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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Louisiana Unemployment Wage Reports

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 24 2020

Louisiana Unemployment Wage Reports and Payments Now Deferred to June 2020

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) is now deferring the deadline to submit 1Q 2020 wage and tax reports until June 30, 2020.

This latest deferral now makes June 30, 2020, the deadline for BOTH wage and tax report submissions as well as 1Q 2020 unemployment tax payments.

No penalty or interest will be assessed as long as unemployment taxes are paid in full by June 30, 2020.
 

Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 23 2020

Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses

The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020.

The Act will help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The legislation will enable employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.

 

Key Takeaways

 

Paid Sick Leave for Workers

For COVID-19 related reasons, employees receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and expanded paid child care leave when employees’ children’s schools are closed or child care providers are unavailable.

 

Complete Coverage
  • Health insurance costs are also included in the credit.
  • Employers face no payroll tax liability.
  • Self-employed individuals receive an equivalent credit.
  • Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave pursuant to the Act.
Fast Funds
  • An immediate dollar-for-dollar tax offset against payroll taxes will be provided
  • Where a refund is owed, the IRS will send the refund as quickly as possible.
  • Reimbursement will be quick and easy to obtain.
Small Business Protection
  • Employers with fewer than 50 employees are eligible for an exemption from the requirements to provide leave to care for a child whose school is closed, or child care is unavailable in cases where the viability of the business is threatened.
Easing Compliance
  • Requirements subject to 30-day non-enforcement period for good faith compliance efforts.

To take immediate advantage of the paid leave credits, businesses can retain and access funds that they would otherwise pay to the IRS in payroll taxes. If those amounts are not sufficient to cover the cost of paid leave, employers can seek an expedited advance from the IRS by submitting a streamlined claim form that will be released next week.

 

Background

The Act provided paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for COVID-19 related reasons and created the refundable paid sick leave credit and the paid child care leave credit for eligible employers. Eligible employers are businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees that are required to provide emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family and medical leave under the Act. Eligible employers will be able to claim these credits based on qualifying leave they provide between the effective date and Dec. 31, 2020. Equivalent credits are available to self-employed individuals based on similar circumstances.

 

Paid Leave

The Act provides that employees of eligible employers can receive two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 100% of the employee’s pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined, and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and seeking a medical diagnosis. An employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, to care for a child whose school is closed or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can receive two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 2/3 the employee’s pay. An employee who is unable to work due to a need to care for a child whose school is closed, or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, may in some instances receive up to an additional 10 weeks of expanded paid family and medical leave at 2/3 the employee’s pay.

 

Paid Sick Leave Credit

For an employee who is unable to work because of Coronavirus quarantine or self-quarantine or has Coronavirus symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis, eligible employers may receive a refundable sick leave credit for sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate, for a total of 10 days.

For an employee who is caring for someone with Coronavirus, or is caring for a child because the child’s school or child care facility is closed, or the child care provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus, eligible employers may claim a credit for two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate, for up to 10 days. Eligible employers are entitled to an additional tax credit determined based on costs to maintain health insurance coverage for the eligible employee during the leave period.

 

Child Care Leave Credit

In addition to the sick leave credit, for an employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for a child whose school or child care facility is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus, eligible employers may receive a refundable child care leave credit. This credit is equal to two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay, capped at $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate. Up to 10 weeks of qualifying leave can be counted towards the child care leave credit. Eligible employers are entitled to an additional tax credit determined based on costs to maintain health insurance coverage for the eligible employee during the leave period.

 

Prompt Payment for the Cost of Providing Leave

When employers pay their employees, they are required to withhold from their employees’ paychecks federal income taxes and the employees' share of Social Security and Medicare taxes. The employers then are required to deposit these federal taxes, along with their share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, with the IRS and file quarterly payroll tax returns (Form 941 series) with the IRS.

Under guidance that will be released next week, eligible employers who pay qualifying sick or child care leave will be able to retain an amount of the payroll taxes equal to the amount of qualifying sick and child care leave that they paid, rather than deposit them with the IRS.

