How is COVID-19 Affecting the Accounting Industry?

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Tax Updates for Coronavirus

Update on the CARES ACT

March 27th, 2020

As we speak, Congress is putting the finishing touches on what is referred to as the ‘‘Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ or ‘‘CARES Act’’.  This legislation is in addition to the other provisions that have been issued by the Treasury Department and Capitol Hill.  These provisions are not final law as of yet, and are therefore subject to change or modification.

Read our update on the CARES Act: Here.


IRS releases a series of FAQ 

March 25th, 2020

The IRS released a series of FAQs in response to questions related to the extension of time to file tax returns and make tax payments previously granted in Notice 2020-18.   Among the many questions answered in the FAQs include:

  • Timing of estate and gift tax returns
  • Timing of individual second quarter estimated tax payments
  • Automatic extension of trust returns
  • Relief for Section 965 installment payments. 

The complete list of FAQs and answers are listed: here.


April 15th tax return filing deadline postponed 

March 20th, 2020

The April 15 tax return filing deadline has been postponed until July 15, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Taxpayers now have the ability to file their returns and pay balances due by the postponed deadline.

The IRS is expected to issue a series of FAQ’s in the coming days to answer the many questions that remain as a result of the postponed deadline. Briggs and Veselka will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.


Families First Coronavirus Response Act

What it is and whom it affects can be read: Here.


Internal Revenue Service Covid-19 Tax Relief

On March 17, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced several changes for taxpayers as a result of Covid-19 and its impact on taxpayers.  The IRS then released Notice 2020-17 on March 18, 2020 which provides some clarity on the provisions.

Here is a summary of the main points:

  • Taxpayers can delay paying their income taxes on as much as $1 million in taxes owed for up to 90 days.  This relief is for federal returns only, taxpayers will need to confirm with their applicable state income tax authorities as to how the particular state will respond.
  • Similar relief applies to corporations who can defer up to $10 million in tax payments for 90 days.
  • Refund issuance will not be affected for those who file.
  • There is NO FILING EXTENSION, the extension is only for payments of income tax related to 2019 and estimated tax payments due on April 15, 2020.
  • The relief does not extend to any other type of tax (i.e., excise, payroll).

Mnuchin stated “[w]e encourage those Americans who can file their taxes to continue to file their taxes [by] April 15.” “Just file your taxes,” before the new deadline, he said, and “you will automatically not get charged interest and penalties.”

Briggs & Veselka will continue to provide updates as soon as any new information becomes available.

Audit Updates for Coronavirus
How does the CARES ACT affect my Qualified Retirement Plans?
 
April 1, 2020
 
On March 27, 2020, the United States Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the Cares Act or Act) as a response to the global pandemic COVID-19. While the Cares Act has provisions that will impact the majority of businesses and individuals, under Section 2202 of the Act, certain special provisions have been implemented that allow for use of retirement funds that are held in tax-qualified retirement plans. Additionally, under Section 3608 of the Act, certain special provisions have been implemented for Single-Employer Pension Plan Funding Rules… Read more
 

 
March 19th, 2020
 
As COVID-19 is creating a widespread health crisis, it is also adversely affecting the economies and financial markets of many countries, including the United States, resulting in a volatile marketplace filled with uncertainty.
 
This past week we’ve seen a sharp drop in oil prices, significant market disruption, and an increasingly bigger discussion on a potential recession, which in turn could negatively impact our clients, and give rise to going concern considerations.
 
Our Firm’s technical issues and advisory team, together with our engagement partners will work with you to understand the impact and potential disclosures. Financial statements provide users and stakeholders with pertinent information about the Company’s results of operations, future cash flows and financial changes. We are suggesting, that financial statement audits for the year ended December 31, 2019, include subsequent event disclosures regarding the potential negative impact and implications of COVID-19 and the volatile economic market. Disclosures should include consideration of production and supply chains interruptions, unavailable personnel, and reduction in sales, earnings or productivity.
 
Lastly, an evaluation of previous positions regarding ASC 606 and changes in estimates of variable consideration, potential impairments of goodwill and other intangibles and changes in internal control structures from a remote workforce may require thoughtful assessments. Briggs & Veselka has been communicating with financial institutions and insurance companies to understand how the impact of COVID-19 may result in failed loan covenants, shortfalls in lender requirements, or potential business interruption claims. Your engagement partner is available to discuss, or you may email the Firm at marketing@bvccpa.com and we will direct your message to the appropriate party.
Consulting Updates for Coronavirus

April 14th, 2020

Noel Kersh, Managing Principal of Pathway Forensics, addresses how our firm is helping clients in this trying time:

Click here for video


March 20th, 2020

Pathway Forensics, subsidiary of Briggs & Veselka, offers cybersecurity tips: Here.


