COVID-19 Response Center

Freed Maxick's commitment to you during the COVID-19 crisis.


As we are in the midst of a global pandemic, be assured that the health and well-being of our clients, team members, colleagues and their families are of utmost importance to us. As we are keenly aware of the acute challenges businesses and employers are facing in connection with the coronavirus outbreak, we have formed dedicated internal teams and resources to focus on the following areas:

  • Small business cash flow needs, including integration of the various Small Business Administration loan programs in the CARES Act with federal and state tax deferral programs;
  • Employer and employment needs, including integration with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act;
  • Individual needs, including individual rebates and retirement plan relief; and
  • Specialized industry response related to: Agribusiness, Healthcare, Non-profit, Real estate, Financial institutions, Manufacturing, wholesale, and distribution

This legislation is complex, evolving and will unfold over the next several weeks and months, but we are working constantly to be a resource for our clients and communities in this time of need to provide clear and concise guidance. Please reach out to your Freed Maxick engagement leader for more information and stay tuned for updates to this resource center. Contact us to discuss planning ideas applicable to your situation.

To learn more about how Freed Maxick is currently operating, click here for our remote workforce communication.

Latest COVID-19 News

American Rescue Plan: $8.5B COVID-19 Funding Relief for Rural and Other Qualified Healthcare Providers

The American Rescue Plan provides $8.5B of relief for rural hospitals, nursing homes, home care, physicians and certain other qualifying healthcare providers. The existing guidance is limited but suggests there…

Healthcare Funding Relief

The American Rescue Plan provides $8.5B of relief for rural hospitals, nursing homes, home care, physicians and certain other qualifying healthcare providers. The existing guidance is limited but suggests there will be funding available to further support facilities who have existing COVID-19 related short falls due to either or both lost revenues and COVID-19 related expenses.

The guidance suggests there will be an application process. However, due to the limited funding involved and the expectation that requests will be larger than the allotted funding, it is imperative the providers adequately capture ALL COVID-19 related lost revenues and additional expenses. Many providers are at risk of missing their fair share of such funding due to lack of knowledge/insight and/or inherent resource limitations (bandwidth, technical, etc.).

If you have any questions or need additional guidance, Freed Maxick Healthcare can help. Please contact David Brooks, david.brooks@freedmaxick.com or Susan Watkins, susan.watkins@freedmaxick.com or call us at 716.847.2651. For additional information, download our whitepaper below.

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University Endowment Investment Strategy | Freed Maxick

Nine Tactics for Hanging on to Your Endowment The coronavirus has created a “perfect storm” of financial challenges across higher education – a witch’s brew of dealing with uncertainty in…

Institutional Endowment

Nine Tactics for Hanging on to Your Endowment

The coronavirus has created a “perfect storm” of financial challenges across higher education – a witch’s brew of dealing with uncertainty in college enrollments, affordability of current and rising tuition costs, and institutional expenses that constantly need pruning. Many university and college presidents and their executive team members are wrestling with how to keep their institutions financially solvent, including tapping into the Institution’s endowment funds by increasing the spending rate or extracting an emergency distribution. But is tapping endowment funds the best possible option to deal with these financial crises? 

Many Institutions Tapped Their Endowments to Cover Expenses During Fiscal Year 2020

In 2020, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and financial services insurance company (TIAA) teamed up on the NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments 2020. The study revealed that many institutions tapped their endowments further to cover expenses to support their students and their mission during fiscal year 2020 – a $23.3 billion impact representing an increase of 4% from fiscal year 2019. Seven out of ten institutions reported that their spending was up by an average of $3.3 million from fiscal 2019.

Endowment Spending

Gift giving to an institution is a very important aspect of supporting its mission, generating cashflow and a main contributor of lowering its tuition dependency. However, with the shift in mindset to preserving operations during the COVID crisis, many schools are now bolstering their annual fund campaigns (often receiving unrestricted support) as opposed to fueling their endowments, which is a more longer-term strategy.

Endowment Spending 2

Institutions still need to pay attention to the spending restrictions of incoming donor contributions. This means maintaining accurate financial records and documentation of original gifts and keeping the donor’s wishes in mind when creating appropriations. 

