Fall Fun with the FFCRA

Posted by Christy Putnam on October 8, 2020 at 2:32 PM

Fall Fun with FFCRAHere we are. The first of October. Does everyone know what that means? Yes, it means the leaves are falling and changing colors, and the holidays are quickly approaching. Payroll/Accounting departments know what it means, too: it’s time, once again, for quarter end.

At the end of September, the IRS issued an updated Form 941 and instructions to be used beginning third quarter of 2020. The Form 941 has been revised to allow employers, who have elected to defer the withholding and payment of the employee share of social security tax on wages paid on or after September 1, 2020, to include the deferral on line 13b. The following additional guidance was also released on completing Line 16, to avoid failure-to-deposit penalties:

“In completing line 16 of Form 941 or Form 941-SS or Schedule B (Form 941), you take into account the entire quarter's nonrefundable portion of the credit for sick and family leave wages (including the qualified health plan expenses and employer share of Medicare tax allocatable to those wages) and/or the entire nonrefundable portion of the employee retention credit against the liability for the first payroll payment of the quarter, but not below zero. Then reduce the liability for each successive payroll payment in the quarter until the nonrefundable portion of the credit is used. Note that your total tax liability for the quarter must equal your total taxes shown on Form 941 or Form 941-SS, line 12. The refundable portion of the credits doesn’t reduce the liability reported on line 16 of Form 941 or Form 941-SS or Schedule B (Form 941).”

I think the one thing we can all agree that COVID-19 has brought us in 2020 is constant challenges in workplace administration, like the one above. Here's another one: On September 16, 2020, the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division posted revised regulations for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which includes:

  • Reaffirm and provide additional explanation for the requirement that employees may take FFCRA leave only if work would otherwise be available to them.
  • Reaffirm and provide additional explanation for the requirement that employees have employer approval to take FFCRA leave intermittently.
  • Revise the definition of 'healthcare provider' to include only employees who meet the definition of that term under the Family and Medical Leave Act regulations or who are employed to provide diagnostic services, preventative services, treatment services, or other services that are integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care which, if not provided, would adversely impact patient care.
  • Clarify that employees must provide required documentation supporting their need for FFCRA leave to their employers as soon as practical.
  • Correct an inconsistency regarding when employees may be required to provide notice of a need to take expanded family and medical leave to their employers.

If you're looking for HR guidance around Form 941, the FFCRA, or any other COVID-19-related impact to your workplace, consider checking out People Savvy HCM Essentials, a resource library and a team of live HR professionals ready to offer you guidance in all things related to Human Resources.

For additional information on EPSL EFMLA, documentation requirements, exemptions, and applicable DOL and IRS regulatory updates, please plan to join us for our October HR webinar.

Register Now!

Please join us for our complimentary webinar on Tuesday, October 20th at 10:00am PDT

The FFCRA: Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA

When registering for this webinar, please ensure that you put
Bennett/Porter & Associates in the “referred by” registration field.

Topics: Payroll, Taxes, Family Leave Acts, COVID-19

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