AN ACT TO PROVIDE AID TO NORTH CAROLINIANS IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS BY INCREASING ACCESS TO UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, PROVIDING EMPLOYERS A SUTA TAX CREDIT, WAIVING THE ACCRUAL OF INTEREST ON CERTAIN TAX PAYMENTS, AND EXTENDING CERTAIN TAX-RELATED DEADLINES, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE ECONOMIC SUPPORT WORKING GROUP OF THE HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON COVID-19.
Specifies that the Secretary of Revenue (Secretary) will not assess a penalty for failure to file a tax return or pay a tax due if returned or paid by July 15, 2020, as the Secretary has extended the franchise, corporate, and individual income tax payment deadline to July 15, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Directs the Secretary to also waive the accrual of interest from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, on an underpayment of tax, including partnership and estate and trust tax returns, due during that period. Clarifies that the relief from interest accrual during the stated period also applies to interest imposed under GS 105-163.15 (concerning installments and interest for unpaid individual income tax) and GS 105-163.41 (concerning installments and interest for unpaid corporate income tax).
Extends the statute of limitations for obtaining a refund for franchise, corporate, and individual income tax to July 15, 2020, for refund claims for which the statute of limitations to seek a refund expires on or after April 15, 2020, and before July 15, 2020.
Makes certain actions that are required to be taken by a taxpayer on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, considered timely if taken on or before July 15, 2020. Actions include requests for the Department of Revenue to review of a proposed denial of a refund or a proposed assessment under GS 105-241.11, petitions for a contested case hearing on a final determination at the Office of Administrative Hearings under Article 3 of GS Chapter 150B and GS 105-241.15, and petitions for judicial review of a decision after a contested case hearing under Article 4 of GS Chapter 150B and GS 105-241.16.
Enacts GS 96-14.15, making unemployment benefits payable in four specified circumstances in response to the coronavirus emergency. Defines coronavirus by referencing the term’s definition stated in the federal Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020. Payable circumstances under the act include: (1) when an employer temporarily ceases operations due to the coronavirus thereby preventing the individual from going to work; (2) when an employer reduces the hours of employment due to the coronavirus; (3) when an individual has a current coronavirus diagnosis; or (4) when an individual is quarantined at the instruction of a health care provider or a local, state, or federal official. Makes the Chapter’s employment security provisions applicable to the new coronavirus emergency unemployment benefits, with five exceptions, including: (1) no waiting week applies; (2) work search requirements do not apply; (3) benefits paid are not charged to the account of any base period employer of the individual; and (4) employers may file an attached claim for benefits, as specified. Provides for an employer tax credit for contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for contributions due for the calendar year 2020, equal to the amount of contributions payable on the report due on or before April 30, 2020. Provides for instances in which employers have remitted the contributions payable on the report due on or before April 30, 2020. Limits the scope of the act to include only unemployment benefits filed for periods beginning on or after March 10, 2020, through those filed for periods beginning on or after the earlier of either the date the Governor signs an Executive Order rescinding Executive Order 116 (Declaration of a State of Emergency to Coordinate Response and Protective Actions to Prevent the Spread of Covid-19), or December 31, 2020.
Allows for individuals to meet the reporting requirements of GS 96-14.9 (weekly certification) by phone or Internet for the period defined by new GS 96-14.15.
Amends GS 96-14.9, concerning the requirement for an individual seeking unemployment benefits to be actively seeking work. Current law requires the individual to have made at least three job contacts with potential employers during the week, among other criteria. Allows an individual to satisfy one of the weekly job contacts by attending a reemployment activity offered by a local career center. Requires the Division of Employment Security to verify the suitability of the activity for credit and the claimant’s attendance at the activity. Effective July 1, 2020.
Amends GS 96-15 to authorize employers to file unemployment claims for employees if unemployment is due directly to a disaster covered by a federal disaster declaration.
Amends GS 105-356 to clarify that priority liens for State taxes on real property under the Revenue Act include a lien for unpaid employer contributions under GS 96-10.
Repeals GS 120-70.158, which sunsets Article 12R, establishing the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Unemployment Insurance, on July 1, 2023.
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