COVID-19

4/5/2020 –
Aid Grant for the Self Employed – Coronavirus Crisis

Starting Sunday 3.5.2020 until 17.7.20 (for 70 days), you may apply for a Coronavirus Crisis Aid Grant in the Tax Authority website:

https://secapp.taxes.gov.il/SrVeImut/frmRashiKnisa.aspx?src=LONew#no-back-button

The eligibility of applicants will be clarified upon completing the request, except for rare cases. Please find attached the regulations.

The layout includes:

  1. Fixed expenses grant for small businesses – 5.2 billion NIS. The grant is aimed for covering fixed expenses of  small business with a turnover of up to 20 million NIS, whose sales volume was significantly hit in March-April. Nonprofit organizations which are recognized as public institutions also eligible for this grant. A business may receive up to 400K NIS, depending on the decrease in its activity. The grant will be paid by the Tax Authority in May.
  2. Aid grant for the self-employed – 2.8 billion NIS. Following the first round in April, the grant will be provided for self-employed persons whose business has decreased by at least 25% in March-June. The grant will be paid directly into the bank account. It will amount to 70% of the average monthly taxable income and up to a sum of 10,500 NIS.  
     
    Employed controlling personnel are eligible for the grant as well.
 
 

 

26/4/2020 –
Quick Support Grants Channel for R&D of Technology Companies in Crisis

Quick Support Grants Channel for R&D of Technology Companies in Crisis
In response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus, the Innovation Authority and the Ministry of Labor are launching a quick application channel for support grants of technological R&D projects.
 
The channel is intended for innovative technology companies with high long-term success rates, but with a short runway.
 
Operated under the R&D Fund Program, the channel allows a quick application process of R&D programs. Tests and answers will be conducted and provided within four weeks.
 
The submissions deadline to the Quick Grants Channel for Companies in Crisis is September 15th, 2020.
 
For more details, please visit –
 
 

 

26/4/2020 –
Property Tax Discount

We would like to update you that the State Settlement Regulations (Property Tax Discount), which concern Property Tax Discounts that will be granted in 2020 because of the Corona crisis, have been published on 21.4.2020
 
The main regulations are:
The holder of a property (with the exception of the assets specified in the regulations and with the exception of a holder who has ceased to hold the property before 29.2.2020) is entitled to a discount of 100% of the amount of property taxes imposed on it, for the period between 1.3.2020 to 31.5.2020.
 
A local authority may provide a discount of 25% of the total property tax in the 2020 fiscal year, instead of the above mentioned discount. It must reach this decision by 1.5.2020.
 
Attached are the regulations for your reference –
 
 

 

13/4/2020 –

The following is a link to the Ministry of Finance’s publication, which updates the criteria for the self-help grant:

https://www.gov.il/he/departments/news/press_08042020

 

7/4/2020 –

2 clarifications following a few inquiries that we’ve received:
 
1. A new publication of the Tax Authority on the imputed value of employee cars during the Corona crisis. 
The main points are: If the employee isn’t on unpaid leave and works from home, they’ll receive full imputation. If the employee is on unpaid leave and returned the car, the imputation is relative. 
 
2. Regarding employee travel allowance:
As long as the employer pays the employee a travel allowance at a daily cost of travel, the employer doesn’t have to pay travel allowance for the days the employee works from home and does not arrive at the workplace. This is in accordance with the agreement between the parties or the employer’s policy in the matter.
 
However, there is no provision set in order or agreement regarding possible “relative” participation of an employer who chooses to pay a monthly pass (“free-monthly”), i.e. a payment based only on working days in which the employee arrives at the workplace.
 
Therefore, an employer who chooses to reimburse the employee’s travel expenses with a monthly pass, as stated, must pay the same pre-determined amount for the pass without “accounting” the employee. Meaning, the employer is not allowed to deduct the amount for the number of trips the employee doesn’t use the pass for traveling to and from work, and works from home for some reason or another, from the amount stipulated on the free-monthly pass and which is paid to the employee every month.

 

 

4/4/2020 –

Brooks-Keret PPP update related to US Companies

We at Brooks-Keret keep monitoring the latest developments in the US due to the current COVID-19 crisis and at this point we’d like to update you regarding a specific benefit offered as part of the stimulus package announced earlier by the US government, Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP):

 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is administering a new programs to provide loans of up to $10 Million for qualifying small businesses, along with an opportunity for future loan forgiveness.  

The maximum loan amount is 2.5 times the business average monthly annual payroll cost for the preceding 12 months, or $10 Million, whichever is less. No personal guarantee is required. 

