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Women in Leadership at Wiss

Marketing Associate, Harriet Levenston, sits down with Stephanie Hughes, CEO of Wiss Family Office, to talk success, resilience, and motherhood. “We feel fortunate as women, as mothers, and as leaders, to work for a firm that values balance, and understands that employee wellbeing correlates with productivity.” Harriet: Hi Stephanie. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with me about your personal background and where you are today, professionally. Stephanie:...

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Private Foundation or Donor-Advised Fund: The Ultimate Dilemma

By Eitan Balloul, Tax Manager, Not-for-Profit Private foundations and Donor-Advised Funds are both vehicles to engage in philanthropic activities. Understanding the differences between the two is critical in determining which is more appropriate for your unique circumstances. Whether you prefer the greater control afforded by a private foundation or confidentiality and fewer restrictions of a DAF, each has its proper use. A Private Foundation is an exempt organization,...

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Stranger in a Strange Land

By Adrienne Moscinski Every one of us has a story. A bit of truth that we tuck away from new eyes. A gaze that we aren’t quite sure of yet. We swim around the unknown looking for the light, where we can finally share who we are – our truth. Interviewing at a new company can be daunting. Poised with a crisp resume in hand, you present your best face. In a tailored suit, you search for the right words to let your personality shine through, while assuring the interviewer that you are...

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An Interview with Taylor Parker, P.E., Branch Manager at Bohler

International Women in Engineering Day is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of female engineers. At Wiss, we’re privileged to work with clients like Bohler who support and recognize the importance of women’s contributions in this industry. Taylor Parker, P.E., Branch Manager at Bohler’s Miami office, shares what inspired her to pursue a career in Engineering and what it takes to succeed and stand out in a traditionally male-dominated profession. What sparked...

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Exempt Organizations and Sales Tax

By Eitan Balloul, CPA, Tax Manager – Exempt Organizations & Fred Komarow, Tax Manager- SALT Many Tax-Exempt organizations are required to pay or to collect sales tax on certain transactions. Sales tax is governed and applied at the state and local level, which means that each state has its own rules and compliance requirements that will apply to an organization operating within a particular jurisdiction. Collecting and reporting sales tax is a requirement when selling tangible...

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A New World in Real Estate: PropTech and Big Data

By Brian Burte, Manager To succeed in this digital era, companies of all kinds must be firmly grounded in technology. That’s as true for us at Wiss as it is for our clients in a range of industries, including real estate. And while real estate has traditionally been slow to adopt new technology, that is changing fast. Our real estate clients are using technology to automate many business functions, such as accounting, HR, and payroll. And they are using digital tools to...

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The Masks are Off! …Or Are They? 

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory Business leaders are grappling with how to manage company practices regarding mask mandates and vaccinations. The CDC’s recent announcement that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks or social distance, except in limited circumstances, is welcome news to so many people.  Employers need to tread carefully, however since many states and localities have their own legislative requirements that companies may still need...

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Guidance from the IRS on COBRA & ARPA

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory In an earlier blog, we highlighted the COBRA premium subsidy that was provided under the American Rescue Plan Act.  As expected, the IRS has now issued further guidance that provides additional clarification on the subsidy.  Notice 2021-31 has been released and addresses some of the many questions that have been outstanding since the passage of the new law.  There is an extensive list of questions and answers in the newly released...

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New Reporting Requirements for NY Tax-Exempt Organizations

By Eitan Balloul, Tax Manager, Not-for-Profit Effective January 1, 2021, many Exempt organizations that file Form NY CHAR500 with the Attorney General must file the same information with the New York Department of State (“DOS”).  There are 3 different potential reports for filing with the Department of State:  1. Annual Financial Disclosure Reports – Under Executive Law Section 172-b (1), (2) & (9)  Charitable organizations that receive more than $250,000 in gross...

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The Pass through Entity Tax (PTET) Now Applies to New York State – Here’s What You Need to Know.

Featuring Phil London, Partner Emeritus Legislative changes in the New York State budget have created the highest combined local tax rate in the country for some New York City residents. At the same time, a Pass Through Entity Tax (PTET) was enacted in New York State. Below, Philip London, member of the New York State Society of CPAs, and the New York, Multistate and Local Taxation committee, provides insight on the new law. Tell us about your involvement in the passing...

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The IRS Does it Again – Another Retroactive 2020 Tax Change

By Nicole DeRosa, CPA, MAcc, Senior Tax Manager First the unemployment compensation exclusion…now this. With less than a week until the original tax filing deadline, the IRS announced the suspension of the requirement to repay excess advance payments of the 2020 Premium Tax Credit (“PTC”) which was a provision rolled out with the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”).  Unfortunately, being that the unemployment compensation exclusion was at the forefront of the ARPA,...

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COBRA Model Notices Issued by Department of Labor

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory The Department of Labor has now released model notices as well as additional guidance regarding the COBRA premium subsidies provided under the American Rescue Plan Act.  You can review our recent blog for background on the original Act. The model notices and election forms can be found on the Department of Labor website, and are summarized below. These notices can be used to help employers satisfy the new notice requirements under...

