Covid-19 Business Update
Credit: Jacob M. Dietz, CPA
March has been an unusual month with unforeseen changes. Changes will likely continue as March progresses, and beyond March. This update will not go into the medical aspects of Covid-19, but will cover some of the changes that affect small business and individual tax payers.
Tax Deadlines Extended.
The federal government extended the tax return payment and filing deadline from April 15 to July 15. Furthermore, federal 1st quarter estimates that would have been due April 15 are now due July 15.
Most taxpayers, in additional to federal filing requirements, also have state and possibly local filing deadlines. Pennsylvania, as well as various other states, also extended the deadline. If you do not live in PA, consult with your tax preparer about your state tax deadline. The York Adams Tax Collection Bureau and the Lancaster County Tax Collection Bureau also extended the deadline. If you live in another local taxing jurisdiction, contact your tax preparer.
Not all taxes are affected by these delays. For example, the York Adams Tax Collection Bureau states that “At the present time there are no extensions for the filing and payment of Local Services or Mercantile and Business Privilege Taxes.”
If you are hoping to benefit from the extensions that are available, please contact your tax advisor and ask if and how they apply to your specific situation.
Various states have enacted some form of shutdown, including Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Governor Wolf has prohibiting operating “a place of business in the Commonwealth that is not a life sustaining business regardless of whether the business is open to members of the public. This prohibition does not apply to virtual or telework operations (e.g., work from home), so long as social distancing and other mitigation measures are followed in such operations.”
The police are empowered to enforce this shutdown.
March-21-2020-Industry-Operation-Guidance is a list of industries that may and may not continue physical operations. If you cannot determine if your business needs to close or not, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your business does not qualify to remain open, you could apply for a waiver. The form can be filled out online here https://expressforms.pa.gov/apps/pa/DCED/Waiver-process-keeping-physical-locations-open.
Alternatively, you could email RAemail@example.com to request a waiver.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
This act was signed by President Trump and takes effect in early April. This blog will not provide full coverage of the new act, but will point out the law has a requirement for paid sick leave for Covid-19 for companies that employ less than 500 employees.
If you have employees who are affected by Covid-19, including employees who are off work because of family members affected by the virus, consider calling a labor attorney very soon. There could be changes to this coming.
There have been many changes recently, and likely more changes will come. Stay alert to the changing conditions. Be aware of possible needs of your employees, friends, family, and neighbors. Walk in peace. Look up and lift up your heads. Ps 91:15 “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.”