COVID-19 UPDATE 4.11.2020
We hope you all are starting to navigate your way through this unprecedented time. As I’m sure you have heard by tuning into your local news station, Governor Scott has extended the stay at home order through May 15th. Our offices will continue to be closed through that date as we work remotely.
TAX RETURN STATUS
We are on track to complete or (gotten as far as we can with the information provided) all tax returns received by the original April 15th due date; if we received your information by March 15th as originally requested. We really didn’t think this was going to be possible, so we are happy about that. We still have a number of business owners that have not submitted personal information to complete their personal tax returns. Just because we have completed your business tax return, do not assume we have all the information we need. If you have not heard from us regarding your personal tax return, please send us those documents as soon as you can so that we can complete that process. You may need these returns for banking purposes in the near future.
REMINDER ON EXTENDED DUE DATES
Estimates originally due 4/15 and 6/15 – NOW DUE 7/15
Tax Returns originally due 4/15 and 5/15 – NOW DUE 7/15
Tax Return Payments originally due 4/15 – NOW DUE 7/15
HSA Contributions originally due 4/15 – NOW DUE 7/15
IRA Contributions originally due 4/15 – NOW DUE 7/15
We have also been able to keep up and honor our commitments to our monthly bookkeeping clients by delivering their financial statements within the month, however the date you receive them may be altered from prior history. We hope to get back to a more normal schedule and flow by July, when daycare can resume! That has been the most crippling factor in our office, juggling kids and work from home is not easy as I’m sure many of you are also experiencing! We also want to note that we will be giving priority to our monthly bookkeeping clients over those that only receive quarterly service.
AGA PAYMENTS & INVOICE CREDITS
As I mentioned in another email blast, payments can be made online on our webpage via credit card if you are unable to send a check. Www.agaaccounting.com.
You will see a reflection of credits for payrolls not processed and payroll taxes not processed in the month of April on your May invoices. The only way to do this accurately is to be a month in arrears. So you will see April credits in May, May credits in June, etc.
If you are unable to pay your invoice due to COVID-19, we ask that you notify us immediately so that we can suspend your services until you are able to resume payment. Accounts that carry balances beyond 30 days past due will be suspended until payment is made. Being a service profession, where the cost of employees directly correlates to client invoices, we cannot allocate resources to accounts that cannot remain current. We are happy to catch you up as time allows when you are in a better situation as most accounting matters are not urgent.
We wanted to reach out with the latest updates we had available on the various lending programs, tax credits and unemployment help. We’ll give a brief overview and point you in the direction of more detailed information, forms, etc.
As you can imagine the unemployment insurance system is being inundated with requests that they don’t have the staffing to process timely. They have made additional measures to try to combat this, but there will likely be a wait on your funds. They have implemented a new alphabetized system to address claimants beginning Monday April 12th. See Chart Below:
Claims are now open to the Self Employed, Single Member LLCs, Family Members of the Self Employed or Single Member LLCs and Partnerships. However, there is likely to be an even larger delay in those claims as they must develop the program to administer them and work out the kinks. You can and should submit your claim as soon as possible on the VDOL website and follow the prompts based on your business type. Please keep in mind this is all new to us as well, we don’t have the answers you are looking for in order to fill out the questionnaires, we haven’t been through it ourselves and the claims process of unemployment isn’t an accounting function, nor have we ever been apart of it for any clients or their employees. We deal with the employer and tax payment side as your accountant. It is up to you and your employees to read the handbooks, ask the questions of the department and fill out the forms. If there are specific documents you think we may have to assist you in answering questions accurately, please reach out; otherwise your questions should be directed at the department during the Clamant Assistance Line days and hours that apply to you.
The $600 per week Federal Unemployment Stimulus is in motion and you will receive it, although it may also be delayed as they are trying to work through administration. You don’t need to take any further action other than submitting your original claim and your weekly updates. This $600 will be distributed with our regular unemployment check and is in addition to your state benefits. Currently this extra funding goes through July 31, 2020. The first increased week would apply to claims submitted for week beginning March 29, 2020.
For more information on the claims process please visit www.labor.vermont.gov. They have put out some YouTube videos as well as detailed instructions and handbook.
