Tax Filing Season Reminder: An Extension To File Is Not An Extension To Pay Taxes

Tax Filing Season Reminder: An Extension To File Is Not An Extension To Pay Taxes

For most individual taxpayers the tax filing and payment deadline was postponed to May 17. Those who need more time to file beyond the postponed date, can request an extension to file.


Taxpayers must request an extension to file by May 17, or they may face a failure to file penalty. This extension gives them until October 15 to file their tax return. An extension to file is not an extension to pay. Taxes must be paid by May 17 to avoid penalties and interest on the amount owed after that date.


How to request an extension to file

To get an extension to file, the IRS urges taxpayers to do one of the following:


An automatic extension of time to file will process when taxpayers pay all or part of their taxes electronically by the Monday, May 17 due date.


Some taxpayers may have extra time to file their tax returns and pay any taxes due. This includes some disaster victimstaxpayers living overseas, including members of the military, and eligible support personnel serving in combat zones.

If you need assistance in filing an extension, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Northeast Financial Strategies.

Paycheck Protection Program Has Run Out of Money

Paycheck Protection Program Has Run Out of Money

The Paycheck Protection Program has run out of money for most borrowers before its planned May 31 end, the Small Business Administration said.

Going forward, the program will only accept new applications from community financial institutions, which typically serve minority borrowers, as about $8 billion in funding was set aside for such businesses.

The SBA will continue to fund outstanding approved PPP applications from other lenders but won’t accept any new applicants.

The exhaustion of funds, which was announced Tuesday, comes just weeks after the PPP was extended through the end of May to allow borrowers more time to apply for the forgivable loans. While many lenders and borrowers thought that the program would likely run out of money ahead of the May 31 deadline, the exact timing wasn’t known.

“We did get caught off guard a little bit,” said Sam Sidhu, vice chairman and chief operating officer at Customers Bank, a subsidiary of West Reading, Pennsylvania-based Customers Bancorp. The bank, which was processing about 20,000 PPP loans per week, still has thousands of borrowers who are now stuck in the pipeline, Sidhu said.

Other lenders also have backlogs awaiting SBA approval, and more applications they could have submitted.

Chris Hurn, chief executive of Fountainhead Commercial Capital, a nonbank lender, said he has a backlog of more than 60,000 applications pending validation from the SBA, and nearly 35,000 more that could be submitted if the portal wasn’t closed.

“Everybody’s going to be waiting now to see what the SBA does, if anything,” said Hurn.


Gov. Charlie Baker Signs Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Bill That Includes Tax Benefit For Forgiven PPP Loans

Gov. Charlie Baker Signs Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Bill That Includes Tax Benefit For Forgiven PPP Loans

Small business owners with certain forgiven federal loans during the COVID-19 pandemic can now exclude those funds from their gross taxable income in Massachusetts.

Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law Thursday afternoon legislation that makes enables “pass-through entities” with forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans to get the same tax benefits that corporations do.

The congressional stimulus package in December allowed businesses with forgiven PPP loans to exclude the funds from gross taxable income while still claiming the deductions for expenses they paid using the PPP money, which tax experts and critics have described as a “double benefit.”

In Massachusetts, corporations got the same benefits because the state’s corporate tax code conforms to the federal corporate tax code automatically. But the state has a fixed individual tax code, meaning lawmakers had to pass legislation to ensure small businesses could get the same relief.

Residents who received unemployment benefits won’t be taxed on the first $10,200 if they live below 200% of the federal poverty level.

The new law also freezes the unemployment insurance rate for the calendar years 2021 and 2022, slowing the annual employer UI contribution rate. The rate was expected to increase hundreds of dollars per employee.

“This legislation takes a thoughtful and comprehensive approach in delivering critical relief to facilitate economic recovery for the people of Massachusetts,” Baker said in a letter to lawmakers.

While employers get a reprieve from UI rate hikes, the new law authorizes the state to issue special obligation bonds to repay federal advances and get the trust fund out of the red.

The bill also creates a $75 million COVID-19 emergency paid sick time program similar to the federal COVID leave benefits, requiring employers to give workers a week’s paid leave if they are infected with, isolated or quarantined due to COVID-19.

The paid leave also extends to those getting vaccinated or caring for family members who fit those same criteria.

