RISCPA/RI BUSINESS FORUM NEWS RELEASE AUGUST 12, 2020
NEWS AND UPDATES:
- President Trump signed a series of Executive Orders this past weekend that included postponing payroll taxes through the end of the year, adding a $400 unemployment benefit for anyone collecting UI (down from $600), halting evictions (helping people “stay in their homes”) and waiving payment on student debt through the end of the year.
Payroll Tax Deferment:
One of Trump’s executive orders directs Treasury to defer Social Security payroll taxes through the end of the year from September 1st through December 31st. Under the order, employers would cease withholding of the employee share (6.2%) but continue to contribute their portion (6.2%) for each worker. In addition to concerns on whether the President has the authority to do this, questions remain with the proposal. Neither Treasury or the IRS has issued the guidance required to implement and employers have expressed concerns with potential costs and whether they have the ability to make necessary changes to their payroll systems. A larger issue is the order does not ELIMINATE the tax burden, instead it is a deferral, therefore it is possible that employees could end owe significant taxes to the Federal government when the suspension period ends. RISCPA members have indicated they there would need to be clear guidance on what employers would do if the employee were to leave the company and most have advised clients to do nothing at this time.
Extended UI Benefits:
The federal government would pay $300 and states would kick in $100. Many states are dealing with revenue shortfalls and may not have the financial means to do this (it is not clear if the President has the authority to do this); governors in several states have indicated they will not sign off on this.
The Federal moratorium passed by Congress to prevent evictions expired July 24th. This is not an “order” per se, but instead the order calls for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to find funds to help prevent evictions. It does not provide a path for the action or fund it.
Student Loan Debt:
The action waives interest on student loans through the end of 2020 and allows people to delay payments until Dec. 31st on Federal loans. The President canceled interest payments on the loans, but the debt remains in place. Payments for principal are due December 31st with full payments set to resume on January 1, 2021.
- Governor Raimondo announced that she would delay the start date for Rhode Island schools for two weeks to September 14th and the school year will conclude on June 25th; she thanked school administrations for their efforts.
- Governor Raimondo will be joined by Dr. Anthony Fauci for a special Facebook LIVE event Thursday, August 13th at 3 pm. The discussion will be focused on the return to school and subsequent planning.
- Executive Orders extended to September 4th:
- Telemedicine coverage
- Cloth face coverings must be worn in public
- State of Emergency (Disaster declaration)
- Quarantine regulations (includes newly added rules) remain in place
Visit https://governor.ri.gov/newsroom/orders/ for a complete list of Executive Orders.
Phase 3 Guidelines: https://www.reopeningri.com/
SBA ANNOUNCES UPDATES TO PPP FORGIVENESS AND FAQs:
FAQs Updated (#50 and #51 added) August 11, 2020
FAQs on PPP Loan Forgiveness: As of August 11, 2020
PPP Program Updates Through August 8, 2020
Upcoming SBA training: August 12, 2020
Restivo Monacelli LLP Announces Vicki L. Goetter as Firm Administrator: News Release
Both the House and Senate are in recess this week
The Rhode Island Division of Taxation and other Security Summit partners urge tax practitioners to secure remote locations by using a virtual private network (VPN) to protect against cyber intruders. For more information, please use the following link: Publication 5433-B (7-2020) / ADV 2020 34
WEBINAR: Thursday, August 13, 2020 1pm, Understanding the e-Service Transcript Delivery System (TDS)
IRS Tax Tips: Using the Tax Withholding Estimator will help taxpayers avoid surprises next year: Tax Withholding Estimator
COVID-19 Rhode Island Stats:
- Total number of cases: 20,129
- New cases: 74
- People hospitalized: 89
- Total Number of Deaths: 1018
- Total number of tests: 411,727
CEI for Q2 2020 Shows Historic Contraction of Economic Activity and Employment in RI: Publication
Key Questions Remain in Proposal to Shore Up Flagging RIte Share Program: Publication
- The first round of funding for the Restore RI Grant program has concluded.
- Travelers checking into a hotel, vacation rental or other lodging, will be required to sign a certificate of compliance regarding quarantine, guests will not be allowed to check-in without this document; the process is similar to what they are doing in Maine.
- Governor Raimondo announced the state has contracted with Accu Reference and Dominion Diagnostics located in RI to offer COVID-19 testing to expand capacity with a guaranteed turn-around of 48 hours. The goal is for each company to perform 1000 tests per day.
- Governor Raimondo announced a new initiative, Back to Work RI, an innovative $45M plan to train and support Rhode Islanders who have lost jobs as a result of the crisis. The initiative, which partners with businesses and other key stakeholders, is focused on getting displaced residents back to work; RISCPA is proud to partner with RI Department of Labor for this program. The program, funded through Federal CARES Act, is being launched in addition to the Restore RI and RIse Together, initiatives announced previously. For more information, visit RI DLT website: https://dlt.ri.gov/backtoworkri/
- Domestic quarantine restrictions are now in place for anyone traveling to Rhode Island from states with a 5% or greater positivity rate. Exceptions will be made for anyone who has tested negative in their home state during the past 72 hours. The list of states will be updated weekly: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/testing-positivity
- Rhode Island Small Business Development Center is hosting a series of free seminars to help small businesses with their marketing needs. For more information, please visit: Training & Events
- IRS Nationwide Tax Forums: Seminar dates, times now available: Nationwide Tax Events
- Department of Motor Vehicle services are available online. DMV Headquarters in Cranston and Middletown locations are available by appointment only; other locations remain closed.
- DLT email for employers with employees refusing work or otherwise ineligible to receive benefits: email@example.com.