The new COVID relief package has arrived, and employers have a lot to sort through.
The $900 billion Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 makes changes that will help businesses and individuals. And both will require your company’s involvement.
To ensure your company and your employees take full advantage of everything in the 5,593-page new law, CFO Daily News broke down the key changes. Plus we included their effective dates.
Another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans
First and foremost, the feds made an additional $284 billion available for PPP loans. Took advantage in Round 1? You can participate again in Round 2.
And even if your organization wasn’t eligible the first go-around, you might be now. Loan eligibility has been expanded to include all nonprofits.
Two other key points made clear in the new law:
- You can now count “supplier costs and investments in facility modifications and personal protective equipment to operate safely” as allowable non-payroll expenses, and
- Business expenses paid for with PPP loans now will be tax-deductible.
Employer credit for paid sick leave and family leave
If you continue to voluntarily offer your employees paid sick and family leave, you’re now entitled to the payroll tax credit through March 2021.
Employer credit for paid family and medical leave
Do you provide paid family and medical leave to your employees? Then you can now take the federal tax credit granted in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act through Dec. 31, 2025.
It applies to wages paid in taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2020.
Business meal expense deductibility
Make sure A/P knows about this T&E windfall. For tax years 2021 and 2022, all ordinary business meal expenses will be tax-deductible.
Health and dependent care flexible spending arrangements
Employees can now roll over unused amounts in their health and dependent care flexible spending arrangements from 2020 into 2021 and from 2021 into 2022.
On top of that, you can let employees make a 2021 mid-year change in contribution amounts.
Employer-provided student loan repayment
The CARES Act let you temporarily contribute up to $5,250 annually (excludable from an employee’s income) toward an employee’s student loans. But it expired Dec. 31, 2020.
Under the new COVID relief package you can offer that benefit through Dec. 31, 2025.
Note: This applies to both the new student loan repayment as well as other educational assistance, such as tuition and books.