It’s no secret that the past few years have been rough for most business owners. But just because the pandemic is just about in the rear-view mirror, that doesn’t mean financial help for businesses is no longer available.
Longtime estate planning attorney Samuel B. Ledwitz, who also works with dozens of small business owners, said the employee retention credit — or ERC — can still help businesses get back — or stay — on fiscal track.
He added the idea for the ERC was actually born out of the original economic stimuli packages passed by the federal government back when the pandemic was in its infancy.
“It’s been a tough few years being in business,” said Ledwitz, president and managing partner of estate planning law firm The Law Firm of Bezaire, Ledwitz & Associates. “During the pandemic, many, many business owners applied for PPP, or the Paycheck Protection Program. During the pandemic, in an effort to get the economy going the government approved billions of dollars to be issued into the general public, whether it was through direct stimulus payments to individuals or payments to business owners. What they said was if you lost revenue because of the pandemic, we will make a loan to you.”
The loans were issued with a one percent interest rate, Ledwitz said, making them very affordable and attractive.
“The bigger you were, the bigger the loan,” he said. “A year or two later you were to start paying it back.”
In fact, in many instances the loans did not even have to be paid off, Ledwitz said.
“If you met certain criteria, you didn’t have to pay the loans back at all,” he said, adding the program was administered through the Small Business Administration and was set to expire in 2021. “You got to keep the money and it was just written off. The second round worked very much like the first one. If the government caused you to lose business through the pandemic-related shutdowns, this was their way of making it up to you. That’s where most people think the story ends.”
And the next story is the advent of the ERC, Ledwitz said.
“However, in one of those bills, the IRS gets to administer ERC, or the employee retention credit,” he said. “The ERC is a lot like PPP, but it’s not a loan. It’s a gift. You have to again show you lost money during the pandemic years. You need to have someone look at your payroll documents from that time period and have the correct forms submitted. And the great thing is the business owner can get up to $26,000 per employee who was kept on the payroll during the pandemic. That’s unheard of. And depending on the number of employees you have, that number could add up really fast.”
In addition, Ledwitz said you need to act quickly because while the program just got renewed for another year, it will eventually expire. He added also that while you don’t necessarily need an attorney to file the correct forms “you do need someone who is familiar with the program and understands how to submit the forms, whether it is an attorney or possibly a certified public accountant, The reason is you have to show to the government that you lost money and you have to show that data correctly. Otherwise, you have a good chance of getting denied and the program will expire. So, you might as well get it correct the first time.”
If you would like to discuss any aspect of a proper Estate Plan or would like more information on the ERC, please phone The Law Firm of Bezaire, Ledwitz & Associates at (626) 398-0100 or log onto www.SmartEstatePlans.com.
Advanced Estate Planning
Families with substantial estates require additional strategies beyond a typical Estate Plan to reduce and offset Estate Tax liabilities.
When estate planning for digital assets, it’s important to consider the following: Identify what digital assets you have: This includes social media accounts, email accounts, online banking and investment accounts, and any other digital assets that may have financial or sentimental value.
Determine who will have access to the assets:
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Ready to do business and handle any trust issues. mary grimes06:15 09 Jun 22 I’ve dealt with 3 different lawyers in regards to my will, my trust. and my LLCI’ve spent... thousands of dollars.This is by far the best experience I’ve had, he’s handling all that, eliminating the LLC, putting my houses back in my name, he’s fair and has a great attitude.I don’t have to go to another lawyer again!read moreRed Castro06:58 31 May 22 Super friendly and helpful staff. Felt confident with their services from the start. Roxanne Ramirez18:14 07 May 22 Samuel Ledwitz has been my attorney for years. Friendly, knowledgeable and accessible. mary emily smiley06:43 06 Mar 22 I am so pleased with everything about this law firm. Thank you Attorney Ledwitz for all your help... and information. Creating my Trust with your firm was a great experience and done in a timely manner. I will highly recommend your business to anyone. Once again, THANK YOU!read moreJenniffeir Suarez03:48 14 Jan 22 I heard about this firm through a friend of mine and decided to make an appointment to see them.I... was so impressed with how confidant and comfortable I felt putting my case in their hands.read moreMercedes Morales21:01 19 Oct 21 Thank you Sam for all your help! Desiree Gasca18:41 19 Oct 21 By Darren Chaker: Having dealt with San Diego attorneys too long, I was happy to accompany a friend... there office to update a trust. The staff was very professional, attorneys could articulate a response for any question posed. Definitely talented attorneys.read moreDarren Chaker17:40 20 Oct 20 My wife and I completed our Estate Planning from The Law Firm of Bezaire. we were thinking about... having our estate planning done from last couple of years and it's all done .. Thanks to The Law Firm of Bezaire!!read moreVerna Gonzalez19:15 12 Dec 19 We got our trust restated The Law Firm of Bezaire and we are very satisfied with the service we... have received. They answered all of our questions quickly and made this process easy for us. We would definitely recommend this firm to our friends and families. Thank you!read moreGloria Smith17:43 22 Nov 19 Fantastic firm! Richard Knapp02:52 10 Jul 19 The people there are just plain friendly and helpful. Couldn't get better service Jill Gilliam20:54 25 Apr 19 I was referred by a very close family friend to Bezaire, Ledwitz and Associates to do my... Grandmother's Will and have me act as Power of Attorney for my Grandmother quite a few years back. Every time we needed legal assistance, the staff has always been professional and The Law Firm of Bezaire accommodating and because of this, I have always recommended their firm to others as wellread moreBryan C. Carrington09:05 13 Feb 19 We’ve dealt with Bezaire, Ledwitz and Associates on numerous occasions for Estate Planning matters... and have been very happy with their services and friendly manner. They helped us with family estates, real estate and is our first choice for the updating of our wills in the near future. I strongly recommend them.read moreJames D. Barker09:36 12 Feb 19 We found Samuel and his staff to be very efficient and helpful in our recent business with them.... They were always accessible and quick to answer questions or give advice when we called.read moreNick Locis09:28 12 Feb 19 My family and I have dealt with The Law Firm of Bezaire, Ledwitz and Associates numerous times for... Estate Planning matters - always finding them compassionate, approachable, and knowledgeable. I highly recommend them.read moreJack N. Goulet04:24 12 Feb 19 The Law Firm of Bezaire did a last-minute will for my mother with very little advance notice. The... staff did a fantastic job!read moreLathen Cheas04:20 12 Feb 19 only the best says it all !!! VERY happy with Mr. Samuel Ledwitz esq. and staff.Now I have peace... of mind thank-you .read moreWillow Jones-Heger22:46 07 Jan 19 We had a great experience dealing with Samuel Ledwitz when it was time to revise and update our... family trust and legal documents. We feel very confident that we are in very good hands, and that our estate and our legal affairs will be handled with the utmost professional and personal care. Highly recommended.read moreAnn Imberman21:42 22 Aug 18 I was very happy with how my estate planning was handled by Sam Ledwitz & Associates. I would... highly recommend this firm.read moreandrea mitchell21:55 19 Jan 18
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