In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Federal, State and Local governments are ushering in an array programs and tax relief measures to help mitigate the adverse economic impact of COVID-19 on business and nonprofit entities.
In addition to the economic incentive provisions and programs that are available through the federal CARES Act, including the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and under U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, a number economic programs tax relief measures, and deadline extensions for applicable in Florida related to or effected by the COVID-19 pandemic and closures.
1. Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to small business owners located in all 67 Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19. The program is being administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation. This program is intended to offer short-term, interest-free working capital loans to help “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits (COVID-19) and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, as follows:
General Terms and Conditions:
o Loans of up to $50,000 to $100,000 in certain special cases are available to coronavirus-affected small businesses.
o Loans are interest-free for 1 year; after that, the interest rate rises to 12%.
o The loans are meant to serve as short-term funding that can be repaid once businesses can access alternative funding such as: SBA disaster loans, other Federal Aid-Insurance Proceeds, bank or other loan.
o Loans will be made to individuals who, individually or collectively, own at least 51% of the equity of the business and who certify that: loan proceeds will be used only for purposes of maintaining or restarting business operations in the designated disaster area; the loan will be repaid by applying for other financial assistance; and the borrower will be required to certify that the proceeds of insurance claims, other loans applied for or to be applied for, or other financial assistance will be used to repay the loan.
o Business must be physically located in the area of a designated disaster in Florida.
o Business must be a for-profit, privately held small business that has or had a minimum of 2, but no more than 100 employees within the previous year of the date of the declared disaster.
o Business must have been established and actively operating prior to the date of the Designated Disaster Date: March 9, 2020.
o Business must have repaid, in full, any previous Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.
o Business must demonstrate that the business has suffered a significant economic injury and unable to meet its obligations to pay ordinary and necessary operating expenses as a result of the declared disaster event.
How to apply:
o Eligible applicants must submit an application by May 8, 2020, along with supporting documents including business tax returns, individual tax returns and employer tax documentation.
o Information from Florida. Applications and more detailed information is available from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity at http://floridajobs.org/rebuildflorida/businessrecovery
2. Florida Tax Extensions.
o On March 26, 2020, the Florida Department of Revenue issued Order of Emergency Waiver/Deviation # 20-52-DOR-002 to extend certain filing deadlines for Florida businesses. This order addresses February and March reporting periods for the following taxes and fees:
o Sales and use tax, including discretionary sales surtax
o Tourist development tax
o Solid waste fees, including new tire fee, lead-acid battery fee, dry-cleaning gross receipts, and rental car surcharge
o Prepaid wireless E911 fees
o The order waives the imposition of penalty and interest for those taxpayers who collected these taxes in February 2020 but were unable to meet the March 20 due date if the taxes are reported and remitted by March 31, 2020. Note: To meet the March 31 deadline, electronic payments must have been initiated by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 30, 2020.
o The order states taxpayers not adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak are required to continue to file and pay taxes collected during March 2020 on or before April 20, 2020.
o For taxpayers who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the order extends the due date for March 2020 returns and payments to April 30, 2020. Note: to meet the April 30 deadline, electronic payments must be initiated by 5:00 p.m. ET on April 29, 2020.
o Information from Florida. More detailed information is available from the Florida Department of Revenue at https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/Pages/taxpayerInfoCovid19.aspx
About Duane Morris:
Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.
For Further Information:
If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact Brad Molotsky, Crist Sanchez, Jay Steinman or any member of the COVID-19 Strategy Team or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.