The list of information below is to assist our membership and we will continue to update info as we receive it from all resources – the AIA, Federal and State Government, CT Legislature, Municipalities, and Firms. Please utilize this resource as we all continue to work and live through this health crisis. If you or your firm have something to contribute, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the link above for daily updates from the Governor, State Departments, State Legislature, and Federal sources, including Senator Chris Murphy.
ALERT: Connecticut residents urged to be aware of scams linking coronavirus stimulus checks with the 2020 Census
Be mindful of fraudulent emails, text messages, phone calls, and social media posts falsely claiming that Americans must respond to the 2020 Census in order to receive a stimulus check from the federal government. In some cases, scammers may urge users to visit a fake census website and sign up to receive a stimulus check from the U.S. government, along with other false claims.
For more information, read the press release the three state officials issued on these potential scams.
ALERT: The Legislative Office Building and Capitol will be closed until April 13.
ALERT: Connecticut Department of Revenue Services extends filing and payment deadlines for personal income tax returns to July 15, 2020
ALERT: Federal Tax Day is moved from April 15th to July 15th, per Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.
ALERT: Governor Directs All Non-Essential Functions in Connecticut to Suspend In-Person Operations Beginning 8PM Monday; Governor Provides Updated Guidance to Individuals and New Order Affecting Businesses
Although it is still the Governor's intent is to keep as many people home as possible, here is the clarification: Construction and related activities are deemed to be an essential service. This includes "planning, engineering, design... and other construction support activities."
9. Construction including
- all skilled trades such as electricians, HVAC, and plumbers
- general construction, both commercial and residential
- other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes
- planning, engineering, design, bridge inspection, and other construction support activities
This includes architects. The understanding is that if the job is up and running then it is essential and any services related to that job continuing are essential as well. Clarification from DAS was also asked--their intent is to keep most of their construction projects going.
Clarification of Executive Order No. 7H Regarding Non-Essential Business Operations. Executive Order No. 7H, dated March 20, 2020 is hereby amended to permit 1) non-essential retailers to be staffed on site, provided that they may only offer remote ordering (e.g. phone, internet, mail, dropbox) and delivery or curb-side pick-up, and 2) non-essential businesses and nonprofits to allow staff or third patties on site to the minimum extent necessary to provide security, maintenance, and receipt of mail and packages, or other services deemed essential in implementing guidance issued by the Department of Economic and Community Development.
Connecticut Insurance Department Informs Small and Medium-Sized Businesses that the IRS Will Provide Immediate and Full Reimbursement For Covid-19 Medical Leave Costs
Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew Mais would like businesses to be aware of recent IRS guidance on novel coronavirus COVID-19 – related employee medical leave and new payroll tax credits. The cost of not just the leave but also of health insurance during the leave will be covered.
“This is very good news for small and medium-sized Connecticut businesses with employees on medical leave caring for themselves or family members,” said Commissioner Mais. “It removes a concern and reduces expenses related to employees on medical leave in the hopes of keeping more workers on the payroll.”
The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) announced in IR-2020-57 that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act). For COVID-19 related reasons, employees receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave.
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.
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.
The IRS also noted that eligible employers are entitled to an additional tax credit based on costs to maintain health insurance coverage for the eligible employee during a child care leave period should a child care provider be unavailable due to the Coronavirus. This credit is equal to two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay, capped at $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate. Up to 10 weeks of qualifying leave can be counted towards the child care leave credit.
With the health and safety of test takers and staff in mind, Prometric has decided to temporarily close all test centers in the United States for the next 30 days, beginning on March 18, 2020. Prometric currently expects to reopen test centers on April 16, 2020, pending additional developments in the Coronavirus outbreak.
If you have an appointment scheduled later than three business days from now, we encourage you to self-serve by logging into your NCARB Record and rescheduling existing appointments at no cost. We recommend rescheduling for late May and into the months of June or July.
Rolling Clock Considerations
NCARB will be applying a universal 90-day rolling clock extension to all candidates as appropriate. This extension will be applied automatically as soon as possible.
For additional questions and concerns, please contact NCARB or Prometric. Be aware that due to the high volume of requests, wait times may be longer than usual and you may not see changes to your NCARB Record immediately.
Small Business Loans
Beginning this week Connecticut became one of the first three states in the nation (along with Maine and Rhode Island) to make available Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to state-headquartered companies that have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
The initiative makes available loans of up to $2 million to qualifying small businesses and non-profit organizations. These are working-capital loans used to address economic injury already incurred as a result of the crisis as well as to continue operations at a time of reduced revenue streams as a result of the crisis.
SBA had made eligibility requirements for small businesses applying for disaster-relief loans as broad as was practical. Eligible companies are those directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, those indirectly impacted and also companies that provide goods and services to businesses in either of the first two groups.
Information on using electronic filing to apply for EIDL is available at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also phone 800-659-2955 for direct assistance.
Small businesses with questions about this SBA loan program or other assistance provided at the state-level can call 860-500-2333 to speak directly with a DECD representative. Businesses can also stay informed on news and guidance related to COVID-19 and its impact on Connecticut by visiting the state’s dedicated coronavirus website at ct.gov/coronavirus.
The filing deadlines for certain annual tax returns due on or after March 15 and before June 1 are extended by at least 30 days.
In addition, the payments associated with these returns are also extended to the corresponding due date in June.
The impacted returns and the associated filing dates and payment deadlines include:
2019 Form CT-1065/CT-1120 SI Connecticut Pass-Though Entity Tax Return: Filing date extended to April 15; payment deadline extended to June 15
2019 Form CT-990T Connecticut Unrelated Business Income Tax Return: Filing date and payment deadline extended to June 15
2019 Form CT-1120 and CT-1120CU Connecticut Corporation Business Return: Filing date and payment deadline extended to June 15.
DRS also informed taxpayers preparing their Connecticut income tax (Form CT-1040) returns due April 15 that the department plans to adjust due dates for filing and payment of state income taxes to align with any pending announcements from the Internal Revenue Service regarding due dates for the filing and payment of federal income taxes.
Those who need to contact DRS regarding their specific situation may e-mail the department at DRS@po.state.ct.us or phone 860-297-5962.
Best Practice and Legal Issues
Visit preparerespondserve.org for a list of resources and timely updates on how technology can be your friend in dealing with emergencies. 501 Commons is providing guidance on how to prevent work disruptions, and stay connected to files, data, and colleagues while some or all staff members are working remotely. They also provide advice on management practices and HR policies that support remote work.