April 28, 2020

CARES Act Could Allow Radiology Practices to Delay Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes

 

Section 2302 of the Cares Act

The following information is for educational purposes only. 

What Sec. 2302 Does

Employers (i.e., radiology practices) can defer paying the employer portion of the social security taxes through the end of 2020. Half of the deferred amount will be due December 31, 2021, and the remainder will be due December 31, 2022. This provision is essentially an interest-free loan with no strings attached, provided the business pays when that loan matures. 

Background

In general, employers are required to deposit 6.2 percent of the amount of wages up to the social security wage base ($137,700 for 2020) after making a wage payment. This amount is in addition to any federal income tax withholding, the employer share of Medicare taxes, and the employee share of social security and Medicare taxes. Section 2302 delays the timing of required federal tax deposits for certain employer payroll taxes and self-employment taxes incurred March 27, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020. 

Important 

  • The deferral provision applies only to the employer’s share of social security tax. It does not apply to the employer’s Medicare taxes nor to the employee’s share of social security or Medicare taxes.
  • This provision for the employer portion of social security taxes is not available to any employer that “has had indebtedness forgiven” under Section 1106 with respect to a Payroll Protection Program or PPP loan (a loan under paragraph (36) of Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act as amended by Section 1102). Therefore, receiving a PPP loan may prevent or limit an employer from receiving this delayed payroll tax provision.
  • Employers seeking to take advantage of this payment deferral should take extra care to ensure that they have the funds available to pay amounts borrowed under this provision on time.

The IRS FAQs on delaying employer payroll taxes are available at irs.gov

Employers should seek regulatory guidance before withholding payments. The American College of Radiology® will post guidance as it becomes available.