New USDA Loan Program Focused on Food Supply Chain Revitalization

Feb 08, 2022


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary, Tom Vilsack recently announced that the USDA is deploying $100 million under the new Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program to make nearly $1 billion available in loan guarantees. The objectives are to support new investments in infrastructure for food aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, and distribution, and to also increase capacity and create a more resilient, diverse, and secure U.S. food supply chain.

What is the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program?

The Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program is a part of the USDA’s Build Back Better initiative to strengthen critical supply chains and our food system. This program guarantees loans of up to $40 million for qualified lenders to finance food system projects, specifically for the start-up or expansion of activities in the middle of the food supply chain.

Who qualifies?

Eligible borrowers must be directly engaged in the middle of the food supply chain, specifically the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, or distribution of food. Examples of the types of entities that may qualify for the program include meat processors and food hubs. Lenders may provide the loans to eligible cooperatives, corporations, for-profits, nonprofits, Tribal communities, public bodies, and people in rural and urban areas.

How can funds be used?

Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and may be used to:

  • start-up or expand food supply chain activities such as aggregating, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, or distributing food.
  • address supply chain bottlenecks.
  • increase capacity and help create a more resilient, diverse, and secure U.S. food supply chain.

How do I apply?

The USDA is accepting electronic applications from lenders through the Food Supply Chain Online Application System until funds are expended. Paper applications will not be accepted.

To access the online application system, lenders must submit a request to rdfoodsupplychainloans@usda.gov.
USDA Rural Development encourages applications for projects that advance the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, promote equitable access to USDA programs and services, and reduce the impacts of climate change on rural communities. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/priority-points.

Categories: Agribusiness


New R&E Expenditure Changes Under IRC Section 174 to Begin in 2022

Jan 26, 2022

As 2022 begins, so does the amendment to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 174, originally introduced by 2017 tax reform legislation, the Tax and Jobs Act (TCJA.)

That amendment requires both US-Based and non US-Based research and experimental expenditures (R&E) for tax years starting after December 31st, 2021 be capitalized and amortized over a period of five or 15 years, respectively.
Previous to the TCJA amendment, taxpayers could elect to either capitalize and amortize R&E expenditures over a period of at least 60 months, or deduct the expenditures in the year paid or incurred, (taxpayers could also choose to make an election under Section 59(e) to amortize expenditures over 10 years.) Under the new legislation, amortization begins at the midpoint of the taxable year in which expenses are paid or incurred, which could create a significant year-one impact.

For example, if a taxpayer incurs $5 million of R&E expenditures in 2022, the taxpayer will now be entitled to amortization expense of $500,000 in 2022. We arrived at this calculated by dividing $5 million by five years, then cutting the annual amortization amount in half. Prior to the TCJA, the taxpayer would have immediately expensed all $5 million on its 2022 tax return, assuming it did not make an election under Section 174(b) or Section 59(e) to capitalize the amounts.

Additionally, software development costs have been added as R&E expenditures under Section 174(c)(3) and, therefore, are also subject to the same mandatory amortization period of five or 15 years. Previously, under Rev. Proc. 2000-50 options existed for taxpayers to either expense software development costs as they incurred, amortize over 36 months from the date the software was placed in service, or amortize over not less than 60 months from the date the development was completed.

Immediate Considerations
Under the new Section 174 requirements, taxpayers should ensure that all R&E expenditures are properly identified, as some may be able to leverage from existing systems/tracking to identify R&E. Taxpayers that have existing systems in place to calculate the research credit will likely be able to use such computations as a helpful starting point for determining R&E expenditures. By definition, any costs included in the research credit calculation would then need to be recovered under the five-year amortization period.

Taxpayers currently not identifying any R&E expenditures should consider the steps necessary to assess the amount of their expenditures that are subject to Section 174. Under some circumstances, it may be wise to begin separating out R&E expenditure amounts to their own trial balance accounts, e.g. to have a separate “trial balance account” for R&E expenditure wages versus non-R&E wages. Determining which costs should be included in the relevant R&E expenditure trial balance accounts will likely involve interviews with the taxpayer’s operation and financial accounting personnel, as well as the development of allocation methodologies that determine which expenses (e.g., rent) relate to both R&E expenditure and non-R&E expenditure activities.

