The IRS has established www.irs.gov/coronavirus to provide information specifically related to the pandemic. News releases, statements, and guidance will be collected there. The initial statement concerned health savings accounts and high-deductible health plans. “Health plans that otherwise qualify as HDHPs will not lose that status merely because they cover the cost of testing for or treatment of COVID-19 before plan deductibles have been met.”
The IRS also noted that, as in the past, any vaccination costs continue to count as preventive care and can be paid for by an HDHP.
Guidance was also provided for the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” which was signed by President Trump on March 18. Key elements:
- Paid Sick Leave for Workers. For COVID-19-related reasons, employees receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and expanded paid childcare leave when employees’ children’s schools are closed or childcare providers are unavailable.
- Complete Coverage. Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave pursuant to the Act. Health insurance costs are also included in the credit. Employers face no payroll tax liability. Self-employed individuals receive an equivalent credit.
- Fast Funds. Reimbursement will be quick and easy to obtain. An immediate dollar-for-dollar tax offset against payroll taxes will be provided. Where a refund is owed, the IRS will send the refund as quickly as possible.
Finally, the IRS created https://www.irs.gov/businesses/ gig-economy-tax-center to collect in one place the links relevant to self-employed gig workers and those who use digital platforms in their employment.
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