SBA Announces Launch Date for Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program
Mar 29,2021
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program will begin accepting applications on April 8, 2021. The program, which was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act (Economic Aid Act) and modified by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), will provide $16.25 billion in grants to venues that were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the SBA, eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with $10 million being the maximum amount available for a single grant award. $2 billion of funds in the program will be reserved for eligible businesses with up to 50 full-time employees. Applicants can sign up here to be notified when the electronic application process is available. The SBA has provided details about the program, including who will be eligible for the...
Congress Passes American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
Mar 11,2021
Note: This article was updated on March 31, 2021 to reflect new information on the Paycheck Protection Program.   On Wednesday, March 10, 2021, Congress passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, providing more relief to businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic. The bill is expected to be sent to President Biden for his signature as soon as Thursday. The president has said he will sign the bill into law on Friday afternoon. The information below highlights the contents of the Act that will affect small businesses and individuals. Please note that it is recommended you consult your tax advisor before taking any action. Small Businesses Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program $15 billion will be given to the EIDL program, which provides long-term, low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration. Among the terms of the program: $10 billion will be used to make payments to...
IRS Issues Guidance on Employee Retention Credit, Including PPP Eligibility Rules
Mar 03,2021
On March 1, 2021, the IRS published new guidance for employers who will be claiming the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) for 2020 calendar quarters. The notice provides much needed clarity on the retroactive changes under the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, including details on how employers who have already received PPP loan forgiveness can claim the employee retention credit for 2020. The new guidance, which is similar to the previously issued IRS FAQs, also addresses a few outstanding questions about eligibility, qualified wages and the suspension tests. General answers to those questions before the issuance of this new guidance can be found in this Smith & Howard article. The IRS has also promised forthcoming guidance on the 2021 expanded employee retention credits. For more information or help, please contact your Smith & Howard tax advisor or complete the form below.
New PPP Guidance from the Small Business Administration and Treasury
Jan 11,2021
Update: On March 30, 2021, President Biden signed the PPP Extension Act into law. This extends the Paycheck Protection Program to May 31, 2021 and gives the SBA until June 30, 2021 to to process pending applications that are submitted on or before May 31, 2021.   On January 6, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury issued new guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The guidance features two interim final rules – for the PPP as Amended by the Economic Aid Act and newly-introduced PPP Second Draw Loans (PPP2). Interim Final Rule on Paycheck Protection Program as Amended by Economic Aid Act This guidance: Highlights the rules that govern forgiveness of PPP loans for first-time borrowers Modifies provisions related to applications for PPP loans Outlines the changes in aid to certain hard-hit organizations, including small businesses and nonprofits Confirms that lending under the PPP has been reauthorized through...
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 Offers Expanded Employee Retention Credit and Introduces PPP2
Jan 06,2021
On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 for COVID-19 relief was signed into law by the president. Two items of particular importance for businesses are the expansion of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) and additional Paycheck Protection Program loans (PPP2). Expansion of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) The CARES Act introduced the ERC with the aim of providing eligible employers with a refundable tax credit. A qualifying business is one whose: 1.  operations were fully or partially suspended due to orders from a government authority limiting commerce, travel or group meetings due to COVID-19. or 2.  gross receipts for any quarter in 2020 were less than 50% of its gross receipts for the corresponding quarter in 2019. Businesses can continue to take the credit each quarter until gross receipts are 80% of the gross receipts in the same quarter of 2019. Fifty percent of up to $10,000 in qualified...
Congress Passes $900B COVID Relief Package
Dec 22,2020
Update: The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 was signed into by the president on December 27, 2020.   On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, a package that combines $900 billion in coronavirus relief aid and a $1.4 trillion omnibus package to fund the government through September 30, 2021. The coronavirus relief package will deliver emergency aid to the American economy in the form of new federal assistance to households, small businesses and healthcare providers. Congress also approved a one-week stopgap spending bill which will prevent a government shutdown, giving President Trump time to sign this piece of legislation. It is important to note that the bill is awaiting final signature by the President and has not been signed into law. A high-level overview of the bill is below; look for more in-depth analysis from us in the coming weeks. If you have any questions...
Applying for PPP Loan Forgiveness
Oct 30,2020
If you received a loan through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, your covered period has likely ended or will be ending soon. Whether your coverage period was for 8 or 24 weeks, it is time to think about loan forgiveness. Businesses have up to 10 months from the end of the covered period to apply for loan forgiveness but are encouraged to begin the application process early. Understandably, there is a lot of confusion around the PPP due to its complex reporting, but we are here to help you. Either full or partial forgiveness of a loan is possible, and naturally businesses will want to have the loan completely forgiven. To that end, several criteria have to be met. Your tax advisor is the best person to walk you through the process. To get started, you will need to have the pertinent paperwork available, including payroll information, full-time...
A Summary of the CARES Act and How it Benefits Small Businesses and Taxpayers
Sep 25,2020
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020 to help businesses and individuals deal with the financial devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This article outlines how the CARES Act may benefit you and/or your business by creating potential cash flow opportunities. Small Businesses Several components of the CARES Act are aimed at helping small businesses and are highlighted below. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) The PPP proved to be popular because it promises full forgiveness of the loan for businesses that meet all criteria. Additionally, the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020 made some important changes to the terms of the loan for the benefit of businesses. To qualify for full forgiveness, businesses must spend 60% of the loan on payroll costs and can use up to 40% of the loan on qualifying non-payroll costs, such as mortgage interest, rent and utility...
Stability Amidst a Pandemic
Sep 23,2020
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced firms like Smith & Howard to close their physical office and implement across the board work from home (WFH) policies, there was naturally a lot of nervousness and uncertainty about what lay ahead. Many firms were forced to make difficult decisions about furloughs, layoffs and salary cuts. Smith & Howard has not been faced with these difficult changes. To begin with, Smith & Howard personnel had a smooth WFH transition because we already had the necessary processes in place. Many of our employees had periodically been working remotely and our IT group had been working for several years to create remote capability for our full workforce. We credit their foresight for the successful implementation of a technology plan that accommodates all employees working from any location as we continue to seamlessly serve our clients around the country. In addition to employees taking their technology equipment...
Executive Orders Signed by President Trump on August 8, 2020
Aug 11,2020
After Congress reached an impasse on the next round of stimulus related to the ongoing pandemic, President Trump signed Executive Orders on August 8, 2020 to provide some relief to taxpayers. The Executive Orders are described briefly below. It is important to note, however, that these orders are not in effect and have been challenged from a Constitutional and legal standpoint. Until such time as their standing is confirmed, the descriptions below are informational only. Disaster Relief This directs the Department of Homeland Security to use its Disaster Relief Fund and directs states to use their Coronavirus Relief Fund allocations to provide financial relief to the unemployed affected by COVID-19. Of note, it provides an up-to-$400/week supplemental unemployment compensation benefit. This is a decrease from the $600 provided until the original relief ended July 31, 2020. It also makes changes to eligibility for this unemployment relief, specifically: An individual must...

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