Additional Effects of Section 174 Amendment
It should be noted that under Section 174, the types of expenses eligible for duction are generally broader than those expenses eligible for credit under Section 41. For example, Section 41 allows supplies, wages and contract research, while Section 174 can include items such as utilities, depreciation, attorneys’ fees and other expenditures related to the development or improvement of a product.

Key Take-Aways
The implemented changes of Section 174 may bring some potentially favorable tax developments for those previously employing the capitalization of R&E expenditures. With the new amendment allowing for amortization of R&E expenditures at the midpoint of the fiscal year they were incurred, certain taxpayers may be able to recoup those costs sooner.

It should also be noted that the language in the TCJA indicates that the Section 174 amendment should be treated as a “change in method of accounting” and applies on a cut-off basis beginning for tax year 2022. Any costs incurred before 2022 will remain as-is and fall under the previous rules mentioned above. It is still unknown if taxpayers that previously expensed their R&E expenditures will have to file an “Application for Change in Method of Accounting (Form 3115).”

The IRS is expected to release guidance on how taxpayers should comply with the new rule for the 2022 tax year, presuming the start-date of the provision is not again postponed by Congress. Because of this and other areas of uncertainly surrounding the new amendment, taxpayers should continue to monitor IRS and Treasury updates, or consult with their William Vaughan advisor before filing any 2022 tax returns in order to ensure compliance with the latest regulations.

Connect with Us.

Robert Bradshaw, CPA

Tax Partner

bob.bradshaw@wvco.com | 419.891.1040

Categories: Tax Planning


Canada’s New Digital Sales Tax

Jan 10, 2022

Written by: Brian Morcombe, Partner & Indirect Tax Practice Leader, BDO Canada – 2021

On July 1, 2021, new rules came into force that will significantly impact non-resident vendors and online platform operators. Specifically, the changes require certain non-resident vendors and operators of online platforms to register for, collect, and remit goods and services tax (GST)/harmonized sales tax (HST) on:

  • sales of digital products and services provided to Canadian customers;
  • goods supplied through fulfillment warehouses located in Canada and made by non-resident vendors directly through websites; and
  • supplies made via short-term accommodation platforms.

Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s new digital sales taxes.

Supplies of digital property and services

What are the new rules?

Non-resident vendors supplying digital property and services to consumers in Canada are required to register for and collect GST/HST on these taxable supplies to Canadian consumers. An example is Netflix which, prior to July 2021, may not have been viewed as carrying on business in Canada and was not required to register for GST/HST. Under the new rules, Netflix is required to register to collect tax from customers in Canada that are not registered for GST/HST, putting Netflix on equal footing with Canadian resident streaming service vendors already required to collect tax from customers.

A consumer includes persons not registered for GST/HST (persons registered for GST/HST are not considered consumers for the purposes of the new rules). Operators of third-party distribution platforms making these types of supplies are also required to register. A simplified registration and remittance framework is available to these registrants that are not otherwise carrying on business in Canada.

The new requirements apply to non-resident vendors and distribution platform operators whose revenue from taxable supplies of property and/or services exceed, or are expected to exceed, C$30,000 over a 12-month period.

Can ITCs be claimed?

A condition of the simplified framework is that non-resident vendors and distribution platform operators using the simplified registration framework are not able to claim input tax credits (ITCs) to recover any GST/HST paid on expenses they incur related to their Canadian sales.

Goods supplied through fulfillment warehouses and through websites

What are the new rules?

Distribution platform operators are required to register to collect and remit GST/HST under the general regime (as opposed to the simplified framework discussed above) on sales of goods located in warehouses in Canada if the sales are made through that platform by non-registered vendors. Non-resident vendors using Canadian fulfillment warehouses to sell in Canada without the use of a distribution platform are also required to register for and collect GST/HST under the general regime. Fulfillment businesses in Canada are required to notify the Canada Revenue Agency of their activities and maintain certain records related to non-resident clients.

