IRS Provides Guidance for Payroll Tax Deferrals and CreditsClient Alert
Delay of Payment of Payroll Taxes Penalty and Interest Relief
Under the CARES Act, provision was made for the delay in the payment of the employer portion of the Social Security, Medicare, and Railroad Retirement taxes for wages accrued during the period beginning March 27, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020. Instead of being due on the regular due date for the employer to deposit the taxes, one-half of the employer portion of the taxes for that period would be due on December 31, 2021, and the remaining one-half on December 31, 2022. Employers and self- employed individuals are both eligible for this relief provided they have not had indebtedness forgiven under either Sections 1106 or 1109 of the CARES Act.
What was not addressed was the imposition of interest and penalty for failure to make timely deposits of payroll taxes. This was resolved in Notice 2020-22 which was released on March 31, 2020. Provided the employer pays the amounts by the due dates (December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2022), no penalty or interest will be imposed. However, this does not relieve the employer of making timely deposit of all employee withheld taxes and filing the quarterly Form 941.
Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19
On March 31, 2020, the IRS also released Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19. This form allows employers (but not self-employed individuals) who are eligible for tax credits for qualified sick and qualified family leave wages as well as the employee retention credit to request an advance payment of the credits that they will claim on the Form 941, 943, 944 series or Form CT-1.
This form may be filed for an advance payment of any credits that an employer anticipates receiving before the end of the month following that quarter. Simply put, you must file this Form before you file the appropriate quarterly tax reporting form that you normally file. It is important to remember not to file to request an advance payment for any anticipated credits if you have already reduced your deposits for those amounts. Of particular note is that Form 72 MUST be fax filed to (855) 248-0552.
Date Clarification for Payments Eligible for Qualified Sick and Qualified Family Leave Under FFCRA
The IRS has also released Notice 2020-21 which states that the official dates between which wages earned (not paid) during the period April 1, 2020, and December 1, 2020, are those which are eligible for the credit. It was further stated in the FAQs on the IRS website that it is the date they are earned or accrued and not the date that the actual payment is made which is key. Therefore, the actual payment may occur in January 2021, but still be an eligible amount.