yes
  • $1000 per employee up to $10 employees
  • No
Loan Forgiveness
  • No
  • Yes, up to 8 weeks of qualified expenses from the inception of the loan.
  • At least 75% of the loans need to be used for payroll 
  • Loans amount that are used for the following (no more than 25% of the total loans)
    • Utilities
    • Mortgage Interest
    • Rent
Annual Interest Rate
  • 3.75% for business; 2.75% for non-profit
  • 1% for the unforgiven loan portion
Term of the Loan
  • Up to 30 years, no prepayment penalties
  • 2 years, payment can be deferred for 6 months.
Collateral and Personal Guaranteed?
  • Yes, lien against business asset
  • Yes, personal guarantee for loan more than $200,000
  • No
Where to Get the Loan?
  • Major banks and credit unions that are SBA lenders
  • Loan application: link here

We hope this provides you with more insights into the two programs: EIDL and PPP. We anticipate further updates from the government, and we will update this table continuously as we hear them.

Americans throughout the country are scrambling to gather funding and capital for their business. It’s a scary time, and we empathize with every business owner because we can feel the impacts here at A4E.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or are looking for accounting and/or tax support. Stay positive, stay safe.

The latest COVID-19 tax updates your business needs to know

April 10, 2020 in Covid-19

In the past couple of weeks, we have seen an influx of tax updates that are aimed to mitigate the economic impacts that COVID-19 has had on small businesses and individuals. We want to summarize each of the tax updates for small business owners so they can be informed of all the tax credits and resources that they will need to get through this crisis.

 

TL;DR – What it means for businesses

  • Tax Deadline Extension: more time to file for returns, increase cash flow by delaying 2019 tax payment and Q1 estimate tax for 2020. Lower estimate payments if business is going to be impacted. File 2019 tax return if there’s a refund due.
  • Payroll Responsibility: payroll obligations to pay employees that are impacted by COVID-19 and exceptions for small businesses with less than 50 employees.
  • Payroll Credit Related to Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA: receive reimbursement for COVID-19 related payroll paid to employees.
  • CARES ACT: Payroll Holiday: defer payroll tax payment to increase cash flow.
  • CARES ACT: Payroll Retention Credit: for businesses that are impacted by COVID-19 but continue to pay their employees, you can get refundable credit up to $10K per employee paid. 
  • CARES ACT: NOL Carryback: if you have net business losses in 2018 to 2020 and your business has business profits in the past years, you can file amended returns to use the NOL to offset past business profits and get a refund.

 

Tax Deadline Extension

  • Federal filing and payment deadlines have been postponed to July 15, no interest or penalties will be assessed between now and July 15. No action needs to be taken to get this extension
  • Federal Q1 payment has been extended to July 15 as well, but Q2 payment deadline still remains as June 15.
  • Individuals and business owners have till July 15 (if no tax extension has been filed) to contribute to their retirement plan.
  • Some states have also postponed their filing and tax payment deadlines to be consistent with the new federal deadline of July 15.
  • Some states postpone the sales tax filing for certain small businesses (eg. MA)
  • Each state is different, for more states update please follow this link here: click here

What it means for businesses: more time to file for returns, increase cash flow by delaying 2019 tax payment and Q1 estimate tax for 2020. Lower estimate payments if business is going to be impacted. File 2019 tax return if there’s a refund due. 

 

Payroll Responsibility

  • Employers with more than 500 employees are required to offer sick leave pay for those employees that are sick or need to be quarantined due to COVID-19.
    • no higher than $511 per day ($5,110 total).
  • FMLA also expands to cover for those employees that are unable to work due to the  need to take care of their minor children because the children’s daycares and schools are closed during the COVID-19 crisis.
    • the first 10 days of leave may be unpaid
    • After 10 days, covered employers must provide paid leave at two-thirds of an employee’s usual rate. The pay requirement is limited, however, to $200 per day and $10,000 total per employee.
  • The expanded FMLA also requires employers to offer pay to employees who are caring for an individual subject to a COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation order.
    •  required to be paid at two-thirds of the regular rate, capped at $200 per day ($2,000 total).
  • Exceptions: Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be eligible for an exemption from the leave requirements relating to school closings or child care unavailability where the requirements would jeopardize the ability of the business to continue.

What it means for businesses: payroll obligations to pay employees that are impacted by COVID-19 and exceptions for small businesses with less than 50 employees.

 

Payroll Credit Related to Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA

  • Employers that paid sick leave and FMLA due to COVID-19 will get payroll tax credit equal to the amounts paid to employees due to COVID-19 related sick leave and expanded family leave due to taking care of minor children.
  • The 100% reimbursement for the COVID-19 related paid leaves include
    • Salaries and wages
    • Health insurance costs
  • Employers can get the credits through
    • Retaining payroll taxes rather than remitting them to the IRS
    • If the amounts paid exceeds the payroll taxes required to remit to the IRS, file Form 7200 to get the remaining payments: click here
  • Effective day is April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020

What it means for businesses: get reimbursement for COVID-19 related payroll paid to employees.

 

CARES ACT: Payroll Holiday

  • Postponing employer’s social security tax and 50% of self employed tax
    • 50% can be postponed till December 2021
    • 50% can be postponed till December 2022
  • Deferral of payment is not available for employers that have debt forgiven under the Paycheck Protection Program.

What it means for business: defer payroll tax payment to increase cash flow.

 

CARES ACT: Payroll Retention Credit

  • Refundable tax credit for 50% of qualified wages made between March 13 to December 31 2020
  • Eligible employers are:
    • Carrying on trade or business in 2020
    • employers whose (i) operations were fully or partially suspended due to a COVID-19 related shut-down order, 
    • or (ii) gross receipts declined by more than 50% when compared to the same quarter in the prior year 
  • Cap at first $10K per employees including health benefits
  • Not available for those that have obtained the Paycheck Protection Program 
  • Wages paid under the expanded FMLA and sick leave due to COVID-19 need to be excluded.

What it means for businesses: for businesses that are impacted by COVID-19 but continue to pay their employees, you can get refundable credit up to $10K per employee paid. 

 

CARES ACT: NOL Carryback

  • NOL incurred in 2018, 2019, and 2020 can be carried back to 5 years
  • Amended returns are needed to claim the NOL carryback 
  • Suspend the 80% limitation on NOL for tax year 2018 to 2020

What it means for businesses: if you have net business losses in 2018 to 2020 and your business has business profits in the past years, you can file amended returns to use the NOL to offset past business profits and get a refund. 

 

Conclusion

As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, it’s important to stay informed of all the tax updates to help your business. Each update provides invaluable information and potential funding necessary for your business operations.

If you’re searching for qualified CPAs and trust partners in bookkeeping and taxes for your business, especially during these challenging times, please contact us here. We look forward to helping you navigate through these times.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and what it means for your business

April 3, 2020 in Covid-19

Recently, the US President signed into law the CARES Act. One program that is included as part of this stimulus initiative is called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It’s a program designed to help millions of small businesses and NPO’s (non-profit organizations) impacted by COVID-19.

At Accountrepreneur, our mission to provide you with the latest updates and resources to help you and your organization navigate through these times.

What is the Paycheck Protection Program?

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is designed to be a forgivable loan for small businesses and NPO with under 500 employees. The loan amount can be used to pay payroll, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest, and other business operation expenses. The loan payment can be deferred for 6 months at an interest rate of no more than 4%. The borrower does not need to have any collateral or be personally guaranteed the loan. The fee of the loans will be covered by the government.

How is the loan amount calculated?

The loan amount is calculated using 2.5 times the monthly average payroll expenses up to $100,000 per employee. The loan can provide up to 8 weeks of funding. In order for the loan amount to be forgiven, here are some requirements as stipulated by PPP:

The loan must be used for the following expenses with at least 75% of the expenses being payroll and employee’s benefits.

  • Payroll
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Mortgage Interest (does not apply to the principal)

When can I begin my loan application for PPP?

The loan application will be open on April 3rd, 2020 for all small businesses and sole proprietors, and April 10th, 2020 for independent contractors and self employed individuals. Applicants can apply and obtain the loan through any eligible SBA lender. For more information about the loan, please check the treasury website here.