Lastly, non-resident vendors that make sales to consumers in Canada using their own website are generally also required to register for GST/HST under the general regime. GST/HST registration and collection is required where qualifying supplies, including those made through distribution platforms by non-registered third-party vendors to purchasers in Canada that are not registered for the GST/HST, exceed or are expected to exceed C$30,000 in a 12-month period.

Can ITCs be claimed?

Vendors that are registered under the general regime, as opposed to the simplified framework, will generally be eligible to claim ITCs in respect of GST/HST incurred in the course of their commercial activities.

Short-term accommodation platforms

What are the new rules?

GST/HST applies to all supplies of short-term accommodation (generally a residential complex or unit supplied for periods of less than 30 days and for more than C$20/day) supplied in Canada through an accommodation platform, such as Airbnb. If the property owner is registered for GST/HST, the owner continues to be responsible for collecting and remitting the GST/HST from its guests. If the property owner is not registered for GST/HST, the accommodation platform operator must collect and remit the GST/HST on that property owner’s supplies of accommodation to consumers.

Can ITCs be claimed?

Non-resident accommodation platform operators that are not considered to be carrying on business in Canada and are making supplies to consumers (as opposed to GST/HST registered persons) use the simplified registration framework, resulting in no entitlement for ITCs. Accommodation platform operators that are resident in Canada are required to register under the general regime and are able to claim ITCs where all conditions are met.

What about provincial sales tax (PST)?

If all of this sounds familiar, it should. Quebec introduced digital sales tax provisions aimed at non-residents of Canada that are not registered for GST/HST and Quebec sales tax (QST), defined as foreign specified suppliers, as well as specified digital platform operators on Jan. 1, 2019, requiring them to become registered for QST. Beginning Sept. 1, 2019, this QST registration requirement was broadened to include residents and non-residents that are registered for GST/HST but not registered for QST (i.e., Canadian specified suppliers).

Impacted vendors are required to register for QST under the simplified framework where sales exceed C$30,000 to individual consumers in Quebec in the preceding 12 months and relate to intangibles (like software and digitized products) and services. Canadian specified suppliers are required to collect QST on goods as well as intangibles and services. Like the new GST/HST simplified framework, Quebec restricted input tax refunds on vendors using its simplified framework.

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, Saskatchewan introduced rules targeting non-residents making e-commerce sales to purchasers in the province. Online marketplace facilitators and online accommodation platforms are now required to register and collect PST on electronic distribution services that are delivered, streamed, or accessed through an electronic distribution platform (e.g., website, internet, portal, or gateway) and online accommodation services that are delivered or accessed through an online accommodation platform, respectively.

British Columbia expanded its PST registration requirements to include Canadian sellers of goods, along with Canadian and foreign sellers of software and telecommunication services. These new provisions come into force on April 1, 2021.

Lastly, Manitoba recently released legislation taxing certain digital sales of goods and services effective Dec. 1, 2021. The following vendors will be caught in the new rules and will be required to register for, collect and remit Manitoba retail sales tax (RST):

  • online marketplaces on the sale of taxable goods sold by third parties via their online platforms;
  • online accommodation platforms on the booking of taxable accommodations in Manitoba; and
  • audio and video streaming service providers on the sale of streaming services (by virtue of being included as telecommunication services).

Given the different approaches taken by the federal government and each of the provinces when taxing digital property and services, vendors and platform operators will need to gain a strong understanding of the requirements in each jurisdiction to prevent costly errors. If you need assistance navigating these rules, please contact your WVC advisor

Categories: Uncategorized


Navigating LIFO Inventory Methods During Global Supply Chain Disruptions

Dec 20, 2021


State of the Global Economy
The same issues have been covered in the news cycle for months; supply chain malfunctions, production shortages, inflation, increased tariffs… all the reasons why businesses are facing heightened costs of resources this year. COVID-19-related disruptions have affected distributors and manufacturers worldwide, with gradual increases in the consumer prices index every month since the third quarter of 2020 (apart from May ‘21.) Numerous products including crude oil and petroleum products, natural gas, leather, lumber and wood, chemicals, and metal products have all seen substantial inflation (from 25% – 200%) in the last twelve months.