The stimulus checks could start rolling out within the next week or so according to some of the professional organizations we belong to. The money will be automatically direct deposited into your account based on your earnings from 2019 first and if not filed, then 2018. They will use the direct deposit information that is on those returns as well. If they cannot deposit the money or you did not have info on that return a check will be mailed. A tool slated for release April 17th called “Get My Payment” should allow you to provide direct deposit information if the IRS does not already have it.
Eligibility for the full stimulus of $1200 per adult and $500 per dependent child is as follows:
Single and no children: Adjusted gross income below $75K
HOH and one child: Adjusted gross income below $112,500
Married and no children: Adjusted gross income below $150K
You can visit this website to get an idea of what your stimulus check will look like: https://smartasset.com/financial-advisor/coronavirus-stimulus-checks-how-much-will-you-get
YOU WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE if your AGI exceeds the amounts below (you will see a reduced benefit if you are somewhere in-between):
Single and no children: Adjusted gross income above $99K
HOH and one child: Adjusted gross income above $146,500
Married and no children: Adjusted gross income above $198K
THESE CHECKS WILL NOT BE TAXABLE IN 2020
For more information on the stimulus checks visit: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
SBA LOAN PROGRAMS
Many of you have begun to apply, have applied or have enlisted our help to apply for both the SBA Disaster Loan w/ Grant and Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPP). Unfortunately, this process is not going as smoothly as the government and media outlets indicated it might. The applications were fairly simple and didn’t ask for much information, however the sheer number of them that were submitted to both the SBA and private lending institutions has nearly brought the programs to a halt.
The PPP loan administered by banks, is going much smoother than the SBA process. The bankers finally received treasury instructions on how to process the loans and what the process will likely look like from start to finish last week. Many of you have received word that you were approved but now most of you are waiting on closing documents and a timeline on when you will see funds. If you are the lucky few you’ve already signed these documents and may have an insight into when this money will be released.
This loan is a two-part process. The initial granting of the funds based on 2019 information is part 1. The second part will come in a few months, when you submit documentation for loan forgiveness based on actual 2020 numbers. Try not to lose sight of part 2 or you’ll need to repay the entire loan and from what I’m seeing those loan repayment terms are quick. 2 years is what I’m hearing. 1% interest – which is great, but still repayment of any sizable loan in that time frame can be crippling.
The SBA Disaster Loan Program and Grant are virtually at a stand still from what I’m reading. The system has been overloaded to the point that they don’t have a clear path forward. The grants have not been issued within 3 days as they had originally promised and it is likely to be a while longer before you see any grant money, if you see any at all. The wording is also key – they said “UP TO $10K” – in many cases this is not resulting in business owners receiving a $10K grant. A division of the SBA in MA said they are only giving business’ $1000 per employee up to $10K. Very few people, and none of our clients that we know of, have heard a peep from the SBA on either closing documents on a loan with an amount or seen any grant money. This one is definitely a waiting game at this point, and you may want to make a plan B if this was what you were riding on.
PAID SICK LEAVE
The IRS has released an FAQ on the paid sick leave requirements and tax credits. See link here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-for-required-paid-leave-provided-by-small-and-midsize-businesses-faqs
This doesn’t apply to many of you at this point as you may have laid off your staff, but in the case you have not laid off your staff it may.
This paid sick leave law applies to all non essential business’ in Vermont right now as we are under a mandatory quarantine which is covered under this law. If you have not laid off your staff you would be required to pay them for 2 weeks and if they are parents of school age children, up to 12 weeks. There are corresponding tax credits to go with it, it reduce the burden on the employer.
If staff can work remotely, it would not apply to them unless they are quarantined by a doctor, they are or a close relative is sick with COVID-19 or they have school aged children.
As I mentioned above, we aren’t finding this applies to really any of our clients at this point, but please reach out if we process your payroll and you have concerns as to whether this applies to you.
EMPLOYER TAX CREDIT: EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT
This credit does not apply to the vast majority of you at this point, if you receive funds through a PPP, you are not entitled to this credit. If you have not gone through the PPP program or were denied, read the FAQ and contact us with questions. We may be able to help you take this credit as payroll tax payments become due throughout the coming months or at the time we complete your 2nd, 3rd or 4th Qtr payroll reports.
