Learn directly from our partner federal agencies on the most recent announcements and news related to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
SBA Administrator Guzman Applauds Biden-Harris Plan To Support Small Manufacturing Businesses Through Buy American Initiative
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman released the following statement in response to President Biden’s proposed Buy American Rule: “Last week, President Biden solidified his longstanding commitment to supporting American workers and businesses by announcing a major investment in American manufacturing. I am thrilled that the U.S. Small Business Administration will play a key role in this plan with new concentrated efforts to help American manufacturers thrive and grow, including a new manufacturing hub in our federal contracting division. Small businesses have always stood at the forefront of manufacturing in the United States, and our work will help create more opportunities for small manufacturers and their employees in cities and towns all across our country. The federal government purchased more than $31.9 billion in goods and services from nearly 25,000 small businesses in manufacturing industries in fiscal year 2020. As these numbers grow under the President’s Buy American initiative, the SBA will work to ensure that U.S. small businesses play a major role in meeting the increasing demand for goods and services made in America.” ### About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
Aug 4, 2021
National Small Business Week 2021 Virtual Summit Announced September 13-15
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced its 2021 National Small Business Week Virtual Summit for September 13-15, 2021. This year’s events will spotlight the resilience of America’s entrepreneurs and the renewal of the small business economy as they build back better from the economic crisis brought on by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. The virtual summit will honor the nation’s 30 million small businesses for their perseverance, ingenuity, triumphs, and creativity. SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced National Small Business Week in a video message. “As the voice for America’s 30 million small businesses and innovative startups, it’s my pleasure to announce the SBA’s annual National Small Business Week Summit,” said Administrator Guzman. “Over the last 16 months, we have seen the incredible determination and ingenuity of small businesses across the nation. During NSBW, we will honor and celebrate their impact on our economy and strengthening of communities as we look towards recovery. NSBW is the perfect time for small businesses across the nation to network and learn about the many services and programs at the U.S. Small Business Administration, including our no-cost business counseling and mentoring opportunities available via our district offices and resource partners. We look forward to celebrating with you as we rebuild our economy and help our small businesses build back better.” This year’s National Small Business Week activities will take place in a virtual atrium and will include numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as small businesses look to pivot and recover toward a stronger economy. The SBA, along with our summit partner SCORE — the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors — will share important information about the many programs and services available to help businesses start and grow, build resilience and support, retain employees, discover new markets, and join key networks. The National Small Business Week Virtual Summit will also include representatives from Fortune 500 companies who will discuss their paths to success and share resources to help businesses on their entrepreneurial journey. Highlights of the summit will include virtual booths to develop one-on-one connections with public and private sector partners to create opportunities for collaboration and information-sharing in real-time. In addition, small business participants can learn more about new business strategies, meet other business owners, and talk with industry experts. Speakers will be announced at a later date. To register for the National Small Business Week Virtual Summit and to learn more, please visit http://www.sba.gov/NSBW. ### About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov. Cosponsorship Authorization #21-21-C. SBA's participation in this Cosponsored Activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products, or services of any Cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.
Aug 4, 2021
Security Summit: Tax Pros can help clients battle identity theft risk related to unemployment
WASHINGTON — Internal Revenue Service Security Summit partners today outlined for tax professionals how they can assist clients who were victims of unemployment compensation fraud schemes that targeted state workforce agencies in 2020 and 2021. The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry – working together as the Security Summit – reported that unemployment compensation fraud was one of the more common identity theft schemes that emerged in 2020 as criminals exploited the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic impact. Addressing unemployment compensation fraud is the third in a five-part series sponsored by the Summit partners to highlight critical steps tax professionals can take to protect client data. This year's theme "Boost Security Immunity: Fight Against Identity Theft," is an effort to urge tax professionals to try harder to secure their systems and protect client data during the pandemic and its aftermath. "Identity thieves always look for opportunities, and the unemployment surge presented a new opportunity to exploit the pain and financial hardships faced by Americans," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "This particular scam is especially egregious because 23 million Americans were jobless or underemployed last year and desperately needed these benefits." The U.S. Department of Labor's Inspector General estimated approximately $89 billion in unemployment compensation was lost in 2020 due to fraud. Unemployment compensation is taxable income on federal taxes, although Congress waived the tax for 2020 for many people. States report compensation to the individual and to the IRS by using the Form 1099-G. Because of fraud and identity theft, many taxpayers received Forms 1099-G for compensation they did not receive. Some taxpayers received forms from multiple states. This scam could affect 2021 returns next year as well as 2020 returns this year. Here are a few steps tax professionals should take to assist clients who are victims of the unemployment compensation fraud scheme: Although unemployment compensation is taxable, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 allows an exclusion of unemployment compensation of up to $10,200 for individuals for taxable year 2020. In the case of married individuals filing a joint Form 1040 or 1040-SR, this exclusion is up to $10,200 per spouse. To qualify for this exclusion, adjusted gross income (AGI) must be less than $150,000. This threshold applies to all filing statuses. The exclusion may ease the burden on many fraud victims. However, victims who received Forms 1099-G from multiple states may have fraud claims that exceed that exclusion amount. Clients should retain any records of fraud reports to states. Tax professionals can also get help with security recommendations by reviewing the recently revised IRS Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data PDF, and Small Business Information Security: The Fundamentals PDF by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The IRS Identity Theft Central pages for tax pros, individuals and businesses have important details as well. Publication 5293, Data Security Resource Guide for Tax Professionals PDF, provides a compilation of data theft information available on IRS.gov. Also, tax professionals should stay connected to the IRS through subscriptions to e-News for Tax Professionals and Social Media. For more information, see Boost Security Immunity: Fight Against Identity Theft.
