RMP LLP is committed to keeping clients and our community up to date about changes in labor, employment and tax law related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation is rapidly evolving and to continue RMP’s goal of best serving our community, we will continuously alert you of new laws, guidance and updates that could impact you. We take the health and well-being of our valued team members and clients very seriously and for that reason have currently limited in-person meetings at our offices, but our team continues to be available to you during this time and can be reached by office phone or email, and can schedule virtual meetings.  If you have any specific questions or concerns, please contact the RMP attorney with whom you regularly work or send us a message to info@rmp.law.


MAY 19, 2020

The SBA released the PPP Loan forgiveness application. At 11 pages, it has a lot of information. Of particular note is that borrowers can choose an alternative covered period to include more of their pay periods in their 8 week period. Contact one of our attorneys today for help with the application.

You can find the application here: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/3245-0407-SBA-Form-3508-PPP-Forgiveness-Application.pdf

MAY 5, 2020

The Treasury released guidance over the weekend relating to PPP loan forgiveness answering a question many business owners have asked us. Many small business PPP loan borrowers have voiced concern that their forgiveness amount will be reduced because their employees are choosing to stay home instead of coming back to work. We now know that the forgiveness amount will not be reduced if a borrower laid off an employee, offered to hire that employee back, but the employee declined to come back to work. To qualify for this exception, the borrower must have made a good faith, written offer of rehire, and the employee’s rejection of that offer must be documented by the borrower. Contact one of our attorneys today for help figuring out how to best use your proceeds to maximize forgiveness.
You can find FAQ #40 here: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Frequently-Asked-Questions.pdf

APRIL 27, 2020

The SBA will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 10:30am EDT.

APRIL 24, 2020

On April 24, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act that includes additional money for the small-business loan program, as well as more funding for hospitals and testing.

APRIL 24, 2020

The Treasury has issued guidance for borrowers on how to calculate their maximum loan amount by business type: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/How-to-Calculate-Loan-Amounts.pdf

APRIL 16, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program is out of money. The SBA has announced it is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding.

APRIL 15, 2020

The IRS is launching “Get My Payment” – a tracking tool to help you find out when you’ll get your stimulus check. You can find the tracking tool here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment

APRIL 13, 2020

The Treasury Department and the IRS will start distributing Economic Impact Payments (up to $1200) next week. If you filed a 2019 or 2018 return, the IRS will use bank account information from your return. If you did not file a return because you were under the filing threshold or otherwise were not required to, the IRS has just released an online tool to provide your bank account information. Find the tool and more information here:

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here

APRIL 9, 2020

The IRS issued Notice 2020-23 extending the due date for an expanded list of payments, filings originally due on or after 4/1/2020 and before 7/15/2020.  This expanded list includes individuals, corporations, partnerships, estates and trusts, gifts and GST returns, exempt org. returns, excise taxes and estimated tax payments.  The postponed due date is July 15, 2020.  Notice 2020-23 also provides relief with respect to “Specified Time-Sensitive Actions” that are due to be performed on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, such as filing all petitions with the Tax Court, seeking review of a decision rendered by the Tax Court, filing a claim for credit or refund of any tax, and bringing suit upon a claim for credit or refund of any tax.  The term Specified Time-Sensitive Action also includes the 45-day identification period and the 180-day exchange period in a Section 1031 exchange as well as the 180-day reinvestment period with respect to Opportunity Zone deferrals under Section 1400Z.

FAQ FOR LENDERS: PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) LOANS – 4/7/20

Last night the SBA released additional guidance on the PPP program by providing FAQs for lenders. You can find those FAQs here:

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Frequenty-Asked-Questions.pdf

FEDERAL RECOVERY REBATE CHECKS NOT SUBJECT TO ARKANSAS INCOME TAX – 4/7/20

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration has updated its COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page to clarify that federal recovery rebate checks are not subject to state individual income tax. These federal stimulus payments, in the maximum amount of $1,200 per qualifying adult ($2,400 for joint filers) and $500 per qualifying child, are not considered taxable income for the state personal income tax purposes. The FAQs page can be accessed at:

https://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/news/details/covid-19-dfa-frequently-asked-questions

APRIL 6, 2020

Lenders were able to start accepting Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) applications this last Friday, April 3. Our local lenders have done a great job of assisting our clients with applying for these loans – thank you to all of the lenders in our community! If you are a small business owner with employees and have not already applied for a PPP loan, ask your RMP attorney or your lender about applying for a PPP loan today. The PPP loan is part of the new CARES Act and provides forgivable low-interest loans to small businesses to use for payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities.

