Are you an emerging business owner in Philadelphia? Before you pay for your Commercial Business License, you may want to check out this resource:

What is Jump Start Philly? – Business Services

What is Jump Start Philly? – Business Services
Photo by David McBee on Pexels.com

Jump Start Philly is designed to attract new businesses and entrepreneurs that create jobs to Philadelphia by exempting them from paying the Net Profits Tax and the Business Income and Receipts Tax, formerly the Business Privilege Tax, during the first two years of operations. Additionally, fees will be waived for eligible new businesses for a variety of licenses and registrations, including the Commercial Activity License, formerly the Business Privilege License.

All businesses are still required to apply for applicable licenses, but eligible new businesses pay no fee. To qualify for this exemption, your business must meet certain requirements.

For qualifying new businesses, exempt license fees include:

  • Amusement license
  • Food establishment license
  • Sidewalk café license
  • Curb market license
  • Street vendor license
  • Sidewalk sales license
  • Center City vending license
  • Neighborhood vending license
  • Newsstand license
  • Handbill distribution license
  • Weights and measures registration
  • Waste collection and recycling licenses
  • Towing license
  • Auto repair shop license or permit
  • Hazardous chemical license or permit

To qualify as a “New Business” for these exemptions:

  • The business must be a “New Business.” A New Business is a business that was not subject to Philadelphia business taxes at any time during the five Tax Years prior to starting business activity within Philadelphia.
  • The New Business must file with the Department of Revenue a New Business Waiver Application. This application is wrapped into the online process of registering for the Business Income and Receipts Tax, and within the paper application for the Commercial Activity License.

To maintain “New Business” status:

  • The New Business must have at least three full-time employees, who are not family members and who work in Philadelphia at least 60% of the time, by the first 12 months of the business and continuously through the 18-month anniversary of becoming a new business, and
  • Have at least six full-time employees, who are not family members and who work in the City at least 60% of the time from the 18 month anniversary of the business continuously through to the 24-month anniversary of operations.
  • A family member is defined as: a parent, spouse, life partner, child, sibling or relative-in-law

Note: If the Department of Revenue finds that a taxpayer claiming the status of a New Business was not entitled to that status after the fact, the taxpayer shall be liable for any unpaid taxes, interest, fees and charges that would otherwise have been due.

Exclusions, the term “New Business” does not include:

  • A business affiliated with or sharing substantial ownership or control with a business that has filed a business privilege tax return
  • A business created through an ownership change of a business that has filed a business privilege tax return, including, but not limited to:
    • A merger, acquisition or reorganization
    • The transfer of an existing business to a person who maintains the same or substantially similar business
    • And the closing of an existing business and its subsequent reopening as the same or similar business
  • A business formed for the purpose of evading or avoiding payment of taxes or fees
  • A business primarily engaged in holding, selling, leasing, transferring, managing or developing real estate

Contact:

For Business Income and Receipts Tax information –
Department of Revenue:
Phone: 215-686-6600
Email

Tax Update for Unemployment Recipients

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IRS PROVIDES INFORMATION ON 2020 UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

The IRS has provided the following information regarding 2020 unemployment benefits and the 2021 tax filing season:

Unemployment benefits

A record number of Americans applied for unemployment compensation in 2020 due to the pandemic. Anyone who received unemployment benefits will need to report it on their tax returns.

However, the American Rescue Plan, enacted on March 11, 2021, excludes from income up to $10,200 ($20,400 if married filing jointly) of unemployment compensation received in 2020 for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income under qualifying thresholds. Any amount over $10,200 is still taxable for each person. To determine if payments received for being unemployed are taxable, see the Interactive Tax Assistant on IRS.gov.

For those who have already filed their 2020 tax return and paid taxes on the full amount of unemployment compensation before the law was passed, they should not file an amended return. The IRS will automatically refund money to people who already filed their tax return reporting unemployment compensation.

The IRS will recompute any credits and deductions claimed on the original return. However, if the reduction of income now qualifies a taxpayer for a new credit not claimed on the original return, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), those taxpayers will need to file an amended tax return, Form 1040x, to claim the new credit. Taxpayers can see if they qualify for the EITC at IRS.gov.

