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Many employers eligible for leave reimbursement

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Businesses with fewer than 500 employees can get immediate reimbursement of paid leave provided to employees who have been diagnosed with or are awaiting a diagnosis of COVID-19, are caring for ill family members, or are caring for children during school and daycare closures.

The paid leave and payroll tax provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed March 18 are intended to allow employers to keep employees on their payroll, while also ensuring that employees still receive pay and benefits.

The Internal Revenue Service indicates that up to 80 hours of sick leave will be covered, as well as expanded child care leave. Employers can receive reimbursement in what is being termed a “quick and easy” process. The reimbursements are being made using businesses’ payroll tax funds, with some businesses able to apply for an advance on the funds if necessary.

Different criteria apply to businesses of 50 or fewer employees, which can be exempt from providing child care leave if doing so would threaten the viability of the business.

More information is available on the “Coronavirus Tax Relief” page of the Internal Revenue Service website, www.irs.gov.

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