Our highest priority is keeping Arizonans healthy, safe, and economically secure.

Arizonans: the fastest way to get assistance or info. from our office is to email casework@sinema.senate.gov.

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FILING YOUR 2019 TAXES

On March 20, 2020, the IRS announced that taxpayers and businesses will have until July 15, 2020 to file and pay taxes, giving taxpayers an additional three months to prepare. The scheduled tax filing deadline was previously April 15, 2020. You can see the IRS press release by visiting HERE.

Arizonans can update your direct deposit information and check the status of your coronavirus stimulus payment HERE.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is still encouraging taxpayers who are due a refund to file. If you expect to be issued a refund, we recommend you apply despite the deadline so you can get your check as quickly as possible. The IRS is recommending filing electronically and opting for direct deposit to get the money within about three weeks.

A more detailed FAQ from the IRS is available HERE.

If you need additional help with a tax matter, a tax bill you will struggle to pay, or a notice from the IRS and have questions, please check out the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS created to help taxpayers and to protect their rights.

For information on free, professional tax help, qualifying taxpayers can find more information about Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) clinics HERE. Given the limited in-person services available due to the coronavirus, please check the website first to ensure sites will still be open. 

Paid Leave Credit:

As part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, businesses and tax-exempt organizations with 500 employees or fewer are required to provide emergency paid sick, family, and medical leave. For an employee who is unable to work because of mandated- or self-quarantine, your business may receive a refundable sick leave credit at the employee's regular rate of pay, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate, for a total of 10 days. For an employee who is unable to work because they need to care for a child whose school or child care facility is closed due to the Coronavirus, your business may receive a refundable child care leave credit equal to two-thirds of the employee's regular pay, capped at $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate.

These credits are dollar-for-dollar and designed explicitly to fully reimburse most employers for the cost of providing leave to their workers. For all of the details, view the IRS release HERE.

Employee Retention Credit:

Under the CARES Act, employers have access to a new, refundable Employee Retention Tax Credit designed to help those businesses who keep employees on their payroll, but who choose not to or are ineligible for the SBA Paycheck Protection Act. This credit is worth 50% of wages paid by an employer for the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, to an employee. 

In order to be eligible, businesses and nonprofits must be able to demonstrate:

  • a reduction in revenue of at least 50% in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the first quarter of 2019 or 
  • had their operations suspended (in whole or in part) during the calendar quarter due to governmental orders restricting commerce or travel due to COVID-19, and 
  • they are not receiving loans under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program

The credit is available to all employers regardless of size, including tax-exempt organizations. The total amount of credit will differ however based on whether you employ less than 100 people or more than 100 people.

  • Employers with less than 100 employees: If the employer had 100 or fewer employees on average in 2019, the credit is based on wages paid to all employees, regardless if they worked or not. If the employees worked full time and were paid for full time work, the employer still receives the credit.
  • Employers with more than 100 employees: If the employer had more than 100 employees on average in 2019, then the credit is allowed only for wages paid to employees who did not work during the calendar quarter.

This tax credit is available on an ongoing basis until the nonprofit’s revenue for a quarter exceeds 80% of its revenue from the same quarter in the previous year. The only employers excluded from participating are state and local governments and employers who receive Small Business Loans. The credit is provided for wages paid or incurred from March 13 through December 31, 2020. For more information on the Employee Retention Tax Credit, click HERE

EMPLOYER SPONSORED HEALTH COVERAGE and FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS (FSAs):

The IRS recently released new guidance to help employers and plan sponsors give employees new flexibilities related to their employer-sponsored health coverage or FSAs. Please note that while the IRS is allowing these new options, your employer or plan sponsor is not mandated to provide them. PLEASE check with your employer or plan sponsor if you have questions.

Mid Year Elections:

Typically, employees make decisions about health care coverage or contributions to health or dependent care tax-advantaged accounts when they first begin a new job or during annual open enrollment. Mid-year changes are normally limited outside of a qualifying life event, such as moving, a new child, marriage, or divorce.

Maybe you had put money aside for child care or summer camps, but these are closed for the summer, Or maybe you had been saving up money for a health procedure, that you are now delaying. 

The new IRS notice allows for mid-year changes to employer-sponsored health care coverage, health care FSAs, and dependent year accounts (if your employer decides to participate) due to the coronavirus. These would all be prospective or forward-looking changes for the rest of 2020.

Employer Sponsored Health Care Coverage:

  1. Make a new election for employer-sponsored health coverage if you initially declined your employer’s offer of coverage

  2. Make changes to your health care coverage (for example electing from single coverage to family coverage)

  3. Revoke coverage if you confirm in writing that you are choosing to get health care coverage elsewhere

Health FSAs:

  1. Revoke an existing election (contributions to the FSA through each paycheck)

  2. Make a new election

  3. Decrease or increase an existing election (would change the amount going to your FSA on future paychecks)

Dependent care assistance programs:

  1. Revoke an existing election (contributions to the account through each paycheck)

  2. Make a new election

  3. Decrease or increase an existing election (would change the amount going to your FSA on future paychecks)

If your employer allows it, employees can also elect to carry-over up to $500 of unused FSA funds to the next year. The new IRS notice increases the allowable rollover amount to $550, if allowed by the employer.

FSA rules also typically allow a grace period to use rolled-over 2019 funds until March 15, 2020. As many doctors and dental offices were not open and many people were delaying non-emergency care, it is likely they were unable to use up 2019 funds by March 15th. The new IRS notice would allow the grace period to be extended to the end of 2020, if allowed by the employer.

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Federal coronavirus-response legislation: click HERE.

Specific actions Kyrsten is taking on behalf of Arizona: click HERE.

Visit our main resources page: sinema.senate.gov/corona.