As we write this PayDay about resources to help employers deal with Coronavirus issues pertaining to their employees, Congress has still not been able to pass what is expected to be a massive, nearly $2 trillion economic stimulus package, which small to medium-sized employers need to pay employees and to survive. We are hopeful that Congress today (Monday) will put aside political differences and pass legislation that is needed immediately for employers, employees, and Americans in general.
The purpose of this PayDay is to provide a resource of websites, contacts, and information so that employers/employees can learn more about their financial options which exist due to this pandemic. As we all know, events change literally hour to hour, so many details regarding programs to help employers/employees will continually change, but the resources listed below should continue to be the “go-to” sources for education and accessing benefits. We encourage all our clients and colleagues to also contact their bankers, accountants, HR consultants, and government agencies to learn about all benefits and programs which can benefit them during this pandemic—–We are hopeful that the “stimulus package” will be passed by Congress today, and we hope that it includes procedures in which small to medium-sized businesses and non-profits can quickly access emergency funds to meet their payroll, pay their rent and essentially stay in business at some level until we all get to the “other side” of this crisis.
CURRENT STATUS OF EMERGENCY LOANS—HOPE NEW STIMULUS BILL STREAMLINES THIS!
Currently, small businesses and private non-profit organizations can apply for SBA ” Economic Injury Disaster Loans” (EIDL’s), since states have been declared as disaster areas by the Federal government. These loans are intended for those organizations that cannot access credit through alternate, traditional sources. You can call 800-659-2955 for customer service about these EIDL’s, and/or can email email@example.com
The SBA has indicated that they have service reps/consultants who can guide applicants through this process, which as we understand it must be an “online” application. Visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ for more information on how to apply for an EIDL.
We are hopeful that a stimulus package will be passed today which will expedite emergency loans to small businesses/non-profits, and which can be handled at the local level by lending experts/banks
INDIANA UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT CLAIMS
(other states are likely quite similar as to concepts)
Indiana’s unemployment agency is closed but actively working remotely. They suggest that all employees who have lost their jobs OR have had hours cut apply for benefits online at https://www.in.gov/dwd/2362.htm. Indiana’s unemployment agency has some excellent educational resources for employers at https://www.in.gov/dwd/19.htm, to include informative FAQ’s. Indiana is also hosting webinars about benefit claims/procedures, and anybody can register at http://on.in.gov/UI2020. Indiana has advised us that they recommend that all affected employees file benefit claims even if they work for churches/small 501(c)3 organizations so that their claims are on file in case the federal government introduces a program of unemployment assistance to employees of churches, non-profits—many of which are currently not subject to Indiana unemployment requirements/contributions.
REQUIREMENTS TO PAY EMPLOYEES—-GENERAL RULES
The Department of Labor has excellent educational material for employers as to “who do I need to pay now” at https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus. Generally, DOL does not require any wage payments to non-exempt employees (generally, hourly, non-management) beyond paying for “hours worked”. For exempt employees, employers are required to pay full salaries to exempt employees who do any work at all, including remotely, during a workweek.
HR 6201–FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT
President Trump signed HR 6201 into law on March 18th, for the purpose of protecting employees who can not work (including remotely) due to them or a family member being sick or in quarantine due to the virus, OR for employees who are on family leave due to their schools/daycares being closed down. HR 6201 generally applies to employers with less than 500 employees and mandates those employers to compensate employees who can not work due to Coronavirus related sickness or family leave due to lack of childcare. This new law also provides payroll tax credits (which are used to immediately reduce employer 941 tax deposit amounts) for the full amounts of the compensation paid to those mandated employees (the intent is that the employer is not “out of pocket” for these mandated wage payments). An excellent website for information about HR 6201 mandated small employer sick/leave wage payments and their corresponding tax credit offsets can be found at https://www.claconnect.com/resources. Look for the article titled “FAQ’s Regarding COVID-19 and Human Capital, Tax Impact” from a national CPA/tax consulting firm which provides an excellent, easy to read a summary of employees who trigger the sick/leave wage payments as well as the federal tax payments which are intended to pay for the mandated wage payments.
EXCELLENT OVERALL INFORMATION AT INDYCHAMBER
If you visit https://www.response.indychamber.com/, you will find what we consider excellent employer FAQ’s and information, in what the Chamber is calling their Rapid Response Hub.
PAYROLL/TAX SYSTEMS FOR COMPLIANCE
AccuPay is currently reading all we can about the payroll, tax, HR, unemployment benefit claims aspects pertaining to Coronavirus. We are also in contact with our software vendors to ensure that all our payroll and tax systems are updated to comply with the payroll, HR and tax aspects of all laws/regulations, in particular as to laws pertaining to non-withholding of FICA taxes on HR 6201 mandated sick/leave payments, and the brand new tax credits available for reduction of required IRS payroll tax deposits.
IN THIS TOGETHER
Our goal will be to continually educate both ourselves and our clients/colleagues as to all payroll/tax/HR-related aspects of the Coronavirus and to answer all questions you have regarding your specific fact patterns. If you learn important details from other professionals which we can “pay forward” to others, please let us know what you find out!!—All of this is sudden and very fluid, and we can help each other. If you are not planning on processing payroll for a specific period of time, please let us know as soon as possible so we can adjust our schedules accordingly. We are not going to charge our monthly minimums for months in which you do not process, as a courtesy to our clients. If you do not have sufficient funds to process payroll, we need to know that so we can discuss available options.
AccuPay currently has a partial staff in our office for essential tasks, and with a partial staff, we can also engage in social distancing. Our lobby has been closed for a week, but our drive-up window continues to be open at this time for those who are close to us. Importantly, all of our payroll specialists and our tax staff can work remotely via software to log into our cloud-based software systems—-and all in a safe/secure manner as to information.
LET US KNOW HOW WE CAN HELP
AccuPay’s goal is to continue to provide exceptional service to our clients, in a safe manner. If you have any concerns or questions, please email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are in this together!
Thank you for the information!
Dr. Gene Margiotti