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NAEA and Coronavirus (COVID-19)
As E@lert hunkers down a dozen or so blocks from the White House, NAEA continues to operate remotely. Given we have never run operations remotely, EVP Bob Kerr, EA, is pleased as punch with the transition and staff resilience. We will continue to work from home and regularly assess the DC environment to determine the prudent approach.
While there is a tax world (and a larger world) outside of coronavirus, our special coronavirus editions will keep coming and the weekly edition will attempt to bring a broader perspective.
Here is what you can do to help. First, self-care and attention to #flattenthecurve, which in some jurisdictions (for instance Pennsylvania), will be forced upon you. Second, please join the conversations both on our members-only Facebook group and on the members-only online Member Community (neé WebBoard). Finally, please think about three things in those communities:
- Can I be a calming influence? This includes, by the way, courtesy to one another.
- Am I accurate in my assertions? A statement framed “I believe” or “My research tells me” is much different from a blanket statement.
Finally, thank you to each and all for your continued support of this proud profession and of this organization.
- We are stuck on authority, something drummed into our heads over the course of time, but during a time of profoundly rapid legislative and administrative action, we also must keep in mind intent.
So about April 15 ...
During a hectic week, much has changed with respect to … well, nearly everything. We unpacked through three special E@lert issues, and distill into bullet points below:
- Treasury Secretary Mnuchin had a press conference, telegraphing the administration’s intent to provide relief to taxpayers.
- IRS and Treasury on Wednesday issued Notice 2020-17, which provides guidance on delayed federal income tax payments and sets a new payment deadline of July 15, 2020, for certain returns. Our March 17 special edition took a run at highlighting the most salient issues.
- Congress passed, and the president signed, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (details here), the second piece of legislation in as many weeks to address the current health crisis. The bill includes paid sick/family leave, in two different sections and our March 18 special edition provides more detail.
Finally, we note IRS has a solution for taxpayers who have already scheduled EFT payments of their balances due. IRS has an entire webpage dedicated to payment by electronic funds withdrawal. Please scroll down to the bottom of the page, to “Cancellations, Errors and Questions.”
- NAEA received an advance copy of what is called “Phase III” legislative relief, the CARES Act, which is an enormous bill that includes everything but the kitchen sink. We pulled what we believe are the most important features in yesterday’s special edition, and since then have received another version of the summary language. Probably the most important: delay of the April 15, 2020, filing deadline.
Just for a frame of reference, by the week ending April 19, 2019, 96 million of the 131 million returns processed, or just shy of three-quarters, were refund returns. Returns received year to date as of March 13, 2020, are up 0.4 percent year over year. We will see how those statistics hold this year.
Wolters Kluwer TaxAware Center
We know enrolled agents have a multitude of concerns these days, and we are pleased to share that through NAEA’s relationship with Wolters Kluwer, you have the ability to find in one place state tax filing relief. Once you log in (E@lert logs in through NAEA’s website, via the member benefits tab), at the bottom right of the screen you will see “Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic,” and immediately beneath that, you will have access to a document that updates in real time. You will also be able to search for information from any state specifically.
You have questions? NAEA has answers!
| || EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK|
We have had a bumpy ride since we last spoke. Here is some advice for those of you newly working from home and hating the quality of your home Wi-Fi, as well as some advice on how to protect your mental health. And for those of you who are able to work with background TV or music, here is The New Yorker’s suggestions on classic movies, and NBC on what to stream while at home, and a heads up on a EU-wide reduction in streaming quality.
Else, we suggest the lovely “Sometimes It Don’t Come Easy” as the song of the week, because, well sometimes it don’t, and provide this Harvard Business Review podcast on real leaders in times of crisis (in this case, Ernest Shackleton).
Otherwise, please consider this list of tax-related items, curated for America’s Tax Experts®:
- We have been invited to a Department of Labor town hall meeting on regulations in the wake of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. We will release information as we receive it.
- NAEA’s investment advisor, RBC, provides a market research update on COVID-19 and its impact on the financial markets, covering in summary format Federal Reserve actions, an updated recession forecast for the U.S. and Europe, the oil market, bond liquidity, and profit pressures.
- USA Today provides advice on how to ask for help if you cannot pay credit cards or mortgages.
- The City of Covington (Kentucky) has purchased the former IRS Cincinnati Service Center (which was never in Cincinnati, after all).
“A generation which ignores history has no past and no future.”
— Robert Heinlein (1907-1988), American science fiction writer
Contributions to NAEA PAC are governed by federal law. Only U.S. nationals (citizens and green-card holders) who are NAEA members in good standing may contribute to NAEA PAC. Contributions are voluntary and not deductible for federal or state income tax purposes. Corporate contributions are not permitted. We are required to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer of individuals who contribute $200 or more in a calendar year. Individual contributions are limited to $5,000 per year.
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NAEA E@lert | Volume 2: Issue 9
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