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  • 14 Jan 2021 1:53 PM | Lindsay McCabe (Administrator)

    Authored by Jim Biehl, Tax Accountant, on January 14, 2021

    A new round of PPP loans (PPP2) was ushered in with the passage of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act (Economic Aid Act) on December 27, 2020. In addition to the 2nd draw loans, eligible businesses that did not receive a PPP loan in the first round of funding have an opportunity to apply for a PPP loan.

    Eligible borrowers include small businesses, nonprofit organizations, cooperatives, veteran’s organizations, certain self-employed individuals, sole proprietors, and independent contractors that meet the following criteria:

    300 employees or less; and
    Experienced a 25% reduction in gross receipts for one calendar quarter (2020 vs 2019)

    Borrowers with original PPP loans (PPP1) may be eligible for PPP2 provided they meet the eligibility requirements and have used the full amount of their original PPP loan.

    Eligible Loan Amounts

    The formula to determine the eligible loan amount is not unlike PPP1, at 2.5 times the average monthly 2019 payroll, but there is now an option to base the computation on the average monthly payroll for a one-year period before the date of the loan. The PPP2 loans/grants are limited to $2 million.

    Applicants with a NAICS code starting with 72 (restaurants, hotels, etc.) are eligible to utilize 3.5 times the average monthly payroll amount and the cap is $4 million.

    Additional eligibility requirements, terms and conditions:

    300 or fewer employees, including affiliates; NAICS 72 entities – per physical location

    Loans 100% guaranteed by the government

    No collateral is required

    The interest rate at 1%

    The maturity is 5 years

    Expanded list of eligible businesses to include 501c(6) organizations

    Ineligible businesses (lobbying, certain businesses with ties to China and/or Hong Kong, live venues with grants, public entities)

    Affiliation rules require all employees are counted, including those of foreign affiliates. In the first round of funding these rules were not clear until guidance was issued in May. Borrowers are required to follow all guidance issued at the time of application; therefore, it is important to understand how guidance may have changed since the first application if you believe you are qualified.

    Loan Forgiveness

    Loans can be forgiven and turned into a grant, like the PPP1 program, provided borrowers spend at least 60% of the PPP funds on payroll costs and maintain employee headcount and compensation, but the new rules expand the definition of “payroll costs” to include group benefits such as life insurance, disability, vision and dental. In addition, the new rules expand the definition of “non-payroll costs” to include payments for software, cloud computing services, property damage costs (due to looting during 2020 not covered by insurance), certain supplier costs and costs for worker protection expenditures.

    Finally, as required under PPP1, the borrower will need to certify in good faith that the “current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant”. However, although the SBA has maintained that it will not question/audit the necessity certification of borrowers who have aggregate loans not exceeding $2 million, the additional PPP2 funds could result in a borrower exceeding the threshold, thereby requiring submission of Form 3509 and subjecting them to SBA audit, and additional SBA scrutiny. Therefore, we recommend you review your situation with your CPA and attorney prior to applying for PPP2 funds.

    Contact Us

    As additional guidance is issued on PPP2, we will be sure to keep you informed. For additional information, call us at 248.208.8860 or click here to contact us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

    Our team is always ready to help.

    Please contact us for more information.

    James Biehl

    Shareholder, Manufacturing & Distribution

    Contact Jim   |   Read Jim's bio

  • 12 Jan 2021 1:58 PM | Lindsay McCabe (Administrator)

    Authored by Miroslav Georgiev on January 12, 2021

    In a world that is becoming more global, many companies have focused their resources on dealing with new international markets. While important, it is also imperative businesses do not take their eyes off the ball at home.

    Every year state and local taxes play a larger role in the corporate tax season. Combined with the fact that companies are doing business in more places than ever before, the result is that no tax consideration can be missed when preparing taxes. Evolving tax codes, recent court cases, and the impacts of COVID-19 are only a small portion of the full picture.

    To help make that picture a little fuller, we have put together eight state and local tax planning considerations that companies should be sure they cover before tax season.

