Updated 3/27/2020
         
THE CORONAVIRUS & YOUR TAXES

This page was last updated on March 27th and does not contain updated information related to the CARES Act or Notice 2020-18, in it's entirety. That information will be made available to clients in a separate email.

Please remember to keep your accounts secure during this vulnerable time!

UPDATES

 

March 27, 2020, Gov. Evers has signed EMERGENCY ORDER #15 suspending evictions and foreclosures during the coronavirus public health emergency.

Read the Press Release here

March 23, 2020, Governor Evers, Insurance Commissioner Order Insurers to Assist Restaurants Offering Delivery During COVID-19 Public Health Crisis

Read the Press Release here

Some IRS call centers have been shut down by states, while another is affected by a recent earthquake.

    

2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed

    

Gov. Evers orders non-essential Wisconsin businesses closed

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has officially enacted his ‘Safer At Home’ order, to slow the spread of coronavirus and is ordering the closure of all non-essential businesses. 

 

The order goes into effect at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, and is set to remain in effect until 8 a.m. Friday, April 24, or until a superseding order is issued.

              

Gov. Evers says the following businesses are allowed to continue operating under the order:

  • Health care operations, including home health workers;

  • Critical infrastructure;

  • Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable individuals;

  • Fresh and non-perishable food retailers, including convenience stores, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and food banks;

  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food and goods directly to residences;

  • Pharmacies, health care supply stores and health care facilities;

  • Child care facilities, with some limitations; 

  • Gas stations and auto repair facilities;

  • Banks;

  • Laundry businesses, dry cleaners and services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of a residence, including garbage collection;

  • Hardware stores, plumbers, and electricians;

  • Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning;

  • Roles required for any business to maintain minimum basic operations, which includes security, and payroll; and  

  • Law and safety, and essential government functions will continue under the recommended action.

 
  • He has also ordered the local/county law enforcement to enforce the closures

       

  • The state Supreme Court ordered that jury trials in Wisconsin have been postponed until the end of May and in-person proceedings have been suspended statewide through at least April 30 in an effort to protect public health and keep courts operating during the coronavirus outbreak.

                ​

  • The Supreme Court said Sunday that trials scheduled to begin from now through May 22 will be rescheduled until after that date. 

Click here to see a complete copy of Emergency Order #12

WI Unemployment COVID-19 Public Information - click here

 
 

IRS People First Initiative

          

To help people facing the challenges of COVID-19 issues, the Internal Revenue Service announced today a sweeping series of steps to assist taxpayers by providing relief on a variety of issues. 

              

Existing Installment Agreements – For taxpayers under an existing Installment Agreement, payments due between April 1 and July 15, 2020 are suspended. Taxpayers who are currently unable to comply with the terms of an Installment Payment Agreement, including a Direct Deposit Installment Agreement, may suspend payments during this period if they prefer. Furthermore, the IRS will not default any Installment Agreements during this period. By law, interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid balances.

      

New Installment Agreements – The IRS reminds people unable to fully pay their federal taxes that they can resolve outstanding liabilities by entering into a monthly payment agreement with the IRS. Further information is available can be found at IRS.gov.

          

Offers in Compromise (OIC) – The IRS is taking several steps to assist taxpayers in various stages of the OIC process:

  • Pending OIC applications – The IRS will allow taxpayers until July 15 to provide requested additional information to support a pending OIC. In addition, the IRS will not close any pending OIC request before July 15, 2020, without the taxpayer's consent.

  • OIC Payments – Taxpayers have the option of suspending all payments on accepted OICs until July 15, 2020, although by law interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid balances.

  • Delinquent Return Filings - The IRS will not default an OIC for those taxpayers who are delinquent in filing their tax return for tax year 2018. However, taxpayers should file any delinquent 2018 return (and their 2019 return) on or before July 15, 2020.

  • New OIC Applications – The IRS reminds people facing a liability exceeding their net worth that the OIC process is designed to resolve outstanding tax liabilities by providing a "Fresh Start." Further information is available can be found at IRS.gov.

       ​

Non-Filers –The IRS reminds people who have not filed their return for tax years before 2019 that they should file their delinquent returns. More than 1 million households that haven't filed tax returns during the last three years are actually owed refunds; they still have time to claim these refunds. Many should consider contacting a tax professional to consider various available options since the time to receive such refunds is limited by statute. Once delinquent returns have been filed, taxpayers with a tax liability should consider taking the opportunity to resolve any outstanding liabilities by entering into an Installment Agreement or an Offer in Compromise with the IRS to obtain a "Fresh Start." See IRS.gov for further information.

        

Field Collection Activities - Liens and levies (including any seizures of a personal residence) initiated by field revenue officers will be suspended during this period. However, field revenue officers will continue to pursue high-income non-filers and perform other similar activities where warranted.

