Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative

Approved November 30th the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative will use federal CARES Act funding to provide $10 million in grants to meet the needs of Michigan small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Applications will open on December 15th; up to $15,000 is eligible per applicant on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To qualify for grant support, businesses must meet eligibility criteria including but not limited to:

  • Being a business in one of the targeted industries
  • Must comply with all state and local orders related to COVID-19, including, but not limited, to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Be a for-profit entity (i.e., a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or LLC)
  • Have a physical establishment in the Michigan County of Application and is not a home-based business
  • Provide goods or services to multiple clients or customers
  • Be current, or in a payment plan, on all local, state, and federal taxes due through 1/1/2020
  • Have an active and valid state license(s)/registration(s), if applicable
  • Is not an adverse party to litigation involving the state or municipality
  • Business or Business owner has not filed for bankruptcy in the last ten years.
  • Can identify a need for payroll, rent or mortgage payments, and utility expenses necessary to continue/restart business operations relative to the total grant amount
  • Had annual gross revenues in 2019 greater than $25,000
  • Has at least two employees, including the owner(s)
  • Has fewer than 50 employees (including full-time, part-time, and owner(s) on a world-wide basis)

Please contact your local ATS office with any questions or support during the application process.

For more information on this initiative please visit; https://www.michiganbusiness.org/about-medc/covid19/relief/

For more on the original article by Sherri Kolade please visit; https://michiganchronicle.com/2020/11/30/relief-on-the-horizon-michigan-strategic-fund-board-announces-pure-michigan-small-business-relief-initiative/#/?playlistId=0&videoId=0

IRS makes it easier for taxpayers struggling with tax debts

Announced today the IRS has made numerous changes designed to help struggling taxpayers impacted by COVID-19. Taxpayers who owe always had options to seek help through payment plans and other tools from the IRS, but the new IRS Taypayer Relief Initiative is expanding on those tools even more.

The revised COVID-related collection procedure will be helpful to taxpayers, especially those who have a record of filing their returns and paying their taxes on time. Among the highlights of the Taxpayer Relief Initiative:

  • Taxpayers who qualify for a short-term payment plan option may now have up to 180 days to resolve their tax liabilities.
  • The IRS is offering flexibility for some taxpayers who are temporarily unable to meet the payment terms of an accepted Offer in Compromise.
  • To reduce burden, certain qualified individual taxpayers who owe less than $250,000 may set up Installment Agreements without providing a financial statement or substantiation if their monthly payment proposal is sufficient. 
  • Some individual taxpayers who only owe for the 2019 tax year and who owe less than $250,000 may qualify to set up an Installment Agreement without a notice of federal tax lien filed by the IRS.

Installment Agreement options are available for taxpayers who cannot full pay their balance but can pay their balance over time. The IRS expanded Installment Agreement options to remove the requirement for financial statements and substantiation in more circumstances for balances owed up to $250,000 if the monthly payment proposal is sufficient. The IRS also modified Installment Agreement procedures to further limit requirements for Federal Tax Lien determinations for some taxpayers who only owe for tax year 2019.

In addition to payment plans and Installment Agreements, the IRS offers additional tools to assist taxpayers who owe taxes:

Temporarily Delaying Collection — Taxpayers can contact the IRS to request a temporary delay of the collection process. If the IRS determines a taxpayer is unable to pay, it may delay collection until the taxpayer’s financial condition improves.

Offer in Compromise — Certain taxpayers qualify to settle their tax bill for less than the amount they owe by submitting an Offer in Compromise. To help determine eligibility, use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool. Now, the IRS is offering additional flexibility for some taxpayers who are temporarily unable to meet the payment terms of an accepted offer in compromise.

Relief from Penalties — The IRS is highlighting reasonable cause assistance available for taxpayers with failure to file, pay and deposit penalties. First-time penalty abatement relief is also available for the first time a taxpayer is subject to one or more of these tax penalties.

