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What They Are Saying: Bipartisan Expansion of Employee Retention Tax Credit Gaining Momentum

Legislation included in House-passed bill would help 6.1 million businesses keep 60 million workers connected to their jobs; will protect paychecks and health insurance

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Washington, June 8, 2020 | comments

WASHINGTON—A bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Representatives Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., John Katko, R-N.Y., Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., and Chris Pappas, D-N.H., to prevent layoffs by expanding the employee retention tax credit (ERTC) is gaining momentum among small businesses and key industry leaders. The measure would enhance the ERTC, which incentivizes businesses of all sizes to retain their employees in active or furloughed status, rather than laying them off, so they continue to receive a paycheck, employer-sponsored health insurance, and other benefits. The ERTC expansion will help 6.1 million businesses keep 60 million workers tethered to their jobs, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).

“America’s small businesses are still struggling, and while many have taken advantage of COVID-related lending programs, not enough have been able to utilize other relief provisions included in the CARES Act, namely the employee retention tax credit. I applaud the bipartisan efforts taking place to expand, update and improve this important tax credit to assist a much greater number of small businesses,” said Todd McCracken, CEO and President of the National Small Business Association.

“The initial ERTC was applauded by the small business community, but its restrictions on eligibility limited its impact. By expanding the availability of the credit, thousands more small businesses will have the needed capital to sustain and recover. We heartily endorse this legislation and hope to see its inclusion in future COVID response packages,” said John Stanford and Rhett Buttle, Executive Directors of the Small Business Roundtable.

“American businesses and workers are looking to Congress to provide the support they need to safely reopen the country and restore the economy. This proposal is part of that path back. By encouraging businesses of all sizes to retain their employees, an enhanced ERTC can help keep workers on payroll and employees receiving benefits – better positioning American businesses for a strong recovery,” said Matt Haller, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs of the International Franchise Association.

“The employee retention tax credit helps Americans hit hard by the crisis—individuals, families and employers, especially small businesses. Expanding the credit is a valuable way to help meet the goals of supporting worker wages and benefits and promoting a return to work,” said Joshua Bolten, CEO and President of Business Roundtable.

“The employee retention credit is an important tool for businesses that are trying to retain their workforce despite government shutdowns of their businesses or substantial reductions in sales. We support this tax credit and appreciate efforts to expand its benefits,” said David French, Vice President for Government relations for the National Retail Federation.

“Restaurants need relief from federal taxes as their invaluable employees, customers, and communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy’s bipartisan legislation, the JOBS Credit Act, is an important step to help local restaurants retain and bring back their dynamic workforce,” said Sean Kennedy, Executive Vice President of the National Restaurant Association.

“Leading retailers are working diligently to retain employees and keep them safe. Expanding the Employee Retention Credit will provide employers with needed liquidity to help continue to pay employees and maintain the employee-employer relationship. RILA strongly supports the bipartisan efforts to enhance the Employee Retention Credit and urges policymakers to include it in the next COVID legislative package,” said Dave Koenig, Vice President, Tax, of the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

“The employee retention tax credit—like the one championed by Rep Murphy­—is a great way to help employers keep as many people as possible on the payroll. It saves jobs and businesses. This tax credit gets relief to employers quickly, which is exactly the kind of smart policy that will help stem the bleeding and get them through this crisis,” said Vince Malta, President of the National Association of Realtors®.

“IAAPA supports the expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit proposed by Rep. Stephanie Murphy. These changes will be an important step toward helping the attractions industry get back on its feet,” said Hal McEvoy, President and CEO of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

ERTC expansion is also supported by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, Associated General Contractors, the Latino Hotel Association, the National Apartment Association, the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Multifamily Housing Council, and a consortium of 22 non-profit education organizations.

Other cosponsors of the legislation include Reps. Pete King, R-N.Y., Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, Steven Horsford, D-Nev., Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash, Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., John Curtis, R-Utah, Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, R-P.R., and Kendra Horn, D-Okla.

The legislation was included in the House-passed HEROES Act. More information on the bipartisan ERTC expansion bill can be found here.

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