Month: April 2020

Ask Bob: SBA COVID-19 Loans and Grants — April 9 Update

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended all aspects of life around the world, including the world of business here in the U.S.

If your business is struggling, you may be able to get some help from the federal Small Business Administration (SBA), which is authorized to provide loans to small businesses on an as-needed basis.

There are two types of relief you can apply for—read on.

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Relief for Other Coronavirus-related Tax Issues

Relief for taxpayers facing the challenges of COVID-19-related tax issues is now available through the IRS People First initiative. The projected start date will be April 1 and the effort will initially run through July 15, 2020. During this period, to the maximum extent possible, in-person contact will be avoided; however, the IRS will continue to take steps where necessary to protect all applicable statutes of limitations.

Some of the highlights affecting taxpayers include:

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Watch Out for Coronavirus-related Scams

Taxpayers should be on the lookout for calls and email phishing attempts regarding the Coronavirus, or COVID-19 that could lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft. Because criminals take every opportunity to perpetrate a fraud on unsuspecting victims during times of need, taxpayers should also be skeptical about text messages received and websites and social media attempts to request money or personal information.

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The Tax-Smart Way to Loan Money to Friends & Family

Offering to lend money to cash-strapped friends or family members during tough economic times is a kind and generous offer, but before you hand over the cash, you need to plan ahead to avoid tax complications for yourself down the road.

Take a look at this example: Let’s say you decide to loan $5,000 to your daughter who’s been out of work for over a year and is having difficulty keeping up with the mortgage payments on her condo. While you may be tempted to charge an interest rate of zero percent, you should resist the temptation.

Here’s why:

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Tax-exempt Organizations e-filing requirements & Forms

The Taxpayer First Act enacted July 1, 2019, requires tax-exempt organizations to electronically file information returns and related forms. Those that previously filed paper forms will receive a letter from the IRS informing them of the change.

The new law affects tax-exempt organizations in tax years beginning after July 1, 2019, and applies to the following IRS forms (filing deadlines vary by form type):

  • Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.
  • Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947(a)(1) Trust Treated as Private Foundation.
  • Form 8872, Political Organization Report of Contributions and Expenditures.
  • Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income (if filed by a Section 501(d) apostolic organization).

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Tax Breaks Help Small and Medium-sized Employers

Small and medium-sized employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act), signed into law on March 18, 2020.

Subsequent legislation, the CARES Act, includes a provision that delays payment of employer payroll taxes due in 2020 with half due December 31, 2021 and the rest due December 31, 2022.These same dates and amounts apply to tax owed by self-employed individuals as well with 50 percent due December 31, 2021 and the remaining amount not due until December 31, 2022.

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Five Tips to Protect Against Identity Theft

Tax-related ID theft occurs when someone uses a taxpayer’s stolen personal information to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. Thieves then use personal information like a stolen Social Security number. While the accounting profession and IRS work hard to prevent identity theft, taxpayers also play an important role.

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