Banking & Finance Law Report

Workplace exposure to COVID-19: Can employers be liable?

As COVID-19 cases continue to mount nationwide, so have lawsuits relating to fallout from the virus. On April 6, 2020, in one of the first COVID-19-related lawsuits of its kind, the estate of an Illinois Walmart Supercenter employee sued Walmart and the premises owner for wrongful death in Toney Evans v. Walmart, Inc., et al. My colleague Brodie Butland details the lawsuit in this Employer Law Report blog.

The CARES Act: Changes to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code

On March 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. Among other things, the CARES Act made some important changes to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Specifically, the CARES Act modified subchapter V of the bankruptcy code to make it more widely available to small businesses. The Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA), which became effective on Feb. 19, 2020, created subchapter V. It was enacted to eliminate hindrances that might deter a small business from reorganizing under chapter 11.

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Financial relief for small businesses under the CARES Act & eligibility FAQs

The third phase of COVID-19 legislation was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020, and has been named the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). For small businesses, this legislation means that $349 billion in stimulus dollars is heading out to eligible small businesses, sole proprietors, ESOPs, non-profits, veterans organizations, and other tribal business concerns, to provide assistance maintaining payroll and employee benefits, along with overhead costs. My colleague Cassandra Rice detailed the options in this Law Alert.

Eligible businesses should carefully review the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) eligibility requirements for each program, which our colleague Jack Meadows laid out in this Law Alert.

Ohio extends income tax filing and payment deadline

The Ohio Department of Taxation announced on March 27, 2020 that Ohio will be following the federal government and IRS in extending the deadline to file and pay state income tax. Please refer to our prior post for more information on the federal deadline change.

The Ohio deadline for state income taxes is now July 15, 2020, rather than April 15. This extension is intended to help taxpayers deal with the economic impact of COVID-19 and the public safety measures that have been adopted.

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IRS clarifies information about delayed federal tax filing and payment deadlines

On April 15, 2020 we posted an update to this blog, “UPDATE: Additional information released about delayed federal tax filing and payment deadlines.” Click here to read the update.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased strain placed on individuals and business taxpayers during this time, the IRS has pushed back certain payment and filing deadlines to ease the burden on taxpayers. The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.

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Tax credits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to make payments for COVID-19 related FMLA leave and paid sick leave required by the act. To lessen this financial burden to employers, the act provides for refundable tax credits to offset payroll taxes. My colleague Victoria Hanohano-hong details the credits in her post on the Employee Benefits Law Report Blog.

Financial institutions encouraged to work with borrowers affected by COVID-19

Several governmental agencies have issued a statement encouraging financial institutions to work with borrowers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Conference of State Bank Supervisors, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,  National Credit Union Administration, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a press release on March 22, 2020.

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Financial services sector classified as critical infrastructure

On March 22, 2020, Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, released a memorandum providing that the financial services sector is identified as Critical Infrastructure Sector by the Department of Homeland Security. This means that despite the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, essential workers in the financial services sector must maintain their operations and work schedules.

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