COVID-19 Update

At Thurman, Shinn & Company the health and safety of our office staff and clients are our top priority. With the COVID-19 virus having an increasing impact in our community, we want to let you know how our business is addressing this situation. We at Thurman, Shinn and Company are taking additional safety measures to protect our employees and clients. The scale of impact is still unknown, and we want to do our part to protect our community, especially while testing availability is unknown.

Both of our offices in Farmington and Desloge are now open. As our valued client, we want you to know that we appreciate your time and your business. If you have not yet dropped off your tax information, please call us at (573) 760-9400 to discuss the filing of your 2019 tax return.

We ask for your understanding and patience. We encourage our friends everywhere to take the extra precautions necessary to safeguard their health and that of others.

Here are the proactive steps we have put in place:

  1. All clients are encouraged to use our Secure Firm Portal to send us files and exchange documents online. You can access the portal via our website or https://www.securefirmportal.com
  2. Our staff will be working remotely. Please call us at (573)760-9400 if you want to schedule a phone appointment to review your taxes.
  3. To accommodate any concerns, our clients and staff may have, we have taken the following additional steps:
    • We have increased the cleaning and sanitation of our offices.
    • We have added additional alcohol-based sanitizer around our office.
    • We informed our staff if anyone is feeling ill (fever or cough), they need to stay home.

During this difficult time, we are committed to serving our clients and staff with care and consideration. We will continue to monitor the situation and take precautionary measures to promote the health and safety of our staff and clients.

Thank you for being a valued client and for your continued trust as we manage through this time together. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please call us at (573)760-9400 or email us info@thurmanshinnco.com.

Senate Passes House Bill H.R. 7010 - PPP Borrowers Breathe A Great Sigh Of Relief

Individual tax provisions in Senate-passed third coronavirus relief package

Click below for the full article:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alangassman/2020/06/03/senate-passes-house-bill-hr-7010/#231282bc55e6

 Senate-passed version of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act, H.R. 748) 

Summary of CARES Act Unemployment Insurance and Tax Provisions

By a unanimous vote on March 25, the Senate passed a third coronavirus relief package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act, H.R. 748, the Act). This article discusses the tax relief provisions for individuals that are contained in the Act.

For the tax relief provisions for businesses that are contained in the Act, see  Business tax provisions in Senate-passed third coronavirus relief package. 

The CARES Act contains a few additional tax provisions, including provisions on the non-taxability of certain loan forgiveness, advance refunding of certain credits and the suspension of certain aviation taxes. Checkpoint will provide additional information about these additional tax provisions in a future Federal Tax Update.

Checkpoint subscribers can find the latest tax and accounting news and analysis related to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic by searching or navigating to our new COVID-19 Guidance folder. This folder can be accessed from the top of the Table of Contents or included in searches (be sure to select it). The folder will be available beginning at 3:00 PM ET on Friday, March 27.  

Individual recovery rebate/credit

New law.  Credit allowed for 2020. Under the CARES Act, an eligible individual is allowed an income tax credit for 2020 equal to the sum of: (1) $1,200 ($2,400 for eligible individuals filing a joint return)plus (2) $500 for each qualifying child of the taxpayer (as defined under Code Sec. 24(c) for purposes of the child tax credit). (Code Sec. 6428(a), as added by Act Sec. 2201(a)) The credit is refundable. (Code Sec. 6428(b), as added by Act Sec. 2201(a))

Checkmark Observation. For purposes of the child tax credit, the term "qualifying child" means a qualifying child of the taxpayer, as defined for purposes of the dependency exemption by Code Sec. 152(c), who hasn't attained age 17. 

Checkmark Observation.   Individuals who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from non-taxable means-tested benefit programs such as SSI benefits, are eligible for the credit and the advance rebate. (CARES Section-by-Section Summary, p. 10).

Eligibility for credit. For purposes of the credit, an "eligible individual" is any individual other than a nonresident alien or an individual for whom a Code Sec. 151 dependency deduction is allowable to another taxpayer for the tax year. Estates and trusts aren't eligible for the credit. (Code Sec. 6428(d), as added by Act Sec. 2201(a))

Checkmark Observation.   Children who are (or can be) claimed as dependents by their parents aren't eligible individuals, even if they have enough income to have to file a return. It makes no difference if the parent chooses not to claim the child as a dependent, because the dependency deduction is still "allowable" to the parent.

Checkmark Observation.   An individual who wasn't an eligible individual for 2019 may become one for 2020, e.g., where the individual was a dependent for 2019 but not for 2020. IRS won't send an advance rebate to such an individual, because advance rebates are generally based on information on the 2019 return (see below). However, the individual will be able to claim the credit when filing the 2020 return.

