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A Message to Our Valued Clients

In the interest of public health and the safety of our community, and in compliance with Governor Cuomo’s executive order, Freed Maxick has suspended onsite client work and cancelled all office visits. Meanwhile, our team is working remotely to provide the same high-quality service you have come to expect. Utilizing the best technology at our disposal, we will continue to meet all of your audit, tax, and advisory needs and help you navigate the business implications of the pandemic as it unfolds. You can reach your Freed Maxick representative directly by email or phone, or contact our main line at 716.847.2651.

INdustries Served - BuffaloCPA Firm
INdustries Served - BuffaloCPA Firm
INdustries Served - BuffaloCPA Firm
INdustries Served - BuffaloCPA Firm

COVID-19 Response Center TEMPLATE


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. We will continue to monitor the news and CDC directives, make changes to policies based upon facts as they arise, and add to this resource center. Contact our Withum professionals to discuss planning ideas applicable to your situation.

Latest COVID-19 News

Senate Approves Payroll Protection Flexibility Act | Freed Maxick

The U.S Senate passed the House version of the Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act Wednesday night and sent to the President for signature. The following is a summary of the…

PPP Loan Update

The U.S Senate passed the House version of the Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act Wednesday night and sent to the President for signature. The following is a summary of the highlights of the legislation:

  • Extends 8 week “covered period” to 24 weeks or December 31, 2020 (whichever comes first). 
  • Reduces the current threshold of required use on payroll from 75% to 60% for maximum forgiveness, thereby increasing nonpayroll expenses, such as rent, mortgage interest and utilities, from 25% to 40% of the total loan proceeds spent.
  • Extend loan term on unforgiven amounts from 2 years to 5 years.
  • As the House Bill is currently written, there are concerns that it could be interpreted that businesses would not be allowed partial forgiveness if they spend less than the 60% of loan on payroll. Senators Rubio and Collins have indicated they will seek a technical correction to the legislation however they viewed the urgency of the passing of the bill of greater importance.
  • Extends the rehire date of employees from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020

Assistance and Guidance from Freed Maxick

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The Freed Maxick COVID-19 Resource Center has a wealth of information and guidance on a wide range of topics related to tax relief and benefits, regulatory relief and benefits, and business continuity in the era of COVID-19. Click on the button to explore insights, observations and updates.

If you wish additional guidance, we are available to discuss your issues and concerns. Connect with us here or call Freed Maxick at 716.847.2651.

Please keep in mind that due to the quickly-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, you should always discuss changes with your Freed Maxick advisor or legal counsel.

FASB Issues Guidance on Deferral Dates for Revenue Recognition & Leases Standards

Today, the FASB issued formal guidance for the deferral dates of two standards. Revenue from Contracts with Customers (more commonly referred to as ‘Rev rec’) has been deferred by one…

Deferral Dates

Today, the FASB issued formal guidance for the deferral dates of two standards. Revenue from Contracts with Customers (more commonly referred to as ‘Rev rec’) has been deferred by one year for certain entities that have not yet issued their financial statements (or made them available for issuance). Those entities may adopt the guidance for periods beginning after December 15, 2019. Leases has been deferred for one year for entities in the “all other” category. For those entities, it will be effective for periods beginning after December 15, 2021.  Public not-for-profit entities that have not yet issued their financial statements may adopt the guidance for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019. 

To read the full FASB standard, please click here.

Assistance and Guidance from Freed Maxick

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The Freed Maxick COVID-19 Resource Center has a wealth of information and guidance on a wide range of topics related to tax relief and benefits, regulatory relief and benefits, and business continuity in the era of COVID-19. Click on the button to explore insights, observations and updates.

If you wish additional guidance, we are available to discuss your issues and concerns. Connect with us here or call Freed Maxick at 716.847.2651.

Please keep in mind that due to the quickly-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, you should always discuss changes with your Freed Maxick advisor or legal counsel.

Reopening Western New York – Webinar Series (Part 1) | Freed Maxick

In the first of a four-part series, this previously recorded webinar discusses the intricacies and implications of Western New York’s phased approach to reopening, as well as the effect of…

In the first of a four-part series, this previously recorded webinar discusses the intricacies and implications of Western New York’s phased approach to reopening, as well as the effect of reopening on the relief programs available under the CARES Act.

Freed Maxick Tax Directors Jeff Zawada and Mark Stebbins discuss:

Employer Retention Credit

  • An overview of employer retention credit
  • What needs to be considered now that businesses are reopening
  • Visiting some key operation suspension dates in WNY and how it may impact your credit
  • Paycheck Protection Program

An overview of loan forgiveness

  • Considerations for eligible payroll costs and wage reduction
  • Considerations for full-time equivalency ratios
  • Considerations for 75% payroll/25% non-payroll limits
  • Additional considerations and planning

Bond attorneys Jay Organek and Peter Wiltenburg focus on:

Practical Concerns for Employers When Reopening

  • An overview of the state’s reopening guidance
  • Considerations for employers in repopulating the workplace
  • Practical compliance issues facing employers, including health screening, contact tracing and addressing employee concerns

Assistance and Guidance from Freed Maxick

New call-to-action

The Freed Maxick COVID-19 Resource Center has a wealth of information and guidance on a wide range of topics related to tax relief and benefits, regulatory relief and benefits, and business continuity in the era of COVID-19. Click on the button to explore insights, observations and updates.

