SEMA eNews Vol. 23, No. 12, March 19, 2020

SEMA Joins Forces With Industry to Urge Additional Measures to Protect the Economy

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

SEMA and 113 other trade associations sent a letter urging President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to help businesses survive the COVID-19 crisis by employing an economic response matching the scale now being taken to end the pandemic. To minimize the number of businesses closed and workers unemployed, the response needs to be coordinated, massive and focused on ensuring that all businesses have the resources necessary to ride out the pandemic. This letter notes that the response should include—but not be limited to—the following areas:

  • Immediately provide readily accessible, unsecured credit to businesses of all sizes to ensure they have the cash to pay their workers, rent and other costs during this crisis. While Congress, Treasury and the Federal Reserve have recently announced policies to increase the availability of credit to some businesses, these policies need to be expanded to make certain they are comprehensive and that credit is readily available to all operating businesses in the short term.
  • Suspend the filing of business returns and the payment of all business taxes to the federal government for the duration of the pandemic. These suspended taxes should include taxes owed for the 2019 Tax Year, estimated payments for 2020 and all payroll tax obligations. The suspension should be broad and apply to all businesses. When the pandemic is over, the repayment of any deferred taxes should be spread out over time.
  • Amend the Tax Code to, among other items, restore the ability of businesses to carryback any net operating losses against previous year tax payments, suspend the application of the Section 163(j) limitation on interest expense deductions for tax year 2020 to avoid penalizing businesses for borrowing during this crisis and suspend the Section 461(l) loss limitation on pass-through businesses to allow owners to fully deduct any losses they incur this year.

Congress has passed two short-term bills to increase coronavirus testing, provide worker benefits for sick and family leave and offer low-interest small-business disaster loans. Lawmakers are now working on additional packages to address the pandemic. The bills will likely include direct cash payments to individuals, financial aid to business sectors suffering significant impact and potentially addition financial stimulus. SEMA will continue to work with other industry organizations in a coordinated effort to help protect businesses and restore the economy.

For more information, contact Eric Snyder at erics@sema.org.

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