36 Niagara Street
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM on Zoom
Join David Younis CFP®, Director of Financial Services at Allied Financial Partners and Marcus Kroll, Esq. of Kroll Law Firm, LLP, for a conversation to discuss the most pressing concerns regarding effective estate and long-term care planning.
Featured Topics Will Include:
We encourage you to share this invitation with interested family members or friends that would benefit from this educational seminar.
The New York State Department of Labor Stops Fraudsters from Stealing More Than $5.5 Billion in Unemployment Benefits During Covid-19 Pandemic
Since the beginning of the Pandemic, New York State has Paid more than $65 billion in Unemployment Benefits to over 4 Million New Yorkers
NYS Department of Labor has Identified Over 425,000 Fraudulent Claims, Continues PSA Campaign Warning New Yorkers to Protect Themselves Against Fraud
The New York State Department of Labor today announced that it has identified over 425,000 fraudulent unemployment benefit claims during the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing fraudsters from stealing more than $5.5 billion in benefits. The DOL has referred hundreds of thousands of fraud cases to federal prosecutors, and continues to work with law enforcement partners on the federal, state, and local level to hold fraudsters accountable.
Since the pandemic began in March 2020, the Department of Labor has paid over $65 billion to more than 4 million New Yorkers - representing more than 30 typical years' worth of benefits paid in just 11 months.
"Unemployment fraud is - sadly - a scourge that we have to fight every day, but it is particularly despicable that criminals would use a global pandemic as cover to attempt to defraud our system. These benefits have been a lifeline for millions of New Yorkers over the last year, and every day our Office of Special Investigations is working to protect our system from fraud and abuse," said New York State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. "Our team is using technology, including artificial intelligence and other sophisticated techniques, to identify fraud as quickly as possible and stop these criminals in their tracks. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners at all levels to bring these thieves to justice."
Criminals are using real New Yorkers' identities - likely stolen during previous data breaches involving institutions like banks, insurance companies, and major employers - to file fraudulent claims and illegally collect benefits in the name of individuals who are not unemployed. In response to this uptick in fraudulent claims, the Department of Labor Commissioner and Department of Financial Services have launched a public service announcement campaign, educating New Yorkers about how to protect themselves against identity theft, which can be viewed here. Anyone who receives a monetary determination letter from the Department of Labor, but did not apply for unemployment benefits, should immediately report it to the DOL at on.ny.gov/uifraud.
In addition, these New Yorkers should take steps to proactively protect themselves, including those listed at report.com;
In addition to the Office of Special Investigation's robust investigative efforts, the Department of Labor receives information from sources including other government agencies, claimants, and employers to fight fraud. The Department of Labor also works closely with law enforcement partners at all levels, including the US DOL Office of Inspector General, the Secret Service, and the FBI.
Since March, the Department of Labor has identified over 425,000 fraudulent claims during the COVID-19 crisis -- thanks to these proactive efforts, and strong protections built into the application system, over $5.5 billion that would have gone to fraudsters has been protected. A vast majority of the fraudulent claims were caught before a single cent was paid, and the Department of Labor continues to aggressively combat unemployment insurance fraud.
The Internal Revenue Service urges employers to take advantage of the newly-extended employee retention credit, designed to make it easier for businesses that, despite challenges posed by COVID-19, choose to keep their employees on the payroll.
The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted December 27, 2020, made a number of changes to the employee retention tax credits previously made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), including modifying and extending the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), for six months through June 30, 2021. Several of the changes apply only to 2021, while others apply to both 2020 and 2021.
As a result of the new legislation, eligible employers can now claim a refundable tax credit against the employer share of Social Security tax equal to 70% of the qualified wages they pay to employees after December 31, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Qualified wages are limited to $10,000 per employee per calendar quarter in 2021. Thus, the maximum ERC amount available is $7,000 per employee per calendar quarter, for a total of $14,000 in 2021.
