Weekly Digest – April 6 2022

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Fourth COVID-19 Booster Shot

Experts and health officials are recommending a fourth shot of a COVID-19 vaccine to protect vulnerable groups such as older adults and immunocompromised individuals. This decision comes as BA.2, a highly transmissible version of the coronavirus, accounts for as much as 70% of US infections.

While there is some debate over whether a second booster is necessary, the CDC recently issued new guidance that allows the 1.3 million adults who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine followed by a Johnson & Johnson booster shot to get either Pfizer or Moderna as a second booster shot to improve protection.

$10 Billion in COVID Aid to Boost Testing

Senate negotiators agreed on a $10-billion spending deal to further fund the country’s response to the pandemic. The package would allow the U.S. to buy supplies, including more tests and vaccines that will be needed to continue to curb the spread of COVID-19 as a new variant rapidly spreads. This extra funding is good news for businesses, especially those with employees who frequently get tested.

Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments

If you have questions about the advance Child Tax Credits for 2021, the two best sources are the instructions for Schedule 8812, which is used to calculate and report the credit on your 2021 tax return, and the IRS FAQs. Before filing your tax return, check your IRS Online Account to be sure you report the correct amount of any advance Child Tax Credit payments received during 2021. This will help ensure that refunds are paid promptly within 21 days. As a reminder, couples who filed Married Filing Joint will each receive a letter reporting half of the payments received. When filing 2021 tax returns, married couples will need to combine both amounts when they file their joint return.

Get an Automatic 6-Month Extension to File

If you’re unable to file your tax return by the April 18 deadline, there’s an easy, online option to get more time to complete your return. You can request an automatic six-month extension through the IRS Free File. Learn more about it here.

Taxpayer Assistance Centers Will Be Open This Saturday

As the federal tax filing deadline approaches later this month, the IRS announced that many Taxpayer Assistance Centers will be open around the country this Saturday, April 9 for face-to-face help. It will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and no appointment is needed.

April FBAR Deadline

The IRS reminds US citizens, resident aliens, and any domestic legal entity that the deadline to file their annual Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) is April 15. Learn more about filing deadlines on the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) website.

431,000 Jobs Added in March

Nonfarm payrolls expanded by 431,000 in March, while the unemployment rate was down at 3.6%. This is slightly below the forecast of 490,000 and well under February’s upwardly revised 750,000. Leisure and hospitality led the gains, followed by professional and business services and retail trade.

SEC Plans Greater Oversight of Crypto Markets

SEC Chair Gary Gensler announced that the agency is aiming to exercise greater regulatory oversight of the $2 trillion cryptocurrency market to protect investors from scams. He announced several initiatives to expand investor protections, and that it will partner with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to address platforms that trade both crypto-based security tokens and commodity tokens.

Cybersecurity Funding Proposal

President Joe Biden has made a major commitment to cybersecurity with his fiscal year 2023 budget, with the proposal including a $5.8 trillion budget for 2023 for cybersecurity-related activities. The increased proposed budget for cybersecurity comes roughly a week after the president urged US companies to boost the security of their systems due to the increasing threat from Russia. It also includes $215 million to protect sensitive agency systems and information.

We sincerely hope that you and your family are well and remain well. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are all in this together!