COVID-19 Update May 9, 2021

Just a friendly reminder that if you’re a client and believe you may be eligible for ERTC, note that the deadline to make elections for the 2020 amendments is May 10th as we will be filing on May 17th. Additionally, the team at Delta has created a comprehensive guide to ERTC 2021 eligibility. Those looking to claim ERTC for the first quarter of 2021 should also note that the deadline to make elections is May 19th as they too will be filed by the end of the month.

To reiterate, these deadlines are specifically for Delta clients and allow us to get as many clients refunded as quickly as possible. We can still provide service after these dates, but there will be an added fee for our time to refile these tax returns. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions.

In other company news, we’ve excitedly started to go out and see clients in person again as more meetings are moving offline. The most common theme is that most are having trouble finding qualified candidates, from skilled labor to professionals, that are ready and willing to return to work. As the economy is on its way to recovery, businesses are aiming to return to being fully staffed after having to lay off workers during the pandemic. This article speaks to preparing for the hiring rush coming in September, but the South is ahead of the curve and has already begun to see these effects.

Employers are recognizing that there are advantages to allowing remote work, including the ability to widen the pool of potential employees and to reduce the fixed costs associated with physical office space. Whether by choice or need, however, many employees are likely to continue working remotely—some may have moved to locations too far away to accommodate commuting, while others may simply prefer to keep working from home. Having a significant number of “work from anywhere” workers, however, introduces new challenges for employee benefits design and administration.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is officially withdrawing the prior administration’s independent-contractor rule, which would have made it easier for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Employers need to be very careful to make sure you can qualify anyone you are paying as a contractor; the Biden Administration is basically bringing things back to where we were under the Obama administration where they wanted everyone paid as a W2 employee. Furthermore, President Biden has proposed requiring employers to provide 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave through a new federally funded program, expanding on current requirements for employers to provide unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Lastly, local governments have done a great job keeping state taxes static for 2021; however, every business needs to begin preparing for next year when the taxes for unemployment must go up to replenish the funds that have been depleted due to the pandemic. In addition, the amount of fraud that is currently in the system has finally come back to hurt everyone and this really needs to be addressed. The states that have a strong plan in place to combat fraud may be the first to come out of the economic slump while not passing off these costs on to businesses.

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