Action Plan for Dealing with Covid-19 (as of today)

We know that every news conference, headline and new development is overwhelming you about what you should be doing for your practice and team.

What are the best steps to take while your practice is either shut down or limited to emergency care only?

Based on the information available today at 8:00 AM, Monday, March 23, 2020 (just to let you know how fast it is changing), we recommend the following:

-   Contact your banker.  We have already recommended this. If you haven’t, please call them TODAY and discuss options.
-          Consider applying for the SBA Disaster Relief Loan.  As of today, this is your best option if you have already exhausted your other loan options with your lenders. However, the stimulus package which should be voted on this week by Congress may have better and easier options. We just don’t know right now.

If you choose to apply for this loan or any loan (and some of our dentists are in the process), we encourage you to apply for a loan that is large enough to cover all practice overhead, loans and necessary distributions (for you) for up to 6 months. You may not need it but it can be repaid if you don’t.

                Here is the link to the SBA :  

-       Contact your credit card company. Some credit card companies are offering $0 minimum payment and 0% interest for a month or more. This may be a way to better leverage the cash on hand if the payment can be delayed.

-        Contac t your landlord, supply company and labs which represent your larger expenditures. Ask these vendors for payment options during the time the practice has limited operations.

-        Contact your health insurance broker. It is VERY important that you follow the rules regarding how health insurance is handled during a layoff or significantly reduced hours. Since the rules are ever changing given the current situation, we strongly recommend that you talk with your insurance broker (at the level of management who will understand these changing rules and protect you!). We also recommend you continue to pay for health insurance for the employees and your family unless your broker advises you otherwise. This may not be required but it will go a long way to help your team.

-         Stop all owner payroll for corporations.  If you need to take money from the practice to live on, withdraw it as a loan from the corporation or a distribution. Do not run your pay through payroll in order to save both the payroll fees, retirement contributions and payroll taxes at this time. We think it will be easier to get disaster relief if the practice owners are not on payroll.

-       Guide your team to file for unemployment, even if they are working reduced hours.  Each state has different rules so we highly encourage speaking with an employment lawyer if you have trouble navigating through the website or information. Employees working reduced hours, since they are helping with emergencies, may still qualify for unemployment.

South Carolina:
North Carolina:

-           Paid leave for your team. We are still waiting on more clarification on the 2 nd bill that passed on March 18th to see if dental offices and employers with less than 50 employees will be excluded.

-         July 15 th Federal Tax Deadline.  Even though the filing deadlines and payments have been extended to July 15 th , please send your tax information as soon as possible. If you have a refund coming to you, we want to help you get your money as soon as possible. If you owe, you will have until July 15 th to pay but we would like to help you budget that liability. In the past, if you had your refund applied to cover future tax liabilities we are recommending you instead get a refund to help with cash flow.

-      Do not worry about First Quarter Estimates at this time.  They are also extended (and we are assuming Second Quarter Estimates are too but we do not know).

-           We will be issuing more guidance on state filings soon.    

-       Donating supplies and inventory to hospitals and emergency responders is extremely helpful in this time of crisis.  Unfortunately, you do not receive an additional deduction for doing so since you have already deducted the expense when you purchased it. We encourage you to generously contribute to your community’s health if you can. 

-    Stay in contact with your trusted advisers.  You chose your accountants, attorneys and other advisers for a reason. Now is the time to lean on them and seek their advice.

-           Sign the ADA petition to urge Congress to include dentists in the Covid-19 relief packages.  The ADA is asking Congress to help dentists with loans, student loan debt deferrals, deferring or eliminating payroll taxes and other business-related relief. Please sign the petition at the following link and urge your colleagues to do the same:

We will continue to update you as information becomes available. Stay safe, healthy and sane!