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CARES Act Includes Rep. Curtis’ small business Advance Payment for Paid Leave

April 2, 2020

On March 20, after passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCR), Representative John Curtis (R-UT), sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calling for advance payments to small businesses so they can pay for required COIVD-19 paid leave while awaiting their federal tax credits provided under the FFCR. The FFCR requires paid leave for workers under certain conditions related to the coronavirus. The bill also provides federal tax credits to employers to help them afford the new paid leave requirements. 

Curtis’ proposal for advanced payment was subsequently included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), so now, by law, small businesses who meet certain criteria will be able to secure payment in advance of their federal tax credits to provide paid leave. In fact, employers that have insufficient federal taxes to cover the amount of the credits, may request an advance payment of the credits from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by submitting Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19. The IRS expects to begin processing these requests in April.

In this letter, Curtis said he had heard from small business owners who were worried about whether they could afford this new set of required paid leave benefits. He urged the Treasury Department to “offer small businesses payments in advance if waiting to receive their tax credits would be harmful to the employee in addition to jeopardizing their business…” 

In announcing the release of his letter, Representative Curtis said, “the intent of this legislation [FFCR] was to help employees and employers during a time of need, not make their survival through this temporary hardship more difficult.“