Hiring and Growth

April 26, 2021: How to Claim the New Vaccine Tax Credits

Gusto Editors  
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April 26, 2021

You’re reading Gusto’s COVID-19 newsletter for small businesses. If you’d like these weekly updates in your inbox, you can subscribe here. New to Gusto? Try a free demo today.

Can you require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

As businesses start to reopen, you may be considering mandating COVID-19 vaccinations before workers return on-site. It’s a tricky decision. While the short answer is yes, you technically can require your team to get vaccinated, there are both legal and business factors to consider before you implement a requirement:

Legal considerations:

  • Are you complying with both federal and state OSHA standards? 
  • Do you have state or local laws on vaccine programs? 
  • Will wage and hour requirements come into play?
  • How will you handle situations where an employee has an adverse reaction to a vaccine? 
  • How will you ensure non-discrimination?

Business considerations:

  • How practical is a vaccine requirement based on local availability?
  • Would certain roles require vaccination and not others?  
  • How might you collect and store information on whether someone is vaccinated? 
  • How long is proof of vaccination good for? 
  • What are the cultural implications for your business?

It is always a good idea to consult with an attorney or an HR professional to help determine what your business may or may not do. Read our full guide for more information on requiring vaccines.

SMB Tax Credit Series, Part 4: Vaccine Tax Credit

In the run up to Tax Day on May 17, we’re highlighting some of the most helpful COVID-19 tax credits for small businesses each week.

Last week, President Biden made headlines when he announced expanded tax credits for employers who provide employees with time off:

  • to get vaccinated for COVID-19
  • if they’ve been vaccinated and are experiencing side effects

This measure expands the paid leave and tax credits created under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for time off due to COVID-19 diagnosis or symptoms. Employees still get up to 10 days of leave, or 80 hours for part-time employees, at 100% of their pay or $511 per day (whichever is lower).

How much is the credit for? Employers can receive a refundable tax credit equivalent to the amount of leave taken, up to $5,110 per employee.

How long do you have to claim it? This program applies to leave taken from April 1 through September 30, 2021.

Read our full guide to claiming the vaccine tax credits. Tune back in next week for another tax credit spotlight, and see a full list of COVID-19 tax credits here.

Relief spotlight

UPDATE: Shuttered Venue Operators Grant is now open

After a rocky start due to technical difficulties, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal is now open.

Here are a few fast facts:

• Eligible businesses include music venues, live event spaces, theaters, and museums, among many others.

• Your venue must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020.

• The grant may be used for expenses such as payroll, rent, utilities, and more.

Eligible businesses can apply here. Or learn more about the program on our blog.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

While the Restaurant Revitalization Fund is not accepting applications yet, Gusto’s small business advocacy team expects the $28.6 billion in funds to run out quickly when they do go live. If you are a restaurant owner, stay ahead of the game by preparing your application in advance.

Read more about the program, or visit sba.gov/restaurants to get started.

Find the latest relief options in our Small Business Relief Finder.

Want more small business news and resources? Check out past editions in our archive.

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Updated: April 30, 2021

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