Self-Employed COVID-19 Help

Hi there,
First, our apologies to anyone who tried this/my email last week and received a bounce back. My email was down for two days due to a technical glitch. Please feel free to re-send any email that did not receive a reply.

Topics covered today:

  1. Paycheck Protection Program – for self-employed, owners, consultants
    • Application support – finding reports in managepayroll.com / Intuit Online Payroll for your loan application
  2. WA State Unemployment / ESD FAQs
  3. Stimulus Checks
  4. WA State Sales and Excise Tax Due Date Extensions

1. Paycheck Protection Program


Overview:  SBA and Treasury Begin Unprecedented Public-Private Mobilization Effort to Distribute Funds. It’s a low interest loan, but the entire loan amount could be forgiven.

This legislation provides small business job retention loans to provide eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed,” said Secretary Mnuchin. “Treasury and the Small Business Administration expect to have this program up and running by April 3rd so that businesses can go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank, or credit union, apply for a loan, and be approved on the same day.  The loans will be forgiven as long as the funds are used to keep employees on the payroll and for certain other expenses (emphasis mine).” 

The new loan program will help small businesses with their payroll and other business operating expenses. It will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, or SBA fees – all with a 100% guarantee from SBA. All loan payments will be deferred for six months. Most importantly, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest.

Specifics:  Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Who:  

This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by coronavirus/COVID-19.

How:  

You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union,  and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.

Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020.

Application support from Payroll – finding reports in managepayroll.com / Intuit Online Payroll for your loan application 


For our payroll clients, your form 940 is under the 2019 folder Dropbox or Drive or One Drive.

Or in managepayroll.com, go to:
Taxes & Forms tab
In the Forms box at right, under Annual Forms, click on the View Archived Forms

Another report that might help is in managepayroll.com, under: 
Reports tab
in the Employer Reports section on the right-hand side
click the Total Cost report link toward the bottom right.
If you do not have access to these reports in managepayroll.com, let us know. We might need to grant you more access in the system.

For our payroll clients, we are happy to help you find and learn how to download any reports that might help. Should you need further assistance in report preparation, that would be at our hourly rates.

2. WA State Unemployment / ESD FAQs  


We have employers asking us the following questions:
Q:  As the business owner, am I eligible for unemployment benefits through the ESD? 

A:  Mostly likely, no. Most employers were exempt from paying the taxes/premiums for state unemployment. However, owners can be eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program above.


Q:  Why are employees who haven’t worked for my business in over a year, listing me as an employer?

A:  Under normal circumstances, employees must document that they worked at least 680 hours in the last 12-18 months to qualify for unemployment benefits. While I think that minimum is waived for COVID-19 required closures (per this chart), the application process likely remains as if it was not.


Q:  Will my ESD tax rates increase if former employees are listing that they worked for me?

A:  No. Due to mandated government closures, these unemployment applications will not increase your company’s ESD tax rate.

3. Stimulus Checks

As of March 26th, the government hoped to distribute economic stimulus checks within three weeks. Automatically, no application needed.
This NBC News article had a good summary of FAQs on who qualifies, how much etc. And the IRS Coronavirus page has the official details. 
In short, the amount you receive is based on your income reported on your 2018 or 2019 tax return, if those were filed. And will be direct deposited to your bank.
From the NBC article:

If you made less than $75,000 in 2019, you will be eligible for the full payment of $1,200. Couples who filed jointly and made less than $150,000 will get $2,400. An individual who filed as “head of household” and earned $112,500 or less gets $1,200.

There are more details than that, but we’re including just the highlight here.

4. WA State DOR Sales and Excise Tax Due Dates Extended


From https://dor.wa.gov/about/business-relief-during-covid-19-pandemic:

  • Monthly filers: Request an extension for paying tax returns (even if the request is after the due date) by sending a secure email in your My DOR account or by calling Revenue’s customer service at 360-705-6705, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • New! Quarterly filers: The Quarter 1, 2020 return is now due June 30, 2020
  • New! Annual filers: The Annual 2019 return is now due June 15, 2020

***Whew.*** If you read this far, you deserve a treat of some kind. Maybe go take a walk or plant some fragrant sweet peas in the garden!


We hope this was useful and not too much of a duplication with the copious information out there these days.


Be well and stay safe,


Jocelyn and Emily

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