How can we help you?

At Accountrepreneur, our mission has always been and will forever remain to help our customers succeed with their most challenging accounting and business problems.

We know that the havoc COVID-19 has placed on millions of businesses and families throughout the country will have ever-lasting impacts. We want you to know we are here to help you.

If you are looking for help with applying to the PPP and/or preparing all necessary documents with the loan application, please contact us at info@meeta4e.com. Our team is on standby.

If you also know other small businesses or NPOs that are impacted and may benefit from PPP to help them through this crisis, please feel free to share this with them.

Stay safe, stay positive. We will get through this together.

With much love,

The Accountrepreneur Team

What the Family First Coronavirus Response Act Means for Small Businesses

April 1, 2020 in Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic has affected all aspects of people’s lives. Across the nation, supply chains have been disrupted, businesses have ground to a halt, and millions of jobs hang in the balance. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law to respond to these circumstances. The FFCRA ensures that employees would have paid sick leave, extended family, or medical leave. These leave requirements must be related to specified COVID-19 reasons and apply from the date of effectivity through December 31, 2020.

This new law covers small employers—that is, businesses with 500 workers or fewer. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may be exempted if the viability of the business would be affected as a result. However, such employers must still file for the exemption.

Sick Leave Guidelines

For non-exempted businesses, they must provide employees with up to two weeks of paid sick time, limited to $511 per day or $5,110 in total if they were subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine order because of COVID-19. If the employee was advised by a health care professional to self-isolate due to the same virus, they may apply for a sick leave even if residing in an area without quarantine measures in place.

Employees who are caring for an individual under quarantine orders or for a child whose school or care center was placed under isolation measures may also apply for the leave. Both full- and part-time workers are covered in the FFCRA. 

Full-time employees are eligible for up to 80 hours of leave, while part-timers may receive the number of hours they render work in two weeks. Workers may also receive $200 a day or $2,000 in sum if they are caring for a quarantined family member or a child whose school was closed due to pandemic concerns.

If the leave is in relation to child care as stipulated, an employee can apply for up to 12 weeks of leave; that is, two weeks of paid sick leave followed by up to ten weeks of expanded family and medical leave. If applying under the child care provision, part-time employees are eligible for the number of hours they render work over 12 weeks.

Tax credits for small employers

Granting extended periods of paid sick leave to all affected employees might weigh heavily on the company’s resources. The FFCRA recognizes this and grants a payroll tax credit to small employers. Under this act, a small employer may be subsidized with 100 percent of qualified sick and family leave payments made from March 18 to December 31, 2020.

If the employer has excess credit, they can claim payment from the government to cover the excess. Keep in mind, though, that employers receiving credit under the Internal Revenue Code Section 45S can no longer claim this tax credit.

Furthermore, sick- and family-leave payments under the FFCRA are exempt from the federal payroll tax collected by Social Security on wages. Employers can also claim a credit for the 1.45 percent Medicare tax collected under the federal payroll tax.

Tax return filings

In addition to these, the federal income tax deadline of April 15 was deferred. Persons have until July 15, 2020 to file tax returns, without needing to submit extension requests. Trusts, estates and corporations that use the calendar year for filing taxes may also submit until July 15 without needing to apply for extensions. Any taxpayers whose deadline is anything other than April 15 has not been granted relief at the time of writing.

The tax relief does not apply to payroll, excise, estate, and gift taxes. Normal filing, payment, and deposit due dates apply for these. Information returns are also not included in the deferment. Meanwhile, taxpayers under section 965(h) installment payments due on April 15, 2020, may defer payments until July 15, 2020.

Conclusion

The COVID-19 situation is a rapidly changing one, requiring quick responses and actions. Though it is a time of uncertainty, measures like the FFCRA help put some sense of security in people’s lives. Moreover, it becomes even more important to keep neat transaction records during these turbulent times.

If you are seeking guidance on the current situation with regards to your books and taxes, get in touch with us today to see how we can help. We provide a complete accounting solution covering bookkeeping, taxes, and CFO services for simple, flat prices.