The power of partnering with your financial advisory firm

When COVID-19 reached the United States in March 2020, the federal government began working quickly to roll out its first stimulus relief package—the CARES Act. From a business perspective, the most impactful element of the legislation was the enactment of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which allowed businesses to apply for loans to cover the losses incurred by the pandemic. A second Paycheck Protection Program, known as PPP2, was included in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.

As a result, support is still available for businesses, and by working closely with your financial advisors, you can learn more about the ways government aid programs can positively impact operations.

PPP—there’s still time!

First and foremost, you can still apply for the first round of PPP funding if you haven’t already done so. First-time eligible applicants who wish to receive the loan should follow requirements outlined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and apply before March 31, 2021. In order to qualify, businesses must have had less than 500 employees prior to Feb. 15, 2020. First-time borrowers can access up to $10 million dollars under the program. 

A second draw of PPP loans opened on Jan. 11, 2021 for businesses that have already taken out an initial PPP loan, providing additional resources to those who have been hit hardest during the pandemic. The relief program ensures small businesses who had a revenue drop of 25% or more in any one quarter from 2019 to 2020 are supported. The second draw loans are more restrictive, only applying to those with 300 or fewer employees. 

PPP considerations

While PPP loans are largely accessible, talk with your advisor to avoid any problems with applications. For example, eligible businesses must have used at least 60% of the first PPP loan to qualify for a second draw. The U.S. Department of Justice will not be lenient with those who ignore the fine print—borrowers with suspected fraud applications will be added to a “Do Not Pay” list. 

Depending on the location of your business (state and municipality), COVID-19 relief funding may also be available under various economic disaster programs for those who need additional assistance or do not qualify for either PPP program. Talk with your advisor, who likely is aware of such programs and staying on top of new policy updates. 

Benefits of tax planning

Thoughtful tax planning also can help your business weather the pandemic. The inauguration of President Joe Biden and new leadership in the federal legislature will most likely bring changes to tax policy. For that reason, many tax preparers are recommending some businesses and individuals alike file an extension beyond the April 15 deadline.  Talk has begun at Treasury and Congress to once again provide automatic extension until July 15 with many states not following suit. 

While legislation has yet to pass the House and Senate, President Biden has alluded to his priorities for tax changes. For individuals, Biden’s plans would raise taxes for specific groups of taxpayers—but not for those making less than $400,000 per year. The President’s business tax plans include: rolling back corporate tax cuts from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; using the tax code to incentivize domestic manufacturing; and promoting renewable energy.

We are still in the early days of the new administration, and federal legislators will likely unveil tax plans of their own in the days and months to come. Many are keeping an eye on the federal estate tax exemption, which was doubled under The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Under current law, the federal estate tax exemption of $11.58 million in 2020 will be reduced to approximately $6 million per person, indexed for inflation, in 2026. However, many suspect it will change even sooner under the new administration.

Rules can change rapidly due to the ongoing pandemic and with a new administration in place. Be sure you’re working closely with your advisors and keeping the lines of communication open to experience maximum benefit.


Please reach out to your Rehmann advisor with any questions or concerns. You also may contact us at info@rehmann.com.

Rehmann is focused on providing practical guidance and insights to help empower organizations and individuals as we navigate through the uncertainty and complexity of this pandemic, together. Find resources and guidance at our COVID-19 Knowledge Center. Please click here to subscribe to our communications to ensure you remain up to date during these uncertain times. 

Published in COVID-19

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