Rome CPA Evie McNiece is encouraging Romans who received extensive unemployment benefits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to take a long look at their tax filing status when completing their 2020 returns.

People who have traditionally done their taxes on a married filing jointly status may want to re-examine that this year with an eye to filing separately.

“There are a lot of factors that go into it,” McNiece said. “It may not be beneficial but it’s certainly worth a look.”

Unemployment benefits are taxable and many recipients do not have taxes deducted from those benefits.

McNiece reminded participants of the Rome Floyd Chamber Small Business Action Council that the stimulus payments individuals received last year are not considered taxable income but must be reported.

Richard Montanaro is director of the Rome office of the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center. He said the Federal Reserve extended the Paycheck Protection Program liquidity facility another three months, through June 30. The Small Business Administration deadline to apply for assistance is still March 31, however Montanaro said that could change in reaction to the Federal Reserve extension.

Updated information will be posted on the SBDC website,

He also explained that sole proprietors and entrepreneurs who don’t take a salary but get paid from owner draw will be able to use Line 7 of their Schedule C, the gross revenue line, instead of their net income line as the basis for calculating how much they can borrow in a PPP loan.

“That’s a big deal, a big difference,” Montanaro said. “Small businesses that have not applied and fall into that category, need to apply.”

A lot of businesses didn’t apply for PPP assistance because they didn’t understand all of the regulations, he said.

In other briefings, the chamber has opened nominations for the next session of Leadership Rome and High School Leadership Rome programs.

Also, Thomas Kislat, director of membership and entrepreneurial development, said the Chamber Confluence conference has been set for April 23. Details will be announced over the next couple of weeks as presenters are finalized

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