After a somewhat torturous journey to becoming law, HR 133, Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, was signed late on December 27, 2020. It is a massive piece of legislation covering much ground. Notably, it includes both coronavirus relief as well as the appropriation portion to keep the government running for the next fiscal year. The law includes direct economic impact payments of $600/each as well as temporary extension of supplemental unemployment relief. Further, it includes Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan expansion.
employee benefit plan,
Paid Family and Medical Leave,
cafeteria plan relief,
mental health parity,
On Dec. 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act (the Act) that had been passed with overwhelming majorities in both Houses of Congress on December 21. Trump delayed the signing as he pursued, with the approval of Democratic members of Congress, an increase in the amount of Recovery Rebate checks from $600 to $2,000. Without explanation or fanfare, the President signed the bill to the surprise of members of both parties. On Dec. 28, the House passed a stand-alone bill to increase the stimulus payments to $2,000, but with voting along party lines it is expected to die in the Senate.
Charitable contribution planning,
Paid Family Leave,
Paycheck Protection Program,
Employee Payroll Tax Deferral,
Consolidated Appropriations Act
The 9th Annual New England State & Local Tax Forum took place online and ran through November 17-19, 2020. Due to the unprecedented year we are having due to COVID-19, the Forum’s Joint Boards made the decision to convert the 2020 live conference in Newton to a virtual conference. This year the Forum was held over three consecutive afternoons for 2 hours each day. Each year, the Forum provides the opportunity to learn about new developments in the area of tax law.
sales and use tax,
state and local tax (SALT),
new england state and local tax,
New England SALT Forum
On Nov. 18, 2020, the IRS weighed in on whether expenses used to support Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness are deductible, assuming the forgiveness occurs in the year after the expenses are incurred. In Rev. Rul. 2020-27, the IRS doubled down on its previous position by holding that expenses incurred in the year prior to forgiveness are also nondeductible.
PPP Loan Forgiveness,
Payment Protection Program
The IRS and the Social Security Administration have released 2021 inflation-adjusted figures for more than 50 tax provisions. In addition to a 1.3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security beneficiaries, details about adjustments to tax rate schedules, exemptions, and various thresholds for deductions and credits were announced. The tax year 2021 adjustments generally are used on tax returns filed in 2022.
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,
For much of 2020, internal audit departments have tested controls using attributes to facilitate work-from-home (WFH) arrangements. As the year and internal audit work for many organizations comes to a close, reconciling if the controls adjusted for remote work arrangements will pass external audit scrutiny is top of mind for many CFOs and internal audit professionals.
work from home
On Dec. 7, 2020, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) began accepting applications for a new round of the Center’s Life Sciences Tax Incentive Program, which offers tax incentives to companies engaged in life sciences research and development, commercialization and manufacturing in Massachusetts. The Program, part of the state’s Life Sciences Initiative, is approved to award up to $30 million in tax incentives each year (up from $25 million for periods prior to Jan. 1, 2019). The primary goal of the program is to incentivize life sciences companies to create new sustained jobs in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Life Sciences Tax Incentive Program