addressing the impact of covid-19
COVID-related items to keep in mind
COVID has provided some unique challenges to CPA firms and their clients. Here are additional items to keep in mind this tax season.
Ask clients about tax-related COVID relief, including:
  • If EIPs and/or Advance Child Tax Credit payments were received;
  • If the client benefited from the ERC;
  • The status of any loan or debt forgiveness, including the Paycheck Protection Program and student loan forgiveness;
  • If other benefits were received from federal, state or local governments or non-profit or for-profit organizations; and
  • Other benefits of the American Rescue Plan Act, such as above-the line charitable contributions.
Remind clients that they will need to remit payroll taxes deferred under the CARES Act no later than December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2022.
Notify individual and business tax clients with “COVID homes” of potential additional filing obligations and tax effects. What’s a “COVID home”? Who needs to be notified? Read the Risk Alert “COVID Homes” Create Professional Liability Risk for CPA Firms for information on how claims may arise. Consider sending a notification letter to affected individuals. AICPA Tax Section members are able to receive a sample letter.
Fortify the firm’s data security protocols as remote working is likely to be more prevalent in the future. Consider establishing a virtual private network (VPN) if one is currently not in place. Remind all firm personnel of existing data security policies and revisit these policies if updates are needed. Establish a secure portal to permit clients to safely transmit information to the firm. Data Security Tips to Help Weather a Pandemic outlines additional considerations and recommendations as well as Don't Get Victimized by a Cybercriminal.