    State and Local Tax Planning Considerations

    1. Nexus

    Every sale, every employee, every asset. Understanding nexus is an important first step when assessing state and local tax considerations. It includes a comprehensive list of every connection that a business has with a state or municipality, including sales, payroll, inventory, rent, and fixed assets. Nexus considerations will help ensure awareness if the business trips any thresholds for various types of taxes at the state and city levels such as sales and use taxes, income taxes, and taxes not based on income.

    2. COVID-19

    It’s on every company’s mind this year: will my filing be different because of COVID-19? When it applies to state and local taxes, the answer is: maybe. If a company is working remotely and its people decide to move out-of-state, it probably creates nexus for the company and potentially adds an additional tax obligation. But because many of the workers are only temporarily remote, many states have waived taxable presence for them, many others have simply not addressed the matter at all, and a small group of states have prescribed details on how remote workers affect apportionment. The clearest way to understand whether COVID-19 will affect tax liabilities is to check the impact on a state-by-state basis.

    3. Sales Tax

    $100,000 or 200 separate transactions. After the Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, that is the threshold that a business’ sales need to meet in a given state in order for their online sales to be taxable. While not every state has adopted the ruling’s implications, most have adopted similar thresholds.

    4. Income Tax

    More and more states and cities are taxing out-of-state businesses on income earned in the state based on the economic nexus standard introduced by Wayfair. While the proportion is relatively low right now, it is a trend that Clayton & McKervey is watching. Hawaii, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington have all adopted economic nexus thresholds for income tax purposes, as have the cities of Philadelphia and San Francisco.

    5. Apportionment

    After a business reaches the threshold to establish nexus with more than one state, they must apply the tax codes in each to apportion their tax burden. Depending on the state and the industry, every apportionment will be different, but generally applies some matrix of property, sales tax, and payroll. Cost of performance and market-based sourcing are two common methods states apply when sourcing service revenue. Knowing which applies to a given state is critical. Cost of performance has service revenue sourced to the state where the income was performed. On the other hand, market-based sourcing—quickly becoming the standard-bearer—has service revenue sourced to the state where the service was received. While more states are moving towards the latter, ensuring that a nexus report includes the proper sourcing revenue principles is crucial to correctly calculating tax liabilities.

    6. Pass-Through Considerations

    As pass-through entities, partnerships, LLCs, and S-corporations each have separate tax rules than a C-corporation. When applying state and local code, the two relevant returns are composite and withholding. Composite returns generally fulfill the filing requirement of out-of-state partners and shareholders, and include the apportioned income as a single entity. It is a restrictive method because not all states allow for composite returns and not all taxpayers are eligible to use the format, but in the cases where those restrictions do not apply, composite returns are preferred. On the other hand, generally state withholding tax returns do not satisfy the filing requirements for partners and shareholders, who each must file their own returns with the state taxing authority.

    Whichever method is applied, both are considered distributions to partners or shareholders, and journal entries may be necessary to remove from state tax expense accounts. When these taxes are treated as distributions to individual owners, the federal deductibility is limited by the SALT Cap. This is the $10,000 limitation on the amount that can be claimed for state and local taxes on Schedule A of Form 1040. Several states are considering legislation that would levy the tax at the pass-through entity level instead of the individual level upon an entity’s election. If the tax is levied on the entity instead of the individual, the entity would be able to deduct the tax for federal purposes and it would no longer be treated as a distribution. Business owners will need to keep an eye out to take advantage of these opportunities when a state adopts the appropriate legislation.

    7. Voluntary Disclosure Agreements (VDAs)

    When companies establish nexus with a state, oftentimes they unintentionally omit registering or filing appropriate tax returns for the period starting when taxable presence began. As such, they are liable for fees and even legal liabilities from state taxing authorities and the IRS. Understanding the often-innocent mistake, many states have set up voluntary disclosure programs that allow companies to retroactively acknowledge and pay outstanding taxes owed when the company was operating in the state. Most states and cities offer them, and they are designed to encourage compliance by eliminating large portions of penalties, limiting the look back period for past due returns, and providing audit protections.

