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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Payroll Concerns

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused unprecedented business disruption and workplace changes. During this time, payroll professionals are under enormous pressure to keep operations running as smoothly as possible despite many unique challenges.

In addition to taking advantage of the payroll-related benefits offered under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, employers may also take advantage of other, seldom used tax-favored benefits under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that can help employees who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. These include leave-sharing plans and disaster relief payments.

At the same time, payroll professionals must remain compliant with existing federal and state tax rules that have come to the forefront because of the increase in the number of employees working from home or other remote locations due to COVID-19 social distancing orders. Payroll personnel must also continue to comply with the day-to-day state wage payment laws even though they may be processing payroll while working from home. Keeping up with other, rapidly emerging state withholding and unemployment tax filing and payment developments can also complicate matters.

All of these key issues affecting payroll during the COVID-19 crisis are addressed below.