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President declares a National State of Emergency
On Friday, the President declared a state of emergency for the United States and its territories, which allows for the availability of federal funds and allows the Secretary of the Treasury to specify a period of up to one year that certain due dates may be disregarded including filings and payments. Section 7508A gives the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to suspend interest, penalties, additional amounts or additions to tax. This authority also applies to the amount of any credit or refund.
The Secretary issued a brief statement on Saturday indicating that employers will be able to use cash deposited with the IRS to pay sick leave wages and that for businesses that would not have sufficient taxes to draw from, Treasury will use its regulatory authority to make advances to small businesses to cover such costs. Official guidance on these issues remains to be forthcoming.