A message about Coronavirus (COVID-19) from Alisa Na, CPA

We have been closely monitoring the developments of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and are seeing how it has and will continue to impact nearly every aspect of our lives.

As always, our first priority is to protect the health of our clients, employees, their families, and those in our community.

In order to do our part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and to protect our community, we have decided to temporarily close our office building until March 31st. We are continuing to provide all services for our current clients, including tax services, remotely. We understand that refunds are more important than ever for our community, and we are here to assist you in any way we can. At this time, we are no longer accepting new clients until the end of May.

For tax services, if you haven’t provided the tax sources to our office yet, we are asking our clients to UPLOAD ALL DOCUMENTS. As our staff is working remotely, our office will no longer be accepting drop-offs or mailed documents postmarked after 03-19-20.

You can upload files (Pdf, word or excel) via our secure link:  Click here to upload files.

When the return is ready, we can schedule another phone/web meeting to address any questions you may have. (Current turnaround is 3 weeks upon receiving.)

Latest Federal Updates

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offering disaster assistance in response to COVID-19

March 21, 2020

Under the recently enacted Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (the Act), small businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19 can apply for low-interest federal disaster loans through SBA. Small businesses and nonprofits can apply for working capital loans of up to $2 million.

We’ve highlighted the following key details of the Act for you here, but you can also learn more by visiting the COVID-19 disaster assistance page on SBA’s website.

  • State governors must first request access to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Once the declaration is made, information on the application process for disaster loan assistance will be made available to affected small businesses within the given state.
  • Loans carry an interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits.
  • Loans can be used to cover accounts payable, debts, payroll and other bills.
  • Loans can be offered with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable—up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Businesses will apply for loans online and select “Economic Injury” as the reason for seeking assistance.
  • SBA offers disaster assistance via its customer service center. If you have questions or want to check if your state is eligible, contact U.S. Small Business Administration via phone at 800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) expanded to provide relief to those affected by COVID-19

March 20, 2020

“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (FFCRA), which goes into effect April 2, 2020 and expires December 31, 2020, responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing additional assistance in the areas of COVID-19 testing, sick leave, food assistance and more. We’ve compiled key details of FFCRA that we believe you need to know.

In summary, the Act:

  • Requires private insurance plans to provide free COVID-19 testing.
  • Requires employers to provide emergency paid sick leave to workers affected by COVID-19 and expands family and medical leave.
  • Offers increased funding for state unemployment insurance, food stamp and nutritional programs.

More specifically, here’s what FFCRA means for both business owners and employees in the areas of sick leave and expanded family and medical leave.

  • Employees are eligible for up to two weeks of sick leave (full pay for self, 2/3 pay for family care) for illness, quarantine or school closures.
  • Employees are eligible for up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave for school closures (10 days unpaid and then up to 10 weeks at 2/3 pay).
  • FMLA expansion covers:
    • Employers with fewer than 500 employees.
    • Employees who have been employed for at least 30 calendar days (some exclusions may apply).
    • Employees who must care for children under the age of 18 in the event of school and place-of-care closures or if care provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency with respect to COVID-19.
  • Emergency paid sick leave covers:
    • Employers with fewer than 500 employees.
    • All employees no matter the length of employment (some exclusions may apply).
  • Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.

Tax filing extension

March 20, 2020

On March 20, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced that the tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020. According to Mnuchin, “All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

Note that this is a follow-up announcement to Notice 2020-17 that had previously only extended the payment deadline until July 15, 2020.

Tax update: Treasury Department and IRS defer tax payment deadline 90 days

March 19, 2020

The Treasury Department and the IRS have announced special payment relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This information is contained in Notice 2020-17. Key details are as follows:

  • The income tax payment deadline for individual returns is automatically extended until July 15, 2020 for up to $1 million of 2019 tax due.
  • Payment relief applies to all individual returns—including self-employed individuals and all entities other than C Corporations (e.g., trusts or estates).
  • For C Corporations, the income tax payment deadline is also automatically extended until July 15, 2020 for up to $10 million of 2019 tax due.
  • Tax payment relief also includes estimated tax payments for 2020 that are normally due April 15.
  • Postponement of tax payments applies to federal returns only.
  • While payments can be deferred, the filing deadline has NOT been extended. Taxpayers are expected to file returns by April 15, 2020, or file an extension.
  • The IRS encourages Americans who can file their taxes before April 15, 2020 to do so in order to take advantage of any refund due to them.

Our firm continues to monitor announcements from the IRS regarding additional changes to filing and payment due dates and will keep you informed.

Additional resources

We have gathered a few links as a resource to address questions and help our clients navigate through these challenging times.

1. The latest updates from the Department of Revenue regarding COVID-19 Related Relief for taxpayers 

DOR will work with you if you cannot file or pay taxes on time due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

2. Resources for WA State Businesses & Workers Impacted by COVID-19

A comprehensive resource for businesses. Check out the Employment Security Department COVID-19 webpage.

3. Employment Security Department’s COVID-19 Webpage

Employment Security has programs designed to help individuals and employers. This easy-to-read comparison guide lists some of the most common scenarios that may occur and benefits that may apply.

4. For Businesses in Seattle from Mayor Durkan

Information on the initial recovery package for small business owners to ease the financial impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

5. Coronavirus: Common Employer Questions & Answers

In addition to the CDC guidelines, this article by ADP addresses some common employer questions.  

As information is changing rapidly, we will continue to provide updates and make changes as needed. If you have questions, be sure to reach out to us. Our entire team is here to support and guide you. Thank you for the privilege of serving you.

Alisa Na, CPA