News For Your Week Ahead: February 15, 2021

IRS, Summit Partners Issue Urgent EFIN Scam Alert to Tax Professionals | IR-2021-34

The IRS, state tax agencies, and tax industry warned tax professionals of a new scam email that impersonates the IRS and attempts to steal Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs).

The Security Summit partners said the latest scheme, arriving just before the start of the nation’s tax season, should serve as another reminder that tax professionals remain prime targets for identity thieves. These thieves try to steal client data and tax preparers’ identities that will allow them to file fraudulent tax returns for refunds.

For more information, click here.

Wolters Kluwer Webinar – PPP Updated Legislation: Requirements, SBA Guidance and Tax Implications | February 18, 12 – 1 p.m. ET

Wolters Kluwer’s Tax and Accounting and Banking Compliance segments have come together to provide this unique event that will offer expert insights from both the tax and commercial lending perspectives on the updated legislation and SBA guidance affecting the PPP program, including discussion of tax implications.

  1. Commercial lending expert Michael Fuchs will provide a status update on the current round of PPP funding
  2. Tax and accounting expert Greg White will walk you through:
    • key requirements,
    • the latest SBA guidance,
    • forms & required documentation, and
    • tax ramifications of receiving loans and forgiveness under the PPP.

To register for this event, please click here.

Your Voice is Needed on NFIB’s Maryland Priorities | NFIB Small Business Legal Center

With bill introduction deadlines looming, policy makers in the General Assembly are rushing to get their legislative initiatives into the hopper.

House Bill 581 / Senate Bill 486 – The “Essential Workers’ Protection Act” – this bill, as introduced, will have far reaching consequences for nearly every small business in Maryland. While the definition of an “essential employer” and “emergency” are cause for concern, there are also other provisions troubling to the state’s job creators:

  • Hazard Pay – employers required to pay workers defined as “essential” an additional $3 per hour in hazard pay
  • Paid Leave – a new paid leave program whereby employers must provide 3 days of bereavement leave and 14 days of sick leave
  • Right to Refuse Work – employees would be able to refuse work they deem hazardous without any clear definition or right by the employer to address potential abuse

For more information about NFIB’s position, click here.

New IRS Form Available For Self-Employed Individuals to Claim COVID-19 Sick and Family Leave Tax Credits Under FFCRA | IR-2021-31

The IRS announced that a new form is available for eligible self-employed individuals to claim sick and family leave tax credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Eligible self-employed individuals will determine their qualified sick and family leave equivalent tax credits with the new IRS Form 7202, Credits for Sick Leave and Family Leave for Certain Self-Employed Individuals. They’ll claim the tax credits on their 2020 Form 1040 for leave taken between April 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, and on their 2021 Form 1040 for leave taken between Jan. 1, 2021, and March 31, 2021.

Continue reading IR-2021-31 here.

Educators Can Now Deduct Out-of-Pocket Expenses For COVID-19 Protective Items | IR-2021-28

Eligible educators can deduct unreimbursed expenses for COVID-19 protective items to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom. COVID-19 protective items include, but are not limited to:

  • face masks;
  • disinfectant for use against COVID-19;
  • hand soap;
  • hand sanitizer;
  • disposable gloves;
  • tape, paint or chalk to guide social distancing;
  • physical barriers (for example, clear plexiglass);
  • air purifiers; and
  • other items recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be used for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

Continue reading IR-2021-28 here.

Critical Tax Credit Provides Significant Refund Boost to Millions

The Earned Income Tax Credit is the federal government’s largest refundable federal income tax credit for low- to moderate-income workers. See the IRS EITC news release for information on how to check eligibility, to see a list of workers who may be at risk for overlooking this important credit, helpful IRS YouTube videos and more.

To learn more about this tax credit, click here.

Correction From Last Week

In last week’s eWeekly, Jackie Brown’s name was published incorrectly. We would like to again congratulate Jackie Brown on her new position as MACPA’s CEO!

#TechTips: Compliance Lives

In this installment of #TechTips, we discuss the usefulness and the importance of cloud based storage and software. While we all have skepticism with the cloud especially as it pertains to compliance, when you stop and look into the uses, this is the future of accounting.

Read more over on our blog.

Posture: Remember Being Told Sit Up Straight?

In our previous post we gave three tips and tricks on maintaining a healthy work-life balance while working from home. We would like to continue this week on providing further tips, as it pertains to maintaining good posture. I recall in grade school being told over and over to “sit up straight.” Now more than ever this small piece of advice, while it seemed so inconsequential then is essential now. Good posture is essential to maintaining a healthy work from home lifestyle during this pandemic. Some may find this difficult, especially since many may not be utilizing dedicated office furniture which is designed to assist in maintaining proper posture.

Read our tips on our blog.