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President declares National Emergency; House passes COVID-19 relief bill; talks continue on additional tax measures

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President Trump on March 13 declared a national emergency to address COVID-19. The President’s declaration instructs the Treasury and the IRS to provide relief from tax filing deadlines to individuals and businesses, as appropriate. Specific details on disaster tax relief, including new filing deadlines and eligibility requirements, are expected to be announced by the Treasury Department and the IRS. 

The House late on March 13 voted 363 to 40 to pass legislation (H.R. 6201)  to provide relief for families and communities affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency and additional funding for tests and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The House-passed bill requires certain employers to provide expanded emergency family and medical leave and establishes a new business tax credit for certain employer-provided paid leave benefits through the end of 2020.

Administration officials and Congressional leaders are discussing options for additional stimulus legislation to respond to the economic effects of COVID-19.

The takeaway

The COVID-19 pandemic and measures to control its spread are having a significant economic impact on individuals and businesses in the United States and around the world. The characteristics of COVID-19 and its impacts on global business activity are difficult to assess, and circumstances are changing rapidly. President Trump and Congress are responding to this developing situation with specific proposals that warrant careful review. Additional legislative and administrative measures are likely to be developed to address the economic effects of COVID-19. Stakeholders should be prepared to engage with policymakers to ensure that issues and proposals affecting their business operations and employees are carefully considered. 

Additional information

For a House staff summary of H.R. 6201, the House-passed COVID-19 relief bill, click here, and click here for the legislative text.

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Pam Olson

Consultant, Tax Policy Services, PwC US

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