JETRO Goes Xero Gold

JETRO Xero Gold

When JETRO started way back in 2013 we were on the the forefront of virtual accounting. As part of that, we needed to find a cloud accounting solution that we could utilize not only internally but across our client base. We needed something that we could access via the cloud anywhere, anytime. After a lot of research and trial we landed on Xero, who at the time was fairly fresh in the US market.

Since then we have not looked back and continue to introduce Xero to thriving clients across the country. As part of that journey we are proud to announce that we are now a Xero Gold Partner!

Thank you Xero for continuing to innovate and provide such a “beautiful accounting software” to both JETRO and our incredible clients.

Want to learn more about Xero? Reach out to us!

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Forgiveness Cheat Sheet

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Forgiveness for Small Businesses

LAST UPDATED: 6/22/20

As you know, things are constantly changing with the Paycheck Protection Program. Our goal is to create an outline here of the things you need to know about when it comes to forgiveness.

Bookkeeping is the back bone to every business. With that being said, bookkeeping can quickly become an incredibly hard task unless you follow these four simple rules.

Facts

  • Time to Use Funds: 24 Weeks or December 31st (Whichever comes first) — You have an option to use 8 weeks if you received funding prior to June 5th
  • Required Amount Used on Payroll: 60%
  • Amount NOT Forgiven Loan Term: 5 Year Term at 1% (accruing immediately) with 6-month payment deferral from the date of loan disbursement

Costs Eligible for Forgiveness

  1. Payroll Costs (Must be at least 60%):  Paid or incurred during the covered period including: Salaries, wages,  employee health insurance contributions by employer, employee retirement plan contributions by employer, and state and local payroll taxes. NOTE: Capped at $100k Annualized per Employee and employer share of FICA is not included in the costs.
  2. Self Employed/Owner Payroll Max: $15,385 (8 Week Period) or $20,833 (24 Week Period) – They are also capped by the amount of their 2019 employee salary and retirement contributions. NOTE: Owner health insurance is no longer figured into the eligible costs for forgiveness. Non-owner health insurance still is.
  3. Max 40% of: Mortgage interest, Utilities, Rent

Employee Headcount or Pay Reduction

Your forgiveness amount may be reduced if:

  1. You reduce employee pay in excess of 25% (Salary or Hourly)
  2. You reduce employee headcount or Full-Time Equivalent (FTE). There are two methods to calculate FTE:
    • Long Method: Average hours each employee paid per week, divided by 40 and rounded to nearest 10th with a maximum of 1.
    • Simple Method: 40+ Hours = 1 FTE and <40 Hours = .5 FTE
    • Example 3 employees working 25, 35 and 42 hours per week. Using the long method your FTE would be 2.5 and using the simple method it would be 2.
  3. If you restore to original numbers by December 31st or end of the covered period (date you file your application) you are fine.
  4. Exceptions:
    • Inability to rehire individuals or similarily qualified individuals (or employee denies offer to come back at original level)
    • Able to document inability to return to the same level of business activity as business was operating at before 2/15 due to COVID restrictions.

Loan Forgiveness Process

  1. Complete and Submit Forgiveness Application to Bank (SBA Form 3508 or 3508EZ) within 10 months after the last day of the covered period. NOTE: A borrower may submit a loan forgiveness application before the end of the covered period if the borrower has used all of the loan proceeds for which they are requesting forgiveness.
  2. Lender has 60 days from receipt of application to issue a decision to SBA.
  3. SBA will deduct EIDL advance amounts from the forgiveness amount.

Check out our episode on the Small Business Tax Savings Podcast regarding this topic!

What Bookkeeping Rules Do I Need to Follow?

Top 4 Bookkeeping Rules to Follow

Bookkeeping is the back bone to every business. With that being said, bookkeeping can quickly become an incredibly hard task unless you follow these four simple rules.

1. Separate Business Bank Account

Have a separate bank account (and credit card, if applicable) specifically for your business. This is important even for you sole proprietors. Regardless of your business setup, this is vital.

If you are unable to get a credit card under your business name, make sure you dedicate one personal card strictly for business use only and use the payments to it as a reimbursement.

2. No Commingling

No personal expenses on the business bank or credit card account. In the rare occasion that you accidentally put a personal expense on the business account, record it as an owners draw or reimburse the business for it.

3. Keep Your Receipts

Store them in a file in your office or take a picture of them and save them in the cloud. This is vitally important in the event of an audit.

On each receipt write on it: who, what, where, when, why, and how much. Not only does this help backup the business purpose but it also reminds you in case you forget down the road.

4. Ditch the Cash

Cash is hard to track and prove. In the rare event cash is your only payment option, be sure to get a receipt so you can properly document the business expense.

Check out our episode on the Small Business Tax Savings Podcast regarding this topic!

JETRO Giving Back to the Community

Giving Back to the Community

Here are JETRO we take seriously the act of helping others and the community. Every year we make a donation to various charities and initiatives based on the amount of tax returns we file. This year we also included an additional amount for each Small Business Tax Savings Podcast review we received.

