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Gov. Reynolds announces assistance for Iowa small businesses

DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- Governor Kim Reynolds announced Monday, several new initiatives to help Iowa small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iowa Small Business Relief Program Grant

The program will offer eligible small businesses grants ranging from $5,000-$25,000 in addition to offering Iowa businesses a deferral of sales and use or withholding taxes due and waiver of penalty and interest.

To be eligible for a small business relief grant, eligible businesses must:  

  • Be experiencing business disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Have employed between 2-25 people prior to March 17, 2020

The Small Business Relief Grants will assist eligible businesses in maintaining operations or reopening business following the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds may not be used to pay debts incurred prior to March 17, 2020.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority will review grant applications for eligibility and will determine the grant amount by the level of impact, including loss in sales revenue and employees.

Tax Assistance

The Iowa Department of Revenue will review each application as applicable, to determine if it is appropriate to grant a deferral of the eligible taxes and waiver of penalty and interest.

The dual application for grant assistance and tax deferral is available here. The deadline for applications is March 31 at noon. The program may be restricted due to funding availability.

Governor Reynolds also announced first quarter unemployment tax payments due April 30th will be delayed until July 31, 2020. Eligible employers include those employers with 50 or fewer employees. Eligible employers also must be in good standing with no delinquencies in quarterly payments.

To qualify for the extension, the employer must be current on all quarterly tax payments before the 1st quarter of 2020 regardless of whether or not they are seeking an extension of tax payment. All employers must file Quarterly Employers Contribution and Payroll Report electronically by 4:30 on April 24th to avoid a late report filing penalty.

Payments for Q1 would be due on July 31, 2020. No interest or penalties will accrue for delayed payments for the eligible group. The extension of payment deadline without interest is not a holiday or forgiveness and the taxes will be due July 31, 2020. Employers still need to file their quarterly reports, which contain employee wage data necessary to compute benefit eligibility and amounts to be paid.

For an employer who elects to take advantage of the extension, contact the Unemployment Insurance Tax division at either 1-888-848-7442 or by sending an email to Q1tax@iwd.iowa.gov. If an employer would like to request additional time to pay the tax, contact the Unemployment Insurance Tax Division.

Iowa Workforce Development recommends sending an email versus a phone call as there is a high call volume during this time that may lead to extended wait times. Employers must notify IWD of intent to delay payment by Friday, April 24th at 4:30 pm.

Trevor Oates

Executive Producer

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