Keep up with all SCACPA updates specific to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation at www.scacpa.org/covid-19-response-and-resources

In This Edition: SC Legislature’s emergency session spending plan is in limbo … SCRA invests $250,000 to expand COVID-19 testing for Greenville-based Precision Genetics … SC businesses adjust to Coronavirus … South Carolina COVID Strike Team will investigate fraud … IRS warns about scams tied to economic impact payments … Snapshots of CPAs becoming financial emergency responders … Fountain Inn’s AVX Corporation sues IRS over $400K in ‘erroneously assessed’ penalties

SC Legislature’s Emergency Session Spending Plan is in Limbo

An emergency legislative session on Wednesday afternoon to extend state government operational spending – conducted with many lawmakers wearing masks and gloves and practicing social distancing –  began with the SC House unanimously passing a continuing resolution. However, the Senate later passed a changed version of the continuing resolution that addressed operational restrictions placed on state-owned utility Santee Cooper, and those new conditions require the House to return to vote on the budget before June 30 so that the state can continue to spend money. The House had set no date to return when it adjourned, and House Speaker Jay Lucas did not indicate if members would return before May 14, the final day of the regular session. (Associated Press)

Also: Gov. McMaster orders furloughed workers qualify for unemployment benefits during the pandemic. (The State)

SCRA Invests $250,000 to Expand COVID-19 Testing for Greenville-Based Precision Genetics

The South Carolina Research Authority is investing $250,000 through its SC Launch program to help Greenville-based Precision Genetics expand processing of COVID-19 test kits. “Because of Precision Genetics’ existing track record of providing excellent advanced molecular testing and innovative solutions to health care institutions in the state, SCRA and SC Launch Inc. are proud to provide this investment to Precision Genetics at a time when their capabilities are critically needed in our state,” SCRA investment manager Steve Johnson said. Precision Genetics has begun processing Prisma Health’s tests in an approximate 24-hour internal turnaround, and the lab will be able to test more than 1,000 samples per day. Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin told the Free-Times that the city is paying Precision Genetics $150,000 for access to 3,000 tests, which will be available first to city employees and their families. (SC Biz News)

SC Businesses Adjust to Coronavirus

South Carolina COVID Strike Team will Investigate Fraud; IRS Warns About Scams Tied to Economic Impact Payments

South Carolina U.S. Attorney Peter McCoy announced a South Carolina COVID Strike Team to investigate fraud. The Post and Courier reports that South Carolina has already seen a medical-related con, with a letter offering College of Charleston students $5,000 to participate in a fake vaccine trial. The IRS and its Criminal Investigation Division have seen a wave of new and evolving phishing schemes against taxpayers and that retirees are among potential targets in connection to economic impact payments. Taxpayers should watch not only for emails but text messages, websites and social media attempts that request money or personal information. Taxpayers should not provide their direct deposit or other banking information for others to input on their behalf. Scam tactics can include mailing the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.  (Post and Courier)

Snapshots of CPAs Becoming Financial Emergency Responders

When CPAs share information about federal tax laws and their implications, they combat hysteria by showing concern for their clients and communities. They work creatively with small businesses to navigate a way through the crisis, and they look beyond themselves and their firms. “Accountants aren’t your traditional emergency responder, but we have to help triage the business situation, help figure out the best way to stem any hemorrhaging of cash or investments, and stabilize the financial situation to ensure that people are able to survive and be ready to bounce back once the crisis passes,” writes Donny C. Shimamoto, CPA, of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies LLC, and he shares testimonials of other CPAs on the “front lines.” (CPATrendlines)

Fountain Inn’s AVX Corporation Sues IRS Over $400K in ‘Erroneously Assessed’ Penalties

Fountain Inn electronics supplier and manufacturer AVX Corporation filed a lawsuit in federal court to seek a refund of three years of IRS penalties totaling $400,000, plus statutory interest. AVX’s suit alleges the IRS “erroneously assessed” penalties against the company for the tax years ending in March from 2012 through 2014. (Greenville News)

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

“Here is the key for all us CPAs: It is a ‘hard trend’ certainty that all of the mechanisms being suggested to get through this (other than medical) will involve accounting and taxes – the language of business that accountants are experts in. Whether it is forecasting revenue and cash flow (worst case AND best case), applying for loans or assistance from the SBA, or reductions in payroll taxes to help people, or the just-passed Family Leave Act that mandates leave and sick pay AND offers exemptions and refundable tax credits, these are all opportunities for CPAs to shine.”

Tom Hood, CPA, and CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs, on how CPAs must combine compassion and logic to provide hope