IRS Update; FFCRA FAQs; Gov Proclamation; and more
Friday, March 27, 2020
Posted by: Ann Lupo
IRS Update; FFCRA FAQs; Gov Proclamation Includes Insurance Commissioner Authority, Shareholder Meetings, Remote Notarization
Proclamation Number 37 JBE 2020
Gov. John Bel Edwards on Thursday, March 27, 2020, signed Proclamation Number 37 JBE 2020 outlining additional measures for COVID-19 response in Louisiana, including provisions related to first responders, law enforcement rehiring, retired public employees rehiring, insurance commissioner emergency authority, shareholder meetings and remote notarization.
Governor John Bel Edwards issued Proclamation Number 33 JBE 2020, a "stay-at-home" advisory and ordered all "non-essential" businesses to close their doors and move to remote-only work.
Please refer to Section 5 of this order for exceptions to the general rule. We have confirmed with the Governor's office that Section 5 applies to CPA firms.
In a letter sent yesterday, the AICPA asked Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to deem public accounting as an “essential service” by the federal government, similar to what many state governors have already done for shelter-in-place orders.
LCPA has petitioned the Louisiana Governor’s Office for clarity on whether accounting and tax services are included as essential services. Our Advocacy Team is taking these steps to ensure our industry moves forward as uninterrupted as possible. We understand the critical work you do as trusted advisors to keeping our economy functional through the most turbulent times.
IRS Information Service Lines Closed
Late Wednesday, March 25, the IRS closed the Practitioner Priority Service hotline, the e-Services Help Desk, and the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) office because they have limited staff available to work.
Understanding how important it is to keep staff safe, the unfortunate effect of closing those hotlines is that it’s now more difficult for CPAs to file tax returns. The AICPA’s Tax Policy & Advocacy Team is pushing Treasury & IRS to extend relief to all types of filers and the different filings, including information returns and exempt organization returns, in addition to the already-announced April 15th deadline extension to July 15. AICPA is also pushing for the relief to apply to all types of taxes (including Q2 estimated tax payments and excise taxes).
IRS Filing and Payment Relief FAQs
US DOL Issues Additional FAQs on Families First Coronavirus Response Act
See US DOL's FFCRA FAQs and its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) COVID-19 for additional Fact Sheets, FAQs, Notices Covered Employers Must Post and Field Assistance Bulletins.
Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC)
LED Opens COVID-19 Help Desk for Louisiana Businesses
Louisiana Economic Development announced the opening of an LED Help Desk that provides email and hotline support for Louisiana businesses impacted by COVID-19.
For COVID-19 business questions, LED may be reached at LEDbiz@la.gov or via the toll-free hotline, (833) 457-0531. The COVID-19 hotline is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Be aware that high call volumes might result in delays. Callers are encouraged to keep trying, leave a voicemail or contact LED via email.
For Louisiana businesses seeking federal financial assistance, they are encouraged first to contact the U.S. Small Business Administration at SBA.gov/Disaster to apply for COVID-19 disaster aid. (Please note that the SBA's site is extremely busy. It is recommended to visit early morning or late evening and to use a Microsoft browser, as Chrome is not compatible.)
Questions about the content of this Alert should be directed to LCPA State Government Relations Director Linda Babin.