COVID-19 tax relief to the small business owners

COVID-19 tax relief to the small business owners

The pandemic COVID-19 has affected the economic condition across the entire United States. Business owners all over the country are struggling to survive and lower the impact of the pandemic on their business. Meanwhile, the US Government has introduced various forms by which tax relief can be obtained by the small business owners in the year 2020. Most of these changes belong to the FFCRA (Families First Coronavirus Response Act) and the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act). These changes in tax regulations would be helpful for the business owners and the employees to survive the crisis caused by the pandemic.

  Employee Retention Credit

 The Employee Retention Credit is a part of the CARES Act which is mainly designed to keep the employees on the payroll during the times of pandemic.

  • The refundable tax credit which is available is 50% of up to $10,000 in the wages that have been paid to the employees by a business owner whose business has been impacted by the COVID-19.
  • This credit is available to all the employers irrespective of the size of the business and it also includes tax-exempt organic
  • There are only two exceptions i.e. State and Local Government and their instrumentalities and those small businesses which take small business loans such as the PPP loans. 

The qualifying employers for obtaining the Employee Retention Credit must fall into either of the two below-mentioned categories: – 

  1. The employer whose business has been suspended completely or partially by the Government because of the coronavirus pandemic during this quarter.
  2. The gross receipts by the employer are below 50% of a similar timeframe in the year 2019. If the employer’s gross receipts are more than 80% of a similar timeframe in 2019, then they are not eligible for the credit after the quarter-end.

 Paid Sick Leave Credit and Family Leave Credit

 Paid Sick Leave Credit is designed in such a way by which the business would be eligible to obtain credit for an employee who has not been able to work because of having symptoms of coronavirus and is being quarantined or self-quarantined.

  • Employees are entitled to the paid sick leave for up to 10 days at the regular rate of pay up to $511 in a day and $5110 in total.
  • Employers are also eligible to receive credit for payment of those employees who are not able to come for work due to caring for a family member who has been affected by COVID-19 or for taking care of a child whose school/daycare is closed due to COVID-19.
  • These employees would receive paid sick leave for up to two weeks at the two-third rate of the employee’s regular payment or up to $200 in a day and $2000 in total.
  • Moreover, employees can also avail paid family and medical leaves which would be equal to two-thirds of their normal pay ranging up to $200 in a day and $10,000 in total.
  • Also, qualifying leave of 10 weeks would be counted towards the family leave credit.
  • Eligible employers or business owners can immediately receive this credit for sick leave and family leave along with the expenses for a health plan and the employer’s portion of Medicare tax on the employee’s leave.
  • The employers eligible for receiving these credits will report their qualified wages and the associated cost of health insurance for each quarter on their employment tax returns for each quarter or by filing Form 941 which begins with the second quarter.
  • In case, the employment tax details of the employers are not enough for covering the credit then the business owner can submit Form 7200 and receive the advance payment from the IRS.

 Deferred Payment of Payroll Taxes

 By the CARES Act, employers are allowed to defer the payment they do for their employee’s portion of the Social Security Taxes. These taxes would have been due in between 27th March 2020 and 31st December 2020. The employers can make these payments in the form of instalmentse. half by the end of 2021 and the other half by the end of 2022.

  • There is no necessity of special election for the businesses for the deferment of their deposits and payments. The IRS is working on the process of revision of Form 941 for reflection of these changes.
  • This option can be availed by most of the employers; however, those employers who have received the PPP loan would be able to defer the payments until receiving notice that their PPP loan has been forgiven.


 So, these credits and tax rules will help the small business owners to save their business and also lower the impact of COVID-19.

Who qualifies to be your dependent when you file your Income Tax Return?

Who qualifies to be your dependent when you file

your Income Tax Return?

 By claiming your dependents, you would be able to save a huge amount of taxes. So, if you have a family you must know how the dependents are defined by the IRS for income tax purposes. However, you may not completely aware of who in your family can qualify as your dependent or not.


Who would qualify as a dependent?

 Mainly, there are two types of dependents i.e. 

  • Your qualifying child
  • A qualifying relative

 In both the conditions, the below-mentioned criteria must be fulfilled for qualifying to become dependent. 

  • The person must be a US citizen, a US resident, a US national, or a Canadian/Mexican resident. Some people think of claiming a foreign exchange student who is staying with them temporarily. This is feasible only if the foreign exchange student fulfills this above-mentioned condition.
  • You would not be able to claim a person as your dependent if he claims a personal exemption for himself or is claiming another dependent on his tax forms.
  • You would not be able to support the claim of a person who is married and files taxes jointly with his spouse.

