Resources for Small Businesses in Response to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

Updated March 25, 2020, 3:30 pm EST

The Office of Advocacy will share small business resources and information related to the coronavirus pandemic as we receive it.

IRS Answers Frequently Asked Questions about delayed filing and payment deadlines. The IRS has added some very helpful FAQs about the filing extension to its coronavirus website. The FAQs answer questions about filing returns and making tax payments, including quarterly estimated tax payments. The FAQs also include information on IRAs and other work-based retirement plans, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Archer Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs), and a small section of “other questions.”

DOL to Host Online Dialogue on Compliance Materials Needed for Expanded Paid Family and Medical Leave Requirements. The U.S. Department of Labor will be hosting a national online dialogue to provide employers and employees with an innovative opportunity to offer their perspective as the agency develops compliance assistance materials and outreach strategies related to the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The ideas and comments gathered from this dialogue will inform compliance assistance guidance, resources, and tools, as well as outreach approaches, that assist employers and employees in understanding their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA. DOL needs your input by March 29, 2020. Anybody who is interested can participate online at https://ffcra.ideascale.com from March 23 through March 29, 2020 or can join a Twitter chat hosted by @ePolicyWorks on March 25, 2020, at 2 p.m. ET using the hashtag #EPWChat. For more information on the requirements of FFCRA, please visit: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.

Ninety-day deferral of federal tax filing and payments. The IRS has updated its coronavirus website with Notice 2020-18, which extends the filing date for federal income tax returns from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Notice 2020-18 also supersedes Notice 2020-17 that allowed a 90-day deferral of tax payments of $1 million for individuals and $10 million for corporations. Individuals and corporations can now defer an unlimited amount of tax payments until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. Penalties, interest, and additions to tax will begin to accrue starting July 16, 2020.

The IRS is continuing to process tax returns and issue refunds. Secretary Mnuchin has encouraged taxpayers who will receive a refund to go ahead and timely file their tax returns if they are able so they will receive their tax refunds sooner. Also, the agency (IRS) has closed all of its Taxpayer Assistance Centers and discontinued face-to-face services throughout the country until further notice.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Small business owners in all U.S. states and territories are now eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Click here to apply. The SBA’s disaster loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.

Waiver of hand sanitizer production approval. The Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is allowing distilleries to produce hand sanitizer without first seeking TTB approval to do so. How it is taxed depends on whether the hand sanitizer is made with denatured ethanol (not subject to federal excise tax) or undenatured ethanol (subject to federal excise tax).

The Small Business Administration’s webpage has a list of resources for small employers. Here are some of the key links:

  • Government contracting. If a situation occurs that will prevent small businesses from successfully performing their contract, they should reach out to their contracting officer and seek to obtain extensions before they receive cure notices or threats of termination. The SBA’s Procurement Center Representatives can assist affected small businesses to engage with their contracting officer.

The Centers for Disease Control has compiled health and safety information for businesses

This post will be updated as information becomes available. Originally posted March 19 at 10:19am ET.

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