    8. Amnesty Programs

    Similar to VDAs, amnesty programs allow penalty-free payment of outstanding taxes. Time windows and eligibility vary by state, but companies should always take advantage of the program if need be.

    Contact Us

    State and local tax planning obligations are a complex aspect of tax season that companies are increasingly having to deal with and spend resources on. Understanding the subtleties of each state and municipality can be challenging, but the tax team at Clayton & McKervey can help businesses of any size make sense of tax season. For additional information, call us at 248.208.8860 or click here to contact us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

  • 11 Dec 2020 12:40 PM | Lindsay McCabe (Administrator)

    Please check out the video below from Dame Karen Pierce, DCMG, British Ambassador to the United States:

    BABA Christmas Message.mp4

  • 17 Sep 2020 4:56 PM | Lindsay McCabe (Administrator)


    SEPTEMBER 16, 2020 | TREVOR WILLIAMS of Global Atlanta

    The particulars of across-the-pond collaboration may look vastly different, but links between Atlanta and London remain strong even as headwinds from the pandemic and Brexit continue to buffet companies on both sides. 

    Some prominent Atlanta tech executives invested in London outlined how recent changes have disrupted their operations but not derailed their growth plans during a panel discussion Wednesday hosted by London and Partners, the city’s business recruitment agency. 

    For SalesLoft Executive Vice President Nate Remmes, the move to remote work in both locales has made it tough to hire new staff and keep existing workers engaged, but it hasn’t yet meaningfully shifted the talent balance away from prominent tech hubs. 

    “You’re paying for what you get,” he said of the general premium in major cities like London, which tend to offer the connectivity, funding pools and innovation ecosystems that draw in top talent. “We have access to talent everywhere now because we’re all equally on a level playing field. That still hasn’t changed where we been finding our talent and that’s still been in Atlanta, London, San Francisco and New York.”

    Talent was also key consideration for Atlanta-based Cardlytics, which set up shop near London’s Victoria Station after studying commuting patterns of its younger workers during a soft landing in the U.K. (For a time, Cardlytics worked out of the offices of loyalty brand Nectar before setting up its own shingle.)

    Now, the publicly traded marketing technology platform deals with high-level banking executives as it helps them target consumer offers to their account holders. 

    Maintaining close ties amid a health-related travel ban and building a culture when 20 percent of U.K.-based employees have never been into the office, is a pressing challenge, said Co-founder and Chairman Scott Grimes. 

    Because of that, he believes that when the pandemic recedes, in-person travel will continue to once again become vital to cross-border business. 

    “It’s a cost of the world where in right now,” Mr. Grimes said of travel restrictions. “But we want to get back to the point where we can easily get over to London, easily interact with our team and our clients.” 

    For Joan Thomas, who represents Leeds-based consultancy Resolve Gets Results Ltd. inLondon, the challenge has not so much come with foreign travel but with the inability to hold in person meetings with clients within the U.K.

    “Sometimes that is what takes a deal over the finish line,” said Ms. Thomas.

    Mr. Remmes agreed, adding that migration to remote working and curtailing corporate travel were simple; the difficulty lies with managing employees differently based on their mode of connecting.

    “The thing we fear is when you get into a world where half of the people are remote and half of the people are in the office, and you have to worry about optimizing for two different environments across two different communication chains,” he said. 

    Whatever happens with intra-company communications, the group suggested that Atlanta continue to having a macro conversation with London about its own advantages. 

    Mr. Grimes said Atlanta is well-known in London’s fintech and payments circles, but outside of that, knowledge “drops off” drastically. Mr. Remmes agreed, saying he usually has to do some “explaining” to British partners who expect a U.S. software firm to be based in more traditional American tech hubs. 

    The problem, said U.K. Consul General in Atlanta Andrew Staunton, tends to be one of awareness. 

    That’s why he has undertaken a personal “Think Southeast” initiative in both directions, prodding Brits to consider the region he covers in the Southeast U.S. while also pointing Atlanta firms to London as a “gateway to the rest of the world.”

