IRA and ROTH contributions for 2019 are due “no later than the time prescribed by law for filing the return.” Don’t you love tax talk? 😉 The due date of filing the 2019 individual return this year has been set as 7/15/20. Therefore, 2019 IRA and ROTH contributions may also be made as late as 7/15/20. Keep in mind that the market is at a low point and may continue to fall but is expected to fully rebound. This may be a good time to get your retirement contribution invested at bargain prices.
Q: I Just received an email from the ADA saying that they’re lobbying for SBA loans for the dentists. Low interest rates and 36 hours turnaround. Should we wait to see if this comes to fruition or move forward with the Line of Credit as originally planned?
A: Move forward with the LOC as originally planned. This should be pursued immediately rather than wait for a possible SBA solution that is not yet assured.
Q: What steps should I take right now to mitigate the financial hardship my practice is facing?
A: Start here…
1. Check our website regularly for updates. (Click here for Covid-19 updates)
2. Obtain or renew a Line of credit. Ask for $100,000.
3. If your office hours are shortened, consider Texas Work Share Program 1st, then unemployment for your staff.
4. Contact your lender about getting loans deferred.
5. Contact your landlord and see if they will allow a deferment or other arrangement.
6. Contact major vendors and ask for deferral of payments due.
7. Contact your credit card company and see if they will allow a deferment and/or interest free period.
8. If you provide health insurance and must lay off staff temporarily, contact your provider to see if the coverage will remain in place or what steps you need to take in the interim.
9. If you typically make a retirement contribution early in the year, delay that contribution. You typically have until 9/15 or 10/15 to fund a retirement plan other than an IRA or ROTH.
10. If you can personally afford to skip some paychecks, consider doing so. This will reduce payroll taxes and leave cash in the practice to support your employees and pay fixed expenses.
11. This is temporary so give thought to staff retention, patient communication and a plan for ramping up production once you are on the other side.
Covid-19 Practice Operations Survey
Please take a few minutes to read and respond to our survey regarding your current, general practice operations during Covid-19. This is not limited to clients, any dental practice owner can respond so please don’t hesitate sharing it with your colleagues who might participate, the more participation we have, the better results and information to share. Thank you!
Tax Day pushed to July 15 from April 15
Please be aware that although Texas has not yet imposed restrictions on keeping your practice open, many other states have. Oregon issued an order last night that practices must shut down until 6/15/20 for all elective and non-urgent procedures. And it’s not for the reason you may think. Not to prevent the spread of the virus, though that will surely be a good bi-product, but because the state is running desperately low on supplies—masks, etc—needed by those who are directly interacting and treating the COVID-19 patients and who need the most protection. Those supplies will continue to dry up across the country and eventually you are likely to be affected by a similar order. 6/15/20 is a much further date than we’ve seen so far and so the implications here could be much bigger than at first believed. Though this is not a forgone conclusion, we want you to be aware so you are not shortsighted in your current decision making.
Please know that while your offices are closed, we are here for you! We are working feverishly to provide you timely and relevant information, to answer your questions, to provide the financial information your bank needs to extend a line of credit, and to complete your tax returns. Please note we are prioritizing tax returns differently than we normally would. If we are expecting you to receive a refund, you are being moved up the queue so we can help with your cash flow as much as we can. Thank you for your continued confidence in E&A as we support your through this difficult time.
According to our source at TWC, it is likely that the layoffs
and unemployment related to Covid-19 will ultimately not affect your TWC rate.
Under normal circumstances, unemployment benefits received by your former
employees if you terminated them for no fault of their own, would eventually
increase your TWC rate and the amount of tax you must pay quarterly.
If you have employees that you must temporarily release, consider paying them any sick time or PTO they have available at your next normal payroll schedule, and have them go ahead now and apply for unemployment. That will get the unemployment process started so that after their final (before reopening!) check from you, TWC benefits will begin soon after.
From the Texas Workforce Commission: Unemployment Benefit
Claim Self-Service for Employers
If your business has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), TWC can help you manage layoffs and unemployment benefit claims. You can manage claims online at any time by using TWC’s online unemployment portal, Employer Benefits Services, or by calling TWC’s Tele-Center employers’ line at 866-274-1722 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday.