Phaseout of credit. The amount of the credit is reduced (but not below zero) by 5% of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income (AGI) in excess of: (1) $150,000 for a joint return, (2) $112,500 for a head of household, and (3) $75,000 for all other taxpayers. (Code Sec. 6428(c), as added by Act Sec. 2201(a))

Checkmark Observation.   Under these rules, the credit is completely phased-out for a single filer with AGI exceeding $99,000 and for joint filers with no children with AGI exceeding $198,000. For a head of household with one child, the credit is completely phased out when AGI exceeds $146,500. (CARES Section-by-Section Summary, p. 10)

Advance rebate of credit during 2020. Each individual who was an eligible individual for 2019 is treated as having made an income tax payment for 2019 equal to the advance refund amount for 2019. The "advance refund amount" is the amount that would have been allowed as a credit for 2019 had the credit provision been in effect for 2019.

IRS will refund or credit any resulting overpayment as rapidly as possible. No interest will be paid on the overpayment.

If an individual hasn't yet filed a 2019 income tax return, IRS will determine the amount of the rebate using information from the taxpayer's 2018 return. If no 2018 return has been filed, IRS will use information from the individual's 2019 Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, or Form RRB-1099, Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement.

Checkmark Observation.   In other words, even though the credit is technically for 2020, the law treats it as an overpayment for 2019 that IRS will rebate as soon as possible during 2020.

Checkmark Observation.   Most eligible individuals won't have to take any action to receive an advance rebate from IRS. This includes many low-income individuals who file a tax return to claim the refundable earned income credit and child tax credit. (CARES Section-by-Section Summary, p. 10)

IRS may make the rebate electronically to any account to which the payee authorized, on or after Jan. 1, 2018, the delivery of a refund of federal taxes or of a federal payment.

No later than 15 days after distributing a rebate payment, IRS must mail a notice to the taxpayer's last known address indicating how the payment was made, the amount of the payment, and a phone number for reporting any failure to receive the payment to IRS.

No advance rebate will be made or allowed after Dec. 31, 2020. (Code Sec. 6428(f), as added by Act Sec. 2201(a))

Advance rebate reduces credit allowed for 2020. The amount of credit that is allowable for 2020 must be reduced (but not below zero) by the aggregate advance rebates made or allowed to the taxpayer during 2020.

Checkmark Observation.   If the taxpayer received an advance rebate during 2020 that was less than the credit to which the taxpayer is entitled for 2020, the taxpayer will be able to claim the balance of the credit when filing the 2020 return. If, on the other hand, the advance rebate received was greater than the credit to which the taxpayer is entitled, the taxpayer won't have to pay back the excess. That is because the 2020 credit can't be reduced below zero.

If an advance rebate was made or allowed for a joint return, half of the rebate is treated as having been made or allowed to each spouse who filed the joint return.

Checkmark Observation.  Thus, if taxpayers filed a joint return for 2019 and received an advance rebate, but were divorced or filed separate returns for 2020, each individual will take into account half of the advance rebate when reducing the credit allowed for 2020.

Identification number requirement. No credit will be allowed to an eligible individual who doesn't include the individual's valid identification number on the tax return for the tax year.

On a joint return, the valid identification number of the individual's spouse must be included. But this requirement doesn't apply if at least one spouse was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces at anytime during the tax year and at least one spouse's valid identification number is included on the joint return.

If a qualifying child is taken into account in figuring the credit, the child's valid identification number must also be included on the return.

A "valid identification number" means a social security number, as defined in Code Sec. 24(h)(7). For a qualifying child who is adopted or placed for adoption, the child's adoption taxpayer identification number is a valid identification number.

Checkmark Observation.   Under Code Sec. 24(h)(7), a "social security number" must be issued by the Social Security Administration to a U.S. citizen or to an alien who is eligible to be employed in the U.S. Also, the number must have been issued by the due date of the return.

An omission of a correct valid identification number is treated as a mathematical or clerical error that can be summarily assessed without using the deficiency procedures. (Code Sec. 6428(g), as added by Act Sec. 2201(a))

Regulations. IRS is to prescribe regs and other guidance as necessary to carry out the purposes of the credit provision, including appropriate measures to avoid allowing a taxpayer to receive multiple credits or rebates. (Code Sec. 6428(h), as added by Act Sec. 2201(a))

No 10% additional tax for coronavirus-related retirement plan distributions

Background. A distribution from a qualified retirement plan is subject to a 10% additional tax unless the distribution meets an exception under Code Sec. 72(t).

New law. The CARES Act provides that the Code Sec. 72(t) 10% additional tax does not apply to any coronavirus-related distribution, up to $100,000. (Act Sec. 2202(a)(1))

A coronavirus-related distribution is any distribution (subject to dollar limits discussed below), made on or after January 1, 2020, and before December 31, 2020, from an eligible retirement plan (defined in Code Sec. 402(c)(8)(B)), made to a qualified individual. (Act Sec. 2202(a)(4)(A))

A qualified individual is an individual (1) who is diagnosed with the virus SARS-CoV-2 or with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), (2) whose spouse or dependent (as defined in Code Sec. 152) is diagnosed with such virus or disease by such a test, or (3) who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, being furloughed or laid off or having work hours reduced due to such virus or disease, being unable to work due to lack of child care due to such virus or disease, closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual due to such virus or disease, or other factors as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury. (Act Sec. 2202(a)(4)(A)(ii))

