California and IRS COVID-19 Guidance
California COVID-19 Guidance
Gov. Newsom has issued additional guidance further defining “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” that designates CPA services as “essential” and necessary to help ensure the continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic security. View the updated list of essential critical infrastructure workers at CA.gov.
This guidance allows a CPA firm to continue to operate and go to their physical offices to perform critical functions that may not be able to be done remotely while the governor’s stay-at-home order is in place. This is an important clarification that allows CPAs to serve their clients and provide advice on critical financial and tax decisions during this crisis.
The guidance states: “Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities and critical sector services” are considered essential. Additionally, workers in the financial services sector, including “workers who are needed to process and maintain systems for processing financial transactions and services (e.g., payment, clearing, and settlement; wholesale funding; insurance services; and capital markets activities)” are also considered essential.
When the governor issued Executive Order N-33-20 directing all residents to immediately heed state public health directives to stay home, CalCPA was concerned the order may inadvertently prevent CPAs from continuing to provide certain services to business and individuals. Accordingly, we sought guidance from the administration on these orders to clarify “essential businesses and services” and urged that CPA services be included.
Even with the new guidance, CPAs and CPA firms should be judicious about how they operate and take appropriate steps to follow guidance from state public health officials to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. This page will be updated as new information is available. For other information about the COVID-19 virus, people should visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (https://www.coronavirus.gov) for health information. Other information about actions being taken by the U.S. government is available at https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus and in Spanish at https://gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus. The Department of Treasury also has information available at Coronavirus: Resources, Updates, and What You Should Know.
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