Asset Allocations Vary by Size of Endowment

The NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments 2020 also reported asset allocations among the responded institutions according to the size of their endowment. Smaller endowments had the most invested in Public U.S. equities and fixed income, while larger institutions with more vast and mature endowments held greater weight in Public non-U.S. Equities and alternative investments.

“The one-year performance figure reflects the reality that few market sectors were immune to the steep downturn in early 2020 and most markets had not fully recovered by the time the fiscal year ended on June 30,” said Doug Chittenden, Executive Vice President and Head of Institutional Relationships, TIAA. “But going forward, if returns continue to fall short, endowments will need to consider all their possible levers for meeting their targeted return rate,” he said. “An endowment can consider adopting more risk and exploring changes in portfolio construction.”

Asset Allocations

Institutional Endowment Management and Best Practices During COVID

With increased endowment spending and uncertainty in financial markets, consider the following action steps your institution can take today to exercise their fiduciary control over its endowment:

  • Periodic rebalancing of your endowment portfolio along with an in-depth review of its asset classifications. Also consider establishing investment ranges of each asset class instead of set percentages.
  • Consider updating your Investment Policy along with periodic refreshes
  • Conduct periodic benchmarking metrics on fund performance 
  • Conduct an in-depth review of your endowment fees, both advisory and investment brokerage
    • Often times you may be paying for services you are not receiving the full benefit from – take an inventory and develop a plan to utilize all services that are being offered by your current investment advisor
  • Encourage other committees to participate in investment discussions outside of your Investment Committee; IE – Finance, Governance, Full Board of Trustees.
  • Inform prospective donors about recent tax legislations to aid with charitable contributions that could provide a valuable tax benefit
  • Consider embarking on a request for proposal (RFP) over management of your endowment.  This is considered a best practice, but is a time-intensive process involving interviews, evaluations and reconfiguring investment platforms, oftentimes the benefits will outweigh the upfront personnel cost. 
  • Challenge your current investment advisor and include in future RFP’s to participate in non-advisory services to support key institutional initiatives:
    • college career days;
    • internship programs for students;
    • financial wellness and debt management seminars;
    • sponsorship opportunities in connection with major fundraising initiatives;
    • institutional advancement support for soliciting donors and
    • recommendations for up to date gift vehicles
  • Conducting research on your inventory of donor restrictions within the portfolio; 
    • This will identify spending shortfalls due to excessive donor restrictions.  A simple dialogue between the donor could lead to modification and/or removal of their restriction.

Connect with Freed Maxick’s Higher Education Team

If you have any concerns or issues about university endowment investment strategy, please do not hesitate to connect with me and higher education team at 716.336.7067. Let’s schedule a complementary discussion to explore issues, opportunities, and solutions for maintaining your fund as we emerge from the COVID-19 battleground.

Resources and References

For more information on NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments 2020, please visit: https://www.nacubo.org/Research/2020/NACUBO-TIAA-Study-of-Endowments

https://www.nacubo.org/Research/2020/COVID-19%20Research/Q1%202020%20Endowment%20Survey

https://www.nacubo.org/Press-Releases/2021/Higher-Education-Endowments-Provide-More-Than-23-Billion-to-Support-Students-Mission

CFPB Rescinds COVID Regulatory Relief Policy Statements

Effective today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rescinded regulatory relief that was granted March through June 2020 mostly around consumer compliance and reporting requirements. Many of the flexibilities were…

CFBP-1

Effective today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rescinded regulatory relief that was granted March through June 2020 mostly around consumer compliance and reporting requirements. Many of the flexibilities were signed into law as a result of the CARES Act.

The first, is the overall flexibility provided surrounding enforcement actions where regulators were allowed to consider regulated entities unique circumstances regarding the effects of the pandemic (staffing / resource constraints) and provide latitude in enforcement given good faith efforts “demonstrably designed” to assist consumers.

The rescission also withdraws the CFPB as a signatory to the Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting for Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus (April 7, 2020) and the Interagency Statement on Appraisals and Evaluations for Real Estate Related Financial Transactions Affected by the Coronavirus (April 14, 2020). This means these flexibilities are now over.

The rescission also:

  • instructs all institutions that are required to file HMDA data to do so beginning with their first quarter data, which is due May 31, 2021;
  • provides guidance as to how entities should now meet the specified information collections requirements relating to credit card and prepaid accounts;
  • leaves intact provisions surrounding furnishers of consumer information. You are still expected to provide reporting consistent with payment relief measures taken on forbearance.
  • Includes a statement on enforcement practices regarding billing error disputes under Reg Z.

