Thursday, April 30, 2020

Plan Now For Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness

Plan Now For Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness

I have organized my thoughts (such as they are) on how companies can be setting themselves up for requesting forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program loans, as well as discussed some upon questions, in an article published on the SKO website.  Hopefully you will find it of interest.

HERE IS A LINK to that article.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Today Began the Renaissance (?)

Today Began the Renaissance (?)

By certain reckoning, today is the anniversary of an event in 1336 off from which is dated the Italian Renaissance. It was on that day that the poet Petrarch climbed to the top of Mount Ventoux in southern France. Petrarch was by no means the first person to have a climbed this “mountain” - it's only slightly over 6000 feet in height. Rather, his climb was considered noteworthy because he simply did it for the experience.
Whether this was, actually, the beginning of the Renaissance is open to significant debate. By then Petrarch had already completed a new epic poem in Latin titled Africa (it is about the second Punic War). Regardless, he would go on to be a prolific letter writer, corresponding with persons including Boccaccio, and would locate the writings of numerous classical writers, including Cicero. And of course Boccaccio would as well write the Decameron, a collection of stories traded amongst friends who were "self-isolatin"' outside of Florence to avoid the plague (history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme).
All is not, however, good with Petrarch. He is credited with identifying the so-called “Dark Ages.” In fact, the purported “Dark Ages” never existed.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Not All Tax Deadlines Have Been Delayed: Form 941 is Still Due April 30, and Your Second Quarter 941 Will Put Money in Your Pocket

Not All Tax Deadlines Have Been Delayed: Form 941 is Still Due April 30, and Your Second Quarter 941 Will Put Money in Your Pocket


While many tax filing and payment deadlines have been delayed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic (HERE IS A LINK to a review of many of those delays), not all deadlines are delayed.  One filing deadline that is NOT delayed is that for the federal Form 941.  

There is, however, something of a silver lining.  While your first quarter 941 is due next week, along with the related taxes, the second quarter 941 will afford you the opportunity to hold back some of the taxes otherwise due and apply them to your bottom-line. HERE IS A LINK to a review of that program.

FYI, and this will be covered in a post to be released next week, if you received a Paycheck Protection Program loan, you will not be able to use this new facility.

The Fall of Troy

Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts

      Today marks the anniversary of the traditional Fall of Troy in 1184 B.C., thereby bringing to its culmination the Trojan War.

      The Fall of Troy is not recounted in Homer’s Iliad, the iconic epic, it rather covering only a period of ten days to two weeks within the supposed ten-year span of the war.  The Fall of Troy through the subterfuge of the Trojan Horse is briefly mentioned in the Odyssey and is referenced in several other Greek sources.  The story would not find, however, its full development until Virgil’s Aeneid.

      Some modern historians have attempted to explain the story as an analogy, suggesting actually that an earthquake – Poseidon, whose portfolio included horses and favored the Greek cause, was as well the god of earthquakes.  I, for one, would rather retain the literal interpretation.

      Regardless it is a great story, especially the fall of Achilles to Paris after the former killed Hector.  

            Some might consider the Trojan War to be ancient history.  It’s all matter of perspective.  At the time of the Fall of Troy the Egyptian civilization had been flourishing already for 2000 years.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program: Round Two

The Paycheck Protection Program: Round Two

         By all indications Congress with at some point this week, and perhaps as soon as tomorrow, approve additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. The original appropriation of $349 million was exhausted last Thursday; according to press reports the phase two appropriation will be $310 million.

      HERE IS A LINK to some of my thoughts on what companies still seeking a PPP loan should be doing today, even before the new appropriation is approved.

Monday, April 20, 2020

So, Your Customer Just Filed Chapter 11; What are the Five Things You Should Do Today?

So, Your Customer Just Filed Chapter 11; What are the Five Things You Should Do Today?

My law partner Lea Goff has drafted a very helpful article So, Your Customer Just Filed Chapter 11; What are the Five Things You Should Do Today? 