Aug 4, 2021
La SBA anuncia hasta $300,000 para financiar los Centros Empresariales para Mujeres de Puerto Rico
Fecha límite para la solicitud: 16 de agosto de 2021 WASHINGTON – La Agencia Federal de Pequeños Negocios (SBA, por sus siglas en inglés) anunció la disponibilidad de $300,000 para un máximo de dos nuevas oportunidades de subvención para las organizaciones anfitrionas de los Centros Empresariales para Mujeres (WBC, por sus siglas en inglés), establecidas o aspirantes. Cuando sean financiados, los WBC prestarán servicios empresariales orientados a los resultados a las mujeres empresarias de Puerto Rico. Recientemente, la Casa Blanca convocó una reunión del Grupo de Trabajo a la que asistió la Administradora de la SBA, Isabel Casillas Guzmán, para dialogar sobre los esfuerzos de reconstrucción e inversión que conlleven a la resiliencia de la isla a largo plazo, de tal forma que sus comunidades e infraestructura puedan resistir futuros desastres. "El objetivo de esta oportunidad de financiamiento es proporcionar dinero subvencionado para que un máximo de dos organizaciones sin fines de lucro inicien Centros Empresariales para Mujeres a nivel comunitario en todo Puerto Rico. El COVID-19 ha impactado a las empresas en todo los Estados Unidos y en Puerto Rico en particular, los impactos superaron a los esfuerzos de recuperación del huracán que devastó tantas áreas de la isla", dijo Natalie Madeira Cofield, Administradora Asistente de la SBA para la Oficina de Propiedad Empresarial de las Mujeres. "A medida que la nación se recupera, la prioridad de la SBA es garantizar que las mujeres de Puerto Rico tengan un acceso equitativo a los recursos y al respaldo para iniciar, desarrollar y hacer crecer empresas muy necesarias en sus comunidades", agregó. "El programa de los WBC de la SBA es ese catalizador para el crecimiento de servicios empresariales profundos, sustanciales y orientados a los resultados para mujeres emprendedoras". Los solicitantes elegibles deben ser organizaciones privadas sin fines de lucro, con un estatus de exento de impuestos 501(c) del Servicio de Rentas Internas del Departamento del Tesoro de EE. UU., y deben prestar servicios a la población en las áreas especificadas. Los solicitantes seleccionados recibirán una subvención anual de $150,000. Las solicitudes para esta oportunidad de subvención se aceptarán entre el martes 27 de julio de 2021 y el lunes 16 de agosto de 2021. Las propuestas de subvención deben enviarse a www.grants.gov antes del lunes 16 de agosto de 2021, a las 11:59 p. m., hora de verano del Este (EDT, por sus siglas en inglés). No se permitirá ningún otro método de envío. Las propuestas enviadas fuera del plazo estipulado serán rechazadas sin evaluarse. La misión de la Oficina de Propiedad Empresarial de las Mujeres es empoderar a las mujeres empresarias mediante la defensa, la divulgación, la educación y el apoyo. Desde que se estableció en respuesta a una orden ejecutiva de 1979, la Oficina de Propiedad Empresarial de las Mujeres (OWBO, por sus siglas en inglés) ha brindado a las mujeres capacitación, asesoramiento, asistencia técnica, acceso a créditos y capital, así como también oportunidades de comercialización. Para obtener más información sobre los programas y servicios de la SBA para mujeres empresarias, visite www.sba.gov/mujeres. Para buscar otras ubicaciones de los WBC y recursos adicionales de la SBA, visite www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance. Los solicitantes interesados pueden dirigir cualquier pregunta en inglés sobre la oportunidad de financiamiento de los WBC a Donald Smith, Administrador Adjunto de la SBA para la Oficina de Propiedad Empresarial de las Mujeres, a Donald.Smith@sba.gov. Si tiene problemas con la página grants.gov, visite www.grants.gov/web/grants/support, llame a la línea de apoyo de Grants.gov al 1-800-518-4726 o envíe un correo electrónico a firstname.lastname@example.org. ### Agencia Federal de Pequeños Negocios La Agencia Federal de Pequeños Negocios hace realidad el sueño americano de ser propietario de un negocio. Como el único recurso y voz para las pequeñas empresas respaldado por la fortaleza del gobierno federal, la SBA empodera a los empresarios y propietarios de pequeñas empresas con los recursos y el apoyo que necesitan para comenzar, hacer crecer o expandir sus negocios, o para recuperarse de un desastre declarado. Brinda servicios a través de una extensa red de oficinas de campo de la SBA y de la colaboración con organizaciones públicas y privadas. Para conocer más, visite www.sba.gov y www.sba.gov/espanol.
Aug 2, 2021
Paid leave credit available for providing leave to employees caring for individuals obtaining or recovering from a COVID-19 immunization