Lastly, Bulletin 2018-01 has been replaced by Bulletin 2021-01 - Changes to Types of Supervisory Communications.

Basically, the bureau will use Matters Requiring Attention (MRA) communications with or without a related supervisory finding that a supervised entity has violated a Federal consumer financial law. They will no longer use Supervisory Recommendations (SRs) as a communication device.

To learn more about our Risk Advisory Services group, contact Bruce Rumbold at bruce.rumbold@freedmaxick.com and we would be happy to assist.

The American Rescue Plan Extends Relief Through 2021 | Freed Maxick

President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) on March 11, 2021. The ARP provides relief funding to families and individuals, state and local governments,…

American Rescue Plan 2021

President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) on March 11, 2021. The ARP provides relief funding to families and individuals, state and local governments, businesses and tax-exempt organizations. Many of its key tax provisions will be available only for the 2021 tax year. Some notable benefits for individual taxpayers and businesses include the following:

Assistance to Families and Individuals

Third Round of Stimulus Payments

The U.S. Treasury began making stimulus payments of $1,400 in mid-March to eligible individuals as refundable tax credits that will be calculated on their 2021 income tax returns. The stimulus payment is based on the taxpayer’s 2019 return, though the 2020 filing may be used if it has been processed by the IRS. Eligible taxpayers include:

  • Individuals earning up to $75,000
  • Single parents earning up to $112,500
  • Couples earning up to $150,000
An additional $1,400 is allowed for any dependent of the taxpayer, including adult dependents. Prior stimulus checks limited additional payments/credits to children under the age of 17.

The thresholds for the payment/credit decreases for taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is between certain parameters:

  • Single taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is between $75,000 and $80,000
  • Joint filing taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is between $150,000 and $160,000

Because relief is geared to those most in need, taxpayers with adjusted gross income above the upper thresholds are not eligible for the payment/credit.

Child Tax Credit

To assist low-income and middle-income taxpayers, the $2,000 Child Tax Credit has been modified for 2021 only. It increases to $3,600 for each child under age 6 and to $3,000 for children between the ages of 6 and 17. This modification is being applied in two parts: the original credit amount of $2,000 and the additional amount ($1,600 or $1,000).

Under existing tax law, the original $2,000 Child Tax Credit phases out when the taxpayer’s Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) exceeds $400,000 for joint filers and $200,000 for other taxpayers. Under ARP, this computation remains the same and a separate phaseout is applied for the increased credit amount that begins at the lower income threshold levels of $150,000 for joint filers, $75,000 for filers, and $112,500 for head of household filers.

Beginning July 1, 2021, families will be able to obtain advance payments for the Child Tax Credit through a program that the U.S. Treasury is creating. The payments will be based on the taxpayer’s most recently filed tax return and the program will strive to pay 50% of the credit to eligible families by the end of 2021. The IRS is developing a portal to enable taxpayers to enter 2021 applicable information so that proper credit amounts are issued. If advance payments exceed the amount of credit determined on the 2021 tax return, taxpayers must repay the excess amount by increasing their tax balance due for 2021.

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

For 2021 only, the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit is expanded to 50% from 35% and is refundable. Eligible expenses for the credit increased significantly from $3,000 in 2020 to $8,000 for one child/dependent, and from $6,000 to $16,000 for two or more children/dependents.

To assist families with a low tax liability, the $15,000 initial phaseout level increases to $125,000 and allows families with adjusted gross income (AGI) of $125,000 or less to be entitled to the entire credit. For families with AGI between $125,000 and $400,000, a partial credit is available. The ARP changes the 20% credit amount to a “phaseout percentage” that causes a reduction of the 20% credit when the taxpayer’s AGI exceeds $400,000.

Unemployment Compensation Extended

After more than 40 million Americans sought unemployment compensation in 2020, the ARP extends the current $300 per week payment through September 6, 2021. It also provides that the first $10,200 in benefits for the tax filer will be nontaxable for 2020 in households making less than $150,000. Although the ARP does not provide a different threshold for single and joint filers, both spouses are entitled to consider $10,200 of their unemployment compensation as nontaxable for a total amount of $20,400 if both spouses received these benefits.

