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U.S. Treasury Secretary Announces Some Relief for Taxpayers Due to Coronavirus

In an unprecedented move, U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has announced some limited relief for taxpayers in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

What It Is

The relief provides some individuals and corporations an extension of time for the payment of their 2019 taxes. An individual who owes up to $1 Million and a corporation that owes up to $10 Million may have an additional 90 days to pay their 2019 taxes without incurring any interest or penalty for late payment. The relief is automatic says Mnuchin, requiring only that you file your tax return.

What It Is Not

This is not an extension of time to file your tax return. Individuals and C corporations must file their return or file for an extension by the April 15, 2020 filing deadline.

What We Don’t Know

The one thing that was not commented on is if there will be an extension of the due date for the first quarter estimated tax payment. Typically, individuals who are required to make estimated payments must make their first payment by April 15. Hopefully, guidance on this will be issued in the coming days.

State of Ohio

At this time, the State of Ohio has not issued any statement about extending either the due date or payment date for Ohio income taxes. The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants has written a letter to the governor requesting that an extension be put in place and we are currently awaiting a response.

This information is all based on the press conference at which Mnuchin spoke today. No formal guidance or announcements have come from the IRS at this time. We will continue to update you on any changes as guidance becomes available.

HHS Announces an Additional $20 Billion In Provider Relief Grants

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced an additional $20 billion in new funding for providers on October 1, 2020. Eligible providers include those that have already received Provider Relief Fund payments as well as previously ineligible providers, such as those who began practicing in 2020, and an expanded group of behavioral health providers confronting the emergence of increased mental health and substance use issues exacerbated by the pandemic. The new Phase 3 General Distribution is designed to balance an equitable payment of 2% of annual revenue from patient care for all applicants plus an add-on payment to account for revenue losses and expenses attributable to COVID-19.

DOL Proposes New Rule Regarding Independent Contractor Status - But How Will the Election Affect Its Future?

On September 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a new proposed rule regarding employee and independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The full text of the proposed rule is available here. The rule's drafters intend to reduce uncertainty and enhance the precision and predictability of the long-standing "economic reality" test, which currently relies on a multifactor balancing test.

Major Change to Franklin County, Ohio Eviction Process: Landlord Testimony Required

Although there is currently a nationwide temporary halt on all residential evictions through December 31, 2020 in place, the eviction process in Franklin County – which processes the highest number of evictions in the State of Ohio at approximately 18,000 a year – recently changed significantly.

UPDATE: Governor Dewine Signs HB 606 Granting Short Window of Immunity from COVID-19 Personal Injury Lawsuits

The Ohio General Assembly, in Am. Sub. H.B. No. 606, is in the final stages of passing a law that will prohibit lawsuits seeking damages from COVID-19. This includes injury, death, or loss to person or property if the lawsuits are based, in whole or in part, on the exposure to, or the transmission or contraction of the coronavirus, unless the defendant in the lawsuit acted intentionally or recklessly. In circumstances where this immunity does not apply, H.B. 606 prohibits such claims being aggregated and brought as a class action.

Revised Department of Labor FFCRA Guidance, Effective September 16, 2020

In response to attacks on the legality of the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Final Rule regarding the Families First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA” or the “Act”), which took effect in April 2020, the Department of Labor issued new guidance on Friday, September 11th to formally address ongoing questions and concerns related to the COVID-19 legislation.