Current Tax & Paid Leave Regulation Changes
March 23, 2020 | BY admin
As we continue to face the global health crisis of COVID-19, Roth&Co is committed to supporting your organization in navigating these confusing times. Here is what you need to know regarding the recent tax and regulatory changes.
TAX FILING DEADLINE EXTENSION
On Friday, March 20th the IRS has announced that the deadline for filing tax returns is being moved from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.
HR 6201: FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT
HR 6201 was signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020, ensuring employees are eligible for two weeks of Paid Sick Leave and use of 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave Act leave for several circumstances related to COVID-19. It will be in effect until December 31, 2020.
1. Payroll Tax Credit for Employers
Under HR 6201, employers can claim a Social Security tax credit to offset the cost of providing expanded FMLA and emergency paid leave to their employees. If the credit exceeds the employer’s accumulated Social Security tax for the calendar quarter, the excess will be issued in the form of a refund from the IRS. The refundable credits would apply to all wages paid under these programs through December 31, 2020.
2. Emergency Paid Sick Leave for Employees
Covered Employers: Employers with fewer than 500 employees.
Covered Employees: All employees, except some exclusions for health care providers or emergency responders.
Covered Leave: When an employee is quarantined or isolated as ordered by a governmental agency, health care provider, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. 2/3 pay is required for employees on leave for the purpose of caring for an individual in quarantine, or a child whose school is closed or child-care provider is no longer available due to COVID-19.
Duration of Leave: Full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick leave. Part-time employees are entitled to sick leave equal to the hours worked on average over a typical two-week period.
Illness or quarantine: Pay is capped at $511/day and $5,110 total
Providing family care: Pay is capped at $200/day and $2,000 total
Note: Employers cannot require employees to use other leave first.
Additional Tax Credits: An employer can claim additional refundable tax credits for the employer portion of Medicare taxes and nontaxable health insurance premiums as related to COVID-19.
3. Emergency FMLA Expansion for Employees
Covered Employers: Employers with fewer than 500 employees
Covered Employees: Any employee who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days (excluding health care providers or emergency responders)
Covered Leave Purposes: To care for a child under 18 if the child’s school or the childcare provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus.
Duration: Up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave.
Compensation: After 10 days covered by Emergency Paid Sick leave, employers must pay two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay for the number of hours they would normally be scheduled to work, capped at $200/day and $10,000 total.
4. Reinstatement to Position after Leave
The same reinstatement provisions apply under the traditional FMLA. However, restoration to position does not apply to employers with fewer than 25 employees if the job no longer exists because of the economic downturn caused by a public health emergency. The employer is required to make reasonable efforts to return the employee to an equivalent position, and contact a displaced employee if a similar position becomes available within a year of when they would have returned to work.
5. Exemptions for Businesses with Fewer than 50 Employees
Businesses with under 50 employees are subject to exemptions from Emergency FMLA and Emergency PSL if the requirements “would jeopardize the viability of the business.”
We will continue to keep you informed as more information becomes available. As always, we are here to help implement these changes. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.