Loan proceeds may be used to pay for the following expenses: 

  • Payroll costs 
  • Rent 
  • Utilities 
  • Interest on debt obligations incurred before March 1, 2020 

Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.

The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:  

  • The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made; and 
  • Employee and compensation levels are maintained.  

Partial forgiveness may also apply. Forgiven amounts will not be included in the company’s taxable income.

 

 

23/3/2020 –

Brooks-Keret Updates related to US Companies due to COVID-19

Brooks-Keret stands by you during these uncertain times, as the world is challenged with the impact of COVID-19. In this email, we would like to notify you of the following updates, related to US companies:

Tax return due date

On Friday, March 20th, the US Treasury has announced that the tax filing deadline has moved from April 15th to July 15th, for both corporations and individuals. This announcement follows an earlier announcement to delay the 2019 tax payments to July 15th.

Some of the states have already announced they will follow the federal deadlines (NY, CA, IN, OR, MD). Not all states have made such an announcement but e believe it is likely that they will do so shortly.
We will keep monitoring the situation and update you as new relief is announced.

We at Brooks-Keret are working with each client’s US CPA to assure timely filing.

Labor relations issues

 *** Please note that the information detailed hereafter does not constitute professional legal advice. You are welcome to reach out to us so that we can refer you to proper consultation ***

Last week, the US government has released the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which will take effect on April 2nd. The law is a plan aimed at addressing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Americans and introducing paid sick leave and an expanded family and medical leave act to the nation’s employers. Some of you may have already received information about this new act from your payroll providers. However, the Secretary of Labor is expected to set specific legislation regarding this act and it is expected that this law will not apply to small business, to be more specific, companies with less than 50 employees.

At Brooks-Keret, we will monitor the legislation and will advise as new rules are announced.

For now, the only requirement for small employers is to follow their sick leave policies, if they have any in place, or follow the state mandated sick pay laws, where applicable (CA, NY, MA, NJ).

Companies looking to mitigate expected losses due to the crisis and cut back on payroll expenses have a few options, among them are reduction-in-force (either temporary or permanent layoffs), furloughs, and reduction in hours and/or pay.

When making any such step, the following considerations must be taken into account:
The criteria for employees’ who’s employment is changed/terminated must be objective and implemented across the board.
 ** Exempt employees (that is, exempt from over time payment under the federal FLSA or state adopted law) must be paid their regular weekly pay for any week in which they were working, even if only partially, otherwise their exempt status is compromised.
*** Employees must work a minimum of 30 hours per week in order to be eligible for benefits.
Note that Unemployment pay is mandated per state’s rules and regulations and are paid up to the state’s maximum amount. Benefits could differ between the states.
Most states however have waived 2 main requirements for unemployment pay –

  • The 7 days waiting period before unemployment benefits apply
  • The requirement to proof the terminated employee is actively seeking another job.

Partial unemployment payments are also available, in case both hours and pay are reduced, however it is only paid if the portion of the pay paid by the employer does not exceed the state’s maximum benefit.

We at Brooks-Keret will keep monitoring any new legislation and will update you with any major changes.

We hope you and your families are safe and well. We are here to support you with any challenges you are now facing.

 

23/3/2020 –

Brooks-Keret Benefit Packages to Support Startups at Corona Virus Times

As always, we at Brooks-Keret Financial Management stands by you continuously to support you and to ensure you receive all necessary services – online,to keep your books and financial reports on time as usual. We have created some benefit packages for you!
 
1. Using our online BK Digital services will allow you an online bookkeeping (fully digitally management of your bookkeeping and paperless process) 
As your partner we will grant our system usage free of charge during the Corona time
For Additional information- https://brooks-keret.com/bk-digital-automated-digital-financial-management/
 2. BK UP Program for early stage startups
The program is aimed to support early stage startups both in business, financial and technological aspects.
The program is in partnership with Microsoft, IBM and Salesforce and is up to a period of one year or a financing round/significant sales –  the earlier of the two.
During the program, you will enjoy:
  • Professional Bookkeeping & Payroll at very attractive rates (ILS 650-850 per month)
  • Budget preparation at 50% discount 
  • CFO Mentoring
  • Pitch Preparation
  • Tech Consultant
In case you wish to apply, please fill in the application here: https://bkup.brooks-keret.com
 *Decision is made upon an internal committee
3.  BK for SMB Startups 
This package is aimed to support startups that have already raised money ($1.5M and above) and require:
  • A financial package reporting to their investors (P&L, BVA, Balance Sheets)
  • Management reports such as cash flow / forecast cash flow / burn rate
  • Reports to IIA (Israel Innovation Authority)
Our benefits
  • 20% discount on all our services (CFO, Controlling and Reporting, Bookkeeping, Payroll, Admin)
  • 50% discount on budget preparation
  • 10% discount on our US financial services
  • Connection to additional investors / VCs
  • Convenient payment terms
 