“If you’re having a tax issue, don’t go silent. Please don’t ignore the notice arriving in your mailbox. These problems don’t get better with time. We understand tax issues and know that dealing with the IRS can be intimidating, but our employees really are here to help.”

Darren Guillot, IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Deputy Commissioner for Collection and Operations Support

For clients and non clients alike we urge you to contact your local office or preparer so we may help you with any notices you receive. For more information or explanation of Taxpayer Relief Initiative please contact your local office or visit www.IRS.gov

QR code technology on the rise

A QR code is shot for “quick response” and is a type of barcode. This barcode can be scanned by using a QR scanner or a smartphone with a built in camera. Once scanned the device uses the barcode to bring up a link. Have you seen the QR code at your favorite restaurant to access a menu recently?

Now try using the same technology to go directly to IRS.gov and securely access your account, set up a payment plan or contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service. These QR codes will start appearing in 2021 on all CP14 notices. These notices are used to inform taxpayers that they owe money on unpaid taxes.

These codes will give taxpayers immediate access to the most important information for them to pay their balances, set up payment agreements, and reach out for help… We understand there’s lots of information on the web, and we want to give taxpayers more secure tools that can more easily help them resolve their tax situations”

Darren Guillot, IRS Small Business/ Self-Employed Deputy Commissioner for Collection and Operations Support

This is an exciting development in technology use for the IRS. The IRS is assessing the possibility of adding other QR codes to other balance due notices in the future.

At ATS we still advise all taxpayers to provide a copy of the notice to their preparer before paying any fees.

What you need to know about filing an amended tax return

What are common reasons people need to file and amended return:

  • Entering income incorrectly
  • Not claiming credits for which they’re eligible
  • Claiming deductions incorrectly

Most errors can be fixed by filing a Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. If you find a error on your return or are notified by a notice, you should bring it to the attention of your preparer. For more information please check out the IRS’s FAQ’s.

If you have already filed an amended tax return you can check the status three weeks after filing using the Where’s My Amended Return? tool. Processing can take up to sixteen weeks.

ATS Advisors offices have re-opened

In the interest of safety for our clients and employees we will be operating under a no-contact policy until further notice.  What this means to our clients is we have drop off availability at our Plymouth, Allen Park, Grayling and Royal Oak locations. Unfortunately, due to building access restrictions we are not able to offer drop off at our St. Clair Shores office at this time.

Please check with your local ATS office for available drop off times.

Clients may also mail or electronically submit documents.  To send documents using our FileShare option, please contact your ATS office for contact for instructions.

Phone appointments are available. Simply call our office or request an appointment when you drop off your documents to schedule your appointment.

To check the status of your IRS income tax refund, please go to IRS – Where’s my Refund?

To check the status of your Michigan income tax refund, please go to Michigan – Where’s my Refund?

To check the status of your Economic Impact Payment (Stimulus payment), please go to Where’s my Economic Impact Payment?

Completed client returns will be mailed to clients with instructions. Please do not hesitate to reach out and talk with one of tax professionals if you have questions regarding your individual and/or business tax returns.

COVID-19 has changed how ATS Advisors and businesses in general are operating. While we anticipate some of these changes becoming permanent, we look forward to when we are able to meet with our clients face to face.  During these unprecedented times we will continue to be available to all of our clients and provide the services you have entrusted to us.

Taxpayers can check the status of their refund on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go App

Taxpayers can check the status of their refund on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go App

Taxpayers who filed their 2019 tax return and are waiting for their refund can check their refund status by going to IRS.gov and clicking on Get Your Refund Status to access the Where’s My Refund? tool.

People can check the status of their tax return about 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of an electronically filed tax return and up to four weeks after a taxpayer mails a paper return. The Where’s My Refund? tool updates once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so taxpayers only need to check once a day.

Taxpayers can also check their refund status, make a payment, and find free tax prep help through the IRS2Go app for their mobile device.

