September Journal

Thursday, September 2, 2021

September 2021 Financial Update

August held more than a few items of note happening around the financial sector.

Last newsletter we talked a lot about work-from-home ending, and it does seem to be on the decline with one big hiccup: vaccine adoption and the culture war surrounding it. In the business sector, particularly now that the FDA has started issuing full approvals for vaccines, more and more companies are requiring vaccines for workers to go back to the office. You can choose not to return, but there might be consequences for that, too. Other employers are choosing not to require them for fear of losing employees, but that’s not the general trend.

The New York Times reports that the upswing in new business applications that began during the pandemic has continued in 2021. Perhaps on a related note, MBA applications also spiked in 2020 – 69% of programs reported an upswing in applications.

Small business may note an increase in compliance activities from the IRS in the coming years. Tax Notes reports that “The IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division could double its examination workforce in 2022 if Congress approves funding increases, according to senior agency officials.” Further evidence that at least some members of Congress are concerned about the severe backlog plaguing the IRS, this August 12 letter to the IRS asks them to address the backlog and the complaints about customer service.

Also over at the IRS, September is Disaster Preparedness Month, which makes sense given that it’s both hurricane and fire season with lots of activity around the country on that front. The IRS has a list of ducks you might want to get in order order to prepare for a disaster. Speaking of disasters, the IRS has granted tax relief to victims of Hurricane Ida which recently devastated New Orleans, and here’s the full list of areas for which the IRS has granted relief in 2021, including fire victims and recent flooding in Tennessee.

2021 Financial Calendar – September:

September is the end of the third fiscal quarter, and the due date for third quarter estimated taxes. It’s a good time to review your savings for the year and start planning if you want to increase your regular savings or retirement savings by the end of the year. It’s also a great time to review your withholding using the official calculator, and adjust that for the remainder of the year if you need to. Finally, it’s also a good time to start reviewing whether you want to make any large purchases for the end of the year which might impact your taxes – new equipment, computers, furnishings or other similar purchases.

Next month is Budget Month – some larger businesses start the budget process as early as September!

2021 Tax Updates and Dates

Parnerships and S-Corporations with an extension, your taxes are due! For a full list including payroll tax deposit dates, see the IRS Tax Calendar.

  • September 15: It’s time for Partnerships to file their taxes who requested a six-month extension. That includes Forms 1065, 8804, 8805 and 8813
  • September 15: It’s time for Corporations to file their taxes who requested a six-month extension. That’s the Form 1120S. Also, the third installment of 2021 estimated tax is due for Corporations.
  • September 15: Third Quarter estimated taxes for the self-employed.

What’s Afoot in the Government

Just when you thought PPP news might be over, the SBA wades back into the water with a borrower forgiveness portal and new borrower-friendly guidelines for PPP forgiveness. This is great news for a lot of PPP borrowers, and certainly an easier path than individual bank forgiveness applications.

The other big news in the government this month is the start of Advance Child Tax Credit payments. The first round went out in August. The official Information Page from the IRS is worth a read on how the program works. The IRS has also set up a brand new portal (linked to your current IRS login if you have one) for checking into your eligibility, the status of any payments made, updating bank account information, unenrolling from the program, and more. Curious how much you might receive? Try the H&R Block calculator. If you want more information about the implementation and potential tax implications, this podcast is a good listen.

Finally, the eviction moratorium that started in September 2020 with a ruling from the CDC was struck down by the Supreme Court, leaving this question open ended. Here’s a an article on what happened with the moratorium, and what might come next for those still struggling to pay their rent.

What’s Happening, in Charts

Following up on the New York Times report, here’s a graph of new business applications. Applications increased dramatically in 2020, adding up to more new applications than in the prior 15 years combined. More at USA Facts based on data from the US Census.

Source: United States Census

This is an interesting breakdown of who holds investments in the United States, from an article that points out that cryptocurrency investing is twice as likely to be done by men than by women. However, it’s also worth noting that this graphic points out that Black Women are behind every other sector in investing (they also have the highest amount of student debt).

Percent of gender, race who own different types of investments - bar chart
Cryptocurrency investing has a big gender problem

Business Links!

See the bookmarks on Pinboard 

Nonprofit Links!

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Security Links!

  • Feds Warn of Ransomware Attacks Ahead of Labor Day

    The FBI and CISA put out a joint cybersecurity advisory notice about ransomware attacks during federal holidays. Nothing specific, but something for organizations to be aware of.

  • The Hidden Privacy Risk in Note-Taking Apps

    This article warns against saving private information in your unencrypted note-taking app. A survey found that half of Americans had recorded usernames, passwords, social security numbers, credit card information, and other security information in a note-taking app.

  • The Nightmare of Our Snooping Phones

    The New York Times reports on the real-world consequences of the data that our phones collect while we are moving around.

See the bookmarks on Pinboard 

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