Banking & Finance Law Report

Paycheck protection: Lender considerations before round two

Lenders are getting some much-deserved rest after enduring nearly two weeks of processing applications for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which ran out of funds in the early hours of Thursday, April 15 – tax day. The program has been sharply criticized by lenders and borrowers alike, citing confusing guidance and technological glitches with the SBA e-Trans system, to the overwhelming sense that the program was underfunded and biased given the expanded eligibility criteria.

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How to claim COVID-19 tax credits via payroll

Employers may claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit and the tax credits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. They do this first, by reducing the employer portion of Social Security taxes, and then, by reducing the employer’s payroll deposits in an amount equal to the refundable portion of the accrued credits, instead of depositing said amount with the IRS.

My colleagues Victoria Hanohano-HongGerhard SchulteMark Snider and Dave Tumen explain to to claim these credits via payroll in this Employer Law Report blog.

UPDATE: Additional information released about delayed federal tax filing and payment deadlines

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released additional information on the delayed payment and filing deadlines to ease the burden on taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve written previously about the deferral of the federal income tax payments and filing obligations and initial guidance released last month. Ohio has also followed the federal government in the deferral, which we’ve written about here.

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Main Street Lending Program

On April 9, 2020, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the details for a “Main Street Lending Program” intended to provide financing opportunities to small- and medium–sized businesses. Secretary Mnuchin said, “The Main Street Business Lending Program will make a significant difference for the 40,000 medium-sized businesses that employ 35 million Americans.”

My colleagues Jack Beeler, Jack Meadows and Cassandra Rice summarize the program and eligibility in this Law Alert.

Emergency orders: COVID-19 and distressed commercial leases

Distressed commercial tenants and their landlords may find themselves in tense situations during the COVID-19 pandemic. As those parties consider how to handle their lease obligations, they should consider, among other things, the varying contours of recent executive and emergency orders. As shown below, orders from various jurisdictions have taken different approaches to addressing the pandemic’s impact on commercial tenants.

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Important update on the Payroll Protection Program

Since the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security CARES Act, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Treasury Department have released a series of interim final rules and updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (as of April 8, 2020) regarding Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). These updates provide critical guidance and information to borrowers and lenders alike in the implementation of the highly sought after program. My colleague Cassandra Rice describes some of the key clarifications to the program in this Employee Benefits Law Report blog.

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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