Student Loan Forgiveness

Although broad student loan forgiveness was not included, the ARP includes a provision classifying certain student loan forgiveness as tax-free between December 30, 2020 and January 1, 2026. This includes loans expressly for post-secondary educational expenses where the loan is insured or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its instrument or agency; by a state, territory or possession of the U.S. or the District of Columbia; by an eligible educational institution; and for certain private education loans.

 

Assistance to Businesses

Sick Leave Pay and Family Medical Leave Pay Credits Extended

Sick leave pay and family medical leave pay rules are extended through September 30, 2021 under ARP. The cap on family medical leave pay increases from $10,000 to $12,000.

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), certain benefits were required to be provided for sick leave pay and family medical leave pay. However, the federal credits will not be allowed if the provision of these benefits discriminates in favor of highly compensated employees, full-time employees or on the basis of tenure.

FFCRA had excluded large employers (500 or more employees) and certain small employers, but the ARP now extends these provisions to those groups. The FFCRA funded these benefits through a dollar-for-dollar refundable credit against payroll taxes.

 

Employee Retention Tax Credits

The Employer Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) program, created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act solely for 2020, was extended for the first two quarters of 2021 with considerably more lenient rules for 2021 to benefit a potentially larger group of employers. The ARP extends the ERTC program through December 31, 2021.

Employer-Provided Dependent Care Assistance

The limit on tax-free employer-provided dependent care assistance increases from $5,000 to $10,500 (50% for taxpayers filing married but separate) for 2021 only. The ARP includes rules allowing a plan amendment to be made by the last day of the plan year, as long as the plan is operated consistently with this change as of the effective date of the amendment.

Relief for the Restaurant Industry

The restaurant industry was one of the hardest hit due to COVID-19, resulting in workers being laid off, significant loss of business and the closure of restaurants and catering facilities. To help the industry, the ARP includes $28 billion in grants for eateries including restaurants, bars, halls, brew pubs, tap rooms and tasting rooms. Assistance of up to $5 million per restaurant or $10 million per restaurant group is available and $5 billion in funding is reserved for restaurants with 2019 gross receipts of less than $500,000. Aid will be administered as a Small Business Association (SBA) grant program and grant funds can be used to offset expenses from February 15, 2020, through the end of 2021. Eligible expenses include payroll, benefits, rent, utilities, cleaning, equipment, food and other costs.

Summary

The IRS and Treasury will issue tax guidance regarding the implementation of the ARP and its new provisions. Check with your Freed Maxick tax professional for updates and any additional changes related to the items noted above.

How Will the American Rescue Plan Help America?

The Senate has passed the American Rescue Plan legislation intended to help with the continued financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The bill is headed back to the House for…

AMR Senate

The Senate has passed the American Rescue Plan legislation intended to help with the continued financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The bill is headed back to the House for final approval before it will head to President Biden’s desk. This broad-based legislation includes assistance for individuals and businesses, as well as state and local governments in an attempt to mitigate some of the financial damage. 

Here are some of the things we can expect once the legislation is signed.

HELP FOR INDIVIDUALS

There are a number of initiatives included in the American Rescue Plan package aimed at assisting individuals and families including:

  • Individual stimulus payments
  • Enhanced child tax credit
  • Housing and food assistance
  • Unemployment assistance

 

Individual stimulus payments

The American Rescue Plan would provide $1,400 stimulus payments for individuals and their dependents who meet certain income requirements. The current plan maintains that payments will be provided in full for individuals earning $75,000 or less and married couples making less than $150,000. The payments would gradually decrease above those income levels and disappear entirely above an income cap: $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for married couples.

 

Enhanced Child Tax Credit

The enhanced child tax credit would increase the current child tax credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17 and $3,600 for children up to age 5. Seventeen-year-old children would be eligible for the credit for the first time.

The tax credit would be increased for one year and would be fully refundable with no minimum income restrictions.

Beginning in July, eligible families would receive the credit as an advance payment of $250 per month per child ($300 for children under 6) for the remainder of 2021.

