Accounting Firms Take Billions in PPP Payouts

CPA firms grab the biggest slice of PPP loan payouts, accounting for 56% of the tax and accounting industry’s imperiled jobs. (CPA Trendlines Research)

Thousands of tax prep shops, bookkeeping companies, CPA firms, and payroll services take emergency loans, promising to save over 200,000 jobs.

By CPA Trendlines Research

Some 6,610 tax, accounting, payroll, and bookkeeping firms have so far received millions of dollars in Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loans, potentially saving over 210,613 jobs, according to new data obtained by CPA Trendlines Research.

The CPA Trendlines full list of tax, bookkeeping, payroll and CPA firms is available to PRO Members here.

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The leading borrowers have all been CPA firms – each collecting $5 million to $10 million against a promise to save 10,298 jobs, more than half of the entire industry headcount threatened by the pandemic-fueled economic crash.

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The Top Six IRS #FAILS this Tax Season (So Far)

Erin Collins, IRS Taxpayer Advocate
Collins

Sending out notices with expired deadlines? Check.

BUSY SEASON BAROMETER:
How accountants are battling the Coronavirus recession
Join the survey. Get the answers.

By CPA Trendlines Research

It’s been a hard year for everyone, from pauper to president to tax practitioners. The latter have been triple-whammied by the need to keep clients and employees healthy, the shifting rules and deadlines made to accommodate the lockdown and the staggering, stumbling service of the Internal Revenue … well, Service.

MORE on TAX SEASON 2020: Tax Pros Handling Bigger Share of E-filings | How COVID Has Pulverized IRS Operations | The Mystery of 10 Million Missing Tax Returns | COVID Cuts Accounting Profits | Why Busy Season May Never Be the Same Again | Getting a Handle on COVID |

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Let us pause to pity poor Erin M. Collins, who late last year landed a great new job: National Tax Advocate. She replaces Nina Olson, who held that position from 2001 to 2019, bowing out in the nick of time, leaving behind an impressive record of improvements in the American system of tax collection.
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How COVID Has Pulverized IRS Operations

Delays, postponements, system failures, shutdowns, and mounting backlogs.

By CPA Trendlines

Taxpayers who filed a 2019 paper return and are entitled to refunds may be in for a long wait, according to the first report to Congress from the new IRS watchdog.

MORE on the 2020 SEASON: The Mystery of 10 Million Missing Tax Returns | Tax Pro E-Filings Down 20 Percent | IRS Web Traffic Doubles over Year-Ago | COVID Drowns IRS in New Filings | 2020 Tax Season Comes to a Screeching Halt | The Tax Season 2020 Dumpster Fire | Tax Pros Fall Behind 6.2% in Returns Filed
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The IRS was forced to suspend the processing of paper tax returns, and as of May 16, it estimated it had a backlog of 4.7 million paper returns, says National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins, who succeeded long-time predecessor Nina Olsen just as the pandemic was ramping up.

Although the IRS is reopening some of its core operations, it is not clear when it can open and process all the returns sitting in mail facilities, the Taxpayer Advocate Service reports.

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COVID Cuts Accounting Profits

Two views on tax season from Texas: John Lister and Jonathan Kaplow

A shift in the wrong direction.

BUSY SEASON BAROMETER:
How accountants are battling the Coronavirus recession
Join the survey. Get the answers.

By CPA Trendlines Research

Every business in the country, if not the world, is feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Outside of the tech sector, the impact has been largely negative. Every business is suffering. So, relatively speaking, the tax and accounting sector may be getting off easy.

MORE TRENDS in SURVEYS & RESEARCH: Seven Ways COVID Has Changed Busy SeasonGetting a Handle on COVID | COVID Crushes CPA Business Outlook |  Is the Worst Over? 63% of Small Business Say So | Beat the Covid Crisis with These 20 Steps for Your Firm and Your Clients | Clients, Revenues, Profits – Trending Down, Down, Down | Covid Crushes Rosey Forecasts | The Seven Factors Keeping Accounting Firms Afloat Amid COVID-19 | Feeling the Pain? The Biggest Job Losses by Client Sector | Tax Season Pivots to Covid Rescue Season | Planning for the Coronavirus Recession | How Accountants Are Coping with COVID-19 |

More Coronavirus coverage here

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According to the latest data from the CPA Trendlines 2020 Busy Season Barometer, about 39 percent of firms are still expecting to see an increase in business, but overall optimism seems to be dipping even as the economy begins to reboot.

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Why Busy Season May Never Be the Same Again

Rachel Wehr: “A shoulder to cry on.”

How many of these new pandemic-related management strategies will become everyday habits?

BUSY SEASON BAROMETER:
How accountants are battling the Coronavirus recession
Join the survey. Get the answers.

By CPA Trendlines Research

CPAs and tax practitioners tend to be a pretty sharp bunch. By their nature, they are good at analyzing a situation and figuring out what to do. And not just with numbers.

Case in point: the COVID pandemic. Every firm in the world, from the Big Four in the big cities to the sole practitioners in their garrets and basements, has had to assess the situation and figure out what to do.

MORE TRENDS in SURVEYS & RESEARCH: Getting a Handle on COVID | COVID Crushes CPA Business Outlook |  Is the Worst Over? 63% of Small Business Say So | Beat the Covid Crisis with These 20 Steps for Your Firm and Your Clients | Clients, Revenues, Profits – Trending Down, Down, Down | Covid Crushes Rosey Forecasts | The Seven Factors Keeping Accounting Firms Afloat Amid COVID-19 | Feeling the Pain? The Biggest Job Losses by Client Sector | Tax Season Pivots to Covid Rescue Season | Planning for the Coronavirus Recession | How Accountants Are Coping with COVID-19 |

More Coronavirus coverage here

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The reports from practitioners across the country are coming in through the Busy Season Barometer, which is serving as a central clearinghouse for sharing experiences and advice. The Barometer would normally be wrapped up by now, but since Busy Season isn’t, neither is the Barometer.

Here are the top seven most common points: READ MORE →

Getting a Handle on COVID

Views from the front lines: Victoria Martin, Elaine Kovner, Gary Zeune

Accountants show new signs of optimism as fears of COVID chaos wane.

How to battle the Coronavirus recession
Join the survey. Get the answers.

By CPA Trendlines Research

The turning of a terrible tide of COVID pessimism has been neither quick nor clear-cut as the endless Busy Season of 2020 drags on, according to new findings and analysis from the CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer.

MORE TRENDS in SURVEYS & RESEARCH: COVID Crushes CPA Business OutlookIs the Worst Over? 63% of Small Business Say So | Beat the Covid Crisis with These 20 Steps for Your Firm and Your Clients | Clients, Revenues, Profits – Trending Down, Down, Down | Covid Crushes Rosey Forecasts | The Seven Factors Keeping Accounting Firms Afloat Amid COVID-19 | Feeling the Pain? The Biggest Job Losses by Client Sector | Tax Season Pivots to Covid Rescue Season | Planning for the Coronavirus Recession | How Accountants Are Coping with COVID-19 |

More Coronavirus coverage here

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The outlook certainly isn’t back to where it was in the sunny days of February. But hopes for a better year have edged up from 23 percent in April to 27 percent in May.

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