March 19, 2020

COVID-19 Government Relations Daily Summary



The Illinois CPA Society is providing you with updated information on the state and federal response to the COVID-19 Virus. While the information below is not intended to be comprehensive, we did want to provide you with substantive information.

IRS EXTENDS PAYMENT OF TAXES
Waives Penalties & Interest

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin announced that payment of taxes owed by taxpayers and businesses will be extended up to 90 days with automatic wavier of interest and penalties. Treasury officials are urging taxpayers to file their tax returns by April 15th particularly if a refund is expected. See IRS Notice 2020-17.

     Action Alert-Request Treasury Department Extend Tax Filing Due Dates-AICPA and State Societies are calling on the Department of the Treasury to immediately give taxpayers a 90-day extension of the April 15th filing deadline and are asking CPAs to email Treasury Secretary Mnuchin today. See Update.

Update-On March 20, 2020, Secretary Mnuchin announced that the Treasury Department and IRS will be extending the filing deadline for 2019 U.S. federal income tax returns from April 15 to July 15, 2020. See ICPAS Government Relations Update Covid-19 (02).

Illinois Department of Revenue – Consideration of Penalties and Interest Waiver-ICPAS Government Relations has contacted the Department of Revenue regarding waiver of penalties and interest.  As of this writing, the department has not responded.  We will continue to keep you updated on any announcements by IDOR.

FEDERAL LEGISLATION RESPONDS TO COVID-19
H.R. 6201  Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Senate passed and the President signed into law omnibus Federal legislation to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. The legislation provides for paid sick leave, free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections to healthcare workers. The following is a summary of the provisions of the Act for your situational awareness. It is not intended to serve as a comprehensive analysis of the legislation. 

Emergency Sick Leave-created the "Emergency Sick Leave Act" which requires employers with fewer than 500 employees and government employers to provide employees two weeks of paid sick leave, paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay.  Provides requirements for qualifying leave and distinguishes between full-time employees entitled to 80 hours and part-time employees entitled to the number of hours that they work in a typical two-week period. 

Expansion of FMLA-amends the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide employees of employers with fewer than 500 employees, and governmental employees who have been on the job for at least 30 days with the right to take 12 weeks of "job-protected" leave under FMLA.  Provides criteria for leave to generally include quarantine due to exposure, care for at-risk family member required to quarantine due to exposure or symptoms, or to care for a child if the child's school or day-care is unavailable due to COVID-19.  After two-weeks of paid leave, employees receive a benefit from employers that will be no less than two-thirds of the employee’s usual pay.

Payroll Tax Credits for Sick Leave and Paid FMLA-includes a refundable tax credit equal to 100% of qualified paid leave wages paid by the employer for each calendar quarter. The credit is allowed against the tax imposed on the employer portion of Social Security Taxes with specified caps.   

SINGLE AUDIT SUBMISSIONS EXTENDED
Office of Management and Budget Extends Single Audit Submissions for Certain Entities

Separately, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum extending the single audit submission deadline for certain entities.  OMB is currently working on a broader deadline extension that will provide relief to certain entities that are not covered by the 1st OMB memo but have operations adversely impacted by COVID-19.  See also GACQ Alert for more information

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Illinois Department of Employment Security Issues Emergency Rules for Unemployment Insurance Benefits

The Illinois Department of Employment Security has extended the availability of unemployment benefits to those unable to work due to COVID-19.  You can read the specifics, what qualifies for unemployment insurance and how to apply at the IDES website here.  

DISASTER ASSISTANCE LOANS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is in the process of submitting Illinois' application to participate in Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19.  The Small Business Administration is typically timely in responding to state requests of this nature.  DCEO and ICPAS will distribute information when and if Illinois's application is approved. 

STATE OF ILLINOIS COVID-19 Website

The State of Illinois has created a COVID-19 website where information and resources are posted.

We are sensitive to the impact COVID-19 has on your businesses’ operations, including delivery of services to clients.  We will continue to provide you substantive information through these special updates.