Impacts of Going Remote – Client Accounting Services

March 20th, 2020

During these uncertain times, leaders like you are being forced to create solutions to immediate issues, as well as develop strategies that will benefit your organization in the long term.

Whether you’re challenged with getting accustomed to your accountant working remotely, facing workforce reduction (where your accounting department is understaffed or non-existent), or considering a company restructure, bankruptcy filing, or sale, we’re here to help you get through making certain tough decisions.

Our Client Accounting Services team works together with you to find the right services for you today and in the future with options like:

  • Moving your accounting to the cloud for access anywhere, anytime
  • Serving as your outsourced accounting staff to reduce overall costs
  • Helping get your books in order quickly and accurately
  • Audit readiness so you’re prepared before the deadline
  • Technical accounting to ensure all aspects of the accounting function are handled

Our initial consultation includes:

  • 1-2 hour call to discuss your business needs
  • Review of accounting reports and details
  • Customized proposal to meet your organization’s needs

If you have a need in this area we are here to support you. Please call us at (713) 667 – 9147 or email us at marketing@bvccpa.com.


March 19th, 2020

Read how Pathway Forensics, subsidiary of Briggs & Veselka, is responding to Covid-19: Here.

Industry-Specific Articles for Coronavirus

What’s Next for Energy Companies with COVID-19 and $20 Oil

April 7, 2020

Energy companies are feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to decreased demand from consumers on one side and a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia on the other. This reminds us of the pricing fallout in 2014, caused by lower demand in China and other large emerging growth economies… Read more


Community Banking During Times of COVID-19 Crisis 

April 2, 2020

Community banks have long been the backbone of cities and towns across the county. Their involvement and ongoing investment in people and businesses over the decades has helped multiple business endeavors flourish, in both good times and bad. In the current environment of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is once again time for community banks to rise above the clutter and be a beacon in the storm, providing stability and guidance in the worst of times… Read more


Addressing Financial Impacts of the COVID-19 Crisis on Construction Companies

March 31, 2020

The construction industry relies on physical human interaction more so than many other industries, and is therefore presented with unprecedented challenges in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.  At the forefront of every construction company should be the health and well-being of its employees and addressing delays on projects.  As talks of a recession are all but certain, it’s important for construction companies to respond quickly and effectively to the increasingly dynamic economic crisis… Read more

SBA Loan Resources Guidance & Recommended Process
  1. If your company is interested in pursuing the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loan, consider the following actions steps:
    • If you have a relationship with a Qualified SBA lender, contact them to understand the lenders expectations as well as the process.
    • If you do not have a relationship with a Qualified SBA lender, contact your B&V connection so we can assist you in connecting a preferred banker that can assist you with the process.  Many banks are prioritizing PPP loans to their current client base.  We can help make a connection to a qualified lender.
  2. The basic information your company will need to start accumulating to apply for a PPP loan through your bank is as follows::
    • Payroll for the last 12 months – (payroll provider reports, 941s TWC, etc)
    • SBA Application from the US Treasury references payroll for 2019, so I recommend you also ask your payroll company to pull this data for you.
    • 2019 1099s – this includes 1099s for employees and independent contractors; do not include 1099s for services
    • Healthcare costs – all health insurance premiums paid by the business owner under a group health plan
    • Retirement – company’s retirement plan funding paid for by the company
    • Statement of Impact – outlines the impact of COVID-19 on their business.  This is something that should be thought through and have on hand in case it is requested
  1. The basic information needed to apply for forgiveness of the loan 8 weeks after distribution of the funds is as follows:
    • Proof of approved expenses paid with the funds:
      1. Payroll Expenses for the 8 week time period (payroll service provider reports, banking records, etc)
      2. Rental payments (lease agreement, proof of payment)
      3. Utility payments (utility bills, proof of payment)
      4. Interest payments on mortgages (mortgage agreement, proof of payment, amortization schedules)
    • For any specific questions on what qualifies as “payroll expense” or specifics related to the SBA loans, please connect with your B&V contact or with the SBA Assistance Team.

 

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is a separate program for your consideration which is applied for directly with the SBA at the following link.  The basic information required for application is as follows:

  1. Organizational information, ownership structure, percentages of ownership, etc
  2. Revenues for most recent fiscal year
  3. Cost of sales for most recent fiscal year
  4. Certification that the company meets the criteria of a Small Business as defined by the SBA – this is defined on the application and related links on the application
  5. Bank account information if they elect to request a $10,000 emergency grant as part of their application

For any specific questions on the EIDL, please coordinate responses with the SBA Assistance Team.