September Newsletter

Accounting 101: Get ‘schooled’ on this fall’s news

back to school

It’s that time!

Hi all!

From masks to smaller classes to distance learning, raise your hand if this back-to-school time came way too fast!

It sure did around here, and we’re working to get into the groove of the kids working alongside me – who knows, maybe they’ll become expert accountants by osmosis ūüėČ

In the midst of it all, I wanted to be sure that I gave you all your monthly updates as scheduled. So, here’s your ‘Accounting 101’ updates:

go learn

Did someone say updates?

Updates:

The PPP Update:

If you’d call it an update…

Basically, we’re still being told to ‘hurry up and wait’. We’re still waiting for the SBA and Congress to hash out the forgiveness application details, so¬†you don’t have to do anything yet. However, there are two articles we recommend if you do want to learn a bit more:

  • This article¬†explains why it makes sense to wait to apply for forgiveness.
  • And¬†this one¬†talks about the issues behind doing blanket forgiveness for PPP loans under $150k.¬†
 
Unemployment & lost wages benefits got extended!

A few things to note.
For those of you in Illinois, an additional $600 per week was added to weekly unemployment benefits that were to end July 31st. The Illinois Department of Employment Security has extended this benefit an additional 20 weeks. Illinois is one of 19 states to extend its unemployment benefits including AZ, LA, MO, TN, and TX. Be sure to research if your state has a federal boost to weekly unemployment benefits, and by how much. 

smartest man alive

How you’ll feel after using the cheat sheet we’re about to tell you about!

What you’re missing on social media:

You knew we got all fancy on IG, right?

Starting yesterday,¬†we’re highlighting¬†one of our Bloom family members each week. We have the COOLEST clients and want y’all to know each other, too. Looking for an incredible designer? A Chiropractor that works exclusively with moms and kids? Follow us on Instagram to see¬†our WTF Wednesdays (who to follow) features!

Want to be one of the cool kids?¬†¬†Send us a picture and answer a couple of¬†quick questions¬†here¬†and we’ll make sure you get a little publicity in the Bloom network.

The cheat sheet you need!

So you can answer, “Is this¬†a tax write-off?”
Last week, we shared a cheat sheet of all the different types of tax write-offs on our Instagram page. Click on the link in our bio to see the cheat sheet, and be sure to file > make a copy > save to your Google Drive for future reference!

cherish it

And for those of y’all at home with the kiddos – cherish it

That’s it for now, Bloom family!

I’m heading out to decide if having the kids make dinner counts as a science project, and do other mom-teacher-accountant¬†things ūüôā

Sending good vibes to you all!

Stephanie

August Newsletter

Who’s ready for a vacation?

Social distancing has me wanting a family vacation!

Hi all!

How’s your socially distanced summer going?

After a wild ride of tax extensions, distance learning, #maskingup, and all the other things COVID, the fam and I are headed out on a great American road trip.

The kids are excited to do some very distanced learning about the national parks and monuments, and we’re just excited to get away for a few days. Although we’re hoping to avoid a few of the National Lampoon gaffes, we’re excited to go make some memories as a family.

That being said, I will be out of the office for a little while. If you need me on August 12-24, shoot me an email. I’ll monitor my inboxes every couple of days, and my assistant will be able to help you with anything urgent.

Alright, enough about me – here’s what you need to know!

Did someone say updates?

Updates:

IRS refunds are delayed

Oh 2020, you’ve done it again.

A source at the IRS has confirmed that not only is the IRS understaffed, but they are also understandably backlogged right now. What this means for us is that your refund is going to take a while. If your return was filed in July or has yet to be filed, expect to see your refund in the next couple of months. 

There is additional stimulus money!

Don’t leave money on the table.

There is still money left in the PPP fund. While most traditional banks are no longer helping people apply for stimulus money,¬†Kabbage¬†and¬†BlueVine¬†are still rockin’ and rollin’. Be sure to¬†apply by August 8th.

