KWC Names New Principals

We are pleased to announce the promotions of Irene Walsh and Ben Stokes to principal with the firm.

“Irene and Ben embody the core values of the firm, demonstrating integrity, responsiveness and superior performance in all dealings with clients, coworkers and the community,” said Connie Hammell, Managing Principal of KWC. “It is my pleasure to introduce both as principals as we continue to grow as a top tier firm in the region.”

Irene Walsh is a new principal in KWC’s Family Wealth Services Group. She specializes in tax planning and compliance, for a wide range of clients, with a focus on high net worth individuals and their related fiduciary, gift, and estate matters. Irene works closely with investment advisors and attorneys to maximize client tax planning opportunities. Many of Irene’s clients have international tax exposure, and she works closely with their advisors and attorneys to meet their planning and compliance needs.

A graduate of Georgetown University, Irene has received numerous professional and personal awards and recognitions including CPA Practice Advisor’s 40 Under 40, and the Leadership Center for Excellence’s 40 Under 40. She has also served as a board member for the Northern Chapter of the Virginia Society of CPAs.

Outside of KWC, Irene is active in the rowing community. She is an adaptive rowing coach with Medstar National Rehabilitation Hospital and the United States Air Force Wounded Warrior Program. She has coached at the World Championship level and represented the United States as the head rowing coach at the Invictus Games for the past three Games. She volunteers as the treasurer for Baltimore Adapted Recreation and Sports, and Alexandria Community Rowing.

Ben Stokes is a new principal in the firm’s Business Services Group. He provides consulting, tax planning, and compliance services for closely held businesses and their ownership groups.

Ben has extensive experience in serving real estate-related industries including construction companies, real estate management groups, architectural services firms, and real estate brokerage firms.

Ben is a participant in an emerging leaders program consisting of future leaders from regional firms across the Southeast.

A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, Ben was born and raised in Northern Virginia. He is an avid fan of the Washington Nationals and DC sports. In his free time Ben can be found on the basketball court or reading up on current affairs.

KWC’s Managing Principal Named to the Chamber ALX’s 40 Under 40 Honorees

KWC is proud to announce that Connie Hammell, the firm’s Managing Principal, has been named among the Chamber ALX’s 2021 40 Under 40 Honorees. Each honoree was selected for their professional accomplishments, scholastic achievement, and community impact.

The 40 Under 40 program was established in 2016 to recognize those age 40 and under engaged in a variety of fields including business, technology, nonprofit management, civic life, public service, education, and the arts, who are shaping Alexandria for the future.

In addition to the 40 professionals selected for this year’s list, the Chamber has also chosen two area high school students to receive their first ever Youth Honoree awards, based on nominations received.

The Chamber will present the awards at an upcoming virtual event, presented by Beyer Subaru, on July 15. Visit the Chamber’s event page at to learn more and purchase tickets. A portion of tickets will benefit the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria.

The full list of the 2021 40 Under 40 Honorees is below.

Amanda Alderson
National Industries for the Blind

Morgan Babcock
The Carlyle Council

Rachel Baer, Esq.
Family First Law Group

Jackie Barbarito
Goodwin House

Miguel Blancas
City of Alexandria

Taryn Brice-Rowland
National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO Inc)

Alycia Burant
Healthy Minds Therapy

Christina Calloway
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Cynthia Chin
United States Patent and Trademark Office

C.J. Cross
Hops N Shine

Lieutenant Marcus Downey

Alexandria Police Department

Cheyanne Dwyer

Building Momentum

Paula J. Eichenbrenner, MBA, CAE

Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Foundation

Kelly Ferenc
Bishop Boutique

Claudia Girerd
Freeman Decorating Company

Alyson Glick
Aptive Resources

Kellie Gunderman
The Social Edge, LLC & VIP Alexandria Magazine

Connie Hammell
KWC Certified Public Accountants

Amanda Parker Hazelwood
The Spitfire Club

Jenna Hong, MD
INOVA Medical Group

Mary Charlotte Horner
Legal Services of Northern Virginia

Michelle Smith Howard
Smart Beginnings Alexandria

Lorraine Johnson

Alexandria City High School Student

Nicole Jones
Stomping Ground, Bagel Uprising & Mae’s Market & Café

Harrison C. Lee
Cotton and Company

Lizzie Liu
The Campagna Center

Sarah Locke
Old Town Tax Consultants

Drew Marks
Mark-Woods Construction Services

Jennifer N. Masi
Children’s Law Center

Cody Mello-Klein
Alexandria Times

Morgan C. Middleton

United States Senate Federal Credit Union

Ashley Sanchez-Viafara
Alexandria City High School Student

Oliver N. Schipper, MD
Anderson Orthopaedic Clinic

Robin Shultz
INOVA Health System

Faith Spillman
Alexandria Police Department

Jacobson Truex
McLaughlin Ryder Investments

Jaqueline Tucker, Esq.
City of Alexandria

Lauren H. Waldron
Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS)

