Wednesday 03/18/2020

COVID-19 Firm Communications

Stay updated with the latest information from Corrigan Krause regarding COVID-19.

April 1, 2020: CK Coronavirus Crisis Team

Introducing the CK Coronavirus Crisis Team

We are aware that business owners are facing many challenging issues right now. Maintaining strong cash flow is essential to the financial health of all businesses and due to the COVID-19 crisis, short-term cash flow has become a top concern for many of our clients. 
To better address the issues our clients are facing, Corrigan Krause has developed the Corrigan Krause Coronavirus Crisis Team (CKCCT). This team is equipped to answer your questions as it relates to the current COVID-19 crisis. 
To help you receive the information and timely answers you need, please reach out directly to our crisis team by sending an e-mail request to ckcrisisteam@corrigankrause.com. The team will be notified of your inquiry and will respond directly to you within 24 hours.
This new support team was established to address your specific coronavirus questions. These dedicated team members are hyper focused on coronavirus news and updates, and have thoroughly researched topics and legislation that impact our clients. Our team is focusing our efforts on the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs that are currently available. Your normal point of contact is still available to assist you as necessary but you can rely on our new experts to address these important COVID-19 specific questions.
 
In addition to introducing you to our new Crisis Team, we wanted to provide you with an update on the two major Small Business Administration (SBA) programs and The Family First Coronavirus Response Act:
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan – This loan provides relief to businesses who are experiencing economic issues during the crisis. Businesses can receive a loan up to $2 million over a 30 year period. Until funds run out, a $10,000 grant is attached to this program for those that apply. You can still receive the grant without being accepted for the loan. To be eligible for the grant, you need to submit an application on or after March 30thThat means any applications submitted before March 30th should be resubmitted. Applications can be submitted at https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
  • Paycheck Protection Program – This loan provides emergency working capital to allow your business to continue to operate during the current crisis. Businesses can receive forgivable loans up to $10 million in this program calculated based on payroll costs over the previous 12 months. The interest rate is 0.5% and has a term of 2 years. Loan proceeds can be forgiven if employers use the loan proceeds for qualifying costs. Banks are beginning to accept applications this Friday, April 3rd, and we encourage employers to reach out to their banks to obtain their application information as soon as possible. The CKCCT is here to assist and/or review your application calculations.  
  • The Family First Coronavirus Response Act This is effective today, April 1, 2020, offering new guidance as it relates to paid leave entitlements. The following poster from the DOL must be posted by employers in a conspicuous place and/or notify employees if working from home. 

March 27, 2020 Update: CARES Act

We want to thank you again for your patience and understanding during this time of uncertainty. Things are changing on a daily basis, but please trust that we are working hard to provide you with updated and accurate information as we receive it.

Filing Deadline Extensions: Federal, State and Local

On March 20, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the federal tax filing deadline extension to July 15. Today Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 197, officially extending the state income tax filing deadline to July 15 in alignment with the delayed federal deadline. The bill extends any of the state’s income tax filing and payment deadlines, and waives associated interest and penalties for taxpayers affected by the emergency. The municipal income tax due dates for individuals are tied to the state filing deadline, as such the cities’ deadlines are also extended.
We are strongly encouraging that our clients continue to file to allow for timely delivery of any expected refunds.

CARES Act

Today, President Trump officially signed into law the updated version of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act is the third round of federal government support in the wake of the coronavirus public health crisis.