 
We’re still scheduling mid-year tax reviews!

You can schedule yours with this link.

Curious about your estimated quarterly payment? Have questions about your stimulus funds? Just want to check in with your favorite accountant? Schedule an appointment with me for later this month and we can chat about whatever you need!


We want to highlight you!

We want to share what our clients and friends are doing on social media!

In ‘WTF Wednesdays‘ (who to follow), we want to highlight the amazing things that YOU are doing! Interested in getting a little bit of exposure on our social media? Send us a picture and answer a couple of¬†quick questions¬†here.

 
The business filing extension if approaching!

In case you still need to file

Hey,¬† nobody’s perfect and I’m still working on some straggler¬†taxes returns. If you still need to file your business taxes, the extension deadline is September 15th. The extension deadline for personal taxes is October 15th. Hit ‘reply’ to this email and let me know if you need any help – and if you’re waiting to hear from me, you will soon. ūüôā

‚ÄúSorry folks, the park‚Äôs closed. The moose out front should‚Äôve told you.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Lasky

Alright, folks. I’m off to plan the last-minute details of our road trip. If you have super fun recommendations in Billings, places we should check out in Yosemite (Yo-Semite?) and Grand Teton, or suggestions for South Dakota, send them my way!

Sending good vibes out to you all! 

Stephanie

July Newsletter

“Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now”

How I feel about having an extra day off this week

Hi all!

Wow! Can you believe we’re halfway through the year already?

I hope that before you read the updates below, you take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back. Honestly, we all deserve a bit of self-care for persevering through 2020. 

In celebration of the holiday weekend (which also includes my husband’s birthday), I’ll be taking a few days off to relax with my family. We’re going to watch Hamilton’s release on Disney+ and hopefully enjoy some (socially distant) time outside – is there a better way to spend the 4th of July than with family!?¬†

And now, for the updates you need to know:

Updates:

Your Drive folder location has changed!

Check your email inbox for a note from ‘hello@bloomsbs.com’.

As we phase out the use of ZP Associates emails and Google Drive folders, we moved all your documents over to our Bloom Google Drive. If you have a Drive folder with us, we sent you an email on either Monday or Tuesday. Be sure to check your emails to ensure that you have access to the new Drive folders. We’re doing an audit to ensure all documents made the migration – no file will be left behind!

If you don’t have an email from us with your new Drive folder,¬†send us an email¬†and we’ll get you set up!

*NOTE: you will still have access to your folder in ZP’s Google Drive through next March when ZP’s domain registration expires*

 
We’re now scheduling mid-year tax reviews!

You can schedule yours with this link.

This is for everyone – even those of you who don’t want to make quarterly estimated payments but DO want to check up on your business and tax liability! We can also do a review of your QuickBooks to make sure everything is in tippy top shape. Please choose a time that works for you at the end of July or early August.¬†

 
We’re having so much fun on social media!

Check out our new Instagram and Facebook pages!

Taco the Tax cat makes cameos with helpful tax tips, and we plan to share pressing updates on those platforms as well. We also have a¬†‘Follow Friday’ feature in the works where we will be giving a shout-out to¬†one of our rock star clients. DM us if you want to be one of the¬†first clients highlighted!

PPP Loan Applications have been extended!


At the risk of sounding like a broken record…if you haven’t applied for a PPP loan, you now have some extra time to get that money. The SBA announced on June 30th that they’ll be accepting applications through August 8th.¬†

YES, you can have both EIDL and PPP. YES, you can have PPP and unemployment. YES, it can be 100% forgiven! 

