COVID-19 and Other Updates March 2, 2022

COVID-19 and Other Updates March 2, 2022

Just a quick midweek update. We hope everyone around New Orleans had a safe and enjoyable Mardi Gras, whether you are a parade goer or someone that heads out of town for the hectic season.

Restaurants Ask the IRS to Delay Tax Enforcement Actions

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) was introduced in response to the pandemic to provide relief for vulnerable small businesses. However, for too many, expected assistance from this program still has not arrived. A recent poll revealed that 83% of the operators who applied for the ERTC 6+ months ago, still have not received any funds. The IRS has been struggling with updating their systems to reflect these tax returns, resulting in a delay of the funds being sent out.

This is a considerable issue for small-to-medium sized businesses throughout the country. Linked above is a letter from the National Restaurant Association to the Department of the Treasury and the IRS. The letter details a collective request for assistance for businesses who are closing, largely because of the delay in delivery of these essential funds. Even more, the IRS is still pursuing their collection for taxes that are not yet due as they still have to process the latest tax returns. We are doing our best to keep our clients up to date on what we have received on our end, but it is entirely a waiting game.

We have received notices from the IRS requesting the taxes due from our clients, even though these taxes were filed correctly and with the appropriate tax credits. When replying to these letters from the IRS, we receive replies notifying us that their system was not set up for the FFCRA tax credits until after the returns had already been processed. They are working through the corrections. We will continue to keep you informed on this matter, and please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any specific questions.

More Updates on the ‘Great Resignation’

Human resource departments are now finding that stay interviews, or interviews conducted with current employees to gauge their job satisfaction, are a wonderful antidote to exit interviews. It is much easier to keep current employees than it is to hire and train new ones. We encourage you to read this article to learn about how stay interviews can help you retain your current and best employees.

Other trends on Employment-Screening are quickly rising and we’d encourage you to also check out this article to stay up-to-date on the latest trends.

PEO Pointers: Big Changes on the Way for Employee Arbitration Agreements

Congress just passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act with wide bipartisan support. This bill will radically change the playing field for employers defending workforce disputes. President Biden is expected to sign this bill into effect in the coming weeks, where all employers will no longer be allowed to include arbitration agreements for Sexual Harassment and Abuse in employement documents. If anyone needs us to review your current employment documents, please feel free to reach out.

CDC Relaxes COVID-19 Related Masking Rules

Lastly, the CDC issued new COVID-19 related metrics that will allow many communities to ease their indoor masking requirements. Employers may have continued obligations under local or state laws, but many localities are following suit and also relaxing their pandemic-oriented safety rules. The indoor mask mandate was lifted in New Orleans on Wednesday, March 2nd. We encourage you to stay on top of your local and state guidelines and update your policies accordingly.

Have a wonderful rest of your week!
Dave and Teresa

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