4.Outsourced part time job projects at 15% discount
  • CFO 
  • Director of Finance / Controller 
  • Payroll Controller

 

19/3/2020 –

Brooks-Keret Emergency Assessments Following the Corona Virus

Dear Client, Brooks-Keret stands by you continuously, particularly in this period we are working non-stop remotely to support you, and so that you receive the latest news to assist everyone during this time. 
 
Grants 
In light of the situation, the State of Israel is supporting businesses by providing different types of grants:
 
State Guaranteed Loans
The State has provided various governmental guarantees in the amount NIS 8 billion, and they are available to various businesses. The guaranteed loan is divided so that 85% is guaranteed by the State, 5% by the borrower’s bank and 10% by company guarantee.
In general, those eligible for state guaranteed loans are companies that can prove the Corona virus has a direct impact on their business operations. The guaranteed loans are given to provide working capital financing.
 
Any company choosing to apply for such grant, must submit the following documents:
• Borrower Affidavit
• Special Accountant / Tax Advisor report
• Confidential Disclaimer
• Consultant Affidavit
Attached are the various documents mentioned above, as well as a business loan questionnaire, as well as a list of documents that should be attached to a loan application.
 
Postponement of Payments to Institutions (VAT / Income tax / Municipal taxes)
1. February 2020 VAT payments were deferred until March 26, 2020.
2. Income tax advances and Social Security:  In general, the reporting deadlines   income and social security benefits do have not changed. However, as the business’s projected profit may decline as a result of the impact of the Corona virus on the business, the 2020 income tax advance rate may be reduced.
3. Deferral of business payments for municipal taxes: we are currently studying and evaluating this issue, and will send an update at a later stage. 
 
Wages and Labor Law
  • Placing  employees unpaid vacation.
The solution of unpaid vacation allows business owners some breathing space and relief. The unpaid vacation period must exceed at least 30 days, in order for the employee to be eligible for unemployment benefits from the Social Security. 
Furthermore, and in accordance with the Prime Minister’s instructions dated March 16, 2020, it appears that the employee will have to provide evidence showing a continuous employment period of only 6 months (as opposed to 12 months) within the 18 month period prior to the date of unemployment benefits claim. 
 
Important – Employers who choose to place employees on unpaid vacation, must immediately update the payroll controller at Brooks-Keret, in order to provide the employee the forms required to receive unemployment benefits. 
The employee must include the following forms in his claim to Social Security: (i) Social Security form #1514, (ii) Submission of form #100. Both forms shall be prepared by the payroll controller.
 
During the unpaid vacation period, the employer is obligated to report and make minimal Social Security rate payments on behalf of the employee.
 
The employee must register the Social Security website, at the following link:
* Please note that the website is currently overloaded with claim applications, therefore all employees registered by March 19, 2020, shall be considered as if registered as of March 15, 2020.
 
For further details, please see the link below:
 
  • Attached you can find a legal document related to the labor laws specifically for this period, written by Adv. Orit Ra’anan. corona epidemic
 
 
We will continue updating you on the important issues and supporting you all the way.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.
 
Keep safe,
Brooks-Keret

12/3/2020 –

Brooks-Keret Emergency Assessments Following the Corona Virus

As Corona virus is becoming a global threat, we would like to update you with Brooks-Keret’s readiness for emergency situation.
Brooks Keret, as a company that complies with ISO27001, has a BCP (Business continuity plan) in place. 
The BCP goal is to facilitate an infrastructure that will support Brooks Keret’s continuous ongoing work during emergency times.
 
According to our BCP, and given that Brooks Keret’s employees may be unable to work on premise, Brooks Keret is completely prepared to support its client via remote access from home.  
Thereby we will be able to continue to provide a complete comprehensive service to our clients.
 
Communication with our employees will be done through the employee’s personal office number that will be rerouted to their personal mobile. This of course, alongside Email correspondences.
 
In order to allow our employees to work remotely, we will ask our clients to scan their documents to a designated email address whilst keeping the original documentation. Scanned material will be saved in an archive (DOKKA)
 
In the meantime we strongly recommend you ensure that your company has considered its own measures to maintain its ongoing activities remotly in needed.   
 
We are happy to be your safe shore during such times and wish us all smooth and fast back to routine.