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IRS Guidance on Employee Retention Credit

The Employee Retention Credit created under Section 2302 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50 percent of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. Since the adoption of the CARES Act, employers have expressed concern that if one employer acquires another employer that previously received a PPP loan, the acquirer’s entire aggregated group may no longer be eligible to claim the Employee Retention Credit.

On November 16, 2020, the IRS added two new FAQs to their website addressing this Employee Retention Credit issue. Initially, the only way an employer that received a CARES Act Loan (e.g., PPP) would be eligible for an employee retention credit is if they paid the loan back by May 18, 2020, regardless of whether the loan is subsequently forgiven or paid back after May 18, 2020.

However, an employer acquiring an entity may remain eligible for the Employee Retention Credit after the May 18th deadline if certain conditions are met. Take the following example to understand the conditions. Company A is the Acquiring Employer in the transaction, while Company B is the Target Employer who has received PPP funds. For Employee Retention Credit eligibility conditions to apply, Company A’s acquisition of Company B’s stock or other equity interest must result in Company B becoming a member of the Aggregated Employer Group under the aggregation rules. Now, for the Acquiring Employer to remain eligible for the Employee Retention Credit, prior to the closing date of the transaction, the Target Employer must have:

  • fully satisfied the PPP loan; or
  • submitted a forgiveness application to the PPP lender and established an interest-bearing escrow account.

If one of the conditions are met, the Aggregated Employer Group, after the closing date, will not be treated as having received a PPP loan, provided that the Acquiring Employer – including any member of the Acquiring Employer’s pre-transaction Aggregated Employer Group – had not received a PPP loan before the closing date and no member of the Aggregated Employer Group receives a PPP loan on or after the closing date.  If so, any employer that is a member of the Aggregated Employer Group, including the Target Employer, may claim the Employee Retention Credit for qualified wages paid on and after the closing date, provided that the Aggregated Employer Group otherwise meets the requirements to claim the Employee Retention Credit.  In addition, any Employee Retention Credit claimed by the Acquiring Employer’s pre-transaction Aggregated Employer Group for qualified wages paid before the closing date will not be subject to recapture under section 2301(l)(3) of the CARES Act.

If the Target Employer had received a PPP loan, but prior to the transaction closing date, the PPP Loan is not fully satisfied and no escrow account is established, then, after the closing date, the Aggregated Employer Group (other than the Target Employer) will not be treated as having received a PPP loan, provided that the Acquiring Employer (including any member of the Acquiring Employer’s pre-transaction Aggregated Employer Group) had not received a PPP loan before the closing date and no member of the Aggregated Employer Group receives a PPP loan on or after the closing date. 

Any employer (other than the Target Employer) that is a member of the Aggregated Employer Group may claim the Employee Retention Credit for qualified wages paid on and after the closing date, provided that the Aggregated Employer Group otherwise meets the requirements to claim the Employee Retention Credit.  In addition, any Employee Retention Credit claimed by the Acquiring Employer’s pre-transaction Aggregated Employer Group for qualified wages paid before the closing date will not be subject to recapture under section 2301(l)(3) of the CARES Act. 

However, the Target Employer that received the PPP loan prior to the transaction closing date and that continues to be obligated on the PPP loan after the closing date is ineligible for the Employee Retention Credit for any wages paid to any employee of the Target Employer before or after the closing date.

To find out if you are eligible for the Employee Retention Credit due May 18th, contact the PPP Loan/SBA Loan BMD Practice Group Christopher Meager at cmeager@bmdllc.com.

Investment Training for the Second and Third Generations

Consider this scenario. Mom and Dad started the business from the ground up. Over the decades it has expanded into a money-making machine. They are able to sell the business and it results in a multimillion-dollar payday for their labors. The excess money has allowed Mom and Dad to invest with various financial advising firms, several fund management groups, and directly with new startups and joint ventures. Their experience has made them savvy investors, with a detailed understanding of how much to invest, when, and where. They cannot justify formation of a full family office with dedicated investors to manage the funds, but Mom and Dad have set up a trust fund for the children to allow these investments to continue to grow over the years. Eventually, Mom and Dad pass. Their children enjoy the fruits of their labors, and, by the time the grandchildren are adults, Mom and Dad's savvy investments are gone.

Provider Relief Funds – Continued Confusion Regarding Reporting Requirements and Lost Revenues

In Fall 2020, HHS issued multiple rounds of guidance and FAQs regarding the reporting requirements for the Provider Relief Funds, the most recently published notice being November 2, 2020 and December 11, 2020. Specifically, the reporting portal for the use of the funds in 2020 was scheduled to open on January 15, 2021. Although there was much speculation as to whether this would occur. And, as of the date of this article, the portal was not opened.

Ohio S.B. 310 Loosens Practice Barrier for Advanced Practice Providers

S.B. 310, signed by Ohio Governor DeWine and effective from December 29, 2020 until May 1, 2021, provides flexibility regarding the regulatorily mandated supervision and collaboration agreements for physician assistants, certified nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse practitioners working in a hospital or other health care facility. Originally drafted as a bill to distribute federal COVID funding to local subdivisions, the healthcare related provisions were added to help relieve some of the stresses hospitals and other healthcare facilities are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

HHS Issues Opinion Regarding Illegal Attempts by Drug Manufacturers to Deny 340B Discounts under Contract Pharmacy Arrangements

The federal 340B discount drug program is a safety net for many federally qualified health centers, disproportionate share hospitals, and other covered entities. This program allows these providers to obtain discount pricing on drugs which in turn allows the providers to better serve their patient populations and provide their patients with access to vital health care services. Over the years, the 340B program has undergone intense scrutiny, particularly by drug manufacturers who are required by federal law to provide the discounted pricing.

S.B. 263 Protects 340B Covered Entities from Predatory Practices in Ohio

Just before the end of calendar year 2020 and at the end of its two-year legislative session, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 263, which prohibits insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”) from imposing on 340B Covered Entities discriminatory pricing and other contract terms. This is a win for safety net providers and the people they serve, as 340B savings are crucial to their ability to provide high quality, affordable programs and services to patients.