    Indeed, British companies showed during a second panel that by many accounts Atlanta is experienced as a pleasant surprise, both from cost and lifestyle perspectives. 

    Ashley Marie Cashion, the single U.S. employee for what3words, reconsidered her move to Silicon Vally after about a year of flights to the East Coast to pitch emergency services, car makers and logistics firms on the product, which assigns a simple three-word label to every 10×10-foot square on the Earth’s surface, enabling more precise location tracking.

    Atlanta was a “happy medium” between West Coast and London time zones, plus it offered the world’s busiest airport. That helps the mom of a 1-year-old get back home quickly while also being able to afford the cost of childcare, which she called “basically unbearable” in California.

    “In the South, in Atlanta, this is somewhere where family is really important, and that is something that is important for me too. You can go somewhere for a day,” she said, noting frequent consultations with automakers in Detroit via a shorter flight from Atlanta. “In Europe, we were really used to that.”  

    For Michael Campbell, vice president of sales for API software firm Tyk, Atlanta is an easy place to achieve work-life balance that is in demand among new hires. The University of Georgia graduate said the city’s weatehr and tree canopy are always great selling points for his British colleagues, as well as the fact that many U.K. firms have already seen success here.

    “You don’t have to be on the frontier. There are people who have done it before,” Mr. Campbell said. 

    For Nicole Baxby, Georgia’s university talent is a differentiator. Not only are the state’s schools churning out great engineers in general, but they’ve also embraced fintech as a discipline and are partnering with companies to customize degree programs to ensure a strong talent pipeline in a state known as “Transaction Alley.”  

    Ms. Baxby is now with Featurespace, an AI-based fraud detection company born out of the University of Cambridge, but before that, she worked with Columbus-based TSYS in the U.K.; the company has now merged with Global Payments, a Featurespace customer. Even her alma mater, Columbus State University in the shadow of TSYS, has as fintech track in its computer science department.

    Christian Nelson, chief strategy officer of U.K.-based TruRating, said his company has found great success integrating with key payment processors in Atlanta while still running a global team and connecting with the main user of its feedback-focused product: the restaurant and hospitality sector. 

    The COVID-19 pandemic, he said, has actually helped knit together its offices in Toronto, Sydney, London and Atlanta in new ways, causing leadership to grow even more attentive to the mental and emotional needs of staff during a trying time.

    As for hurdles to greater exchange, Ms. Baxby cited communication, a nod to the old adage that the U.K. and U.S. are “two countries separated by a common language.” In general, she said, Brits tend to be less direct than Americans, and both sides must carefully consider the way they deliver words to avoid offense, she said.

    “I always tell my British counterparts — sometimes I just need you to just say what you mean. I know you’re being really nice, but just rip the Band-Aid off,” she said.

    Still, companies including TruRating and Featurespace have seen success sending over British founders to establish their base here.

    As for future challenges on the U.K. side, Cardlytics and SalesLoft are watching closely how the the country hammers out its trading relationship with the EU. Having left the bloc officially in January, the U.K. is in the midst of a transition period through the end of this year.

    A potential U.K.-U.S. trade deal now in its fourth round of negotiations, Mr. Grimes and Mr. Remmes said, pales in importance to getting the relationship with continental Europe right. 

    The U.K. company panel was moderated by Kristin Slink, fintech catalyst at the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech. 

    The London-Atlanta event was sponsored by Atlanta accounting and advisory firm Aprio and U.K.-based Moore Kingston Smith, with which Aprio launched a partnership in August to bring its R&D tax credit practice to the country. 

    ORIGINAL ARTICLE

  • 11 Aug 2020 6:11 PM | Lindsay McCabe (Administrator)

    The Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act went into effect upon the Governor’s signature on Wednesday, August 5. This is the bill that limits potential liability for claims based on the transmission of COVID-19 at a business’s premises. The law protects Georgia businesses, including healthcare providers, from any claim for contracting COVID-19 unless a plaintiff can show gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm. This protection is automatic. An additional step is available if a business would like to create the rebuttable presumption of assumption of the risk by posting signs in at least 1-inch Arial font at all entrances with this language:

    Warning

    Under Georgia law, there is no liability for an injury or death of an individual entering these premises if such injury or death results from the inherent risks of contracting COVID-19. You are assuming this risk by entering these premises.

