Stimulus bill: FFCRA tax credits, but not mandate, extended until March 31, 2021
Congress just released the text of the $900 billion stimulus bill. The bill, which is over 5,000 pages long, has provisions for extending tax credits for employers that voluntarily provide paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. However, the current text of the bill does not extend the mandate requiring employers to provide the paid leave. The current FFCRA requirements expire after December 31, 2020. In short, Congress is offering a carrot for employers to provide paid leave but is no longer enforcing it with a stick. However, taking money from the government comes with strings attached and it appears employers must follow the FFCRA requirements to qualify for a tax credit.
It is expected that Congress will pass the bill on the evening of December 21st and that President Trump will sign it into law. Employers should stay updated on the final version of the law, their continuing obligations of proving paid leave, be prepared to communicate with employees about any voluntary leave offered, and carefully consider what, if any, strings may be attached to seeking the extended tax credits.
We are following this legislation closely and will be issuing further updates for employers, as warranted.