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Changes Due to the Coronavirus

Greetings!

The first day of spring has been the last thing on the minds of many as the country and world brace for the coronavirus. In an effort to provide a financial backstop for individuals and the economy, state and federal governments have been implementing new policies and changes to existing timelines.

So far there have been changes to tax filing deadlines, student loan payments, leave from work, and unemployment insurance.

Tax Changes

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) have a website in place to help people keep updated with changes to tax deadlines. You can visit the link here.

As I’m writing this, we’ve already seen the IRS push the tax payment deadline to July 15th. Maryland is also July 15th, California moved to June 15th, and Virginia to May 1st (although all states could now be July 15th to mirror the change from the IRS). While sites such as the AICPA’s are helpful, we always suggest looking at the government agency’s website for the most current and accurate information.

If you are expecting a refund, the timeline on that should stay the same unless the agencies are required to close for a period of time. We recommend that you contact your CPA and government agency to see how these changes could impact you.

If you had scheduled an automatic payment for your 2019 state or federal taxes due and/or your first quarterly payment of 2020, talk with your CPA to confirm that you may wait until July 15th to make your payments. If you can defer those payments, you can call the IRS at 1-888-353-4537 to cancel your April payment. You will need to make separate arrangements for your July payments or any penalties due in April.

Student Loan Payments

The federal government is also easing the stress on student loan borrowers by waiving interest due on federal loans for at least the next 60 days. The monthly payment amount does not change if you continue your payments. If you make payments, they will first cover any interest or late payments due prior to March 13th. Any payments going forward go directly to paying down the loan’s principal. Contact your loan servicing company to determine if your loan qualifies and how making payments or delaying payments could impact you long term.

Visit the federal student aid site for additional information.

Paid Time Off & Unemployment

Many small and medium-sized businesses do not offer paid sick leave for their employees. With recent legislation, companies with fewer than 500 employees now must offer sick leave to help those effected by the coronavirus. If you’re an employee of a firm in this category and cannot go to work, contact your HR department for more information about paid sick leave.

If you’re one of the many who are likely to lose their jobs as a result of the economic slowdown, the government has also stepped in to help strengthen unemployment benefits. If you have lost your job or if you’re worried you might, please contact us right away to discuss your options.

Scammers

Unfortunately, during times of fear and panic, scammers step up their efforts. Because people are at an emotional peak and their minds are elsewhere, they become more susceptible to scams and phishing. Help keep yourself safe by using the same precautions you would normally use when opening emails and online links.

Here’s more information about how to help protect yourself from being scammed.

Please keep in mind that things are changing at lightning speed. The above information could change by the time you read this newsletter. Talk with your CPA, lender, and government agencies to confirm their policies and to see how these changes could impact you.

We will continue to keep clients posted of changes as we learn of them. Contact our office with any questions you might have.

The opinions voiced in this material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice to any individual. Consult your legal, tax, and/or financial advisor to determine what is appropriate for your situation.

Family

As are most kids, Elise has been home from school for the past week. Heidi, Elise, and often Roxy, have been making the best of the time by exploring the woods behind our new home. Moving from the city to a rural area will be a significant change of pace; we’re excited to see how well Elise is adapting to the change. Although the coronavirus is delaying our move, it’s allowing Elise to have more outdoor and creative time than she would have had at school.

Earlier this month, we took Elise to her first school dance. All kids, K-5, were invited to bring their favorite adult (or two). We were surprised by how many children Elise’s age attended the dance. While most kids spent their time on or around the dance floor, Elise spent her time much like I did in my high school years-as a trouble maker. Earlier in the day, Elise and her friends hatched a plan to sneak down the hallway, get into their classroom, and put hearts and other decorations around the room. After they were done their mischief, they were going to play. Unfortunately, their plan was foiled by a locked hallway door. I think they spent over half the evening trying to figure out ways to open the door. I enjoyed watching her interact with her friends and was pleased that I got one dance out of her.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s newsletter!

Best Wishes,

Woody Derricks, CFP®, ADPA®

President

CA Insurance License #0C40217

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