Qualifying child. 

  • To be a qualifying child, the child doesn’t need to be your biological child. The child must be related to you and can be your brother, sister, adopted child, stepchild, niece, or nephew as well.
  • The qualifying child must be below the age of 19 years unless he is suffering from some disability (permanent and total). However, there is an exception to this rule and you can claim a child in case of him being below the age of 24 years and being a full-time student for a minimum period of 5 months in a year.
  • The child should be a citizen of the US, US national, or a United States/Canadian/Mexican resident.
  • A child would be qualifying if he is dependent but not self-supporting. He must be living with you for more than a year unless there are exceptions like living with the other parent in cases of divorce or being temporarily absent, etc.
  • If you and your spouse have been divorced then, you can use the tie-breaker rules found in the IRS Publication 501. These tie-breaker rules are the basis for the establishment of income, the parentage, and even the residency requirements for claiming the child.  

Qualifying relative.

In case, you are supporting your parents or any other relative then certain conditions should be fulfilled to claim the dependency exemption. 

  • The person whom you are supporting should be your relative and this category of relatives would include:-
  1. Your biological child, your foster child, your stepchild, or, your grandchild.
  2. Your siblings, half-brother, half-sister, stepbrother, step-sister, or the descendants of your siblings.
  3. Your parents, stepfather, stepmother, grandparents, or other ancestors.
  4. Uncle or Aunt such as brother or sister of your parents
  5. Your in-laws can include your father-in-law, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law. However, this can only be feasible when the marriage is active and not if there has been a divorce or separation.
  • The person whom you are supporting must have a taxable income not more than $4200 in the year 2019. However, this limit goes up every year with the changing rules.
  • The relative who would be qualifying for obtaining a tax exemption must have been living at your residence throughout the year or would be on the list of those people who do not live with you.
  • You should have paid for the support of the person in more than half of the person is being supported by multiple people who agree in multiple support agreements that the exemption can be claimed by you.


So, the process of including qualified dependents for claiming tax exemptions is one of the best benefits which you can avail. By claiming these dependents, you can very easily avail several tax credits and deductions which would help in reducing your tax bills. Hence, you must understand carefully the qualifying criteria for claiming dependents failing which you would miss the opportunity of availing the benefit of low tax bills.


SBA Debt Relief for small business owners

SBA Debt Relief for small business owners

The pandemic COVID-19 has created a lot of financial problems for people across the country. People from every profession are facing several economic issues due to the coronavirus and are continuously struggling to lower the impact of the pandemic on the profession/work-related front. However, if you are a small business owner then your business must have been impacted badly by the spread of the COVID-19. So, one of the ways by which you can be able to obtain some financial aid during these challenging times is through the US Small Business Administration (SBA) Debt Relief Program.

SBA Debt Relief Program

The SBA is a part of the $2 trillion packages offered by the US Government under the provisions of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. It can be described as a debt-payment assistance program that would help in providing immediate relief to the various small businesses in the United States with the help of Small Business Administration Loans.

By the SBA Debt Relief Program, financial assistance can be provided to small business owners by making a payment of principal, interest, and any other fees which the borrowers owe for the current 7(a) loans, 504 loans, and other Microloans as well.

How to participate in the SBA Debt Relief Program?

If a business is eligible to participate in the SBA Debt Relief Program there is no need for any application. Participation is automatic. The SBA has given instructions to the different lenders for not collecting any loan amount during the debt relief period. The SBA has said that it would make the loan payments for these borrowers.  According to the provisions of the CARES Act, the SBA should start making the payments within a month of the date on which the first payment of the loan taken needs to be done.

  1. In case the loan payment of a borrower was to be collected after 27th March 2020, then the lenders were provided with the instruction to inform the borrower about having the option of loan payment returned or applying the payment for even more reduction in the loan balance after the payment has been made by the SBA.
  2. If the loans are not deferred then the SBA can start making the payments on the due date of the next payment and will be making the payments for 6 months.
  3. For those loans which are on deferment, the SBA will be making the payments with the immediate next payments that are due after the end of the deferment period. The SBA will be making the payments for the upcoming 6 months.
  4. In the case of those loans which have been made after 27th March 2020 and have been fully disbursed before 27th September 2020, the SBA will make the payments. The SBA will start with the first payment which is due and would do the payments for the upcoming 6 months.

Can the SBA Debt relief program be applied to PPP and EIDL loans?