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What You Should Know About ERISA Plan Audit Changes

By Craig Erickson, Partner-in-Charge, Employee Benefit Plan Group In July 2019, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) issued a new Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS 136) designed to regulate and improve the audit quality for plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The new standards were originally intended to apply to audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after December 15, 2020, but the...

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Get Ready to Apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

By Ilya Brodetskiy, Ilya Brodetskiy, CPA, MST, Senior Tax Manager In January, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, landmark legislation designed to help U.S. residents and businesses stay afloat in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. One under-reported element of the plan is the establishment of the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), to be administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This program will offer tax-free...

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FFCRA Update – Tax Credits Extended to September 30

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory American Rescue Plan New Extensions One of the provisions of the recently passed American Rescue Plan covers paid sick and family leave, as originally provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  While the requirement to provide leave under FFCRA expired December 31, 2020, the rescue package extends the tax credits until September 30, 2021 for employers who voluntarily continue to provide paid leave under the same...

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New York State Paid Leave for COVID Vaccine

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory New York State employers will now be required to provide paid leave to employees who receive the COVID vaccine.  The recently passed legislation, already signed into law by Governor Cuomo, takes effect immediately and ends December 31, 2022. The new law requires all employers in New York State to provide their workers with a “sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours”, for each injection.  Employees must be paid their regular...

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Got Unemployment Compensation? Don’t Rush to File or Amend Just Yet!

By Nicole DeRosa, CPA, MAcc, Senior Tax Manager Last week, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 signed into law by President Biden included a very welcome retroactive tax provision for unemployed workers.  The bill provides that up to the first $10,200 of unemployment compensation benefits, paid to you in 2020, can now be excluded from taxable income, provided household income is under $150,000.  Although a very welcomed provision for the unemployed, there...

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American Rescue Plan: Free COBRA Coverage

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), now signed by President Biden, includes important changes which employers need to be aware of regarding COBRA coverage for certain eligible employees and their dependents.  It provides up to 6 months of free COBRA coverage for Assistance Eligible Individuals, a special COBRA enrollment window, and new notice obligations. Premium Subsidy for Assistance Eligible Individuals One of the major provisions...

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PPP Loans Become More Favorable for Small Business, Other Important Updates

By Travis Miskowitz, Manager, CFO Advisory The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) became more favorable to small business as the Small Business Administration (SBA) in cooperation with the Department of Treasury, revised the loan calculation for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and those that are self-employed increasing their chances of obtaining a higher loan amount in contrast to existing guidance. Other important updates were included in two new pieces of...

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$1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan Released – Perhaps the 3rd Time is a Charm!

By Nicole DeRosa, CPA, MAcc, Senior Tax Manager  The much anticipated $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was released by lawmakers last week and passed by House by a near party-line vote of 219-212 early Saturday morning.  The third stimulus package is now on its way to the Senate, which is expected to pass in hopes to meet a mid-March deadline, albeit with some potential changes.  Once signed into law by President Biden, this 592-page stimulus package will offer a wide range of...

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Biden Administration Targeting PPP Aid to Smallest Businesses – 2 Week Delay Starting Wednesday Morning

By Travis Miskowitz, Manager, CFO Advisory Early Monday morning, the Biden Administration announced it is instituting a 2-week period targeting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to small businesses only. The temporary freeze goes into effect Wednesday morning beginning at 9:00 am, and only small businesses with 20 or fewer employees will be eligible to apply for a PPP loan for the next 2 weeks. The move by the current Administration is an effort to provide much-needed funding...

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SBA to Speed Up PPP Approval Process

By Travis Miskowitz, Manager, CFO Advisory In response to concerns from the small business community regarding delays and processing issues with the latest round of PPP funding, the SBA released a procedural notice on 2/10 implementing changes to speed up the loan approval process. As many as 30% of all PPP loan applications have been delayed due to Hold or Error codes as a result of stepped-up front-end compliance and verification checks. Late last week, we covered the issues causing...

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PPP Processing Delays – More Communication Required from SBA

By Travis Miskowitz, Manager CFO Advisory When the Small Business Administration rolled out the Paycheck Protection Program in 2020, there was an immediate need to stem the losses and financial difficulties that small business owners were facing due to the pandemic and government-mandated shutdown orders. The early days of PPP were fraught with processing issues, incomplete or inconsistent guidance, and a lack of reliable resources for small business owners to reference when applying...

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Capital Formation Advisory

Whatever stage your company is in, Wiss Capital Advisors can help you make the right financing decisions. We can advise on securing equity capital for growth-oriented companies, including expansion capital and pre-IPO financing. We can help you secure financing for a management buyout, management buy-in, or corporate divestiture.  And we have the experience and expertise needed to help you in special situations, including acquisition financing, public-to-private transactions, and...

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What type of entity should my startup be (a C-Corp or LLC)?

CPA and Partner at WISS & Co., Matt Barbieri discusses the reason he’s doing this podcast (basically to answer all those questions he gets over-and-over) and then answers a question he gets ALL THE TIME from startup founders, which is, What type of entity should our company be? Listen to the episode here… Still need more guidance? No problem! Reach out to a Wiss expert for answers. Contact Us

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Gain More Certainty About Surety Bonds

Looking to better understand the Surety Bond process? Join Tim Kennedy and Brian Reingold of our Construction Services Group for a 30-minute webinar to gain more certainty about your financial picture so that if you need a Surety Bond, you are better equipped. They’ll answer the top 10 most common questions and provide insights into your 3 keys to success: Building a well thought out Business Plan Ensuring quality Financial Management Selecting a Surety Agent Access the Webinar...

