Tax Update

Has everyone had enough fun yet this year? “Unique” and “bizarre” are the best words I can think of to describe 2020 thus far. Life is definitely not “normal” this year. I recall a few posts near the end of 2019 from others indicating their excitement for 2020 because 2019 had not been good for them. I wonder what those individuals must be thinking now.

I feel for those that are receiving the brunt of the negative effect of this virus, the social unrest, the associated damage to the economy and the psyche of the American people. We must keep a positive attitude and be grateful for the freedoms we enjoy in this country, even in difficult and trying times.

I have discussed in earlier posts the tax law and tax filing changes that have occurred as a result of COVID-19 thus far this year. Well, we are now beyond the “new” initial filing deadline of July 15th. Not only were all remaining 2019 tax returns and tax liabilities to be filed and paid by that date, but also the 2020 1st and 2nd quarter estimated tax payments were due that same day. Those payment dates would have been April 15th and June 15th in a normal year. For reference, the 2020 3rd and 4th quarter estimated payment due dates will remain September 15th and January 15th, as usual.

Meanwhile, most taxpayers who qualified for the recent stimulus payment have received their payments even though some may still be awaiting their payment. Additionally, there are numerous taxpayers who filed their returns back in late March, April and May that are still waiting for the IRS to process their returns. Any expected refunds are delayed in like manner which could bring added financial burden for those that may have been out of work due to the virus, etc.

Regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan situation, the loan program will currently close as of August 8th and no new loans under this program will be available after that. The time frame during which these loan proceeds must be spent on qualified expenses was stretched from 8 weeks to 24 weeks and the portion that must be utilized for payroll costs was reduced from 75% to 60%. The program was rolled out with the understanding that recipients of these funds would need to apply for the loan to be forgiven. The latest rumor is that Congress is considering a bill that would automatically forgive loans to any recipient that received less than $150,000 by simply declaring that the funds were used for qualified expenses per the program and would avoid having to apply for forgiveness.

Lastly, there is ongoing talk of another stimulus bill to assist Americans with the current financial crisis, but the details of how this stimulus would work are not yet available. There was some talk that the next round of financial assistance would be more targeted to low income households rather than being as broad as the previous stimulus payment program.

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Mark J Weech, CPA