COVID-19 Federal Updates: May 27, 2020
As of May 25, the Small Business Administration has approved 430,906 Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications resulting in $37.8 billion in disaster loan funds available to assist businesses and their employees.
The SBA has also approved over 4.4 million Paycheck Protection Program applications resulting in $511.2 billion available to assist businesses and their employees.
The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to reconvene, with possible votes expected to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and on legislation to change parts of the small business loan program that launched in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday Congress will “probably” have to pass another coronavirus relief package, with talks expected to take place “in the next month or so” on a bill.
On Tuesday, the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations clarifying the reporting requirements generally applicable to tax-exempt organizations.
The final regulations reflect statutory amendments and certain grants of reporting relief announced by the Treasury Department and the IRS in prior guidance to help many tax-exempt organizations generally find the reporting requirements in one place.
Among other provisions, the final regulations incorporate the existing exception from having to file an annual return for certain organizations that normally have gross receipts of $50,000 or less. That exception was previously announced in Revenue Procedure 2011-15. The regulations also provide that the requirement to report contributor names and addresses on annual returns generally applies only to returns filed by Section 501(c)(3) organizations and Section 527 political organizations. All tax-exempt organizations must continue to maintain the names and addresses of their substantial contributors in their books and records. This change will have no effect on transparency, as contributor information that is open to public inspection will be unaffected by this regulation.
The final regulations allow tax-exempt organizations to choose to apply the regulations to returns filed after September 6, 2019.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is seeking public comments on how to improve the exclusion process for tariffs and quotas imposed on steel and aluminum imports under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (“Section 232”).
An executive order signed by President Trump directing agencies to decrease regulations to boost the economy may lead to court challenges.
The order directs agency heads to “identify regulatory standards that may inhibit economic recovery,” highlighting that regulations could be permanently or temporarily lifted to fight the economic fallout of the coronavirus.
For more information on the President’s phased-in approach, in response to COVID-19, based on the advice of public experts see below:
Testing Overview (HERE)
Testing Blueprint (HERE)
Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes (HERE)
CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again (HERE)
On Wednesday at 11:15 a.m., the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will host a virtual forum on the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on small businesses and how community stakeholders and capital providers can support minority-owned businesses. Register here.
The federal government released a document last week listing the criteria small businesses must follow to have Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans forgiven.
Over the weekend, the U.S. Small Business Administration released guidance on loan forgiveness for the PPP. While the guidance does provide some clarity on several loan forgiveness questions, the guidance does not alter the eight-week period during which PPP funds must be spent to qualify for forgiveness and does not change the requirement that borrowers spend at least 75% of the funds on payroll costs. These issues may be addressed by Congress.
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support federal, state, and local communities.
This link is an outline of programs available to state and local entities that are eligible for direct access to GSA sources.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a 45-day deadline extension for providers who are receiving payments from the Provider Relief Fund to accept the Terms and Conditions for Provider Relief Fund payments.
Visit hhs.gov/providerrelief for more information.
Nearly four million people are being sent their Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card. The determination of which taxpayers receive a debit card was made by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, another part of the Treasury Department that works with the IRS to handle distribution of the payments.
The card will come with instructions on how to activate and use it. Learn more at www.eipcard.com.
For more information please see here: