The 2021 tax season began with a late start date for processing 2020 returns. As the IRS was still attempting to complete work on 2019 filings, portions of the United States were experiencing weather disasters with power and Internet outages, and of course … more new tax law changes reflecting the continuing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that began in 2020. As CPAs have come to expect, in late December, Congress rolled out the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021, which contains several tax provisions, including some that leverage the Corona-virus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act from 2020. Although tax professionals have their “usual sources” of tax updates, given the late-breaking nature of much of the technical information, this issue’s column looks at some resources that CPAs may not be aware of.

KPMG Tax Insights

KPMG Tax Insights

KPMG’s Tax Insights blog ( covers current tax developments and legislation through a variety of articles, reports, and other publications, such as Chief Tax Officer Insights, Inside Indirect Tax, and SALT Technology Checklist. One topic that is particularly timely for tax season is COVID-19: Insights on Tax Impacts (, which provides access to KPMG’s COVID-19 Global Tax Developments Summary, a daily Tax-NewsFlash focused on COVID-19–related updates, and COVID-19 “Flash Alerts.”

The TaxNewsFlash ( provides daily articles from a variety of countries wherever COVID-19–related tax news is occurring. For readers who would like to focus specifically on the United States, this is most easily accessed from the COVID-19 Insights main page ( The Tax-NewsFlash is also available in a downloadable, cumulative PDF summary, called COVID-19 Global Tax Developments.

Readers are encouraged to scroll down the COVID-19 Insights main page to the “insights by tax area of focus” section, which provides access to KPMG-authored articles on COVID-19–related topics. One of the most recent includes “KPMG report: Review of compensation and benefits-related tax provisions in Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021” (January 25, 2021), which includes coverage of the Employee Retention Credit extensions and modifications, the 100% deduction for certain business meals provided by a restaurant, and the extension of the employee payroll tax deferral repayment ( More information on the Employee Retention Credit is available on a special webpage linked under that section ( “President signs year-end funding, COVID-19 relief legislations; tax provisions are enacted” (December 28, 2020) links to the full text of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the House Ways and Means Summary, and the Joint Committee on Taxation revenue estimate. The article is a handy bullet-point summary of the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act provisions, which include many extensions of temporary provisions, several miscellaneous provisions, and tax relief measures for non–COVID-related disaster events (

The 2021 Personal Tax Planning Guide ( main page provides a link to download the 80-page 2021 guide. Although the personal tax planning resource is written for somewhat sophisticated taxpayers, practitioners may find it helpful for raising issues to be discussed with clients. The guidebook is fairly comprehensive, addressing topics ranging from individual tax planning to retirement and transfer tax planning to business tax considerations. One useful feature for CPAs is the numerous highlighted topics under the CARES Act and the Secure Act.

Tax Foundation

The Tax Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on researching, analyzing, and impacting federal, state, and international tax policy. The web-site’s home page highlights some of the Tax Foundation’s recent blog posts and research reports. Although readers might expect the Tax Foundation’s website ( to focus on more conceptual or educational materials, there are some very practical resources available on COVID-19–related tax issues.

The COVID-19 Tax Resource Center ( presents a concise summary of tax policy changes that affect 2020 tax returns in “What to Expect During the 2021 Tax Season” (January 15, 2021). It discusses economic impact payments, unemployment insurance benefits, refundable tax credits, and tax re-funds. The article is loaded with links to the underlying resources (

“Which States Are Taxing Forgiven PPP Loans?” (February 22, 2021) is another helpful article that discusses this situation in substantial detail, with embedded links to original sources and updates provided at the bottom of the post ( The article, featuring a table of all states, indicates whether the PPP loan forgiveness is excluded from taxable income, as well as whether expenses paid from loan sources are deductible.

Other Helpful Resources

Kaplan Financial Education offers its “Current Federal Tax Developments” blog (, with multiple posts per week on a variety of tax topics. The February 27, 2021, blog post, “House Passes COVID-19 Relief Package with Tax and Other Provisions” summarizes the tax and non-tax provisions, and includes links to the five articles that the author cited. An outstanding resource on Kaplan’s blog is the weekly developments videos and podcasts (user’s choice of format) by Ed Zollars ( The presentations, generally running from 30 to 50 minutes, provide access to a PDF text of the specific resources discussed. Two recent podcasts covered PPP-related topics: “PPP and ERC Clarifications for CAA Changes” (January 25, 2021) and “Revised PPP Program IFRs” (January 11, 2021).

Wolters Kluwer features a Federal Tax Legislation webpage (, promoting commercial resources such as the U.S. Master Tax Guide and continuing professional education. If users scroll down to “Recent Legislation,” they can access some of the outstanding Tax Briefings that are otherwise only available on CCH IntelliConnect or CCH AnswerConnect by subscription. The special report “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021” (December 28, 2020) summarizes key provisions of the COVID-19 Related Tax Act; the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act; and the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020. This report also includes an excellent one-page listing of 37 extended provisions from the latter.

Thomson Reuters provides a Tax & Accounting blog ( that features a section specifically targeted to COVID-19 issues ( A recent post, “How CAA Affects 2020 Returns” (February 10, 2021), discusses several provisions affecting 2020, such as additional recovery rebates, expanded access to Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and child tax credit and earned income credit flexibility ( Thomson Reuters also offers a “Small Business COVID-19 Resource Center” with articles, materials, and links related to PPP and EIDL grants and other small business relief (

Popular Free Tax Resources

IRS: Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments

IRS: Tax Reform

AICPA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center

Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA/CGMA is the Louis J. and Ramona Rodriguez Distinguished Professor of Accounting at Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Tex. She is a member of The CPA Journal Editorial Advisory Board.