If you wish additional guidance, we are available to discuss your issues and concerns. Connect with us here or call Freed Maxick at 716.847.2651.

Please keep in mind that due to the quickly-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, you should always discuss changes with your Freed Maxick advisor or legal counsel.

SOC Reporting and COVID-19 | Freed Maxick

Because of COVID-19 many businesses have been forced to change how they operate. More employees than ever before are working remotely and whether you have realized it or not, your…

SOC

Because of COVID-19 many businesses have been forced to change how they operate. More employees than ever before are working remotely and whether you have realized it or not, your control environment has changed. Significant changes to your systems have been made or changes in the way controls are performed have taken place, and it’s time to start thinking about how the pandemic will affect your SOC 1® and/or SOC 2® reporting.

SOC Reporting Consideration #1: Review and Assess New and Changing Risks Due to COVID-19

The pandemic brought changes. Due to theses changes there are elevated risks that involve fraud, noncompliance with applicable laws (that are changing rapidly), vulnerabilities in your system, and changes in your controls or the temporary suspension or substitution of some controls. Likewise, your organization’s risks have likely changed, and your risk assessment should be updated to assess the effectiveness of your new environment and to identify any gaps that are present where new controls need to be implemented. We recommend starting with your pre-pandemic risk assessment and consider whether any new risks exist that aren’t addressed by existing controls and what controls are possibly less effective now in the COVID-19 world. 

SOC Reporting Consideration #2: Accounting for System and Control Modifications

Changes have most likely been made to your operations. Any changes to your workforce, operations and/or processes need to be considered when you’re evaluating your entities systems and controls. Some of the things you will want to consider:

  • Increases to your public network infrastructure (such as Virtual Private Networks or firewalls) – Did any changes to these systems, or the introduction of new systems change the way related controls operate?
  • Shifting of responsibilities to different employees or locations – Do the individuals now responsible for the controls have a clear understanding of how and why they operate, what documentation is necessary to support the design and operation of the controls?
  • Changes in the availability of key personnel due to a remote workforce or a reduction in workforce – Will these changes impact your ability to meet your user entity commitments and requirements?
  • Different vendor risks – The risks associated with your business partners have almost certainly changed alongside your own changes, so have you accounted for the controls they should be operating?
  • New and modified controls, and software enhancements - Have you considered the impact of any changes to controls or software solutions and how supporting documentation needs to be maintained to support control design and operation for the entire SOC covered period? Or how about the suspension or substitution of controls, and changes in the limits or tolerances of controls because of these changes?

SOC Reporting Consideration #3: Management’s Description of the System

Because changes have been made to system and controls the management team needs to start considering how these changes will be communicated in the management’s description in the report. Think about if changes need to be made in the services you are providing, location changes, organizational structure and the number of employees as well as the affect this has on the control environment and significant changes made in the design and monitoring of controls. If control objectives were not met for your SOC 1® or SOC 2® report, an additional disclosure relating to the COVID-19 pandemic that includes significant events that prevented the achievement of these objectives may want to be included.

SOC Reporting Consideration #4: Management’s Assertion

It’s important to consider the concerns of the organizations that are relying on the information in the SOC reports. The Management Assertion may need to be updated to reflect control changes and communicate to user entities any serious deficiencies regarding the operating effectiveness of the controls due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If changes are still being made to your systems or controls, you may also make the decision to delay issuing the report. Make sure that you are communicating any report timing changes. The basis for your assertion also needs to be considered. Make sure that management has evaluated whether additional procedures should be implemented and performed. A basis for the management assertion is required for SOC reporting and considerations should be made regarding system and control changes in the review period, procedures that were performed for a managements basis before the pandemic started, and procedures that could not be performed after the pandemic.

If you would like to learn more about SOC Reporting considerations due to COVID-19 or would like help with your organization, our Risk Advisory Services team can work with you.

Why Haven’t I Received My Stimulus Payment Yet? | Freed Maxick

Where is my economic impact payment? Payments started going out April 10, 2020, but many Americans still have not received their payments. The government is making these payments in steps,…

Stimulus Payments

Where is my economic impact payment?

Payments started going out April 10, 2020, but many Americans still have not received their payments. The government is making these payments in steps, as logistically it simply is not possible to make all these payments at once. Payments to Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retires and veterans who are not required to file a tax return began going out last week and will continue to be issued through May.

Anyone who is eligible but does not have direct deposit information on file will be mailed a check or prepaid debit card. Those began to go out in late April, but that process might take several months because of distribution limitations.

If you qualify, make sure the IRS has the current and necessary information. The IRS has a “Get My Payment” tool on its website for people to add their direct deposit information or track the status of their payment.

Why isn’t the IRS “Get My Payment” working for me?

