June 2020
Tax Deadline in Sight as State Moves into Phase 3
As the extended tax deadline of July 15 moves closer, the state of Illinois is moving into Stage 3 of the Reopening Plan. For more information about the gradual re-opening of the various types of businesses throughout Illinois, click here .

We continue to work remotely. From tax preparation (in what may be the longest tax season ever) to employee benefit plan audits and accounting services, our team is working at full speed.

This is a time for us to help our clients not only with tax planning but also with financial projections. For many business owners this has been a rocky time, requiring them to pivot not only in how they operate but how to manage and project their finances. Individuals may want to have a second pair of eyes review their portfolios. Do you have any issues or concerns? Please let us know how we can help.
MMA & Co. Lands on "Best Places to Work 2020" List
Mathieson, Moyski, Austin & Co., LLP, was recently named as one of the 2020 Best Places to Work in Illinois. The awards program began in 2006 and is promoted by the Daily Herald Business Ledger in partnership with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, MRA‐The Management Association, the Small Business Advocacy Council and Best Companies Group.

This statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Illinois, benefiting the state's economy, workforce and businesses. The 2020 Best Places to Work in Illinois list is made up of 39 companies in the small employer category (15‐99 U.S. employees), 19 companies in the medium employer category (100‐499 U.S. employees), and 15 companies in the large employer category (500 or more U.S. employees). Mathieson, Moyski, Austin & Co., LLP has been named one of the Best Places to Work in Illinois in the small employer category.

Companies from across the state entered the two‐part process to determine the Best Places to Work in Illinois. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking.

"We're proud to be recognized and have to commend our team members who completed the surveys," said Ronald D. Austin, CPA, managing partner of MMA & Co. "The evaluation is weighted heavily on the employee survey. It's rewarding to know that our efforts to build and maintain a great workplace are affirmed by our team."

Special thanks to Jennifer Grealish, our firm administrator, for doing the behind-the-scenes work required to complete our nomination form for this program. We all look forward to being back together to celebrate this milestone.
Insights into Employee Retention Credit:
Here's a little-noticed provision in the CARES Act
One of the key components of the new Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has largely flown under the radar. The new law authorizes a tax credit—a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax bill— to eligible employers that retain workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Background: The employee retention credit equals 50% of the qualified wages an
employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020 and before January 1, 2021. Eligible
employers can benefit immediately by reducing payroll tax deposits that are otherwise
due. Furthermore, if an employer’s current payroll tax deposits are not sufficient to cover
the credit, it can obtain an advance payment from the IRS.

Only the first $10,000 of wages paid to an employee during the designated time frame
qualifies for the credit. As a result, the maximum credit is limited to $5,000 per
employee—still a significant amount.
A business is eligible to claim the employee retention credit if either of these requirements are met during any calendar quarter:
  • It fully or partially suspends operations during any calendar quarter because of government orders limiting commerce, travel or group meetings due to the COVID-19 outbreak; or
  • It experiences a significant decline in gross receipts. For this purpose, a “significant decline” occurs when gross receipts are less than 50% of the gross receipts for the same calendar quarter in 2019.

The credit applies to qualified wages (including certain health plan expenses) paid during
this period or any calendar quarter in which operations are suspended. The definition of qualified wages depends on how many employees worked for the employer last year.
Note that an employer is not eligible for the employee retention credit if it receives a loan
under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act. Similarly, a
business cannot claim the credit for the same wages designated as the paid sick and
family leave available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act or the family
and medical leave credit authorized by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

Practical advice: Consult with your MMA tax advisor for the best approach for your particular situation.
Loan Forgiveness Guidelines Released
As we shared with you last week, the  Small Business Administration  released guidance for the  Paycheck Protection Program  (PPP) loan forgiveness in the form of the Loan Forgiveness Application. You can find the loan forgiveness application  here .

For additional details about loan forgiveness, click here .
Our People Make a Difference
We recently shared with you some highlights of how our MMA team members are staying happy, healthy and productive (or at least sane) during the pandemic. Here are a few snapshots generously shared by our team, capturing the essence of their off-duty treasures and pleasures...
This beauty is known as Grace. Danielle Dougherty says taking care of Grace is a wonderful distraction from the pandemic blues. Danielle and her assortment of kids and animals, including Grace, live in Sandwich, IL.
When Jake Rexilius told us he got a new "bike," he wasn't kidding. Now that the weather is nice, we expect Jake will be out on his Harley when he isn't poring over tax returns.
And the Winner Is...

Congratulations to Zaid Siddiqui, the winner of our " Battle of the Beards" contest. T hanks to all of you who voted! The competition was fierce... Zaid, "Rocket Ron" Austin and Brian Hagene, who admittedly had a head start on his pandemic beard, were neck and neck for first place. However, Zaid won by a hair.

(Badum bum.)
Spring has sprung, and with or without masks, people are outside enjoying the weather. When it isn't raining, you can see walkers, bikers, families with baby carriages and gardeners enjoying the fresh air. We hope you're taking time to relax, get outside and breathe. Stay safe and stay healthy. And please let us know how we can be of service to you.
Ron Austin, CPA
Brian Eisenmenger, CPA
Brian Hagene, CPA
Brett Mathieson, CPA
John Straus, CPA