Individual Provisions

The bill includes several items aimed at helping individuals, including direct cash for families, expanded unemployment benefits, and new rules for things like retirement contributions.
  • Recovery Rebates: The bill would provide a $1,200 refundable tax credit for individuals and $2,400 for joint taxpayers. Additionally, taxpayers with children will receive a flat $500 for each child. It will be based on the 2018 return unless the 2019 return has been filed. Amounts are reduced for higher income taxpayers and begin phasing out after a single taxpayer has $75,000 in adjusted gross income and $150,000 for joint filers.
  • Extra Unemployment Payments: The bill makes major changes to unemployment assistance, increasing the benefits and broadening who is eligible. The updated CARES Act includes an additional $600 per week payment to each recipient for up to four months, and extends Unemployment Insurance benefits to self-employed workers, independent contractors, and those with limited work history. The federal government will provide temporary full funding of the first week of regular unemployment for states with no waiting period and extend UI benefits for an additional 13 weeks through December 31, 2020 after state UI benefits end.
  • Early Withdrawal Penalty Waived: Waives the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty on retirement account distributions for taxpayers facing virus-related challenges. Withdrawn amounts are taxable over three years, but taxpayers can recontribute the withdrawn funds into their retirement accounts for three years without affecting retirement account caps. Eligible retirement accounts include individual retirement accounts (IRAs), 401Ks and other qualified trusts, certain deferred compensation plans, and qualified annuities. The bill also waives required minimum distribution rules for certain retirement plans in calendar year 2020.
  • Charitable Contributions: Creates a $300 partial above-the-line charitable contribution for filers taking the standard deduction and expands the limit on charitable contributions for itemizers.
  • Student Loans: Certain employer payments of student loans on behalf of employees are excluded from taxable income. Employers may contribute up to $5,250 annually toward student loans, and the payments would be excluded from an employee’s income both tax free and payroll tax free.  
  • Insurance coverage: The bill requires all private insurance plans to cover COVID-19 treatments and vaccine and makes all coronavirus tests free.
 

Business Provisions

Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees will be able to take advantage of emergency grants and a forgivable loan program for companies. The bill also encourages companies to keep employees on the payroll with changes to rules for expenses and deductions.
  • Payroll Tax Credit: Employers are eligible for a 50 percent refundable payroll tax credit on wages paid up to $10,000 during the crisis. The credit would be available to employers whose businesses were disrupted due to virus shutdowns and those that had a decrease in gross receipts of 50 percent or more when compared to the same quarter last year. The credit can be claimed for employees who are retained but not currently working due to the crisis for firms with more than 100 employees, and for all employee wages for firms with 100 or fewer employees. 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.
  • Delayed SS Payment: Employer-side Social Security payroll tax payments may be delayed until January 1, 2021, with 50 percent owed on December 31, 2021 and the other half owed on December 31, 2022. The Social Security Trust Fund will be backfilled by general revenue in the interim period.
  • Limit on $500,000 pass through business losses is suspended.
  • Business interest limit is now 50% adjustable taxable income instead of 30%.
  • Qualified leasehold improvement property is 15 years and eligible for bonus. 
  • Net operating loss carrybacks are allowed for 2018, 2019, and 2020 and can be carried back 5 years. 

Paycheck Protection SBA Program

  • Forgiveness for Small Business Loans for Keeping Employees: The bill creates a “paycheck protection program” for small employers, self-employed individuals, and “gig economy” workers, with $350 billion to help prevent workers from losing their jobs and small businesses from going under due to economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Paycheck Protection Program” would provide 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to small employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If the employer maintains payroll, the portion of the loans used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven.

Our Recommendations

There is a lot of information out there right now. Here’s what we recommend your next steps should be in order to take advantage of available relief and support:
  • We strongly encourage both individuals and businesses to continue to file their 2019 return as soon as possible.
  • Individuals who have been laid off due to COVID 19 should file for unemployment as soon as possible. Because of the high-volume of filings currently, you may experience difficulty when applying online. Try visiting the site during off hours, including early mornings or evenings.
  • For businesses, we strongly encourage you to reach out to your lenders now as we anticipate there will be significant demand for the forgivable SBA loans. In the event that you would like a referral to a local bank that will be supporting this program, please let us know and we are happy to provide an introduction.
We want to make sure our firm is supporting you to the best of our ability. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can provide any immediate assistance. You can also expect us to contact you during the weeks ahead to check in and provide you with information on additional new regulations and legislation that might apply to you and your business.

