3 Conversations Businesses Need to Know About From this Week

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The Detroit Regional Chamber is having the essential conversations with government officials and entities behind the scenes to help mitigate the COVID-19 crisis and ensure the health of businesses in the Detroit region coming out of the crisis. The Chamber’s Government Relations team is dedicated to advising the state on how to best accommodate the needs of businesses and communities through this difficult time.

1. Standardizing PPP Guidelines

The Chamber is actively helping to assist member companies as they navigate the financial resources available to cover essential costs and limit layoffs when possible.

While the SBA’s Payment Protection Program (PPP) was advertised as applicable to all businesses with 500 or fewer employees, many businesses have had trouble gaining approval due to their affiliation with a larger entity. In response, the Chamber’s Government Relations team has reached out to the SBA to gain clarification on whether all businesses with 500 or fewer employees qualify.

The Chamber is currently talking with U.S. Senators about clarifying the criteria so that all businesses with fewer than 500 employees can gain access to these federal funds. While the process for many businesses to obtain funds remains difficult, the Chamber is here to help companies navigate and remove roadblocks as necessary.

2. Advising on Reactivating Economy

The Chamber is actively advising the state on what reactivating the economy will look like but is determined not to pit business and health against one another. Respectful conversations are currently taking place with legislators to ensure the economic crisis is address without placing the health and safety of Michiganders at further risk.

The Chamber’s recent statewide COVID-19 impact poll shared vital information with state officials on how the crisis has impacted Michigan Workers. Among respondents that were working prior to COVID-19, 42.6% are now furloughed, laid off, or unable to work, and 47% said the financial impact on their household was catastrophic or major.

When it comes to returning to work, 61% of furloughed or laid-off workers said that they would feel safe returning to work. Looking closer, many remain in the middle on feeling somewhat safe or unsafe:

  • 20% feel very safe
  • 41% feel somewhat safe
  • 25% felt somewhat unsafe
  • 7% felt very unsafe

Understanding how workers and businesses are handling the crisis is crucial for policymakers to make informed decisions moving forward as they prepare to transition into recovery mode.

As a bipartisan voice for the business community, the Chamber continues to work across the aisle on determining what is needed to reactivate the economy while taking into account the advice of health experts to ensure a smooth and safe transition and avoiding a second wave of the virus. The Chamber aims to maximize state and federal resources available to the businesses that need them most and prevent job losses from remaining permanent.

3.  Working With Michigan Department Of Treasury On Extensions

The Chamber has been hard at work with the Michigan Department of Treasury to ensure deadlines are extended in the best interest of members.

Confirmed Extension:

  • Tax Tribunal and Court of Claims deadlines have been extended pursuant to the period that the “Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives” Executive Order is in effect,  which is currently extended to April 30.
  • Sales tax payments have been extended to May 20. This is the second extension the Michigan Department of Treasury issued from discussions with the Chamber.
  • The Chamber has worked one-on-one with the Michigan Department of Treasury on the need to extend the Q1 and Q2 tax deadline. On April 17, the Treasury confirmed the June 15 deadline has been extended to July 15 for both Q1 and Q2.Executive Order 2020-26 extended the date to remit the quarterly estimated tax payment due for the first quarter of 2020. To conform with IRS Notice 2020-23, this departmental notice similarly extends the date for second-quarter estimated payments for the state income tax.

Accordingly, for most filers, the first and second quarter estimated payments are due on July 15, 2020. For certain fiscal filers, any estimated payment due after April 15, 2020, and before July 15, 2020 is due on July 15, 2020.

Waiving Penalty:

The Department of Treasury is waiving penalty and interest for the late payment of tax or the late filing of any monthly or quarterly return due on April 20, 2020.

  • The waiver will be effective for a period of 30 days; therefore, any monthly or quarterly payment or return currently due on April 20, 2020, may be submitted to the Department without penalty or interest through May 20, 2020.
  • This waiver applies to the 2020 first-quarter return that is required to be filed with the Department on April 20, 2020.
  • Taxpayers required to remit the tax with the 2020 first-quarter return may, therefore, submit the payment and return to the Department without penalty or interest through May 20, 2020.
  • This waiver also includes sales, use, and withholding returns or payments due on April 20, 2020, as a result of the previous 30-day waiver of penalty and interest for payments or returns due on March 20, 2020.
  • Taxpayers originally required to remit tax and file returns on March 20, 2020, therefore have until May 20, 2020, to remit tax and fire returns without penalty and interest.

 

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