Doug Cash is the owner of the consulting company CashFlowTennis, a company that helps club owners and tennis professionals increase their memberships, increase programming, train their employees, and therefore make their clubs more successful. His latest passion is to help grow the number of new players in the United States by using innovative programs and marketing.

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He is a frequent speaker at many industry conventions throughout the US and Canada. His expertise lies in the business of tennis and he has trained more Directors of Tennis and Club Managers than anyone else in the industry. He has helped run tennis facility owners' conferences in both the US and Canada.

Doug is a PTR International Master Professional (one of only 55 in the world) and USPTA certified tennis professional and has received many industry awards including being inducted into the Midwest USPTA hall of fame in 2005 and in 2019 has been awarded Tennis Industry Magazine’s Tennis Industry Service Awards and the TIA’s Commitment to the Industry Award

Before launching CashFlowTennis, Doug retired in 2005 after a 35-year career with the leading tennis ownership and Management Company in the US Tennis Corporation of America (TCA).  He was the COO and was responsible for up to 42 clubs, 2,700 employees, and over 250 tennis professionals.

You can contact Doug at cashflowtennis@gmail.com or by calling 312.927.2274  

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Doug Cash says, "I am noticing more and more cases of Covid hitting the club team and their members or families. I would suggest you read the two following articles on the FFCRA and the ERC laws that provide employees relief when their employees are not working but you are still paying them. I highlighted in yellow the things I saw that matter to us. Remember it is almost free money so check it out.  It does not get a lot of press and I am no expert but try to save you money.

ERC 2021 RELIEF

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service urges employers to take advantage of the newly-extended employee retention credit, designed to make it easier for businesses that, despite challenges posed by COVID-19, choose to keep their employees on the payroll.

The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted December 27, 2020, made a number of changes to the employee retention tax credits previously made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), including modifying and extending the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), for six months through June 30, 2021. Several of the changes apply only to 2021, while others apply to both 2020 and 2021.

As a result of the new legislation, eligible employers can now claim a refundable tax credit against the employer share of Social Security tax equal to 70% of the qualified wages they pay to employees after December 31, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Qualified wages are limited to $10,000 per employee per calendar quarter in 2021. Thus, the maximum ERC amount available is $7,000 per employee per calendar quarter, for a total of $14,000 in 2021.

Employers can access the ERC for the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2021 prior to filing their employment tax returns by reducing employment tax deposits. Small employers (i.e., employers with an average of 500 or fewer full-time employees in 2019) may request advance payment of the credit (subject to certain limits) on Form 7200, Advance of Employer Credits Due to Covid-19, after reducing deposits. In 2021, advances are not available for employers larger than this.

Effective January 1, 2021, employers are eligible if they operate a trade or business during January 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021, and experience either:

  1. A full or partial suspension of the operation of their trade or business during this period because of governmental orders limiting commerce, travel or group meetings due to COVID-19, or

  2. A decline in gross receipts in a calendar quarter in 2021 where the gross receipts of that calendar quarter are less than 80% of the gross receipts in the same calendar quarter in 2019 (to be eligible based on a decline in gross receipts in 2020 the gross receipts were required to be less than 50%).

 

Employers that did not exist in 2019 can use the corresponding quarter in 2020 to measure the decline in their gross receipts. In addition, for the first and second calendar quarters in 2021, employers may elect in a manner provided in future IRS guidance to measure the decline in their gross receipts using the immediately preceding calendar quarter (i.e., the fourth calendar quarter of 2020 and first calendar quarter of 2021, respectively) compared to the same calendar quarter in 2019.

In addition, effective January 1, 2021, the definition of qualified wages was changed to provide:

  • For an employer that averaged more than 500 full-time employees in 2019, qualified wages are generally those wages paid to employees that are not providing services because operations were fully or partially suspended or due to the decline in gross receipts. 

  • For an employer that averaged 500 or fewer full-time employees in 2019, qualified wages are generally those wages paid to all employees during a period that operations were fully or partially suspended or during the quarter that the employer had a decline in gross receipts regardless of whether the employees are providing services. 

 

Retroactive to the March 27, 2020, enactment of the CARES Act, the law now allows employers who received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to claim the ERC for qualified wages that are not treated as payroll costs in obtaining forgiveness of the PPP loan.

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COVID-19 Paid Leave in 2021: The Impact of New Federal Relief Bill on Employers

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 ("FFCRA"), the first paid leave of absence law to be enacted on a nationwide level, became law in April and it's already gone, having expired as planned on December 31.  The FFCRA mandated that employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain governmental employers, provide emergency paid "sick leave" and paid expanded "family and medical leave" to eligible employees.  The scourge of COVID-19, despite remarkably quick development of promising vaccines, continues unabated, leading many to believe that the FFCRA might have been extended to keep its modest paid-leave benefits in place a while longer.  That did not occur.  The federal government, however, hasn’t abandoned the subject entirely: on December 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law the "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021" (the "Relief Bill"), a small portion of which pertains to the FFCRA's paid-leave requirements.  The Relief Bill allows employers, on a voluntary basis, to continue to provide such leave through March 31, 2021, in exchange for a payroll tax credit.  What does this mean for employers?

1. FFCRA Leave Requirements Expired on December 31, 2020.

The emergency paid "sick leave" and expanded "family and medical leave" requirements of the FFCRA are no longer mandated as of December 31, 2020.  (Employers, however, can still be sued for violating these provisions while they were in effect.)  This means that, unless new (and at this point unexpected) legislation is passed, an employee is not entitled to FFCRA-leave after December 31, 2020, for COVID-19-related reasons. 

With the end of the COVID-19 pandemic not yet in sight, most employers confront the same questions that they did before the enactment of the FFCRA (and, for that matter, after it took effect and after an employee's entitlement to FFCRA-leave had been exhausted).  How should an employer handle an employee's request for leave when he or she has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or needs to stay home to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is not available due to the pandemic?  We have previously addressed some of these topics, such as intermittent leave policies and teleworking.  Employers may choose to modify paid and/or unpaid leave policies.  Moreover, some states may impose applicable requirements, such as paid sick leave laws.   Finally, employers may choose to provide paid leave and seek further FFCRA tax credits, which we address next.

2. Employers Can Take FFCRA Tax Credits Through March 31, 2021.

Although FFCRA leave is no longer required, the Relief Bill allows employers another calendar quarter of paid leave tax credits.  Section 286 of the Relief Bill ("Extension of Credits for Paid Sick and Family Leave") amends certain provisions of the FFCRA to allow employers to take a payroll tax credit for providing emergency paid "sick leave" and paid expended "family and medical leave" into the first quarter of 2021 for two purposes: (1) to recover costs of providing required FFCRA leave in 2020, and (2) to voluntarily provide paid emergency "sick leave" and emergency "family and medical leave" through March 31, 2021.  In other words: (1) if an employee took FFCRA-required leave in 2020, then the employer can take the appropriate tax credits in 2021; and (2) if an employer elects, voluntarily, to provide paid leave to an employee for an FFCRA-qualifying reason in Q1 of 2021, then it can take payroll tax credits for providing such paid leave. 

As discussed above, voluntarily providing FFCRA paid leave may be a good option for employers seeking to help employees through difficult circumstances caused by COVID-19, as the pandemic shows no signs of subsiding yet.  To seek such payroll tax credits, however, employers must acquaint themselves with the rules regarding FFCRA leave eligibility and keep accurate records.

3. Employers Should Ensure Accurate Recordkeeping of COVID-19 Related Leave.

If an employer chooses to voluntarily provide FFCRA leave between January 1, 2021, and March 31, 2021, and seek the tax credits, then it must keep accurate records and comply with limits on paid leave imposed by the FFCRA.  The FFCRA provides specific limitations on paid leave (simply stated: up to 80 hours of emergency paid "sick leave" and up to twelve (12) weeks of paid emergency "family and medical leave").  Such limits apply to the available payroll tax credits.  In other words, if an employee exhausted FFCRA paid leave in 2020, then there is no new "bank" of FFCRA paid leave for 2021, even if employers choose, voluntarily, to provide such leave.  Employers must understand the amount of paid leave for which they can seek tax credits.  Paid leave for which employers may not seek such credits should be separately tracked and administered in accordance with the employer's leave policies.

Finally, employers must consider the impact of FFCRA-leave that they provided last year on entitlements to the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") leave that may be available this year.  Expanded "family and medical leave" under the FFCRA applied to all employers with under 500 employees and for specific FFCRA-qualifying reasons and counted against an employee's regular FMLA entitlement.  As an example, an employee taking 4 weeks of expanded family and medical leave in 2020 in accordance with the FFCRA to care for a child engaged in virtual learning (as opposed to being at school) would have up to 8 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave remaining (if eligible) for leave corresponding with a serious health condition or another FMLA-qualifying purpose.  The amount of leave eligibility also depends on which 12-month period the employer uses for the purpose of measuring the availability of FMLA-leave during a 12-month period (i.e., calendar year, fiscal year, a 12-month period measured forward from use of FMLA leave, or a rolling 12-month period measured backward from use of  FMLA leave).

The pandemic will end, but it's certainly not over yet. In the meantime, the expanded tax credits provided by the Relief Bill in 2021 may at least help employers and employees navigate another unsettling quarter of COVID-19.

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