Nebraska is Offering New Grant Programs – Applications Open 10/21

SECOND ROUND OF GRANTS AVAILABLE TO NEBRASKANS! APPLICATIONS OPEN AT 10 AM WEDNESDAY 10/21

APPLY HERE

The Governor announced that Nebraska will award a second round of grants to use remaining funds from the states coronavirus relief grant. This round of grants will be offered to a larger variety of groups, including small businesses, farmers, bars, restaurants, salons, event centers, hotels, movie theaters and more!

Grant Specifics:

The second round of grants will be awarded within the following programs:
Community CARES Grant Program: $48.5 million funds to assist non-profits and care providers

Business and Livestock Producer Stabilization Grant Program: First-come, first-serve basis, $25 million to eligible business and ag producers who have not yet received assistance

Targeted programs that include direct-payment grants will be available for:
Restaurants and Bars – $20 million
Cosmetic, Massage, and Body Art Services – $22 million
Event Centers and Sports Arenas – $20 million
Hotels and Convention Centers – $34 million
Ethanol Producers – $15 million
Zoos – $6.05 million
Movie Theaters – $3.2 million
Apply Here!
Key Points:
Don’t wait to apply! Some grants are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Applications are open from 10 AM, Wednesday, October 21st until November 13th.
Funds to be dispersed by December 30th.
Wednesday, October 21st, agents can be reached from 10 AM – 7 PM CT to help with questions you might have regarding funding. 
(The toll-free number to reach agents will be released on this site at that time.)
After October 22nd, the agents will be available Monday through Friday 7 AM – 7 PM CT.
A PDF from the State of Nebraska with grant program details is available here.

For any questions or assistance, please reach out to your McMill CPAs & Advisors representative.

sources: https://coronavirus.nebraska.gov/Programs&Grants
https://www.wowt.com/2020/10/19/live-at-10-am-gov-ricketts-gives-nebraska-growth-update/
https://www.3newsnow.com/news/local-news/live-ne-gov-pete-ricketts-holds-news-conference

Market Update Webinar – VIEW RECORDING NOW!

Dimensional Fund Advisors Vice President, Apollo Lupescu, PhD and Jared Faltys, CPA/PFS have a round table on the current status of the economy and the market, including perspectives on election implications.

During a year of COVID and an election, many people may be feeling a variety of emotions. Any time you make emotional decisions, they tend not to be in your best interest. Acknowledge those emotions, but try to set them aside when making investing decisions.

VIEW THE RECORDED WEBINAR

Recorded October 9

FAFSA for 2021-2022 Academic Year Opens on October 1

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2021-2022 year opens on October 1, 2020. The FAFSA is a prerequisite for federal student loans, grants, and work-study. In addition, colleges typically require the FAFSA before distributing their own need-based aid and, in some cases, merit-based aid.

Students must submit the FAFSA every year to be eligible for financial aid (along with any other college-specific financial aid form that may be required,  such as the CSS Profile). It is a good idea to file the FAFSA as early as possible in the fall because some aid programs operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Colleges have their own deadlines for filing the FAFSA,  generally in the spring. Typically, first-year students have earlier deadlines than returning students. Check with your child’s college for exact timetables.

How does the FAFSA calculate financial need?

The FAFSA looks at a family’s income, assets, and household information to calculate its EFC, or expected family contribution. The EFC is the amount of money a family is deemed able to pay (afford) for college. All financial aid packages are built around this number.

When quantifying your income, the FAFSA uses information in  your tax return from two years prior. This year is often referred to as the “base year” or the “prior-prior year.” For example, the 2021-2022 FAFSA  will use income information in  your 2019 tax return, so 2019 would be the base year or prior-prior year.

When quantifying your assets, the FAFSA uses the current value of your assets. Some assets are not counted and do not need to be listed on the FAFSA: home equity in a primary residence, retirement accounts (e.g., 401k, IRA), annuities, and cash value life insurance. Student assets are weighted more heavily than parent assets — students must contribute 20% of their assets vs. 5.6% for parents.

Your income, assets, and household information are run through a formula to arrive at your EFC. Your EFC remains constant, no matter which college your child attends. The difference between your EFC and a college’s cost of attendance equals your child’s financial need. Your child’s financial need will be different at every school.

Once your EFC is calculated, the financial aid administrator at your child’s school will attempt to craft an aid package to meet your child’s financial need by offering a combination of loans, grants, scholarships, and/or work-study. Keep in mind that colleges are not obligated to meet 100% of your child’s financial need.

How do I submit the FAFSA?

The fastest and easiest way to submit the FAFSA is online at fafsa.ed.gov. To do so, you and your child will each need to obtain an FSA ID, which you can also do online by following the instructions. (Once you have an FSA ID, you can use the same one each  year.) There is no cost to submit the FAFSA.

Before filling out the form, you might want to gather financial papers and account records. In most cases the FAFSA is able to import information from your  tax return directly into the form using its built-in IRS Data Retrieval Tool, saving you time and reducing the chance for mistakes.

