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The federal government has taken or is weighing significant steps to help the country deal with the spread and impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on individuals and businesses.
On March 14, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan 110-page bill. Late on March 16, the House passed a new bill containing technical corrections. This bill has received support from President Trump and is expected to be taken up by the Senate as early as Tuesday, March 17.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes a wide range of provisions, including some addressing insurance coverage and reimbursement of diagnostic testing costs and others expanding safeguards for economically disadvantaged individuals. It also includes two significant groups of measures that will affect certain employers and workers through December 31, 2020. Some concerns have been raised in the Senate that certain provisions in the bill could create cash flow problems for businesses.
Due to the uncertainty surrounding final passage and content of the legislation, we will provide a summary of the major topics addressed by the House-passed bill but will hold off on more specific details until we are confident that legislation has been agreed upon. In addition, on Tuesday, March 17, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced that individual taxpayers may delay paying personal income taxes of up to $1 million for up to 90 days. Corporations will be allowed a similar deferral to pay up to $10 million in taxes. Taxpayers will not be subject to interest or penalties during this extended 90-day period. Formal written guidance with more details should be forthcoming. While it is anticipated that many states will follow suit, taxpayers need to carefully watch for state guidance. For example, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue has announced that it is prepared to follow the IRS in offering similar relief for taxpayers with Massachusetts tax filing obligations.
Following are the major topics covered by the House legislation:
We will continue to monitor updates and will keep you informed with additional details as they become available.
If you have questions about the impact of coronavirus please contact a member of your DGC client service team, or Stephen Minson, CPA, MST at 781-937-5120 / firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. You can also visit our coronavirus landing page at dgccpa.com/coronavirus which will be continuously updated with new articles and checklists to help you deal with the impact of coronavirus on you and your business.