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Unemployment insurance eligibility

  • 1.  Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-26-2020 19:05
    My reading of the $2 trillion stimulus package is that self employed people (most of us) are going to be newly eligible for unemployment insurance. I am hoping that the Home Office and our members who are good at accounting matters (I'm looking at you Mr. Barnes) will give the rest of us some guidance on how to proceed. Anyone out there have an informed opinion?

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    Karl Roeder
    Pompano Beach FL
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  • 2.  RE: Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Posted 03-26-2020 20:04

    Hey Karl (and any other PTG Members who might find this beneficial). It's Shawn from the PTG Home Office

    Please note that the benefits in question have passed the Senate but not yet the House (which should hopefully happen on Friday) and also require the President's signature. That's expected to happen

    What you're referring to is the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which would provide jobless benefits to those who are unemployed, partially unemployed or unable to work because of the virus and don't qualify for traditional benefits. This includes independent contractors and the self-employed, who typically aren't eligible to file for unemployment, and so-called gig workers, who aren't eligible in many states. These benefits would mirror what's available in an individuals state (plus it looks like their might be some additional benefits provided by the state

    It's important to note that (at least at this point), the program is designed to be administered through each states individual system. That means the application process will be conducted through whatever state you currently live in. At this point it's hard to predict how each state is going to handle applications and eligibility within the guidelines that the Federal legislation might set up.

    We're doing our best to keep up and keep members informed. I'm also going to encourage everyone to follow developments within their individual states to see how this Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program will be implemented.

    In the meantime, you can learn more (and see links to all the states agencies) here https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/unemployment-insurance 



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    Shawn Bruce
    Marketing Manager
    Piano Technicians Guild
    Kansas City KS
    913-432-9975
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  • 3.  RE: Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-26-2020 20:14
    ​Thanks, Shawn

    Michael

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    Michael Gutowski, RPT, TEC
    Central East RVP
    Chicago Chapter
    chicagotuner@aol.com
    847-759-0369
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  • 4.  RE: Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-26-2020 21:11
    Thank you Mr. Bruce. That's very helpful.

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    Karl Roeder
    Pompano Beach FL
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  • 5.  RE: Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-26-2020 23:54
    As most of you know, my son, Chris, is a CPA, and is the president of a small (35 member) accounting firm in Colorado Spring.  I just got off the phone with him about the new bailout. He has spent the last two days reading everything he could about this bill, and how it impacts small businesses and self employed people like us. Here is what he was able to find out.

    First of all, most of what we pay every year in taxes is not income tax, but social security, or self employment tax. So the actual impact on our social security tax is not going to be very much. We still have to pay that. But here is how this bill will help us.

    For self employed tuners there are two benefits.

    First, our 2019 taxes are not due until July 15, instead of April 15.
    Second our estimated taxes that we have to pay will be put on hold for at least one quarter, if not the entire year. In an sense we're getting "reimbursed" for our estimated taxes by not having to pay them until later. Because most of us will have less income this year, our tax bill will be less than last year, and that is the "benefit" we will get. We won't get an actual check, but we won't have to pay as much upfront.  (This does not have anything to do with the "hand out" from the government that we should all get, no matter what.)

    For those of you who have employees, and have had to lay them off, you can get money from the government to hire them back. There is a process and paper work that needs to be filled out, but the way Chris put it, it's better to give employers money to hire their workers back, than to give those workers unemployment checks. That is how the Federal government is helping small businesses.

    Anyway, hope this helps. As always, please consult with your own accountant to get the latest details.

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    Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT
    Mililani, HI 96789
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  • 6.  RE: Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 00:05
    ​Wim,

    April 15th is when the first quarter installment is due and it's been deferred to July 15th.
    What about the second quarter which is due June 15th? Is that also due July 15th? Or is it later?
    If it's due 7/15, that won't help much if one isn't working.

    Michael

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    Michael Gutowski, RPT, TEC
    Central East RVP
    Chicago Chapter
    chicagotuner@aol.com
    847-759-0369
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  • 7.  RE: Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 00:09
    Chris wasn't sure about that, yet.  Details are sill being worked out, but he is pretty confident that no one will have to pay any estimated taxes until the end of the year. He didn't say if that means in December, or on January 15.

    Remember, the House has not yet voted on this, but it's expected to do so of Friday.

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    Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT
    Mililani, HI 96789
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  • 8.  RE: Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 08:13
    If one isn't working, will not his estimated quarterly payments be much less? As in, what I will do is send in *something*, but it'll be very small because I don't anticipate earning much for some of these quarters. Or am I thinking incorrectly here?

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    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS
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  • 9.  RE: Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 08:20
    Hi John:
    You can calculate how much your estimated payments should be, based upon your actual income. Just be aware that you'll have to send in much more when boom times resume. I think most of us have much more work during the holiday season
    so you'll need to send in more for that quarter. I'm not sure if this has to be done on a consistent basis, either way. Much like using a mileage deduction or actual expenses when calculating auto expenses. At the end of the year, there is a penalty for not sending in enough estimated tax. Don't ask..
    Paul McCloud
    San Diego



    John Formsma
    If one isn't working, will not his estimated quarterly payments be much less? As in, what I will do is send in *something*, but it'll be very small because I don't anticipate earning much for some of these quarters. Or am I thinking incorrectly here?

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    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS





  • 10.  RE: Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Member
    Posted 03-27-2020 09:54
    Our quarterlies are supposed to equal last years owed taxes. Theoretically using your posting we could end up with penalties because we didn't pay enough. Make sense?

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    [Ronald] [Moore]
    [Ft. Wayne] [IN]
    [260-241-1772]
    Moorepiano.com
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  • 11.  RE: Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 10:25
    Yes, that's what we do. But I thought we make estimated payments based on last year's amount...i.e, an estimate. Then, once the return is filed, it is known whether the estimates were correct, or whether there are any penalties due. It would seem that a penalty is due only when an estimated payment wasn't made, or if it was way off in its amount. (This is why I use an accountant, because I just don't want to think about all the different minutiae of tax law.)

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    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS
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  • 12.  RE: Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-28-2020 14:00

    As I understand it, you use last year's income as a guide, but you pay quarterly estimated tax based on your present income.  That's what I've always done.  I have never gotten fined for any discrepancy.  Here is a bit from the IRS website:

     

    To figure your estimated tax, you must figure your expected adjusted gross income, taxable income, taxes, deductions, and credits for the year.

    When figuring your estimated tax for the current year, it may be helpful to use your income, deductions, and credits for the prior year as a starting point. 

    https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/estimated-taxes

     

    The key word is "expected."  It makes no sense at all to send quarterly payments based on last year's income.  If there's a tax expert out there who knows otherwise I'd like to hear it, or someone who has gotten explicit direction on this straight from their accountant.






  • 13.  RE: Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Member
    Posted 03-28-2020 17:06
    Loren, you may have to pay a penalty if you underestimate by too much.  Unless...you pay, in quarterlies, the total amount you owed in the prior year.

    --
    5 Tarr's Lane WEST
    Rockport, MA  01966
    978-546-8428





  • 14.  RE: Unemployment insurance eligibility

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 13:00
    Estimated taxes are based on last year's income/taxes paid. If you paid a total of $20,000 in taxes last year, then this year's estimated taxes are $5000 per quarter. If you were making the same as last year, that wouldn't be a problem. But if you're making half of what you did last year, that would an extreme hardship.

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    Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT
    Mililani, HI 96789
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