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The Business Interest Expense Limitation under IRC Section 163(j): What You Need to Know for the 2020 Tax Year

By Jennifer Beceiro, Tax Manager & Eliezer Gross, Real Estate Tax Director The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) amended IRC Section 163(j) that limited the deductibility of business interest expense for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Business interest expense is limited to the sum of the Taxpayer’s business interest income, floor plan financing interest, and 30% of Adjusted Taxable Income (ATI). There are two situations that Taxpayers may not be subject to the 163(j)...

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Straight Outta Congress: How to Maximize the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) & Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

By Travis Miskowitz, Manager, CFO Advisory This is a developing story; updates will be published as additional information becomes available. Update: March 3, 2021 As we enter March, we would like to remind our clients and friends that they may be eligible for 2 very beneficial programs: Employee Retention Credit (ERC) and a 1st Draw or 2nd Draw PPP loan. The ERC is a refundable credit which can now be claimed retroactively by PPP borrowers to 2020 if the company meets 2 main eligibility...

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Using Form 941 For FFCRA Tax Credits

By Lisa Calick, Director of HR Advisory Services, and Laura Melville, Manager, Outsourced Payroll  This guide is to be a helpful resource to guide you through how to properly prepare your 4th quarter Form 941 should you have any paid sick or family leave wages under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act for which you are claiming refundable tax credits. For further information on the details of this Act, read this blog. Earlier this year, the IRS had updated Form 941 to allow...

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PPP “Yeah, You Know Me” – 3rd PPP Application Window Opening Soon

By Travis Miskowitz, Manager, CFO Advisory Late Wednesday evening, the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) in coordination with the Department of Treasury, issued guidance for the revamped Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) authorized by the Economic Aid Act of 2020. The newly released guidance includes: Interim Final Rule (IFR) “Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program as Amended” an 82-page consolidation of existing PPP guidance in the form of 24...

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Breaking Down the Employee Retention Credit in the New COVID Relief Bill

By Ilya Brodetskiy, Tax Manager Some significant updates are affecting the Employee Retention Credit, but there are still some important unknowns. Businesses that were ineligible for the ERC because they applied for PPP funding or who had over 100 full-time employees should reevaluate their eligibility based on the expanded program. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 introduced major changes to the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).  The first change allows businesses that...

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Payroll/HR End of Year – What You Need To Know

by Lisa Calick, Director of HR Advisory Services It has been quite a year, and most of us are glad to see 2020 come to an end.  Businesses have had to pivot pretty quickly in a number of areas due to the pandemic this year.  Before we ring in the new year, it is important to note the following changes, many of which result from the stimulus relief bill passed by Congress. While this bill is not yet law, employers should be aware of the provisions that may be applicable to them if...

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Show me the money…again! Congress agrees to $900B Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020

By Nicole DeRosa, CPA, MAcc, Senior Tax Manager, and Travis Miskowitz, Manager, CFO Advisory Congressional leaders are close to finalizing the next round of stimulus, referred to as the Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 providing for $900 billion in government funds aimed at supporting small businesses and the ailing economy. The coronavirus relief bill is expected to pass with bi-partisan support, and the President is expected to sign the bill into law quickly. The relief...

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The Lasso Way: Management Lessons from Ted Lasso

By William Haemmerle, Director of Transaction Advisory Services There are certain people we meet throughout our lives that we know will change us forever.  They encourage us to become a better version of ourselves.  I recently met one of those people while watching the first season of Ted Lasso on AppleTV.  Yes, I said watching a television show! Beginning with the 2013-2014 season, NBC acquired the broadcast rights to the English Premier League.  The network ran promotional commercials...

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Technology and Cybersecurity in a Work-From-Home World: Q&A with Wiss’s Director of Information Technology Joe Turk

By Lisa Calick Series introduction: In this four-part Q&A series, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Lisa Calick speaks with experts from Wiss to learn about the challenges that clients face due to the changes in work arrangements and culture as a result of the pandemic. As a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), I spend my days giving human resources advice to Wiss clients, helping them with everything from benefits inquiries to staying in compliance with...

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Questions About Remote Work and Payroll: A Q&A with Wiss’s Outsourced Payroll Manager Laura Melville

By Lisa Calick Series introduction: In this four-part Q&A series, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Lisa Calick speaks with experts from Wiss to learn about the challenges that clients face due to the changes in work arrangements and culture as a result of the pandemic.   As a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), I spend my days giving human resources advice to Wiss clients, helping them with everything from benefits inquiries to staying in compliance with...

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Managing People, Pandemic-style: A Q&A with Wiss’s Director of People Operations Amanda Dominguez

Series introduction: In this four-part Q&A series, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Lisa Calick speaks with experts from Wiss to learn about the challenges that clients face due to the changes in work arrangements and culture as a result of the pandemic. As a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), I spend my days giving human resources advice to Wiss clients, helping them with everything from benefits inquiries to staying in compliance with employment laws....

