This article will help you:
- Navigate the new forms and calculations on tax year 2020 returns due to the CARES Act and other pandemic relief and stimulus legislation.
- Understand and clear diagnostic reference #54055 in 2019 returns.
- Find clients' 2019 returns that you previously filed who may benefit from amending their return to apply the relief provisions.
Apply key CARES Act provisions to your 2020 returns
The following are the top articles about tax law changes from the CARES Act and the CAA of 2021:
- For assistance with generating the Unemployment Compensation Exclusion recently passed as part of the American Rescue Plan, see Generating the Unemployment Compensation Exclusion.
- For help deducting $300 of cash contributions when taking the standard deduction, see 1040 Charitable Contributions FAQs.
- How to enter stimulus payments and figure the Recovery Rebate Credit will help you report your clients' economic impact payments and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit.
- If your client took a distribution from a 401(k), IRA, or similar plan, see How to enter coronavirus-related retirement plan distributions to help you generate Form 8915-E.
- For clients who received relief through the Paycheck Protection Program, see How to enter forgiven PPP loans and EIDL grants in business returns or How to enter forgiven PPP loans in the individual module.
- For businesses in California that received federal relief, see How to apply California PPP and EIDL conformity.
- Entering the Employee Retention Credit will help you make adjustments to the tax return if the Employee Retention Credit was claimed on a payroll tax filing (Form 941 or 944).
- Generating Form 7202 in Lacerte will show you how to claim Credits for Sick Leave and Family Leave for Certain Self-Employed Individuals.
- Common questions on Schedule SE will help you elect to defer self-employment tax payments.
Apply the CARES Act provisions ref. 54055 in tax year 2019
The following e-file critical diagnostic will generate on all individual tax returns:
"The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. To apply the provisions of that law, check the "CARES Act provisions" box in the Miscellaneous Information screen. Ref. #54055"
To clear the diagnostic in Lacerte 2019:
- Go to Screen 3.
- Check the box labeled Apply the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provisions.
You'll need to check this box for every tax return you file going forward to ensure the return is accurate and using the latest tax laws. This feature allows you to only apply the CARES Act provisions to returns you file after the law’s passage, and prevent calculations from changing on returns you previously filed without your knowledge.
This checkbox will apply three key changes to the tax return:
- Suppress Form 461, so business losses are not limited by it.
- If Form 8990 is part of the return, a diagnostic will generate alerting you that the 50% limitation is not yet implemented in the program.
- Apply the latest net operating loss calculations.
How to identify clients affected by the CARES Act in Lacerte 2019
You can now use the Tax Law Impact view to identify returns that may need to be amended due to the Act. You can find the CARES Act Tax Law Impact View on the left side of your Clients list in Lacerte. This tool can search through all of your clients - even those with locked returns - to check whether they're affected by:
- Net operating loss changes (Individual and Corporate modules),
- Excess business loss changes on Form 461,
- Prior year minimum tax credit changes on Form 8827,
- Business interest expense limitation changes on Form 8990, or
- Depreciation of qualified improvement property changes.