As costs go up, one tax leveraging option for those required to maintain inventories is the LIFO (last-in, first-out) inventory method. By using LIFO, goods sold throughout the year are deemed to come first from any goods purchased or produced during that year, then from the beginning inventory. As a result, inflation on items in the ending inventory is already included in the cost of goods sold, which may result in a lower taxable income.

LIFO Snapshot
LIFO is an alternative inventory valuation method, used by companies during periods of increased inflation to defer significant taxation. When adopting a LIFO inventory method, taxpayers can measure the effects of inflation on their internal and external prices by assuming the most recently purchased items are being sold first. This is achieved through an “inventory price index computation method,” using indexes published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

First, the taxpayer must ascribe value to all inventory (including beginning inventory) at cost. Then, say the LIFO method was adopted in the tax year 2020, the taxpayer should value all inventory at cost, ratably, for 2020 through 2022 and account for any necessary adjustments. In theory, the result of those adjustments would reflect the impact of inflation on company inventory and would then be deducted from taxable income and removed from the balance sheet.

It is required all taxpayers adopting the LIFO method for tax purposes, apply a LIFO computing method to book income. Additionally, all financial statements issued by the taxpayer must reflect computation under a LIFO method. To adopt LIFO, taxpayers must attach Form 970, Application to Use LIFO Inventory Method, to their federal income tax return.

Considerations
Adopting a LIFO inventory method may not benefit all taxpayers. Companies considering the use of a LIFO method for the 2021 tax year should first perform a cost-benefit analysis in order to answer the following questions:

  • What are the potential tax savings for the 2021 tax year if the company switched to LIFO?
  • Historically, what trends has the company experience during periods of inflation?
  • Do historic trends and potential tax savings warrant a switch to a LIFO inventory method?
  • What costs are associated with implementing & maintaining LIFO computation in-house?
  • Are the potential tax savings greater than the projected costs?

As always, our team of advisors is available to help you determine the best approach for your given situation.

Categories: COVID-19, Manufacturing & Distribution


Managing Cash Flow After Disruption

Jun 09, 2021

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way in which businesses operate. From remote working to labor shortages, businesses have been forced to think innovatively to survive in a post-pandemic world. Revenue and cash flow have no doubt been a point of unease. During a recent WVC survey, more than 50% of respondents noted their number one concern being cash flow and access to capital. In a time of crisis, the focus is less on revenue and profits and more on liquidity and cash flow. In a distressed organization where resources are likely constrained, time is better spent on developing an accurate cash flow.

William Vaughan Company has developed a 13-week cash flow forecast tool for businesses to assess short-term cash demands. This model offers the most granular view into the money moving in and out of a business which means any short-term planning shortfalls can be addressed immediately. Click here to download.

Here are some best practices for cash flow forecasting business owners should consider if and when they find themselves in a crisis:

  • Take control – Prioritize your expenses from critical to nonessential. With precise insight into your cash peaks and valleys, it’s easier to prepare contingency plans ahead of projected pinch points.
  • Let the data drive decisions – Short-term cash flow forecasting should be driven by your data. Critical decisions can be made effectively with the numbers at hand. Most importantly, the 13-week cash flow is an objective, repeatable model that can eliminate false optimism among leadership.
  • Communicate – Use this as an opportunity to create an open dialogue between management and other key team members. In addition, it can also help expedite key decisions for your lenders.
  • Think outside the box – Think about other financing opportunities. This will also identify fixed versus variable expenses in which you can build scenarios from the model and “stress test” it against various conditions.

As businesses begin the long road to recovery, thinking strategically and taking action to minimize negative impacts will decide who remains competitive. Cash flow forecasting is just one of the many tools business owners can use to ensure their sustainability. With a thoughtful approach, you will gain the visibility needed to potentially right the ship.

How we can help
Don’t go at it alone! If you’re not sure how to assess your current environment and need guidance on utilizing cash flow forecasting, contact a William Vaughan Company advisor today!

Connect With Us.
wvco.com | 419.891.1040

Categories: Uncategorized