The payroll taxes that are available for retention include withheld federal income taxes, the employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and the employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes with respect to all employees.

If there are not sufficient payroll taxes to cover the cost of qualified sick and child care leave paid, employers will be able file a request for an accelerated payment from the IRS. The IRS expects to process these requests in two weeks or less. The details of this new, expedited procedure will be announced next week.

 

Examples

If an eligible employer paid $5,000 in sick leave and is otherwise required to deposit $8,000 in payroll taxes, including taxes withheld from all its employees, the employer could use up to $5,000 of the $8,000 of taxes it was going to deposit for making qualified leave payments. The employer would only be required under the law to deposit the remaining $3,000 on its next regular deposit date.

If an eligible employer paid $10,000 in sick leave and was required to deposit $8,000 in taxes, the employer could use the entire $8,000 of taxes in order to make qualified leave payments and file a request for an accelerated credit for the remaining $2,000.

Equivalent child care leave and sick leave credit amounts are available to self-employed individuals under similar circumstances. These credits will be claimed on their income tax return and will reduce estimated tax payments.

 

Small Business Exemption

Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be eligible for an exemption from the leave requirements relating to school closings or child care unavailability where the requirements would jeopardize the ability of the business to continue. The exemption will be available on the basis of simple and clear criteria that make it available in circumstances involving jeopardy to the viability of an employer’s business as a going concern. Labor will provide emergency guidance and rulemaking to clearly articulate this standard.

 

Non-Enforcement Period

Labor will be issuing a temporary non-enforcement policy that provides a period of time for employers to come into compliance with the Act. Under this policy, Labor will not bring an enforcement action against any employer for violations of the Act so long as the employer has acted reasonably and in good faith to comply with the Act. Labor will instead focus on compliance assistance during the 30-day period.

 

For More Information

For more information about these credits and other relief, visit Coronavirus Tax Relief on IRS.gov. Information regarding the process to receive an advance payment of the credit will be posted next week.

Federal Tax Filing Deadline

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 23 2020

Federal Tax Filing Deadline

New filing date July 15, 2020.

Internal Revenue Service announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.

Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.

Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. 

OFFICE CLOSURE

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 20 2020

Due to the acceleration of COVID-19 our office is closed. 

Our office will remain closed for the next two weeks. We will evaluate whether to extend this timeframe pending further developments.

We are still here for you. Our website and Facebook are accessible 24/7, and we will continue to update important federal and state deadlines regarding extensions and the economic stimulus package.  

We look forward to getting back to business as usual as quickly as possible. We understand the concern and uncertainty you may be experiencing surrounding the COVID-19 and we are committed to being responsive to the needs of our clients and our employees as the situation evolves.

Thank you for your loyalty, support, and understanding as we navigate through these uncertain times.

Elizabeth Piner

Louisiana SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 19 2020

 

https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

 

Impacted small businesses may apply for up to $2 million in working capital to pay for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the COVID-19 disaster. Loan terms (3.75 percent interest rate for small businesses; 2.75 percent for nonprofits) may be extended up to 30 years to keep payments affordable.

Disaster #:
LA-00101
Effective Date:
1/31/2020
Incident Period:
1/31/2020 and continuing
Incident:
Coronavirus (COVID-19)
States Affected:
Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas
Counties Eligible:
Primary Counties:
Louisiana
Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Cameron, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Iberia, Iberville, Jackson, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, La Salle, Lafayette, Lafourche, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Orleans, Ouachita, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, Saint Bernard, Saint Charles, Saint Helena, Saint James, Saint Landry, Saint Martin, Saint Mary, Saint Tammany, St John The Baptist, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Terrebonne, Union, Vermilion, Vernon, Washington, Webster, West Baton Rouge, West Carroll, West Feliciana, Winn
Contiguous Counties:
Arkansas
Ashley, Chicot, Columbia, Lafayette, Miller, Union
Mississippi
Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Hancock, Issaquena, Jefferson, Marion, Pearl River, Pike, Walthall, Warren, Wilkinson
Texas
Cass, Harrison, Jefferson, Marion, Newton, Orange, Panola, Sabine, Shelby

 

 

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 18 2020

Update On Our Office Plan For COVID-19 (Conronavirus)

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 18 2020

Update On Our Office Plan For COVID-19 (conronavirus)

Our office is closed to the public until March 31, 2020. We are open and working. We have setup a drop box to pick up and drop off your documents. You can call us at 985-892-7612 or text us at 985-789-4245 when you drop off or want to pick up documents. 

