Tax Warrior Chronicles

IRS Grants Broad COVID-19 Relief to Qualified Opportunity Funds and Their Investors

Posted on Tue, Jun 09, 2020

Late last week, the IRS released Notice 2020-39 providing relief for Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) and their investors in response to COVID-19, and updated the Qualified Opportunity Zones frequently asked questions on its website to reflect the recent changes.  With the June 30th investment standard testing date fast approaching for many QOFs, this presents welcome relief and flexibility to QOFs and their investors.

 

It is worth noting that none of the relief provisions under Notice 2020-39 require QOFs or their investors to certify they have been adversely impacted by the virus.  In addition, the relief provisions do not require any filing or formal extension request and will

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June 15 Estimated Tax Due Dates Still Valid in Certain States

Posted on Tue, Jun 09, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic nearly every taxing authority (federal, state, and local) granted taxpayers an automatic extension of time to file and/or pay 2019 taxes.  This has made the 2020 tax season… interesting.  As we approach June 15, which is typically the date second quarter estimated tax payments are due for most taxing authorities, many are wondering if they need to act now, or if they have until July 15, 2020 to make these payments.  The answer, as it usually is in taxation is, it depends.

 

Federal

The IRS recently released a reminder, that taxpayers with estimated tax payments for tax year 2020, originally due April 15 and June 15, are now due July 15. This means that

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PPP Update #11 - Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act (PPFA)

Posted on Fri, Jun 05, 2020

As guidance in this area is being released regularly, we recommend you read all of our blogs on this subject.  All the blogs in the Paycheck Protection Program series are here: Updates#1, #2#3#4#5#6#7,#8,#9,#10, #11, #12,#13,#14, #15

 

We discussed “potential” changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), that were introduced in the House on May 15 in our PPP Update #10. Soon after, the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act (PPFA) passed the House by a vote of 417-1.  On Wednesday night, June 3, the Senate passed the PPFA unanimously with no changes. It is anticipated the President will sign the PPFA into law.  Today we will discuss the impact of PPFA on PPP borrowers.

 

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Estate Planning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on Thu, Jun 04, 2020

Although it may seem counterintuitive, the current economic conditions brought on by the COVID-19 global pandemic, including down markets and reduced interest rates, provide estate planning opportunities many individuals may want to consider as part of their overall estate plan.

 

Last September we discussed the advantages of certain estate planning strategies in low-interest rate environments. Fast forward to today, the Applicable Federal Rates ("AFR") have fallen again for June (between .18% to 1.31% depending on the loan term), so such strategies may be even more advantageous in the current environment.

 

Besides the current low-interest rate environment, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

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Form BE-10: Foreign Real Estate and Business Activity

Posted on Thu, May 28, 2020

The Bureau of Economic Analysis’ (BEA) Form BE-10 Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad is a comprehensive survey conducted every five years and is administered by BEA of the U.S. Department of Commerce to collect statistics on U.S. direct investment abroad. Its deadline is near. Are you required to file?  Here’s what you need to know.

 

Who Must File?

Any U.S. person (individual, entity, estate, or trust) with a direct or indirect ownership or control of at least ten percent of the voting interests of a foreign business enterprise in 2019 must file. If the U.S. person had any foreign affiliate at the end of its 2019 fiscal year, it must file Form BE-10. Ownership of non-U.S.

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PPP Update #10 - Potential Changes & Forgiveness Regulations

Posted on Tue, May 26, 2020

As guidance in this area is being released regularly, we recommend you read all of our blogs on this subject.  All the blogs in the Paycheck Protection Program series are here: Updates#1, #2#3#4#5#6#7,#8,#9,#10, #11, #12,#13,#14, #15

 

Treasury kicked off the holiday weekend on Friday, May 22, by releasing its 14th Interim Final Rule (IFR) addressing loan forgiveness for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.  This new IFR clarified certain issues while leaving others outstanding.  Today’s blog will focus on the clarifications so borrowers, many nearing the end of their 8-week Covered Period, can make decisions around what is known.  Additionally, we will discuss the

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PPP Update #9 – Loan Forgiveness Application Released by SBA

Posted on Mon, May 18, 2020

As guidance in this area is being released regularly, we recommend you read all of our blogs on this subject.  All the blogs in the Paycheck Protection Program series are here: Updates#1, #2#3#4#5#6#7,#8,#9,#10, #11, #12,#13,#14, #15

 

Many hoped the delay in guidance regarding Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness meant SBA and Treasury were taking their time coordinating an application and associated guidance to provide borrower’s clarity. Regrettably, on Friday evening, May 15, the SBA released the PPP Forgiveness Application with no additional guidance issued by the Treasury.  While we had a passing thought that maybe the application was so clear no further

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529 Plans & COVID-19 Tuition Refunds - 60 Days to Act

Posted on Fri, May 15, 2020

There have been many adjustments to society due to the coronavirus; the largest, of course, being the extended stay-at-home order. With fears of the virus spreading, schools have quickly switched to online learning and closed campus dorms. Many students who paid for room and board have or will receive partial refunds from their learning institutions, possibly leading to an unexpected tax bill.  If a student, or their parents, used a 529 plan withdrawal to pay for qualified education costs and then received a refund from the educational institution it is important to take action within 60 days of receiving the refund. Here’s why…

 

What should account owners do?  

Option One

To avoid an

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PPP Update #8 – What if I Can’t Rehire My Employees? Should I Keep My PPP Money? Can I Get More PPP Money?

Posted on Thu, May 14, 2020

As guidance in this area is being released regularly, we recommend you read all of our blogs on this subject.  All the blogs in the Paycheck Protection Program series are here: Updates#1, #2#3#4#5#6#7,#8,#9,#10, #11, #12,#13,#14, #15

 

What if I Can’t Hire My Employees Back?

Given the generous unemployment provisions of the CARES Act, many businesses that obtained PPP loans are having difficulty rehiring employees that may now be collecting more on unemployment than their normal wages.  This puts PPP loan recipients in a precarious position, as a business must maintain its workforce through the eight-week, post-loan period to receive full PPP forgiveness.

 

Fortunately, FAQ #40

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IRS Allowing Mid-year Changes to Health and Dependent Care Plan Elections

Posted on Wed, May 13, 2020

COVID-19 has led to changes in many employees’ circumstances, from changes in a spouse’s employment and benefits eligibility to significant changes in medical or dependent care expenses. These changes in circumstances mean that many employees may need additional flexibility in their Section 125 Cafeteria Plans.  Various employers have indicated a willingness to offer employees such flexibility and the IRS has responded favorably by recently issuing Notice 2020-29.

 

Below are the highlights of Notice 2020-29

 

Employer Sponsored Health Coverage

  • Section 125 Plans may now allow for the following mid-year changes to employer sponsored health coverage:
    • Make a new election on a prospective
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