Natasha Walters
Brandywine Living at Alexandria

Toriseju Whyte, MD
Kaiser Permanente Mid Atlantic Medical Group

Jordan Wilhelm
The Critical Mass LLC

Andrew Young
Renner and Company, CPA, PC



EIC: New Law Makes Major Changes

The earned income credit (EIC) has been around for years. But it’s never been worth as much as it will be for 2021 under the new American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Some favorable changes are only for the 2021 tax year; others are permanent. Here are the details. (more…)

Temporary Changes to the Child and Dependent Care Credit

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) includes major, but temporary, changes to the longstanding federal income tax child and dependent care credit. The changes are favorable for most taxpayers, except high-income individuals. Here’s what you need to know about this credit and how it’s changing for 2021. (more…)

Businesses and Individuals Benefit from American Rescue Plan Act

Yesterday, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”). The Act provides approximately $1.9 trillion in further stimulus to individuals and businesses as well as state and local governments. Selected highlights of the new law are summarized below.

For businesses, the benefits include:

  • Employee Retention Credit (ERC): The ERC was extended through December 2021. The credit percentage (70 percent) and the qualifying wage maximum ($10,000 per employee per quarter) remain the same, however by extending the program through the end of the year the maximum credit per employee for 2021 is now $28,000 ($7,000 per quarter per employee).
  • FFCRA Paid Sick and Family Leave Tax Credit: For those employers who offer paid sick and family leave, the FFCRA credit is extended through September 30, 2021 and available up to a maximum of $12,000.
  • Additional Small Business Loan and Grant Funding: The Act extended and created the following:
    • $7 billion in additional loan funds available under the Paycheck Protect Program (PPP).
    • $15 billion in funding under Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advance payments of $10,000 for businesses located in low-income communities that have no more than 300 employees and that have suffered an economic loss of more than 30%.
    • $25 billion in grants for restaurants and bars in amounts equal to the pandemic-related revenue loss for the eligible entity, up to $10 million per entity or $5 million per location.

For individuals, the benefits include:

  • Recovery Rebates: The Act authorizes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to pay $1,400 to individuals and an additional $1,400 for each dependent of the taxpayer up to specified income limits with phase outs.
  • Federal Unemployment Supplement: The Act extended the federal supplement to unemployment of $300/week through September 6th, 2021.
  • Child Tax Credit: The child tax credit was temporarily increased to $3,000 per child and $3,600 for children under age 6.

Does Your Business Qualify for the 2021 Employee Retention Credit (ERC)?

In order to qualify for the 2021 Employee Retention Credit your business must meet one of the following criteria:

• Have your operations been fully or partially suspended during a calendar quarter in 2020 due to an order from a governmental authority limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings due to COVID-19; 


• Did your business experience a significant decline in gross receipts during a calendar quarter? For 2021 you must have experienced a 20% decline in any one 2021 quarter when compared to the same quarter in 2019.

If the answers to these questions are no then your business does not qualify for the 2021 Employee Retention Credit.

If my business does qualify what are the benefits?

You will qualify for a payroll tax credit based on a calculation using qualified wages paid from 1/1/2021 – 6/30/2021. The per employee qualified wage limit for the credit calculation is $10,000 per quarter (including certain health care costs) and the credit amount is 70% with a max of $7,000 per quarter (up to $14,000 through 6/31/2021). 500 FTEs (full time equivalencies) is the threshold for determining which wages count towards the credit. Employers with more than 500 FTEs may not be eligible. Also, there is no double dipping permitted if a business also received funds under Payroll Protection Program round 2 (PPP2). Only wages that were NOT covered by a forgiven PPP loan or another tax credit program are eligible.

Are PPP Funds Taxable by the State?

As previously communicated, Congress passed legislation in December 2020 that made Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans excluded from federal gross income and the related covered expenses deductible for tax purposes. However, the impact of debt forgiveness and deductibility of expenses for state tax reporting purposes is an increasingly dynamic and complex consideration.

Please recognize that this is still a moving target for many states, and we remind taxpayers that in many cases, specific state decisions have not been made with respect to the exclusion of loan proceeds from gross income and the deductibility of expenses paid with those proceeds.

Virginia: At this time, Virginia has decided to not follow the federal guidance regarding the treatment of the loan forgiveness. The forgiven loan would be included in taxable income on the Virginia return. As of Monday, January 25, 2021, the Virginia legislature has begun reconsidering this position. If there are any changes to this position, we will provide updates.

Maryland: At this time, Maryland will conform to the Federal tax rules thereby excluding PPP loan forgiveness from income and allowing the related covered expenses as deductions.

District of Columbia: At this time, DC will conform to the Federal tax rules thereby excluding PPP loan forgiveness from income and allowing the related covered expenses as deductions.

