Regulatory Roundup March 2021

April 07, 2021

March saw the adoption of the American Rescue Plan Act, an extension to the PPP, an IRS update for personal protection equipment purchases, and more.

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After a quiet February, a wave of new legislation was passed this March, the most notable of which was the new American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) of 2021. Below we summarize this and other legislative updates in our monthly Regulatory Roundup.

Signed into law on March 11, the ARP provided numerous modifications or extensions to existing relief, such as Employee Retention Credits and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), as well as adding a new round of direct stimulus payments to American citizens. The new law also improved Child Tax Credits, expanded unemployment insurance benefits, and added grants for specific industries. Listen to the recent PCTY Talks episode on the ARP for more on this new law and how it may impact your business.

In addition to the ARP, Congress also passed the PPP Extension Act of 2021, which lengthens the PPP application period to May 31, 2021, and gives the Small Business Administration (SBA) the month of June to process all applications submitted before June 1, 2021. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law soon. At the same time, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Announcement 2021-7, which declared amounts paid towards personal protective equipment for the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 are qualified medical expenses eligible to be paid or reimbursed without being included as gross income under a Health Savings Account (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), or an Archer Medical Savings Account (Archer MSA).

Finally, the Department of Labor (DOL) also issued Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01, which extended the mandatory time frames for which employers must comply with certain employee benefits. Under the new guidance, COBRA, HIPAA Special Enrollment, claims and appeals timeframes, and other applicable deadlines will begin to calculate when the “Outbreak Period” ends, either one year from the date the deadline would have begun running or 60 days after the National Emergency declared for the COVID-19 pandemic ends, whichever comes first.

Outside of Coronavirus legislation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 data collection will open on April 26, 2021, and close on July 19, 2021. This effectively extends the data collection period from 10 to 12 weeks, though no Component 2 data reports will be collected.

A state-level legislative change was made in Illinois, where Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1480 (SB 1480) into law. The new law provided several amendments, one of which being for the Illinois Equal Pay Act (IEPA) by adding new requirements for employers, such as submitting a statement of equal pay compliance, their EEO-1, a list of employees with their total wages, and an application fee to the state DOL.

Lastly, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) E-Verify service updated the Social Security Administration (SSA) process for employees who receive a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) with a citizenship mismatch. Starting March 4, any such employees who receive this status may contact the DHS directly to resolve the case instead of visiting an SSA field office in person.

Get more details on the compliance and tax alerts from March here:

COVID-19 Relief

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Compliance

Background Check Process Update

Visit our Return to Work page to browse our resources to help you engage, rehire, and recruit in this new environment. You can also check out our Legislative Updates Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) for a comprehensive summary of legislative changes and how Paylocity has responded with updates to our product to help you stay compliant. For the latest information and resources related to the coronavirus, check our COVID-19 Resources page often.

Be sure to bookmark our resource library and come back monthly for Regulatory Roundups of tax and compliance alerts you need to know. For any other frequently asked questions or general assistance, refer to our Administrator Support page for support contact information, quick how-to guides or training courses, important PEAK articles, and more. Don't forget to also follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter for urgent updates.

This information is provided as a courtesy, may change, and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney, or Advisor.

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