  • The Debt Relief Program by the SBA does not apply to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to or to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
  • EDILs which have the status of regular servicing which means when the loan is in a closed state with accordance to the Terms and Conditions of the loan authorization, the payment for the final disbursement has been made and the SBA guarantee fee has also been paid as of 1st March 2020, automatic deferments would be provided by the SBA through 31st December 2020.
  • However, interests would keep on accruing during this period.

 Can you get a PPP loan even if you have received the SBA debt relief?

 Yes, even if you have received the SBA Debt Relief you can fill an application for obtaining the PPP loan. You must keep in mind that the procedure for obtaining a PPP loan is different from that of the process for obtaining the SBA Debt Relief.



 So, the SBA Debt Relief is an excellent initiative by the Government to alleviate the distress caused to the economic condition of the small businesses within the country due to the pandemic COVID-19. The borrowers might have several queries related to the SBA debt relief program and must contact their lenders for this purpose.


Types of interest that is eligible for Debt-Tax Deductible

Types of interest that is eligible for Debt-Tax Deductible

There is a number of debts that would accrue interest on them such as student loans or home mortgage, etc. When the interest accrual is for a longer period, the repayment amount goes on increasing and it turns out to be quite expensive to repay them. If you have several debts then, it is quite obvious for a lot of interest to get accumulated quickly. You might be having low-interest rates but then the only way to pay off is by reducing your outgoing expenses.

 Is the interest levied on debt tax-deductible?  It might be sometimes; however, it might depend on the type of interest and many other criteria.

 Let us find out the types of interest which can be eligible for a tax deduction.


The interest which is eligible for a tax deduction


Student Loan Interest

 A large number of the students are under the burden of debts due to the Student loan and to reduce the burden caused by these debts, the IRS provides a tax deduction on the interest which is levied on the Student loan. By the Student loan interest deduction, you can deduct a maximum of $2500 from your income which is taxable as long as the Modified Gross Income (MAGI) of your previous year is less than $70,000. The student loan must be taken either by you, your spouse, or a dependent. The loan must have been taken by you for educational purposes during the period in which you, your spouse, or dependent was enrolled for at least part-time into a degree course.


Home Mortgage Interest

If you are borrowing money for purchasing a home, then you might have the eligibility to avail of the mortgage interest deduction. According to the regulations of the IRS, if you have bought your house after 15th December 2017 you can be eligible to take up to $750,000 in the form of the interest deduction. Moreover, this is also applicable to those mortgages which are up to $1 million and have been purchased before 15th December 2017.

 If you are paying home equity loan debt, you can be eligible to take the advantage of the home mortgage interest deduction. However, this is feasible only if you are utilizing the home equity loan for purchasing, constructing, or improving the home which secures your home equity loan.

 If you want to claim your interest deduction on a home mortgage, you will require the IRS Form 1098 or the mortgage interest statement which you would obtain from your lender. You would also need proper records that would document the details of your home and mortgage. Moreover, you would obtain the need to obtain the Schedule A too for claiming your itemised deductions. You must carefully read the IRS Publication 936 to get more detailed insight into the types of documentation that the IRS would need to check for your deduction approval. 


Margin Debt Interest

 In case you are borrowing money from a particular lender for investing, then you would be able to claim a deduction for the interest on the margin debt that has been incurred by you. The value of the deduction is capped at the net taxable income obtained from the investment which you would be able to claim during a tax year; however if you do not have any net taxable income obtained on the investment to claim you can easily carry forward the remaining interest expense.  By this, you will have the ability for interest deduction from the net taxable investment income in the next tax-filing year.

 The tax deduction for the margin debt interest can be calculated by the use of the IRS Form 4952.

However, you can even calculate the margin interest which is deductible by the below-mentioned steps.

  1. You consider your gross income and perform subtraction of qualified deductions, net gains, and all other expenses incurred from investment.
  2. The remaining number obtained is your net investment income.

Let us suppose, you have $1000 as your investment income and $500 as your interest expenses you would be able to deduct $500 on your tax returns obtained.


Business Loan Interest

 Business loans would help in providing funds for the expenses incurred in the operation and growth of your business. There are several uses of business loans and can include the accommodation of lines of credit to property mortgages. Business loans also accrue interest over time and this interest accrued is tax-deductible.

 The major conditions which determine the tax deductibility of the business loan interest would include the type of business loan you have procured, the relationship between lender-debtor, legal liability for the debt and a proper agreement from both lender and debtor for the debt to be repaid.

 Some of the common categories of business loans which would be eligible for small business deductions are:-

  1. Term loans
  2. Short-term loans
  3. Business lines of credit
  4. Personal loans
  5. Business Purchase loans

You should use the IRS Form 8990 for calculation of the amount of business interest you can deduct for a particular tax year.

