Individual Federal Income Tax Filing & Payment Dates Automatically Extended — Taxpayers may defer payment of income tax from April 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020. This includes 2019 taxes and 1st quarter estimated taxes. Penalties and interest will be waived. Individuals may defer up to $1 million. Corporations may defer up to $10 million for 90 days from their normal deadline. Note, taxpayers who need more time beyond July 15th to file must still apply for an automatic extension to file (Form 4868 or Form 7004) if the taxpayer will not file by the new July 15th deadline. Also, no provision has yet been made for 2nd quarter estimates—stay tuned. See: IR-2020-58.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Guidance on Small Business Loans — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued significant guidance to help small businesses understand the recently enacted laws in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a Coronavirus Small Business Guide. See:
Tax Credit for Employers Paying Qualified Family Leave and Sick Leave Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act — Employers may receive a refundable tax credit for the amount of qualified family leave wages paid, or the amount of qualified paid sick leave wages paid. The credit is applied to the tax the employer pays for its portion of the employees' social security. If the costs exceed that amount, the excess will be refunded. This Act become effective on April 2, 2020. See: IR-2020-57.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Enacted — The CARES Act (“the Act”) (click here to review the Act) was signed into law by President Trump on Friday, March 27, 2020. The Act provides valuable benefits to businesses and employees designed to support both during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
Cash Payments to Individuals: The Act provides for cash payments to individuals. The money would be sent by EFT direct to people's bank accounts. It includes a one-time payment of $1,200 to each American with A.G.I. up to $75,000 (or $150,000 if filing MFJ). Individuals or couples will receive an additional $500 per child. The amounts will phase out by $5 for each $100 of income over the threshold. IRS Information - IR-2020-61
Forgivable Loans to Small Businesses: The Act authorizes $350 billion in loans to small businesses. Loan money used to cover payroll expenses, rent, interest on mortgage obligations and utilities during the covered period are forgivable to the extent the workforce is not reduced. See: SBA Loan Resources; See also U.S. Chamber of Commerce - Small Business Loan Guide
Corporate Aid: The Act calls for $500 billion in corporate aid, much of it for backstopping loans from the Federal Reserve. The Treasury Secretary will have authority to directly lend a portion of the funds. A new inspector general and oversight board would be created to monitor the aid. The corporate aid would also include: $17 billion for assistance to companies deemed crucial to national security; $25 billion in grants to passenger air carriers; $4 billion for air cargo carriers; and $3 billion for contractors.
Important Support for Health Care Providers and Care: The Act provides a new grant program of $100 billion to health-care providers and $16 billion toward the stockpiling of medical equipment, including personal protective gear. The bill also includes expanded telehealth, higher Medicare reimbursement for doctors and hospitals, and a delay in some Medicaid cuts to hospitals.
Small Business Sick Leave Requirement Imposed Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act — Full-time employees of businesses with fewer than 500 employees must be given 80 hours of paid sick leave, and part-time employees be given the number of hours that employee works, on average, over a two week period. Upon application and approval, businesses with fewer than 50 employees can be exempted from the requirement, at the discretion of the Secretary of Labor, if the requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business. Employees see: Employee Rights; Employers see: Employer Requirements; FAQ and Other DOL Information: Dept of Labor Info
Federal Reserve Bank Actions — The U.S. Federal Reserve has taken various steps to support markets and lending. It has also proposed a Main Street Business Lending Program that would support lending to eligible small and midsize businesses. To track and learn more: Federal Reserve COVID-19 Developments