Coronavirus tax relief for Employers is important. When employers pay their employees, they are required to withhold from their employees’ paychecks federal income taxes and the employees’ share of Social Security and Medicare taxes. The employers are then required to deposit these federal taxes, along with their share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, with the IRS and file quarterly payroll tax returns (Form 941 series) with the IRS.
Two New Refundable Payroll Tax Credits
The U.S. Treasury Department, IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor reported “that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020”.
The Act will:
- Give all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members.
- Enable employers to keep their workers on their payrolls.
For COVID-19 related reasons:
- Paid Sick Leave for Workers as employees receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and expanded paid childcare leave when employees’ children’s schools are closed, or childcare providers are unavailable.
- Complete Coverage as Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave pursuant to the Act.
- Health insurance costs are also included in the credit.
- Employers face no payroll tax liability.
- Self-employed individuals receive an equivalent credit.
- Reimbursement will be quick and easy to obtain.
- An immediate dollar-for-dollar tax offset against payroll taxes will be provided
- Where a refund is owed, the IRS will send the refund as quickly as possible.
- Employers with fewer than 50 employees are eligible for an exemption from the requirements to provide leave to care for a child whose school is closed, or childcare is unavailable in cases where the viability of the business is threatened.
- Requirements subject to 30-day non-enforcement period for good faith compliance efforts.
- Businesses can retain and access funds that they would otherwise pay to the IRS in payroll taxes. If those amounts are not sufficient to cover the cost of paid leave, employers can seek an expedited advance from the IRS by submitting a streamlined claim form (PENDING RELEASE).
Eligible Employers Are:
Businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees that are required to provide emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family and medical leave under the Act.
Eligible employers will be able to:
Claim these credits based on qualifying leave they provide between the effective date and December 31, 2020. Equivalent credits are available to self-employed individuals based on similar circumstances.
Paid Leave Explanation
- Employees of eligible employers can receive two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 100% of the employee’s pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined, and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and seeking a medical diagnosis.
- An employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, to care for a child whose school is closed or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can receive two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 2/3 the employee’s pay.
- An employee who is unable to work due to a need to care for a child whose school is closed, or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, may in some instances receive up to an additional ten weeks of expanded paid family and medical leave at 2/3 the employee’s pay.
Paid Sick Leave Credit Explanation
- For an employee who is unable to work because of Coronavirus quarantine or self-quarantine or has Coronavirus symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis, eligible employers may receive a refundable sick leave credit for sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate, for a total of 10 days.
- For an employee who is caring for someone with Coronavirus, or is caring for a child because the child’s school or child care facility is closed, or the child care provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus, eligible employers may claim a credit for two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate, for up to 10 days. Eligible employers are entitled to an additional tax credit determined based on costs to maintain health insurance coverage for the eligible employee during the leave period.
Child Care Leave Credit Explanation
Eligible employers may receive a refundable childcare leave credit for an employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for a child whose school or childcare facility is closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus.
- This credit is equal to two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay, capped at $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate.
- Up to 10 weeks of qualifying leave can be counted towards the childcare leave credit.
- Eligible employers are entitled to an additional tax credit determined based on costs to maintain health insurance coverage for the eligible employee during the leave period.
- An eligible employer paid $5,000 in sick leave and is otherwise required to deposit $8,000 in payroll taxes, including taxes withheld from all its employees, the employer could use up to $5,000 of the $8,000 of taxes it was going to deposit for making qualified leave payments. The employer would only be required under the law to deposit the remaining $3,000 on its next regular deposit date.
- An eligible employer paid $10,000 in sick leave and was required to deposit $8,000 in taxes, the employer could use the entire $8,000 of taxes in order to make qualified leave payments and file a request for an accelerated credit for the remaining $2,000.
Consult your Tax Specialist
Eligible employers ought to consult their Tax specialist to make sure that the (PENDING RELEASE) streamlined claim forms are properly completed.