May , 2020
AFSPA Partner


AFSPA Partner


The Stunning IRS Ruling That May Bankrupt Small Businesses That Took PPP Loans

The IRS just did something that stunned me. It pulled the rug out from under desperate small-business owners just as they were starting to get their feet under them.

It was about a month ago that I praised what I saw as one of the most comprehensive, beneficial acts of Congress in American history. With the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, I saw the federal government committing to what I committed to doing for my clients decades ago: help small businesses.

While not sold as a clear and free windfall, the drafters of CARES made it clear: Spend this money on the right things -- like keeping your employees on the payroll -- and keep your books in order, and any loans you receive under the program would be forgiven. It was a lifeline to small businesses when they needed it most. A way to defend them, and by virtue the U.S. economy, from mass extinction.

IRS Takes Action After-Hours
But now that lifeline is being yanked away. On April 30, late in the evening -- when few people were likely paying attention -- the IRS released guidance that essentially nullified much of the benefit of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created under the CARES Act. It stated that those who receive PPP may not receive tax deductions for using those funds to pay expenses. That includes expenses like payroll and rent, the very point of the PPP.
Read more at KIPLINGER

IN BRIEF: Payday lender drops COVID-19 loan program lawsuit after receiving loan

A California payday lender has dropped a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's bar on lenders receiving forgivable emergency small business loans in response to the coronavirus pandemic after a bank approved its loan application.

Payday Money Centers on Monday voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit it filed in April in federal court in Washington, D.C., without prejudice, allowing it potentially to sue again if the government refuses to forgive the Paycheck Protection Program loan.
Read more at REUTERS


US consumer borrowing fell for first time since 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. consumer borrowing fell in March for the first time in more than eight years, with the category covering credit cards dropping by the largest amount in over three decades, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.

The Fed's report is the latest sign of how the coronavirus pandemic is disrupting the U.S. economy.

Consumer borrowing declined by $12 billion in March, the first time overall debt has fallen since August 2011, according to the central bank. The decline in percentage terms was 3.4%.

Borrowing in the category that covers credit cards dropped by $28.2 billion or 30.9%, the biggest percentage decline since January 1989.
Read more at AP NEWS


Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis

States Posted Healthy Tax Gains in First Half of Budget Year
Tax revenue in the vast majority of states grew in the third and fourth quarters of 2019, bolstering states' coffers before their economies and finances were battered by the coronavirus pandemic. Tax dollars collected during this period, the first half of the budget year for most states, will help states offset annual budget gaps expected as a result of the public health emergency.

As the United States surpassed its longest economic recovery on record, total state tax revenue at the end of the third quarter of 2019 was at its highest level since just before falling during the 2007-09 recession. Collections were 17.1% above their 2008 peak, just before revenue plunged, after adjusting for inflation and averaging across four quarters to smooth seasonal fluctuations. Inflation-adjusted tax revenue was higher in 44 states than it was more than 10 years ago.

Receipts continued to grow in the fourth quarter of 2019-and at least through February-based on the latest available estimates from the Urban Institute.
Read more at The Pew Charitable Trusts

Dreher Tomkies LLP

MISSOURI: Without public hearing, bill to benefit Missouri payday lenders reaches Parson's desk

A bill that could give Missouri payday lenders the opportunity to trap borrowers in a cycle of debt under a different name has reached Gov. Mike Parson's desk.

With no hearing or public scrutiny because of limited access to the Capitol building, the bill was rushed through both chambers shortly after April 27, the day the legislature returned to resume a session already truncated by the novel coronavirus.

There was no indication Tuesday whether Parson would sign or veto the bill.

The measure would prohibit local governments from levying fees on traditional installment lenders, if those fees aren't also applied to other banking entities.
Read more at MSN


Mortgage and housing assistance during the coronavirus national emergency


WASHINGTON, D.C. - To ensure homeowners and renters have the most up to date and accurate housing assistance information during the COVID-19 national emergency, today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched the new mortgage and housing assistance website

CFPB, FHFA and HUD are offering extensive CARES Act assistance and protection for Americans having trouble paying their mortgage or rent during the COVID-19 national health emergency.
Read more at CFPB


Need To Deposit Your Stimulus Check But Don't Have A Bank Account?