Taxpayers will need three things to use the tool:

  • Their Social Security number
  • Their tax filing status
  • The exact amount of the refund claimed on their tax return

Once the taxpayer enters that information the tool will display the progress of their tax return through the following stages:

  • Return received
  • Return approved
  • Refund sent

Taxpayers should use the IRS2Go app or the official Where’s My Refund? tool at IRS.gov to avoid scammers who may create look-alike sites in an attempt to steal sensitive personal information. They should go directly to IRS.gov and not rely on search engine results or click on links to refund sites they receive by email or text.

In certain instances, a taxpayer will need to call the IRS, such as:

  • It has been 21 days or more since they electronically filed their tax return
  • It has been more than six weeks since they mailed their return
  • When the Where’s My Refund? results tell the taxpayer to contact the IRS

if you need help filing your taxes, please call one of our offices:

Plymouth 734.454.4100, Allen Park 313.388.7180,
Grayling 989.348.4055, Royal Oak 248.399.7331, or St. Clair Shores 313.371.6600

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Small Business Administration Loan Application PPP Loan Document Check List

Based on readings and preliminary information from the SBA: We believe that the following information may be required:

2019 IRS Quarterly 940, 941 or 944 payroll tax reports

Payroll reports for a twelve-month period (ending on your most recent payroll date), which will show the following information:

  • Gross wages for each employee, including officer(s) if paid W-2 wages.
  • Paid time off (Vacation, Holiday, etc )for each employee
  • Family medical leave(FMLA) pay for each employee
  • State and local taxes assessed on an employee’s compensation
  • 1099s for independent contractors for 2019

Documentation showing total of all health insurance premiums paid by the company owner(s) under a group health plan.

  • Include all employees and the company owners

Document the sum of all retirement plan funding that was paid by the company owner(s) (do not include funding that came from employees out of their paycheck deferrals).

  • Include all employees and the company owners
  • Include 401K plans, Simple IRA, SEP IRA’s

We are here to help, these times are trying, and we are working remotely, but we are working and we will do our best to assist you as you navigate your way through.

ATS Advisors A Certified Public Accounting Firm Plymouth, Michigan 734-454-4100

“Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order

Today Governor Whitmer’s announced her Executive Order of “Stay Home, Stay Safe” wherein all non-essential businesses must close as of midnight tonight for three weeks.  Therefore, ATS Advisors is closing all their offices until April 15, 2020.

Our priority continues to be our commitment to and the well-being of our clients, employees and communities. Our employees will continue to have limited access to email, however, it may take a few days to receive a response to inquiries. If you have not received a response to an email within a few days, please contact our main office at 734.454.4100 and leave a message.  The voice mail messages are being checked regularly and you will receive a return call.

Please remember the filing and payment deadline for taxpayer’s has been extended to July 15, 2020. This is automatic, and no extension paperwork needs to be filed.

The COVID-19 Pandemic is an unprecedented event and we at ATS Advisors are striving to ensure all our client’s tax and accounting needs are addressed during this time. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns now or in the future.

TAX FILING DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 15, 2020

It was announced today the deadline for filing of all U.S. tax returns has been extended to July 15, 2020.  This follows the announcement earlier this week tax payments were deferred until July 15, 2020 for most individuals. 

What does this mean for our clients?

  • All ATS Advisors offices are open and operating. We have returned to our regular hours of:

Monday – Friday       9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

  • Clients do not need to file an extension of time to file, unless they are unable to file their taxes on or before July 15, 2020.
  • We will continue to prepare tax returns and e-file completed returns, per our normal policy.
  • Offices are restricted to “drop-off” only.  Each office has a designated location for clients to drop off tax return preparation documents, e-File Authorization Forms, and payments for tax preparation fees.
  • ATS Advisors has restricted “face-to-face” contact with clients for their protection as well as our staff. Completed tax returns will be mailed, via USPS.  Clients may schedule phone appointments to review their tax returns with one of our tax professionals.

Our business client services will continue without interruption.

Please continue to check our website for updates and contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.