The administrator of an eligible retirement plan may rely on an employee's certification that the employee satisfies the conditions of (3) above in determining whether any distribution is a coronavirus-related distribution. (Act Sec. 2202(a)(4)(B))

Limit on distribution. The aggregate amount of distributions received by an individual which may be treated as coronavirus-related distributions for any tax year cannot not exceed $100,000. (Act Sec. 2202(a)(2)(A))

If a distribution to an individual would (without regard to the $100,000 limit in Act Sec. 2202(a)(2)(A)) be a coronavirus-related distribution, a plan is not treated as violating the Code merely because the plan treats such distribution as a coronavirus-related distribution, unless the aggregate amount of such distributions from all plans maintained by the employer (and any member of any controlled group which includes the employer) to such individual exceeds $100,000. (Act Sec. 2202(a)(2)(B))

For this purpose, the term ''controlled group'' means any group treated as a single employer under Code Sec. 414(b), Code Sec. 414(c), Code Sec. 414(m), or Code Sec. 414(o). (Act Sec. 2202(a)(2)(C))

Distribution can be contributed back to retirement plan. Any individual who receives a coronavirus-related distribution may, at any time during the 3-year period beginning on the day after the date on which such distribution was received, make one or more contributions in an aggregate amount not to exceed the amount of such distribution to an eligible retirement plan of which such individual is a beneficiary and to which a rollover contribution of such distribution could be made under Code Sec. 402(c), Code Sec. 403(a)(4), Code Sec. 403(b)(8), Code Sec. 408(d)(3), or Code Sec. 457(e)(16), as the case may be. (Act Sec. 2202(a)(3)(A))

If a contribution is made pursuant to Act Sec. 2202(a)(3)(A) with respect to a coronavirus-related distribution from an eligible retirement plan other than an individual retirement plan, then the taxpayer is, to the extent of the amount of the contribution, treated as having received the coronavirus-related distribution in an eligible rollover distribution (as defined in Code Sec. 402(c)(4)) and as having transferred the amount to the eligible retirement plan in a direct trustee to trustee transfer within 60 days of the distribution. (Act Sec. 2202(a)(3)(B))

If a contribution is made pursuant to Act Sec. 2202(a)(3)(A) with respect to a coronavirus-related distribution from an individual retirement plan, then, to the extent of the amount of the contribution, the coronavirus-related distribution is treated as a distribution described in Code Sec. 408(d)(3) and as having been transferred to the eligible retirement plan in a direct trustee to trustee transfer within 60 days of the distribution. (Act Sec. 2202(a)(3)(C))

Distribution can be included in income over three years. In the case of any coronavirus-related distribution, unless the taxpayer elects not to, any amount required to be included in gross income for such tax year will be so included ratably over the 3-taxyear period beginning with such tax year. (Act Sec. 2202(a)(5)(A)) For this purpose, rules similar to the rules of Code Sec. 408A(d)(3)(E) apply. (Act Sec. 2202(a)(5)(B))

For purposes of Code Sec. 401(a)(31), Code Sec. 402(f), and Code Sec. 3405, coronavirus-related distributions are not treated as eligible rollover distributions. (Act Sec. 2202(a)(6)(A))

Also, a coronavirus-related distribution is treated as meeting the requirements of Code Sec. 401(k)(2)(B)(i), Code Sec. 403(b)(7)(A)(i), Code Sec. 403(b)(11), Code Sec. 457(d)(1)(A), and 5 USC 8433(h)(1). (Act Sec. 2202(a)(6)(B))

Loans from qualified plans. The CARES Act provides flexibility for loans from certain retirement plans for coronavirus-related relief. (Act Sec. 2202(b))

Effective date. Act Sec. 2202 applies to distributions made on or after January 1, 2020, and before December 31, 2020. (Act Sec. 2202(a)(4)(A))

RMD requirement waived for 2020

Background. In general, Code Sec. 401(a)(9) requires a retirement plan or IRA owner to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) annually once the owner reaches age 72.

New law. The CARES Act provides that the RMD requirements do not apply for calendar year 2020 to: (I) a defined contribution plan described in Code Sec. 403(a) or Code Sec. 403(b); (II) a defined contribution plan which is an eligible deferred compensation plan described in Code Sec. 457(b) but only if such plan is maintained by an employer described in Code Sec. 457(e)(1)(A); or (III) an individual retirement plan. (Code Sec. 401(a)(9)(I)(i), as amended by Act Sec. 2203(a))

The RMD requirements also do not apply to any distribution which is required to be made in calendar year 2020by reason of: (I) a required beginning date occurring in calendar year 2020, and (II) such distribution not having been made before January 1, 2020. (Code Sec. 401(a)(9)(I)(ii), as amended by Act Sec. 2203(a))

For purposes of the Code Sec. 401(a)(9) RMD rules: (I) the required beginning date with respect to any individual is determined without regard to the temporary RMD waiver rules of Code Sec. 401(a)(9)(I) for purposes of applying the RMD rules for calendar years after 2020; and (II) if the 5-year rule of Code Sec. 401(a)(9)(B)(ii) applies (in general requiring a retirement plan to distribute its assets within five years of the death of the employee), the 5-year period is determined without regard to calendar year 2020. (Code Sec. 401(a)(9)(I)(iii),as amended by Act Sec. 2203(a))