WASHINGTON — The IRS today updated frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the paid sick and family leave tax credits under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). The updates clarify that eligible employers can claim the credits for providing leave to employees to accompany a family or household member or certain other individuals to obtain immunization relating to COVID-19 or to care for a family or household member or certain other individuals recovering from the immunization. The paid sick and family leave credits reimburse eligible employers for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave for reasons related to COVID-19. The revised FAQs make clear this includes leave taken by employees to care for certain individuals to obtain immunization relating to COVID-19 or to recover from immunization relating to COVID-19. This new reason for paid sick or family leave also applies for the comparable credits for self-employed individuals. The paid sick and family leave tax credits under the ARP are similar to those put in place by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), as amended and extended by the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Tax Relief Act), under which certain employers could receive tax credits for providing paid sick or family leave that met the requirements of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (as added by FFCRA). The tax credits under the FFCRA, as amended and extended by the Tax Relief Act, covered leave taken beginning April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021. The ARP amends and extends these credits to leave taken beginning April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021. The FAQs include information on how eligible employers may claim the paid sick and family leave credits, including how to file for and compute the applicable credit amounts, and how to receive advance payments for and refunds of the credits. Under the ARP, eligible employers, including businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees and certain governmental employers, may claim tax credits for qualified leave wages and certain other wage-related expenses (such as health plan expenses and certain collectively bargained benefits). Self-employed individuals may claim comparable credits on the Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
Aug 2, 2021
To Enable More Vaccinations, Treasury Expands Paid Leave Tax Credit
WASHINGTON — Today the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced that eligible employers can claim tax credits equal to the wages paid for providing paid time-off to employees to take a family or household member or certain other individuals to get vaccinated, or to care for a family or household member or certain other individuals recovering from the vaccination. Comparable tax credits are also available for self-employed individuals. In April, Treasury and the IRS announced eligible employers, such as businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees and certain governmental employers, could receive paid leave tax credits available under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) for providing leave for each employee receiving the vaccine and for any time needed to recover from the vaccine. Today’s expanded guidance gives employers further opportunity to support the health and safety of their employees’ families and communities without placing an undue burden on their business during the pandemic. For more details on how the paid leave tax credits from the American Rescue Plan will work for employers to enable employees to take family and household members to receive and recover from after-effects of vaccination, as well as for other purposes, see the updated FAQs released by the IRS today. ###
Aug 2, 2021
SBA Announces up to $300,000 to fund Women’s Business Centers in Puerto Rico
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the availability of $300,000 for up to two new grant opportunities for established and aspiring Women’s Business Center (WBC) host organizations. When funded, the WBC’s will provide outcome-oriented business services for women entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico. The White House recently held a Working Group meeting that SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman attended to discuss rebuilding and investment efforts leading to the island’s long-term resilience so that its communities and infrastructure can withstand future disasters. “The purpose of this funding opportunity is to provide grant dollars for up to two nonprofit organizations to start new, community-based Women’s Business Centers throughout Puerto Rico. COVID-19 has impacted businesses throughout the United States, and in Puerto Rico more specifically, the impacts were atop of hurricane recovery efforts that devastated so many areas of the island,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield, SBA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership. “As the nation recovers, it is SBA’s priority to ensure that women in Puerto Rico have equitable access to resources and support to start, scale, and grow much-needed businesses within their communities,” she added. “The SBA’s WBC program is that catalyst for the growth of in-depth, substantive, outcome-oriented business services for women entrepreneurs.” Eligible applicants must be private, nonprofit organizations with 501(c) tax-exempt status from the U.S. Treasury/Internal Revenue Service and must provide services to the population within the specified areas. Successful applicants will receive a grant award of $150,000 annually. Applications for this grant opportunity will be accepted between Tuesday, July 27, 2021, and