March 23, 2020 Update: Stay at Home Order

On Sunday, March 22, Governor Mike DeWine announced a Stay at Home Order issued by Amy Acton, MD, MPH, Director of the Ohio Department of Health. Although the order has identified Accounting Firms as essential businesses that can remain open during this time, we are taking aggressive measures to ensure the health and safety of our team, their families and our clients.
Effective 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, we will only accept client information and deliver tax returns and financials digitally or via U.S. Mail, FedEx or other professional delivery services. This means that after Tuesday, clients will not be able to pick up or drop off information or returns to any of our offices.
Our firm has the technology in place that allows us to continue to serve our clients virtually, and limit in-person interaction during this time of necessary social distancing.
  • Secure Client Portal: Our portal can be used to securely share or receive confidential information. You can login to the portal by clicking here. If you are unsure if you have a portal account or if you are having issues accessing your portal, please reach out to: PortalRequests@corrigankrause.com.
  • SafeSend Returns: This year, we introduced a new way for our clients to securely receive their tax return digitally and electronically sign their 8879. SafeSend Returns is designed to simplify the review of your tax return and expedite the required steps for electronic filing. Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, SafeSend Returns will be the default delivery method of all pending returns. If you prefer that your return is delivered via mail FedEx or our secure client portal, please let us know by emailing us at info@corrigankrause.com. For SafeSend Returns, look for an email from noreply@safesendreturns.com with a link to review your return and electronically sign your e-file authorization form (Form 8879).
The recent extension of the Federal filing deadline to July 15 has allowed us the flexibility to take the utmost precautions. This will also allow us to take into account all new and proposed legislation and ensure accuracy when processing clients’ tax returns, completing financial statements and performing advisory services. Taxpayers who are due a refund are still encouraged to file as soon as they can despite the extension so they can get their checks more timely.
Our employees will continue to work from home until further notice, however our team is still available by phone and email. We will have an extremely limited number of staff in the office to receive and route any incoming mail and assist with the processing of returns.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

March 20,2020 Update: Filing Deadline Extended

As we continue to monitor the Coronavirus pandemic, we are working hard to provide our clients and partner network with timely updates and advice.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced earlier today that the U.S. is extending the April 15 tax-filing deadline to July 15, giving people more time to prepare and pay their taxes during the coronavirus outbreak. Taxpayers who are due a refund are encouraged to continue to file despite the delay so they can get their checks more timely. The IRS recommends filing electronically and opting for direct deposit to get their refund quicker.
Additionally, no interest or penalties will be charged during this period. For those taxpayers that pay quarterly estimates, the April 15th first quarter estimate for 2020 has also been deferred until July 15, 2020. There has been no announcement on the 2nd quarter estimate that is due June 15th, 2020.
What does this mean for our clients?
  • For clients who have already sent us your information, we will continue to process your return in hopes that any refund will help during this time of uncertainty.
  • For clients who are able to send us your information virtually, please continue to do so and our team will process your return as soon as we can.
  • For clients who do not have the resources to send us your information virtually, we recommend at this time that you postpone your visit to our office and use U.S. mail or other means to deliver to our offices.
  • For clients who are concerned about their cash flow, paying their employees and making payments, reach out to us to discuss your options. We want to help.
Our employees will continue to work from home until further notice, however our team is still available by phone and email. We ask for your patience during this transition. We are doing the best we can and working diligently to complete all returns as timely as possible under the circumstances.
For individuals or businesses concerned about the impact of COVID-19, we’ve put together a list of resources to help:
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) – The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration, opening the opportunity to small businesses in Ohio access low-interest loans from the SBA. Although this is administered directly through the SBA, we recommend you notify your bank that you will be making an application with the SBA. You can apply online for all types of SBA disaster assistance loans.
  • Paid Leave: A package of coronavirus relief legislation that was signed into law Wednesday includes provisions for paid sick leave, family leave and medical leave, along with tax credits to help employers and the self-employed pay for them.
Please click here to see other recommendations and communications from our firm.
This is a tragedy affecting hundreds of thousands of people. As a company that is dedicated to serving a variety of small businesses throughout the region, these companies need our support now more than ever. Some ideas on how you can help:
  • Buy online – shop local
  • Buy a gift card 
  • Order takeout or delivery 
  • Take a virtual fitness class
  • Contribute to, or start, a GoFundMe campaign
  • Follow local businesses on social media and leave good reviews
Above all else, look out for one another. Check in with friends and family, stay informed and follow recommendations and guidelines.
If there’s anything we can do to help, let us know. 