After your FAFSA is processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report with your EFC, which is typically designated like this: “EFC36000” (translation: your EFC is $36,000). If you submit the FAFSA online, you will receive your report immediately via email; if you submit a paper FAFSA, your report will take longer to arrive by mail. Any college you list on the FAFSA will also get a copy of the report.

Should I file the FAFSA even if my child is unlikely to qualify for  aid?

Even if you don’t expect your child to qualify for need-based aid, there may be two reasons to submit the FAFSA.

First, all students attending college at least half-time are eligible for a federal unsubsidized Direct Loan each year, regardless of financial need. (“Unsubsidized” means the borrower, rather than the federal government, pays the interest that accrues during school and during the grace period and any deferment periods after graduation.) If you want your child to be eligible for this federal loan, you need  to submit the FAFSA. And don’t worry, your child won’t be locked in to taking out the loan. If you submit the FAFSA and then decide you don’t need or want the federal unsubsidized loan, your child can decline the loan through his or her college financial aid portal before the start of the  new school year.

Second, colleges typically require the FAFSA when distributing their own need-based aid and, in some cases, merit-based aid. So filing it can give your child the broadest opportunity to be eligible for college-based aid.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES
Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, legal, or retirement advice or recommendations. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances.
To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable — we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2020

ImagiNE Nebraska Act

Is expansion in the future for your business located within the State of Nebraska?  
Nebraska passed LB 1107 ImagiNE Nebraska Act on August 17, 2020 to help businesses grow their workforce and/or invest major funds into buildings or equipment.   

This incentive program will replace the 2005 Nebraska Advantage Act which is currently in place. There is an opportunity to grandfather in under the Old Act, but you must do so by December 31, 2020. There are pros and cons to both Acts.  

The new Act can provide dollars back to you in the form of wage credits, tax credits, sales tax refunds and personal property tax exemptions depending on what you qualify for.   

Credits and refunds are limited each calendar year. Approval of applications and credits/refunds will be done on a first-come, first-serve basis. It may be advantageous to file applications and credit/refund claims as early as possible.  
Have you reviewed your debt structure recently?

Interest rates are at historic lows – don’t miss this opportunity to work with your local banker on potential restructuring! 

Call us at (402) 371-1160 to discuss these topics or other business needs!

Payroll tax holiday for employees—pros and cons for the business owner

In response to the stalemate, on August 8, the president signed four executive actions including the presidential memorandum to allow employees to defer certain payroll tax obligations.

The memorandum directs the Treasury Secretary to use his authority to defer the withholding, deposit and payment of employees’ 6.2% Social Security tax for wages or compensation paid between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. Also, the deferral is limited to any employees whose wages or compensation is generally less than $4,000 payable during any biweekly pay period. Finally, the memo directs the Treasury to explore avenues, including legislation, to eliminate the obligation to pay the deferred taxes.

IRS Notice 2020-65 answers some of the questions but leaves many issues open. As of today, we know the following:

  • An employer’s responsibility to withhold and deposit Social Security taxes on wages and compensation paid between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31 is postponed until Jan. 1, 2021.
  • The amount deferred would be withheld and deposited (paid) ratably from wages and compensation paid from Jan. 1, 2021, through April 30, 2021.
  • If necessary (e.g., if an employee leaves before paying back the deferred taxes), an employer “may make arrangements” to otherwise collect the tax.

Considerations and next steps:

  • The deferral is optional to employers.
  • Consider the implementation costs, including reprogramming now and again in January.
  • Consider the implications of employees who may leave before the deferred tax is repaid. For example, how to handle retirements, maternity or paternity leaves, or employees who switch jobs?
  • Consider employee implications.
    • Postponement now will give workers more take-home pay, but starting Jan. 1, the postponed amount comes due. That means the employer would basically double the 6.2% withholding during the payment period. For employees that cease employment, the entire amount likely comes due.
    • The memorandum directs the Treasury Secretary to consider forgiveness of the deferred amount; however, forgiveness is up to Congress.
    • Some employees may be disappointed if an employer opts out. Clear and complete communications with employees should be offered to mitigate this problem.
  • The notice places the responsibility of payment of the deferred amounts on the shoulders of the employer. If the employer does not pay in the deferred amounts by April 30, 2021, they will be subject to interest and penalties, including the onerous “trust fund recovery penalty.” In addition, the “responsible party” rules allow the IRS to collect unpaid taxes from corporate officers, partnership members, employees and other people responsible for collecting and depositing taxes withheld.
  • Each company should make a decision that is best suited to their circumstances after considering conversations with liability carriers.

source: https://blog.aicpa.org/2020/09/employee-payroll-tax-deferral-is-it-workable.html#sthash.16aCM58n.A1oox53j.dpbs?utm_source=mnl:cpald&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=04Sep2020

Clint Weeder is Recognized as a 40 Under Forty Honoree

McMill CPAs & Advisors is pleased to announce that Clint Weeder has been recognized as a 2020 “40 Under Forty” honoree by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA). The 40 Under Forty program recognizes emerging leaders for their past accomplishments and their contributions yet to come.