          

Automated Liens and Levies – New automatic, systemic liens and levies will be suspended during this period.

Passport Certifications to the State Department – IRS will suspend new certifications to the Department of State for taxpayers who are "seriously delinquent" during this period. These taxpayers are encouraged to submit a request for an Installment Agreement or, if applicable, an OIC during this period. Certification prevents taxpayers from receiving or renewing passports.

          

Private Debt Collection – New delinquent accounts will not be forwarded by the IRS to private collection agencies to work during this period.

      

Field, Office and Correspondence Audits – During this period, the IRS will generally not start new field, office and correspondence examinations. We will continue to work refund claims where possible, without in-person contact. However, the IRS may start new examinations where deemed necessary to protect the government's interest in preserving the applicable statute of limitations.

    

  • In-Person Meetings - In-person meetings regarding current field, office and correspondence examinations will be suspended. Even though IRS examiners will not hold in-person meetings, they will continue their examinations remotely, where possible. To facilitate the progress of open examinations, taxpayers are encouraged to respond to any requests for information they already have received - or may receive - on all examination activity during this period if they are able to do so.

  • Unique Situations - Particularly for some corporate and business taxpayers, the IRS understands that there may be instances where the taxpayers desire to begin an examination while people and records are available and respective staffs have capacity. In those instances when it's in the best interest of both parties and appropriate personnel are available, the IRS may initiate activities to move forward with an examination -- understanding that COVID-19 developments could later reduce activities for an agreed period.

  • General Requests for Information - In addition to compliance activities and examinations, the IRS encourages taxpayers to respond to any other IRS correspondence requesting additional information during this time if possible.  

         ​

Earned Income Tax Credit and Wage Verification Reviews – Taxpayers have until July 15, 2020, to respond to the IRS to verify that they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit or to verify their income. These taxpayers are encouraged to exercise their best efforts to obtain and submit all requested information, and if unable to do so, please reach out to the IRS indicating the reason such information is not available. Until July 15, 2020, the IRS will not deny these credits for a failure to provide requested information.

          

Independent Office of Appeals – Appeals employees will continue to work their cases. Although Appeals is not currently holding in-person conferences with taxpayers, conferences may be held over the telephone or by videoconference. Taxpayers are encouraged to promptly respond to any outstanding requests for information for all cases in the Independent Office of Appeals.

             

Statute of Limitations - The IRS will continue to take steps where necessary to protect all applicable statutes of limitations. In instances where statute expirations might be jeopardized during this period, taxpayers are encouraged to cooperate in extending such statutes. Otherwise, the IRS will issue Notices of Deficiency and pursue other similar actions to protect the interests of the government in preserving such statutes. Where a statutory period is not set to expire during 2020, the IRS is unlikely to pursue the foregoing actions until at least July 15, 2020.

 

Wisconsin extends state tax filing deadline to July 15

Governor Evers and Secretary Barca announced that Wisconsin law will automatically extend time and waive interest and penalties for taxpayers due to a presidentially declared disaster.

 

Wisconsin income tax payment and return due dates have been automatically extended to July 15, 2020. The extension matches the deadline adjustment made for federal tax filing by the IRS.

  • Tax filers do not have to file any extension forms to be eligible for this new due date.

  • There is no limit on the amount of payment to be postponed, and there are no income exclusions.

  • This applies to individuals, trusts, estates, partnerships, associations, companies or corporations.

  • This relief is solely for income tax payments, estimated income tax payments and returns due April 15, 2020.

  • There will be no interest or penalty for the period of April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.

  • Interest, penalties, and underpayment interest for failure to make quarterly estimated tax payments with respect to such postponed federal income tax filings and payments will begin to accrue on July 16, 2020.

  • AS OF 3/23, THERE IS NO FILING OR PAYMENT EXTENSION FOR SALES OR PAYROLL TAXES.

Currently, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue is continuing to process tax returns and issue tax refunds.

Utilities

On Sunday, Gov. Tony Evers issued Emergency Order #11, suspending several utility-related administrative rules, paving the way for the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) to temporarily order further consumer protections amid the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“It is critically important to give people flexibility during this emergency, when paychecks might be disrupted, to keep the lights and heat on and water flowing,” said Gov. Evers. “We’re making sure that folks don’t have to make the critical choice between keeping their utilities on and paying for other essentials.”

Immediately following the governor’s emergency order, PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq directed regulated utilities in the state to take the following actions for the duration of the emergency:

  1. Stop utility disconnection for nonpayment for all customers, including commercial, industrial, and farm accounts. Previously this applied to residential accounts only;

  2. Cease assessing late fees to customer accounts;

  3. Halt the practice of requiring deposits from customers for reconnection of service;

  4.  Allow deferred payment agreements for all customers who request them;

  5. Remove any administrative barriers for customers establishing or reestablishing utility service; and

  6. Authorize water utilities to provide budget billing arrangements to customers. Electric and natural gas utilities are allowed to do this under current rules.