The credit, if eligible, allows for up to a $5,000 credit per employee against payroll taxes.
DELAYED PAYMENT OF PAYROLL TAXES:
Again, this option does not apply to the vast majority of you at this point. If you receive funds through a PPP, you are not entitled to the delayed payment. Also keep in mind this only applied to the 6.2% Employer Portion of Social Security – so the amount able to be deferred can be quite small in comparison to what you traditionally think of as your “payroll tax payments”.
We also want to remind clients that many if not all of the forgiveness available to you via your bank, student loans, landlords, government, etc. is not a forgiveness of your debts for a stated number of months. They may be waiving interest, delaying interest, waiving penalties, restructuring, etc. BUT THE MONEY IS STILL DUE. Your landlord will expect you get caught up on all the months you missed likely shortly after this is all over, same with the banks, student loans, etc. If you come out of this with loans, you will have a larger cash outlay on the other side than you did beforehand. With that being said, if you have the money to pay your bills with the unemployment you are receiving, grant money you are receiving, loan money you are receiving – please do so. It will prevent this situation from compounding and crippling you in the future. It will also help the economy rebound faster, small business’ and landlords to be less impacted and most of all help you stick to some sort of cash flow and budget normalcy. Often with stimulus money the urge can be to buy something you “want” verse paying off a debt that you “need” to or purchasing something you “need”. Don’t fall into that trap and pay for it down the road with your mental or financial health.
There are talks of a 4th COVID bill in the works flying across various media outlets. We will bring this information to you once it is law, as until then there is likely to be a lot of negotiations, wishful thinking and disagreements across party lines.
As we have been doing, we will post this information onto our website. We have restructured the website to have a COVID-19 page, rather than a long scroll through on the home page. A link to that page can be found on the homepage and there will be a tab along the top for COVID-19.
We too are sad that we cannot spend this Easter Sunday with our extended families, but we hope you all are able to make the best of it and enjoy some special time with your household family!
COVID-19 UPDATE 3.28.2020 PART 2
Some employer related updates were just sent to me from my tax organization – so I wanted to share them with you – I pulled these from the senate finance document.
“Section 2301. Employee retention credit for employers subject to closure due to COVID-19 The provision provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by employers to employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The credit is available to employers whose (1) operations were fully or partially suspended, due to a COVID-19-related shutdown order, or (2) gross receipts declined by more than 50 percent when compared to the same quarter in the prior year. The credit is based on qualified wages paid to the employee. For employers with greater than 100 full-time employees, qualified wages are wages paid to employees when they are not providing services due to the COVID-19-related circumstances described above. For eligible employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees, all employee wages qualify for the credit, whether the employer is open for business or subject to a shut-down order. The credit is provided for the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, paid to an eligible employee. The credit is provided for wages paid or incurred from March 13, 2020 through December 31, 2020.”
“Section 2302. Delay of payment of employer payroll taxes The provision allows employers and self-employed individuals to defer payment of the employer share of the Social Security tax they otherwise are responsible for paying to the federal government with respect to their employees. Employers generally are responsible for paying a 6.2-percent Social Security tax on employee wages. The provision requires that the deferred employment tax be paid over the following two years, with half of the amount required to be paid by December 31, 2021 and the other half by December 31, 2022. The Social Security Trust Funds will be held harmless under this provision.” IF YOU RECEIVE THE SBA LOAN THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY BACK – YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THIS PROVISION.
Please let us know if you want to take advantage of either one of these provisions asap!
COVID-19 UPDATE 3.28.2020
Many of you have found these updates helpful and we will continue to send them as we have information. We hope you are taking advantage of this information as well as doing your own research to keep your business’ and household’s afloat during this time. As we’ve mentioned previously, Amanda spends the better part of her day responding to requests for documents and answering individual questions in regard to client concerns. She is requesting, when possible, that you use the resources that have already been made available to you to gather your own documents or answer your own questions in order to free up time to get necessary work done and help clients with questions that have not been addressed in special situations.