March 17, 2020 Update: Financial Relief On The Way

As mentioned yesterday, Corrigan Krause is closely monitoring the Coronavirus pandemic and continually discussing our plan of action.
Over the past few days, we’ve received many calls and emails from concerned clients. As we continue to gather and receive information, we are doing our best to provide resources and communicate recommendations to our clients and partners.
Announced earlier today, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin had a press conference with President Trump and outlined the following as it relates to filing and the April 15th deadline:
  • They encourage taxpayers to file by April 15th if possible as most taxpayers will have refunds.
  • For individuals who owe up to $1,000,000 of tax, they can defer payment up to 90 days, interest and penalty free.
  • For corporations who owe up to $10,000,000 of tax, they can defer payment up to 90 days, interest and penalty free.
Additionally, they are working on a stimulus package to get American workers something (he referenced a payment) in the next two weeks.  We will continue to update you on this as we learn more.
We’ve also created the below list of recommendations and resources for businesses and business owners impacted by the current COVID-19 situation:
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) – The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Ohio is not yet a designated state but Governor DeWine has been working with state officials to finalize the required applications. Although this is administered directly through the SBA, we recommend you notify your bank prior to submitting an application with the SBA. You can apply online for all types of SBA disaster assistance loans. For more information regarding Disaster Loans, click here.
  • Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services: Unemployment Claims – As a business, if you have been directly impacted by Coronavirus or the business has slowed down or closed because of the Coronavirus, your employees can apply for Unemployment CompensationAn executive order issued by Governor DeWine expands flexibility for Ohioans to receive unemployment benefits during Ohio’s emergency declaration period. Unemployment benefits will be available for eligible individuals who are requested by a medical professional, local health authority, or employer to be isolated or quarantined as a consequence of COVID-19, even if they are not actually diagnosed with COVID-19. In addition, the waiting period for eligible Ohioans to receive unemployment benefits will be waived. For more information regarding Coronavirus and Unemployment Insurance Benefits, click here.
  • Bank Communications and Requests – We strongly recommend that you reach out to your banker for guidance on this situation or to request assistance. Be sure to ask about delaying payments, deferring interest, extending your lines of credit, reducing borrowing-base calculations or obtaining additional financing. Also, this may be a good time to request relief with your bank covenants, especially any required year-end reporting.
  • Vendor Communications – Be sure to communicate to all vendors, including landlords, equipment lessors, utilities, etc., to request an extension for any invoices due by 60-90 days from their original due date.
  • Cash Flows – Review your current situation and prepare a cash flow analysis for the next 90 days with the consideration that customers may be unable to pay their invoices due to your business and overall business will slow down. Review expenses that you can reduce or delay to preserve cash and line of credit availability.
  • Insurance Coverage – Check with your insurance company for any available claims, as well as to see if they will extend premium payments or adjust premiums for loss of business.
We are working hard to ensure that we can continue to advise and serve our clients the best that we can. As we continue to receive information, we promise to provide you with additional updates and continued advice. Again, our top priority is the health and safety of our team, our clients and our extended partner network.