North Carolina: At this time, the amount of forgiven PPP loan is not included in the calculation of taxable income, however, expenses paid using the proceeds of the PPP loan are not deductible when calculating state taxable income.

We are actively monitoring the state requirements and will provide updates as additional guidance is made available. We are hopeful that guidance will be available during the current filing season, but if delays from the states continue, filing state extensions might be necessary if you have a PPP Loan that has or will be forgiven.



Does Your Business Satisfy the Needs Based Test for a PPP2 loan?

As most businesses contemplating a Paycheck Protection Program – Round 2 (PPP2) loan know, borrowers are required to demonstrate a decline in gross receipts of 25 percent or more in any quarter of 2020 compared to 2019 or on an annual basis. However, borrowers are also required to certify that “current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” Some considerations that a business borrower may want to make are described below.

Borrowers under $2 million

While the SBA is not currently requiring the formal forgiveness questionnaire (Form 3509 for for-profit entities and Form 3510 for non-profits) to be completed by borrowers under $2 million, we would encourage all borrowers to contemplate and contemporaneously document their economic need giving rise to the additional, or first time, PPP funding. Here is a summary of some of the key questions currently asked by the SBA to document loan necessity, after-the-fact:

• Were any of the borrower’s employees compensated in an amount that exceeds $250,000 on an annualized basis?
• Did the Borrower directly receive any funds from any CARES Act program other than PPP, excluding tax benefits?
• As of the last day of the calendar quarter immediately before the loan application, how much did Borrower own in cash, savings, and temporary cash investments? Are there any restrictions on these funds?
• What were the changes in year-over-year gross revenues? Operating expenses?
• During the loan covered period, did the Borrower begin any new capital improvement projects not due to COVID19? What were the cash outlays for these projects?
• Has the Borrower prepaid any outstanding debts?

Borrowers over $2 million

Borrowers that received $2 million will be required to complete the loan necessity questionnaire provided by the SBA at the time of forgiveness. Upon receipt of the questionnaire (Form 3509 for for-profit entities and Form 3510 for non-profits), borrowers are given 10 business days to return the completed form and required supporting documents to the lender. In addition to addressing all of the questions posed above, we would encourage those receiving the questionnaire to be thoughtful in their responses and consider an enhanced narrative to accompany the questionnaire that addresses:

• the liquidity needs of the business requiring the PPP funding,
• how the business had to adjust to the COVID environment, and
• consider including the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption on this documentation if you believe the documentation would fall under “Exemption 4: Trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is confidential or privileged.”

Additional resources:

Congress Passes Bill Providing Critical Decisions on PPP Loans and Other Business Benefits

Congress Passes Bill Providing Critical Decisions on PPP Loans and Other Business Benefits

Yesterday, Congress passed the much-awaited COVID relief bill. The $900 billion bill provides more than $300 billion in small business aid as well as individual benefits through stimulus payments and extended unemployment benefits.

The critical business provisions include:

 Deductibility of Business Expenses Paid with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans: A key to year-end planning for clients, the bill specifies that business expenses paid with forgiven PPP loans are tax-deductible. The bill clarifies this highly contested question stating that “no deduction shall be denied, no tax attribute shall be reduced, and no basis increase shall be denied, by reason of the exclusion from gross income provided.” This supersedes IRS guidance that such expenses could not be deducted.

Extension of the PPP loan program: For small businesses with 300 or fewer employees who can show a 25% gross revenue decline in any 2020 quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019, the SBA can provide additional PPP funding as first or second PPP loans. In addition, now Sec. 501(c)(6) not-for-profit organizations are eligible for the PPP loan program.

Simplified PPP Forgiveness Applications Under $150,000: The bill creates a simplified forgiveness application for loans of $150,000 or less. We anticipate this will be similar to the current Form 3508S which is available for loans under $50,000. This does not eliminate the borrower requirement to retain records related to employment for four years and other records for three years. The bill also repeals the requirement that PPP borrowers deduct the amount of any EIDL advance from their PPP forgiveness amount.

Employee Retention Tax Credit: The bill extends the employee retention tax credit and temporarily allows a 100% business expense deduction for meals when the food and beverages are purchased from a restaurant (through the end of 2022).

For additional details, consider these sources:

On Demand Recording Available: Year-End Tax Planning for Individuals and Businesses


View this on demand webinar as we review year-end tax planning items for both individuals and businesses to consider as 2020 comes to a close. In this webinar, we will:

• review various SECURE Act and CARES Act provisions, and the impact on your personal and business tax scenario;

• explain the new Revenue Ruling 2020-27 which provides guidance on the non-deductibility of expenses paid with PPP loan proceeds;

• and discuss potential tax implications and changes under the Biden tax plan.

Register below to view the recording: