CHANGES IN THE LAW AND EXTENDED DEADLINES
April 02, 2020
Inside this Edition:
- Democratic Convention Postponed
- Coronavirus Relief Bill Provides $400M for Election Preparations
- Fifteen States and Puerto Rico Have Now Postponed Primary Elections
- Impact of Postponed Elections on Reporting Periods and Deadlines
- Coronavirus Relief Bill Provides Economic Relief Options for Businesses
- States Extend Deadlines or Ease Requirements for Filing Charity and Other Registration Statements
- No New Extensions Announced this Week; Form 990s Remain Due on May 15
- Additional States Adjust Their Individual Tax Deadlines
- No Postponements Expected for Lobbying Disclosures Deadlines
Democratic Convention Postponed
On April 2, the Democratic National Convention Committee announced that the Democratic National Convention that was scheduled to be held in Milwaukee from July 13 to July 17 will be delayed until August “[i]n light of the unprecedented health crisis facing our country.” The Committee has not announced exact dates for the convention yet.
Coronavirus Relief Bill Provides $400M for Election Preparations
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) — the $2 trillion economic stimulus package passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — includes $400 million to help states “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus … for the 2020 Federal election cycle.” The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) will distribute the money, known as “election security grants,” within 30 days of the Act’s passage, and the funds will be allocated to each state in proportion to its voting age population.
States are expected to use the funds to expand voting options (including mail-in balloting), improve polling place safety, and recruit and train poll workers. Each state that receives an election security grant will be required to submit a report to the EAC within 20 days following an election detailing how the state’s use of the funds addressed coronavirus-related complications. The $400 million provided by the CARES Act is in addition to the $425 million allocated for election security in the 2020 omnibus spending bill.
If you have any questions relating to CARES Act funding for elections, please contact us.
Fifteen States and Puerto Rico Have Now Postponed Primary Elections
As of April 2, Congressional and Presidential primary elections were postponed, or voting periods extended, in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Texas, and West Virginia. Further, presidential primary elections have been rescheduled in Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, and Rhode Island; the Congressional primary dates have not been changed in those states at this time.
Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia postponed primary elections since our last newsletter. Pennsylvania’s legislature previously passed a measure delaying the election and Governor Wolf signed the measure into law this week. The new date of the Pennsylvania primary election is June 2, 2020. In Texas, the runoff primary elections were rescheduled for July 14, with early voting to begin July 6. The West Virginia primary elections were also delayed when Governor Jim Justice announced the state’s primary election, originally set for May 12, will be moved to June 9.
We continue to monitor developments in each state to keep you apprised of any additional changes.
Impact of Postponed Elections on Reporting Periods and Deadlines
The FEC continues to adjust the reporting dates and deadlines for pre-election reports, and 48-Hour Notices as Congressional primary elections get postponed. The new reporting deadlines for Congressional pre-primary reports and 48-Hour Notices window for states with postponed Congressional primaries are as follows:
Close of books
Puerto Rico Primary
W. Virginia Primary
| 06/25/2020 – 07/11/2020
04/30/2020 – 05/16/2020
05/14/2020 – 05/30/2020
06/04/2020 – 06/20/2020
06/28/2020 – 07/14/2020
05/14/2020 – 05/30/2020
06/04/2020 – 06/20/2020
05/14/2020 – 05/30/2020
05/14/2020 – 05/30/2020
05/19/2020 – 06/04/2020
06/25/2020 – 07/11/2020
05/21/2020 – 06/06/2020
With regard to all other filings, the FEC has issued guidance that it does not have statutory authority to extend filing deadlines. Therefore, April quarterly reports remain due on April 15 and all other FEC disclosure deadlines remain in effect. The FEC also indicated, however, that it may choose not to pursue administrative fines against filers prevented from filing by reasonably unforeseen circumstances beyond their control.
We are continuing to monitor the latest postponements and reporting adjustments and are available to assist clients with their reporting. If you have any questions about how these changes potentially impact you or are experiencing difficulty completing or filing your April quarterly report, please contact us.
Coronavirus Relief Bill Provides Economic Relief Options for Businesses
The CARES Act’s $2 trillion in funding includes a number of economic relief options for businesses including, paycheck protection program loans with possible loan forgiveness, small business debt relief, economic injury disaster loans & emergency economic injury grants, employee retention tax credits for employers subject to closure or experiencing economic hardship, delayed payments of employer payroll taxes, and access to other resources including counseling and training. Paycheck protection program loans are available to businesses with less than 500 employees, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, independent contractors, 501(c)(3) organizations with less than 500 employees, 501(c)(19) Veterans organizations and Tribal business concerns that meet the SBA size standards.
