Join us for a complimentary Community Q&A Webinar on The Coronavirus Stimulus Package: Tax Relief for Individuals and Small Businesses to be held on Friday, April 3, 2020, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm.

Lindsey Sablan (WINK News Journalist and Morning Anchor) will moderate the discussion with panelists Shanthy Bala, Esq., (Tax Clinic Director for Florida Rural Legal Services) and Sara Qureshi, Esq., LL.M. (Business & Tax Attorney at Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.).


Continue Reading COVID-19 Community Q&A Webinar: The Coronavirus Stimulus Package: Tax Relief for Individuals and Small Businesses

Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order No. 20-91 (which the Governor amended later the same day for clarification). Section 1.B of Executive Order 20-91 provides “all persons in Florida shall limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.”

What are essential services?

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to describe in general terms what an “essential service” is. Of course, if you own a business, you consider your business’s service or product essential, otherwise you wouldn’t be in business to begin with! Personal feelings aside, however, it’s important to understand how the State of Florida defines “essential services.”


Continue Reading COVID-19: What are Essential Services?

June 4 Update

House Bill H.R. 7010 passed the Senate and is now on its way to the President to sign. In addition to amendments relating to the PPP loan program, the bill provides that the deferral of employment taxes is now available even for taxpayers who have PPP loans that re forgiven under the CARES Act. This will allow taxpayers who obtain PPP loans and intend to apply for loan forgiveness to also defer the applicable employment taxes.

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According to the SBA’s website for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP):

  1. Applications may be open as early as April 3rd,and lenders may be able to approve the applications the same day;
  2. The unforgiven portion of any PPP loan will have a maturity of 2 years and a 1.0% interest rate; and,
  3. The SBA is imposing  another loan  forgiveness condition – “due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll”.


Continue Reading CARES Act Payroll Protection Program Update: SBA Issues Some Guidance and Sample Application

June 4 Update

House Bill H.R. 7010 passed the Senate and is now on its way to the President to sign. In addition to amendments relating to the PPP loan program, the bill provides that the deferral of employment taxes is now available even for taxpayers who have PPP loans that re forgiven under the CARES Act. This will allow taxpayers who obtain PPP loans and intend to apply for loan forgiveness to also defer the applicable employment taxes.

April 30, 2020 Update

The IRS has issued Notice 2020-32, which provides further guidance on some certain tax consequences associated with PPP loans. In particular, the IRS has confirmed that expenses paid with PPP loans will not be deductible to the extent attributable to the portion of the loan forgiven.

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On March 27, 2020, the federal government enacted the CARES Act. The Act includes a $349 billion dollar stimulus package available to small businesses in the form of a Small Business Administration 7(a) loan, known as a Paycheck Protection Program Loan. The loan is forgivable, and amounts to grant, if certain conditions are met. Below is a summary of the Paycheck Protection Program Loan terms and conditions along with a summary of a few other loan related provisions in the Act.

1.      Paycheck Protection Program Loan under 7(a) (NOTE: use of this loan may preclude eligibility for tax credits and payroll tax deferral under CARES Act)


Continue Reading COVID-19: Understanding the SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan under the CARES Act

The Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, along with the Florida Department of Revenue, have extended deadlines for certain entity and tax filings, including payment requirements, including the following:

  1. Annual report filings for entities registered with the state of Florida has been extended to June 30, 2020 (normal deadline is May 1st).
  2. Property taxes for 2019 payment deadline has been extended to April 15, 2020 (normal deadline is March 31st).
  3. For sales and use tax, as well as other related tax returns and payments:
    • Taxpayers who were unable to meet the March 20th due date for taxes collected in February will have penalty and interest waived, if the taxes are reported and remitted by March 31, 2020.
    • Taxpayers who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 have an extended due date to April 30, 2020 for such taxes collected in March.
    • Taxpayers who have not been adversely affected by COVID-19 are required to continue to file and remit taxes no later than the normal due date of April 20, 2020.
    • An adversely affected taxpayer is defined as a business that:
      1. closed in March 2020 in compliance with a state or local governmental order and following the closure, had no taxable sales transactions as a result of such closure; or
      2. experienced sales tax collections in March 2020 that were less than 75% of March 2019 sales tax collections; or
      3. was established after March 2019; or
      4. is registered to file quarterly.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you should have any questions regarding the above.

#FlattenTheCurve


Continue Reading COVID-19: Florida Extends Deadline for Certain Entity and Tax Filings

COVID-19 has disrupted businesses and has wrought havoc with timelines and deadlines. Likely, it will continue to do so. Many government agencies, such as the IRS as we reported here, are reacting to COVID-19 by extending deadlines. For those with intellectual property-related deadlines in the near term, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has recently made some policy changes in response to COVID-19.

Remote Appearances

While work goes on inside the USPTO, the building is closed to the public and any in-person business.  All previously scheduled meetings or hearings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) or Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) are to take place by video or teleconference.

Deadlines

With regard to deadlines to respond to USPTO actions, inquiries or other deadlines, those are set by statute and rule and the failure to timely respond to a deadline results in an abandonment of the underlying trademark or patent application or registration.


Continue Reading COVID-19 Impact on USPTO Deadlines

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced on March 25, 2020, an extensive series of steps to help taxpayers on a number of issues, including easing payment guidelines and postponing compliance actions, through the enactment of the People First Initiative.

People First Initiative

The People First Initiative is designed to help people facing uncertainty over taxes and is expected to take effect April 1 and run through July 15. Below are some of the notable aspects (for the complete list, click here):
Continue Reading COVID-19: IRS unveils the new “People First Initiative”

March 28 Update

Please note that the original post has been updated in its entirety to provide a more comprehensive and final review of the CARES Act tax-related provisions. 

On March 25, the Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion stimulus package to help individuals, states and businesses devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act” or the “Act”), and later that day, the President signed it into law.

Below are some of the notable tax-related impacts the CARES Act will provide:
Continue Reading The Impact of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act

As COVID-19 spreads, many businesses, Henderson Franklin among them, have instituted remote work programs voluntarily or in response to state or local “shelter in place” orders. With the idea of continuing business as usual, companies have provided employees with hardware and software to gain remote access to networks or have allowed employees to use their own computers and devices to access the company network so they can seamlessly continue working. While these policies certainly help limit employee exposure to COVID-19, they can inadvertently increase a business’ exposure to theft of intellectual property, specifically trade secrets.

Trade Secrets


Continue Reading COVID-19: Trade Secrets and the Remote Workforce

On March 24, 2020, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued the first guidance related to the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It answered a few questions of general interest, but a lot of questions that relate to small businesses (by that, I’m talking about businesses with under 50 employees) are still up in the air. The DOL further indicated that we should not hold our breath for any regulations before the enactment date. Instead, regulations are promised sometime in April.

New effective date

The biggest surprise was the DOL announcing that the law is now going to become effective on April 1 rather than April 2. Taking advantage of some flexible language in the Act, the DOL obviously decided that it made the most sense to make a pay-related law effective on the first day of most employers’ pay periods, rather than on the second day, which was likely to create payroll nightmares. So, April 1 it is.

Benefits are not retroactive


Continue Reading DOL’s Initial Families First Guidance Throws Some Curveballs; Effective Date Now April 1