IRS’s Economic Impact Payment data as of May 2020By: National Association of Tax Professionals
May 29, 2020

Approximately 130 million Americans received payments worth more than $200 billion in the Economic Impact Payment program’s first four weeks, according to the IRS.

“We are working hard to continue delivering these payments to Americans who need them,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “The vast majority of payments have been delivered in record time, and millions more are on the way every week. We encourage people to visit IRS.gov for the latest information, FAQs and updates on the payments.”

More than 150 million payments will be sent out, and millions of people who do not typically file a tax return are eligible to receive these payments. Payments are automatic for those who filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019, receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who didn’t file a tax return in the last two years.

For those who don’t receive federal benefits and didn’t have a filing obligation in 2018 or 2019, the IRS encourages you to use its non-filer tool to quickly register for these payments, which will be distributed throughout the year.

Payment information updated as of May 22, 2020, is listed in the chart below.

Economic Impact Payment May 22 Web

Economic Impact Payment May 22 Web2

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You make the callBy: NATP Research
May 28, 2020

Question: Jerome and Gina filed Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, to renew their ITIN but have not filed their 2019 return yet. When filing their 2019 return, can they get the other dependent credit (ODC) for their child Garen, who has an SSN?

Answer: Yes, since the disallowance has to do with the issuance of a new ITIN. In this case Jerome and Gina have their ITINs and are just renewing them. Since they have been issued ITINs before the due date of the return, they are allowed to claim the ODC.

See Question 20 at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/itin-expiration-faqs.

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What you should know about the employee retention creditBy: National Association of Tax Professionals
May 27, 2020

The employee retention credit is designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The amount of the credit is 50% of qualified wages paid up to an annual limit of $10,000, which equals a maximum credit amount of $5,000 for each employee for the year.

Eligible employers are employers who operate a trade or business and has experienced one of these:

  • Fully or partially suspended operations because of a government order due to COVID-19
  • A significant decline in gross receipts in a calendar quarter when compared to 2019

How is the credit figured?

  • The amount of the credit is half of qualifying wages paid up to $10,000 for all calendar quarters. The maximum credit for any employee is $5,000 for the year.
  • Wages paid between March 12, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021 are eligible.
  • Wages are not limited to cash payments. They also include a portion of employer-provided health care costs.

Which wages qualify?

Qualified wages are based on the business’s average number of full-time employees in 2019.

  • Small employers, those that had 100 or fewer employees, may receive the credit for wages paid to employees whether or not they are providing services to the employer.
  • Large employers, those that had more than 100 employees, may only receive the credit for wages paid to employees for time the employees are not providing services to the employer.

If an employer is eligible due to a full or partial suspension of operations, only wages paid while operations are suspended count as qualified wages.

How do eligible employers get the credit?

Employers must report their qualified wages on their federal employment tax returns, usually Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. 

They can reduce their required deposits of payroll taxes withheld from employees’ wages by the amount of the credit. They can also request an advance of the employee retention credit by submitting Form 7200. Eligible employers may use the employee retention credit with other relief such as, payroll tax deferral which may affect deposits and advances.

If you’re looking for more information on the employee retention credit and Form 7200, we have an on-demand webinar available that will help you discuss this credit with your clients as a possible solution (or even use it in your own office). Remember, you can only choose one CARES Act option, including the Payroll Retention Credit, Paycheck Protection Program loan with possible forgiveness or deferring payroll taxes.

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