AGA sends clients copies of everything that they prepare. You should already have copies of your W-2s, payroll reports, financial statements through the most recent month available, access to your own QuickBooks in many cases, payroll portals have been made available to every employee for W-2s and paystubs, the AGA portal has copies of your tax returns and these have also been emailed directly to you as they are completed. Most importantly theses emails have given vital information that can answer many of the questions you have had and will continue to have; as well as given resources for you to do your own research with the SBA, IRS and Department of Labor. You can also find news on the COVID-19 virus on television or internet at all hours of the day. With that being said, please reach out if you feel something has not been answered or you have a special situation, we are still here to help you through this, but are asking for some self-help in return.
Find below the latest information we have available. Previous updates can be found on our website at www.agaaccounting.com.
STIMULUS PAYMENTS TO INDIVIDUALS: Adults with an AGI of $75,000 or less ($150,000 if Married, $112,500 Head of Household) will be receiving $1200 for each adult and $500 for each dependent child in the household in the coming weeks. They will base this information off your 2019 return first, if that return is not available, they will look to your 2018 return. THERE IS JUST ONE PAYMENT. If will take future acts of congress to address future payments, if any. There will be a reduced amount given to individuals with an AGI up to $99,000 ($198,000 if Married). There will be other income limitations or increased phase outs based on number of children by the sounds. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING. The check will be coming direct deposit into your bank account. I presume by mail if you have not used direct deposit on the return that they reference. There will be statements mailed with the information pertaining to your payment. If you don’t receive it – you’ll have to follow the instructions on the notice. PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT US, WE CANNOT HELP YOU. The payment will not be taxable. There also will likely be a tax credit on the 2020 return allowing for a true up base on 2020 income.
UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS: Under the new legislation essentially everyone is included in the eligible category for unemployment. There are very few exceptions now and include those able to work from home (as long as they do not have childcare issues), those receiving sick or paid family leave and those that didn’t have a job to begin with. You will be entitled to your regular state weekly benefit plus an extra $600 weekly. The extra $600 is in effect through July 31st, but the additions of who is eligible likely will cover you for 39 weeks in most cases ending December 31, 2020. If you were already on unemployment you will receive the additional $600 per week as well. THIS MONEY IS TAXABLE. It could affect future eligibility for welfare programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, heating assistance, child care assistance and more.
SBA PAYCHECK PROTECTION LOANS: SBA will guarantee loans with terms up to 10 years and interest rates up to 4% in amounts up to $10 million. They will also offer loan payment deferment for 6-12 months. The loan may also be forgiven all together if EMPLOYERS KEEP EMPLOYEES AT NORMAL SALARIES FOR 8 WEEKS. Apply at www.sba.gov.
SBA INJURY DISASTER LOANS: SBA will guarantee loans up to $2 million with an interest rate of 3.75% for small business’ and 2.75% for non profits. Loan repayment may be deferred up to 4 years and length of the loan can be as long as 30 years. Apply at www.sba.gov.
SBA EMERGENCY GRANT: Possible Eligibility for a $10,000 grant offered by the SBA to cover employee sick leave, maintain payroll or pay bills such as rent. Apply at www.sba.gov.A grant is money that would not need to be repaid.
IRA CONTRIBUTIONS FOR 2020: Due date extended to 7/15/2020
HSA CONTRIBUTIONS FOR 2020: Due date extended to 7/15/2020
STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS: Federally backed loans have waived payments and interest until September 30th. This has happened automatically – you do not need to apply. You should see this reflected in your online payment systems if it applies to you in the coming weeks. If you do not have a federally backed loan you would need to reach out to those providers and see what programs they have in place.
RETIREMENT ACCOUNT REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTIONS: Required minimum distributions have been suspended for 2020. Means you do not have to take them if you want to give your account time to rebound in the market. If you can afford to do so – this is a very good idea.
RETIREMENT ACCOUNT WITHDRAWALS: There will be no 10% penalty imposed on early distribution from retirement accounts up to $100,000 in 2020. THESE FUNDS ARE STILL TAXABLE IF ORIGINALLY TAXABLE IN NATURE (TRADITIONAL IRAS, SIMPLE IRAS, 401Ks).