Eligible rollover distributions. If all or any portion of a distribution during 2020 is treated as an eligible rollover distribution but would not be so treated if the minimum distribution requirements under Code Sec. 401(a)(9) had applied during 2020, such distribution is not be treated as an eligible rollover distribution for purposes of Code Sec. 401(a)(31), Code Sec. 3405(c), or Code Sec. 402(f). (Code Sec. 402(c)(4), as amended by Act Sec. 2203(b))

Effective date. The amendments made by Act Sec. 2203 apply for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2019. (Act Sec. 2203(c)(1))

If Act Sec. 2203(c)(2) applies to any pension plan or contract amendment (see below), such pension plan or contract does not fail to be treated as being operated in accordance with the terms of the plan during the period beginning on the date of enactment of the Act and ending on December 31, 2020, solely because the plan operates in accordance with the temporary RMD suspension rules of Act Sec. 2203. In addition, except as provided by the Secretary of the Treasury, such plan or contract does not fail to meet the requirements of Code Sec. 411(d)(6) (Sec. 204(g) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) by reason of such amendment. (Act Sec. 2203(c)(2)(A))

Act Sec. 2203(c)(2) applies to any amendment to any pension plan or annuity contract which: (I) is made pursuant to the amendments made by Act Sec. 2203; and (II) is made on or before the last day of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2022. (Act Sec. 2203(c)(2)(B)(i)) In the case of a governmental plan, clause (II) is applied by substituting''2024'' for ''2022''. (Act Sec. 2203(c)(2)(B)(i))

Act Sec. 2203(c)(2) does not apply to any amendment unless during the period beginning on the date of enactment of the Act and ending on December 31, 2020, the plan or contract is operated as if such plan or contract amendment were in effect. (Act Sec. 2203(c)(2)(B)(ii))

   

$300 above-the-line charitable deduction

Background. Adjusted gross income is gross income less certain deductions. (Code Sec. 62(a))

New law. The CARES Act adds a deduction to the calculation of gross income, in the case of tax years beginning in 2020, for the amount (not to exceed $300) of qualified charitable contributions made by an eligible individual during the tax year. (Code Sec. 62(a)(22), as amended by Act Sec. 2204(a))

For this purpose, the term "eligible individual" means any individual who does not elect to itemize deductions. (Code Sec. 62(f)(1), as amended by Act Sec. 2204(b))

The term "qualified charitable contribution" means a charitable contribution (as defined in Code Sec. 170(c)): (A) which is made in cash; (B) for which a deduction is allowable under Code Sec. 170 (determined without regard Code Sec. 170(b)); (C) which is made to an organization described in Code Sec. 170(b)(1)(A), and not to an organization described in Code Sec. 509(a)(3); and (D) which is not for the establishment of anew, or maintenance of an existing, donor advised fund (as defined in Code Sec. 4966(d)(2)). In addition, a qualified charitable contribution does not include any amount which is treated as a charitable contribution made in such tax year by reason of Code Sec. 170(b)(1)(G)(ii) or Code Sec. 170(d)(1). (Code Sec. 62(f)(2), as amended by Act Sec. 2204(b))

Effective date. The amendments made by Act Sec. 2204 apply to tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2019. (Act Sec. 2204(c))

Modification of limitations on individual cash charitable contributions during 2020

Background. Individuals are allowed a deduction for cash contributions to certain charitable organizations (such as churches, educational organizations, hospitals, and medical research organizations) up to 60% of their contribution base (generally, adjusted gross income (AGI)). (Code Sec. 170(b)(1)(G)(i)) If the aggregate amount of an individual's cash contributions to these charities for the year exceeds 60% of the individual's contribution base, then the excess is carried forward and is treated as a deductible charitable contribution in each of the five succeeding tax years. (Code Sec. 170(b)(1)(G)(ii))

New law. The CARES Act provides that (except as stated below) qualified contributions are disregarded in applying the 60% limit on cash contributions of individuals and the Code Sec. 170(d)(1) rules on carryovers of excess contributions. (Act Sec. 2205(a)(1))

Qualified contributions are allowed as a deduction only to the extent that the aggregate of those contributions does not exceed the excess of the individual's contribution base over the amount of all other charitable contributions allowed as deductions for the contribution year. (Act Sec. 2205(a)(2)(A)(i))

Qualified contributions are charitable contributions if---

1. They are paid in cash during calendar year 2020 to an organization described in Code Sec. 170(b)(1)(A) (i.e., 501(c)(3) and certain other charitable organizations); and

2. The taxpayer has elected to apply this provision with respect to the contribution. (Act Sec. 2205(a)(3)(A))

However, contributions to a Code Sec. 509(a)(3) supporting organization or a donor advised fund are not qualified contributions. (Act Sec. 2205(a)(3)(B))