Employers can access the ERC for the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2021 prior to filing their employment tax returns by reducing employment tax deposits. Small employers (i.e., employers with an average of 500 or fewer full-time employees in 2019) may request advance payment of the credit (subject to certain limits) on Form 7200, Advance of Employer Credits Due to Covid-19, after reducing deposits. In 2021, advances are not available for employers larger than this.
Effective January 1, 2021, employers are eligible if they operate a trade or business during January 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021, and experience either:
Employers that did not exist in 2019 can use the corresponding quarter in 2020 to measure the decline in their gross receipts. In addition, for the first and second calendar quarters in 2021, employers may elect in a manner provided in future IRS guidance to measure the decline in their gross receipts using the immediately preceding calendar quarter (i.e., the fourth calendar quarter of 2020 and first calendar quarter of 2021, respectively) compared to the same calendar quarter in 2019.
In addition, effective January 1, 2021, the definition of qualified wages was changed to provide:
Retroactive to the March 27, 2020, enactment of the CARES Act, the law now allows employers who received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to claim the ERC for qualified wages that are not treated as payroll costs in obtaining forgiveness of the PPP loan.
For more information, see COVID-19-Related Employee Retention Credits: How to Claim the Employee Retention Credit FAQs.
UPDATE: Originally, employers were not eligible to receive the Employee Retention Credit if they received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. However, due to changes made by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, this restriction has been lifted. This means that due to the retroactive change employers who took PPP loans are now eligible to take the employee retention credit, so long as the same wages are not used for both.
The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50 percent of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. Eligible employers can get immediate access to the credit by reducing employment tax deposits they are otherwise required to make. Also, if the employer's employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may get an advance payment from the IRS.
For each employee, wages (including certain health plan costs) up to $10,000 can be counted to determine the amount of the 50% credit. Because this credit can apply to wages already paid after March 12, 2020, many struggling employers can get access to this credit by reducing upcoming deposits or requesting an advance credit on Form 7200, Advance of Employer Credits Due To COVID-19.
Employers, including tax-exempt organizations, are eligible for the credit if they operate a trade or business during calendar year 2020 and experience either:
A significant decline in gross receipts begins:
The significant decline in gross receipts ends:
The credit applies to qualified wages (including certain health plan expenses) paid during this period or any calendar quarter in which operations were suspended.
The definition of qualified wages depends on how many employees an eligible employer has.
If an employer averaged more than 100 full-time employees during 2019, qualified wages are generally those wages, including certain health care costs, (up to $10,000 per employee) paid to employees that are not providing services because operations were suspended or due to the decline in gross receipts. These employers can only count wages up to the amount that the employee would have been paid for working an equivalent duration during the 30 days immediately preceding the period of economic hardship.
If an employer averaged 100 or fewer full-time employees during 2019, qualified wages are those wages, including health care costs, (up to $10,000 per employee) paid to any employee during the period operations were suspended or the period of the decline in gross receipts, regardless of whether or not its employees are providing services.
Impact of other credit and relief provisions
An eligible employer's ability to claim the Employee Retention Credit is impacted by other credit and relief provisions as follows:
Claiming the credit
In order to claim the new Employee Retention Credit, eligible employers will report their total qualified wages and the related health insurance costs for each quarter on their quarterly employment tax returns, which will be Form 941 for most employers, beginning with the second quarter. The credit is taken against the employer's share of social security tax but the excess is refundable under normal procedures.
In anticipation of claiming the credit, employers can retain a corresponding amount of the employment taxes that otherwise would have been deposited, including federal income tax withholding, the employees' share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and the employer's share of Social Security and Medicare taxes for all employees, up to the amount of the credit, without penalty, taking into account any reduction for deposits in anticipation of the paid sick and family leave credit provided in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act PDF.
Eligible employers can also request an advance of the Employee Retention Credit by submitting Form 7200.
Information provided by irs.gov.
Beginning September 30, 2020, employees in New York must accrue protected sick leave but employees are NOT entitled to use their accrued sick leave until January 1,2021. Here is a summary based on the law in its current form. We expect additional guidance from the NY Commissioner of Labor as we approach the effective date.