Unemployment benefit recipients should have received a Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, from the agency paying the benefits. The form will show the amount of unemployment compensation they received in 2020 in Box 1, and any federal income tax withheld in Box 4.

Some states do not mail Form 1099-Gs. Taxpayers may need to get the electronic version from their state’s website.

Taxpayers who received an incorrect Form 1099-G for unemployment benefits they did not receive should contact the issuing state agency to request a revised Form 1099-G showing they did not receive these benefits.

Taxpayers who are unable to obtain a timely, corrected form from their state should still file an accurate tax return, reporting only the income they received. A corrected Form 1099-G showing zero unemployment benefits in cases of identity theft will help taxpayers avoid an unexpected federal tax bill for unreported income.

Additionally, if taxpayers are concerned that their personal information has been stolen and they want to protect their identity when filing their federal tax return, they can request an Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN) from the IRS.

Generally, by law, unemployment compensation must be included as income. Taxable benefits include any of the special unemployment compensation authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted in 2020.

If a taxpayer didn’t report income from gig work or unemployment compensation on a return, a corrected return can be filed using Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Form 1040-X can be filed electronically.

Taxpayers who owe but can’t pay in full always have options to seek help through payment plans and other tools from IRS.gov/payments.

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makethemostofyourmembership.gif

IRS PROVIDES INFORMATION ON 2020 UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

Mary:

The IRS has provided the following information regarding 2020 unemployment benefits and the 2021 tax filing season:

Unemployment benefits

A record number of Americans applied for unemployment compensation in 2020 due to the pandemic. Anyone who received unemployment benefits will need to report it on their tax returns.

However, the American Rescue Plan, enacted on March 11, 2021, excludes from income up to $10,200 ($20,400 if married filing jointly) of unemployment compensation received in 2020 for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income under qualifying thresholds. Any amount over $10,200 is still taxable for each person. To determine if payments received for being unemployed are taxable, see the Interactive Tax Assistant on IRS.gov.

For those who have already filed their 2020 tax return and paid taxes on the full amount of unemployment compensation before the law was passed, they should not file an amended return. The IRS will automatically refund money to people who already filed their tax return reporting unemployment compensation.

The IRS will recompute any credits and deductions claimed on the original return. However, if the reduction of income now qualifies a taxpayer for a new credit not claimed on the original return, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), those taxpayers will need to file an amended tax return, Form 1040x, to claim the new credit. Taxpayers can see if they qualify for the EITC at IRS.gov.

Unemployment benefit recipients should have received a Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, from the agency paying the benefits. The form will show the amount of unemployment compensation they received in 2020 in Box 1, and any federal income tax withheld in Box 4.

Some states do not mail Form 1099-Gs. Taxpayers may need to get the electronic version from their state’s website.

Taxpayers who received an incorrect Form 1099-G for unemployment benefits they did not receive should contact the issuing state agency to request a revised Form 1099-G showing they did not receive these benefits.

Taxpayers who are unable to obtain a timely, corrected form from their state should still file an accurate tax return, reporting only the income they received. A corrected Form 1099-G showing zero unemployment benefits in cases of identity theft will help taxpayers avoid an unexpected federal tax bill for unreported income.

Additionally, if taxpayers are concerned that their personal information has been stolen and they want to protect their identity when filing their federal tax return, they can request an Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN) from the IRS.

Generally, by law, unemployment compensation must be included as income. Taxable benefits include any of the special unemployment compensation authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted in 2020.

If a taxpayer didn’t report income from gig work or unemployment compensation on a return, a corrected return can be filed using Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Form 1040-X can be filed electronically.

Taxpayers who owe but can’t pay in full always have options to seek help through payment plans and other tools from IRS.gov/payments.

Of course if you have questions or need to file your taxes, contact our office by emailing support@mtaustinandassoc.com

Many Happy Returns!