In the case of a partnership or S corporation, the election in item (2) above is made separately by each partner or shareholder. (Act Sec. 2205(a)(3)(C))

If the aggregate amount of qualified contributions exceeds the limitation in Act Sec. 2205(a)(2)(A)(i), the excess is added to the individual's carryover amount described in Code Sec. 170(b)(1)(G)(ii).(Act Sec. 2205(a)(2)(A)(ii))

Effective date. The amendments made by Act Sec. 2205(a) apply to tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2019. (Act Sec. 2205(c))

Modification of limitations on corporate cash charitable contributions during 2020

Background. A corporation's charitable deduction cannot exceed 10% of its taxable income, as computed with certain modifications. (Code Sec. 170(b)(2)(A)) If a corporation's charitable contributions for a year exceed the 10% limitation, the excess is carried over and deducted for each of the five succeeding years in order of time, to the extent the sum of carryovers and contributions for each of those years does not exceed 10% of taxable income. (Code Sec. 170(d)(2)(A))

New law. The CARES Act provides that (except as stated below) qualified contributions (see above) are disregarded in applying the 10% limit on charitable contributions of corporations and the Code Sec. 170(d)(1) rules on carryovers of excess contributions. (Act Sec. 2205(a)(1))

Qualified contributions are allowed as a deduction only to the extent that the aggregate of those contributions does not exceed the excess of 25% of the corporation's taxable income (as computed under Code Sec. 170(b)(2)) over the amount of all other charitable contributions allowed to the corporation as deductions for the contribution year. (Act Sec. 2205(a)(2)(B)(i))

If the aggregate amount of qualified contributions exceeds the limitation in the previous paragraph, the excess is taken into account under the Code Sec. 170(d)(2) carryover rule, subject to its limitations. (Act Sec. 2205(a)(2)(B)(ii))

Effective date. The amendments made by Act Sec. 2205(a) apply to tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2019. (Act Sec. 2205(c))

Increase in limits on contributions of food inventory

Background. A donation of food inventory to a charitable organization that will use it for the care of the ill, the needy, or infants is deductible in an amount up to basis plus half the gain that would be realized on the sale of the food (not to exceed twice the basis). In the case of a C corporation, the deduction cannot exceed 15% of the corporation's income. In the case of a taxpayer other than a C corporation, the deduction cannot exceed 15% of aggregate net income of the taxpayer for that tax year from all trades or businesses from which those contributions were made, computed without regard to the taxpayer's charitable deductions for the year. (Code Sec. 170(e)(3)(C))

New Law. In the case of any charitable contribution of food during 2020 to which Code Sec. 170(e)(3)(C) applies, the taxable income limits are 25% rather than 15%. (Act Sec. 2205(b))

Effective date. The amendments made by Act Sec. 2205(b) apply to tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2019. (Act Sec. 2205(c))

Tax-excluded education payments by an employer temporarily include student loan repayments

Background. An employee's gross income doesn't include up to $5,250 per year of employer payments, in cash or kind, made under an educational assistance program for the employee's education (but not the education of spouses or dependents). (Code Sec. 127)

New law. The CARES Act adds to the types of educational payments that are excluded from employee gross income" eligible student loan repayments" (below) made before January 1, 2021. The payments are subject to the overall $5,250 per employee limit for all educational payments.

Eligible student loan repayments are payments by the employer, whether paid to the employee or a lender, of principle or interest on any qualified higher education loan as defined in Code Sec 221(d)(1) for the education of the employee (but not of a spouse or dependent).(Code Sec 127(c)(1)(B), as amended by Act Sec. 2206(a))

To prevent a double benefit, student loan repayments for which the exclusion is allowable can't be deducted under Code Sec 221 (which allows the deduction of student loan interest subject to a dollar limit and a phase-out above specified taxpayer income levels.) (Code Sec. 221(e)(1), as amended by Act Sec. 2206(b))

Effective date. The amendments made by Act Sec. 2206 apply to payments made after the date of enactment of the Act. (Act Sec. 2206(c))

Business tax provisions in Senate-passed third coronavirus relief package

Senate-passed version of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act, H.R. 748)

Summary of CARES Act Unemployment Insurance and Tax Provisions

By a unanimous vote on March 25, the Senate passed a third coronavirus relief package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act, H.R. 748, the Act). This article discusses the tax relief provisions for businesses that are contained in the Act. 

For the tax relief provisions for individuals that are contained in the Act, see  Individual tax provisions in Senate-passed third coronavirus relief package. 

The CARES Act contains a few additional tax provisions, including provisions on the non-taxability of certain loan forgiveness, advance refunding of certain credits and the suspension of certain aviation taxes. Checkpoint will provide information about these additional tax provisions in a future Federal Tax Update.

Checkpoint subscribers can find the latest tax and accounting news and analysis related to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic by searching or navigating to our new COVID-19 Guidance folder. This folder can be accessed from the top of the Table of Contents or included in searches (be sure to select it). The folder will be available beginning at 3:00 PM ET on Friday, March 27.

