On Friday, March 20, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), US Department of Labor (DOL), and US Department of the Treasury published a joint news release (Release) regarding tax credits available to employers who will be required to provide paid sick and family care leave for COVID-19-related purposes under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  As explained in detail here, the FFCRA mandates employer-paid sick leave and partially-paid family care leave, offset by tax credits. The FFCRA also includes federal funding and waivers for free COVID-19 testing, food and nutrition assistance programs, and state unemployment insurance programs.

Published only two days after the FFCRA was signed into law, the Release further reflects the unprecedented steps being undertaken by the US government in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. At its core, the Release explains that employers covered by the leave provisions of the FFCRA will receive new, refundable payroll tax credits “designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees.” It also provides additional details about the small employer exemption to the FFCRA leave requirements and the DOL’s enforcement plans.

To help you prepare, click here to continue reading including a FAQ that summarizes the key provisions of the Release.