About

Our business blog focuses on issues affecting Virginia, D.C. and Maryland business owners as well as those in other jurisdictions throughout the country. We provide timely insight and commentary on federal and state rules and how they affect you. If you are interested in having us cover a specific topic, please let us know.

contact us

Topics

Archives

Select Month:

Contributors

COBRA Subsidies for Employees and Tax Credits for Employers Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “ARPA”) into law on March 11, 2021. The $1.9 trillion relief package contains several provisions that will impact employers, including a requirement that employers provide “assistance eligible individuals” (defined below) with fully subsidized COBRA continuation coverage premiums for the time period of April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021, with such costs to be offset by a refundable credit against the employer’s share of Medicare tax under a newly added Internal Revenue Code section.

May I Be Excused? New York Federal Court Says COVID-19 Pandemic a “Natural Disaster,” and Why Your Force Majeure Clause Matters

Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, one of the biggest challenges facing businesses and the legal community has been the lack of clear judicial direction addressing the pandemic’s impact upon contract performance obligations. Few agreements prepared before the pandemic began likely included provisions expressly providing for such an event. Now, contracting parties are wondering whether they or their counterparts are excused from performing under those pre-existing agreements, and how new agreements should be drafted in an ever-uncertain state of the market. The easy but unhelpful answer so far has been “it depends.”

PPP Second Draw – What Businesses and Lenders Need to Know About the New Round of Funding

Many have been waiting for the federal government to pass additional COVID-19 economic stimulus legislation. Those who have a had a particular interest in Congress’s activities include small businesses and lenders who received or lent Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) Loans under the CARES Act. Now, more than four months after the last application under the original PPP was accepted, the federal government has passed a bi-partisan COVID-19 stimulus package that contains an extension and modification of the original PPP, which is called the “second draw” program. This note provides a brief overview of the terms of the “second draw” program and a comparison of second draw loans to original PPP loans. 

Tax Implications of PPP Loan Forgiveness

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans taken out in connection with the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis that were subsequently forgiven raise a number of tax questions. A PPP loan may be forgiven in an amount equal to the sum of: (1) payroll costs; (2) interest (but not principal) payments on covered mortgage obligations (for mortgages before February 15, 2020); (3) any payment for any covered rent obligation (for leases beginning before February 15, 2020); (4) covered utility payments (for utilities that were turned on before February 15, 2020), during the covered period.

Creditors’ Rights Questions During COVID-19 – Part 1

As the coronavirus pandemic carries on, many creditors, including landlords and lenders, are wondering to what extent they can enforce leases and contracts, given various relief programs that have been instituted by federal, state, and local governments, such as eviction and foreclosure moratoriums. Below are a couple of scenarios describing such circumstances and answers to address each.

Q:          My commercial tenant has been shut down or forced to reduce operations because of COVID-19, and now the tenant cannot pay its rent. Can I sue to evict?

The IRS Chief Counsel’s Informal Guidance Clarifies Some Issues Left Open after Notice 2020-65 Regarding the “Payroll Tax Holiday”

IRS Office of Chief Counsel monthly payroll industry call on September 3, 2020

In addition to Notice 2020-65 and Instructions to Form 941 which we outlined in our recent blog, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel for employee benefits, exempt organizations and employment tax provided informal but insightful guidance on its monthly IRS payroll industry call held on September 3, 2020. The informal guidance was directed in part toward clearing up confusion that remained even after the IRS’s issuance of Notice 2020-65 over whether, or to what extent, employers could simply ignore the “payroll tax holiday” created by the President’s August 8, 2020, Executive Order.

IRS Releases Instructions to Form 941 Expanding on Prior Guidance on Deferral of Social Security Tax

On October 1, 2020, the IRS released instructions for Form 941 providing additional guidelines for reporting deferred Social Security taxes pursuant to the President's Memorandum (discussed previously on our blog) and IRS Notice 2020-65

Background

On August 8, 2020, the Presidential Memorandum directed the Secretary of the Treasury to use his authority pursuant to section 7508A of the Internal Revenue Code to defer the withholding, deposit, and payment of certain payroll tax obligations.

IRS Guidance - President's Memorandum Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations for Four Months

On August 8, 2020, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Treasury Department to defer the employee's portion of Social Security taxes due to the COVID-19 pandemic for wages paid from September 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 (see our blog). The deferral applies only for wages less than $4,000 for any bi-weekly period, or the equivalent any other pay period.

8 Common Business Bankruptcy Questions

Financial and economic challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in a growing number of bankruptcy filings for both individuals and businesses. A number of creditors’ rights challenges arise when a business or individual whom you transact with files for bankruptcy.

Here are examples of several scenarios currently impacting landlords, tenants and business owners and the basics that you should know when faced with such a scenario. Remember, however, that every bankruptcy is different, and it is important to review the bankruptcy case and possibly consult an attorney to advise on the nuances of the case and your rights.

President's Memorandum to the Secretary of Treasury Defers Payroll Tax Obligations for Four Months

On August 8, President Donald J. Trump, signed the memorandum (the President’s Memorandum) directing the Secretary of Treasury to defer the withholding, deposit, and payment of the 6.2 percent payroll tax during the period of September 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 for wages less than $4,000 during any bi-weekly pay period (i.e., $104,000 annually) on a pre-tax basis. The Department of the Treasury is expected to provide additional guidance later in August.