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COVID-19 Update

HSC COVID-19 Update

4/1/2020

As a result of recent legislation related to COVID-19, a new program has been created to be administered by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) called the “Paycheck Protection Program.” Here you will find a guide for borrowers as well as the application itself. We cannot stress how important this program could be as it could offset up to 8 weeks of your payroll, mortgage interest, utilities and certain other costs. The only information you will need to compile at the time of application relates to payroll costs, but the definition of payroll costs is a bit more complex than you may be thinking. We’re available to help you provide accurate calculations in the application in order to maximize any financial benefits you may receive. The application process opens Friday and, from our discussions with several banks, the money provided by this program is limited and may only be available on a first come first served basis unless additional amounts are approved by Congress. This is an unprecedented move by the federal government and things are moving quickly, but we are here to help in any way we can.

Please give us a call if you need any assistance. 304-523-6464

3/20/2020

We hope this message finds you and your family well.  As the news concerning COVID-19 continues to evolve with each passing hour, it can be difficult to sort through it all.  Here at Hess, Stewart & Campbell, we believe people should prioritize the safety and health of their family, friends, and employees above all else.  To that end, we’re doing what we can to monitor tax and accounting related developments that may affect you.  There are a couple of recent developments we’d like to bring to your attention:

  1. Following President Trump’s national emergency declaration, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service issued guidance delaying the filing deadline and allowing all individual and non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.  The guidance also allows corporate taxpayers a similar filing delay and deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.
  2. The Senate passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act bill today as part of the Federal Government’s tactics to combat the impacts of the pandemic. We’ve reprinted some key bullet points of the bill below.  It should be noted the at the time of this message, the President has not yet signed the bill into law.  We strongly advise that you seek counsel from your legal or human resource team as to the specific implications to your business.  Should you need help with the accounting or tax credit provisions, please don’t hesitate to call us.
    1. Employers with 1-500 employees are required to provide all employees with up to two weeks of additional paid sick leave, paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay, for medical reasons related to COVID-19.
    2. This leave is to be immediately available and is in addition to any other sick leave already offered by the employer. For example, if you already provide your employees 40 hours of paid sick time, this would be an additional 80 hours.
    3. Full-time employees receive 80 total hours (40 hours per week), part-time employees receive an amount equivalent to their typical work week.
    4. Employers may exclude individuals who are health care providers or emergency responders from this sick leave and the Division of Labor is authorized to enact regulations that would exclude employers with fewer than 50 employees when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. The regulations have not yet been enacted.
    5. The additional paid sick leave may be taken when the employee is unable to work for the following reasons:
      1. Employee is in self-quarantine because of a COVID-19 diagnosis;
      2. Employee is seeking medical attention because of the symptoms of COVID-19;
      3. Employee is complying with an order to quarantine;
      4. Employee must care for a family member who is self-isolating or is quarantined because of COVID-19;
      5. Employee must care for a child where the child’s school or childcare has been closed due to COVID-19; or
      6. Employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition.
    6. Expands Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act to provide up to the full 12-week allotment of FML where the employee is unable to work and the employee must care for a child whose school has been closed or where the childcare provider is unavailable due to public health emergency relating to COVID-19.
    7. To help employers cover the cost of the additional leave the act provides a tax credit for 100% of any wages paid pursuant to the ACT against the employer’s portion of social security taxes. If the credit exceeds the employer’s total liability for all employees in any quarter, the excess credit is refundable to the employer.

As always, if we can provide any assistance, please don’t hesitate to call or email us.  In the event that you have documents to send us regarding your tax return preparation but can’t make it to our office for any reason, we have a secure portal through which documents can be transferred electronically in place.  If you would like instructions on how to use the portal, please call.

Welcome to Hess, Stewart & Campbell, PLLC Accounting firm licensed in WV.

We offer a broad range of services for business owners, executives, and independent professionals. We are affordable, experienced, and friendly.
Please call us today at (304) 523-6464. We'll be happy to offer you a free initial consultation. Thanks for visiting!

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