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Unintended Effect of PPP Loan Forgiveness: Reduction in R&D Credit

By Travis Miskowitz, Manager, CFO Advisory The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides loans to small and mid-size businesses to cover payroll and other specific costs during the coronavirus pandemic. PPP loans may be forgiven under particular circumstances, and are typically excluded from taxable income. Sounds simple—and if you focus on the question of payroll costs, it is. But companies that are interested...

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Treasury and IRS Issue Guidance on Deductibility of Expenses Related to a PPP Loan

By Michael Bodrato, Director of Taxes The US Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released guidance on November 18, 2020, in Rev. Rul. 2020-27 and Rev. Proc. 2020-51, clarifying the tax treatment of expenses where a loan received under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) has not been forgiven by the end of the year in which the loan was received. The IRS clarified in a notice issued on May 18, 2020, that since under the CARES Act businesses are not taxed on the proceeds...

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Preparing Your Company for Sale (Even If You Aren’t Ready)

By William Haemmerle, Director of Transaction Advisory Services “Luck favors the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur Most business owners never really worry about selling their company until something happens – they decide to retire, there is a succession issue, or they receive an unsolicited offer.  Unless preparations have been made, none of these situations provide significant time to get the financial, operational, or legal house in order. If you fall in this category, it is...

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What Can the Pandemic Teach Us About Recruiting?

Series introduction: In this four-part Q&A series, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Lisa Calick speaks with experts from Wiss to learn about the challenges that clients face due to the changes in work arrangements and culture as a result of the pandemic. A Q&A with Wiss’s Practice Leader for Recruiting, Kevin Kurtz As a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), I spend my days giving human resources advice to Wiss clients, helping them with everything from...

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How a Biden Administration May Change the Tax Landscape

By Laurie Smith With the presidential election in our rearview window (barely), next up on everyone’s mind is how president-elect Joe Biden’s tax proposals may impact you. Before we get into the details of some key proposals and planning opportunities, it is important to note there are still many unknowns. Crucially, it will not be clear until early-to-mid-January 2021 which party will control the Senate, the result of two run-off races in Georgia taking place on January 5. The outcome...

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NJ Corporate Tax Update

by Azra Khan New Jersey enacted technical and substantive changes to 2018 Corporation Business Tax Reform On November 4, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law SB 3007 /AB 4809, which makes some significant changes to the Corporation Business Tax Act (“CBTA”) that may have both favorable and unfavorable results for corporate taxpayers based on specific circumstances. Many provisions of the bill are effective for the 2019 tax year so it will be important to analyze the impact as soon...

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IRS OK’s SALT Cap Workarounds

By Azra Khan On Monday, the IRS announced that it will be issuing proposed regulations allowing partnerships and S corporations to deduct state and local income taxes in full.  Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, individual taxpayers are currently limited to a state tax deduction of $10,000, annually (otherwise known as the “SALT cap”). Some states, including New Jersey, Connecticut and several others have enacted a so-called “workaround” of the SALT Cap, either mandating or allowing...

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Retirement Plan Limits Announced for 2021

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced on October 26, 2020, the retirement plan contribution limits, adjusted for cost-of-living adjustments, for 2021.  These adjustments can be found in greater detail in IRS Notice 2020-79. The COVID-19 pandemic’s continuing impact on the U.S. economy contributed to relatively flat changes in the 2021 COLA amounts as U.S. economic deflation during the first half of 2020 impacted the COLA metrics. The IRS increased the IRS annual compensation...

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SBA Releases Loan Necessity Questionnaire’s for Large Borrowers

By: Travis Miskowitz After many months of waiting and speculation, on Monday October 26th, 2020 the Small Business Administration issued a notice stating the intended release of two new forms available here relating to FAQ – questions #31, which describes each borrowers good faith certifications that current economic conditions made the PPP loan necessary to support ongoing business operations. While this guidance was not available at the time business could apply for the PPP loan...

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HR Alert: New Jersey Executive Order

By Lisa Calick This week, Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order that establishes mandatory health and safety standards in an effort to protect workers across all industries in New Jersey during the pandemic. The Executive Order requires both private and public sector employers to follow health and safety protocols for their in-office employees effective November 5, 2020. These new standards include the following health and safety protocols: Health screening of all employees...

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What Federal Tax Policy Changes Can We Expect? Clues From the Campaign Trail

By Michael LaMotta By this time next week, the U.S. presidential election will be in the rearview mirror, and we’ll all have more questions than we have answers. One of those big questions will be: What is the new president-elect’s vision for the tax code? Neither of the candidates has laid out a formal, detailed plan for this, although they have left clues about some aspects of tax policy along the campaign trail. Tax policy is an underappreciated element of federal policy; considering...

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Do You Qualify for the New Jersey PILOT Program?

By Alexander J. Narcise and Michael Kroll Under New Jersey’s Payment In Lieu of Taxes (“PILOT”) program (N.J.S.A. 40A:20-1), many distressed areas of the state are seeing a resurgence. The PILOT program allows municipalities to exempt developers from full property taxes for a set period of time when making improvements to existing buildings or creating new projects in areas in need of redevelopment, aiming to encourage commercial, residential, and industrial development. Developers...

