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What one family is dealing with...

Date: April 16, 2020

Author: Trish Wright


We are just one family in America. I am sure every family has its tales. Send yours to us in an email to Trish@AmeriTaxCA.com. Right right now this is how Covid-19 has affected us. Just sharing. We have two college-age girls. One was called back from her study abroad program 3 months early. She is back at home and just finished her quarantine. We are haggling to get the dorm room refunded and to get her original flight booked refunded. We were worried that course credit for certain things wouldn't count and that it might end up having to do an extra semester of school (and school tuition!). The school has just provided alternative work so that the credits can count. She is taking classes virtually.

The other daughter is in college in WA working on her Physical Therapy degree so we have been tracking our friend Covid-19 for longer than most. I just did an intervention upon learning that her roommates two close associates both tested positive for Covid-19. This daughter is an at-risk individual. I had to figure out where to quarantine her since she could very possibly be a carrier. We imposed on friends with an empty cabin in Big Bear. (Thank you!) Major worry for about a week to see if symptoms would develop. None. Yeah! Finishing up the 14 days this Monday. She is doing school virtually. It snowed while she was there (beautiful). She had both her birthday and Easter in quarantine. Her college will be doing a boot camp prior to fall semester to be sure they learned the skills properly virtually as Physical Therapy is well, physical, and requires people to practice on.

Mom and Dad are both essential workers. Dad because he's at the port of LA/Long Beach which has been basically tracking this virus since it hit China. So again we've been more tuned into it than most. Those huge cargo ships all over the world??? Well most of them are parked in the South China Sea. There is an app that tracks them. Each ship is a red dot. When you look at the app, the South China Sea is smothered in red dots. There's no blue for the sea. You can also see way more than normal of these dots right around our very own ports. Needless to say shifts at the port have dried up and the dispatch hall has no work. Shipping companies laid off crane operators way back when. One company laid off 100% of its crane operators. I don't think those casuals are getting any work either. Zippo.

As a tax accountant, mom is deemed essential. She set up her office to social distance in early March and than in mid-March went 100% virtual. Once the Mayor announced the strict stay at home orders in LA, people listened and no one came by anyway. Business stopped. Then it picked up when the stimulus checks were announced as every "non-filer" and SSI recipient near by came in to see how they could sign-up for the stimulus check. This didn't seem safe and we went to full mask and glove protocol in the office to answer questions and handle coffee-stained, ripped 2018 W2s with less than $1000 on them. Fortunately, on April 10th, the government put up a website link for non-filers to file a "empty" tax return so their names could be among the ones counted worthy. Tons of people, and germs through the office, but no business. Now Mom has to figure out how to staff an office through July 15th, when and how to lift the 100% virtual business model and go back to safe-distancing in-person service and a bunch of other stuff.

In the meantime, phones are ringing off the hook for people trying to figure out how to get their stimulus checks direct deposited, and what to do if they went through one of the 3rd party banks for their refunds…(See glitch story on front page). It's April 16th so to heck with it. The office is closed until Monday when once more we will likely do nothing but answer phone calls about the stimulus and listen to people yell at us because theirs hasn't arrived yet and it must be all our fault.

So to summarize, kid school/relocation worries, kid health worries, dad job worries. Mom job worries. And lastly, we have been fortunate to have some rental properties but a goodly amount of tenants have decided not to pay rent (even when their jobs weren't effected by Covid). Tenants have eviction and late fee relief. But small Landlords? Are they getting relief from their banks? Are their late fees being forgiven? Not yet.

Biddy boom. Biddy bang. God provides. This will be over and Americans will push through. And after a period of time (years?) getting back to normal, we will have another joyful expansion and we will think the stock market won't fall and housing prices will keep going. It's the circle of life and it moves us all to despair and hope to faith and love (Lion King). #NoTaxonUnemploymentBenefits.

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