Tax credits help business owners recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave

If you’re a small and medium size business owner, this one’s for you. The IRS announced important refundable payroll tax credits that are much less talked about in the shuffle of COVID-19 relief efforts. These credits will continue to be important to businesses especially after states fully reopen, and employees may continue to find themselves to be sick with COVID-19, need to care for family members who are sick with Covid-19, and/or cannot come to work due to lack of childcare due to Covid-19.

Chris Strand, managing accountant at Ballast Tax and Business Services breaks down what small business owners need to know about this plan which has the goal to swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave.

“There are two pieces to this tax credit which is available only to small and medium size business owners,” says Strand. “The paid sick leave credit and the paid family leave credit reimburses employers who provide up to 80 hours of sick leave for employees who are sick with Covid 19 or who must care for a family member with Covid 19. Secondly, it also reimburses employers who pay employees up to 10 weeks who must miss work due to the lack of available child care due to COVID-19.”

According to the IRS, not only does this cover wages, but It also covers health care costs for the employee, and employers are not required to pay FICA taxes on those wages.

“This is also available to self employed individuals,” says Strand. “The credit is refundable and the funds can be obtained quickly.”

In order to take advantage of the credit, the IRS states, employers simply deduct the credit amount from their payroll tax deposits for the current period. If there are more credits than payroll tax deposits, they can file to receive a check right away, not wait until the end of the year by submitting Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19.

“To be clear, this only applies to wages paid to employees who come down with, or care family members who come down with, Covid 19. Or to wages paid to employees who lose their child care due to Covid 19,” Strand adds. “This pandemic has brought about challenges never before seen and rarely even foreseen in our business community. This tax credit can potentially provide a significant aid to those business owners striving to meet these challenges.”

For details about these credits and other relief, contact Ballast Tax and Business Services.