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Nonprofit Updated Guidance on Reporting for ‘Gifts In Kind’

By Diana Miller On September 17, 2020, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2020-07, Presentation and Disclosures by Not-for-Profit Entities for Contributed Nonfinancial Assets. Nonprofits have been challenged to measure the value of the multitude of contributions they receive (which is not always easy) and are often scrutinized by watchdog agencies, donors, or other regulators. The reason for this update is to improve transparency...

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Unemployment Fraud Alert

By Lisa Calick The increased number of unemployment filings over the past few months in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in the number of fraudulent claims filed, as reported by many states across the country.  In many cases, third parties attempt to file for unemployment insurance benefits using the name and personal information of someone else who is not out of work.  Employers are finding they are receiving claim notices for individuals that are either actively...

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New York State Paid Sick Leave Law

By Lisa Calick All New York State employers will soon need to abide by a new paid sick leave law, which takes effect on September 30, 2020.  Whereas local jurisdictions such as New York City and Westchester County have existing paid sick leave laws in effect, there was previously no statewide mandate. The amount of sick time provided will vary based on the employer’s size and net income from the previous tax year: Employers with 4 or fewer employees, and a net income of $1 million...

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FFCRA Paid Leave Update: Return to School

By Lisa Calick On August 27, 2020, the United States Department of Labor issued new guidance in the form of three additional FAQs to define when a school is considered closed for purposes of leave entitlements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The additional guidance covers three scenarios: Hybrid Learning When the school operates through hybrid learning, students attend in-person on certain days and through remote learning on other days.  In these situations, the...

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IRS Issues Guidance Addressing President Trump’s Order on Payroll Tax Deferral

By Michael Bodrato Presidential Memorandum On August 8th, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to direct the Treasury Secretary to use his authority to defer the withholding, deposit and payment of certain payroll taxes from employees suffering under the economic hardships brought about by the Coronavirus Pandemic.  The President’s order is made applicable to wages and compensation paid during the period of September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020, and is subject...

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IRS Backlog Causing Incorrect Late Payment Notices

By Mike Bodrato The Internal Revenue Service, in its most recent update on IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief webpage, has posted information regarding the handling of incorrect late payment notices.  The IRS notes that they continue to process returns and issue refunds and are working hard to get through its correspondence backlog. However, the IRS states that it is experiencing delays in processing returns, due to limited staffing. The backlog of correspondence includes checks that have...

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Helping New Employees Feel Belonging in a Remote Work World

Questions & Wiss Answers: An interview with Amanda Dominguez, Director of People Operations With employees working from home, how can companies make sure new hires are really part the team? Even before the Covid-19 era, research showed that onboarding was one of the biggest challenges for organizations. The need to onboard remotely provides a chance to think about this important process in new ways, including ensuring that you’re putting the right emphasis on making sure new...

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HR Compliance Checklist

By Lisa Calick Regardless of a company’s size, it is important to make sure that its policies and practices comply with employment laws that exist at the Federal, State, and Local levels.  Doing so will help to minimize liability and risk. Below are some key areas that a company should pay close attention to. Hiring and Onboarding Have job descriptions and job postings been reviewed to ensure they are current and contain accurate information? If employment applications are used,...

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Get To Know Federal Tax Form 5471, and The Post-2017 Revisions

By Mary Vasilescu The IRS collects information about foreign corporations with substantial United States (U.S.) ownership interests using Federal Tax Form 5471, Information Return for U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations. Form 5471 is used by certain U.S. persons who are officers, directors, or shareholders of certain foreign corporations to satisfy the reporting required under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and the related Treasury Regulations. Beware Hefty...

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SBA Releases Long-Awaited Loan Forgiveness FAQs

By Travis Miskowitz At long last, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of the Treasury have released guidance addressing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness. This guidance can be relied upon as the SBA’s interpretation of Section 1106 of the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), as amended by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (Flexibility Act). Consistent with previous updates, the SBA has decided to provide...

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Main Street Lending Program modified to provide greater access to Nonprofits

By Diana Miller On Friday, July 17th, the Federal Reserve Board modified the Main Street Lending Program, providing additional access to nonprofit organizations such as social service organizations, hospitals, and educational institutions. Nonprofit organizations are vital to the communities they serve and these changes are welcomed news to the nonprofit sector. Although not yet operational, 2 new loan options were released today to help nonprofit organizations due to the COVID pandemic....

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Families First Coronavirus Response Act Paid Leave Update: Summer Childcare

By Lisa Calick With the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) earlier this year, employers have been addressing their obligations to provide employees with paid leave for various COVID-19 related reasons, including leave for employees who are not able to work or telework due to a need to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed as a result of the pandemic. Now that the school year has ended, it is important for employers to understand that...

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The 5 Proofs to Ensure Investment Readiness

By Mark Brenner, CEO and Co-Founder, WEST Growth 1. Progressive milestones Most early-stage companies don’t have much money unless the founders are independently wealthy. So when most companies come to us, they have maybe ten different things they’re working on, but they don’t have the resources to do those ten things. It’s a priority to identify how much the next raise should be and what needs to happen to get that raise. Those raising capital will need to tell that group of investors...