    The signs should not have any other content, meaning this is the only message conveyed on the signs. It is a good idea for the business to take pictures of the posted warnings to document that it has complied with this requirement.

    If you have any questions, you can contact Board Member Steve Dorvee

  • 15 Jul 2020 7:33 PM | Lindsay McCabe (Administrator)

    The Business Case for a UK-U.S. Free Trade Agreement

    Full Document

  • 24 Jun 2020 9:01 AM | Lindsay McCabe (Administrator)


  • 02 Jun 2020 7:28 PM | Lindsay McCabe (Administrator)

    PRESIDENT’S LETTER: JUNE/JULY 2020 

    To our BABC Members and Friends, 

    Over the last two months, we have all experienced the personal and professional impacts of COVID-19. We have all been challenged in ways we could never have imagined. Fortunately, we responded quickly to this unprecedented time and adapted accordingly. 

    The BABC of Georgia provided a full calendar of virtual events during the month of May. The current pandemic has not slowed us down. We have been able to offer a vast selection of webinars on some very interesting and educational topics. 

    Our VP, Simon Jenner, hosted a webinar on E-Communication and the advantages to communicating a message with speed, but also how this speedy communication, without thought, can be detrimental to your personal life and career. 

    One of our newest Corporate Members, Security Centers International, hosted an event on Crime Trends and Cyber Security Threats during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was an eye opener to learn that while statistics on serious and violent crime are down, statistics in other areas like burglaries, auto theft and vandalism were on the increase. The webinar also included the psychological impact this period of isolation is having on human behavior. 

    On a lighter note, we were excited to host, for the very first time, our virtual Afternoon Tea. Some of our guests even wore hats to really get in the Afternoon Tea atmosphere. To add to the fun, our Event’s Chair, Kafi London, had prepared some trivia questions on the history of this quintessentially British occasion. Do you know when and by whom Afternoon Tea was first introduced? Do you know the difference between Cornish and Devon Cream Tea? 

    We are also thrilled to have developed stronger ties with the BABC Network. The various Chapters have been sharing and participating in each other’s events. Some of our webinar participants included BABC members from Boston, Philadelphia and Miami. This new approach to virtual functioning has not only allowed our members to stay connected during this time, it is now opening up opportunities for them to showcase their expertise with fellow BABC members around the United States. 

    On May 5th negotiations were launched towards a UK-US Free Trade Agreement and further rounds of talks will take place every six weeks. UK Government analysis shows that a trade deal with the US could lead to a $19 billion increase in trade which would be mutually beneficial to the UK and the US. The UK’s relationship with Georgia is already a strong one and we look to seeing that foundation being built upon.  

    From September, the BABC in Philadelphia will be partnering with their Department for International Trade (DIT) Board Members and the Welsh Government, to offer the BABC Network a series of quarterly webinar briefings on the US-UK Trade discussions. These webinars will be open to all our members in order to keep you updated on the talks. 

    During these Summer months we will not be slowing down our provision of virtual events, because we understand the need to Connect, Learn and Grow. Our selection will include COVID-19 and the Future of Financial Markets and a Women’s Series discussion on Practical and Tactical Strategies to Re-evaluate and Reimage Your Future. 

    Our Beer, Business and Banter this month will be a Pop Quiz Edition. So, I encourage you to brush up on your trivia. Who knows, those questions about Afternoon Tea might just come up! 

    If you have a topic you would like to share with our members, please be sure to let us know and we will be delighted to add your webinar to our Calendar of Events. 

    Despite these uncertain times, we are currently in the process of planning our late Summer, Autumn and Winter in-person events, beginning with our Annual Garden Party. We hope to have a date decided upon in the next coming weeks. So, get your hats and fascinators ready! 