“Raise a glass to freedom
Something they can never take away
No matter what they tell you”

Tax return preparation is¬†still chugging¬†along. If you’ve submitted your tax documents already but¬†haven’t heard from me lately, you will very soon! The tax filing deadline for individual returns is July 15th and I will be filing automatic 3 month extensions for anyone who hasn’t gotten me all of their tax “stuff” by Friday 7/3. Partnership & S-corp tax returns are due 9/15.¬†

At this point, I’m just grateful to have made it halfway through 2020 and feeling very, very lucky¬†to have all of you along with me. What a wild¬†ride this year has been (and perhaps it’s time to get off the crazy train). Let’s hope July behaves themselves…although Mercury is still retrograde (tends to mess with communication and electronics) and Mars moved into Aries (sh*t is gonna get REAL, yo). If¬†you follow this¬†sort of thing — it’s kind of a big deal in the cosmos.¬†

Sending good vibes to you all!

Stephanie

PPP Update for Small Businesses

Good morning, Bloom family!

We’re trying hard to keep these newsletters to a minimum by only sending them at the beginning of each month, but this was too important not to share!

Check it out below!

We’re¬†almost¬†as excited as Jessie Spano on caffeine pills¬†

“Hey, hey, hey. What.is.going.on.here?”

Self-employed PPP borrowers will have their loans fully forgiven!

The SBA announced on Wednesday that it’s ensuring full forgiveness of PPP loans for self-employed individuals, freelancers and independent contractors – those whose loan amount was based on 2.5 times their 2019 monthly income. YAY!

There has been much debate about what the final ruling would be on how much, if any, self-employed folks would have to pay back since “payroll” looks a little different for solely owned businesses that don’t have traditional payroll. This is great news for many of you and I’m so relieved that we don’t have to worry about this any longer!

Also, self-employed business owners and other borrowers with fairly straightforward cases will be able to use¬†a new, shorter ‚ÄúEZ‚ÄĚ form¬†to seek loan forgiveness. Unlike the old form, it does not require detailed information and other documents to prove a claim. This will make things a LOT easier and hopefully will expedite the process as well. Lenders are not yet ready to begin accepting forgiveness applications, however.¬†

PPP loans are still available through the end of this month. US Bank, PayPal, Kabbage and Associated Bank are a few lenders that are still actively accepting applications. 

You can find the¬†official documentation regarding forgiveness guidance here¬†beginning 6/19/20 when it’s officially released.

What’s up, preppies?”¬†

EIDL is back!

The SBA also announced that the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grant and loan programs were re-funded. These will again be on are first-come, first-serve basis, so if you didn’t take advantage of this low interest business loan the first time around, I recommend applying right away. The SBA is¬†accepting applications until December 31st or when the funds run out, whichever comes first.

  • As a reminder, sole proprietors, freelancers and independent contractors are eligible for this program¬†– in addition to LLC and S-corp owners
  • The money can be used to pay for things like¬†rent, payroll, business debt and any other business-related expenses.¬†
  • You can be approved for and receive both a PPP loan and an EIDL loan¬†

Don’t forget that you could also receive a¬†$1,000 per employee grant¬†(up to $10,000 max) as part of your EIDL application. Note: the word ’employee’ is being used very loosely and is intended to include anyone who is self-employed, whether or not you actually have ’employees.’¬†

Are you on the fence about whether you need EIDL or not?¬†Consider the uncertainty of what might happen in the next 6-9 months and beyond…will there be a second wave of Covid-19 in the fall like the experts are predicting? Will we be forced into quarantine again and work comes to another standstill? Having some extra cash to tap into if we find ourselves facing round 2 of ‘Rona might be a smart financial move. The interest rate is very low (much lower than lenders typically offer on traditional business loans) and the repayment terms are generous. Plus, there’s no prepayment penalty if you were to payoff the loan sooner than required. Just a thought – your future self will thank you!¬†

Learn more about the program and apply here.

Gosh, I miss the 90’s!

Stephanie

June Newsletter

Zaide, Palacio & Associates is now Bloom Small Business Services!

Snoopy happy-dance!

Hi all!