Monday, August 16, 2021. Grant proposals must be sent to www.grants.gov by Monday, August 16, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). No other methods of submission will be permitted. Proposals submitted after the stipulated deadline will be rejected without being evaluated. The Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s mission is to empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education, and support. Since it was established in response to an Executive Order in 1979, OWBO has provided training, counseling, technical assistance, access to credit and capital, as well as marketing opportunities to women. To learn more about SBA’s programs and services for women entrepreneurs, visit www.sba.gov/women. To find other WBC locations and additional SBA resources, visit www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance. Interested applicants may direct any questions about the WBC funding opportunity to Donald Smith, SBA Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, at Donald.Smith@sba.gov. For issues with grants.gov, please visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/support.html, call the Grants.gov Support Line at 1-800-518-4726 or email email@example.com. About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more visit www.sba.gov.
Jul 29, 2021
Federal Government Awards Record-Breaking $145.7 Billion in Contracting to Small Businesses
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that the federal government exceeded its small business federal contracting goal, awarding 26.01 percent or $145.7 billion in federal contract dollars to small businesses, a $13 billion increase from the previous fiscal year. “Despite the fact that it’s been an extremely challenging year for small businesses, the SBA is proud to announce that our nation’s entrepreneurs used their trademark ingenuity, grit, and determination to do a record amount of contracts -- $145.7 billion -- with the federal government. Thanks to the support of countless dedicated government professionals, the federal government exceeded its small business contracting goal for FY20 with a $13 billion increase from the previous fiscal year,” said SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman. “However, we know that there’s much more to do to ensure all of our small businesses can get contract-ready and have the opportunities they need to engage with the world’s largest customer. We’re committed to increasing these opportunities and lowering barriers to give our small businesses a chance to grow their revenues through contracting. Our goal this year, and every year, is to make sure that small businesses can be like the giants they are in our economy and to create conditions to guarantee their success,” continued Administrator Guzman. The federal government also added almost a million jobs to the American economy through the $145.7 billion in prime contract dollars and $82.8 billion in subcontracts awarded to small businesses. Overall, the federal government exceeded its goal of 23 percent in prime contract dollars and earned an “A” on this year’s government-wide Scorecard. Eight federal agencies earned an “A+” for their agencies’ achievements in small-business contracting. At the same time, the Biden-Harris Administration recognizes there is much work to be done to advance equity in federal procurement. President Biden’s Day 1 Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities instructs agencies to ensure that federal contracting and procurement opportunities be made more readily available to all eligible vendors and to remove barriers faced by underserved individuals and communities. In his June 2021 speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma commemorating the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, President Biden announced a goal of increasing the share of contracts awarded to small disadvantaged businesses by 50 percent over five years. FY2020 Small Business Federal Procurement Scorecard: The individual agency scorecards released today by the SBA, as well as a detailed explanation of the methodology, is available at SBA.gov. Highlights from the overall Federal Procurement Scorecard are: In FY20, the federal government exceeded the service-disabled veteran-owned small business and small disadvantaged business goals of 3 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Although dollars awards increased to new records from previous years in all small business categories, the federal government fell short of meeting the goals established by Congress for women-owned small businesses and HUBZone small businesses. The government spent over $27 billion with women-owned small businesses and over $13 billion with HUBZone businesses, figures that both exceeded the prior year’s spending by over $1 billion. The federal government also exceeded its subcontract goals for awards to small businesses and women-owned small businesses. In all, the government awarded almost $83 billion in subcontracts to all small businesses. Despite the overall increase in the value of small-business awards, the number of small businesses receiving prime contracts with the Federal government decreased. *The prime contract goal achievements