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COVID-19 and P&R

This update is as of 3/21/20. Be aware that information may change as we receive new directives from authorities.

We are well aware of the daily swirl of announcements, advice, edicts, rumors, hopes and fears for the last 75 days or so. While we don’t yet know the depth of its impact on our lives, lifestyles, job security or financial stability, we would like to offer some clarity and direction on the small part that our team plays in the short term support that we can offer to you.

What we do know:

  • The IRS has issued formal guidance under Notice 2020-18 that they will automatically extend the April 15th filing deadline until July 15th. That means that no income tax payments or extension will be due on the historical due date. No late filing fees, late payment penalties, or late payment interest will be assessed either by not filing, not extending, or not paying any income tax or 2020 estimated tax payment normally due on April 15, 2020.
  • If you owe tax on April 15th, whether you have filed your return, have extended it, or done neither, there will be no “late payment penalty,” “late filing penalty,” nor any interest accrued if you file your return and paid your tax in full by July 15th.
  • If you do not file your return by July 15th, you will need an extension to avoid late filing penalties for the period from July 16th through the day that you do file or October 15th, whichever is later.
  • If you do not pay your 2019 income taxes in full by July 15th, you will be assessed a late payment penalty, plus accrued interest on the amount unpaid from July 16th through the date paid.
  • If you do not make your first quarter 2020 estimated tax payment by July 15th, it will be deemed to be paid late and will be subject to an underestimated tax payment penalty on your 2020 federal income tax return.
  • This notice has no effect on any federal tax due other than income taxes, and does not apply to any tax to be paid or return due to be filed on any day other than April 15th.
  • It does not address extending the due dates for other tax related activities, such as HSA, IRA, or other retirement plan amounts deductible in 2019, but paid by April 15th.
  • As always, there is penalty relief for anyone with extraordinary circumstances.

This automatic extension of time to pay is limited to $1,000,000 of income tax liability except for C corporations, which is $10,000,000.

We are making every effort to ensure that this situation will not affect the timeliness or quality of the work we are doing. With this in mind, we have set in motion a business continuity plan for Patrick & Raines to protect our clients and employees.  This plan will likely remain in effect through April 15th, although we will adapt as the unique global situation unfolds. We are committed to meeting whatever deadline arrangements are established. We would not be surprised to hear of more changes in the coming days, and, as of the date this memo is drafted, the State of Florida has not yet made an announcement as to any due date modifications they may make.

Please help us by getting your tax work to us as soon as you can. Also, ensure your information is as clear, concise and complete as you can, so that we do that work efficiently.

If you have a refund due, we encourage you to file as early so you can get your money back quickly. If you expect to owe tax, let’s get that return completed early so you can be prepared to pay the amount due on July 15th. Your 2020 estimated taxes likely will be based on the 2019 income tax return, so you will need to know that amount by June 15th to determine that second estimated tax payment.

At a base level, it is business as normal as we will continue to work on your tax returns, transaction processing and financial statement work. As you are aware, our firm has been paperless for over 15 years. We already communicate extensively through telephone, email, and increasingly using Zoom (video conferencing & screen sharing technology); primarily deliver completed tax returns electronically through our encrypted email app; and capture signatures using the RightSignature app. These are all great tools! If you need help sending us your documents electronically or using any of the technology mentioned in this memo, please reach out to us.  Further, most of our staff is equipped to securely work remotely as much as practical, so we are expanding our utilization of that capacity to protect their health and offer the maximum flexibility.

Our normal offices hours are still Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, but we prefer to scale back in-person meetings in the office indefinitely. Whenever possible, we request meetings be done via phone calls in lieu of an in-person meeting, or online using Zoom video conferencing. If you feel that an in-person meeting is necessary, call the front desk to coordinate, but please know that we are want to prioritize the protection of your health as well as ours. We are monitoring CDC updates, as well as those from the IRS and State of Florida. We are continually cleaning/disinfecting our offices, common areas, and conference rooms, and employees are practicing all CDC-recommended measures (thorough hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, and social distancing whether at or outside of work). We encourage you to take a calm, yet diligent approach. We will update you with any further changes or best practices in dealing with any compliance changes. 

Our lives have changed quickly with this unforeseen health, and evolving economic event. This is a new one, but the human race has faced pestilences and afflictions like this in the past. We need to come together, using common sense, being careful, and making our best effort to head off what could be a worst-case scenario. Our faith based approach with a positive spirit and continual prayer is where we find a renewed sense of human love and compassion for family, friends, clients, co-workers and neighbors. 

Our very best wishes for your good health and wellbeing.

The whole P&R team

SMART isn’t just for phones!


Strategic planning is key to ensuring every company’s long-term viability, and goal setting is an indispensable step toward fulfilling those plans. Unfortunately, businesses often don’t accomplish their overall strategic plans because they’re unable to fully reach the various goals necessary to get there.

If this scenario sounds all too familiar, trace your goals back to their origin. Those that are poorly conceived typically set up a company for failure. One solution is to follow the SMART approach.

Definitions to work by

The SMART system was first introduced to the business world in the early 1980s. Although the acronym’s letters have been associated with different meanings over the years, they’re commonly defined as:

Specific. Goals must be precise. So, if your strategic plan includes growing the business, your goals must then explicitly state how you’ll do so. For each goal, define the “5 Ws” — who, what, where, when and why.

Measurable. Setting goals is of little value if you can’t easily assess your progress toward them. Pair each goal with one or more metrics to measure progress and success. This may mean increasing revenue by a certain percentage, expanding your customer base by winning a certain number of new accounts, or something else.

Achievable. Unrealistically aggressive goals can crush motivation. No one wants to put time and effort into something that’s likely to fail. Ensure your goals can be accomplished, but don’t make them too easy. The best ones are usually somewhat of a stretch but still doable. Rely on your own business experience and the feedback of your trusted managers to find the right balance.

Relevant. Let’s say you identify a goal that you know you can achieve. Before locking it in, ask whether and how it will move your business forward. Again, goals should directly and clearly support your long-term strategic plan. Sometimes companies can be tempted by “low-hanging fruit” — goals that are easy to accomplish but lead nowhere.

Timely. Assign each goal a deadline. Doing so will motivate those involved by creating a sense of urgency. Also, once you’ve established a deadline, work backwards and set periodic milestones to help everyone pace themselves toward the goal.

Eye on the future

Strategic planning, and the goal setting that goes along with it, might seem like a waste of time. But even if your business is thriving now, it’s important to keep an eye on the future. And that means long-term strategic planning that includes SMART goals. Our firm would be happy to explain further and offer other ideas.

© 2018

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6000-A Sawgrass Village Circle, Suite 1, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082

 

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