For weeks, I've been fielding questions from taxpayers who were hoping to have their stimulus checks applied to pre-paid debit or benefits cards. That is the case for some taxpayers, but most taxpayers have only two options: direct deposit or paper check. Both of them require access to a bank account or a check-cashing service.

There's just one problem: not all taxpayers have bank accounts.

According to the Federal Reserve, there were 55 million unbanked or underbanked adult Americans in 2018. That's about one in five U.S. households. Unbanked adults are those who do not have bank accounts, while the underbanked are those that may have a bank account but also rely on an alternative like a check cashing service, payday loan, or tax refund advance loan.
Read more at FORBES

Almost half of America is now carrying credit card debt, and more of it

  • 47% of Americans are carrying credit card debt, according to a survey from
  • Almost one-quarter (23%) of card holders have added to their credit balance as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The millennial generation has been hit the hardest by unemployment, lack of savings and two recessions during their relatively short career arcs.
  • Up to 40% of Americans can't pay more than the minimum, and they should be seeking relief directly from credit card companies

Nearly half (47%) of U.S. adults, or about 120 million people, currently have credit card debt, up from 43% reported in early March, according to a new report from
Read more at CNBC


Credit unions' appetite for banks 'paused' amid pandemic

COVID-19 brought a torrid pace of acquisitions to a halt, with CEOs preoccupied and sellers fighting slumping value. But an M&A attorney expects deals to "heat right up" when the outbreak clears.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a chilling effect on credit union-buying-bank deals so far this year after those transactions spiked in 2019.

A record 16 credit union deals for banks were announced last year, shattering the previous high of nine in 2018.

But only two credit unions have announced bank acquisitions in 2020. The $5.6 billion-asset Wings Financial Credit Union in Apple Valley, Minnesota, agreed in February to buy $224 million-asset, Mora, Minnesota-based Neighborhood National Bank, and Tinker Federal Credit Union in Oklahoma City last week agreed to buy Prime Bank of Edmond, Oklahoma. The $4.4 billion-asset Tinker did not disclose the price it paid for the $285 million-asset Prime.
Read more at BANKING DIVE

Visa further delays swipe-fee changes until April 2021

UPDATE: May 7, 2020: Visa is delaying until April 2021 the swipe-fee changes it had previously put off until July, with the exception of "planned interchange reductions in the supermarket segment," the card network said Tuesday in a blog post.

Separately, American Express and Visa each confirmed they are extending through April 2021 a deadline for U.S. gas stations to upgrade fuel pumps so they accept credit and debit cards with EMV chips. Card networks initially rejected a request to delay the compliance date, which had already been pushed back by several years.
Read more at BANKING DIVE


Expert tips on how to cope with the coronavirus-related money stressors keeping Americans up at night

  • Nearly half of U.S. adults have reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
  • A new NFCC survey finds situations that immensely exacerbate financial worries include not having enough savings, losing a job and the inability to pay debts.
  • Many large health insurance companies as well as Medicare have increased their capacity and coverage for telehealth visits with mental health providers.

Millions of Americans are coping with stress and anxiety as they deal with the fear and reality of death and disease due to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the economic fallout as a result of Covid-19.
Read more at CNBC


We have cashed over 40,000 Coronavirus U.S. Treasury Stimulus Checks,
at No Charge to our Customers.

Supporting our communities in tough times is a commitment we don't take lightly. These are some of the most challenging times many of us have ever experienced, and Amscot has been there to help. To date, we have cashed over 40,000 Coronavirus U.S. Treasury Stimulus Checks, totaling $70 million at no charge for our customers.
Read more



Alternative Financial Service Providers Association

315 Tuscarora St., Lewiston, NY 14092