No matter what the type of organization, playing an active role in the political decision-making process and policy formation is no longer a luxury—it is an imperative.
A coronavirus pandemic (or even the threat of such a pandemic) could easily make it more difficult for parties to perform their obligations under many types of contracts—especially contracts requiring travel or involving the delivery of goods and services. In the event that one of the parties to a contract can’t perform as a result of an actual or potential coronavirus outbreak, would the doctrine of force majeure allow them to suspend their performance or terminate the contract?
Daniel combines his legal background with a rich understanding of U.S. tax policy to identify solutions for companies with legal, regulatory and legislative tax needs. Drawing on his policy acumen, Daniel conducts risk assessments and identifies threats from congressional and executive branch activity, drawing on relationships with officials from the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee to the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Daniel assists multinational corporations, small businesses, coalitions, and non-profit organizations with their tax needs, particularly on tax credits and provisions, including the alternative fuel mixture credit and child tax credit.
Coronavirus Economic Response Update: Competing Priorities Cloud Phase FourBrownstein Client Alert, May 20, 2020
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Brownstein Client Alert, March 24, 2020
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) ActBrownstein Client Alert, March 20, 2020
Coronavirus Economic Update, March 20, 2020Brownstein Client Alert, March 20, 2020
Treasury Department Releases Key Terms for Phase Three Stimulus
The Treasury Department released a document outlining the key terms of its negotiations on the upcoming third phase of the congressional economic stimulus package. Below are the terms as outlined by the department:
Appropriation to the Exchange Stabilization Fund for Specified Uses
Temporarily Permit Use of the Exchange Stabilization Fund to Guarantee Money Market Mutual Fund
The Treasury Department would temporarily suspend the ESF limit for guarantee programs related to the U.S. money market mutual fund industry. The new statutory authority would be extinguished at the conclusion of the presidentially declared national emergency.
Economic Impact Payments
The Treasury Department would authorize and appropriate funds for two installments of direct payments to individuals through the Internal Revenue Service and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service. The federal government would provide $250 billion by April 6 and another $250 billion by May 18, and each individual would receive the same amount both times. The payments would be based on income level and family size.
Small Business Interruption Loans
In an attempt to provide continuity of employment due to virus-related business interruptions, the Treasury Department would establish a small business interruption loan program. The department would provide $300 billion for the new program, which would provide a 100% guarantee on each qualifying loan.
Employers with fewer than 500 workers would be eligible for the loans, which would provide businesses six weeks of payroll, with an upper limit of $1,540 per week per employee (about $80,000 annually). Additionally, borrowers must continue paying all employees for at least eight weeks once the loan is provided.
The document can be found here.
Coronavirus Economic Update
Coronavirus Economic Stimulus Package
Brownstein Client Alert, March 17, 2020
Mnuchin Announces Further Administration Steps to Combat Coronavirus
At today’s White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that earlier in the day, President Trump approved a 90-day extension of the tax filing deadline, subject to the following deferral limitations, which will be interest- and penalty-free:
Mnuchin explained this step, which aligns with steps other countries have taken in response to the global pandemic, would result in $300 billion in deferments—up from the administration’s original plan of deferring $200 billion.
Mnuchin also announced during the press briefing that the administration is looking to provide individuals financial assistance as quickly as possible. To this end, he said the administration is “looking at sending checks to Americans immediately,” clarifying that he would like to accomplish this within two weeks. The expeditious timeline caused Mnuchin to more explicitly oppose President Trump’s insistence on a payroll tax holiday during the press briefing, saying in front of the president that the approach would counteract the economic effects of the coronavirus too slowly. President Trump, who has strongly advocated for a payroll tax holiday through the November 2020 elections, appeared to agree with Mnuchin that such a move would not provide individuals financial relief quickly enough.
At lunch today with Senate Republicans, Mnuchin outlined the administration’s plan. During the lunch, Mnuchin reportedly proposed $250 billion of means-tested checks. According to reports, the plan to provide direct cash payments to individuals was at least not strongly opposed by most in the room. Should the administration proceed with this plan, Mnuchin said he doesn’t anticipate checks to be sent before the end of April. As we have previously reported, some Senate Republicans, including Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Mike Braun (R-IN), have explicitly opposed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R.6201), which passed the House on March 14 and was amended further yesterday.
The Trump administration is also reportedly preparing to urge the Senate to combine its Phase Three proposals—which is expected to provide targeted relief to specific sectors of the economy, such as the airline, hotel and retail industries—to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The administration will likely argue that this approach may provide an easier and quicker path to enactment, as opposed to further amending the Families First Coronavirus Response Act before considering an entirely new Phase Three bill.
Additional reports reveal that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has decided against merging Phase Two and Phase Three, instead opting to first move forward with a vote on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act before moving ahead with drafting the chamber’s Phase Three proposal. Following the chamber’s vote on the House-passed measure, three task forces appointed by McConnell will begin working to develop the Senate’s Phase Three stimulus package.
Reports indicate the administration’s proposal will total about $1 trillion, but Mnuchin said during the briefing that the number “may be bigger than what is in the press.” According to Mnuchin, the administration will float a proposal that includes loan guarantees, assistance to airlines and hotels, and some kind of business interruption payments for American workers. President Trump said during the briefing that the administration’s plan will be clearer by the end of the day.
For additional information or assistance with a particular issue, please contact a member of the Brownstein Tax Policy Group.
Click here to read more Brownstein alerts on the legal issues the coronavirus threat raises for businesses.
This document is intended to provide you with general information regarding economic updates related to coronavirus. The contents of this document are not intended to provide specific legal advice. If you have any questions about the contents of this document or if you need legal advice as to an issue, please contact the attorneys listed or your regular Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP attorney. This communication may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions.
Year-End Spending Bill Includes Tax Extenders, Disaster Tax ReliefBrownstein Client Alert, December 17, 2019
Treasurer, Washington Bar Association Educational Foundation
Former Member, St. Thomas Law Review