March 16, 2020 Update

The Firm leaders at Corrigan Krause are closely monitoring the Coronavirus pandemic and continually discussing our plan of action for our firm.
The safety of our Team is #1. Beginning tomorrow, March 17, 2020, we are implementing a mandatory work from home policy for all of our staff through March 31, 2020. The seriousness of this situation has exploded over the past few days and it’s critical that we take all necessary precautions to protect our CK family and do our part to stop the spread of the virus.
As stated in our last communication, we are doing our best to keep business moving as smoothly as possible, and we encourage our clients and partners to continue to collaborate with us on a virtual basis. Please take advantage of the technologies that we currently have available, and avoid in-person meetings and contact when possible. At this time, we also ask for your patience as we continue to navigate this situation and address any obstacles. 

What does this mean for our employees?

  • All firm events will be cancelled through March 31, 2020.
  • All non-essential meetings will be postponed.
  • All meetings with clients/referrals/vendors will be done virtually with the use of technologies we have in place or postponed. 
  • All fieldwork will move forward virtually as possible or be postponed. 

What does this mean for our clients?

  • Until we hear otherwise, we are still operating with the April 15th deadline in mind. You can continue to send us your tax information via our secure client portal, mail or by fax. In return, we will continue to deliver completed returns through our secure client portal, by mail or by SafeSend Returns. If you have questions or concerns regarding how to submit your information or receive your return, please reach out to info@corrigankrause.com. 
  • Our employees will continue to be available by phone or email. 
In the meantime, we are receiving many questions from concerned clients. We are here to help you through it. We are working on a list of recommendations and resources for businesses and business owners impacted by the situation. Once we receive more guidance from the federal and state level, we will send out a comprehensive update. We anticipate this to be in the next day or two.

March 13, 2020 Update

As you know, this time of year is extremely busy for our firm. Many of our clients rely on us during tax season, and we are doing everything we can to deliver on our promises and continue to serve our clients and partners safely and effectively amid concerns of COVID-19.
We are monitoring the situation closely and taking necessary actions as we receive more information. The health and safety of our employees remains a top priority and is extremely important to us.
At this time, we are taking several precautions internally. We are continually disinfecting door handles, light switches, copy machines, etc. throughout our offices throughout the day, as well as working with our outsourced cleaning staff to augment our regular daily cleaning services on a more thorough basis. We have communicated the importance of healthy hand hygiene to our staff, and we are also actively encouraging sick employees to stay home and employees to work remotely when appropriate.
We have a variety of resources available at our firm that allow us to continue to effectively interact with our clients remotely. We encourage our clients at this time to take advantage of these technologies, and avoid in-person meetings and contact when possible.
  • Secure Client Portal: For our clients who need to submit or receive sensitive documents, please use our Secure Client Portal. We do not advise that you send us sensitive documents via email for security purposes. Should you have any issues with our portal, please reach out to: portalrequests@corrigankrause.com
  • SafeSend Returns: This year, we are utilizing a new way to securely receive your tax return digitally, as well as electronically sign your 8879. With this option, you no longer need to print, sign and scan your return. If you would like to receive your return via SafeSend Returns or if you have any questions, please reach out to: info@corrigankrause.com
  • AnyDesk: Our firm uses AnyDesk Remote Desktop Software to connect to a client’s computer remotely to hold meetings, share presentations or work on documents simultaneously.
  • Online Payment: You have the ability to pay your bill online by visiting the Make a Payment page on our website. 
All of these technologies provide easy ways to work with our team to complete your tax returns without ever having to step foot in our office. Please let us know if you have questions on any of these.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has also resulted in heighten phishing scams and increased cyber-security related fraud. Please be extra cautious with any emails that ask you to click on a link or open an attachment, and only provide sensitive information through our Secure Client Portal. Click here learn about more ways to protect yourself from coronavirus related scams.
Lastly, clients who are anticipating lasting impacts on their businesses because of COVID-19 can turn to us as your trusted advisor during this time of uncertainty. Please reach out so we can try to help.
For more information on how to protect yourself and your community, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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