We are available to assist clients who may be eligible for relief under these programs. Please contact us if you have any questions about your eligibility or need assistance navigating the process.
States Extend Deadlines or Ease Requirements for Filing Charity and Other Registration Statements
At least six states have extended deadlines or loosened the requirements for filing charity registration statements. Information on the six states that have proactively taken steps to ease the filing burdens can be found below. Click the name of each state for a link to the relevant state guidance. If you are not in one of the states that have provided relief and are having trouble filing your registration statements, check with your individual state to see what options are available for your organization. Most states provide for a filing extension upon request.
Georgia: Charity applications, registrations and renewals can now be completed online, and all notary requirements are waived. Additionally, the Secretary will not change the status of any registrant to “expired” or “lapsed” during the renewal period for the remainder of the emergency. Finally, financial statements do not need to be included as part of an application to register a charity or renew a registration.
Maryland: State licenses and registrations due from March 12 forward are extended until 30 days after the state of emergency is terminated in the state. This extension applies to registrations for charitable organizations, professional solicitors, fundraising counsels, and public safety solicitors. Registrations that were due before March 11 and not filed are delinquent.
Massachusetts: The Attorney General announced that reasonable delays in submitting annual charities filings or initial registration materials as a result of COVID-19-related interruptions will not adversely impact whether a charity or solicitor is in good standing with registration and filing requirements.
Minnesota: The deadline for charitable organizations to file Fiscal Year 2019 annual reports that are currently due between April 15, 2020 and July 15, 2020 are automatically extended for an additional four months. Filers are encouraged to file electronically and toward the end of the new extended deadline to increase the Attorney General’s ability to process filings in a timely manner.
New Hampshire: The Charitable Trust Unit announced that New Hampshire charitable organizations may conduct meetings electronically or on the phone as long as meetings in this form are not prohibited by the organizations’ bylaws. Charitable organizations already have the ability to receive a six-month extension to file annual reports by filing with the Charitable Trusts Unit both an extension form and the annual report fee. Photocopied and scanned signatures will now be accepted.
Pennsylvania: In Pennsylvania, charitable organization registration renewal deadlines which fall between April 30, 2020, and July 31, 2020, are extended for three months, with the renewal of each registration required to be postmarked by the 15th day of the 14th month following the close of the organization’s fiscal year. The corresponding registrations of these charitable organizations will be extended by three months as well.
No New IRS Extensions Announced this Week; Form 990s Remain Due on May 15
There were no new announcements from the IRS regarding extensions or postponement of filing deadlines over the past week. An important reminder for our non-profit clients: the previously announced filing extensions do not include Form 990s (Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax) and, therefore, all Form 990s remain due on May 15, 2020. Please note, however, that the standard six-month extension is still available for this filing upon request.
The IRS’s previously issued guidance clarified that the postponed deadlines includes IRS Form 1120-POL (Income Tax Return for Certain Political Organizations), which were originally due on April 15. They are now due on July 15.
Additional States Adjust Their Individual Tax Deadlines
Over the past week, additional individual states have continued to adjust their tax deadlines. Each state with individual income tax has now adjusted its deadlines in some way, and only three states — Mississippi, Idaho, and Virginia — have deviated from the IRS’s new July 15 deadline. Mississippi extended its filing and payment deadline one month to May 15 and Idaho to June 15. In Virginia, the tax filing deadline remains May 1, the payment deadline was extended one month to June 1. However, only late payment penalties are being waived through June 1; interest on any tax owed will start to accrue on May 2.
No Postponements Expected for Lobbying Disclosures Deadlines
The offices of the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives have confirmed deadlines for filings required under the Lobbying Disclosure Act will not be extended. The next LDA report is the April quarterly report due on April 20. If you are a Lobbying Disclosure Act registrant and you are experiencing difficulties in completing or filing your April Quarterly Report, we are available to assist you with your filing. A representative at the House Clerk’s Office has indicated that late and non-filers will not be penalized during the COVID-19 crisis, but registrants should file all required forms as soon as they can to avoid penalties after the crisis concludes.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any matter. The material may not reflect the most current legal developments and the content and interpretation of the law addressed herein is subject to revision. The transmission and receipt of this document, in whole or in part, does not constitute or create a lawyer-client relationship between HVJT and any recipient. Do not act or refrain from acting upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel. We disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this document to the fullest extent permitted by law. If you have questions about any of the information contained in the document, you should contact us so that we can review the facts associated with your particular situation.