by dollars and percentages for all categories are as follows: Category Goal 2016 $(B) 2016 %SB 2017 $(B) 2017 %SB 2018 $(B) 2018 %SB 2019(1) $(B) 2019(1) %SB 2020(1) $(B) 2020(1) %SB Small Business 23% $99.70 24.40% $105.70 23.80% $120.80 25.05% $132.90 26.50% $145.66 26.01% Small Disadvantaged Business 5% $39.10 9.40% $40.20 9.10% $46.50 9.65% $51.60 10.29% $59.02 10.54% Service- Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business 3% $16.30 4.00% $17.90 4.10% $20.60 4.27% $22.00 4.39% $23.94 4.28% Women Owned Small Business 5% $19.70 4.80% $20.80 4.70% $22.90 4.75% $26.00 5.19% $27.14 4.85% HUBZone 3% $6.90 1.70% $7.30 1.70% $9.90 2.05% $11.40 2.28% $13.64 2.44% 1. For FY20, in accordance with federal law, SBA provided double credit, for scorecard purposes only, for prime contract awards in disaster areas that are awarded as a local area set aside and a small business or other socioeconomic set aside when the vendor state is the same as the place of performance (15 USC § 644(f)), for Puerto Rico and covered territories awards (15 USC § 644(x)(1)). SBA included in the calculation of FY20 government-wide achievements the Department of Energy first-tier subcontracts required to be included by section 318 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (“CAA”), Public Law 113-76. SBA continues to collaborate with federal agencies to expand small business opportunities for small business contractors to compete and win federal contracts. The FY2020 Scorecard analyzed the prime contracting and subcontracting performance and other contributing factors, which resulted in an overall “A” grade for the federal government. Eight agencies received A+, 11 received a grade of “A”, and three received a “B” grade. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, the SBA will continue to examine and expand upon its SBD contracting goals, in line with the President’s commitment to equity. Small Business Federal Procurement Scorecard Overview: The annual Procurement Scorecard is an assessment tool to (1) measure how well federal agencies reach their small business and socio-economic prime contracting and subcontracting goals; (2) provide accurate and transparent contracting data and (3) report agency-specific progress. The prime and subcontracting component goals include goals for small businesses, small businesses owned by women, small disadvantaged businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones). Every year, the SBA works with each agency to set their prime and subcontracting goals, and their performance is based on the agreed-upon goals. Each federal agency has a different small business contracting goal determined annually in consultation with the SBA. The SBA ensures that in the aggregate, the federal government meets or exceeds the government-wide statutory goals mandated in 15(g)(1) of the Small Business Act in each small business category. While each federal agency is responsible for ensuring the quality of its own contracting data, SBA conducts additional analyses to help agencies identify potential data anomalies. As part of its ongoing data quality efforts, the SBA works with federal agency procurement staff to provide analysis and tools to facilitate a review of data, implement improvements to procurement systems, and conduct training to improve accuracy. For reporting purposes: FY20 and the accompanying Scorecard data covers the period between October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020. About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
Jul 29, 2021
SBA Reaches New Milestone Awarding $7.5 Billion in Shuttered Venue Operators Grants to over 10,000 Venues
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration reached a new milestone of successfully awarding over $7.5 billion in Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOGs) to more than 10,000 hard-hit live entertainment small businesses, nonprofits, and venues. The SVOG program is designed to assist in getting the nation’s cultural institutions, which are critical to the economy and were among the first to shutter, back on track. The SBA worked closely with the White House and other federal partners to process SVOG applications faster after the first two weeks of awards did not set the pace needed for this emergency funding. While more work is still needed to help businesses recover from the pandemic, the SBA took swift action to expeditiously process loans for SVOG and get funding into the hands of hard-hit operators. “After making improvements to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, the SBA is now delivering money quickly, efficiently and fairly to highly-impacted small businesses and venue operators that are critical to America’s cultural fabric and local economies,” SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman said. “When I began my tenure at the SBA, this first-of-its-kind SVOG program was not where I wanted it to be. I’m proud that, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our talented team, we have turned the ship around. America’s small businesses can rest assured that the SBA will continue to work around the clock to provide the relief that is needed to revitalize local economies and build back better