Clint is a shareholder at McMill CPAs & Advisors, as well as the firm’s leading business valuator. Clint is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA). Even though Clint has made the annual “40 Under Forty” list, he already possesses over 13 years of experience specializing in investment advisory services, tax planning, tax compliance, and consulting for individuals and businesses.

In addition to his extensive experience, clients are consistently impressed by his personable character and willingness to go above and beyond. With a passion for educating and helping his clients be successful, Clint provides efficient, accurate, trustworthy and expert advice which his clients have come to expect.

Professional affiliations include memberships to the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Nebraska Society of CPAs, Clint is also a member of National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA). Outside of the firm, he pursues community enrichment through his membership in the Knights of Columbus and is currently serving as confirmation instructor in his local parish. He also enjoys taking in all the school and sporting events of his three kids.

“We are very proud of Clint and his accomplishments. This recognition is a tribute to his outstanding client service and commitment to the industry,” said Jared Faltys, partner at McMill CPAs & Advisors. “It is an honor to work with someone like Clint, who is dedicated to his family, community and clients.”

Special Edition Lemonade Camp 2020!

McMill CPAs & Advisors is proud to announce the success of Lemonade Camp 2020!  We are thankful for the community support of our two lemonade stand finalists who collectively raised over $1,400 for their selected charities, Christ Lutheran School and the Animal Shelter of Northeast Nebraska.  Both lemonade stands will also have a portion of their earnings matched by the firm to be included with their donation, bringing the total donation to over $1,900!

What a fantastic opportunity for the youth of our community to be encouraged to put their entrepreneurial skills to work, get a taste of what it’s like to run a small business, and have fun while doing so.

Every year, McMill CPAs & Advisors hosts an educational Lemonade Camp at our building in downtown Norfolk. Due to this years’ special circumstances, Lemonade Camp had a twist! This year, we encouraged kids to host their own lemonade stand. Because the money earned at Lemonade Camp is donated back to a charity every year, we wanted to keep that tradition going by allowing youth to create individual stands within their own neighborhoods.

The results were amazing!  Way to go Blaire, Gracyn, Sophia, Jonah, and Ruby!  Look what you can accomplish when you get your minds thinking and you let your community know what you’re working towards.  You’re all on your way to bright futures and financial literacy!

Check out photos from the stands on our website or Facebook page. We are looking forward to Lemonade Camp 2021!

IRS Backlog & Possible Incorrect Late Payment Notices

Did you receive a letter from the IRS with a late payment notice? You are not alone.

The IRS has begun mailing backlogged letters and notices as it returns to normal operations. Many of these are being mailed with past due payment or response dates due to IRS delays. We are finding many of these notices to be incorrect.  

According to the IRS, over 20 million notices have been mailed since early June, with a fraction of these being incorrect due to delays.

If you received a past due payment notice, despite your payment being made on time, or IRS correspondence, please reach out to us at 402-371-1160, and our team will assist you.  

source: https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/news/2020/aug/irs-check-processing-backlog-incorrect-notices.html

Important Reminder about Applying for COVID-19 Grants

DED Issues Important Reminder about Applying for COVID-19 Grants for Small Businesses, Livestock Producers
There are two major steps to completing an application. After filling out an online eligibility form, those who are eligible will receive a confirmation email containing a confirmation number and a link to the full application. You are not finished applying at this point. You must use the link to then complete a full application. Those who do not complete a full application will not receive a grant.    

Visit https://getnebraskagrowing.nebraska.gov for more information or to begin the eligibility confirmation and application process. Call the Get Nebraska Growing hotline at 855-264-6858 if you encounter technical difficulties.  

Remember that there is still time to apply for each of the grant programs listed and described below, which are intended to provide support and assistance to Nebraskans negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

· The Small Business Stabilization Grant Program provides grants to small businesses of 5-49 employees that were impacted by the coronavirus and meet certain eligibility requirements. Applications are due on June 26 at 5:00 p.m. CDT.  

· The Livestock Producer Stabilization Grant Program provides grants to eligible livestock producers of 1-10 employees that have endured revenue or employment losses due to the pandemic. Grants for both programs can be used to cover business operating expenses. Applications are due on July 1 at 5:00 p.m. CDT.   

· The Workforce Retraining Initiative will provide funds to all of the state’s community colleges for scholarships and workforce training enhancements. In turn, the community colleges will award scholarships to individuals who are unemployed or underemployed due to the coronavirus, in order to prepare them for employment in high-demand career fields. Prospective students will be able to apply for the scholarships online through Nebraska community college websites starting in July. More information is forthcoming.  

· The Rural Broadband Remote Access Grant Program will result in new internet connectivity in communities where work-from-home, tele-education and telehealth opportunities have been limited due to inadequate or non-existent high-speed internet service. Broadband providers, with the support of local community officials, can apply for the grants through July 2, 2020.   

· The Gallup Back to Business Learning Journey will fund admission to a Gallup-led leadership training course for a total of 75-100 leaders from eligible small businesses. The course promotes skills that will help businesses refocus and thrive following the pandemic. Businesses can apply through July 2, 2020.

source: https://getnebraskagrowing.nebraska.gov/