Employee retention credit for employers

New law. This provision provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during the COVID-19 crisis. (Act Sec. 2301(a))

Eligible employers. The credit is available to employers, including non-profits, whose operations have been fully or partially suspended as a result of a government order limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings. The credit is also provided to employers who have experienced a greater than 50% reduction in quarterly receipts, measured on a year-over-year basis. (Act Sec. 2301(c)(2))

The credit is not available to employers receiving Small Business Interruption Loans under Sec. 1102 of the Act. (Act Sec. 2301(j))

Wages paid to which employees? For employers who had an average number of full-time employees in 2019 of 100 or fewer, all employee wages are eligible, regardless of whether the employee is furloughed. For employers who had a larger average number of full-time employees in 2019, only the wages of employees who are furloughed or face reduced hours as a result of their employers' closure or reduced gross receipts are eligible for the credit. (Act Sec. 2301(c)(3)(A))

No credit is available with respect to an employee for any period for which the employer is allowed a Work Opportunity Credit (Code Sec. 21) with respect to the employee. (Act Sec. 2301(h)(1))

Wages. The term "wages" includes health benefits and is capped at the first $10,000 in wages paid by the employer to an eligible employee. ((Act Sec. 2301(c)(3)(C); Act Sec. 2301(b)(1))

Wages do not include amounts taken into account for purposes of the payroll credits, for required paid sick leave or required paid family leave in the Families First Coronavirus Act (part of P.L. 116-127) (Act Sec. 2301(c)(3)(A)), nor for wages taken into account for the Code Sec. 45S employer credit for paid family and medical leave. (Act Sec. 2301(h)(2))

Other. IRS is granted authority to advance payments to eligible employers (Act Sec. 2301(l)(1)) and to waive applicable penalties for employers who do not deposit applicable payroll taxes in anticipation of receiving the credit. (Act Sec. 2301(k))

Effective date. The credit applies to wages paid after March 12, 2020 and before Jan. 1, 2021. (Act Sec. 2301(m))

Delay of payment of employer payroll taxes

Background. Employers are required to withhold social security taxes (Code Sec. 3111(a)) and tax under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) from wages paid to employees. (Code Sec. 3211(a) and Code Sec. 3221(a)). Self-employed individuals are subject to self-employment (SECA) tax. (Code Sec. 1401(a))

New law. The CARES Act allows taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020. Thus, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the payment for "applicable employment taxes" for the "payroll tax deferral period" won't be due before the "applicable date." (Act Sec. 2302(a)(1))

For purposes of the above rules, the term ''applicable employment taxes'' means: (A) the taxes imposed under Code Sec. 3111(a) (social security taxes), (B) so much of the taxes imposed under Code Sec. 3211(a) as are attributable to the rate in effect under Code Sec. 3111(a), and (C) so much of the taxes imposed under Code Sec. 3221(a) as are attributable to the rate in effect under Code Sec. 3111(a) (RRTA taxes). (Act Sec. 2302(d)(1))

The term ''payroll tax deferral period'' means the period beginning on the date of enactment of the Act and ending before Jan. 1, 2021. (Act Sec. 2302(d)(2))

The term ''applicable date'' means: (A) Dec. 31, 2021, with respect to 50% of the amounts to which Act Sec. 2302(a) (employment taxes) and Act Sec. 2302(b) (self-employment tax), as the case may be, apply, and (B) Dec. 31, 2022, with respect to the remaining 50% of those amounts. (Act Sec. 2302(d)(3))

Notwithstanding Code Sec. 6302 (which authorizes IRS to set deadlines for tax deposits), an employer will be treated as having timely made all deposits of applicable employment taxes required (without regard to Act Sec. 2302) to be made during the payroll tax deferral period if all such deposits are made not later than the applicable date. (Act Sec. 2302(a)(2))

The above rules won't apply to any taxpayer which has had indebtedness forgiven under Act Sec. 1106 with respect to a loan under Small Business Act Sec. 7(a)(36), as added by Act Sec. 1102, or indebtedness forgiven under Act Sec. 1109. (Act Sec. 2302(a)(3))

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the payment for 50% of the taxes imposed under Code Sec. 1401(a) (self-employment taxes) for the payroll tax deferral period won't be due before the applicable date. (Act Sec. 2302(b)(1))

For purposes of applying Code Sec. 6654 (requiring individuals to make estimated tax payments) to any tax year which includes any part of the payroll tax deferral period, 50% of the self-employment taxes imposed under Code Sec. 1401(a) for the payroll tax deferral period won't be treated as taxes to which Code Sec. 6654 applies. (Act Sec. 2302(b)(2))

For purposes of Code Sec. 3504 (imposing third party liability for withholding tax), in the case of any person designated under that section (and any regulations or other guidance issued by IRS with respect to that section) to perform acts otherwise required to be performed by an employer, if an employer directs that person to defer payment of any applicable employment taxes during the payroll tax deferral period under Act Sec. 2302, the employer will be solely liable for the payment of the applicable employment taxes before the applicable date for any wages paid by that that person on behalf of that employer during that period. (Act Sec. 2302(c)(1))

