November 2020: Families First Coronavirus Response Act & Colorado Sales Tax Updates
REMINDER: CHANGES TO PAID SICK LEAVE AND EXPANDED FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified COVID-19 reasons from April 1st through December 31st, 2020.
The FFCRA generally applies to employees of private-sector employers with less than 500 employees and certain public sector employers. Employers covered under the Act must provide up to two weeks (80 hours, or a part-time employee’s equivalent) of paid leave based on the higher of the employee’s regular pay or minimum wage.
Qualifying reasons for leaving are categorized by the percentage of normal wages paid, as follows:
- Qualifying reasons at 100% pay, up to $511 daily, and $5,110 total for up to two weeks:
- The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
- The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19
- The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis
- Qualifying reasons at 2/3 pay, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total for up to two weeks:
- The employee is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) above or self-quarantine as described in (2) above
- The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Qualifying reasons at 2/3 pay, up to $200 daily and $12,000 total for up to 12 weeks:
- The employee is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons
NOTE: Employers covered by the FFCRA are reimbursed for the cost of providing this leave in the form of a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. Total qualified leave wages and the related credits for each quarter are generally reported on Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. Employers may file Form 7200 to receive an advanced payment of these credits.
For a summary of employee rights related to the FFCRA, click here.
For a summary of employer tax credits related to the FFCRA, click here.
THE NEW COLORADO SALES AND USE TAX SYSTEM
The Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR) has developed a new Sales & Use Tax System (SUTS) in an effort to simplify complying with sales and use tax requirements. The new system is a one-stop online portal available now for businesses with retail sales in excess of $100,000 per year. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, additional businesses will be able to begin using the system in 2021.
Key features of the online system include the following:
- Ability to look up sales and use tax rates by address
- Single point of remittance and a uniform remittance form
- Taxability and exemption matrix
- Ability to calculate tax rates on items with differing tax rates in the same jurisdiction
- A record of the history of any changes
Retail sales tax returns for state, state-collected, and participating home-rule self-collecting taxation jurisdictions may all be filed through the SUTS remittance portal.
The system also features a Geographic Information System (GIS) to allow businesses to easily identify applicable sales tax districts. In addition to state sales tax information, information for counties, municipalities, and special taxation districts will be integrated into the GIS. Businesses are able to search the GIS by individual addresses, allowing a complete tax rate to be determined more efficiently.
If supported by your internal point-of-sale system, the GIS can be accessed through an Application Programming Interface. This program allows easy reference to the most current tax information from the CDOR.
To begin using the SUTS, new users must register here. The CDOR has also provided several useful videos on how to register your business and begin using the SUTS. If you would like assistance in using the SUTS, please reach out to us.
Employee Spotlight | Haleigh Gonzalez
Haleigh, a Colorado native, joined the Soukup, Bush & Associates team in June of 2013. She graduated summa cum laude from Western State Colorado University in May of 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and Business Administration, and a minor in Economics. During her time at Western State, Haleigh stayed highly involved in the Student Government Association and served as Student Body President during her senior year. Her other interests included playing for the women’s rugby team, involvement in the multi-cultural center, and being an ambassador for prospective students.
Haleigh reviews individual and business tax returns reviews cost segregation studies and are also a member of the attestation team.
In her spare time, Haleigh loves spending time with her husband Randy, trying new craft breweries, and exploring everything Fort Collins has to offer.