COVID-19 Update August 18, 2020

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Hot off the press, we’ve finally received an update from Capitol Hill on Coronavirus relief! Enclosed is the draft text of the skinny COVID relief proposal from Senate Republicans, including the liability language from the Cornyn bill, the SAFE TO WORK Act (starting at page 3).

Tennessee is the latest state to pass a limited liability law for COVID-19 claims. The Tennessee COVID-19 Recovery Act asserts that any claimant alleging COVID-19 liability must file a verified complaint pleading specific facts, including a certificate of good faith from a physician, outlining the defendant’s purported gross negligence or willful misconduct.

This week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent out two reminders to help businesses and individuals when filing their federal tax return for 2020. The first one helps employees who are receiving unemployment for the first time to avoid owing unforeseen taxes on this compensation by withholding, and the second one is for businesses that have funded expenses with PPP loans to remember that they’re nondeductible per IRS Notice 2020-32 (issued on May 27th). Many companies don’t realize that the forgiveness of the PPP loan is a taxable event declared as income. It wouldn’t be surprising if these respective tax liabilities cause personal and/or corporate bankruptcies to happen next year around tax season due to unanticipated debts.

The U.S. Chamber sent a final letter on the payroll tax memorandum, in which we have endorsed both as a company and through our NAPEO association. If you have any questions on the contents of this letter or the potential effects of this memorandum on your business, please don’t hesitate to call.

The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration issued guidance on the President’s unemployment memorandum. Meanwhile, SHRM has released a guide to the DOL’s recent revisions to the FMLA forms that require more specific information in notices and medical certifications.

Quick reminder to register for our webinar this Thursday at 3 PM  where we will review the president’s executive orders along with the most recent legislation and IRS notices. We will also discuss hurricane preparation, ending the session with a Q&A about the start of the school year.

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