When an individual submits a claim naming your company as the
last employer, TWC sends you a Notice of
Application for Unemployment Benefits. When you respond
to this notice, be sure to include information if your business was impacted by
COVID-19. Respond online using our Unemployment Insurance Employer Response
TWC is experiencing an increase in call volumes and hold times on our Tele-Center phone lines. You are encouraged to use TWC’s online unemployment portal, Employer Benefits Services, to handle your claim needs quickly. EBS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We also encourage you to sign up for Electronic Correspondence so you can receive your TWC communications online as soon as possible. If you are new to EBS, you will need to create a TWC EBS Administrator account when you first log on.
Log on to EBS to:
• Manage access to your online account by setting up an EBS Administrator Account
• Sign up for Electronic Correspondence so you can receive your TWC communications online as soon as possible
• Appeal Online and View Appeal Status: An appeal is your written notice that you disagree with a TWC decision and want your case decided through the appeal process
• Submit a Shared Work Plan: Find out how to avoid laying off workers by reducing the hours of some employees, who can also receive a partial unemployment benefit payment
• Submit a Mass Claim Request: Streamline the unemployment
benefits claims process if faced with layoffs by taking advantage of our mass
• Designate an Address for Mailed Correspondence: Choose one mailing address to receive your unemployment insurance notices at a single location, even if you have multiple locations
• Respond to a Notice of Maximum Potential Chargeback: Chargebacks concern claims where you were not the claimant’s last employer, but that may affect your tax rate
TWC will investigate why your former employee lost their job and mail a decision explaining whether they are eligible for unemployment benefits. TWC has waived the work search requirement for all claimants at this time
Texas Workforce Commission Covid-19 Q&A
Please note this is applicable to Texas employers and should not be assumed to apply to employers in other states.
NOTABLE: The usual eligibility requirement to search for work has been waived by TWC for the immediate future as part of the pandemic relief effort.
Q: Is an employer allowed to send an employee home if they are showing signs of illness, such as coughing, sneezing, or report that they have aches or chills?
A: Yes, in keeping with an employer’s general duty under OSHA to maintain a safe and healthy workplace for employees, employees who appear to be sick may be asked to go home, but do so as politely and discreetly as possible. However, the employer should be consistent and treat all employees who exhibit risky symptoms the same.
Q: What if we know that an employee has been exposed to Covid-19, but they are showing no symptoms?
A: Generally, there is no Texas or federal law that would prohibit a company from telling employees to stay home if they have had a higher-than-normal degree of exposure to individuals actually infected with the disease. As noted above, be consistent and do not base self-isolation orders on factors such as race or national origin. There have been scattered reports of ethnic discrimination, particularly against people who look like they might have come from Asia. The EEOC is already warning employers that singling employees out based on ethnic or national origin concerns could trigger a discrimination charge.
Q: Would the employer have to pay sick leave to that employee?
A: Yes, if the company offers such paid leave. Paid leave policies should be followed – failure to pay for leave owed under a written paid leave policy is a violation of the Texas Payday Law. A federal bill to require a certain amount of paid sick leave for employees, H.R. 6201, has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, and is awaiting the President’s signature as of Wednesday afternoon, March 18, 2020. The text of the House version of that bill is online at:
NOTE: E&A will provide a summary as soon as we can digest the bill.
We and our associate ADCPA members around the country
(www.ADCPA.org ) are experiencing favorable results with lenders in regard to
the current closures being recommended in the dental industry. Don’t make
assumptions, but contact your lender and get an agreement in place with them.
Here are some specific examples of what we are seeing:
• BOA – Interest only 90 days
• BOA—60 day deferral of payments + line of credit
• BBVA Compass – 60 day deferral of payments + line of credit
• Prosperity Bank – 60 day deferral of payments + line of credit
• Chase – 60 day deferral of payments or interest only for 60 days + line of credit
• Wells Fargo—3 month deferment
• PNC – Interest only 90 days & possible 90 day total deferment
• PNC—60 day deferment
• South State—Interest only 120 days
• First Citizens–No payments for 60 days