Adding to the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCR) that became law earlier in March and the actions of the administration, the U.S. House today is expected to pass the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic (CARE) Security Act.
Of interest to many within the chiropractic services industry, professional practices and businesses, large and small, will also benefit from this latest legislation. Of particular interest to many chiropractic professionals are the following provisions:
- For small chiropractic practices and businesses, access to nearly $350 billion in loans will help cover expenses such as payroll, rent and utilities, that would not have to be repaid if the current workforce is maintained.
- Zero-interest loans for businesses and professional practices with fewer than 500 employees — loans that could be forgiven under certain circumstances such as not firing workers.
- Loans of up to $10 million made available through lenders certified by the SBA, including banks and credit unions. The government will pay off the loan balance if the business or business either does not lay off workers or rehires already laid-off workers.
- Business tax cuts that include an increase in the deductions for interest paid by a corporation from the 39% level created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to 50%.
- There is also new, greater flexibility for businesses and professional practices to deduct losses against taxable income.
- Delays in the payment of payroll taxes typically paid by employers on workers’ wages. The 6.2% tax on wages normally paid would instead have to be paid over the next two years.
- Approximately $200 billion would be provided in tax assistance to small businesses and practices, much of it through payroll tax deferrals.
- The new law allocates $250 billion to expand unemployment insurance to more workers and lengthen the duration to 39 weeks (up from the normal 26 weeks). Six hundred dollars extra each week would be provided for four months.
- The bill contains a new program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, specifically for the self-employed and contract workers who are typically ineligible.
- Also provided are incentives for work-sharing and a program to cover a portion of lost wages for workers whose hours have been reduced designed to incentivize employers to retain workers by employing them for less time.
- To help bring back workers already laid off, the eight weeks of unemployment assistance would be retroactive to Feb. 15, 2020.
- Larger businesses will be able to defer tax payments, increased deductibility for interest expenses and immediate expensing of qualified property improvements.
- Health care providers were included with hospitals and medical centers receiving billions to handle ongoing caseloads. Across-the-board Medicare cuts that were part of a previous deficit reduction agreement will be temporarily halted. And the rules on using and paying for telehealth services would be eased.
- Although the March 15 tax filing deadlines for many professional practices and businesses has passed, individuals including many chiropractic professionals and other small business owners now have until July 15 to file. Best of all, if money is owed the IRS, delayed payments will be interest and penalty-free for 90 days.
The help provided in this new legislation supplements many of the benefits created by The Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCR) that became law earlier in March, and the actions of the administration. However, lawmakers and the administration will continue drafting measures to help blunt the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
As the ever-evolving fight against the coronavirus continues, attention must be paid to new developments. Lawmakers are already planning to create additional programs that would supplement and/or expand the coronavirus legislation that is already a reality and the actions taken by the administration. So, more is on the way.
And, as always, the ever-changing response the pandemic and the complexity of the rules when dealing with its economic impact, make professional assistance advisable.
Mark E. Battersby is a tax and financial adviser, freelance writer, lecturer, and author located in suburban Philadelphia. He can be reached at 610-789-2480.
For the latest COVID-19 info for doctors of chiropractic, including upcoming webinars, updates, resources and articles from Chiropractic Economics, go to chiroeco.com/coronavirus-covid-19.