 

Housing and Food Assistance

The bill includes numerous provisions designed to provide housing (including rent and mortgages) and food assistance for families impacted by the pandemic. These provisions include:

  • $30 billion in rental assistance
  • $10 billion for mortgage assistance
  • $5 billion to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in homeless populations
  • $5.8 billion in EBT and WIC assistance to support nutritional programs for school-aged children and low-income women and infants

 

Unemployment Assistance

The federal enhanced unemployment program would be extended through early September with the weekly benefit remaining at $300. The Senate bill also includes a provision intended to avert surprise tax bills for people who lost jobs, waiving federal income taxes for the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits received in 2020 for households earning under $150,000.

 

HELP FOR BUSINESSES

In an effort to help hard-hit businesses, the American Rescue Plan outlines numerous elements slated to help businesses recover. 

The legislation includes $25 billion to help restaurants and bars. In addition, $22 billion in relief has been earmarked with $15 billion set aside for Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance grants and $7 billion in additional funding for the Payroll Protection Program.

The legislation also provides $12 billion of funding for the airline industry to help curb the need for layoffs.

 

HELP FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

The American Rescue Plan includes $350 billion to assist state and local governments as well as tribes and territories.

This includes funds for the FEMA Disaster Relief fund, infrastructure needs and transportation assistance.

Also, $130 billion would go towards helping K-12 schools provide personal protective equipment (PPE), implement social distancing, improve ventilation systems and reduce class sizes.

Higher educational institutions would receive $40 billion with a significant portion specifically for helping to reduce hunger and homelessness and alleviate other challenges which might be experienced by students related to the pandemic.

Childcare providers will also get a boost through the Child Care and Development Block program ($40 billion). An additional $1 billion would be used to support Head Start programs.

 

OTHER PROVISIONS

The American Rescue Plan includes funding of $20 billion to establish a national vaccine program with an additional $50 billion to support coronavirus testing.

The bill also includes money for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and paid leave.

Paycheck Protection Program and Employee Retention Credit in 2021

Would your business be eligible to retroactively claim the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) for parts of 2020, but you have already applied for and been granted full Paycheck Protection Program…

IRS Updates 2021

Would your business be eligible to retroactively claim the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) for parts of 2020, but you have already applied for and been granted full Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness? If this applies to you, the IRS may have just extended the olive branch we have all been waiting for.

Notice 2021-20 published by the IRS on March 1st provides over 100 pages of guidance on the Employee Retention Credit as it relates to computing and claiming the credit between March 13, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Much of the guidance the IRS issued in the notice is not necessarily new information and much of the information is a repurposing of their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) published on the IRS website. However, about ¾ the way through the notice starting on Page 73, the IRS addresses the ever-important interaction of ERC with PPP.

Paycheck Protection Program and Employee Retention Credit Example Calculation

The situation that we are all accustomed to hearing is an employer that applied for PPP loan forgiveness with a 24-week covered period. They received a PPP loan in the amount of $200,000. On their PPP loan forgiveness application, they reported $450,000 of covered wages that were spent over the 24-week covered period. Until now, it was unclear if there was any relief available to that employer to carve out parts of that $450,000 excess covered wages reported on a PPP application and retroactively claim ERC for the overlapping time period of 2020. As instructed by the notice, what an employer is now allowed to do is only count the amount of qualified wages included in payroll costs reported on the PPP loan forgiveness application up to (but not exceeding) the minimum amount of payroll costs, together with any other eligible expenses reported on the PPP loan forgiveness application sufficient to support the amount of the PPP loan that is forgiven.

What exactly does this mean? Going back to the above example, if no other eligible covered expenses were included on the application with the $450,000 of covered wages, the employer has the option to apply $200,000 of those wages towards PPP loan forgiveness and apply the remaining $250,000 excess wages towards ERC.

In a different scenario, say an employer received a PPP loan for $100,000 and selected the 24-week covered period for loan forgiveness. On their application they included $150,000 of covered wages and $50,000 of other eligible covered expenses for forgiveness. In this scenario, the other covered expenses can account for 40% or $40,000 of the PPP loan forgiveness costs requiring a minimum of 60% or $60,000 of wages to be included towards PPP forgiveness. This would leave $90,000 of wages included in the original PPP forgiveness application now eligible for ERC.

However, in the above example, if no other covered expenses were included on the PPP loan forgiveness application other than $150,000 qualified wages, the minimum amount of wages needed for loan forgiveness is 100% or $100,000. Even if the employer incurred and paid $50,000 of other covered qualified expense during the 24-week covered period but did not include those expenses on their PPP loan forgiveness application, they are stuck with the application as submitted and cannot retroactively include those other costs to reduce the amount of wages needed for loan forgiveness. The notice also addresses more unique and specific scenarios regarding interaction with PPP and ERC that should be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

What is the takeaway?

