TAXES AND COVID-19

This is where we've posted the latest CREDIBLE information, helpful links, and answers to your FAQs.

WE'RE HERE FOR YOU

We are, and have been, working hard on not only client tax returns, but other things our clients have encountered (PPP loans, Economic Impact Payments, tax payment deadlines, and more) thanks to the unprecedented situation we're experiencing because of COVID-19.

 

With information changing all the time, it's taking us time to not only sort through it all, but actually do our jobs. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Keep reading for helpful links, tips, updated COVID information, and more.

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The IRS has issued it's 2020 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams and they're focused on scummy scammers hoping to make money on COVID. Here's what to watch for and how to protect yourself.

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Stimulus Cash

We're getting a lot of questions about where stimulus payments are, how they're arriving, and what to do if you think you accidentally threw yours away. Even though it's all in the hands of the IRS, here's what we were able to find out and some tools that may help you keep on top of your payment.

PPP Loans

Changes are likely coming to forgiveness requirements of PPP Loans. If you received one, or want to apply, there are new deadlines and other details you'll want to know about.

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PREPAID EIP CARDS

Waiting for your Economic Impact Payment? The IRS says you may be getting a pre-paid debit card instead of a paper check. 

Check out more on today's blog post.

Questions about ppp?

The US Chamber of Commerce has issued a helpful guide for businesses that received the Paycheck Protection Program loan. We're getting a lot of questions from clients about what the money can be used for, forgiveness, and more.

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Download the guide by clicking below to help you understand how to spend your PPP money. As ever, we encourage you to call with questions. It's easier (and cheaper!) to avoid mistakes than clean up messes. 

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LIFE SLOWLY RETURNING TO NORMAL,

OUR OFFICE REMAINS THE SAME

We are still working away, but now is not the time for us to get sick.

Our COVID-19 precautions remain in place.

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irs RELEASES TOOLS TO HELP TAXPAYERS 

GET ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS

There are a lot of layers to the Economic Impact Payments, so our best advice is for you to read the information the IRS provides on the page linked below VERY CAREFULLY! You'll find the Get My Payment tool as well as the Non-Filer tool linked below. Be sure you understand BEFORE you fill out any forms.

THE LATEST UPDATE AS OF APRIL 10

The IRS has changed the date for estimated payments AND released a new tool to help Non-Filers get their Economic Impact Payment. Things are changing fast, but here's the latest information we have.

FOR

FAMILIES

IF COVID-19 has impacted your income, help is likely available in the form of Unemployment benefits. There are specific days and hours when residents are asked to apply as well as limitations on eligibility. Here is the latest Unemployment Benefits Worksheet.

 

To stay updated on Unemployment benefits, bookmark this page.

And there is more information about when and how to file below.

THE LATEST UPDATE AS OF MARCH 20

COVID-19 is impacting a great many aspects of your taxes, 

including how you get your return and when your payment is due.

We are your resource for accurate and complete information.

frequently asked questions about covid-19 and taxes

What if I don’t want to wait until July 15 to file my tax return?


If we believe you'll receive a refund, we have moved your return to the front of the line. That being said, it's still a long line and we are working as fast as we can. Thank you for your patience. We, too, are being expected to make drastic changes to our office for the safety of our staff and having to change everything about our work flow is hugely disrupting the actual process of getting work done. We know you rely on us, we are relying on your patience. If you are expected to owe tax this year, you have until July 15 to both file and pay. We will get to your return as soon as we can. We won't actually be ‘extending’ anyone due to the later filing/payment deadline. One way to get your return more quickly is that if we call/email you with questions, please get back to us as soon as you can so we can move forward with preparing your return.




Where is my refund?


Once your e-file authorization form has been returned to our office, we officially file your return with the IRS. That usually happens within 24 hours. You can visit https://www.irs.gov/refunds to check the status of your refund. HINT: A direct deposit is a much faster way to get your money. Let us know your bank account info so we can set that up for you.




How will I receive my returns from your office?


For the time being, we are mailing returns (and your tax documents) back to clients. We’ll notify you via phone or email that it’s on its way. We’re including a cover sheet with specific directions as well as a checklist so you can find the important paperwork you need to get back to us. We’ve also created a video you can watch while you unpack your return so you’re sure not to miss anything. If you expect to owe this year, you can skip ahead to the 6:24 mark if you want to - but there's good information throughout.




When do I owe taxes?