Freedom from complicated PPP loan forgiveness applications if your loan was <=$50K

The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with Treasury, unveiled late in the evening of October 8 a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less.
“The PPP has provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to American small businesses, providing critical economic relief and supporting more than 51 million jobs,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an October 8 press release. “Today’s action streamlines the forgiveness process for PPP borrowers with loans of $50,000 or less and thousands of PPP lenders who worked around the clock to process loans quickly,” he added.  “We are committed to making the PPP forgiveness process as simple as possible while also protecting against fraud and misuse of funds.  We continue to favor additional legislation to further simplify the forgiveness process.” 

Notably, instructions for SBA Form 3608S state that the new application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. “Borrowers that use SBA Form 3508S are exempt from reductions in loan forgiveness amounts based on reductions in full-time equivalent (FTE) employees or in salaries or wages,” the instructions state. Additionally, SBA Form 3508S does not require borrowers to show the calculations used to determine the loan forgiveness amount, though SBA may request such information and related documents as part of its loan review process.
The PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Form 3508S can be accessed online along with instructions.  Download Form 3508s here.

If you need assistance with your PPP loan forgiveness application, don’t hesitate to contact our office by email:

support@mtaustinandassoc.com

Stay well!

Fight Procrastination Day! September 6th

September 6th was Fight Procrastination Day. Although we missed the opportunity to write something witty around the theme of procrastination, we want you to be proactive in keeping your personal and business finances in order. So, please make sure you meet these important tax deadlines if they apply to you or your business:

  • September 15 – Estimated Federal Quarterly Taxes
  • October 20 – Pennsylvania Quarterly Sales Taxes (July-September)
  • October 31 – Quarterly Employment Tax Payments for 3Q 2020 (July-September)

September also marks the end of the third quarter so if you prepare quarterly budgets now is the time to start preparing your 4th quarter budget.

The 2019 tax filing extension date, October 15th, is fast approaching, so don’t forget to provide your documentation by September 30, 2020. If you haven’t requested your secure portal yet, please email us. Please note if your information is not provided by September 30th, there will be an expediting fee of $100.We are also continuing to offer our free courses for a limited time:

We hope you will do as we say and not as we did and don’t procrastinate!

Mary T. Austin
CEO, MT Austin and Associates

Please check out our former issues of Financial Freedom Press and contact us if there is a question you have that we can cover in our next issue!

A Time to Recover

I’ve had to take some time to process all that has transpired this past week. The emotions, the traumatic videos, the grief, the worry and the racist actions and comments on social media all weigh heavy on me and my family. I am a black woman, the mother of a black son and daughter and George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s murders are my worse nightmare. It is even more terrifying than a nightmare because the probability of it coming true is greater for my children than those who identify white in this country. We are not only tired of the racism and inequalities we experience on a regular basis, the numerous videos of police and random citizens disrespecting black bodies, but we’re tired of feeling that we have to walk around in a world, constantly on eggshells among people who do not cherish us.

So, I’m not here to only write a letter of solidarity, but also of appreciation for my clients who continue to support MT Austin and Associates. Whether you patronize this business specifically because it is a 100% woman and black owned company, or irregardless of that fact, I appreciate your patience this past week as I took time to just be with my family, to step away from the fear, the sadness, the trauma and the heaviness of it all to find some moments of peace. I love seeing the voice of people all over the world speaking out against the injustices and demanding change and I applaud every act of protest seen and unseen.

Crowds gathering in the middle of a town, one person in the middle is holding a sign that reads "Black Lives Matter"
Photo by Kelly Lacy

We appreciate you, and join you in the continued fight for a country that is safe for all of us. If you’re still looking for a cause to support, consider signing a petition to bring justice to Breonna Taylor or fund an organization that helps black men reach their full potential.

Stay tuned as we plan to offer a few of our more popular classes and financial wellness webinars for FREE in order to support our clients as you recover from the COVID19 pandemic. Please visit, like and get notifications from our RESTORATION STATION FACEBOOK PAGE to be the first to know about the dates and classes we’re offering.

Until the next newsletter, stay safe, practice physical distancing, wear your masks and practice radical self care!

As always, we’re here for you!

Many Happy Returns,

MTA