CHARITABLE DEDUCTIONS: There is a new $300 credit that will directly decrease your taxable income up to $300 in donations if you DO NOT ITEMIZE your deductions.
CREDIT REPORT RATINGS: There should be no affect on your credit rating for properly deferred payments during this time.
EVICTIONS WAIVED: you are not allowed to be evicted or be charged late fees for 120 days as long as your landlords mortgage is held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or other federal entities.
CHILD CARE IN VT: If you child attends a state registered daycare beginning April 6th you will be expected to by 50% of tuition to hold your spot, the state will pay the other 50% or un-enroll completely and the state will pay the center 100%, however you will not be guaranteed re-enrollment when things open again. State subsidies will continue to work as they always have and be provided. Providers will have to continue to pay their staff their full salaries. For essential workers still being provided with child care, it doesn’t appear anything has changed on the parental end, but the state is going to give more money to the centers that provide this care. There is a full article on VTDIGGER. https://vtdigger.org/2020/03/27/to-save-child-care-sector-during-crisis-vermont-promises-to-cover-tuition/
Stay healthy and safe! Most importantly abide by this stay home, stay safe order so that we can get back to normal soon!
COVID-19 EMAIL BLAST 3.26.2020
We hope you are hanging in there and have navigated the state wide stay at home order as it applies to you. We wanted to send out a few resources we have come across. By early next week I will send out an update on where the federal government has landed on their stimulus package.
A client sent us this link for a webinar about the SBA loans that may be worth attending: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2828954763587844877?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=85263281&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9GHyM9xkKwjR36NPaQP6KI960tw8a8bpzgg6GwOPBKyMy1xfUjGN72HpHH7FqoUQ9BSyCy-imYod31Acv01ukTuB9JjQ&_hsmi=85263281
Other Helpful Links:
One other notable frequently asked questions – “Do I need to do anything if I lay an employee off” – You don’t have to fill out any forms with the department of labor to lay someone off – the employee just fills out an application with the department. It would not be a bad idea to keep a record of some sort internally within your organization and you will likely receive forms from the department following someone putting in a claim that may or may not need to be returned to the department.
If you provide employee health insurance – this whole lay off thing gets tricky – contact me individually about that and we can devise a plan for your situation.
Stay Safe & Healthy!
COVID-19 UPDATE 3.24.2020
COVID-19 continues to spread at a rapid rate. In the Governors press release yesterday, he said it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when, the State of Vermont is issued a shelter in place order. We are setup to work from home and have been doing so since we closed our doors. We will continue to do so through the shelter in place order. As restrictions arise that effect how we currently work with a client to get bills paid, make deposits, etc.; we will be in contact with those clients directly to make alternative arrangements. Please see the most recent updates to information we have available that may affect you. We will be posting all of these updates on our website as well (www.agaaccounting.com).
We also want to take this time to mention a few other key points. If your income has not been affected and you can afford to do so, keep paying your bills and meeting your obligations. Our economy depends on it. Do not take this as a “get out of jail free card” – just because landlords may be willing to defer your rent, it is a DEFERMENT, not a forgiveness; and just because the banks may be willing to defer loan payments, they will not stop calculating interest. This also goes for student loans, car payments, credit card payments and more. Support your local business’ when you can by shopping their online stores, ordering curb side take out, order gift certificates for future services, and stick with your construction projects. Stay financially healthy, but don’t get greedy just because an opportunity may arise. Most importantly – do your part to stop the bleeding – practice social distancing, stay home if you can, wash your hands, only go to the doctor’s office or emergency room if you have to – the faster we can stop this epidemic, the faster we can all get back to work and bring our economy back.
MEALS & ROOMS TAX: Meals and Rooms Tax due March 25th and April 25th has been deferred without interest or penalty until further notice. For these two months you can pay late, when money is available, without financial harm. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU DO NOT OWE THE TAX! This is simply relief from interest and penalty.
SALES & USE TAX: Sales and Use Tax due March 25th and April 25th has been deferred without interest or penalty until further notice. For these two months you can pay late, when money is available, without financial harm. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU DO NOT OWE THE TAX! This is simply relief from interest and penalty.
VERMONT INCOME TAX FILING DEADLINE: Extended until July 15th – to align with the new Federal filing deadlines.
