The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201) that is currently proceeding through congress has several provisions designed to assist employees that are impacted by this national emergency. There are 2 provisions in particular worth noting.
1 – All employers with less than 500 employees will be required to provide 80 hours of paid sick leave to an employee that is impacted by the coronavirus. Employers with less than 50 employees would be subsequently reimbursed from the federal government.
2 – In addition HR6201 provides that an employee may take up to 12 weeks of paid, job protected leave. The pay would be 2/3rds of that employees’ regular compensation.
Here is a link that summarizes these provisions in plain English - https://www.natlawreview.com/article/families-first-coronavirus-response-act
Both these provisions are preliminary. As soon as we have final legislation, we will provide concise, detailed information to you.
Schulte & Company / Rothrock Payroll Services Continuity of Services
In the meanwhile, just in case Schulte & Company CPAs and/or Rothrock Payroll Services are mandated to close our doors to the public, we have thought through our plan for continuity of service. To be clear, we will be complaint with any government directives; but some of our functions would be classified as essential and permitted to continue.
Staffing and Office
- Approximately half of our personnel will work remotely. A few will be required to continue working on site and others will not be working.
- Most of the S&Co team will be accessible via email.
- The doors to the building will be locked to the public.
- We will primarily utilize email, portals, remote desktops and telephone to perform functions and deliver services.
- For materials you would normally deliver to us, we have a large, white drop box just outside the main entrance. Any items placed in the drop box should be placed in a sealed envelope with your name on it.
- For materials you would normally pick up, we also have a combination lock pick-up box that we can utilized. The combination will be shared and changed as needed.
Some specifics for delivery of our services;
Tax Returns – We will continue to work on tax returns.
- Many of our staff will be working remotely. This is a somewhat inefficient method and turn-around times may be compromised.
- While we expect some relief from IRS filing deadlines, nothing is certain. Therefore, if a tax return that is due April 15th has not yet been accepted via E-File, we are extending it immediately.
- This is an extension of time to file, not an extension of time to pay. But…
- If an amount is due with the extension for a return due on April 15th, the White House announced that the IRS will provide 90 days to make those payments free of interest.
- Clients can provide source documents to us via the large, white S&Co drop box, their portal or email.
- Finished tax returns will be transmitted to clients via portals, picked up from the client pick-up box or shipped via UPS; assuming UPS continues to work.
- Signatures authorizing us to E-File (Form 8879) along with payments can be dropped in the white S&Co drop box. If prior payments arrangements have been made, signature authorization can also be emailed or via portal.
Payroll – We will continue to process payroll.
- A business that has authorized us to process payroll via continuing pay resolution will continue to be paid normally.
- Businesses with salary employees will continue to be paid unless instructed otherwise.
- Businesses with hourly employees will be paid only if the business provides us input; such as hours worked.
- Hourly information along with other payroll input can be delivered only via email or remote software.
- Completed output for payrolls will be sent via email or UPS at client expense; there will be no office pick-up.
Accounting – We will continue to provide accounting services with a focus on bill pay and required sales tax filings.
- All input must be delivered to us electronically; email or portal.
- Client bill pay will only occur on Fridays.
- Audits that are in progress will be completed in a timely fashion.
- Year end 2019 financial statements will be prepared if needed to complete the tax return or after normal business operations resume if not needed for the tax return.
- Interim financial statements will be prepared after businesses are normal business operations are permitted to resume.
- All output will be placed in the locked pick-up box or sent via UPS.
Thank you and stay healthy.