“The mandate aptly addresses needs — immunization, isolation, and quarantine — that were not contemplated when the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program was designed,” Baker said.

Baker sent back two amendments that would tweak the state’s paid sick time program.

The first would require that employees on sick leave related to COVID-19 get no less than their regular rate of pay. The amendment would cap the sick pay at $850 or two-thirds of the regular rate of pay for family leave.

The program would offer benefits to part-time employees with “a regular schedule with consistent hours per week” as long as the paid sick leave is equal to the number of hours an employee works per week, on average over a two-week schedule.

The second amendment would extend a $40-per-employee tax credit to employers who lack access to the tax credit under the federal leave program. Extending the tax credit for all employees who aren’t covered, Baker said, would make it easier for employers to request the credit to the Executive Office of Administration and Finance without the risk of potentially having to rely on paperwork that could violate health private laws.

An employer would have to file the credit application and any amendment related to the application by Dec. 31.

This amendment would also set an end date of Sept. 30 for the COVID-19 emergency paid sick time program. Baker said setting an official deadline would address any uncertainty between employers and workers because the sick leave program’s end date would otherwise be whenever the $75 million fund dries up.


IRS to Recalculate Taxes on Unemployment Benefits; Refunds to Start in May

IRS to Recalculate Taxes on Unemployment Benefits; Refunds to Start in May

WASHINGTON – To help taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service announced today that it will take steps to automatically refund money this spring and summer to people who filed their tax return reporting unemployment compensation before the recent changes made by the American Rescue Plan.

The legislation, signed on March 11, allows taxpayers who earned less than $150,000 in modified adjusted gross income to exclude unemployment compensation up to $20,400 if married filing jointly and $10,200 for all other eligible taxpayers. The legislation excludes only 2020 unemployment benefits from taxes.

Because the change occurred after some people filed their taxes, the IRS will take steps in the spring and summer to make the appropriate change to their return, which may result in a refund. The first refunds are expected to be made in May and will continue into the summer.

For those taxpayers who already have filed and figured their tax based on the full amount of unemployment compensation, the IRS will determine the correct taxable amount of unemployment compensation and tax. Any resulting overpayment of tax will be either refunded or applied to other outstanding taxes owed.

For those who have already filed, the IRS will do these recalculations in two phases, starting with those taxpayers eligible for the up to $10,200 exclusion. The IRS will then adjust returns for those married filing jointly taxpayers who are eligible for the up to $20,400 exclusion and others with more complex returns.

There is no need for taxpayers to file an amended return unless the calculations make the taxpayer newly eligible for additional federal credits and deductions not already included on the original tax return.

For example, the IRS can adjust returns for those taxpayers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and, because the exclusion changed the income level, may now be eligible for an increase in the EITC amount which may result in a larger refund. However, taxpayers would have to file an amended return if they did not originally claim the EITC or other credits but now are eligible because the exclusion changed their income.

These taxpayers may want to review their state tax returns as well.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 23 million U.S. workers nationwide filed for unemployment last year. For the first time, some self-employed workers qualified for unemployed benefits as well. The IRS is working to determine how many workers affected by the tax change already have filed their tax returns.

The new IRS guidance also includes details for those eligible taxpayers who have not yet filed.

The IRS has worked with the tax return preparation software industry to reflect these updates so people who choose to file electronically simply need to respond to the related questions when electronically preparing their tax returns. See New Exclusion of up to $10,200 of Unemployment Compensation for information and examples. For others, instructions and an updated worksheet about the exclusion were available in March and posted to 1040. These instructions can assist taxpayers who have not yet filed to prepare returns correctly.

Paycheck Protection Program Has Run Out of Money

Biden Signs PPP Extension Act Into Law, Moving Application Deadline to May 31

President Biden on March 30 signed into the law the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Extension Act of 2021 (HR 1799), which moves the application deadline to May 31, 2021. The PPP application window was originally set to expire the next day on March 31.

The bill was overwhelmingly approved in the House by a 415-to-3 vote; the Senate cleared it 92-to-7.

Additionally, the measure provides the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) with an extra 30 days to process loans submitted prior to June 1. However, no additional funding was provided for the program, which is expected to lapse in mid-April, according to the SBA.

Information on First and Second Draw PPP Loans can be located here.

The SBA’s March 25 PPP Data Report can be located here.