  • Sole proprietors and single-member LLCs must claim their deductible interest in the Section –Expenses of Schedule C on Line 16.
  • In the case of partnerships and multiple-member LLCs, the expenses related to these interests on business loans can be claimed by recording in Form 1065 and the “Other Deductions” section.


What are the benefits of deducting paid interest?

Your taxable income can be reduced by using the benefit of the interest deduction.

  • By taking the advantage of interest deduction, you would be able to move into a lower tax bracket.
  • Also, you can be taxed at a lower federal rate by utilizing the benefit of the interest deduction.



 Hence, the above-mentioned categories of interest are eligible for the deduction of debt tax and would be beneficial for you to have low taxable income.

Extended Timeline For US Tax Filing

Extended Timeline For US Tax Filing

Extended Timeline For US Tax Filing

While the entire world is struggling to combat the effects of the dreadful COVID-19, the US Government has come up with new initiatives to provide some relief to the public who are paying the taxes. The Treasury Department in the US and the IRS have jointly announced last week that the US Government is extending the tax –filing deadline to 15th July 2020. This decision has been taken by the US Government to give the taxpayers extra time to handle their taxes amidst the outbreak of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 outbreak was declared as a National emergency last week by the President of the US. Also, the President had invoked the Stafford Act which gives him the power to mobilize the federal resources. The taxpayers would get an additional period of 90 days for filing their taxes and the IRS will not charge any interest or penalty for this time extension. However, for those taxpayers of the country who have already filed their taxes this year would not be affected in any means by these changes made.

File Tax Sooner If A Refund Is Due

Even though the US Government has extended the timeline, those taxpayers who don’t owe any money to the IRS can consider filing their tax by the original deadline of 15th April 2020. This would be wiser as the taxpayers would be able to collect their refunds sooner. This would be very helpful for those citizens who have already started seeing their economic condition and earnings being affected by the outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19. 

Moreover, it is just that the Federal Government has provided this extension in tax filing but different states in the country have formulated different guidelines concerning the tax filing extension. It is advisable for those taxpayers who are planning to delay their federal taxes to understand in detail about the tax filing extension that their State Governments are offering as well.

The Due Date For Tax Filing In Case Of An Extension

There might be some taxpayers who may be concerned about their ability to pay the taxes even by 15th July 2020 due to the loss of a job or other financial issues related to the outbreak of COVID-19. These taxpayers can contact the IRS and discuss their options. The IRS has short-term and long-term payment plans which would help the taxpayers to pay their taxes conveniently. Short-term plans would give taxpayers around 120 days to pay the taxes whereas long-term plans taxes can be paid in installments over several months.

 Earlier, when the tax filing deadline was 15th April and a taxpayer who would get an extension will not have to file his tax returns till October. However, now with the IRS pushing the tax filings date to 15th July 2020, it is quite not sure how long the taxpayers would be able to get if he is filing for an extension. But with the various options made available by the IRS, it is quite sure that taxpayers would have some relief.

Deadline For Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments 

Many people are required to make quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS in case of their income not being subject to the taxes of payroll withholding. This estimated tax payment is made by the division of the year into four payment periods with each period having its payment due date. Now, since IRS has extended the timeline for filing the taxes to 15th July 2020 it is quite uncertain that what would be the impacts upon the deadline of quarterly estimated tax payments. 

Some Important Steps To Consider Before The Previous Deadline  

Filing of 2017 tax return 

 If there is a refund due of the year 2017 for a taxpayer and the tax return has not been filed, then it must be filed by 15th April through the Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR to claim the money failing which IRS would keep the money.

 Max out 401(k) by 31st December 2020 

The contributions made towards the traditional 401(K) help in reducing the total taxable income of an individual. Many employers also contribute to the savings made by an individual; so, if there is enough contribution made then there are opportunities to obtain some money as well.

Contribution towards IRA and HSA

 The contributions which are made to an IRA and HSA are eligible for a tax deduction. This contribution must be done by the April deadline every year. Now, even though the tax filing deadline has been extended to 15th July 2020 there have been no announcements made on the deadline for IRA or HSA contributions. So, it is advisable to accomplish this task by the April deadline to avoid any further hassles.



Hence, with the global economy coming to a standstill and numerous lives being affected due to the pandemic COVID-19, this action by the US Government is applauding. This would reduce a lot of pressure on those expecting to owe money to the US Government. However, if there is a refund expected then it must be claimed immediately so that the cash can be utilized during this period of emergency.