For purposes of Code Sec. 3511 (which requires certified professional employer organizations (CPEOs) to be treated as employers for employment tax withholding purposes), in the case of a CPEO (as defined in Code Sec. 7705(a)) that has entered into a service contract described in Code Sec. 7705(e)(2) with a customer, if that customer directs that CPEO to defer payment of any applicable employment taxes during the payroll tax deferral period under this section, the customer will, notwithstanding Code Sec. 3511(a) and Code Sec. 3511(c), be solely liable for the payment of those applicable employment taxes before the applicable date for any wages paid by the CPEO to any worksite employee performing services for that customer during that period. (Act Sec. 2302(c)(2))

Effective date . The provisions of Act Sec. 2302 apply to the period beginning on the date of enactment of the Act. (Act Sec. 2302(d)(2))

Temporary repeal of taxable income limitation for net operating losses (NOLs)

Old law. Under Code Sec. 172(a) the amount of the NOL deduction is equal to the lesser of (1) the aggregate of the NOL carryovers to such year and NOL carrybacks to such year, or (2) 80% of taxable income computed without regard to the deduction allowable in this section. Thus, NOLs are currently subject to a taxable-income limitation and can't fully offset income.

New law. The CARES Act temporarily removes the taxable income limitation to allow an NOL to fully offset income. (Code Sec. 172(a), as amended by Act Sec. 2303(a)(1))

Effective date. The amendments made by Act Sec. 2303(a) apply to tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and to tax years beginning on or before Dec. 31, 2017, to which NOLs arising in tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017 are carried. (Act Sec. 2303(d)(1))

Modification of rules relating to net operating loss (NOL) carrybacks

Old law. Code Sec. 172(b)(1) provides that, except for farming losses and losses of property and casualty insurance companies, an NOL for any tax year is carried forward to each tax year following the tax year of the loss but isn't carried back to any tax year preceding the tax year of the loss.

New law. The CARES Act provides that NOLs arising in a tax year beginning after Dec. 31, 2018 and before Jan. 1, 2021 can be carried back to each of the five tax years preceding the tax year of such loss. (Code Sec. 172(b)(1) as amended by Act Sec. 2303(b)(1))

Effective date. The amendments made by Act Sec. 2303(b) apply to NOLs arising in tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017 and to tax years beginning before, on or after such date to which such NOLs are carried. (Act Sec. 2303(d)(2))

Modification of limitation on losses for noncorporate taxpayers

Old law. Code Sec. 461(l)(1) disallows the deduction of excess business losses by noncorporate taxpayers for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017 and ending before Jan. 1, 2026. Generally, Code Sec. 461(l)(3)(A) provides that an "excess business loss" is the excess of the (1) taxpayer's aggregate trade or business deductions for the tax year over (2) the sum of the taxpayer's aggregate trade or business gross income or gain plus $250,000 (as adjusted for inflation).

New law. The CARES Act temporarily modifies the loss limitation for noncorporate taxpayers so they can deduct excess business losses arising in 2018, 2019, and 2020. (Code Sec. 461(l)(1), as amended by Act Sec. 2304(a))

Effective date. The amendments made by Act Sec. 2304(a) apply to tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017. (Code Sec. 461(l)(1), as amended by Act Sec. 2304(a))

Corporate minimum tax credit (MTC) is accelerated

Background. Corporations (for which the alternative minimum tax was repealed for tax years after 2017) may claim outstanding MTCs (subject to limits) for tax years before 2021, at which time any remaining MTC may be claimed as fully refundable. Thus, under Code Sec. 53(e), the MTC is refundable for any tax year beginning in 2018, 2019, 2020, or 2021, in an amount equal to 50% (100% for tax years beginning in 2021) of the excess MTC for the tax year, over the amount of the credit allowable for the year against regular tax liability. (Code Sec. 53(e))

New law. The CARES Act changes ''2018, 2019, 2020, or 2021'' (above) to ''2018 or 2019," and changes "(100% for tax years beginning in 2021)" to "(100% for tax years beginning in 2019)" (Code Sec. 53(e)(1), as amended by Act Sec. 2305(a), and Code Sec. 53(e)(2), as amended by Act Sec. 2305(a))

Checkmark Observation.  Thus, the CARES Act allows corporations to claim 100% of AMT credits in 2019.

The CARES Act also provides for an election to take the entire refundable credit amount in 2018. (Code Sec. 53(e)(5), as amended by Act Sec. 2305(b)(1))

Under the CARES Act, a claim for credit or refund where a corporation elects to take the entire refundable credit amount in 2018 must be treated as made under Code Sec. 6411, i.e., as a tentative carryback refund claim. (Act Sec. 2305(d)(1))

Taxpayers may file an application for a tentative refund of any amount for which a refund is due by reason of an election under Code Sec. 53(e)(5). The application, which must be filed before Dec. 31, 2020, must be in the manner and form IRS provides, must be verified in the same manner as an application for a tentative carryback adjustment, and must set forth: (a) the amount of the refundable credit claimed under Code Sec. 53(e) for the tax year, (b) the amount of the refundable credit claimed under Code Sec. 53(e) for any previously filed return for the tax year, and (c) the amount of the refund claimed. (Act Sec. 2305(d)(2)(A))

