Berkowitz Pollack Brant Introduces COVID-19 Response Team, Helps Individuals and Businesses Respond to Challenges by Andrew Leonard, CPA

Posted on March 26, 2020 by Andrew Leonard

The spread of the coronavirus and the rapid pace at which taxpayers must make critical decisions and adapt to shifting policies and regulations will leave an indelible mark on individuals and businesses for generations to come. While change is expected, you do not have to face it alone.

The tax, audit, business-consulting and business-valuation advisors with Berkowitz Pollack Brant have created a COVID-19 Response Team to lead clients through these difficult times and implement strategies that can help them maintain resilience through this once-in-a-lifetime crisis.

Here are some specific items that should be on your radar:

Business Operations Support

Compliance with the Family First Corona-Virus Response Act (FFCRA) can give rise to several payroll and HR issues, including modifications to employee paid sick and family medical leave policies and the application of payroll tax credits for employers.

Business-Continuity Planning

A confluence of financial pressures is making it difficult for businesses to pay their bills and keep their doors open. Now is the time to identify opportunities to help you maintain cash flow and healthy liquidity while also avoiding the potential pitfalls that can negatively impact your ability to continue doing business in a positive way.

Estate Planning

Depressed asset values and record-low interest rates at this time provide an ideal environment for passing wealth and long-term asset appreciation to future generations, especially with the likelihood that the very generous estate and gift tax exemptions that are currently in place will decrease in the future. Valuation discounts can also apply to real estate holdings and privately held businesses, maximizing the tax efficiency of transfers at this time.

Insurance Reviews – Commercial

While most business-interruption insurance policies explicitly exclude viral pandemics, a careful review of other commercial policies may reveal other opportunities for business owners to recover even a portion of losses resulting from the coronavirus.

Government-Backed Loan Programs and Modifications to Existing Loans

Sorting through all the lending programs federal and state governments are introducing for small and mid-size businesses requires careful attention to details to identify those loans with the most favorable terms to meet your specific borrowing and repayment needs. In addition, now is the time to review existing loan covenants and stipulations to identify opportunities for negotiating better interest rates and ensuring you properly report those loans on your financial statements.

Tax Planning

While the federal government’s economic stimulus programs may help to alleviate some short-term financial burdens, you should also consider other options for improving liquidity and potential tax savings, including restructuring businesses and personal assets.

Berkowitz Pollack Brant’s multi-disciplinary team of advisors and CPAs is closely monitoring evolving issues and assessing the impact on clients’ business operations and financial well-being. We are working to develop strategies that can provide you with a ray of hope in an otherwise grim environment and help you to blunt the blow of negative financial outcomes. At the present time, we are following closely as the federal government hammers out the details of its third emergency-relief stimulus package, and we will share our commentary with you as soon as it is signed into law.

About the Author: Andrew Leonard, CPA, is a director with Berkowitz Pollack Brant’s International Tax Services practice, where he provides tax structuring, pre-immigration planning and a wide array of international tax and consulting services to international companies, entrepreneurs, families and foreign trusts. He can be reached at the CPA firm’s Boca Raton, Fla., office at (561) 361-2000 or