The LRA has been working with local, state and national lawmakers and lobbyists to help direct the narrative and push through legislation in support of restaurant companies. We have been heard and supported across the board – with important progress on 2 gateway points:
Our SIF Trustees declared a dividend for 2019 for specific fund years that has historically been distributed in April of the following year. Presently, we cannot confirm the specific date dividends will be processed. We expect they will be made during April and will update our website when the date is determined.
The plan now must go to the House. You can read more here. Details of the plan include:
The LRA has aggressively pushed for inclusion of Senator Rubio’s (R-FL) relief plan, which would use private banks to make quick SBA-backed loans to business. Proposed details include:
State Revenue Dept. Extends Tax Filing Deadlines; Waives Feb. Sales Tax Penalties/Interest for Late Payments
While February sales taxes are due Friday, March 20, 2020, the state is waiving penalties and interest under the Emergency Order. This is to help businesses with immediate liquidity. It is not a waiver of the payment, simply a waiver of penalty or interest for late payments. If you can pay them, please do so.
Also state tax returns are automatically extended to a filing deadline of August 15, 2020. There has been no extension of the current May 15, 2020 date to pay 2019 income taxes.
Members are reminded LA Wallet, Louisiana's official digital driver's licence, can be used to verify age for alcohol transactions with takeout or drive through food orders. It is the only form of electronic identification recognized and accepted in the state by the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco (ATC). Establishments must properly train all employees prior to accepting the digital driver’s license.
The LRA is pleased to announce the implementation of the Osterfeld Agency’s site for members, open4bizLA.com! Your listing is being hosted by Osterfeld Agency at no charge to LRA members as we progress through the COVID-19 environment.
Restaurants statewide are able to utilize, and setup instructions are available below.
As LRA members populate their information in the days ahead, we will refer Louisiana residents to the site and share on social media.
y: Philip P. Monteleone, CPA, CMA, CFM
All businesses are likely currently reviewing their insurance policies to try to understand what they bought, and if there is any coverage for losses due to the coronavirus. This is an extremely important issue for continuity, as businesses would like to know if they will have the funds to continue to pay employees during a closure. While we are CPAs and do not offer advice on coverage and policy exclusions, we can offer help on how to document and quantify your losses should it be determined that full or partial recovery is available from insurance, or the possibility of future government assistance.
As of March 17, 2020 insurance companies and claims processors are pointing to policy exclusions for pandemics. There are already lawsuit filings seeking clarity on coverage. We cannot know what will and will not be covered. We do know from past experience with these claims that documentation is critical. These policies can in some circumstances cover continuing payroll, but of course this would only cover actual continued payments. We know that many businesses are doing everything they can within their current cash position and borrowing capacity to continue funding the salaries of their employees.
In the September 2004 issue of Review & Outlook, I reviewed the need for business interruption insurance. We again stressed the need for coverage and the nuances of claims in the wake of Hurricane Katrina during 2005 and 2006. Again, that need has become an unfortunate reality, and proper documentation and quantification of your claim is critical. Policyholders unfamiliar with their exclusions will be reasonably upset, and some will likely interpret their positions with great fervor in the hopes of some reasonable relief.
Coverage for your structural and contents losses are covered under your property and casualty (P&C) policy, which often includes coverage for lost business income, sometimes called business interruption (BI) insurance. Many professionals in the industry expect a heated debate over whether the coronavirus has caused physical damage to an insured location, a common requirement of the “chain rule” for claim payment.
The objective of business interruption insurance is to financially compensate you, the insured, to make you “whole” for the period of a covered loss, within the constraints of the policy. Coverage for “civil authority” directed closures often have a 72 hour waiting period, and limited timeframes for payment. Typical policy language covers net profits plus continuing expenses, including payroll. Language for “extra expenses” can cover additional costs incurred as a result of the loss. The “business income” formula will be further defined by policy language, including possible applications of co-insurance. Complex policy language will require the assistance of professionals familiar with BI claims.
BI SUPPORT DOCUMENT FROM BOURGEOIS BENNETT CPAs
BB Recommends: Maintain your accounting records in the ordinary course of business, with extra care to document specific costs related to mitigation efforts and your continued payroll. Instill a “belt-and suspenders” approach to computer file backups and review your continuity plans with your IT providers. Multiple sources of backups of records could be obtained through your payroll processor, or banking institution, in addition to your own servers and cloud-based networks. Losses not covered by insurance will likely be tax deductible. Quantification of your losses over and above policy limits or coverage is still necessary for tax purposes and for possible recovery from sources other than your insurer. If your business or insured has already experienced a loss or expects to, call your BB professional or Philip Monteleone in the New Orleans office