Need some answers on the SBA Coronavirus Relief Loan Options?… Here are your choices!

The Small Business Administration was designed to help small business.

With the challenges that COVID-19 presented …small business has had to face the reality of staying alive or even perhaps starting over. The SBA offers multiple funding options for those seeking relief.

Here is their website.

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options

I have presented for your review various alternatives small business might want to access. Great care needs to be exercised in navigating the various options.

Take your time and review your alternatives.

Paycheck Protection Program

This loan program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program

EIDL Loan Advance

This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance

SBA Express Bridge Loans

Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-express-bridge-loans

SBA Debt Relief

The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-debt-relief

After you have navigated these various programs you may need the help of a financial professional.

CPA’s are trained to understand complex business funding arrangements and would also be a great resource in understanding which program might be best.  

I would suggest checking out the American Institute of CPA’s (AICPA) website as well.

They have created a separate “Coronavirus (COVID-19) resource center” that gives you access to the most up-to-date information, news, and tools to help you navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

https://future.aicpa.org/resources/toolkit/aicpa-coronavirus-resource-center

As discussed above the most popular program currently under discussion through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

 It wasdesigned to provide access to funding so businesses can keep paying their employees and other expenses such as health insurance premiums, rent or mortgage payments and utilities.

The AICPA also designed a very robust website designed to help. This important financial relief is designed to help small businesses return to being fully operational quicker once conditions improve.  

https://future.aicpa.org/resources/download/paycheck-protection-program-loan-forgiveness-services-matrix

This AICPA webpage is continually updated for changes to loan programs and program development.

Check back and keep up to date with this vital resource.

https://future.aicpa.org/topic/covid-19/cares-act

..Have you reviewed with your clients the Final IRS regulations for personal use of employer-provided vehicles…Say what ???

As we come out of the ‘lock down’ and start to work again …it might be good time to catch up with your key clients on some interesting new tax  rules that effect the use of employer owned vehicles..

A good topic to include in your next  “Zoom” meeting might be a discussion of the new “special valuation rules that effect the personal use of employer vehicles”. The IRS has been busy getting these final regulations out to the public this month.

A good place to start would be to review the rules the client is presently using to calculate income inclusion  for “personal use” of employer- provided vehicles. These final  regulations were  just released by the IRS this week.

The IRS  finalized the calculation  regarding these special valuation rules for employers and employees that must be used  in determining the amount to include in an employee’s gross income for personal use of an employer-provided vehicle.

Sound exciting…?? Not really …but they are important.

The final rules need to be implemented immediately into your client’s 2020 income calculation  if employees are using employer-provided vehicles.  (TD 9893; Reg §1.61-21)

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2020-02158.pdf

Here are the rules…

Background—employer-provided vehicles, generally.

If an employer provides an employee with a vehicle that is available to the employee for personal use, the value of the personal use must generally be included in the employee’s income under Code Sec. 61.

In addition, benefits paid as remuneration for employment, including the personal use of employer-provided vehicles, generally are also wages for purposes of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) and federal income tax withholding. (Code Sec. 3121(a), Code Sec. 3306(b), and Code Sec. 3401(a))

Background—the vehicle cents-per-mile rule.

For employer-provided vehicles made available to employees for personal use that meet the requirements of Reg. § 1.61-21(e)(1), generally the value of the personal use may be determined under the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule of Reg. § 1.61-21(e).

However, Reg. § 1.61-21(e)(1)(iii) currently provides that the value of the personal use may not be determined under the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for a calendar year if the fair market value of the vehicle on the first date the vehicle is made available to the employee exceeds a base value of $12,800 that is adjusted annually under Code Sec. 280F(d)(7).

Reg. § 1.61-21(e)(5)(i) states that an employer must adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule by the first day on which the vehicle is used by an employee of the employer for personal use (or, if the commuting valuation rule of Reg. § 1.61-21(f) is used when the vehicle is first used by an employee of the employer for personal use and the employer switches to the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule, the first day on which the commuting valuation rule is not used). Reg. § 1.61-21(e)(5)(ii) provides that once the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule has been adopted for a vehicle by an employer, the rule must be used by the employer for all subsequent years in which the vehicle qualifies for use of the rule, except that the employer may, for any year during which use of the vehicle qualifies for the commuting valuation rule of Reg. § 1.61-21(f), use the commuting valuation rule with respect to the vehicle.