We are here doing telephone conferences, remote meetings, document collection, communication and any other aspect of tax, payroll or accounting services you need. Again, we are in our office and working. Call us at 985-892-7612 or text us at 985-789-4245 to discuss any concerns that you have.

A Message Regarding COVID-19

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 18 2020

A Message Regarding COVID-19

As COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to spread around the world and in the U.S. and given the presumptive or confirmed cases in Louisiana, we want to provide you with information on the precautions Elizabeth Pate Piner CPA LLC  is taking to protect the health and safety of our employees, their families, our clients and our communities while maintaining a consistent level of client service.

The health and wellbeing of our employees, their families and our clients is of the utmost importance to Elizabeth Pate Piner CPA LLC. We are taking a comprehensive approach to planning, precautions to prevent the spread of illness, additional cleaning protocols, client service guidance and business continuity planning in the event of community spread in the United States. We will communicate with you if there are any changes to our current work environment.

We have the technology in place that enables our employees to efficiently and effectively provide client service remotely, should the need arise. This service enables remote meetings, document collection, communication and any other aspect of tax, payroll or accounting services. We will continue to update this notice if there are any changes to our current work environment.

Thank you for your continued support and if you have any further questions or concerns, please reach out to Elizabeth Piner, President  at epiner@epinercpa.com or Terina Rose, Manager  at trose@epinercpa.com call 985-892-7612 or text 985-789-4245.

Elizabeth Piner, President


 

Louisiana Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease)

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 18 2020

Information for Workers in Louisiana

If your employment has been impacted for reasons related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease), please review the following information about assistance available. The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) will do all that we can to ensure impacted workers receive the benefits for which they are eligible.

Do any of these situations apply to you?

  1. Your work hours have been reduced because of lack of work due to Coronavirus.
  2. Your workplace closes temporarily, and you are not being compensated.
  3. You have been instructed not to go to work, and you are not being paid while at home.
  • You MAY be eligible for unemployment insurance. You can file a claim at www.louisianaworks.net/hire or by calling our Claim Center at 866-783-5567. Effective March 17, 2020, we have extended our Claim Center hours to 8 a.m.- 7 p.m.
  • Be sure to answer “yes” to the question, “Are you filing for Unemployment Insurance benefits for reasons related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?” This will provide needed information to the LWC to help process your claim.
  • If your work hours have been reduced, partial benefits could be available to you up to a maximum of

$247 a week. You must report any earnings for the week that you work, even if you’ve not yet been paid. Report the gross amount before deductions. These earnings would be factored into the amount of unemployment benefits paid to you for that week.

  • A number of factors determine eligibility for benefits. The LWC reviews each case separately.
  • The maximum number of weeks that unemployment benefits can be paid per claim is 26 weeks in a 12-month period.
  • Wages and vacation pay (received or will receive) MUST be reported when you file your unemployment claim. Sick leave and PTO do not need to be reported.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As per the Governor’s proclamation, for individuals whose employment has been impacted due to COVID-19:

  • Work search requirements are waived
  • Week of waiting is waived

Information for Employers in Louisiana

If you are temporarily closing or reducing your hours of operations due to COVID-19, please contact the LWC to discuss how we can provide assistance and answer your questions about unemployment insurance and other programs and resources available.

  • Contact us at EmployerServices@lwc.la.gov with your unemployment insurance questions. Be sure to provide your company’s name, a point of contact, telephone number and email address, as well as specifics on the assistance you are requesting. The Employer Call Center, 225-326-6999, is also available.
  •  
  • For other programs and assistance, contact the American Job Center in your area. To find the closest American Job Center, go to http://www.laworks.net/Downloads/WFD/AJC_Contacts.pdf

Welcome to Our Blog!

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 17 2015

This is the home of our new blog. Check back often for updates!