Within 90 days from the date the application is filed, IRS must: (i) review the application, (ii) determine the amount of the overpayment, and (iii) apply, credit, or refund the overpayment, in a manner similar to that provided in Code Sec. 6411(b) (allowance of tentative carryback adjustments). (Act Sec. 2305(d)(2)(B))

For an application made by a corporation filing a consolidated return, the rules of Code Sec. 6411(c) apply to an adjustment, to the extent IRS provides. (Act Sec. 2305(d)(2)(C))

Effective date. The amendments made by Act Sec. 2305 apply to tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. (Act Sec. 2305(c))

Deductibility of interest expense temporarily increased

Background. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-97, the “TCJA”) generally limited the amount of business interest allowed as a deduction to 30% of adjusted taxable income. (Code Sec. 163(j)(10))

New law. The CARES Act temporarily and retroactively increases the limitation on the deductibility of interest expense under Code Sec. 163(j)(1) from 30% to 50% for tax years beginning in 2019 and 2020. (Code Sec. 163(j)(10)(A)(i) as amended by Act Sec. 2306(a))

Special rules for partnerships. Under a special rule for partnerships, the increase in the limitation will not apply to partners in partnerships for 2019 (it applies only in 2020). (Code Sec. 163(j)(10)(A)(ii)(I) as amended by Act Sec. 2306(a)) For partners that don't elect out, any excess business interest of the partnership for any tax year beginning in 2019 that is allocated to the partner will be treated as follows (Code Sec. 163(j)(10)(A)(ii)(II) as amended by Act Sec. 2306(a)):

…50% of the excess business interest will be treated as paid or accrued by the partner in the partner's first tax year beginning in 2020 and isn't subject to any limits in 2020. (Code Sec. 163(j)(10)(A)(ii)(II)(aa) as amended by Act Sec. 2306(a))

…50% of the excess business interest will be subject to the limitations of paragraph 163(j)(4)(B)(ii) (relating to the usual treatment of excess business interest allocated to partners) in the same manner as any other excess business interest that is so allocated. (Code Sec. 163(j)(10)(A)(ii)(II)(bb) as amended by Act Sec. 2306(a)) In other words, it will remain suspended until the partnership allocates excess taxable income or excess interest income to the partner (or the partnership is no longer subject to Code Sec. 163(j)).

Election out of the increased limitation. Taxpayers may elect out of the increase, for any tax year, in the time and manner IRS prescribes. Once made, the election can be revoked only with IRS consent. For partnerships, the election must be made by the partnership and can be made only for tax years beginning in 2020. (Code Sec. 163(j)(10)(A)(iii) as amended by Act Sec. 2306(a))

Election to calculate 2020 interest limitation using 2019 adjusted taxable income. In addition, taxpayers can elect to calculate the interest limitation for their tax year beginning in 2020 using the adjusted taxable income for their last tax year beginning in 2019 as the relevant base. For partnerships, this election must be made by the partnership. (Code Sec. 163(j)(10)(B)(i) as amended by Act Sec. 2306(a))

If an election is made to calculate the interest limitation using 2019 adjusted taxable income for a tax year that is a short tax year, the adjusted taxable income for the taxpayer's last tax year beginning in 2019 which is substituted under the election will be equal to the amount which bears the same ratio to such adjusted taxable income as the number of months in the short taxable year bears to 12. (Code Sec. 163(j)(10)(B)(ii) as amended by Act Sec. 2306(a))

Effective date. The amendments made by Act Sec. 2306 apply to tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2018. (Act Sec. 2306(b))

Bonus depreciation technical correction for qualified improvement property

Background. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-97, the "TCJA") amended Code Sec. 168 to allow 100% additional first-year depreciation deductions ("100% Bonus Depreciation") for certain qualified property. The TCJA eliminated pre-existing definitions for (1) qualified leasehold improvement property, (2) qualified restaurant property, and (3) qualified retail improvement property. It replaced those definitions with one category called qualified improvement property ("QI Property"). A general 15-year recovery period was intended to have been provided for QI Property. However, that specific recovery period failed to be reflected in the statutory text of the TCJA. Thus, under the TCJA, QI Property falls into the 39-year recovery period for nonresidential rental property. That makes the QI Property category ineligible for 100% Bonus Depreciation.

New law. The CARES Act provides a technical correction to the TCJA, and specifically designates QI Property as 15-year property for depreciation purposes. (Code Sec. 168(e)(3)(E)(vii), as amended by Act Sec. 2307(a)(1)(A)) This makes QI Property a category eligible for 100% Bonus Depreciation. QI property also is specifically assigned a 20-year class life for the Alternative Depreciation System. (Code Sec. 168(g)(3)(B), as amended by Act Sec. 2307(a)(3)(B))

Effective date. The amendments made by Act Sec. 2307 are effective for property placed in service after Dec. 31, 2017. (Act Sec. 2307(b))



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