Read the Public Service Commission Administrative Rules Suspensions

WI Department of Revenue Updates

See the COVID-19 Information and Announcements

 
 

TAX DUE DATES

 

Tax payments due on April 15th can be made on July 15th without interest or penalty,

including estimated tax payments.

 

This relief is available solely for:

 

  • 2019 tax returns (originally) due on due on April 15, 2020

  • Federal income tax payments (including payments of tax on self-employment income)

  • Federal tax payments, and estimated tax payments, that are due for the period beginning on April 15, 2020, and ending on July 15, 2020

Important Notes

As of March 20th, 2020, the filing deadline HAS changed to July 15th, 2020.

     ​

  • Interest, penalties, and additions to tax with respect to payments due before April 15, 2020 are not available for relief.

  • Interest, penalties, and additions to tax with respect to such postponed Federal income tax payments will begin to accrue on July 16, 2020.

  • Interest, penalties and additions to tax will accrue, without any suspension or deferral, on the amount of any Federal income tax payments in excess of the ‘Postponed Payment’ due but not paid by an Affected Taxpayer on April 15, 2020.

  • No extension is provided in this notice for the payment or deposit of any other type of Federal tax, or for the filing of any tax return or information return.

An Affected Taxpayer is any person with a Federal income tax payment due April 15, 2020.

 

Applicable Postponed Payment Amounts (‘Postponed Payment’)

 

  • For each consolidated group (as defined in §1.1502-1) or for each C corporation that does not join in filing a consolidated return: The Applicable Postponed Payment Amount is up to $10,000,000 for each consolidated group.

 

  • For all other Affected Taxpayers, the Applicable Postponed Payment Amount is up to $1,000,000 regardless of filing status.

 

  • For example, the Applicable Postponed Payment Amount is the same for a single individual and for married individuals filing a joint return. In both instances the Applicable Postponed Payment Amount is up to $1,000,000.

Affected Taxpayers subject to penalties or additions to tax despite the relief granted by this section III may seek reasonable cause relief under section 6651 for a failure to pay tax or seek a waiver to a penalty under section 6654 for a failure by an individual or certain trusts and estates to pay estimated income tax, as applicable. Similar relief with respect to estimated tax payments is not available for corporate taxpayers or tax-exempt organizations under section 6655.

The complete notice can be found here

FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT (FFCRA)

(H.R. 6201)

  

      

PAID JOB PROTECTED LEAVE

   

(as part of H.R. 6201)

 

This leave is job-protected and provides employees of employers with fewer than 500 employees with the right to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).

The first two weeks of leave may be unpaid; the employee may choose to substitute accrued paid time off or other medical or sick leave during this period, but an employer cannot require an employee to do so.  After the first two weeks of unpaid leave, employers must continue paid FMLA leave at a rate of no less than two-thirds of the employee’s usual rate of pay.

To be eligible for paid leave, employees must have been on the employer’s payroll for 30 days and use emergency FMLA leave for the following reasons:

          

  • To adhere to a requirement or recommendation to quarantine due to exposure to or symptoms of coronavirus;

  • To care for a family member who is adhering to a requirement or recommendation to quarantine due to exposure to or symptoms of coronavirus; and

  • To care for a child of an employee if the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider is unavailable, due to the coronavirus.

14 Days of Paid Sick Leave

(as part of H.R. 6201)

         

 

Under the FFCRA, employers with fewer than 500 employees will be required to provide full-time employees with 2 weeks (80 hours) of paid sick leave for the following reasons:

  • To self-isolate because of a diagnosis of COVID-19, or to comply with a recommendation or order to quarantine due to exposure or exhibition of symptoms;

  • The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns; 

  • To obtain a medical diagnosis or care if the employee is experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus;

  • To care for a family member who is self-isolating due to a diagnosis of coronavirus, experiencing symptoms of coronavirus and needs to obtain medical diagnosis or care, or quarantining due to exposure or exhibition of symptoms; 

  • To care for a child whose school has closed, or childcare provider is unavailable, due to the coronavirus; or

  • The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and of Labor.   

Employers must compensate employees for any paid sick time they take at their regular rates of pay (unless the leave is being used to care for a family member or child, in which case the employee is only entitled to two-thirds of his or her regular rate of pay).  The sick leave is available for immediate use by employees, regardless of length of employment.

  • Full-time employees would receive up to 80 hours at their regular rate of pay, subject to caps. 

  • Part-time employees would receive the average number of hours of work they work over a two-week period at their regular rate, subject to the caps. 