There have been some glitches with the roll out of the “” tool, which the IRS is working to fix. First, personal information must be entered into the tool exactly as it appears on your tax return. Some people claim to have had better luck using all capital letters, however the IRS claims the entry is not case sensitive. If all caps doesn’t help, consider using 2018 tax return data.

Some users are getting various error messages from the “Get My Payment” tool. These errors may mean the IRS cannot determine your eligibility right now. There are a few reasons for this. First, you didn't file a 2018 or 2019 return, or it hasn't been fully processed. Or the site simply doesn't have the information available yet; the agency is adding more data for use every day and updates the information overnight daily.

Why didn’t I get an economic impact payment for my child?

The payment for children only applies to eligible children, generally under 16 years old. The child cannot be claimed as a dependent on another return. If the child was born after the most recent return was filed or is a dependent of someone who receives Supplemental Security Income or Department of Veterans Affairs benefits’, their information will need to be added to the “Get My Payment” site.

If you did not receive the full amount to which you believe you're entitled, for a child or otherwise, you'll be able to claim the additional amount when filing your 2020 tax return.

What do I do if my payment went to an old, closed or unused bank account?

If the account is closed or no longer active, the bank will reject the deposit and mail a check instead. It will go either to the address listed on your tax returns or the one on file with the U.S. Postal Service - whichever is most current.

As required by law and for security reasons, a letter about the Payment will be mailed to each recipient’s last known address within 15 days after the Payment is made. The letter will provide information on how the Payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the Payment.

Will my payment be reduced if I have certain other debts?

The CARES Act limits offsets of Economic Impact Payments to past-due child support. No other Federal or state debts that normally offset your tax refunds will reduce the payment. Nevertheless, tax refunds paid under the Internal Revenue Code, including these Economic Impact Payments, are not protected from garnishment by creditors once the proceeds are deposited into an individual’s bank account.

What do I do if I received a payment for a deceased relative?

A payment made to someone who died before receipt of the payment should be returned to the IRS. Return the entire payment unless the payment was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the Payment, in which case, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the decedent. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000. Instructions for returning the payment can be found here.

Assistance and Guidance from Freed Maxick

New call-to-action

The Freed Maxick COVID-19 Resource Center has a wealth of information and guidance on a wide range of topics related to tax relief and benefits, regulatory relief and benefits, and business continuity in the era of COVID-19. Click on the button to explore insights, observations and updates.

If you wish additional guidance, we are available to discuss your issues and concerns. Connect with us here or call Freed Maxick at 716.847.2651.

Please keep in mind that due to the quickly-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, you should always discuss changes with your Freed Maxick advisor or legal counsel.

New York Forward Loan Fund | Freed Maxick

New York State in conjunction with Empire State Development and Homes and Community Renewal recently announced a new economic loan recovery program designed for targeted small businesses, nonprofits and small…

loan support

New York State in conjunction with Empire State Development and Homes and Community Renewal recently announced a new economic loan recovery program designed for targeted small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords that were impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and need financial assistance for their reopening plans.

The intent of the program is to provide short term, low-interest, working capital loans to businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and have not received funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the SBA Economic Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program. The timing of the program is to work in unison with reopening efforts when working capital is most critical for small businesses and nonprofits.

The entire New York State loan fund totals $100 million and will be allocated geographically to the 10 regions of the state. Eligible nonprofits can apply for a 60-month, no-fee loan at 2% fixed interest; while eligible small businesses and small landlords can apply for a 60-month, no-fee loan with a 3% fixed interest rate. The maximum loan amount is $100,000 with no collateral requirements and no prepayment penalty. The first 12 months of repayment are interest only while months 13-60 repayment include principal and interest. Loan funds can be used for working capital including payroll, operating and emergency maintenance, property taxes, utilities, rent and supplies.

Applications opened Tuesday May 26th at 12pm eastern time but the program will not begin processing applications until June 1, 2020. This is not a first-come, first serve program and priority will be given to industries and regions that have been reopened with specific emphasis placed on Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Nonprofits organized as 501(c)(3) or faith-based organization;
  • 20 or fewer full-time employees;
  • Annual operating budget of less than $3 million per year for nonprofits and gross revenues less than $3 million per year for small businesses;
  • Landlords with no more than 200 units under ownership and no single property with greater than 50 units;
  • Landlord properties must have positive cash flow for a 12-month period prior to the loan request;
  • Have been in business/operation for at least 1 year as of the application date;
  • Have not received funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the SBA Economic Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program;
  • Have suffered a direct economic hardship as a result of COVID-19 related social distancing policies and stay-at-home order that have materially impacted their operations; and
  • Located in the State of New York.

Additional program information can be found at https://esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans-info.

Assistance and Guidance from Freed Maxick

New call-to-action

The Freed Maxick COVID-19 Resource Center has a wealth of information and guidance on a wide range of topics related to tax relief and benefits, regulatory relief and benefits, and business continuity in the era of COVID-19. Click on the button to explore insights, observations and updates.

If you wish additional guidance, we are available to discuss your issues and concerns. Connect with us here or call Freed Maxick at 716.847.2651.

Please keep in mind that due to the quickly-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, you should always discuss changes with your Freed Maxick advisor or legal counsel.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

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