Coronavirus Government Response Update— Mnuchin Calls for PPE Tax Credit in Stimulus Package

July 21, 2020 Coronavirus Government Response Update— Mnuchin Calls for PPE Tax Credit in Stimulus Package

Welcome to the Coronavirus Government Response Update. This information is intended to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry. Today’s update touches on U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s expectation that a tax credit for personal protective equipment (PPE) and workplace cleaning will be included in the fifth federal stimulus package, U.S. Senator Rob Portman’s introduction of the Healthy Workplace Tax Credit, a U.S. House of Representatives panel probing government contracts for COVID-19 supplies, and more.

Tax Credit for PPE, Workplace Cleaning Should be Part of Stimulus Package, Mnuchin Says
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expects a tax credit for personal protective equipment and workplace cleaning to be included in the next economic stimulus bill. “The GOP legislation also will include several tax credits to help companies that are re-opening after a prolonged shutdown,” Bloomberg News reported him saying. “That includes an expanded employee retention tax credit that was in the stimulus bill passed in March, which gives companies a tax break for keeping employees on payroll. The proposal also will include tax credits for personal protective equipment, workplace cleaning and testing.” ISSA has supported a similar tax credit for businesses and nonprofits to reopen safely.

Portman Introduces Healthy Workplaces Tax Credit
On Monday, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (OH-R) introduced the Healthy Workplaces Tax Credit Act to,  according to his website, “help businesses continue to safely reopen while ensuring the safety of employees and consumers through a refundable tax credit against payroll taxes for 50 percent of the costs incurred by a business for increased testing, personal protective equipment, disinfecting, extra cleaning and reconfiguring work spaces to adhere to social distancing guidelines.” Congressman Tom Rice (R-SC) introduced this legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.  

GOP, White House Struggle to Unite Behind COVID-19 Relief
Congress and the White House are preparing for negotiations over the next round of coronavirus aid. According to The Hill, “Administration officials are likely to face pushback from Republicans if they include a second round of stimulus checks, though the GOP bill is likely to lower the income cap on who can qualify.” Similarly, while congressional Republicans view including more money for testing as vital, the White House is opposed to doing so.

House Panel Probes ‘Problematic’ Government Contracts for COVID-19 Supplies
House Democrats are asking Trump officials to explain contracts for personal protective equipment, testing supplies, and other materials that they claim went to companies with political ties to the administration or that were unprepared to carry out the orders. In a letter, the subcommittee expressed concern over the “failure of some of these companies to provide the supplies promised,” and that these contracting practices “may have wasted taxpayer dollars and exacerbated shortages of critical supplies.”

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