PAID LEAVE UNDER THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT – 4/3/20

We’ve posted previously about the paid sick leave that employers with under 500 employees must provide according to the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLA”), both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The U.S. Department of Labor has now released the final rule which EXEMPTS businesses who employ fewer than 50 people from providing the two-week paid sick leave under the EPSLA and the 12 week leave under the EMFLA. A business that employs fewer than 50 people will be exempt for providing the paid leave when it meets one of the following:

  1. The leave would cause the small employer’s expenses and financial obligations to exceed available business revenue and cause the employer to cease operating;
  2. The absence of the employee(s) requesting the leave would pose a substantial risk to the business’s financial health or operations because of their specialized skill, knowledge of the business, or responsibilities; OR
  3. The business cannot find enough other workers who are able, willing, and qualified, and who will be available, to perform the labor or services the employee(s) requesting leave provide, services which are needed for the business’s operation.

Contact us today to find out what you need to do to document this exemption.

CARES ACT AND THE SBA PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) LOANS – 4/2/20

Remaining Loan Balance. The Treasury Department has announced that any loan amounts not forgiven at the end of one year is carried forward as an ongoing loan with interest at 0.5% and term of 2 years. The 100% loan guarantee remains intact.

RMP LLP is providing this guidance for small business employers to further clarify what they have the opportunity to do under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). We’ve had several questions about the Paycheck Protection Program offering SBA loans that may be forgiven. These loans are available starting  April 3, 2020. If you have more questions or would like assistance with figuring out what is best for your business, please do not hesitate to send us a message.

CARES ACT’S KEY PROVISION: FAMILY FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT AND CARES ACT – 4/1/20

RMP LLP is providing this guidance for small business employers to further clarify what they are obligated to do under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Paid Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, and what they have the opportunity to do under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). We’ve had several questions about the Paycheck Protection Program offering SBA loans that may be forgiven. If you have more questions or would like assistance with figuring out what is best for your business, please do not hesitate to send us a message.

COVID-19 Flow Chart

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR LAW UPDATES – 3/31/20

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued additional guidance for helping employers with Emergency Paid Sick Leave and paid Family Medical Leave. The entire Questions & answers publication is available at:

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

SECRETARY OF STATE ANNOUNCES TEMPORARY WAIVER OF FRANCHISE TAX LATE FEES AND INTEREST CHARGES – 3/31/20

Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston announced that late fees and interest charges on businesses’ annual franchise taxes will be waived until July 15th. The filing deadline for annual franchise taxes is May 1st. Arkansas franchise taxes can be filed online at the link below:

https://www.ark.org/sos/franchise/index.php

GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER (EO 20-12) – 3/31/20

To further assist our clients, RMP LLP is committed to keeping up with changes in the law as it relates to our estate planning practices during the COVID-19 emergency.  On March 30, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson issued an Executive Order (EO 20-12) allowing our attorneys, and our staff who are supervised by our attorneys, to notarize documents and witness documents remotely for our clients who reside in Arkansas.  This means our clients will have the option to sign documents, including their last will and testaments, from the safety of their home through a video conference with our professionals.  Our firm has the technology to make sure you do not miss out on getting your important documents executed.

https://governor.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/executiveOrders/EO_20-12.__.pdf

MARCH 31, 2020

The IRS releases Employee Retention Credit available for many businesses financially impacted by COVID-19

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-employee-retention-credit-available-for-many-businesses-financially-impacted-by-covid-19

MARCH 30, 2020

The IRS released what you need to know about the Economic impact payments:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know

MARCH 21, 2020

Tax Day now July 15: Treasury, IRS extend filing deadline and federal tax payments regardless of amount owed.

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-day-now-july-15-treasury-irs-extend-filing-deadline-and-federal-tax-payments-regardless-of-amount-owed

FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT (H.R. 6201) PASSED BY SENATE – 3/18/20

The Senate just passed the coronavirus legislation that not only includes provisions for COVID-19 testing, but also paid sick and emergency leave. Since this Act shall take effect not later than 15 days after the date of enactment, it is important that you, as an employer, are aware of this development and how it will impact you, your employees, and your workplace. For the full text of the bill and additional information, please visit:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201/text

IRS EXTENDS PAYMENT OF TAXES DUE 4/15/2020 – 3/17/20

The IRS has extended tax payments due April 15, 2020 for 90 days, to July 15, 2020. This postponement includes Federal income tax payments (including payments of tax on self-employment income) due on April 15, 2020, in respect of the 2019 taxable year, and Federal estimated income tax payments (including payments of tax on self-employment income) due on April 15, 2020, for taxpayer’s 2020 taxable year. Please note, this extension only applies to the payment, but not the filing of the return itself. You will still need to complete and file your return or obtain an automatic 6-month extension by April 15, 2020.

SEC ORDER EXTENDING COMPANY REPORTING IMPACTED BY COVID-19 – 3/13/20

The SEC is providing relief to publicly-traded companies impacted by COVID-19 by providing an additional 45 days to file certain disclosure reports that would otherwise have been due between March 1 and April 30, 2020. The Commission’s Order is available here:

https://www.sec.gov/rules/other/2020/34-88318.pdf

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