    In the meantime, I wish all our members and friends a safe, healthy and POWER-filled Summer and I look forward to seeing you in a couple of months. 

    With warm regards, 

    Jennifer Riis-Poulsen 

    President 

  • 05 May 2020 1:20 PM | Lindsay McCabe (Administrator)

    Today the UK’s International Trade Secretary, Elizabeth Truss, and the US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, launched negotiations towards a UK-US Free Trade Agreement. This negotiation round will take place over the next two weeks. Further rounds will take place approximately every six weeks.

    The UK and the US are already each other’s biggest investors, creating high-skilled jobs and stimulating growth in our respective economies. UK Government analysis shows that a US trade deal could lead to a $19 billion increase in trade which will be mutually beneficial to the UK and the US, including individual States across the United States. A UK-US FTA will also aim to secure comprehensive, far-reaching and mutually beneficial tariff reductions.


  • 02 May 2020 9:31 AM | Lindsay McCabe (Administrator)

    PRESIDENT’S LETTER: MAY 2020

    I am truly honored to be serving as President of the BABC Georgia. This is a year of new beginnings for us. And we look forward to sharing with you in the coming months the changes and improvements that we will be implementing for the benefit of our organization and members.

    Nonetheless, the past few weeks have been unsettling. The way we work, play and interact has changed for us all. Phrases like social distancing and shelter-in-place are now part of our everyday lives. It has been said that the whole world is in the same boat. That is not quite how I would put it. I would say the whole world is going through the same storm, but in different boats. Our experiences during this time differ from person to person and business to business. What does unite us is our shared human ability to adapt and rise up above the challenges presented. Necessity has shown us new approaches around virtual functioning, using other means to establish that vital sense of human connection. For this reason, the BABC Georgia has implemented a robust selection of webinars designed to meet the needs of business and enhance our sense of community, while meeting our renewed commitment to our membership. 

    Despite the lockdown, we have not slowed our efforts in building the BABC Georgia into something stronger and better. Our Strategic Planning Committee, inaugurated last year, has been working for months to more closely align our organization with Atlanta’s status as a leading national and increasingly international hub. Accordingly, we are proud to introduce our members to the British American Business Chamber and the British American Banter Club. The Business Chamber™ will be focused on matters of business relevance and also networking opportunities, while the Banter Club™ will be centered on cultural events and social occasions important to our community.

    The Business Chamber will include our Speaker Series, Educational Series, Women’s Series, Spotlight Series, and Department for International Trade (DIT) and British Consulate events. Both the Business Chamber and Banter Club will continue to enjoy our Beer, Business and Banter gatherings, our Afternoon Tea and roster of social occasions. The BABC’s calendar will be anchored by our four annual signature events, to which all members are invited. In the Spring, we will be presenting the Great British Sports and more (planned for 2021). The Garden Party will be held in the Summer. In the Autumn we will host the newly returned Oglethorpe Awards Dinner. The Winter will be reserved for our famous Christmas Luncheon. A renewed focus on our working relationship with DIT will be important to our mission in promoting closer trans-Atlantic ties.  

    We value each of our members and thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented time. We do encourage you to participate in our virtual events, where you can CONNECT, LEARN and GROW. This month includes E-communication – Pitfalls, Horror Stories and Better Approaches(https://www.babcga.org/event-3816099), How to Improve Your Home Office and Your Mental Office (https://www.babcga.org/event-3822794), What to do if you still have travel plans booked for the next coming months (https://www.babcga.org/event-3816124) and for the very first time, our virtual Afternoon Tea (https://www.babcga.org/event-3804644). If anyone has a topic they would like to share please contact exec@babcga.org and we will be happy to work with you on a webinar for our Calendar of Events.

    I look forward to the day when we can resume our in-person activities and meet face-to-face. In the meantime, I hope that each day is a safe, healthy and POWER-filled one for you and your families.

    Jennifer Riis-Poulsen

    President

    BABC Georgia


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