I am absolutely thrilled to announce the launch of our new name ‚ÄúBloom Small Business Services, Co.‚ÄĚ or just ‚ÄúBloom‚ÄĚ for short! The reason for this name change is because I want my company to be an extension of who I am and what my values are, and ‚ÄúBloom‚ÄĚ symbolizes exactly what my approach is to helping your business flourish and thrive into its full potential.

Although we’ve changed our name, our commitment to you remains the same. But here are some refinements we have made to our services:
  • Our new website is¬†bloomsbs.com¬†– please check it out and let me know what you think!
  • You can now¬†schedule an appointment¬†directly from our website
  • We will continue to monitor the ZP inboxes closely but will start replying to emails with our new Bloom domain starting next week.
  • You can also find us¬†on¬†Instagram¬†and¬†Facebook
Speaking of our values: At Bloom, we believe we can cultivate and grow your business by using holistic accounting methodology. To us, ‚Äúholistic accounting‚ÄĚ means that we serve you best through thoughtful understanding of your whole business and personal values, not just numbers. Black Lives Matter. We stand by the Black community by committing ourselves to supporting Black-owned businesses and to continually educate ourselves on how we can help the Black community as a whole.

"Good grief": More COVID Updates!

PPP Loan Forgiveness
  • Although the PPP loan forgiveness application has officially been¬†released, Congress and the Treasury Department¬†continue to refine and reform¬†the rules on how exactly loan recipients¬†can apply for and receive full forgiveness of their loans. Rumor has it that there may be additional changes coming where all loans under a certain dollar amount will be automatically forgiven – fingers crossed! In any case, forgiveness applications are not yet ready to be accepted by lenders and we don’t know when that process will be available just yet. Also worth pointing out: the loan forgiveness process likely could take up to 5 months to complete, so it looks like we’ll be dealing with PPP through the end of this year and probably into next tax season.
 
PUA
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applications have been open here in Illinois for about three weeks now. The IDES website now has a specific application for¬†self-employed people who lost work or revenue during the past few months.¬†Apply for assistance here¬†– but remember, you must be denied regular unemployment first before qualifying for PUA.¬†
 
Taxes
  • The extended tax filing deadline is July 15th. If you have not yet uploaded your¬†business and/or tax documents to our shared Google Drive folder, please try to do so this month. If you need access to the folder,¬†reply to this email¬†and I’ll send it your way. And for those of you who are still waiting to receive¬†your completed returns, I promise you’ll be hearing from me very soon! Thank you so much for your patience while I continue to navigate this historically weird and challenging tax season.¬†

Cheers, everyone!

I am super excited to continue working with you under our new name and new brand, all with our expanded philosophy and values that we bring to the table to make your business truly bloom.

Stephanie

May Newsletter

Happy May Day everyone!

Did you know that May 1st¬†is a holiday in many cultures around the world? In fact, people in over 100 countries get to take today off as it is Labor Day, and plenty of others celebrate it as simply May Day. May Day is an informal holiday that celebrates unity, togetherness, and rebirth ‚Äď a celebration of life!

While we‚Äôve gotten to take ‚Äėtogetherness‚Äô to a new level with self-isolation, I thought that it was so refreshing to hear that today is a holiday that celebrates it. And we could all use a little more celebration, don‚Äôt you think?

In this newsletter, I will cover:

  • Things to¬†celebrate!
  • Relevant¬†updates¬†regarding Coronavirus and small business finances
  • One small¬†favor¬†I‚Äôm asking from you

This is what you need to know:

Where’s Stephanie?
I’ve been prioritizing helping everyone with new, pressing, and unprecedented things such as PPP loans, unemployment questions, and making sure everyone in my circle is well taken care of with stimulus payments and more. Therefore,¬†I’ve been moving a little slower than usual on your¬†tax returns. Thank you SO much for your patience, encouragement, and trust as we all work through this together.