Background—the fleet-average valuation rule.

For employer-provided automobiles available to employees for personal use for an entire year, generally the value of the personal use may be determined under the automobile lease valuation rule of Reg. § 1.61-21(d).

Under this valuation rule, the value of the personal use is the Annual Lease Value. Provided the requirements of Reg. § 1.61-21(d)(5)(v) are met, an employer with a fleet of 20 or more automobiles may use a fleet-average value for purposes of calculating the Annual Lease Values of the automobiles in the employer’s fleet.

However, Reg. § 1.61-21(d)(5)(v)(D) provides that the value of an employee’s personal use of an automobile may not be determined under the fleet-average valuation rule for a calendar year if the fair market value of the automobile on the first date the automobile is made available to an employee exceeds the base value of $16,500, as adjusted annually for inflation pursuant to Code Sec. 280F(d)(7).

Background—Tax Cuts and Jobs Act change.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA; P.L. 115-97, 12/22/2017) significantly increased the maximum dollar limitations on the depreciation deductions for passenger automobiles under Code Sec. 280F(a) and changed the way that inflation increases are calculated.

Final Regulations.

The final regs adopt the proposed regs without substantive change. (Preamble to TD 9893)

The final regs update the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rules described in Reg §1.61-21(d) and Reg §1.61-21(e), respectively, to align the limitations on the maximum vehicle fair market values for use of these special valuation rules with the changes made by the TCJA to the depreciation limitations in Code Sec. 280F.

Specifically, consistent with the substantial increase in the dollar limitations on depreciation deductions under Code Sec. 280F(a), the final regs increase, effective for the 2018 calendar year, the maximum base fair market value of a vehicle for use of the fleet-average or vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule to $50,000. (Preamble to TD 9893)

As previously, the maximum fair market value of a vehicle for purposes of the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule is adjusted annually under Code Sec. 280F(d)(7).

This annual adjustment is calculated in accordance with Code Sec. 280F(d)(7) as amended by the TCJA. Consistent with Notice 2019-34, the inflation-adjusted maximum fair market value for a vehicle for purposes of the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rules will be included in the annual notice published by IRS providing the standard mileage rates for the use of an automobile for business, charitable, medical, and moving expense purposes and the maximum standard automobile cost for purposes of an allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan. (Preamble to TD 9893)

The final regulations provide the following rules (that are consistent with rules contained in Notice 2019-34, 2019-22 IRB):

  • With respect to the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule, the regs provide the following rule for a vehicle first made available to any employee of the employer for personal use before calendar year 2018.
  • If an employer did not qualify under Reg §1.61-21(e)(5) to adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule on the first day on which the vehicle was used by the employee for personal use because the fair market value of the vehicle exceeded the inflation-adjusted limitation of Reg §1.61-21(e)(1)(iii), as published by IRS in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the vehicle was first used by the employee for personal use, the employer may first adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 or 2019 taxable year with respect to the vehicle, provided the fair market value of the vehicle does not exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, respectively. (Reg §1.61-21(e)(5)(vi))

The regulations  provide a similar rule if the commuting valuation rule of Reg §1.61-21(f) was utilized when the vehicle was first used by an employee of the employer for personal use, and the employer did not qualify to switch to the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule on the first day on which the commuting valuation rule was not used because the vehicle had a fair market value in excess of the inflation-adjusted limitation of Reg §1.61-21(e)(1)(iii), as published by IRS in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the commuting valuation rule was first not used.

In that case, the employer may adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 or 2019 taxable year, provided the fair market value of the vehicle does not exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, respectively.

However, consistent with Reg §1.61-21(e)(5), an employer that adopts the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule must continue to use the rule for all subsequent years in which the vehicle qualifies for use of the rule, except that the employer may, for any year during which use of the vehicle qualifies for the commuting valuation rule of Reg §1.61-21(f), use the commuting valuation rule with respect to the vehicle. (Reg §1.61-21(e)(5)(vi))

  • With respect to the fleet-average valuation rule, if an employer did not qualify to use the fleet-average valuation rule prior to January 1, 2018 with respect to an automobile because the fair market value of the automobile exceeded the inflation-adjusted maximum value requirement of Reg §1.61-21(d)(5)(v)(D), as published by IRS in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the automobile was first made available to any employee of the employer, the employer may adopt the fleet-average valuation rule for 2018 or 2019, provided the fair market value of the automobile does not exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, respectively. (Reg §1.61-21(d)(5)(v)(G))

Effective date.

