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Important Tax and Accounting News 2020

Important Tax and Accounting News:

  • How Economic Impact Payments will be Distributed
  • IRS to Accept Email, Digital Signatures
  • Michigan Expands UI Eligibility and Increases Payment Amounts
  • Resources for Understanding the COVID Stimulus Bills
  • FAQs on the Family First Act from DOLâ

    Announcement on How Economic Impact Payments will be Distributed Under CARES Act

    Helpful Aid for You: How Much Will I Get in a Stimulus Check? A Helpful Calculator

    WASHINGTON – March 31, 2020 -- The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have issued IR-2020-61 announcing that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment.

    Who is eligible for the economic impact payment?

    Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.

    Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child.

    How will the IRS know where to send my payment?

    The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.

    For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed.

    The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?

    In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

    I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?

    Yes. People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.

    How can I file the tax return needed to receive my economic impact payment? will soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple, but necessary, information including their filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information.

    I have not filed my tax return for 2018 or 2019. Can I still receive an economic impact payment?

    Yes. The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.

    I need to file a tax return. How long are the economic impact payments available?

    For those concerned about visiting a tax professional or local community organization in person to get help with a tax return, these economic impact payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.

    Where can I get more information?

    The IRS will post all key information on as soon as it becomes available. 

    IRS to Accept Email, Digital Signatures

    March 31, 2020 -- To help taxpayers and the tax professional community during this COVID-19 period, effective immediately, the IRS will begin temporarily accepting images of signatures (scanned or photographed) and digital signatures on documents related to the determination or collection of tax liability.

    In addition, the IRS is allowing IRS employees to accept documents via email and to transmit documents to taxpayers using SecureZip or other established secured messaging systems.

    “The IRS is continuing to monitor methods to lessen the burden on taxpayers and professionals during this period,” said Sunita Lough, IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. “We greatly appreciate the patience, support and valuable comments we continue to receive from the tax professional community as we move forward.”

    This effort, described in an internal IRS memo, is in response to the Coronavirus situation maximizing the ability of the IRS to execute on mission-critical duties where employees, taxpayers and their representatives are working from alternate, remote locations outside their office.

    The taxpayer or representative must include a statement, either in the form of an attached cover letter or within the body of the email, saying to the effect: “The attached [name of document] includes [name of taxpayer]’s valid signature and the taxpayer intends to transmit the attached document to the IRS.” The choice to transmit documents electronically is solely that of the taxpayer.

    The limited categories of documents included in the scope of this effort include extensions of statute of limitations on assessment or collection, waivers of statutory notices of deficiency and consents to assessment, agreements to specific tax matters or tax liabilities (closing agreements), and any other statement or form needing the signature of a taxpayer or representative traditionally collected by IRS personnel outside of standard filing procedures (for example, a case specific Power of Attorney).

    The IRS is continuing to review standards for e-signing other documents and invites suggestions and comments as it pursues additional efforts designed to lessen the burden on taxpayers and professionals during this period.

    The IRS has a reduced staff in many of its offices but remains committed to helping eligible individuals receive their payments expeditiously. Check for updated information on rather than calling IRS assistors who are helping process 2019 returns.

    Michigan Expands Unemployment Eligibility and Increases Amounts to be Paid
    1099 Contractors, Self-Employed, and GIG Economy Workers Added Michigan UIA Sets Daily Schedule for Those Wanting to File

    March 30, 2020 -- Governor Whitmer has announced new programs for workers affected by COVID-19. The governor, under the federal CARES Act, signed an agreement between Michigan and the U.S. Dept. of Labor to implement Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation programs that grant benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment benefits.

    Workers include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the pandemic. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week and extends benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks. If someone has already applied for unemployment benefits, you DO NOT need to reapply at this time.

    The Michigan Unemployment Agency also released a new schedule outlining when those wanting to apply for unemployment benefits can access the system to make application. Read Entire Announcement from Michigan UIA

    More Additions to the MTAP COVID Resources Page:

    Resources for Understanding the COVID Stimulus Bills (3-30-2020)
    Information on Business Loans, Sick Leave, Unemployment, and Other Assistance Programs along with Timely Articles Covering Various Tax-related Areas Impacted by the New Laws

    FAQs: Family First Act from the Dept. of Labor
    Details on paid sick leave, expanded family and medical leave, and more!