BCLP Charity Law

Main Content

U.S. Congress Gives Employers an Incentive to Retain Employees in CARES Act

April 9, 2020

Categories

Section 2301 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) , enacted on March 27, 2020, introduces an employee retention tax credit (the “ERC”) designed to incentivize employers affected by the COVID-19 crisis to retain employees.  Subject to certain limitations outlined below, the amount of the credit is 50% of qualified wages paid by an eligible employer, up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee. The ERC is applied against the employer portion of Social Security taxes (but not the employer portion of Medicare taxes) and is a refundable credit. Thus, to the extent the amount of the credit during any calendar quarter exceeds the employer’s applicable employment taxes for such quarter, the excess will be treated as a refundable overpayment under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”).  The ERC is applicable to wages paid after March 12, 2020 and before January 1, 2021

U.S. Congressional CARES Act & Nonprofit Organizations

April 1, 2020

Categories

Loan Programs

Small Business Loan Program Expansion – “Paycheck Protection Program”: Provides 100% guarantee for bank loans made to qualifying business/organizations during the period of February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020.  To qualify, nonprofits must not have more than 500 total full-time and part-time employees.  Nonprofit organizations with more than 500 employees are not eligible for this program. Detailed guidance from the firm on this program can be found here:

Emergency Economic Injury Grants – “Disaster Loans”: Nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees who apply for an economic injury disaster loan with the SBA may receive up to $10,000 as an advance against the loan within 3 days of application if SBA certifies that the entity is eligible.  This is to enable nonprofits to quickly access financial assistance while their loan application is being processed.  Eligibility is based solely on applicant’s credit score.  Funds can be used for payroll

COVID-19 Update – How the CARES Act Affects Tax Benefits Related to Charitable Giving

On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act” or “Act”). The Act was one of several Congressional responses to the COVID-19 emergency and it covered many areas, including the tax benefits related to charitable giving.

Generally, there are limitations on deductions for charitable contributions for both individual and corporate taxpayers based on the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (“AGI”), in the case of individuals, and taxable income, in the case of corporations. The CARES Act increases the limit on individual taxpayers’ deductions for cash contributions to public charities from 60% of the individual’s AGI to 100% of the individual’s AGI. This increase effectively suspends the limit for individuals in 2020.  For corporate taxpayers, the CARES Act increased the income limits on the deduction for charitable cash contributions from 10% of the corporation’s taxable income to 25% of the corporation’s

Update to Notice 2020-18, Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic, Related to Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines

March 27, 2020

Categories

Notice 2020-20; Federal income tax filing and payment relief on account of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. This notice provides relief in addition to the relief provided in Notice 2020-18, issued on March 20, 2020. In this notice, the Treasury Department and IRS are providing relief to all taxpayers who have Federal gift (and generation-skipping transfer) tax returns and payments due on April 15, 2020. The April 15, 2020 deadline is postponed to July 15, 2020. Associated interest, additions to tax, and penalties for late filing or late payment will be suspended until July 15, 2020.

Notice 2020-20 will be in IRB 2020-16, dated April 13, 2020.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Part 1 of 2: Small Employer Tax Credits

March 27, 2020

Categories

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA“) generally requires U.S. employers with fewer than 500 employees (“Small Employers”) to provide paid sick leave and additional FMLA benefits to their employees.[1] You can read our summary of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act here and here, respectively.

In order to offset some of the costs these provisions impose on Small Employers, the FFCRA also provides a quarterly payroll tax credit equal to 100% of the qualified sick and leave wages paid to employees under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.

The amount of leave wages taken into account is limited with respect to each individual employee for purposes of the credit.

  • For sick leave wages paid due to an employee’s illness or quarantine, the

TE/GE Fiscal Year 2019 Accomplishments Letter

March 23, 2020

Categories

Tax Exempt and Government Entities Fiscal Year 2019 Accomplishments Letter

Highlights of our accomplishments during FY 2019, all of which support the goals of the IRS Strategic Plan for 2018-2022, include:

  • Expanded the use of Pay.gov to make payments easier
  • Expanded Employee Plans’ (EP’s) self-correction and voluntary correction programs to improve voluntary compliance
  • Expanded the EP determination letter program to encourage compliance
  • Expanded educational efforts, soft letters and compliance checks to increase voluntary compliance
  • Released additional educational videos and articles and participated in many outreach events to empower taxpayers and encourage compliance

You can also review the TE/GE Fiscal Year 2020 Program Letter, which explains our priorities for the current fiscal year.

Utilizing Employer-Sponsored Foundations to Alleviate Employee Hardship

Employers are looking for ways to assist employees and their dependents experiencing financial hardship due to the Coronavirus. One potential tax-advantaged method is the use of an existing or newly formed employer-sponsored foundation which qualifies for exemption under Section 501(c)(3).

Under established IRS guidance set forth in Publication 3833, an employer-sponsored foundation may operate a fund which provides financial assistance to employees who experience financial hardship due to a qualifying event, including certain federally declared disasters or emergencies which now include circumstances resulting from the Coronavirus. If the conditions below are satisfied, persons (including the employer and other employees) making donations to the foundation are entitled to a charitable deduction under Section 170 of the Code and financial relief payments made to employees are not included in taxable compensation:

  • The class of beneficiaries must be large or indefinite (a “charitable class”) – for example, all current and future employees of
  • U.S. Employers Weigh EEOC Guidance in Responding to Coronavirus

    As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread, U.S. employers considering taking preventative measures to reduce transmission should bear in mind employment laws that may restrict certain precautions, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).

    Basic precautionary measures like promoting washing hands, encouraging employees to stay home when they are sick, and other good hygiene practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) are unlikely to raise concerns under the ADA.  Indeed, recent guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) makes clear that the CDC’s guidelines and suggestions for employers regarding COVID-19 do not violate the ADA.

    However, the ADA does prohibit covered employers from excluding individuals with disabilities from the workplace for health or safety reasons unless they pose a “direct threat” (i.e., a significant risk to the health or safety of others that can’t be eliminated by reasonable accommodation).

    Form 1023 Revisions and Required Electronic Submission

    February 4, 2020

    Categories

    The IRS is revising Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and its instructions, to help charities apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

    Effective January 31, 2020, applications for recognition of exemption on Form 1023 must be submitted electronically online at www.pay.gov. The IRS will provide a grace period during which it will continue to accept paper versions of Form 1023 (Rev. 12-2017).

    The user fee for Form 1023 will remain $600 for 2020. Applicants must pay the user fee through www.pay.gov when submitting the form. Payment can be made directly from a bank account or by credit/debit card.

    IRS News Release on the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act provisions

    The following provisions may apply to tax-exempt organizations’ current and previous tax years:

    Client Alert – Section 4940 Excise Tax Simplification

    January 21, 2020

    Categories

    Section 4940 of the Code imposes an excise tax on the “net investment income” of private foundations.  Historically, the excise tax was 2%, with an opportunity for reduction to 1% for a year in which the foundation’s qualifying distributions exceeded a certain amount calculated pursuant to a complicated formula.  Recent tax legislation simplifies the two-tiered system by replacing it with a flat rate of 1.39%.  The new rate is effective for tax years beginning after the date of enactment; which would be 2020 for calendar year private foundations.