May 28, 2020
Nebraska Department of Revenue Revises FAQ
on Income Tax Changes Due to COVID-19
The Nebraska Department of Revenue has posted revised Frequently Asked Questions about income tax changes due to COVID-19. The FAQ includes information about reporting and remitting income tax withholding for employees who are working remotely .

Effects of CARES Act on Nebraska's Tax Revenue
This Nebraska Department of Revenue report summarizes the major provisions of the CARES Act and its impact on Nebraska tax receipts. The report discusses changes from the CARES Act that affect Nebraska individual income tax receipts and Nebraska business income tax receipts. Unless otherwise noted, the provisions addressed in this report are effective for tax year 2020 only.

NDOR: Calculating Employment Levels for Alternative Employment Arrangements
The Nebraska Department of Revenue has posted a new General Information Letter (GIL) as a result of questions concerning how the Department will treat various alternative employment arrangements, made necessary by COVID-19 and related directed health measures, for purposes of calculating the number of new employees under the Nebraska Advantage Act.

PPP Forgiveness Guidance Issued by Treasury & SBA
Late last week, the U.S. Treasury and SBA released updated guidance that clarifies parts of the Paycheck Protection Program as it relates to the loan forgiveness process. Updates include, but are not limited to:
  • Implementing alternative methods to determine the eight-week payment period;
  • Clarifying when non-payroll costs must be paid; and
  • Employers' ability to reduce the number of full-time equivalent employees if an employee declines a good faith offer to return to work at the same pay rate and hours as before being furloughed or laid off.

The guidance does not extend the eight-week payment period or amend the 75% payroll cost clause, but those may be addressed in forthcoming legislation.

PPP FAQs (Updated May 27, 2020)
House Passes PPP Flexibility Act of 2020,
Senate Bill Introduced
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 417-1 today to pass the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 , which provides the following: 
  • Expands the eight-week forgiveness period;
  • Eliminates non-payroll expense restrictions;
  • Extends the repayment period to a minimum maturity of five years after application for forgiveness with a remaining balance;
  • Provides access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that received PPP loans; and
  • Extends the rehiring deadline to align with expiration of enhanced Unemployment Insurance benefits. 
The bill was introduced by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Dean Phillips (D-MN).

In the Senate, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), respective Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business Committee, last week introduced their own PPP reform bill (S. 3833) that would give businesses up to 16 weeks to use the loans instead of eight weeks, among other changes. The Senate has indicated it will likely vote next week on S. 3833. Following that, a compromise bill will have to be negotiated between the House and Senate before a final vote.

Related PPP Links
USDA Details Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will provide direct payment support to farmers who have sustained losses due to price declines and market supply chain disruption as a result of the pandemic. Eligible commodities include but are not limited to: corn, soybeans, cattle, sheep, dairy, hogs, and other specialty crops.

Local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices are accepting applications now through August 28.

AICPA Advances CPA Evolution, Changes to UAA Model Rules Exposed for Comment
The AICPA Council voted to advance CPA Evolution, an effort to design and implement a new approach to CPA licensure that positions the profession for the future. The NASBA Board of Directors will be asked to pass a companion vote of support in July.

As part of the CPA Evolution initiative, NASBA and AICPA have determined that the UAA Model Rules around educational requirements for licensure need to be updated to create more consistency and flexibility. Those changes are currently exposed for public comment. The proposed Model Rule changes would:
  • Align the UAA Model Rules with what many state boards of accountancy are already requiring today;
  • Recognize the large role technology plays in the CPA profession today;
  • Help students in their pursuit of 150 credit hours by expanding the number of credit hours that can be earned through internships; and
  • Clarify the role that accreditation plays when a state board of accountancy is reviewing a candidate’s transcript.

Directed Health Measures for June
Governor Pete Ricketts announced new directed health measures (DHMs) that take effect on June 1, 2020. “Phase I” reopening DHMs will apply to the Central District Health Department (Hall, Hamilton, and Merrick counties) and Dakota County. “Phase II” reopening DHMs, which are less restrictive, will apply to the rest of Nebraska.

More Information!