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Effective August 8, 2020, President Trump signed several Executive Orders intended to serve as COVID-19 economic relief. These Executive Orders include extending supplemental unemployment benefits, deferring employee payroll tax payments, extending relief for student loans, and additional eviction relief.
For the time period of September 1 – December 31, 2020, withholding of the employee share of Social Security tax could be suspended for eligible employees. This payroll tax deferral applies to any employee whose biweekly pretax wages are generally less than $4,000. Penalties and interest will not be imposed on deferred amounts
However, while the President has the authority to delay the due date for payroll tax payments, the Executive Order does not forgive the payroll tax liability.
Unless there is further Congressional action, the deferred Social Security tax will be due at a later date.
UPDATE: The Treasury issued guidance regarding this order on August 28, 2020. Read our breakdown of the guidance here.
Another potential impact for employers is the extended relief for student loans.
Currently, payment and collection efforts — including wage garnishments and tax refund offsets — of federal student loans are suspended under the CARES Act until September 30, 2020. The Executive Order extends this until December 31, 2020.
Further guidance from the Department of Education is likely regarding garnishments of federal student loan payments.
Delap is continuing to watch these Executive Orders closely and will communicate more information as soon as it is available.
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