Monthly Archives: April 2020
When construction resumes Friday in Philadelphia, no work will be allowed in units that are occupied, and all work will be limited to specific hours during the week, except for emergency repairs, Mayor Jim Kenney announced Wednesday.
Governor Phil Murphy said he will reopen state and county parks and golf courses, effective May 2, to bring New Jersey’s recreational policies in line with neighboring states.
The governor said he made the decision based on “data, science, fact,” and not because of protests from some residents and opposition from some lawmakers. New Jersey has seen consistent reductions in some key data, including hospitalizations, Murphy said. While infections and deaths from the new coronavirus continue to increase, they do so at a slower pace than a few weeks ago. The rate of people tested also is declining, he said.
Treasury and the Small Business Administration said Wednesday that they will temporarily shut out big banks from the electronic loan portal used to submit applications for the government’s small business relief program.
The move applies to any lender with more than $1 billion in assets for an eight-hour time period starting 4 p.m. today, according to an email obtained by CNBC.
Today, Governor Murphy announced a six-step process in his Road to Recovery plan. The stay-at-home Executive Order, which has been in effect since March 21st, will remain in effect in its entirety until further notice. The following six principles and key metrics will guide the process for lifting restrictions and restoring New Jersey’s economic health through public health:
- Demonstrate Sustained Reductions in New COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations.
- Expand Testing Capacity
- Implement Robust Contact Tracing
- Secure Safe Places and Resources for Isolation and Quarantine
- Execute a Responsible Economic Restart
- Ensure New Jersey’s Resiliency
The Governor emphasized that data and science will dictate actions and that a reopening will occur methodically, strategically, and responsibly.
The Federal small business loan program meant to offer a lifeline to companies that have seen their revenues dry up during the COVID-19 pandemic will resume accepting applications Monday morning, according to the agency that oversees the program.
Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, applications go live April 27, at 10:30 a.m., according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, after U.S President Donald Trump signed a federal aid bill pumping $310 billion more into the previously-depleted fund.
Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 128, allowing tenants to direct their landlords to use their security deposits to offset rent or back rent. The order will take effect immediately and will be in place until 60 days after the public health emergency is terminated.
Governor Murphy also announced that the Department of Community Affairs has established a rental housing information page and question portal as a single point of reference for tenants and landlords seeking information about their rights during the public health emergency.
President Donald Trump signed the latest $484 billion coronavirus relief bill into law Friday. It injects new money into aid for small businesses and hospitals, and puts funding toward Covid-19 testing.
The bill puts $370 billion into aid for small businesses trying to keep employees on payroll as they shutter to slow Covid-19′s spread. It grants $75 billion to hospitals struggling to cover costs during the crisis, and $25 billion for efforts to ramp up testing for the disease.
The Small Business Administration issued new guidance on Thursday that makes it “unlikely” that big publicly traded companies can access the next round of funding for the U.S. government’s small business relief program.
The update comes after a public furor that large companies tapped the facility, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, for hundreds of millions of dollars in loans while thousands of small businesses have yet to receive funding.
A welcomed change to real estate depreciation came in the recent CARES Act. We tax practitioners and certain taxpayers have been waiting for Congress to fix a key technical glitch in the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA) rushed through in the waning days of 2017.
The concern was over permitted real estate depreciation for retail, restaurant, hospitality and leasehold remodeling lumped together and called “Qualified Improvement Property” (QIP). Republicans in Congress meant to give QIP a fifteen-year life for depreciation and make it eligible for the very favorable 100% bonus depreciation. Instead, it inadvertently gave it a 39-year life and precluded bonus depreciation. While nothing really to do with the pandemic, The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed March 27th, fixed this omission retroactive back to 2018. This change may well provide significant tax-reduction opportunities. The faux pas has been called the retail glitch”. While beneficial to a broad base of taxpayers, the incentive was a meaningful boon to the retail, restaurant and hospitality industries because of the rate at which these businesses open and renovate locations.
QIP is defined as improvements to an interior portion of a nonresidential building. It must be placed in service by the taxpayer after the building was first placed in service and can include no improvements for the enlargement of the building, for elevators or escalators, or for the internal structural framework of the building. While there is no change in the definition of QIP, again, the change is effective for tax years that begin subsequent to December 31, 2017.
Taxpayers who put such Qualified Improvement Property in service during 2019 but have not yet filed their returns, should so explore this opportunity. Those who filed returns where they placed such QIP into service during 2018 and 2019, may wish to look into filing amended returns to take advantage of the changes which could be material. If they treated the assets as bonus-ineligible 39-year property, they should amend those returns to treat such assets as bonus-eligible.
The TCJA eliminated a taxpayer’s ability to carry back an NOL, only to be carried forward (indefinitely) and, even then, limited to 80% of income. For tax years beginning before 1/1/2021, the CARES Act will now allow net operating losses to be carried BACK to offset 100% of income for the prior 5 years (i.e. 2013 thru 2017). Corporations can file an amended return to claim the bonus real estate depreciation. Such may generate a NOL that can be carried back five years under the new NOL provisions of the CARES Act to tax years before 2018. Imagine using such losses carried back to a time when rates were 35%, even though these losses were generated in years with a tax rate of 21%. Tax refunds may be generated which can bring welcome relief to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic.
Current and contemplated projects involving significant costs for improvements should be evaluated by taxpayers who want to take advantage of deducting the cost of these improvements. They will need to segregate interior improvements from exterior improvements and items specifically excluded from QIP. Cost segregation studies are essential tools in identifying eligible costs so it would appear wise to have cost segregation professionals involved. While not my field, I’m sure the experts at WCRE can put you in touch with credible teams they work with.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Martin H. Abo, CPA/ABV/CVA/CFF is a principle of Abo and Company, LLC and its affiliate, Abo Cipolla Financial Forensics, LLC, Certified Public Accountants – Litigation and Forensic Accountants. With offices in Mount Laurel, NJ and Morrisville, PA, tips like the above can also be accessed by going to the firm’s website at www.aboandcompany.com.
Senate Republicans and Democrats reached a deal Tuesday on a $484 billion coronavirus relief package for small businesses, hospitals and testing.
The Senate could vote on legislation as soon as 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and will need unanimous support to pass it. The House could approve the bill as early as Thursday.
Here is a list of useful websites to help you and your business navigate the COVID-19 regulatory landscape, including some of the most recent FAQs and Guidance that you should find helpful:
- Families First Federal Paid Sick Leave and EFMLA Guidance: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions
- IRS FAQs on Documentation Requirements for Claiming Payroll Tax Credit for FFRCA and EFMLA leave:
- NJ Department of Labor Chart for State Leave Benefits:
- Pennsylvania Department of Labor Chart for State Leave Benefits:
- CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers:
- EEOC FAQs on Pandemic Workplace Issues: https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/wysk/wysk_ada_rehabilitaion_act_coronavirus.cfm
- OSHA Guidance for Safe Workplaces:
- IRS Guidance on COVID-19 New Employer Tax Credits:
- NJ Executive Orders Issued by Governor Murphy:
Please let me know if you have questions or would like to set up a call to discuss any regulatory issues.
Megan Knowlton Balne
Hyland Levin Shapiro LLP
6000 Sagemore Drive, Suite 6301
Marlton, NJ 08053-3900
The state Legislature passed a bill Monday giving the governor power to suspend rent for three months for New Jersey’s small businesses hurt by the pandemic.
The bill was one of a dozen approved by both the state Senate and Assembly in remote sessions to help Garden State residents, businesses and health care providers cope with the growing public health and economic crises.