As a client of ours and reviewer of our Podcast you play a role in this donation. The amount we contribute is directly related to you partnering with us.

I just want to say, THANK YOU! Thank you for working with us and listening to our Podcast so we can make a donation on your behalf.

This year we are proud to announce our support for the following charities and initiatives:

1. Mobilize MKE

COVID-19 has caused a 35-50% spike in the number of people needing the services of food banks in Metro Milwaukee. This pandemic has also forced the cancellation of many food drives, multiplying the food crisis our neighbors are facing right now. These food pantries tell us they anticipate seeing even greater need in May. Donations made will service local food pantries.

Learn More Here

2. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

A gift to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention helps fund their mission to save lives and give hope to those affected by suicide. Each dollar brings us closer to a world without suicide.

Learn More Here

 

3. Make-A-Wish

The mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation is to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. The children they serve are fighting for their lives, and their families are doing everything that they can to help them in their battles.

Learn More Here

 

4. National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. The Society’s mission is: People affected by MS can live their best lives as we stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever.

Learn More Here

 

Again, we are able to make these donations on your behalf due to your partnership with us. We thank you for that and look to continue to help the communities around us and those that are less fortunate.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Accounting and Tax Outlook

*Continuously Updated As More Information Becomes Available*

Welcome to our JETRO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tax and Accounting Resource Center. Much of this information is rapidly changing. We will be updating information as it becomes available to us. Below are the headlines on various topics listed below. Each topic has buttons on the bottom to link to available resources.

The link directly below is the most comprehensive overview of all relief options to check out, provided by Gusto!

  • General Information
  • Government Loan Information
  • Business Relief Information
  • Personal Relief Information

General Information

Tax Deadlines/Extensions and Student Loan Payments by Employer

  • New Tax Return and Payment Deadline: July 15th (Individuals, Trusts, C Corps) – If you want to extend your return to October 15th that formal extension is also now due by July 15th.
  • 2020 Q1 and Q2 Estimated Tax Payments Due: July 15th (Previously April and June 15th)
  • Employers are allowed to contribute up to $5,250 tax-free annually to assist their employees with student loan payments. This covers payments up until December 31, 2020.

NOTES FROM 3/18/20 PODCAST:

These next few weeks (or months?) for business owners and individuals alike will be tough. However, as business owners this poses an opportunity for leadership.

I touch on this specific topic in this weeks Small Business Tax Savings Podcast episode which I have provided before.  Here is a brief summary:

1. Be A Leader

To your employees, clients, and community.

 

2. Embrace the Situation

Think of ways you can modify your business to maintain during this tough time. Do not just stick your head in the sand and give up. INNOVATE! 

 

3. Do Planning

Plan for the various situations (good, bad, ugly) and determine what your business will do if you hit those certain benchmarks. 

As we are navigating these unexpected waters together, let us know how we can help. We are that partner on your team to get through this together!

NOTES FROM 3/25/20 PODCAST:

1. Do Planning

Put together a plan on how your business will react at certain thresholds. Do a Good (3 weeks), Bad (2 months), Ugly (3-4+ months) plan so you know ahead of time what actions your business needs to take depending on how long this lasts.

 

2. Expense Cutting

Go down your income statement and see what items you can cut or downgrade. If you have any software fees is there any you can move down a package (Premium to Standard) temporarily. Start implementing these cuts today to maintain cash.

 

3. Slow Down Cash Outflow

Do you have any bills or rent payments that you can negotiate for short period of time? Reach out to loan providers and see if you can move to interest only payments temporarily. If they say no today, try again in a couple days.

 

4. Funding

Look into an SBA loan if you need cash now. Look into zero interest credit cards to see if those may be an option for you.

Government Loan Information

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Updates

The House, Senate and President signed the PPP update bill into law. Here are the changes:

🔸Amount of loan needed to be spent on payroll moves from 75% to 60%

🔸Amount of time to spend the funds moved from 8 weeks to 24 weeks (or end of 2020)

🔸Pushes back June 30th deadline to rehire workers to December 31st

🔸Repayment term of unforgiven amount moves from 2 years to 5 years

A few more updates we talk about in this weeks Small Business Tax Savings Podcast:

🆓 Free Tool for Forgiveness Application: https://lnkd.in/shrtslug

💰Funding is still available if you have not already received PPP funds

PPP Loan Certification Clarification, Taxability and Forgiveness Application

  1. PPP Certification Clarification: Originally when applying you certified that “current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant”. The SBA and Department of Treasury have determined that there will be a safe harbor regarding that certification.

    The safe harbor is: Any borrower that, together with its affiliates, received PPP loans with an original principal amount of less than $2 million will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith.

