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Stimulus Bill Extends the Availability of Student Loan Forgiveness (US)

Section 2206 of the CARES Act allowed an exclusion of up to $5,250 from an employee’s gross income, if an employer paid principal or interest on an employee’s “Qualified Education Loan”. Section 2206 of the CARES Act was only designed to be in effect for calendar year 2020. However, The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the … Continue Reading

Qualified Disaster Tax Relief – Retirement Plans and Employee Retention Credits (US)

Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has also had its share of other disasters, including hurricanes, floods and fires. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “CAA”) has provisions that are designed to provide tax relief for individuals and employers who have been adversely affected by one of the numerous federally declared “Qualified Disasters”. These provisions of … Continue Reading

Stimulus Bill Extends the Availability of Employee Retention Credits (US)

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “CAA”) extends through June 30, 2021, the Employee Retention Credit provisions of Section 2301 of the CARES Act. It also favorably modifies the rules for claiming the Employee Retention Credits. These changes are generally effective as of January 1, 2021. These provisions of the CAA are found in Sections … Continue Reading

Stimulus Bill Extends Tax Credits for Paid Coronavirus Leave, But Not FFCRA Paid Leave Framework Itself (US)

On Monday, December 21, Congress unveiled the nearly 5,600-page text of the latest COVID-19 relief package. If signed into law by the President, the omnibus spending and stimulus relief package will provide direct cash payments to many adults in the U.S., extend unemployment benefits, reopen the Paycheck Protection Program, and provide wide-ranging rental and educational … Continue Reading

IRS Guidance on the Payroll Tax Executive Order (US)

On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order titled “Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster” (the “Order”). The Order directs the Secretary of the Treasury to permit deferral of employee Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (“OASDI”) taxes for payroll dates on and after September 1, … Continue Reading

Executive Order Regarding Payroll Taxes (US)

On Saturday, August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order titled “Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster” (the “Order”). The Order provides for the deferral of certain payroll taxes. The Order will be effective for wages paid on or after September 1, 2020 and will have to … Continue Reading

Post-lockdown working, Part 5 – doing your homework (UK)

The logical extension from the discovery that all or most or your staff can work from home without anything catastrophic happening is to ask yourself whether you actually need an office in the first place.  Obviously it has potential advantages in terms of staff cohesion and corporate identity, but decisions are being made across the … Continue Reading

IRS Guidance Provides Employers with the Ability to Offer a Second Open Enrollment Period for the 2020 Plan Year and Provides Greater Flexibility for Making Mid-Year Cafeteria Plan Elections (US)

Providing much needed assistance to employees’ who were blindsided by COVID-19 and who were incapable of making health care coverage elections with COVID-19 in mind, the IRS on May 12, 2020, provided temporary relief that allows employers, during 2020, to expand the permissible reasons for employees to make prospective mid-year election changes to their health … Continue Reading

Extension of IR35 to the private sector, Part 17 – the House of Lords takes revenge, eventually (UK)

Trying to find the most depressing part of the new House of Lords’ Economic Affairs Committee report on IR35 is not easy.  There are so many possible candidates, for one thing, and as an insight into the legislative process it is little short of terrifying.  Not even law by twitter like the Job Retention Scheme, … Continue Reading

IRS Publishes Frequently Asked Questions on Payroll Tax Deferral (US)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides employers a number of economic relief programs, including deferral of employers’ share of quarterly social security tax deposits and forgivable Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans. The IRS recently released a set of frequently asked questions and answers regarding the CARES Act’s deferral of quarterly Social … Continue Reading

IRS Guidance Enables Employers to Immediately Access Tax Credits Under Coronavirus Relief Legislation (US)

Tax credits may be available to employers who are required to pay additional wages to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”).  Specifically, tax credits may be available to employers who are required to pay employees under the Emergency Sick Pay Leave and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave portions of the … Continue Reading

The CARES Act of 2020: Key COVID-19 Relief Provisions Impacting Your Employer-Sponsored Benefit Plans (US)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, enacted and sent to the President for his signature on March 27, 2020, is bipartisan legislation providing more than US$2 trillion in relief for both companies and families affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It includes a number of provisions designed to … Continue Reading

Top 10 Employee Benefits Issues in a Slowing Economy (US)

The changes in the economy brought on by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), commonly known as the “coronavirus,” present challenges to employers trying to manage their greatest resource – employees. A cross-practice team involving our Tax Strategy & Benefits, Labor & Employment and Data Privacy & Security lawyers have published this alert that identifies some of … Continue Reading

UPDATED: President Signs Sweeping Congressional Action In Response to Coronavirus (US)

On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Senate approved a bipartisan bill aimed at addressing the coronavirus. After rejecting two attempted amendments to the House bill, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” passed the Senate by a vote of 90-8. As we reported on March 17, the comprehensive emergency measure expands nutrition and food assistance, unemployment … Continue Reading

Congress Passes Sweeping Employment Protection In Response to Coronavirus (US)

On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Senate approved a bipartisan bill aimed at addressing the coronavirus. After rejecting two attempted amendments to the House bill, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” passed the Senate by a vote of 90-8. As we reported on March 17, the comprehensive emergency measure expands nutrition and food assistance, unemployment … Continue Reading

UPDATE (17 March 2020) – House Passes Emergency Coronavirus Response Act, Includes Federal Paid Sick Leave Requirement (US)

On Saturday, March 14, 2020, the US House of Representatives passed a version of HR 6201, referred to as the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act).” The comprehensive emergency measure expanded nutrition and food assistance, unemployment insurance benefits, and protections for workers exposed to risks by the pandemic. Most notably for employers, HR 6201 included … Continue Reading
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