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How Companies Can Plan To Reopen the Office

By Lisa Calick States have begun to ease restrictions put on businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including laying out timelines for when many businesses may open. Companies now face significant challenges regarding how to reopen their offices safely. A carefully planned approach to returning to work will be necessary to make sure workers are safe and confident and that the business can thrive. Planning the Approach The approach to opening is fairly straightforward — plan, open...

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Lease Accounting: The path to compliance extended another year

by Dino Zicopoulos The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)’s Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-02 (Topic 842, Leases), issued in 2016, brought changes to the way companies account for leases on their balance sheets. Recently, however, due to COVID-19, the implementation of this standard was deferred for private companies by another year and is now effective for private companies with fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021—effectively for companies with calendar...

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Main Street Lending Program Expanded to More Businesses

By Travis Miskowitz Update 6/10/20 On Monday, June 8th, the Federal Reserve Board again revised the Main Street Lending Program, providing increased access to more small and medium-sized businesses. The $600 billion loan program has yet to fund a single loan, and criticism of the Fed’s latest stimulus effort in recent weeks has put pressure on the Fed to relax certain requirements, providing more flexibility to eligible borrowers.  The Fed has received a growing chorus of complaints...

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HR Alert:  New Jersey Issues Poster Regarding Employee Misclassification

By Lisa Calick A new mandatory poster has been made available for New Jersey businesses.  Earlier in the year, Governor Murphy signed into legislation new laws intended to combat worker misclassification.  Part of that package included a requirement for companies to conspicuously post a notice, which has now been released.  While the notice is to be placed at the worksite, there has been no guidance on how to handle that process in our current environment with so many companies operating...

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PPP Flexibility Act Passes Senate, significantly decreases barrier to loan forgiveness

By Travis Miskowitz The Senate unanimously approved H.R. 7010 – Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020. By passing the House bill, the Senate avoids a long and drawn out reconciliation process. The President is expected to sign the bill into law quickly. While the bill provides much needed flexibility to small businesses, there is one change that can significantly impact a borrower’s ability to achieve loan forgiveness. The tersely worded bill provides for only 7 bullet...

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Confusion as Stimulus Payments Arrive On Prepaid Debit Cards

By Craig R. Erickson, CPA, Partner, Wiss With cybersecurity breaches, identity theft and other cyber-crimes on the rise during this pandemic, the amount of skepticism shown in the exchange above is warranted and refreshing.   But have no fear: That prepaid debit card you have received is in fact an Economic Impact Payment Card (EIPCard), which contains your federal relief payment provided for by the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Over the past few days,...

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Latest PPP Loan Forgiveness Guidance Released: Fails to Address Two Key Requirements

On Friday May 22nd, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Treasury Department issued two new Interim Final Rules (IFR): one covering Loan Forgiveness and the other covering Loan Review Procedures.  The loan forgiveness guidance, which builds upon the loan forgiveness application and instructions that were released May 15th, still does not make changes to provisions for the 75/25 requirement to spend PPP funds on payroll and non-payroll costs, or the 8-week (56-day) covered...

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PPP Loan Forgiveness Application – Overview of Required Documentation

By Tricia Meola On May 15th, the Small Business Administration released the highly anticipated Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application. The application is lengthy, the calculations are complex, and the instructions aren’t the most straight-forward. At first (and second) glance, the application process is quite overwhelming!  In order to assist you, we are going to break down the components beginning here with the four main areas of required documentation. Please...

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SBA Releases Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application

By Travis Miskowitz On Friday May 15th, the Small Business Administration released the long-awaited Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan forgiveness application.  The forgiveness application includes detailed instructions for borrowers to calculate their eligible costs and determine the amount of PPP loan forgiveness. The form provides more guidance than previously available, but still not as clear as we’d hoped.  There are still unanswered questions and we anticipate additional...

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SBA Clarifies Safe Harbor Status for Loans Under $2 Million

By Travis Miskowitz  On 5/13/2020, the SBA issued FAQ 46 which grants Safe Harbor status to all loans under $2MM. Small businesses received a welcome update today via SBA FAQ 46 which states that businesses, including their affiliates, that accepted Paycheck Protection Program loans of $2 million or less, will be assumed to have performed the required certification in good faith. The PPP application requires small business owners to certify in good faith that “current economic uncertainty...

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Are You Applying For the PPP in Good Faith? How to Document Your PPP Loan Application Decision

By Travis Miskowitz One important aspect of applying for a PPP loan is certifying in good faith that your loan request is necessary. The PPP application asks you whether “current economic uncertainty makes your loan request necessary to support your ongoing operations.” We have put together this list of considerations to help you assess in good faith and officially justify your need for this emergency funding. Read this today to ensure your business has made an informed decision...

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Expenses Relating to PPP Forgiveness are Nondeductible

By Evan Gernant On Thursday, April 30, the IRS issued Notice 2020-32 clarifying that to the extent a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan is forgiven, the associated expenses will be nondeductible for federal tax purposes.  The CARES Act made it clear that any amount of forgiveness of a PPP loan would be non-taxable.  What was not addressed and left for interpretation was whether the associated expenses would be tax-deductible.  Many were hopeful for a better ruling from the IRS...