The IRS has extended the filing and payment deadline to July 15 (as of March 24.) That means the IRS isn't expecting your check until then, so hang on to your money if you want to. When it comes to potential to the dates, we'll be updating you on Facebook, in your inbox, and right here on this page.




I've already paid my taxes, can I get my money back?


Sadly, no. The IRS is not going to issue you a refund. However, there are resources available if you're in a financial bind. First, go to https://www.benefits.gov/ for help filing for unemployment, etc. There are also COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments available to most taxpayers. First, the payments will be based on 2018 numbers, not 2019, so don't panic if you haven't filed your 2019 tax return. Second, visit this site for more information about the payments, who is eligible, and how to get yours if you're eligible.




What's the best source of information when it comes to taxes and COVID-19?


Right here. We are not going to repost the latest headlines (which may be wrong) or leap to conclusions. As you know, we are methodical and logical, and both are important in this time of over-information. Stay tuned to our Facebook page, this site, and your inbox. When we know what's really going on, we will communicate it with you. (That doesn't mean it won't change the next day, of course.) Our best advice, don't believe everything you read about how COVID-19 is impacting this tax season unless it came from us.




I've been laid off due to COVID-19, now what?


First, we're sorry to hear that and hope this is nothing more than a little bump in the road of life. You can go to the website below and be sure to say you "are part of a job attached lay-off due to COVID 19" as you go through the process.
https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/eligibility And here is a helpful document about what benefits you may or may not be eligible for.




I still need to get you documents, how can I do that?


We have a few options: 1. Deliver them to our office and put them in the mail slot. It's right next to our front door. If your packet won't fit and it's during regular business hours, ring the door bell and we'll get your paperwork from you. 2. You can upload your documents to our client portal, SmartVault. If you are not already signed up, you will need to email Amy at aashman@cowestcpa.com to get started. You can also visit our CLIENT PORTAL page which has a video with more details and instructions. 3. Email us your documents. These need to be password-protected, but you'll need to give us a hint as to what the password is. The standard is using the last four digits of a Social Security number - just be sure to tell us whose SSN you're using. If you need instructions on how to apply a password to your documents, check out this helpful article.




If I don't pay my taxes by April 15, will I incur interest and penalties?


Nope. Since the IRS has officially extended the deadline to both file AND pay, there will be no interest or penalty if you don't pay by April 15. This year, thanks to COVID, April 15 is no longer a date you need to worry about. The new deadline was officially changed (on 3/20/2020) to July 15, 2020.




I have an Installment Agreement with the IRS, do I still have to pay right now?


This information was released from the IRS on March 25, 2020: Existing Installment Agreements - For taxpayers under an existing Installment Agreement, payments due between April 1 and July 15, 2020 are suspended. Taxpayers who are currently unable to comply with the terms of an Installment Payment Agreement, including a Direct Debit Installment Agreement, may suspend payments during this period if they prefer. Furthermore, the IRS will not default any Installment Agreements during this period. By law, interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid balances.




I'm a small business owner, is there help for me?


Here's a helpful guide: Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act.




When will I get my Economic Impact Payment?


All we can do to help with this question is share the information we've been given. We don't cut the checks, we don't really know anything about the checks... except what's below, which we received on April 23, 2020: Latest estimated timing from the IRS on economic impact checks is as follows:

  • The IRS will make about 60 million payments to Americans through DIRECT DEPOSIT in mid-April (likely, the week of Apri 13th). The IRS has direct deposit information for these individuals from their 2018 OR 2019 tax returns.
  • About 3 weeks after those deposits are made (the week of May 4th) the IRS will begin issuing paper checks to individuals.
  • The paper checks will be issued at a rate of about 5 million per week, which could take up to 20 weeks to get all the checks out.
  • The checks will be issued in reverse 'adjusted gross income' order - starting with people with the lowest income first.





FOR

SMALL BUSINESSES

Businesses have also been hit hard by COVID-19. The CARES Act has been passed in an effort to help business owners gap this tough time. Everything from grants and debt relief to business counselors are available. Click the button below to access and download The Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act.

MARK K. ASHMAN, CPA, PC      Phone: 970-245-5435      Fax: 970-244-8542

1112 Belford Avenue     Grand Junction, CO      81501      www.MarkAshmanCPA.com

 

FIRM LICENSE INFORMATION: Mark K. Ashman CPA, P.C. Colorado Firm License #12662, Mark K. Ashman Colorado CPA Certificate #16989, Chris Trotter CPA Certificate #9035783