Small Business Employer and Payroll Legislation and Guidance

//Small Business Employer and Payroll Legislation and Guidance
Families First Coronavirus Response (FFCR) Act

IRS FFCR Announcement
DOL Fact Sheet for Employers
DOL Question and Answer Guidance 

This Act was passed on March 20, 2020, but will only take effect on April 1, 2020. Please note that this Act is NOT retroactive. This Act provides paid sick and child care leave for qualified workers (up to 80 hours) while at the same time granting a tax credit to the employers providing this paid time. Details are not yet in on how the tax credit and reimbursement of this bill will be handled (we are expecting that info any day now). I encourage you all to read over the IRS and DOL links above which provide details of this Act to determine how this applies to your organization and your employees. From a payroll perspective, please keep track of the hours and wages paid to employees that fall under this Act so we can make sure your taxes are handled properly and that you receive the reimbursement you are owed. Then please provide that information when you send your payroll for the impacted period. Live payroll clients will send with their regular payroll hours. After-The-Fact (ATF) clients should submit with their typical payroll reporting for tax payments and filing. Until we receive further instruction, we do not know how this will be handled so the above instruction may need to be modified. 

Non-Essential Business Shutdown

Many of you have businesses affected by Governor Wolf’s shutdown. Employees you have or will lay off prior to April 1, the effective date of the FFCR Act, will not be covered by that Act. These businesses should encourage their employees to file for unemployment. Due to COVID-19, furloughed employees will likely be eligible for larger than usual unemployment benefits. In additional employers will not see a rate increase as a result of laying off their employees. For more information, please visit https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx 

Coronavirus Relief Package

This week the Senate passed a $2 trillion relief bill that that will be voted on Friday morning by the House of Representatives (March 27) and if passed is expected to be signed by President Trump shortly thereafter. I will send more information regarding this package once it is official but below are some highlights of the bill that could affect your business: 

  • Boost in unemployment benefits giving jobless workers an extra $600 a week for four months on top of the state benefits. Benefits would also be available for self-employed and independent contractors.
  • $500 billion lending program which will provide loans for businesses, states, and municipalities.
  • Independent contractors will be eligible to receive federal aid.

What gets the most headlines from this package is the direct payments of up to $1200 to individuals ($2400 for a married couple) and $500 for each child under age 17. There are a number of other measures in this bill such as suspension of student loan payments, delay of Real ID deadline, protections against foreclosures and evictions, etc. 

Please seek the advice of your legal counsel for how this affects your particular situation. Any action due to the coronavirus in relation to payroll should be communicated to us so we can make sure your payroll taxes and filings are processed properly. 

We wish you health and safety as we navigate this season. 

Brandt Accounting