from the pandemic and economic crisis.” “I am proud to have joined Senators Cardin, Klobuchar, and others to pass the Shuttered Venue Operator Grants into law in December and add even further funding for the program in the American Rescue Plan, and am so happy that the live entertainment and other cultural arts venues in New York and across the country are receiving this desperately needed financial aid,” said Majority Leader Schumer. “Over the last year, I have visited music halls, theaters and other cultural institutions throughout New York that had been forced to shutter their doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic. From comedy clubs to concert halls, these cultural institutions are the true heart and soul of New York, and I cannot wait to watch, listen and laugh as they bounce back bigger and better than ever, and I’ll keep working with the SBA to get all of the program’s assistance out the door as soon as possible to help all eligible venues recover.” “I am grateful that live venues and cultural institutions in Maryland and nationwide are beginning to receive the aid they need to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and recover from the worst economic crisis in nearly 100 years,” Senator Ben Cardin, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship said. “I have already heard from many venue operators in Maryland who intend to use their SVOG funds to catch up on bills, quickly rehire staff, and prepare for reopening. Last year life changed for all of us, practically overnight, so I am looking forward to the return of winding box office lines and lit-up marquees in the months ahead as our communities continue to recover from COVID-19.” Under Administrator Guzman's direction to make changes based on the successes of the Paycheck Protection Program and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, in approximately seven weeks, the SBA has gone from awarding just over 100 SVOGs on June 10, to more than 10,000 to date, awarding over $7.5 billion in grants, helping venues reopen and stay open. More than two thirds of the awards have gone to venues with fewer than 10 employees, helping the smallest of small businesses – a priority of Administrator Guzman. “Thanks to the dedicated and continuing work by the SBA’s SVOG team, and especially, the relentless efforts of our own Senator Chuck Schumer, Broadway’s plans to reopen are steadily moving forward. The SVOG grants are imperative to Broadway’s recovery. We credit, with gratitude, the grants that have been received by shows and also those that are forthcoming and in process. Broadway stages remain dark, however, our amazing artists, talented workers, and excited audiences are preparing to come back in just a few short weeks, and we so look forward to the full return of Broadway. The SBA’s Shuttered Venue Operator Grant funding is crucial to our return, and we applaud the efforts by the SBA to focus on delivering crucial funding to businesses most in need, “ said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League. “The shuttered venue grants were meant for places like the Smith Center that employ local musicians and entertain local people,” said Myron Martin, president and CEO for the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada. “The SBA is helping us to get back to where we want to be. We’re thankful for that.” Another SVOG recipient, Katherine Fritchie, owner of Garland Theater, in Spokane, Washington, shared that after she received the award she was able to successfully balance her budget. “It brings us back to where we were,” Fritchie said. “We’ve paid our debt off, and we get a cushion for our payroll.” Tyrus Joseforsky, owner of indie concert and festival promoter Flight Levelz Entertainment in Hobart, Indiana, added. “I plan to use these funds to invest in future shows and jumpstart my business, which in turn will put artists back on tour, bring revenue back to indoor and outdoor venues, put set-up and break-down crews back to work, bring customers back to the restaurants, retailers and food trucks surrounding venues…the list goes on and on. It’s a good thing for everyone.” With the grant funds, venues like the Downtown Cabaret Theatre Company of Bridgeport, in Fairfield County, Connecticut, are returning to operation. “The sheer weight and excitement by the staff and friends when we got that notice of award was great cause for celebration,” Hugh Hallinan, executive producer of the Downtown Cabaret Theatre said. “The grant will enable us to have a more organized and human approach to open up and we can do it at an accelerated rate.” The SVOG portal remains open and funding is still available for all eligible applicants. SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET to provide technical assistance with the SVOG application portal and can be reached at 1-800-659-2955 or, for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, 1-800-877-8339. Further, SBA’s resource partners, including SCORE Mentors, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers, are available to provide entities with individual guidance on their applications. Applicants can find a local resource partner via a zip code search at http://www.sba.gov/local-assistance. For