All employers are required to provide protected sick leave, but whether itʼs paid and the amount of annual sick leave depend on the size and net income of the employer:• 4 or fewer employees and net income of $1 million or less: 40 hours, unpaid.• 4 or fewer employees and net income of more than $1 million: 40 hours, paid.• 5–99 employees: 40 hours, paid.• 100+ employees: 56 hours, paid.
Employer may choose any regular, consecutive twelve-month period as the benefit year, except that the number of employees is determined on a calendar year(January 1 through December 31). The statute does not specifically allow employers to exclude employees who work outside New York from its calculation.
Accrual:All employees, including part-time and temporary employees, who do not work in the state are required to accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked: accrual begins on September 30, 2020, or the employeeʼs first day of work, whichever is later.
Employees are entitled to carry over all their unused sick leave hours: however, employers may limit annual use to the caps outlined in the bullet points above.Instead of an hourly accrual method, employers may choose to front-load their employeesʼ sick leave hours at the beginning of each year. If they do so, however, they may not reduce their sick leave allotment if the employee works less than expected.
Usage:Yearly usage may be capped at 40 hours for employers with fewer than 100 employees and at 56 hours for employers with 100 or more employees. Other than theusage start date of January 1, 2021, the law does not allow employers to impose a waiting period before an employee can use their accrued sick leave.
The FBI is currently investigating an active unemployment insurance scam. The scam involves letters about unemployment insurance that are legitimately from the New York State Department of Labor but are being sent to individuals who did not apply for the payments.
With growing concerns about Covid-19 (the Coronavirus) many people have started practicing social distancing to protect themselves, the health of those around them, and the community as a whole.
Despite it all tax season marches on, however you have the option to skip an in-person appointment in favor of sending your documents in to be processed. Documents can be mailed in or dropped of to the office location of your choice. Please call our office if you would like to make arrangements to drop off documents without having to enter the building. You can also submit documents electronically on our website using our online portal.
- For instructions on how to upload documents to the portal click here.
- If you have a portal but need assistance accessing it or uploading documents call Andrea True at (585) 410-6733 ext. 103.
- If you don't have a portal set up already and would like one, please email Chelsea Hewitt at email@example.com.
For our financial services clients we have the ability to provide digital investment review meetings.
To schedule a digital investment review meeting with David Younis CFP® or Francis Celona CPA, CFP® contact Aimee Cummings at (585) 410-6733 ext. 136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appointments with Jason Tabor CFP® can be scheduled with Debbie Pearlmutter at (607) 282-4161 or email@example.com.
The partners of Allied Financial Partners are pleased to announce that Angela Dussault, CPA has joined Tette, Ingersoll & Co., CPAs, PC, a division of Allied Financial Partners.
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act is now law. With it, comes some of the biggest changes to retirement savings law in recent years.
Tette, Ingersoll & Co. CPAs, PC, a division of Allied Financial Partners, is pleased to announce its merger with Richard A Romer, CPA LLC, in order to grow its services and capabilities.
The partners of Allied Financial Partners are pleased to announce the promotions of four dedicated employees.
The partners of Allied Financial Partners are pleased to welcome Sarah Gordnier who joins the administrative team working out of both the Rochester and Victor office locations.
Allied Payroll Services, a division of Allied Financial Partners, is pleased to announce that Tyler Turkington has joined the firm as Payroll Specialist.
The partners of Allied Financial Partners are pleased to announce that Jason Brewer has joined the firm as IT Help Desk Specialist.
We are excited to have officially made the move into our new Rochester office!
Tette, Ingersoll & Co. CPAs, PC, a division of Allied Financial Partners, is pleased to announce its merger with the Tonawanda-based CPA firm, Amato, Fox & Company, PC, in order to grow its services and capabilities.
The week of December 23rd, ALL payrolls must be submitted no later than 11am on Tuesday, December 24th!