The IRS issued the guidance we have all been waiting for, that provides optimism and opportunity for those employers who may retroactively claim 2020 ERC while also achieving full PPP forgiveness.  

We urge you to consult with your tax advisor to explore whether or not you can benefit from this guidance. The Freed Maxick Tax Team is prepared to help you navigate through these tricky waters and we can be reached via the form below.

New Federal and New York State Tax Benefits

Understanding the tax policy response to COVID-19

Tax relief policies at the federal, state and international levels are taking shape to help businesses recover from COVID-19 disruptions. Our COVID-19 Tax and Regulatory Relief resource center features the the most current information and analysis from our professionals, with the goal of addressing your immediate needs. From cash flow challenges to ensuring your employees are taken care of, Freed Maxick has provided these resources to help your business develop its response to the environment created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act) was signed into law late on March 18, 2020, soon after the Senate passed the amended House bill sent to the Senate on March 17, 2020.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Q&A

As provided under the legislation, the U.S. Department of Labor will be issuing implementing regulations. Additionally, as warranted, the Department will continue to provide compliance assistance to employers and employees on their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA.

CARES Act – Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) into law. The CARES Act is a massive $2 trillion bill with an array of significant tax-saving provisions that impact both individuals and businesses and hopefully create needed cash flow. The CARES Act also could affect prior tax years.

CARES Act Provides Technical Amendment to Qualified Improvement Property

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) amended IRC section 168(k) to eliminate qualified improvement property (“QIP”) as a specific category of qualified property eligible for additional first-year depreciation known as “bonus depreciation."

Use of Retirement Funds Under the CARES Act

Section 2103, Special Rules for Use of Retirement Funds of the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES Act” allows tax favored withdrawals from retirement plans and changes to loan provisions for those individuals directly impacted by COVID-19. Whether you are a Plan Administrator or a participant in a retirement plan it is important to understand these benefits.

The CARES Act: Elections Under Business Interest Limitation Rules Amended By IRS

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security “CARES” Act into law. The $2 trillion CARES Act contains an array of tax provisions designed to increase deductions that are available to businesses, and by doing so, generate cash flow during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

CARES Act: IRS Issues Guidance on Deferral of Employer Social Security Taxes

The recently enacted $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) contains a provision which allows employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer’s share of Social Security taxes, as well as certain railroad retirement taxes. Now, the IRS has issued additional guidance clarifying this.

CARES Act Provides Added Value to Net Operating Losses (NOLs)

By now we have all heard about the various stimulus and relief packages deployed by the government aimed at providing economic and fiscal relief to businesses of all sizes as well as individuals facing hardships during this challenging time. Included in the CARES Act were several income tax provisions aimed at providing liquidity and relief, specifically the provisions regarding net operating losses (NOLs).

New Federal and New York State Business Relief Programs

Understanding your options

On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), a $2 trillion stimulus package thought to be the largest in U.S. history.  The CARES Act expands or establishes multiple loan programs for qualifying businesses, including the new SBA Paycheck Protection Program, the expansion of the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s existing Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program and an additional program focused on mid-size businesses with 500-10,000 employees backed by $500 billion from the US Department of the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund to make loans, loan guarantees and other investments to provide liquidity to eligible businesses, states and municipalities.

Paycheck Protection Program

Click the link below to see all Freed Maxick content and insight related to the Paycheck Protection Program.

SBA Disaster Loan Program

In an effort to minimize economic impacts on small businesses resulting from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to small businesses in designated states and territories.

Federal Government Expands Access to Loans for Small and Midsize Businesses Under Title IV of the CARES Act

Under certain conditions and with appropriate certifications, your business may be eligible under the CARES Act to receive a loan through the federal government to help you through the Covid-19 crisis. Although funds under the Main Street Business Lending Program have not yet been distributed, guidance for borrowers has been issued in preparation for the funding flow to be initiated.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits in NYS Under the CARES Act

In response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, on March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion stimulus bill. The Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus Act – which is the unemployment insurance (UI) portion of the Act – provides enriched unemployment benefits to eligible claimants.