weekly SVOG funding data reports, visit www.sba.gov/svog. Shuttered Venue Operators Grant background The SVOG program has appropriated more than $16.2 billion for grants via the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. Of these funds, at least $2 billion is reserved for eligible SVOG applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue up to a maximum amount of $10 million for a single grant. On July 22, the SBA publicly shared information via the SVOG Frequently Asked Questions about the opportunity for SVOG awardees who received less than they anticipated to request an award amount reconsideration and how those with declined applications can appeal the decision. The notifications for the appeal and award amount reconsideration opportunities are expected to begin August 2 and August 4 respectively and will remain open for two weeks. Following then and per funds remaining available, on August 23, the SBA will open the program for supplemental SVOGs for 50% of the original award amount for grantees and cap at a total SVOG award (initial and supplemental) of $10 million. About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
Jul 28, 2021
Security Summit partners urge tax pros to use multi-factor authentication; critical step to boost protection against data theft
WASHINGTON — With security incidents on the rise, the Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry urged tax professionals and taxpayers to use a special feature – multi-factor authentication – available on tax software products to help protect against identity and data theft. The Security Summit partners today kicked off the annual 2021 "Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself" summer campaign aimed at tax professionals. This year's theme is "Boost Security Immunity: Fighting Against Identity Theft" to urge tax professionals to step up their efforts to protect client data amid the pandemic and its aftermath. Multi-factor authentication, also known as two-factor authentication, provides more security. It allows the tax professional or taxpayer to use another feature such as a security code sent to a mobile device, a pin number or a fingerprint in addition to the username and password. A thief may steal usernames and passwords but cannot access accounts without the additional multifactor feature. "The Security Summit has made great strides to protect the tax community, but we need the help of everyone in the tax professional community," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Using the multi-factor authentication feature available on tax preparation products is one of the easiest and cheapest security measures any tax pro can take. It's offered for free by the tax software providers. As people continue to get vaccines, we urge tax professionals as well as taxpayers to boost their security immunity and help in the battle against identity theft." This marks the sixth year of the tax professional campaign, part of a wider effort by the Security Summit coalition of the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation's tax community to strengthen protections against identity and data theft threatening the tax system. This is the first in a series of weekly news releases running through August 17. Through June 30, 2021, there have been 222 data theft reports this year from tax professionals to the IRS, outpacing the rate of 211 in 2020 and 124 in 2019. Each individual report may involve hundreds to thousands of taxpayers. Client information stolen from tax professionals' offices is used to create fraudulent tax returns that are difficult to detect because the identity thief is using real financial data. Based on reports to the IRS in 2020, many tax professionals whose client data was stolen failed to use multifactor authentication, and the feature could have prevented some of the thefts. Tax professionals also should use multi-factor authentication features anywhere it is offered, such as commercial email products and cloud storage providers. Multi-factor authentication is just one of several security steps tax professionals – and taxpayers – should use to protect sensitive data. Other steps include: The IRS also reminds tax professionals that federal law, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, requires all professional tax preparers to create and implement a data security plan. The IRS also recommends tax professionals create a data theft response plan, which includes contacting the IRS Stakeholder Liaisons to report a theft. Tax professionals also can get help with security recommendations by reviewing IRS Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data PDF, and Small Business Information Security: The Fundamentals PDF by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The IRS Identity Theft Central pages for tax pros, individuals and businesses have important details as well. Publication 5293, Data Security Resource Guide for Tax Professionals PDF, provides a compilation of data theft information available on IRS.gov. Also, tax professionals should stay connected to the IRS through subscriptions to e-News for Tax Professionals and Social Media. For more information, see Boost Security Immunity: Fight Against Identity Theft.