VERMONT HOMESTEAD FILING DEADLINE: Extended until July 15th – to align with the new Federal filing deadlines.
VERMONT 2019 TAX PAYMENTS & 1ST QTR ESTIMATES: Extended until July 15th – to align with the new Federal filing deadlines.
UNEMPLOYMENT: Vermont is currently working to pass legislation that will remove the charge on client accounts for those that file for unemployment during this time, so that rates are not affected into the future. However probably the most notable part of this legislation is that they are likely to extend benefits to those that have not previously qualified; sole proprietors and single member LLC’s – those that don’t pay into the system currently, will now possibly be able to get benefits. The Governor also hopes to increase the weekly maximum on benefits to put more money in the pockets of those in need.
FEDERAL COVID-19 ASSISTANCE – Congress is working on COVID-19 economic measures, however it is not going well, as various members of congress are trying to pass unrelated legislation along with it. We will update you once they have final information on what their economic stimulus plan is going to consist of.
PAYING AGA INVOICES – You can pay via credit card on our website at www.agaaccounting.com if you need to.
COVID-19 UPDATE 3.20.2020
As we all know from the numerous press conferences held by both the President and Governor, things are changing rapidly. They are trying to keep up with programs to help business’ and individuals survive this economic crisis. We wanted to reach out to you with some updated and some info we have received. We try to respond to all of your emails as quickly as possible, it is taking up most of our day, however we know you need answers, so please remain patient.
Office Closure: We are closed until further notice and working remotely to process through as much work as possible and be available to answer your questions and send you documents as needed. Governor Scott made it clear today that it is likely this is going to go on for some time and that a possible statewide shelter in place order could be coming down the pipeline.
Federal Tax Return Filing Deadline: Extended until July 15, 2020. We will still try to complete your returns as quickly as we can, but please be aware that the deadline has been extended. As long as we can get the information and documents from our clients, we should not need to file an extension for anyone given this extra time frame.
Federal Tax Payment Deadline: You will not have to make any Federal Tax Payments including both 2019 Balance Due’s and 1st Qtr Estimates until July 15, 2020. If we pay your taxes, we will not pay until these dates unless you specifically request it paid prior to that.
VT Tax Returns & Payments: As of now these deadlines have not been extended – however we assume they will be and there is supposed to be some press released on this today.
SBA Loans: Governor Scott has requested disaster relief funds from the SBA and these loans likely will become available. If you are a small business short on cash or predict you will be, you should visit SBA.Gov for more information and remember you can locate 2 years of both personal and business tax returns on our client portal. If you are having issues with the portal and need copies please email email@example.com and we can provide those to you.
Mortgage Payments & Credit Card payments: Many of the banks and credit card companies are allowing for modified loan agreements including no payments or interest only payments. Credit cards may be waiving fees and interest. You may need to reach out to those companies to try to preserve cashflow. If we pay your bills, please contact us immediately with any undated agreements so that we don’t proceed with normal payments.
Unemployment Insurance: The Governor mentioned today that the unemployment division and the legislature is working to freeze unemployment rates. This means that employees that file a claim will not be charged against your account and your rates will not be affected for future years. If you cannot cashflow your employees, you can lay them off and they can collect unemployment. Visit the unemployment website at labor.vermont.gov for more information. Employees can also file claims online as well. Reasons for needed to collect include mandatory quarantine for yourself or family member, lack of childcare or lack of work. If you are the owner of an S-Corporation, Multi Member LLC taxed as an S-Corporation or C-Corporation you also are entitled to unemployment benefits.
Paid Sick Leave for Employees: The VT paid sick leave laws still apply. If your employees have any accrued time for sick pay or if it is lumped into PTO and they have up to 40 hours available there – they are entitled to that pay. You as an employer are required to pay, unless you officially lay them off prior to the request. A NEW FEDERAL LAW was just signed requiring sick pay of up to 2 weeks, however the Governor has the option to exempt businesses with fewer than 50 employees. I have not yet seen this mentioned. Here is what you need to know about the new paid sick leave law.
Who is eligible?