HERE IS A LINK to the article.

Friday, April 17, 2020

To the Great Regret of So Many Highschool Students

To the Great Regret of So Many Highschool Students

       Today, in 1397, at the court of King Richard II, Geoffrey Chaucer began the presentation of the Canterbury Tales.  The Canterbury Tales would go on to be a classic of English  (actually late Middle English) literature, joining several other contemporaneous works in using English rather than French or Latin for "literary" works.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Today Is Not Tax Day

Today Is Not Tax Day

      In any normal year, April 15 will see a flurry of effort to complete federal and state income tax returns or, in the alternative, file for extensions and make estimated payments toward those extended returns.  With the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 is not a normal year.  In response to the pandemic, federal, state and local governments have deferred a number of return and payment dates.

      With my friends Tim Eifler, Jim Martin and Steve Sherman, all of Stoll Keenon Ogden,  we have drafted a summary of the deferral’s with respect to tax returns that would otherwise be due today or are coming due in the near future, as well as the deferral of a number of payment dates for both 2019 taxes and 2020 estimated tax payments.

      HERE IS A LINK to that article; I hope you find it helpful.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Sunday, April 12, 2020

The First Fall of Constantinople

The First Fall of Constantinople

      Today marks the anniversary of the fall, in 1204, of Constantinople, one of the only two times that its famed walls would ever be breached. 

      Constantinople, after having been re-founded by the Emperor Constantine, was protected, on at least the landside, by an initial wall.  The city subsequently expanded and it was in the early 5th century that the famous double Theodosian Wall was constructed.  Over the years, these walls would deflect attacks ranging from the army of Attila the Hun to several long-term sieges by various Muslim forces.  They would fall, ultimately, to a western Crusader army. 

      The Fourth Crusade intended, by means of an assault from the sea, to capture Egypt and thereby create a land base from which to again take possession of the Holy Lands and particularly Jerusalem; the few coastal cities remaining in the Crusader’s states were simply insufficient as a logistics base from which to act.  From the start essentially nothing went to plan.  Venice had been offered a significant contract to build and equip a fleet to move the Crusader army, its price calculated on a per capita basis.  Venice, a preeminent trading venture, essentially stopped all activities for two years in order to perform its part of the agreement.  When, however, time came for the Crusader army to depart, its numbers were significantly smaller than had been planned.  Those Crusaders who were present simply did not have the wherewithal to satisfy their end of the bargain.  After significant haggling, the reduced army departed, traveling first not to Egypt but rather to Zara, a city in the Adriatic that had earlier revolted again Venetian control.  Part of the army’s debt to the Venetians would be satisfied by bringing Zara to heal.  This action earned the Crusader army an excommunication issued by the Pope.

      Having now picked up a particularly weak claimant to the Byzantine throne, one who assured the Crusaders and the Venetians that he would be welcomed with open arms if returned to Constantinople, the fleet headed for Constantinople.  Needless to say, the Emperor was not pleased to find the fleet pulled up before the walls of his city, especially accompanied by a claimant to the throne.  Relations between the Byzantine authorities and the Crusaders/Venetians started off bad and essentially only got worse.  Ultimately, the fleet and the army would attack Constantinople and breach its walls, an event that for centuries forms a major iconographic event in Venice’s history. One means of entry were "flying bridges" mounted on the masts of the Venetian galleys - they sailed up next to the seaward walls and over-hanged the walls, then men at arms and knights climbed up the masts and walked over what must have been a precarious bridge. The city would fall and suffer a three day sack. The bronze horses that are featured on St. Marks Cathedral in Venice were part of the incalculable possessions stripped in the course of the sack. Ultimately one of the Crusader chiefs, Baldwin, would be placed upon the throne of Constantinople.

