Tax

Relief ahead for multi-employer pension plans in the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act

The recently re-introduced Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021 (Butch Lewis Act), originally passed by the House in 2019 and re-introduced in February 2021, is Congress’ most recent effort to direct funds to assist troubled multi-employer pension plans. Unlike previous legislative efforts in 2019 and 2020 which never made it through the Senate, with the recent change in the administration and control of the Senate, the Butch Lewis Act progressed rapidly through Congress. On March 1, the Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden released a statement confirming that the provisions of the Butch Lewis Act had the necessary budget impact to be included in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (the latest proposal for a COVID-19 relief plan). Senator Wyden noted that “the economic crisis has hit already struggling pension plans like a wrecking ball, and the retirement security of millions of American workers depends on getting this package across the finish line.” As a result, the multi-employer pension plan relief provided in the Butch Lewis Act was included in the final relief bill passed by the Senate, and the House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan on March 10, 2021. President Biden signed the bill into law on March 11, 2021.  Read more…

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American Rescue Plan provides tax relief to families and extends enhanced unemployment benefits

On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion U.S. coronavirus relief package, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The ARPA contains several tax provisions, the majority of which focus on providing relief to families earning less than $150,000 per year, and also extends enhanced unemployment benefits that were set to expire on March 14, 2021. Read more…

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The Consolidated Appropriations Act and the impact on the Paycheck Protection Program: Here we go again…

After months of negotiations, Congress finally passed the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act late Monday night. It is expected that the President will quickly sign the act into law.

The act provides approximately $325 billion in business relief, including roughly $275 billion for another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding. The act also provides answers to questions regarding the first round of PPP loans that have so far gone unanswered.

While the act is extremely lengthy (5,593 pdf pages long), we have attempted to summarize the most important sections regarding the Paycheck Protection Program.   Read more…

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Covid-19 in Latvia: State of Emergency extended until 9 June 2020

General

  • From 12 May 2020, it is allowed to hold public events both indoors and outdoors, by observing distance of 2 meters. The number of participants in the event may not exceed 25 people, and the maximum duration of the event shall be 3 hours;
  • Mouth and nose cover shall be worn when using public transport;
  • From 12 May 2020, museums, libraries, the National Archive will be able to gradually resume operations, the same applies to cultural events that can be observed from personal auto transport (drive-in events);
  • The shopping centres can be open on weekends and holidays;
  • From 12 May 2020, it is allowed to organize tourism services for travel only in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.
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Small business loans above $2M will be audited

McDonald Hopkins’ Dave Kall, Vice Chair of the firm’s Tax and Benefit Department, offers his insight on the PPP loan process and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s recent announcement that businesses receiving loans of more than $2 million from government relief programs intended for small businesses will receive a full audit to ensure the loan was justified.
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WORKING FROM HOME IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

Given the large numbers of people, both employed and self-employed, who are currently working from home in order to comply with physical distancing guidelines, it is useful to review the rules surrounding the deduction of home office expenses, for purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada). While there are many similarities, there are some subtle differences in the restrictions that apply to employees earning employment income versus self-employed individuals earning income from carrying on a business at home. Read the full article.

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Coronavirus creates challenges for ESOP companies

The coronavirus and the attendant economic disruption is creating challenges for companies that sponsor retirement plans. This article highlights the unqiue challenges facing companies that sponsor Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and suggests some administrative and operational steps ESOP companies may wish to consider. READ MORE

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Tax Relief Provisions Under the CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which became law on March 27 is an estimated $2 Trillion package aimed to provide economic relief and stimulus for individuals and businesses. The CARES Act contains numerous tax provisions affecting individuals and businesses, including:
  • Retirement Plan and IRA Adjustments
  • Charitable Contributions
  • Automatic 2019 Filing & Payment Extensions
  • Business-Related Tax Benefits
  • Cash Payouts to Individuals
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Covid-19 in Latvia: Updates

The Cabinet of Ministers extends the range of beneficiaries eligible for idle time benefits and tax holidays, establishing that the benefits will also be available to those having a tax debt in an amount less than EUR 1,000 and to companies established after March 1, 2019.

On April 2, 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted the following amendments to the criteria and procedures for receiving an idle time benefit and extension of the tax payment term or a deferral of up to 3 years for any Covid-19 crisis-hit company:

  • The allowed tax debt threshold has been increased to EUR 1000 while maintaining the condition that in case of higher tax debt, the employer shall have a prior agreement with the SRS;
  • If the employer or the taxpayer was established in the period from 1 March 2019 to 31 December 2019, the decrease in turnover shall be calculated taking into account the average turnover in 2019;
  • When receiving the idle time benefit, the employer shall not increase the number of employees compared to the number of employees at the beginning of the idle time.

Read more about the amendments here

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Tax Credits Offered to Employees Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act) was signed into law on March 18, The Act authorizes certain relief to businesses pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, including tax credits to employers to help offset the cost of wages to employees taking time off under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.
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