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IRS Bulletin R-2020-57: Small And Midsize Employers Can Take Advantage Of COVID-19 Refundable Payroll Tax Credits

IRS Bulletin R-2020-57: Small and midsize employers can take advantage of COVID-19 refundable payroll tax credits

WASHINGTON – Today [3/20/2020] the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) announced 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.

Key Takeaways

  • Paid Sick Leave for Workers
    For COVID-19 related reasons, employees receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and expanded paid child care leave when employees’ children’s schools are closed or child care providers are unavailable.
  • Complete Coverage
    Health insurance costs are also included in the credit.
    Employers face no payroll tax liability.
    Self-employed individuals receive an equivalent credit.
  • Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave pursuant to the Act.
  • Fast Funds
    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.
    Reimbursement will be quick and easy to obtain.
  • Small Business Protection
    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 child care is unavailable in cases where the viability of the business is threatened.
  • Easing Compliance
    Requirements subject to 30-day non-enforcement period for good faith compliance efforts.

To take immediate advantage of the paid leave credits, 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 that will be released next week.

Read the entire IRS Bulletin R-2020-57 here.

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