Covid-19 Tax Updates For Business
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Effective April 1, 2020, changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will allow for employees to take 2 weeks of emergency leave in order to care for a family member stricken with COVID-19 or care for children who are quarantined at home during government-mandated school closures. After the initial 2 weeks, employees may be eligible for another 10 weeks of paid leave. Employers must notify their employees immediately and in a conspicuous space of the FMLA updates, which are mandatory for all employers with fewer than 500 employees.
Employers with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt. All employers can receive 100% credit for these costs via their 941 forms.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
Businesses that are economically distressed due to the global health crisis can now apply for an EIDL up to $2 million through the SBA (Small Business Association). Loan funds can be used to cover general expenses, including rent, payroll, accounts payable and general operating expenses and is offered at a rate of 3.75% for a term of up to 30 years. Loan amounts under $25,000 do not require collateral. Up to $10,000 of the EIDL can be forgiven as an EIDL grant.
PLEASE NOTE: If your business will also be applying for a PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan, you MUST apply for the EIDL no later than Friday, April 3, 2020.
For more information visit SBA Disaster Assistance.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program allows for employers affected by the global health crisis to apply for loans to help them retain employees during these difficult times. Qualifying businesses can apply for a loan of up to 2 ½ months of payroll costs. Payroll costs include wages, payroll taxes and employee benefits, including health insurance paid by the employer and employer retirement contributions. If the loan is used exclusively for payroll costs, including benefits, interest on certain mortgage obligations, rent and utilities, and certain requirements are met regarding employee retention during a specified period, the principal does not have to be paid back.
The first round of funding for PPP loans ran out, however, a second round was approved on April 24, 2020. Applications will still be processed until the 2nd round of funds runs out.
Many local banks and financial institutions are processing PPP loans. Call your bank to get on their list of applicants.
For detailed information and eligibility requirements click here.
The Internal Revenue Service announced on April 30th that it would not allow a tax deduction for expenses paid with PPP loan forgiven funds, which would turn the PPP loan forgiveness into taxable income. Some members of Congress announced they would try to change that, but it is not likely that you will get a final answer before you have to decide how to spend the PPP funds, as it is doubtful that Congress will make a decision on this quickly, if at all, before June 30.
Therefore, all of your planning most likely will be done without knowing the ultimate outcome on taxability, and it may ultimately come down to a court decision several years from now. Here is a link to a good article on this issue from Forbes Magazine https://bit.ly/3bsf5mx.
Employee Retention Credit
On March 27, 2020, Congress enacted The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which is designed to encourage eligible employers to keep employees on their payroll, even if they are experiencing financial difficulties due to the global health crisis. The IRS will provide eligible employers with an employee retention tax credit (Employee Retention Credit).
The Employee Retention Credit is a fully refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50 percent of qualified wages that eligible employers pay their employees. The credit will apply to qualified wages paid after March 12, 2020, through the end of this calendar year. The maximum credit for an Eligible Employer for qualified wages paid to any employee during this time period is $5,000.
For more information about the Employee Retention credit click here.