      The so-called “Latin Kingdom” in Constantinople would survive for only fifty-seven years when it would fall, the throne again taken by the Greeks.  However, the Latin Kingdom seriously weakened the Byzantine Empire, setting it up for its ultimate fall in 1453 to the Islamic Ottoman forces under Mehmet II.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

TIGTA Urges Taxpayers to “Be On High Alert” For Coronavirus Relief Payment Scams

       TIGTA Urges Taxpayers to “Be On High Alert” For Coronavirus Relief Payment Scams

HERE IS A LINK to a recent release on these scams.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Monday, April 6, 2020

From Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II -

“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different, this time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed — and that success will belong to every one of us. We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return. We will be with our friends again, we will be with our families again, we will meet again.”

Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Beginning of the End for the Middle Ages

The Beginning of the End for the Middle Ages

            Some scholars date the end of the Middle Ages to May 29, 1453, and the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman forces of Mehmed II.  Obviously this is an arbitrary date.  But still, accepting its validity, today marks the anniversary of the beginning of the end.  On this day in 1453 Mehmed’s forces began the siege of the city.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Treasury Department Reverses Position With Respect to Coronavirus Stimulus Checks to Retirees

Treasury Department Reverses Position With Respect to Coronavirus Stimulus Checks to Retirees

Many senior citizens whose income is limited to Social Security payments do not file a federal income tax return. However, with respect to the stimulus checks being issued in connection with the CARES Act, the Department of the Treasury had previously announced that those persons would need to file a Form 1040-SR in order to be in the system and eligible to receive a coronavirus stimulus check.

The Department of the Treasury has now reversed that decision. On April 1, it was announced that Social Security beneficiaries do not need to file a tax return in order to receive the stimulus payments being made under the CARES Act. The IRS website now provides:

Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file to receive a payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank account.

           There is also a Department of Treasury Press Release, which is available AT THIS LINK.  

The Passing of Eleanor of Aquitaine

The Passing of Eleanor of Aquitaine

      Today marks the anniversary of the death, in 1204, of Eleanor of Aquitaine.  By any measure employed, she led an incredible life.

      Heir to more of what we today think of as France than was the then king of France, she would both marry and then divorce Louis VII, King of France. In between the marriage and divorce she would go on a crusade to the Holy Land.  Louis, who had originally been trained for a career in the church and became heir to the French throne only upon his brother Phillip’s death, was not tolerant of what we would today refer to as her high-spirited ways.  Allegations that, while in the Holy Land, she had an affair with her uncle have never been substantiated.

      After divorcing Louis on grounds of consanguinity, she married Henry of Anjou, the heir to the English throne. Upon his ascension to the English throne there was created, by personal union, the Angevin Empire.  Had she predeceased Henry, Eleanor’s lands would have been claimed by him.  History, however, enjoys a good twist, and Eleanor significantly outlived Henry.

      Eleanor was the mother of three English kings, the first Henry III, Richard (the Lionheart) I and John. Admittedly, one can quibble as to whether this Henry III was ever king. He was crowned during his father Henry II’s lifetime in an effort to secure the succession. He would never, however, sit upon the throne as a sole monarch as he predeceased his father. Richard, in his own right, was king of England. Sadly, so was John, to this day identified by the moniker “Bad King.”

      But back to Henry III.  Having been crowned king of England, but deprived of significant lands, income or authority, he bristled at being a showpiece. In concert with his brothers, the then King of France and the King of Scotland, he led a revolt against his father. It was ultimately put down, whereafter Henry II kept Henry III on a short leash. Still, he did not merely keep Eleanor on a leash. Rather, for 16 years, he kept her prisoner including in the castle at Old Sarum.

      The Angevin Empire would substantially fall under Bad King John; he simply did not have the wherewithal to hold together its far flung properties.

      Aside from these historic notes, Eleanor’s influence continues to this day. At her court in Aquitaine they played the relatively recently imported game of chess, it having arrived from the Middle East. Eleanor, however, took umbrage at one of the rules and had it changed. Prior to Eleanor’s intervention, the rules of chess provided that the king was the most powerful character while the queen had a circumscribed range. Eleanor decreed, it is said, that those roles be reversed. Her rule continues to this day.