  2. PPP Loan Taxability: Per IRS guidance, the PPP loan amount forgiven itself is not taxable however the corresponding expenses you used the forgiven funds for, you cannot claim as tax deductions.
  3. Forgiveness Application: This has finally been released while still some questions remain but here are some things we do know:

    -Time Period: You can choose between 8 weeks from the day the loan hit your account or 8 weeks that begins on your first payroll date following the disbursement.

    -Payroll Reduction Exemption: There has been new guidance that your forgiveness amount will not be reduced (as it relates to employee retention) if you have reductions related to: Individuals you have made a written offer to rehire but the employee declined, employees whose employment was terminated for cause, or employees who voluntarily resigned.

    -Owner’s Cap: The forgiveness amounts paid to owners eligible for forgiveness is capped at the lower of $15,385 (which is the $100k annualized) or the 8 week equivalent of the owners compensation in 2019, again whichever is lower.

PPP Forgiveness Information

PERIOD: 8 Weeks (Starting the date of first disbursement of PPP funds)

WHAT IS FORGIVABLE?

  • Payroll Costs (Capped at $100k of annualized basis per employee) including: gross wages, health care benefits, retirement benefits, state and local taxes but NOT employer portion of FICA or FUTA
  • Interest on Mortgages Signed Before 2/15/20
  • Interest on Debt Incurred Before 2/15/20
  • Rent for Lease Agreements Signed Before 2/15/20
  • Utility Payments

NOTES

  • Payroll costs must make up 75% of forgiven amount (Ex: $100k PPP Loan, at least $75k payroll)
  • Forgiveness amount proportionately reduced by decease in head count or employee wages unless employer reverses that prior to June 30, 2020
  • Keep documentation of expenses (payroll reports, tax filings, receipts, etc) to backup the items for proof of forgiveness

Also important to note that things are ever changing so this is what we know now but we expect more details to come from the government regarding the topic of forgiveness.

4/27/20 Update: The Government has approved more funding to the PPP and will begin taking applications again 4/27/20.

4/16/20 Update: The PPP loan has reached its funding capacity. News is that Congress is working on allocating more funding to this program.

NOTE: UPDATE TO PPP PROGRAM AFTER RECORDING

-Interest Rate: 1% – Updated as of 3/31/20
-Term: 2 Years – Updated as of 3/31/20

Business Relief Information

Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)

We’ve talked heavily about EIDL and PPP but what about ERTC? Don’t you love all the acronyms?

In order to be eligible for the ERTC you need to prove that you either:

1) Suspended operations fully or partially due to a COVID-19 shutdown order OR
2) Show a 50% or grater decline in revenue as compared to the same quarter of the prior year.

If you are eligible you can get a ERTC which is a refundable payroll tax credit of 50% up to $10,000 of wages per employee which essentially is a max of $5,000 per employee.

The ERTC cannot be combined with the PPP.

Example: Eligible employer pays 6 employees $10,000 each in the eligible period for Q2. The ERTC available to the employer would be $5,000 per employee or $30,000.

Personal Relief Information

Things To Consider When Hiring A Milwaukee Accountant

Things To Consider When Hiring A Milwaukee Accountant

If you’ve been taking care of your own books, you know just how time-consuming that process can be. As a small business owner in Wisconsin, you can save yourself a lot of time by hiring a Milwaukee accountant. Of course, you’ll need to make sure that you hire the right one. Hiring an accountant requires a lot of trust, so before you commit to an accountant, keep the following considerations in mind.

State and County Laws

When you hire a Milwaukee accountant, make sure that he or she has a firm understanding of state and county tax laws. Most accountants will understand the ins and outs of federal tax law, especially if they’ve been in business for more than a few years. However, tax laws differ between states, and even some counties within the United States have their own tax law. As a small business owner, you have to make sure that you stay on top of tax laws. The right Milwaukee accountant will help you stay within the law so that you can focus on your business instead.

Customization Options

When hiring an accountant, you’ll need a fair amount of flexibility. Every small business is different, and each one needs different options. If you hire the right accountant or bookkeeping service, your accountant won’t pressure you with any upsell tactics. You can customize your service to get exactly what you need and nothing more. Whether you need tax preparation, accounting, payroll services, or any combination of accounting services, you’ll have those options. The best accounting services can even provide you with customizable plans within each of those services so that they serve your business in the best way possible.

Simplicity and Availability

Hiring a Milwaukee accountant should provide you with peace of mind. You get to focus on your creative vision and the day to day aspects of running your business. In other words, you get to handle all of the things that you already love about running a business. Your accountant will do what accountants do best, taking care of all of the difficult numbers and legalities. While your accountant simplifies your bookkeeping and taxes, he or she should also be available for when you have questions or want to discuss options.

Your Milwaukee Accountant

If you’re looking for a Milwaukee accountant, Jetro and Associates is here to help with all of your payroll, tax, and bookkeeping needs. We offer all of the above qualities and so much more. With a flat monthly rate, we’ll never add unwelcome surprises to your business life. Are you ready to simplify your business? Contact Jetro today.