- Signed into law 3/27/20
Who it applies to
- Small business loans as described in act available to employers with fewer than 500 workers.
- What is the current status of the CARES act?
The CARES Act was signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020. Please note that this legislation is new and guidance has not yet been issued regarding how the provisions will be implemented. The Secretary of Treasury has stated he hopes the IRS guidance on the new bill will be issued by April 3, 2020. We cannot guarantee the guidance will be issued by that date, but please know that once it becomes available we will share it as quickly as possible.
- Signed into law 3/18/20
Who it applies to
- The law applies to ministries with fewer than 500 workers. Exceptions are available for employers with fewer than 50 workers.
- How do I manage a worker who needs to be out because his or her child’s school or childcare center has been closed?
The worker would be eligible for paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act due to the closure of a school or childcare center for the first 10 days. Then FMLA leave under the bill would take effect.
- How do the employees "sign up" for FMLA leave and how does the employer let the government know that it has paid people under the act?
There are not yet any clear procedures. In the case of a school or childcare center closure, the employer could ask for proof that a school or childcare center has closed, unless it is under a shelter in place order that all schools and/or childcare centers must shut down. The employer does need to make sure that it keeps track of all of the leave given. As for letting the government know, the bill states that the employer is to simply withhold the payroll tax up to the law’s maximum amount equal to the amount of sick leave or FMLA leave that it has had to pay under the bill. There was not any explanation of notifying the government of the amount in the bill.
The Department of Labor will be issuing regulations regarding paid sick leave and FMLA leave under the act very soon. CPS is monitoring the situation and will provide information about the regulations when they become available.
- How does a ministry get payroll taxes returned if no one is getting paid?
The employer retains and accesses the funds that they would have to otherwise pay to the IRS in payroll taxes. The IRS has stated that “the payroll taxes that are available for retention include withheld federal income taxes, the employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and the employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes.”
If those amounts are not sufficient to cover the required paid leave employers can seek an expedited advance from the IRS by submitting a streamlined claim form (the form is expected to be released soon). If employers are not going to pay the leave time or are requesting an exemption from the DOL then they are not entitled to the credit.
If employers have less than 50 employees, they can file an exemption to not pay leave related to school / childcare center closures but then they can’t get the tax credit. Also, if employers want to file for an exemption the DOL hasn’t released the “simple and clear” criteria yet to file the exemption.