  • Where leave is taken on account of the first three reasons listed above, paid sick leave is limited to $511 per day or $5,110 in total. 

  • Where leave is taken on account of the last three bullets, paid leave is limited to $200 per day or $2,000 in total. 

  • These limits match the proposed caps on the tax credits employers will receive for payment of paid sick leave under the Proposed FFCRA against their share of Social Security taxes. 

Notably, employers who already provide paid leave to employees on the day before the bill is enacted must provide this paid leave in addition to any paid leave already provided—and may not change their paid leave policies on or after the date of enactment to avoid compliance.  Finally, employers cannot require employees to utilize other paid leave before using the paid leave provided by this bill.

Like the amendment to the FMLA, this aspect of the bill would also expire on December 31, 2020.​

The FFCRA states that the Secretary of Labor may exempt small business with fewer than 50 employees when the imposition of the requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. 

Unemployment

    

 

As part of H.R. 6201 (passed by the House on 3/14/2020):

FFCRA willprovide $1 billion in grants to states for emergency unemployment insurance, half of which would be transferred to the states within 60 days after the enactment of the bill (so long as the state complies with certain requirements, such as requiring employers to notify employees of the availability of unemployment compensation and permitting individuals to apply for unemployment compensation in at least two of the following ways—in-person, by phone, or online).  The remainder of the grant would be reserved for states in which the number of unemployment compensation claims has increased by at least 10% over the same quarter in the prior calendar year. 

 

To receive access to the second portion of the grant, states must, among other things, make it easier for individuals to obtain unemployment compensation by waiving work search requirements and waiting periods.

In Wisconsin:

On March 17th, to comply with federal guidance related to administering unemployment insurance benefit claims, Gov. Tony Evers announced he will issue an Emergency Order tomorrow that will waive work search requirements and modify the availability requirements for unemployment insurance benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19. 

Gov. Evers also announced that his order will waive the requirement that unemployment insurance claimants conduct at least four weekly work search actions during the COVID-19 emergency. His order will also ensure that claimants who are otherwise eligible but out of work due to COVID-19 are considered available for work and therefore eligible for benefits.

 

Tax Credits

(as part of H.R. 6201)

    

The bill provides for refundable tax credits for employers providing paid emergency sick leave or paid FMLA. 

      

The credits are as follows:

  • A refundable tax credit for employers equal to 100 percent of qualified family leave wages required to be paid by the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act that are paid by an employer for each calendar quarter.  The tax credit is allowed against the tax imposed by section 3111(a) (the employer portion of Social Security taxes).  The amount of qualified family leave wages taken into account for each employee is capped at $200 per day and $10,000 for all calendar quarters.  If the credit exceeds the employer’s total liability under section 3111(a) for all employees for any calendar quarter, the excess credit is refundable to the employer.

  • A refundable tax credit for employers equal to 100 percent of qualified paid sick leave wages required to be paid by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act that are paid by an employer for each calendar quarter.  The tax credit is allowed against the tax imposed by section 3111(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (the employer portion of Social Security taxes).

WI DOR - Use of Online Services

 

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is now asking its customers to use its many online tax and other service tools at revenue.wi.gov rather than in-person visits to its customer service centers — and it is because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

To help Wisconsin taxpayers fulfill their DOR business needs during this unique time, the agency has compiled a list of “quick links” to complete needed tax tasks without the need for an in-person visit.

Tax refund status

Past-due tax help

Make payments

Other

Customer service phone numbers

Go To COVID-19 Index

           

Strive Tax & Accounting, LLC reminds readers that the information which is summarized herein is for general and informational purposes only, it is not legal advice. It does not take into account your specific circumstances and should not be acted on without full understanding of your current situation and future goals and objectives by a fully qualified financial advisor. In doing so you risk making commitment to a product and/or strategy that may not be suitable to your needs.

   

While we have tried to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the contents of this website, Strive Tax & Accounting, LLC cannot offer any undertaking or guarantee, either expressly or implicitly, including liability towards third parties, regarding how correct, complete or up to date the contents of this website are. We reserve the right to supplement this website at any time or to change or delete any information contained or views expressed on this website.

Please consult us or your legal professionals regarding any specific matters related to the CARES Act that may affect your firm and its portfolio companies.

       

Strive Tax & Accounting, LLC accepts no liability for any loss or damage howsoever arising out of the use of this website or reliance on the content of the website.

 Our primary goal as a trusted advisor is to be available and to provide insightful advice to enable our clients to make informed financial decisions.

Continually striving for accuracy, excellence and the highest level of integrity.

Strive Tax & Accounting, LLC

CPA's specializing in small business tax and accounting with emphasis in construction and manufacturing for corporation and passthrough entities.

PO Box 28353

Green Bay, WI 54324

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