- Have, need to be diagnosed or are quarantined for coronavirus
- If you are caring for an impacted family member
- If you are caring for children
- Must have been employed for 30 days
How Much Time?
- 2 Weeks for the virus related issues
- 12 Weeks for child care
How Much Can be Paid?
- Sick & Seeking a diagnosis – $511 per day (not to exceed your regular wage rate)
- Caring for a family member – $200 per day (not to exceed your regular wage rate)
- Caring for children – $200 per day (not to exceed your regular wage rate)
How Do Employers Pay?
- You pay employee’s like you normally would for any PTO
- We then reduce your payroll tax payments for that week or month to offset the cost for immediate cashflow relief
We are requesting that all employers who lay people off or plan to pay any sick leave PLEASE LET US KNOW. This way we know how to fill out the unemployment questionnaires when they come and we can properly handle the sick pay and payroll taxes.
As always we hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy! Please also practice all the safe measures the government and health officials are recommending so we can stop this economic bleed and emotional turmoil for many as soon as possible!
COVID-19 UPDATE 3.16.2020
As the state and country continues to curb efforts of spreading COVID-19 to the mass’, we are doing our part by taking the following actions. Our staff will be working remotely to both limit human interaction, as well as, provide for children who are not able to attend school or daycare. This may cause a delay in our email response times and also means we are prioritizing essential work, such as accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll. We are limiting receipt of tax documents to remote options only such as email or portal upload. If you need to mail your tax documents please do so after April 15, 2020, call or email to let us know you are still planning to have us complete your return and we will put you on extension. Our offices are closed to the public through at least April 6, 2020.
Bookkeeping Client – Things to Know
We plan to keep making your deposits, paying your bills and processing your payroll as we are able. There is still so much uncertainty as to what is all going to transpire. It is possible banking and postal services will shut down making it impossible to make these transactions. It is also possible that clients will be delayed in paying you, so you won’t have the cash to pay bills or make payroll. We anticipate many, if not all, establishments will forgive interest or penalties during this time and we intend to make sure that happens as much as possible, but if you do not have cash reserves it may be a good time to attempt to be proactive. Contact your banks for lines of credit or the Small Business Administration is currently issuing loans as well. You may consider laying off staff so that they can draw unemployment if they will be out of work and you won’t have funds to float them during any period of nonoperation.
We will continue to issue financial statements as we have time to do so, but essential functions are our priority as staff hours are limited due to child care issues, luckily we are able to work remotely, but this still comes with its share of difficulties when it comes to the family care situations.
Most importantly keep the lines of communication open with us – if you don’t want payroll run, need modifications to payroll made, want to hold off on certain bills, etc., we need to know as soon as you know in order to keep things operating smoothly and in line with your wishes.
Tax Clients – Things to Know
The most important thing for you to know is that even if we have your information there may be an even further delay in its processing. We unfortunately have to put our bookkeeping clients first and maintaining their essential functions. Tax returns have the ability to be extended and because of this, have to be a second priority.
If we already have your documents, we are doing everything we can to get those returns out to you as quickly as possible. There already have been significant delays due to the newborn office babies and needing to put our focus on the corporate deadline, and we apologize for that. The corporate deadline has come and gone, and we are now able to put more of our focus on individual returns, so our hope is that we can get those back to you soon. We must say however, it is possible you too will have to go on extension, especially those that have come in the last couple of weeks.
If we have not seen documents from you yet, we are only accepting them via electronic forms. There is also a high likelihood that you will be put on extension. If you must send your documents via paper we are asking that those not arrive until after April 15, 2020. We have a wide age range and health conditions of our clients and we do not want to transmit this virus via paper from one household to another. Please call or email us if you still intend on having us file your return so that we are aware you need an extension filed.
All fees for late submission traditionally imposed by AGA, LLC will be waived.
We sincerely apologize for all the inconvenience that not only the timing of the new family members has hindered this filing season and our response time to our bookkeeping clients, but then to now have it compounded by all the precautions around COVID-19, makes for a frustrating few months for both our office and our clients. We thank you for your patience as the country as a whole works through this and we hope you and your families stay safe and healthy.
If you have individual questions or concerns, please contact us by email if possible. Phone response will likely be much slower.