Jul 22, 2021
More than 2.2 million additional Economic Impact Payments disbursed under the American Rescue Plan
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service announced today they have disbursed more than 2.2 million additional Economic Impact Payments under the American Rescue Plan. Today's announcement covering the most recent six weeks of the effort brings the total disbursed so far under the American Rescue Plan to more than 171 million payments. They represent a total value of more than $400 billion since these payments began rolling out to Americans in batches on March 12. Here is additional information on the last six weeks of payments, which includes those with official payment dates through July 21: The IRS will continue to disburse Economic Impact Payments on a weekly basis. Ongoing payments will be sent to eligible individuals for whom the IRS previously did not have information to issue a payment but who recently filed a tax return, as well to people who qualify for "plus-up" payments. Although payments are automatic for most people, the IRS continues to urge people who don't normally file a tax return and haven't received Economic Impact Payments to file a 2020 tax return to get all the benefits they're entitled to under the law, including tax credits such as the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Filing a 2020 tax return will also assist the IRS in determining whether someone is eligible for monthly advance payments of the 2021 Child Tax Credit, which began earlier this month. For example, some federal benefits recipients may need to file a 2020 tax return – even if they don't usually file – to provide information the IRS needs to send payments for a qualifying dependent. Eligible individuals in this group should file a 2020 tax return as quickly as possible to be considered for an additional payment for their qualifying dependents. People who don't normally have an obligation to file a tax return and don't receive federal benefits may qualify for these Economic Impact Payments. This includes those experiencing homelessness, the rural poor, and other historically under-served groups. Individuals who didn't get a first or second round Economic Impact Payment or got less than the full amounts may be eligible for the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, but they'll need to file a 2020 tax return. See the special section on IRS.gov: Claiming the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit if you aren't required to file a tax return. The IRS has provided an online Non-Filer tool to allow individuals who weren't required to file (and have not filed) a tax return for 2020 to file a simplified tax return. This simplified tax return allows eligible individuals to register for advance Child Tax Credit payments and the third Economic Impact Payment, as well as claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. Free tax return preparation is also available for qualifying people. The IRS reminds taxpayers that the income levels in this third round of Economic Impact Payments have changed. This means that some people won't be eligible for the third payment even if they received a first or second Economic Impact Payment or claimed a 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. Payments will begin to be reduced for individuals making $75,000 or above in Adjusted Gross Income ($150,000 for married filing jointly). The payments end at $80,000 for individuals ($160,000 for married filing jointly); people with Adjusted Gross Incomes above these levels are ineligible for a payment. Individuals can check the Get My Payment tool on IRS.gov to see the payment status of these payments. Additional information on Economic Impact Payments is available on IRS.gov.
Jul 22, 2021
IRS improves services to taxpayers with digital authorizations and launch of new Tax Pro Account
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today launched a new feature that will give taxpayers digital control over who can represent them or view their tax records, a groundbreaking step in the agency's expansion of electronic options for taxpayers and tax professionals. The new feature, one of many recent enhancements to the Online Account for individuals, will allow individual taxpayers to authorize their tax practitioner to represent them before the IRS with a Power of Attorney (POA) and to view their tax accounts with a Tax Information Authorizations (TIA). "The ability for taxpayers to connect online with their tax professional is a groundbreaking step for the IRS," said Chuck Rettig, IRS Commissioner. "This is the first, basic step toward a more fully integrated digital tax system that will benefit taxpayers, tax professionals and the IRS." As of today, tax professionals may go to the new Tax Pro Account on IRS.gov to digitally initiate POAs and TIAs. These digital authorization requests are simpler versions of Forms 2848 and 8821. Once completed and submitted by the tax professional, the authorization requests will appear in the taxpayers' Online Account for their review, approval or rejection and electronic signature. Because the taxpayers' identities already are verified at the time of login, they simply check a box as their signature and submit the authorization request to the IRS. A key benefit is the completed digital authorization, if accurate, will go directly to the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) database and will not require manual processing. Most requests will be immediately recorded and appear on the list of approved authorizations in the taxpayer's Online Account and the tax professional's Tax Pro Account. Some authorizations may take up to 48 hours. Tax professionals may then go to e-Services Transcript Delivery Service to see the taxpayer's records. This new digital authorization option will be a much faster process. It will allow the IRS to reduce its current CAF inventory and to focus on authorization requests received through fax, mail or the Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online – all of which require IRS personnel to handle. To connect with their tax professionals, taxpayers either login to their Online Account using their IRS username and password or they must create an account after passing a one-time identity verification process. Taxpayers who cannot validate their identities cannot use this option, and their tax professional must use the fax, mail or online submission process. However, the IRS will be announcing a new process for this application later this year. Tax professionals should use their IRS usernames and passwords to access the Tax Pro Account or create an account after verifying their identities. This initial launch of the Tax Pro Account represents the first release of the tool. Over time, additional functionality will be added for taxpayers and tax professionals that will increase the options for electronic interactions. Currently, the digital authorization process is available only to individual taxpayers, not businesses or other entities. Also, tax professionals must be in good standing with the IRS and already have a CAF number prior to making requests through Tax Pro Account. To initiate the authorizations, tax professionals must enter their personal information and their clients' personal information exactly as it appears on IRS tax records. Also, the feature is available only to those with addresses in the United States. Tax Pro Account is a separate tool from e-Services. To help tax professionals educate their clients about this new process, the IRS has created two e-Posters that practitioners may share. These are: There are additional features available to individual taxpayers from their Online Account. Taxpayers can view: Taxpayers can also:
Jul 20, 2021
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