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
Dear Mr. President, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader McConnell:
The National Restaurant Association represents one of the cornerstones of every community –
a restaurant that Americans call their own. From nationally-known chains, to favorite local
independents, to corner diners, we are an industry that is the first stop for individuals looking to
nourish themselves and their families. We are proud to be the country’s second-largest private
sector employer, and our commitment to bringing everyone together at our tables will never
The coronavirus poses unprecedented challenges to this country, and we applaud your
collective efforts to minimize its impact and keep the American people safe. You have taken
aggressive steps to promote our public health and provide needed benefits to our nation’s
workers. But as you can expect, as an industry that is based on welcoming everyone through
our doors, we are uniquely affected by mandates that keep us from serving our customers. We
are revising our business model to provide meals in different ways (takeout, delivery, safety-enhanced dine-in), but we are facing economic headwinds that will lead many restaurants to
shut down operations, lay off workers, and end our service in our communities.
Economically, we are anticipating sales to decline by $225 billion during the next three months,
which will prompt the loss of between five and seven million jobs. The restaurant industry is one
of low margins, tight cash flow, and a workforce that depends on us for their livelihood. Without
aggressive and immediate action from the federal government, many restaurants that are a
staple of local communities will simply never resume service.
We urge you to take critical steps to support America’s restaurant industry and the 15.6 million
workers we employ. Specifically, we urge you to enact the following proposals targeted at our
industry during this time of uncertainty:
Direct/Targeted Financial Relief
Loans/Insurance Options for Impacted Small Businesses
In the coming days, the Association will submit additional recommendations to address the
challenges confronting our restaurant owners and operators as this situation rapidly unfolds.
Thank you for your leadership. We look forward to working with you in the days ahead.
Executive Vice President, Public Affairs
cc: Honorable Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury
Honorable Chuck Schumer, Senate Democratic Leader
Honorable Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Leader
The City of New Orleans has reiterated that all businesses that collect sales taxes timely remit all such sales taxes. The City of New Orleans has noted that the political subdivisions that it collects these taxes for rely on these monthly collections to fund critical ongoing operations. They have also offered to consider waiving penalties and fees for late payments on a limited basis during the time frame of the emergency proclamation. Bottom line: Continue Timely Collecting and Remitting Sales Taxes as Usual!
We have been working with ATC Commissioner Lombard to develop solutions for restaurants with on premise alcohol beverage permits in the COVID-19 delivery and take out environment.
There are two items related to your on premise alcohol beverage permit we wish to share:
Click HERE for the application.
Restaurants also need to complete and submit the linked affidavit with each application. Completed applications and affidavits can be emailed to Linda Pham at email@example.com.
Applications can be emailed to either Linda Pham at firstname.lastname@example.org or Aliska Anderson at email@example.com
Payment for the applications:
Please don’t confuse these two options. The first allows for no permit for take out/pick up at your premises. To deliver requires a permit, paying the fee and having a method for verifying the purchaser’s ID electronically.
ATC advises that only daiquiri shops in limited parishes outside of Orleans are permitted to sell frozen alcoholic beverages in closed containers to go. Restaurants are not provided this licensing as their permits are considered on premise. We have communicated with ATC and they advise there will be no expansion of this temporary authority to include mixed drinks or frozen beverages.
Louisiana Gov. Edwards announces Bars to close; Limiting Restaurants to delivery, take out & drive thru orders only
Governor John Bel Edward has announced additional measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana. To further limit the size of gathering to fewer than 50 people, the closure of casinos and bars, and limiting restaurants to delivery, take out and drive through orders only goes into effect at midnight tonight through April 13th.
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards took additional significant measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana, futher limiting the size of gatherings to fewer than 50 people, closing casinos, bars and movie theaters and limiting restaurants to delivery, take out and drive-through orders only. These changes are effective statewide at Midnight. Operations may be able to resume on April 13, however, the situation will be reevaluated seven days prior. In Louisiana, there are 132 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and two people have died.
"More aggressive steps are necessary to fight the spread of COVID-19 across Louisiana. Following additional guidance from the CDC, gathering of more than 50 people area no longer permitted, bars and casinos must close and restaurants will only be able to offer take out or delivery," Gov. Edwards said. "These limitations were difficult to make, but they are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, protect the health of Louisiana and flatten the curve."
"What we're learning is that it can take two weeks for symptoms to appear. We believe we are still unearthing community spread that's been around for the past several weeks, which means it is a statewide problem that requires statewide solutions," Gov. Edwards said. "In addition to meeting with Sen. Bill Cassidy this morning who is supportive of our efforts, I was also on a call with President Trump and Vice President Pence that lasted more than an hour and they were very clear that we must significantly expand our mitigation efforts to slow the process of COVID-19 before there is more community spread. Action must be taken now, even in areas where there are no confirmed cases yet."
The Governor will update his public health emergency proclamation to include the following: