On Aug. 8, 2020, the president declared a payroll tax holiday via a presidential memorandum. The memorandum directs the Department of Treasury (Treasury) to exercise its authority to temporarily suspend the withholding, deposit and payment of some employees’ share of the payroll tax. The suspension is effective for taxes due on wages paid between Sept. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020.
Critical details surrounding the holiday remain outstanding, and guidance from Treasury is needed. However, in the interim, this tax alert highlights the minimal information available and the significant questions and issues that must be addressed.
This payroll tax holiday is essentially a loan that will need to be repaid (likely through additional withholdings from employee paychecks in 2021), unless Congress acts. It is not a full relief of the payroll tax as was enacted in 2009 following the financial crisis. To date, neither chamber of Congress seems inclined to enact similar legislation. Accordingly, we strongly recommend against acting to utilize this deferral in the absence of guidance and clarification from Treasury.
We anticipate Treasury will release guidance on the presidential memorandum prior to or shortly after the Sept. 1, 2020, effective date. In the meantime, expect this to be an evolving issue and look for additional updates from Baker Tilly as warranted.
Please contact your Baker Tilly tax advisor with questions on how the above affects your tax situation.
The information provided here is of a general nature and is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any individual or entity. In specific circumstances, the services of a professional should be sought. Tax information, if any, contained in this communication was not intended or written to be used by any person for the purpose of avoiding penalties, nor should such information be construed as an opinion upon which any person may rely. The intended recipients of this communication and any attachments are not subject to any limitation on the disclosure of the tax treatment or tax structure of any transaction or matter that is the subject of this communication and any attachments.