If you’re waiting on an email reply or your tax returns from me, know that they’re on their way! If you have any questions or want to give me a nudge, feel free to shoot me an email ūüôā

Things to celebrate:

The good news is, we have plenty to celebrate! While I covered a lot of the details that pertain to small businesses in my last newsletter, I wanted to give you a few happy updates:

  • Self-employed people in Illinois will be able to start applying for unemployment the week of May 11th,¬†so mark your calendar! The process is explained on the IL Department of Employment Security¬†website here, but please let me know if you need any assistance.
  • Illinois residents have a $5,000 grant opportunity!¬†The¬†Chicago Microbusiness Recovery Grant program¬†is accepting¬†grant applications¬†for businesses with less than 4 employees and that earn¬†less than $250,000/year in revenue.
  • The PPP was re-funded, AND some clients have already received their PPP loans this week!¬†If you haven’t yet, find yourself a lender ASAP to get dibs on the funds before they run out. You don’t want to feel¬†like this guy:

Updates:

  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loan¬†has been maxed out¬†for the time being. While the PPP has been re-funded, the EIDL has not yet seen similar provisions. If you were approved, you may still receive your $10,000 loan advance, so keep an eye out for that. The messaging around this program is unclear, and I’ll continue to keep you updated as I learn specifics.
  • If you¬†applied for PPP¬†the first time without success the first time, there’s still a chance the loan will come through. The funds will likely dry up quickly, so push this to the top of your priority list!
  • Your federal Q1 and Q2 estimated tax payments are postponed¬†until September 15th. If you need help planning for this, shoot me an email and I‚Äôll let you know the next steps.
  • Although federal taxes are postponed,¬†Illinois quarterly estimated tax payments are still maintaining normal deadlines.

Okay, and our one favor from you:

Big changes are coming soon to ZP and I need your help!¬†I‚Äôd love to have few snippets of ‚Äėwhat our clients say‚Äô available.¬†Could you¬†hit ‚Äėreply‚Äô¬†and give me 2-3 sentences of what you‚Äôve learned from us, or what you love about working with us?¬†Thanks in advance!

Have an incredible May,

Stephanie & Team Bloom

April Newsletter

Happy March 34th, dudes!

Are you taking it easy at home and channeling your inner Dude? (Big Lebowski reference, anyone?). Maybe you’re the opposite¬†and have been trying to keep up with working remotely, homeschooling the kids, wearing pants, etc.¬†

Seriously, why did last month feel like 3 months? Everyone is feeling the challenges of COVID-19 right now, so we’ve put everything you need to know about your financial options as a small business (whether a sole proprietor, independent contractor, freelancer, LLC/corporation owner or otherwise!) during this health crisis.

The Stimulus package is 883 pages and worth $2 Trillion. Yikes. 

We haven‚Äôt read it all, but we DID compile a¬†complete small business resource guide for you below. Additionally, check out the links under each topic for more information. If you think this is helpful for others in your network,¬†please feel free to pass it on.¬†We’re all in this together!

If you don‚Äôt understand the .GIF references, we strongly recommend adding The Big Lebowski to your stay-at-home entertainment list – I just watched it myself for the very first time last Sunday and now understand how it’s a cult classic!

This is what you need to know:

The CARES Act supports small businesses. Here’s how:
Stimulus Package for Small Businesses


SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan & Loan Advance
 is something every small business should apply for IMMEDIATELY. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds of up to $10,000 will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. Seriously guys, go apply RIGHT NOW. 

The Paycheck Protection Program will provide small businesses with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits. These funds can also be used for necessary bills such as mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. These loans will be fully forgiven (woohoo!) when used for payroll costs and necessary expenses with some restrictions. Applications open TOMORROW, April 3rd, for small businesses and sole proprietorships. You read that right Рsole proprietors can apply, too. This program will be administered by 3rd party lending partners and will be available through June 30, 2020. Find a lender near you.

Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund
This fund is designed to compliment the federal Paycheck Protection Program. This money is intended to bolster small businesses and nonprofits with cash flow during the health crisis. These low-interest loans will be administered by 3rd party lending partners. Applications for this money are now open. This is only available to Chicago based businesses. 

