As we begin 2021, we are still faced with Covid-19 affecting every part of our lives. While hope is on the horizon as vaccines are being produced and distributed, we must continue to proceed thoughtfully as we face these challenges. Besides the changes that the vaccine will bring, there are several important updates from the recent Stimulus Bill which was signed into law at the end of 2020:
- Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act Expired (sort of). Beginning April 1, 2020, employers with less than 500 employees had to provide sick leave and potentially childcare leave to its employees. If they granted the leave, then they could claim a tax deduction on payroll taxes. This leave expired on December 31, 2020. However, if an employer decides to continue to allow employees to use this leave (up to the maximums allowed), they can claim a payroll tax deduction for leave granted until March 31, 2021. Businesses should make a decision based on their own needs about whether using such leave will be permitted and inform their employees of the decision.
- Paycheck Protection Program. The Small Business Administration was granted more funding to issue more PPP loans until March 31, 2021. The new law restricts the eligibility of the businesses to those with fewer than 300 employees that experienced at least a 25 percent drop in sales from a year earlier in at least one quarter. The SBA has been tasked with issuing regulations implementing the changes detailed in the law. We anticipate guidance over the next few weeks.
- Unemployment Extension. The new stimulus bill extended the federal support for unemployment. Employers should continue to direct any inquiries from their current or former employees to the state agency where they live or work for more information about if they qualify for any benefits, even if it is for temporary lay-offs caused by Covid-19.
As we persevere through 2021, please remember we are here to support you through this time so that you can strategize how to help your business not only survive, but thrive, during this pandemic. Please feel free to contact Ginny Cascio Bonifacino at firstname.lastname@example.org or Natasha M. Nazareth at email@example.com to discuss any questions.