The final regs apply to tax years beginning on or after February 5, 2020. But a taxpayer may choose to apply the final regs beginning on or after January 1, 2018. (Reg §1.61-21(d)(5)(v)(H), Reg §1.61-21(e)(6))

…”WHO DO YOU CALL”….WHEN YOU HAVE A TAX EMERGENCY…THE IRS OF COURSE. !

EMERGENCY  COLLECTION HELP IS JUST A PHONE CALL AWAY…THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE SERVICE IS THERE TO HELP!

TAS Tax Tip: Tax Pro Tips for working with the Taxpayer Advocate Service

After surviving the CO-19 crisis and lockdown the last thing, we need is receiving a “urgent “ collection letter or even worse a “ Notice of Intent to Levey”…from  the IRS.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/understanding-your-cp504-notice

As the saying goes “ stuff happens” and sometimes it REALLY happens to you or your client.

Let me suggest a possible solution.

If you have been unable to resolve this matter through normal IRS interaction you may want to reach out to our friends at  The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS).

https://www.irs.gov/taxpayer-advocate

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS whose function is to assist taxpayers with problems that are causing financial difficulty. This includes businesses and individuals.

You may be eligible for their help if you have tried to resolve your tax problem through normal IRS channels and have gotten nowhere, or you believe an IRS procedure just is not working as it should.

If you qualify for help, you will be appointed a personal TAS advocate who will coordinate with the IRS to have your issues resolved.

In addition, the TAS identifies systemic problems that exist within the Internal Revenue Service and identifies potential legislative changes which may be appropriate to mitigate such problems.

 Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) has provided on their website some advice to both tax practitioners and individuals seeking the TAS’s help to resolve tax issues for their clients.

The advice covers when to contact the TAS, preparing to contact the TAS, and what to expect from the TAS when a case is accepted.

And the best part. its FREE!

Here is how to contact an office that is closest to your location. 1-877-777-4778.

https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/contact-us

Background. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is a nationwide system of “local taxpayer advocates” that was established under Code Sec. 7803(c). The National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) oversees the TAS.

The TAS helps taxpayers in two ways:

  1. By helping individual taxpayers who have problems with the IRS by issuing Code Sec. 7811 Taxpayer Assistance Orders and
  2. By recommending systemic changes at the IRS or in the tax laws.

When to contact TAS. The TAS advises tax practitioners to review the case eligibility information before contacting the TAS. Case eligibility information can be found here . Generally, a taxpayer is eligible for TAS assistance if an IRS problem is causing financial difficulty for the taxpayer or if attempts to resolve issues directly with the IRS fail.

Preparing to contact TAS. Tax practitioners advocating for taxpayers must have a valid Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, covering the tax years or periods and issues they are helping the taxpayer to resolve. The TAS advice also suggests that if more than one person at a firm is authorized to represent a taxpayer, one person should be designated as the main contact.

A tax practitioner should be ready to provide all client information needed to help resolve the taxpayer’s issues at the time of contact, including taxpayer identification numbers, copies of tax returns or forms involved and copies of all IRS letters or notices to the taxpayer about the problem to be resolved.

What to expect when working with the TAS. If the taxpayer’s case qualifies for TAS assistance, the TAS will:

  • Assign a case advocate for the duration of the case.
  • Contact the tax practitioner within seven days from the date the tax practitioner contacted the TAS.
  • Provide an estimated completion date for resolving the case based on the time it usually takes the IRS to resolve similar issues. The TAS advice notes that this completion date is only an estimate and can change depending on what the IRS needs to do to resolve the taxpayer’s issue and whether the tax practitioner timely responds to any TAS requests for additional information.
  • Keep the tax practitioner informed of the case’s progress throughout the case and provide a clear, complete, and correct explanation of what actions were taken to resolve the problem when the case is completed.

References: For information about the Taxpayer Advocate Service, see FTC 2d/FIN ¶ T-10202; United States Tax Reporter ¶ 78,024.015.