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund
Low-interest loans of up to $50,000 are available for small businesses in every industry. Businesses with less than 50 employees and less than $3 million in revenue will be eligible to apply. All payments will be deferred for six months, then fixed payments at 3% interest will be due for a five-year term. Forms and additional information can be found here. This is available to small businesses not based in Chicago.

More on the personal impact:

Unemployment
You might be asking yourself, “I’m self-employed. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?” Under regular unemployment rules, the incomes of self-employed workers, freelancers, and independent contractors are not subject to unemployment taxes and so typically these individuals are not eligible for unemployment benefits. The stimulus package creates a new, temporary program to help people who lose this type of work as a direct result of the current public health emergency.¬†IDES (Illinois Department of Employment Security)¬†will provide information about how to apply for this benefit as soon as it is finalized.¬†As of 3-31-20 they have advised that self-employed folks¬†should not apply at this time;¬†wait¬†to apply until further details are available. If you do not work or own a business in Illinois, please check your state’s unemployment website for details pertaining to your area.
 

Taxes
As I mentioned previously, the filing date was extended to July 15th and is automatic for all taxpayers. You don’t have to file additional forms or qualify in any way to get an extension. However, if you want your refund and/or stimulus check, you must have filed your 2018 and/or 2019 tax return.

Stimulus Checks for Individuals
If you are¬†eligible¬†for the Economic Impact Payment,¬†the IRS¬†will automatically dispense the money to you permitting that you have filed your 2018 or 2019 tax returns.¬†The Treasury¬†plans to develop an online portal to provide your banking information to the IRS online. If you’ve never used direct deposit for a refund before, they will need your bank info so they can directly deposit the funds to each individual.¬†

Student Loan Relief
A lot has happened with student loans in the last couple of weeks. If you have loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education, then your payments may be automatically suspended through September 30th. No interest is being accrued on student loans until September 30th. There is also a tax benefit for student loan borrowers whose employers help them pay off their debt. Under the bill, a company could pay up to $5,250 of an employee’s student loan payments each year on a tax-free basis.

Pausing Your Bills
Many companies are allowing customers to defer their bills. This includes everything from gym memberships to credit card payments.Before you defer a debt payment, be sure to ask the company to be sure that it will not impact your credit score or financial situation long-term. Here is information on what to do if you can’t make your mortgage or rent payment. 

Watch Out for Scams
It’s important to note that nobody from the IRS or Treasury will call you. Do not reply to emails, calls, or other communications claiming to be from government institutions. There are no advance fees required for any of the services listed above. If you believe you are being scammed, report it to the FBI here so they can be tracked and stopped. 

Other valuable resources:

One Last Thing:

  • #TeamFollowBack:¬†We are growing our social profiles and also LOVE¬†seeing what you‚Äôre up to!¬†Click on these links to follow our¬†Instagram,¬†Twitter, and¬†Facebook, accounts and we will follow you back. We will¬†be posting updates on the latest & greatest information affecting¬†small businesses as it’s released – in addition to the usual sleep-deprived, overly caffeinated tax season nonsense¬†(sometimes you just have to goof around a little to lighten up the mood, you know?).

That rug really tied the room together, did it not?

Stephanie & Team Bloom

Tax Season Update

Hey there, it’s me¬†again!

I just wanted to send you a quick message to keep you updated with the latest changes impacting Tax Season 2020.¬†On Friday, March 20th the IRS announced that the normal tax return filing deadline of April 15th has been extended to July 15, 2020. This gives everyone who has not yet filed more time to gather their tax documents, get everything in our hands and for us to prepare your returns. I¬†certainly don’t expect (nor want) to be preparing tax returns during the summer months and am¬†continuing to work extended hours, 6 days a week to expedite your returns as quickly as possible. However, if you are having trouble gathering the necessary documents or are simply too stressed with the current events to worry about taxes, you can relax! We now have more time on our side, thanks to the IRS’s action.