Federal Reserve Announces an Expansion of Scope and Eligibility of the Main Street Lending Program

On April 9th, the Federal Reserve provided details regarding actions they were taking to support small and mid-sized businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. One of these programs was the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP or the Program).

FASB Provides Guidance on COVID-19 Related Lease Concessions

With the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has received several questions from stakeholders about the application of Topics 840 and 842, Leases. Specifically, the inquiries pertain to the accounting and disclosure of new lease concessions in previously executed contracts, as a result of the pandemic.

Regulation Compliance Reliefs

What you need to know

COVID-19 is presenting challenges for many companies. To address these challenges, many regulators/agencies have issued orders, releases and statements which allow, subject to certain conditions, companies to take advantage of any applicable relief. Companies need to ensure they meet all applicable criteria and are in compliance with the requirements.  Companies also need to consider matters related to financial reporting.  Freed Maxick has provided the resources below help you address these concerns.

April 15, 2020 Due Date Information

The 2019 income tax filing and payment deadlines for all taxpayers who file and pay their Federal income taxes on April 15, 2020, are automatically extended until July 15, 2020. This relief applies to all individual returns, trusts, and corporations. This relief is automatic, taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify.

Financial Statement Considerations

The effects of the coronavirus are evolving rapidly (hour-by-hour, day-by-day) and are unique for each entity's circumstances. The following is a high-level overview of a few matters related to financial reporting for consideration during this critical time.

New York State Tax Extension Update

New York has extended the April 15 due date to July 15, 2020, for personal income tax and corporation tax returns originally due April 15, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The extension applies to returns for individuals, fiduciaries, and corporations. In addition, taxpayers are allowed to defer all related tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed.

Regulators and Agencies Extend Much-Needed Regulatory Relief to Businesses

COVID-19 is presenting challenges for many companies. To address these challenges, many regulators/agencies have issued orders, releases and statements which allow, subject to certain conditions, companies to take advantage of any applicable relief. Companies need to ensure they meet all applicable criteria and are in compliance with the requirements outlined below, as in many cases, extensions are not automatic.

IRS Extends More Tax Deadlines

To help taxpayers, the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced today that Notice 2020-23 extends additional key tax deadlines for individuals and businesses.

FASB Proposes Lease Standard Deferral

On April 8, 2020, the FASB issued a proposal to defer the effective date for ASU 2016-02, Leases, and its subsequent amendments. For private companies and private not-for-profits, the standard would be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021. For public not-for-profits (i.e. those that have issued, or are conduit bond obligors for, public debt) the standard would be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, so long as the entity has not yet issued financial statements.

Industry Updates

Industry specific direction and guidance

Financial Institutions

Click the link below to find Financial Institutions related COVID content.

Healthcare

Click the link below to find Healthcare related COVID content.

Higher Education

Click the link below to find Higher Education related COVID content.

Non-Profit

Click the link below to find Non-Profit related COVID content.

Real Estate

Click the link below to find Real Estate related COVID content.

Business Continuity in the COVID-19 Environment

Business Continuity in the COVID-19 Environment

To ensure business continuity it is important to react quickly to mitigate impacts and other risks and to prepare the organization for the further disruptions related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Managing business continuity includes concerns around infrastructure, cybersecurity, remote employees, business, operational and communication risks, with the aim of managing an organization through new challenges and risks while maintaining continuity of operations and production.

Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications During the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency

On March 17, 2020, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the “Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications During the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency.” This notification provided guidance on the use of video conferencing technologies to provide telehealth services to a health care providers patients, and communicates the OCR’s official stance on the issue as the country continues to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why is Privileged Access Management Important for Your Organization?

With evolving and steadily increasing cyber-attacks, many organizations are not taking steps to stop the abuse of privileged credentials. A recent survey from Centrify, a privileged access management (PAM) company, suggested that of the 1,000 IT decision makers surveyed in the U.S. and U.K., 74% of breaches involved access to a privileged account.

Adapting to a Remote Work Environment

For much of the workforce, life has changed drastically over the past few weeks. The combination of school closings and mandatory work from home orders can have a significant impact on your ability to stay focused and productive. We have put together some suggestions to help you adjust to your new normal. Ultimately, we are all a bit different and you have to find what works best for you, but here are a few suggestions to get you started.