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

By Lisa Calick I’ve been forced to furlough my employees due to a slowdown in business operations.  Are they still eligible for the leave entitlements as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act? Unfortunately no.  If you have furloughed your employees because there is not enough work for them, they are not entitled to take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the Act.  They may, however, be eligible for unemployment benefits through your State. Many...

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Do You Need to Return Your PPP Loan? SBA Clarifies Eligibility Guidance Through FAQ Update

By Travis Miskowitz Update: As of Wednesday, May 6, the safe-harbor deadline for returning PPP funds has been extended to May 14. Complete the application, provide supporting documentation, and you should be well on your way to a forgivable loan. All the better since you must spend the money on payroll costs in order to receive forgiveness. It is called Paycheck Protection after all, right? Not so fast according to recent updates published by the SBA. The SBA has recently issued...

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New Jersey’s Amended Family Leave and Temporary Disability Laws

By Lisa Calick In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on April 14, Governor Murphy recently signed into law new amendments to the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) and New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law (NJTDBL) to provide additional coverage for employees whose need for leave relates to an epidemic of a communicable disease, known or suspected exposure to a communicable disease, or efforts to prevent the spread of a communicable disease. The NJFLA had previously...

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The Path to PPP Loan Forgiveness: Start Preparing Right Away

Update: On Friday, May 15th, the SBA released the application for Paycheck Protection Program Loan forgiveness. Please see this article, which highlights key elements and guidance to the application process. By Travis Miskowitz Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are designed to be forgiven, but it doesn’t happen automatically. It’s best to get a plan in place to work toward maximum forgiveness as soon as you receive your PPP loan. The SBA is expected to issue additional guidance...

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Congress Agrees to Additional Funding for Small Businesses

By Travis Miskowitz This is a developing story and information contained in this article is subject to change. We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. Congress has agreed upon a Bi-Partisan deal to provide an additional $484 billion in funding for small businesses, hospitals, and coronavirus testing. The Senate and House are expected to quickly approve the bill with the backing of the White House. The bill is expected to be signed into law as early...

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Latest Cyber Security Threats

By David Singletary As more people start working from home, they are taking advantage of online conference services like Zoom. Over 500,000 unique Zoom account credentials were discovered on dark web hacker forums. Exposed data includes victims’ email addresses, passwords, personal meeting URLs, and HostKeys, and were likely gathered through credential stuffing attacks. NJCCIC “The New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell “ recommends the following when using...

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SBA Curtails Acceptance of EIDL Applications

By Travis Miskowitz The SBA  just announced they are unable to accept new applications at this time for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to incredibly high demand, the SBA had recently amended some key benefits of the EIDL Loan program. With millions...

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Updated PPP Guidance: Self-Employed Business Owners and Partnerships

By Travis Miskowitz Paycheck Protection Program Updates – April 14, 2020 NOTE: As of April 16, 2020 the SBA is advising applicants that funds for the PPP loan program have been exhausted. Congress is currently negotiating and working to infuse an additional $250 billion into the program. This guidance is applicable when the SBA begins accepting applications again. We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. On April 14, 2020 the U.S. Small business...

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Net Operating Losses Under the CARES Act

By Evan Gernant On Thursday, April 9, the IRS issued guidance on the treatment of net operating losses under the provisions of the CARES Act. Revenue Procedure 2020-24 provides procedures to elect to revoke the carryback period for NOLs arising in 2018 and/or 2019  Background:  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the treatment of NOLs.  It generally provided that NOLs arising in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 were no longer permitted to be carried back and are deductible...

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Additional Tax Filing Relief from the IRS

By Michael Bodrato The IRS released yesterday additional tax return filing and payment relief in Notice 2020-23, which applies to all taxpayers that have a filing or payment deadline falling on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, including individuals, trusts, estates, corporations, and other non-corporate tax filers. In addition, Notice 2020-23 provides that this period of time will be disregarded by the IRS in calculating any interest, penalty, or additions to tax...

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Documenting Expenses to Support PPP Loan Forgiveness

By Travis Miskowitz The Paycheck Protection Program allows loans of up to $10 million at 1% interest to employers with fewer than 500 workers. The purpose of the program is for employers to retain their employees; the loan amount is intended to cover two months of payroll and overhead. The government will forgive most or all of the loan if the company keeps its workers and does not cut wages. The maximum amount of the PPP loan that is eligible for forgiveness is equal to the amount...

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Workforce Reduction Considerations: Layoff vs Furlough

By Lisa Calick Many businesses are struggling to manage their workforces in the current climate.  While recently passed economic stimulus packages have provided incentives for companies to retain their employees, in many cases companies have had significant business interruptions and still may be forced to consider letting some employees go.  Business owners may be considering layoffs or furloughs, but may not understand the difference. A layoff is a separation from payroll and may...

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NYC Relief Available for Small Businesses

By Tricia Meola In an effort to help small businesses deal with the overwhelming impacts of COVID-19, New York City has launched the following two initiatives: NYC Employee Retention Grant Program Created to help companies retain employees as businesses face decreased revenue as a result of COVID-19 Eligible businesses will receive a grant covering up to 40% of their payroll for two months; maximum funding of $27,000 Eligibility requirements include: Must be located within the...

