Schiff Client Update June 24, 2020 3:30 PM

PPP – Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020

On June 5, 2020, the “Flexibility” Act was signed into law. As a result, the covered period has been extended from 8 weeks to 24 weeks. In addition, the Payroll Costs have been reduced from 75% to 60% in order to gain maximum PPP Loan Forgiveness. As a result of the 24 week period, we are encouraging all clients to use the 24 week period as opposed to the 8 week period. Also, you should be able to obtain maximum PPP Loan Forgiveness just accounting for the payroll costs during this new and extended period.

PPE Tax Credits & PPE Equipment & Supplies

The ADA is working hard and encouraging Congress to allow Dental Practices to obtain a “tax credit” up to $25,000 for the cost of PPE. It is my understanding at this time, it will be a dollar for dollar credit. In other words, if you spend $1,000 on PPE, and if this Tax Bill is passed, you will receive a Tax Credit in the amount of $1,000. Speaking of PPE, if you are in need of PPE, please click here>>>    In order to use your Schiff coupon, please place “Schiff10” in the coupon section of your order.

Retention Tax Credit (RTC)

There is a possibility, Congress will revisit this Tax Credit (RTC) in the near future and allow you to take the “Tax Credit, even though you received a PPP Loan. This would be amazing! Why? Because the requirements for the Tax Credit are, your business would have to have suffered a loss, calculated by measuring the 2nd Quarter of 2019 vs. the 2nd Quarter of 2020 Collections. If your collections are down by 50% or more, you would qualify for this tax credit. For example,  Let’s assume you collected $100,000 per month for the months of April 2019, May 2019 and June of 2019 or $300,000 and you compare that to April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020 (Q2 2020) at $150,000 or less, you would qualify for the RTC. If so, the credit will be increased from 50% of the 1st $10,000 in wages per employee to 80%  of such wages, for wages paid during Q2 of 2020. So, as of now, if you received a PPP Loan, you do not qualify for the RTC. However, this could change in the future….please stay tuned!  :>)

Maryland Unemployment Update – You may have this question!

Question – As I understand it, the maximum weekly unemployment benefit for Maryland is $430.00 plus the Federal stimulus of $600.00 a week  Based on the formula, how much can an employee in Maryland earn on a weekly basis without impacting the above?

Answer – The amount a claimant can earn each week depends on a few things. The claimant must be working less than 35 hours per week and earning less than the Regular UI benefit amount.  For instance, if a claimant is eligible for $400 in Regular UI per week, is working 30 hours per week and earned $350 that week, they would still be eligible to receive a partial unemployment check along with the additional $600 in federal stimulus.  However, if the claimant earns more than their Regular UI weekly benefit amount, regardless of the number of hours worked, they are not eligible.  If they are working 35+ hours per week, regardless of their wages earned, they are not eligible.

EIDL Loan Update

As of the date of this writing, please hold onto your EIDL Loan. We will assess the situation this coming Fall. At that time, we will determine if we are going to payoff the EIDL Loan. Borrowers can obtain their EIDL loan payoff information by contacting the SBA Disaster Loan Servicing Center at (800) 736-6048.

Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). 

Now that offices are starting to open, I wanted to provide additional guidance on the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  The ADA lobbied and was successful with the under 50 employee limit. So, if your practice has less than 50 employees, you are exempt from providing the additional 10 weeks of FMLA leave.

However, under FFCRA, employers with under 50 employees are still required to provide their employees with paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. This rule will impact most dental practices.

Paid Sick Leave

This leave is available to employees from the time you reopen the office.  The employees did not qualify for leave during the closure of your office due to Covid-19. The Act provides that covered employers must provide the following to all employees:

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds (2/3) the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor.

While full-time employees may receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave (if they work 40 hours per week), part-time employees are entitled to a pro-rata number of hours based on hours worked over two workweeks. If, for example, a part-time employee works 15 hours per week, this team member would be eligible for up to 30 hours of paid sick leave.

Qualifying Reasons for Leave for paid sick time:

Here are the qualifying reasons for paid sick leave. Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:

  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
  5. is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.

There are dollar limits on how much can be paid for sick leave.  For reasons 1, 2, and 3 (above), the daily rate of pay is capped at $511. The two-week cap is $5,111 (10 days).  For reasons 4 and 5 (above), the daily cap is $200, and the total cap for the two-week period of leave is $2,000 (10 days). If, for example, you have a full-time employee who is unable to work because she is caring for a child due to a COVID-related daycare closure (reason 5), he/she is eligible for paid sick leave of up to $200 per day and $2,000 over the two-week period.

Can an Employee Take Intermittent Leave?

The Act does not permit intermittent leave unless there is a written agreement between the employer and employee. Intermittent leave can only be used for childcare (reason #5 above).  For example, you may have an employee who can return to work, but she can only work reduced hours because childcare is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19. If the employer and employee have a written agreement that permits intermittent leave for this situation, the employee can receive paid sick leave for the missed hours of work.

What to Do When an Employee Requests Leave

If you have an employee request leave under FFCRA, we recommend you have them fill out a “leave form” located here >

Payroll Tax Credits Offset the Cost

Covered employers qualify for dollar-for-dollar reimbursement through payroll tax credits for all qualifying wages paid under FFCRA. Qualifying wages are those paid to an employee who takes leave under the Act for a qualifying reason, up to the appropriate per diem and aggregate payment caps mentioned previously. Applicable tax credits also extend to amounts paid or incurred to maintain health insurance coverage. When reporting payroll to your payroll provider (ADP Payroll Services), please make sure to specify hours for FFCRA so they have that information for the tax credit.

Also, if you have not already done so, you should post a notice in your office regarding FFCRA. Here is the notice >

Finally, this is my understanding of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). I would suggest you consult with an HR Attorney for further guidance. If you need a referral for an HR Attorney, please e-mail us.