Additionally, anyone who owes money to the IRS for 2019 taxes has until July 15th to pay their balance without incurring penalties and interest.¬†There’s no need to request a payment plan either – the extension is automatic.

The extended filing deadline is also automatic – I¬†will not be needing to file extensions manually this year, like I¬†do every year. I’m¬†especially excited about this because it typically takes the two of us 5-6 hours to get extensions filed for any client whom we have not heard from by April 15th or for anyone I¬†cannot get their return prepared in time. I’d much rather spend time preparing returns than filing extensions!

*S-corps and LLCs treated as S-corps for tax purposes: if your business tax return was not ready in time, extensions were filed for you on the March 15th (the regular filing deadline) which gives us an additional 6 months to file.*

ILLINOIS SMALL BUSINESSES! The SBA (Small Business Administration) is offering disaster loan assistance via low interest federal loans to help ease the impact covid19/coronavirus has had on your cashflow. From the SBA website:

Substantial economic injury means the business is unable to meet its obligations and to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses. EIDLs provide the necessary working capital to help small businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster.

The SBA can provide up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Your loan amount will be based on your actual economic injury and your company’s financial needs, regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Here is the link to find out more & apply: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

As a reminder, our office will remain closed through the end of March and probably beyond – for as long as the health officials and government agencies advise social distancing, and now, sheltering in place. If you haven’t heard, the Governor of Illinois has mandated by executive order that the entire state shelter in place beginning Saturday, March 21st. Of course, businesses deemed ‘essential services’ will remain open so folks can grocery shop and pick up their medicines, but did you know that accounting firms are also considered ‘essential services?’ That means I¬†have nothing preventing us from continuing to come to our office and prepare tax returns (real talk: I’m not sure if this makes me happy or sad – I would certainly love to spend more time with my kids but I do very much enjoy the thrill of tax season!).

My email inbox¬†fills up quite fast (seriously – I step away from the computer for 5 minutes and come back to 30 new emails) and I’m¬†so grateful for everyone’s patience while I¬†work through responding to everyone as quickly as possible. It’s no small feat to juggle staying on top of¬†communicating with clients and actually preparing tax returns, and I’m extremely grateful for your patience and understanding. Trust that I’m doing the best we can to continue providing an excellent level of service during these trying times! You may even hear from my new assistant, Wemi, occasionally if she’s able to answer your questions.

I’m going to try keeping up with our social media accounts as another means of relaying information to clients. If you aren’t already, please follow our Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter accounts and we’ll follow you back! Links are at the bottom of this letter.

  • Tax filing deadline is extended to July 15, 2020
  • Deadline to pay 2019 balances due is also extended to July 15, 2020
  • No extensions will need to be filed¬†
  • Loans are available for small businesses affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic¬†
  • Our office is closed through March 31st and will most likely be extended into April¬†
  • Illinois is under a ‘shelter in place’ order beginning March 21, 2020
  • The volume of emails we are receiving is higher than usual & we’re working as quickly as we can to respond¬†
  • Follow us on social media for the latest updates
  • You all are quite literally the best clients we could ask for & we’re¬†so grateful for your patience & loyalty!
I will continue to reach out to you with additional updates as¬†new information comes our way. It’s important for all of us to¬†stay up-to-date, especially since changes are happening quite frequently at this point and we want to keep you as informed as possible.

Stay safe, stay indoors, & keep washing those hands! We’ll all get through this together. ūüôā

– Stephanie

Unemployment Update for March

Keepin’ this one extra short & sweet…

Have all your jobs lined up for the foreseeable future been canceled? Forced to close your business temporarily because of shelter-in-place orders? Choosing not to see clients right now because of social distancing recommendations? Projects were postponed indefinitely¬†because you can’t take an airplane anywhere safely? Unable to work remotely? Cash flow looking seeeeriously tight right now? You may want to consider applying for one of the various small business emergency loans that are available to you.¬†

(Yes, YOU, the sole proprietor/no employees/payroll adverse/self-employed individual)

 And, due to provisions in the recently passed CARES bill, you may also may be qualified to receive unemployment benefits. 

