Voluntary FFCRA Is Right here To Keep (at Least Via September) – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

United States:

Volunteer FFCRA is here to stay (at least until September)

March 16, 2021

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart

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The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 made the tax credits available to employers with fewer than 500 employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) longer by law until September 30, 2021, but employers may for qualifying reasons Offer vacation and claim the tax credits on the same bases as in the original FFCRA with some changes as follows:

  • Perhaps most notably, the tax credit is now available for vacation to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine or for “recovery from any injury, disability, disease, or condition associated with such immunization.”
  • Employers can now also reclaim the tax credit for the paid vacation offered if “the employee’s employer has requested this [a
    COVID-19] Test or diagnosis. “Previously, a vacation under FFCRA has not been possible if the worker has no symptoms and has not been quarantined by the government or a doctor, but has been tested at the employer’s request.
  • The new law provides for an updated bank of 10 additional days of paid sick leave from April 1, 2021 for which the tax credit can be reclaimed. Employees who have already used all of the vacations available under the original FFCRA will be able to take additional vacations between April 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021.
  • The total cap on paid vacation (and therefore tax credits) under the EFMLEA (Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act) has been increased from 10,000 USD to 12,000 USD as the two weeks vacation under the EPSLA (Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act) counts as EFMLEA leave for all purposes (not only if the leave is intended for the care of a child, if the school or the place where the child is cared for is closed).
  • The law now includes non-discrimination rules so that employers cannot discriminate when offering vacation for the benefit of high-paid or full-time employees, or on a tenure basis.

These changes to the FFCRA allow employers to reclaim tax credits for the paid vacation they offer for some of the more common circumstances previously unavailable under the FFCRA.

Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and post updates to the company Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as soon as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available through the company Webinar and Podcast Programs.

The content of this article is intended to provide general guidance on the subject. A professional should be obtained about your particular circumstances.

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