Advocacy | Legislative & Regulatory

Next CARES Act / COVID19 Relief moving through Congress

We are actively monitoring the progress of the next major relief program working through Congress. We expect to see a reconciled joint bill  between now and August 14th before Congress adjourns for summer recess. There is pressure due to the expiration of the additional unemployment benefit ($600) and eviction protection on August 1st. 

On July 27, 2020, the Senate Republicans released their version of  the fourth major relief proposal (CARES 4) known as the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools Act (HEALS Act). In May, the House Democrats released their version of CARES 4 legislation, called the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solution Act (HEROES Act).

Last week we urged Congress to support six recommendations for relief

At this point all of our requests are in at least one or both of these bills:

  1. Including 501c(6) in PPP and other relief packages (BOTH);
  2. Limited liability for employers/business from pandemic claims (HEALS);
  3. Support for State Government relief (HEROES)
  4. Supporting Senate Bill (SB 4117) promoting auto forgiveness for PPP loans under $150k (BOTH)
  5. Tax deductibility of expenses that qualify for relief under CARES Act (S.3612, the Small Business Expense Protection Act of 2020) (BOTH);
  6. Remote and Mobile Worker Relief Act (S. 3995) (HEALS)

There are some notable Tax Provisions we are watching as follows:

  1. Employee Retention Credit
  2. Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) expanded to provide up to $5,000 (50 percent of the first $10,000 of qualified first-year wages) for employers hiring individuals in a new qualified group, defined as 2020 qualified COVID-19 unemployment recipients;
  3. Safe & Healthy Workplace Tax Credit a new refundable payroll tax credit equal to 50 percent of an employer’s qualified employee protection expenses paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.
  4. State Tax Changes for Remote Workers modifies state income tax rules to provide that through 2024, employees who perform employment duties in multiple states would be subject to income tax only in their state of residence and any states in which they are present and performing employment duties for more than a limited time during the calendar year (a 90-day threshold).
  5. Full Deduction for Business Meals would temporarily allow a full deduction for business meals provided by a restaurant and paid or incurred after date of enactment through December 31, 2020.

Now we will watch how the sausage is made as the House Democrats and Senate Republicans and President Trump negotiate the compromise between the two proposals - HEROES at $3 Trillion and 1,800 pages and HEALS at $1 Trillion and 168 pages.

Full text of HEALS Act

Full Text of HEROES Act


Tom Hood