After IRMA Business Tips

RACCA’S AFTER IRMA TIPS ON INSURANCE, CREDIT CARD PROCESSING, IRS TAX RELIEF ADVISORY, UNLICENSED ACTIVITY REPORTING

This information has been prepared by the RACCA staff in consultation with our associate members and supporters to assist you during the next weeks’ of recovery.  We hope that any damages to you personally, to your business and business “family” were minimal.  If there is anything further your association office can assist with, please let us know.  Phone:  727-209-5745 or email: racca@racca-florida.org.

INSURANCE TIPS FROM RACCA

Upon knowledge of your loss:

  1. Preserve your property from further damage.
  2. Document as much as you can including pictures and video.
  3. Keep receipts of all expenditures made in above item “a” and to get operational as soon as possible.
  4. Contact your insurance agent to discuss the following coverages under your policy
  5. Wind damage coverage and deductibles. There is typically a % deductible for Wind versus a flat deductible for All Other Perils.   Be sure you understand the difference.
  6. Business interruption coverage. Does it apply to your specific situation as there are exclusions. The trigger for Business Interruption Coverage is having Direct Physical Damage to your building and or your Business Personal Property
  7. Ask whether you have an Installation floater to cover equipment on the job but not yet installed that was damaged or stolen after the storm. Be sure you understand when the equipment is considered installed and under the owner’s or contractor’s insurance.
  8. Ask whether you have a Miscellaneous tools floater to cover small tools lost due to the storm or flood.
  9. Ask whether you have flood insurance and what the coverages are for your business.
  10. If you have vehicle damage from wind or water, typically you will have comprehensive coverage under your commercial auto insurance. Ask what your deductibles are under your policy.

If you have any questions, Garrett Pepper, Federated Insurance (RACCA’s Recommended Insurance Carrier) is available to assist whether you are or are not insured through Federated Insurance. He can be reached at 901-412-3633 or by email at WGPepper@fedins.com. Or you may call the RACCA office at 727-209-5745.

CREDIT CARD PROCESSING TIPS

If you are having power or internet problems and need to process customer credit card payments, the following tips come from RACCA’s new Merchant Services Provider Serve First Solutions.

  1. Call your Credit Card Services provider to discuss options. Be sure to have your Merchant ID # available when you call as each provider may have different options for your account.
  2. Ask if Voice Authorization is available for your account and if you can call in transactions at the end of each day. Be sure that you keep meticulous records of the Voice Authorization Approval Code and other customer transaction information to either call in or transmit via the internet.
  3. Be aware that daily transfers to your bank account can be delayed up to 5 or 6 days if you call in transactions.
  4. If you don’t currently utilize internet for processing, ask if a temporary internet processing capability can be set up for you without additional cost.
  5. Most processors are open 24/7 if have questions.

IRS ANNOUNCES TAX RELIEF TO VICTIMS OF HURRICANE IRMA

Here’s a quick summary of deferred tax deadlines for residents and businesses of Florida who are impacted by the Hurricane Irma:

September 15th deadline for tax returns moved to 1/31/18.

Tax returns which are due (either an original or extended return) on or after September 4, 2017, but before January 31, 2018 will be granted relief to file their returns until January 31, 2018.  This includes: individual, corporate, and estate and trust income tax returns; partnership returns, S corporation returns, trust returns; estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns; annual information returns of tax-exempt organizations; and employment and certain excise tax returns.

Estimated Taxes Due 9/15/17 & 1/15/18 delayed.

Affected taxpayers that have an estimated income tax payment originally due on or after Sept. 4, 2017, and before Jan. 31, 2018, will not be subject to penalties for failure to pay estimated tax installments as long as such payments are paid on or before Jan. 31, 2018. This includes corporate as well as individual quarterly estimated tax payments.

Important: Payroll Tax Deposits delayed until 9/19/17.

Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Sept. 4, 2017, and before Sept. 19, 2017, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Tuesday Sept. 19, 2017.

Who is Granted Relief?

The IRS is currently granting relief for the following counties in Florida for individuals or businesses that reside in:  Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota and St. Johns. This includes businesses whose data/docs to prepare returns are located in these counties. Additional counties may be added.

IRS Notices

Experience with prior hurricanes shows that when you take advantage of any of these delayed dates for which you are granted relief there is a fair chance that the IRS attempts to penalize you anyway. So, regardless of properly following the IRS guidance for relief, IRS computers may send notices and assess penalties for which we may then need to request abatement.

Additional Information

You can go to the following link for updated or additional information regarding the IRS tax relief:  https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-for-victims-of-hurricane-irma-in-florida or contact an Association supporter and construction tax specialist, Rich Shavell, CPA, Shavell & Company, PA, 561-997-7242, or rich@shavell.net.

If you live or your business is outside the tax disaster area, check for any qualifying relief by calling the IRS at 866-562-5227. Check also when you may claim uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses.  In some cases it could be on your prior year (2016) return.

UNLICENSED ACTIVITY A FELONY DURING DECLARED DISASTER – REPORT IT ASAP

RACCA is posting on our website an advisory to consumers to use licensed contractors.  They may contact the RACCA office to verify a contractor’s licenses or we have provided a link to the state’s hotline.  If your company is a RACCA member, consumers may find you as a licensed contractor on the RACCA website.

As Governor Scott declared emergency status for the whole state of Florida, anyone doing unlicensed work during this period can be prosecuted for a felony regardless of the project amount or number of times they may have been caught/sanctioned in the past.  The fine may increase from the $5000 allowed for 3rd degree felonies.

Report any unlicensed activity to the RACCA office using the form on the website or call the RACCA office or report directly to DBPR by using the following link http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/reg/ula.html.

If there is any question about your own ability to perform work under your license, you may contact the FRACCA General Counsel, Trent Cotney, who may be able to advise you of any restrictions on your license.  He or one of his associates may be contacted at 813-579-3278 or by email at tcotney@trentcotney.com

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