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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The Internal Revenue Service announced further tax relief for individuals, trusts, estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers.

Individuals and Businesses Extensions

Penalties and interest have been waived for every U.S. taxpayer, including those living and working abroad, who wish to wait until July 15, 2020 to file their 2019 federal tax return and/or pay any taxes owed. Should an individual need an extension beyond the July 15 deadline, they must file Form 4868.

A business who needs an extension must file Form 7004. Granted extensions will allow individuals and business owners until October 15, 2020 to file. This extension will not extend the July 15 deadline to pay taxes owed. Taxpayers requesting the October extension should estimate their tax liability and pay in full by July 15 to avoid accumulating interest and penalties.

Estimated Tax Payment and Unclaimed Refunds

Continue Reading COVID-I9: IRS Extends More Tax Deadlines and Provides CARES Act Guidance

It has long been settled that mistreatment based prohibited characteristics (such as race or sex) is actionable under Title VII even without a tangible employment action – e.g., termination, demotion, or pay cut. These are often referred to as hostile-environment claims. A hostile-environment claim under Title VII requires evidence of mistreatment that is sufficiently severe or persuasive that it can be said to alter the terms or conditions of employment. This measure is meant to draw a dividing line between trivial slights and substantial discrimination.

Nearly a decade ago, the Supreme Court clarified that mistreatment based on retaliation for protected conduct is likewise actionable under Title VII without a tangible employment action. However, the test is different. A retaliatory-hostile-environment claim is actionable when the mistreatment “well might have dissuaded a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.” Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White, 548 U.S. 53, 57 (2006).

Accordingly, when dealing with hostile environment caused by retaliation, the court must ask if the mistreatment would have dissuaded a reasonable worker from making a claim of discrimination. When confronted with a hostile-environment-claim stemming from race or sex, the court must ask if the mistreatment was sufficiently severe or persuasive to alter the conditions employment.

Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit Clarifies Standard for Retaliation Under Title VII

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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Following up on my post earlier this week regarding the CARES Act Payroll Protection Program Update: SBA Issues Some Guidance and Sample Application, the Final Rule has been issued and may be found here.

A summary of the highlights include: Continue Reading COVID-19: SBA Issues Payroll Protection Program Loan Interim Rule Effective April 2, 2020

Unfortunately, with good news of the stimulus package, also comes the bad news of an increase in calls and e-mail phishing scams, leading to tax-related fraud and identity theft. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig shared:

We urge people to take extra care during this period. The IRS isn’t going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster….That also applies to surprise emails that appear to be coming from the IRS. Remember, don’t open them or click on [the] attachments or links. Go to IRS.gov for the most up-to-date information.”

The IRS will never contact taxpayers requesting money or personal information, in a text message or through social media. Official IRS information about the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impact payments can be found on the Coronavirus Tax Relief page on IRS.gov website.

How will I get my money?

Continue Reading COVID-19: IRS Warns of Stimulus Scammers

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