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New Jersey Economic Initiatives for Small Businesses

By Tricia Meola Many small businesses are already aware of the options made available to them under federal programs enacted by the CARES Act. The State of New Jersey is also backing these businesses in an effort to stimulate growth through various economic initiatives. Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program Created to provide total of $10 million to NJ small businesses and non-profits to cover operating expenses and ensure continuity of business during COVID-19 outbreak;...

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SBA Preps Banks for Mobilizing Around PPP Applications, Provides Further Clarity Regarding Parameters

By Travis Miskowitz Following President Trump’s signing of the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin yesterday announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need. The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The Program...

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COVID-19 Spawns New Phishing Scams

by David Singletary As the country and world are trying to deal with recent COVID-19 pandemic, cybercriminals are taking advantage of people’s quest for information. You’ve probably noticed a plethora of emails from every retailer, software company, or business you’ve dealt with in recent years. Cybercriminals see an excellent opportunity to slide in phishing scams amid all the information being sent your way. The following are two examples:                         What’s...

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Loan Modifications and Options

By Tricia Meola With the effects COVID-19 has created for the US, federal, state and local governments are working hard to respond to the growing public health threats – but what about the financial uncertainties? As unemployment rates rise and millions of Americans continue to file for unemployment benefits, many are faced with the inability to satisfy their mortgage obligations and are aware of their options. Know your mortgage The most important place to begin is to be acquainted...

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Anticipating COVID-19 Impact on Commercial Real Estate

By Russell L. Faye With the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19, the commercial office market has felt an immediate impact. For commercial real estate professionals,  please consider the following as you navigate through these challenging times: Be prepared for enhanced cleaning for an extended period. Government officials have suggested enhanced cleaning procedures and measures and building operators across the county have quickly implemented these enhanced measures. Consider...

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The Economic Injury Disaster Loan vs. The Paycheck Protection Program

By Travis Miskowitz On March 27th, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a stimulus bill that includes a loan program to keep small businesses afloat during mandated COVID-19-related closures.  The CARES Act includes a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which authorizes up to $349 billion of federally guaranteed loans to qualifying small businesses. This new loan program is based on the architecture of the SBA’s existing...

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Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Economic Injury Grants: What You Need to Know

By Travis Miskowitz SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan THE BASICS What is the criteria for a loan approval? Credit History – applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA Repayment – SBA must determine that the applicant business has the ability to repay the SBA loan Eligibility – the applicant business must be physically located in a declared county and suffered working capital losses due to the declared disaster, not due to a downturn in the economy or other reasons How...

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Paycheck Protection Enacted For Small Businesses

By Travis Miskowitz [Updated 4/3/2020] Congress passed “The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (CARES Act), which included the “Paycheck Protection Program” (PPP) for small businesses. PPP applications can be obtained from participating SBA lenders beginning today. Many banks have reported that they may be requiring submissions to come from current banking clients while others have been struggling to get all the necessary steps in place. While each bank is creating...

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Key Tax Provisions of the $2 Trillion CARES Act

By Mike Bodrato The Senate voted last night, 96-0, to approve the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act, which has more than $2 trillion in spending and tax breaks to assist economically and fund a nationwide effort to stop the coronavirus.  At this writing, the CARES Act is still awaiting House approval and the President’s signature, which is not expected until tomorrow. The bipartisan legislation includes about $500 billion that can be used to back...

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401(k) Plans and the Coronavirus

By Craig Erickson With the global pandemic caused by COVID-19 causing vast uncertainties in the economy, employers that sponsor employee benefit plans and the plan fiduciaries must continue to manage and administer their benefit plans, as well as address inquiries from their participants.  The following are some topics that may be helpful during these times. Hardship Withdrawals Plan sponsors may receive calls from plan participants in the near future asking for ways they can financially...

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Coronavirus Retirement Plan Review

By Craig Erickson With the continual uncertainty we are facing each day, it is important to keep in mind that changes in legislation may impact your current design of your employee benefit plan.  Following are some topics Plan sponsors and fiduciaries of employee benefit plans may overlook. 401(k) and Profit-Sharing Plans: Employer Contributions – Plan sponsors and fiduciaries may want to consider reducing or halting employer contributions.  For non-safe harbor plans (match or non-elective...

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Managing Cash Flow During Crisis

By Travis Miskowitz, Manager, Wiss CFO Advisory Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. During this (or any) time of crisis, it is imperative to keep an eye on your cash flow and regularly monitor your cash position.  Instituting effective cash flow management may be the most important action you can take to navigate through challenging times. The Wiss team has put together this list of recommendations to help monitor your progress: Monitor your cash flow regularly With the...

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IRS Releases Official Guidance After Treasury Secretary’s Announcement

by Evan Gernant Following Secretary Mnuchin’s earlier announcement, the Treasury Department released guidance on Friday, which supersedes and expands upon the guidance issued earlier this week that gave taxpayers extra time to pay their taxes but not to file. The new guidance provides for the following relief: The filing of 2019 federal income tax returns and the payment of 2019 federal income tax (including tax on self-employment income) due on April 15, 2020, is automatically...

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