I will go into this more in-depth in my upcoming, full-length newsletter (coming to an inbox near you this Friday) but for now, here are the links to apply for ALL. THE. THINGS. 

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance: https://www.sba.gov/page/disaster-loan-applications
(you can request to receive up to $10k in immediate funds while your application is processed Рmake sure to check the box!) 

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund 
https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/resources-for-business
(open to all Illinois businesses)

Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund 
https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/covid-19/home/chicago-small-business-resiliency-fund.html
(you must have a Chicago based business that’s been around for at least 1 year to qualify)

Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES Рunemployment benefits)
https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/default.aspx
(must be an Illinois resident)*

*if you’re not an Illinois resident, search the internet for the unemployment office in your home state to apply for benefits¬†

Finally, here’s a good resource for the latest information on Covid-19 and summarizes the CARES Act (all politics aside):¬†https://schakowsky.house.gov/coronavirus¬†

Be safe, wash your hands and NO PEOPLE-ING for at least another 30 days! Talk to you all soon.

- Stephanie 

February Newsletter

savings Bloom Small Business Services

As winter winds down and tax season is in full swing, we hope you are having a great year so far‚Ķin fact, we know you are! The highlight of our Q1 has been¬†chatting with you not only about¬†the intricacies of your businesses, but the things that you get to do because of your work –¬† whether it’s spending more intentional¬†time at the office, hanging out on set, traveling, or just chilling out at home with your pets.¬†Thank you so much for bringing light into our lives!

Now, on to some news, and a couple of helpful reminders during tax season:

Exciting Updates: We’re Growing!

The truth is, we’re growing because YOU’RE GROWING, and we LOVE being a part of your journey. Here’s what we’ve done to better serve YOU:

  • We recently¬†hired an assistant¬†to help with the more administrative tasks, so we‚Äôre excited to supercharge our business operations.
  • We‚Äôre training Sylvia¬†(remember Sylvia from¬†last month’s newsletter?), one of our staff accountants, to do tax prep and she‚Äôs¬†crushing it!¬†Most people run away from tax prep, but she‚Äôs leaning in and finding ways to get you more bang for your bucks.
  • Do you know someone who should join our team?¬†We‚Äôre¬†searching for¬†support staff and¬†experienced bookkeepers¬†who have the same philosophy as we do ‚Äď that holistically serving our clients is the ONLY way to do business as a full-service accounting firm.¬†Let us know¬†here¬†or forward this email to those positive vibes people¬†you think would be a good fit¬†and ask them to reach out.

Helpful Reminders:

  • If you‚Äôre an LLC or S-Corp: LLC and S-corp tax returns are due by¬†3/15. We will automatically be filing¬†6-month extensions¬†for all returns that cannot be prepared in time. You don’t even have to worry about asking for this – we’ve¬†got you¬†covered!
  • If you’re not in Chicagoland¬†(hopefully it‚Äôs somewhere warm!): please submit all your documents via the Google Drive shared folder we‚Äôve set up for you.¬†Let us know¬†if you need a re-link and we‚Äôll get on that right away.

One Last Thing:

  • #TeamFollowBack:¬†We are growing our social profiles and also LOVE¬†seeing what you‚Äôre up to!¬†Click on these links to follow our¬†Instagram,¬†Twitter, and¬†Facebook, accounts and we will follow you back. We can’t wait to check out¬†all of your pet, kid and foodie posts (and hopefully you don’t mind seeing our posts about Taco the Tax Cat and¬†late-night work nonsense).

Coffee vibes and tax jibes,

Stephanie & Team Bloom