COVID-19: Disaster Plan for Your Dental Practice
We are all experiencing unprecedented anxiety pertaining to our practices as we deal with this national crisis. Based on what we know right now, here are some recommendations that you can do for your practice:
- Consider applying for the SBA Disaster Relief Loan. As of March 23, this is something you should definitely consider if you have already used other options to obtain financing to get through this time. Congress is still working on a stimulus plan, so we will have to see if they come up with better alternatives. If you choose to apply for this loan, we encourage you to apply for an amount large enough to cover expenses and distributions for up to six months. While you may not need that much, we encourage you to apply to include that amount in your application. Link to SBA: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/
- Contact your banker. Most banks are offering relief to business clients who have loans or lines-of-credit. This will be important assistance in the coming months.
- Contact your credit card company. Some credit card companies are offering 0% minimum payment and 0% interest for a month or more, so this may be a way to help out cash flow by delaying payments.
- Contact your landlord and vendors. Ask your landlord and largest vendors for favorable payment options during this time that you may be shutdown or working on limited basis.
- Assist your team to file for unemployment, even if they are working reduced hours. Each state has different rules, so we encourage speaking with an employment lawyer if you have having trouble navigating through the website for information. Team members working reduced hours, such as working on emergencies only, may still qualify for unemployment as their hours may be limited. Missouri allows an employer to file a mass claim which may expedite the filing on behalf of your employees. You can find helpful information at https://labor.mo.gov/coronavirus#mini-panel-coronavirus-tabs3. To contact the MO Department of Labor you can call 573-751-1995 or by email at email@example.com.
- Contact your health insurance broker. It is important that you follow the rules regarding health insurance during a layoff or reduced hours. A layoff may trigger a COBRA event, and your health insurance broker can assist you in this situation. Since the rules are ever-changing, we strongly recommend that you talk with your insurance broker. We also recommend that you continue to pay health insurance for your team if you are able, unless your broker advises differently. This will go a long way to help out your employees.
- Stop all owner payroll for corporations. If you need to withdraw money from the practice, withdraw money as Officer Loans or Distributions. Do not run through payroll to save payroll taxes, retirement contributions, and payroll processing fees. It may be easier to get disaster relief if owners are not on payroll.
- July 15th Federal and State Tax Deadlines. Even though the Federal and Missouri filing deadlines have been extended until July 15th, we still recommend that you file your personal or corporation income tax returns as soon as possible. Even if you owe, you get an automatic extension to pay the taxes. If you are getting a refund, this money can assist in getting through the next few months. We are also recommending that any refunds be paid out and not credited to 2020 estimated payments. We can do tax planning for 2020 based on how the next several months progress. Link to IRS:https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/state-government-websites
- Donating Supplies. As we all know, hospitals have been stretched on their inventory of masks and medical supplies. We encourage you to use this opportunity to build goodwill in your community to donate if you have medical supplies that you are not presently using.
- Communicate with your team members. Set up a schedule to regularly communicate with your team. Consider using phone conferencing or video-conferencing technology, such as Zoom.
- Stay in touch with advisors. You have created a network of trusted advisors, so reach out to them during this crisis. Contact your accountant, lawyer, bankers, and other advisors and ask for assistance or advice.
- Sign the ADA petition to urge Congress to include dentists in COVID-19 relief packages. The ADA is asking Congress to help dentists with loans, student loan debt referrals, deferring or eliminating payroll taxes, and other business-related relief. Please sign the petition at the following link and urge your colleagues to do the same: https://actioncenter.ada.org/urge-your-members-of-congress-to-include-dentistry-in-relief-packages/
We will continue to update you as information and updates become available. Please let us know how we can continue to support you through these challenging times. We are here to help you with what we can, so please contact us.