U.S. CARES Act – Putting the Provisions in Context: A Fire Side Chat

A virtual fire side chat on ‘U.S. CARES Act – Putting the Provisions in Context’ was organized by AMCHAM India’s Taxation Tariff & Regulatory Affairs Committee on May 22nd. Featured speakers at the event included Mr. Robert Garverick, Honorary NEB Member, AMCHAM and Minster Counselor for Economic Environment, Science and Technology Affairs, U.S. Embassy, Mr. Rishi Chugh, Partner, Business Tax Services, Partner in-charge for the U.S – India Corridor for KPMG LLP, U.S., Ms. Amy Matsuo, Principal, National Leader KPMG’s Regulatory Insights Practice, KPMG LLP and Mr. Steve Borman, Partner, Tax, KPMG LLP. The session was moderated by Mr. Rishi Chugh. On March 27th, 2020, the United States Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) became effective with the objective of protecting U.S. businesses affected by COVID-19 with financial assistance in the form of loans, guarantees and other investments. While businesses continue to grapple with operations, workforces and finances, the Act provides a ray of hope for millions of businesses who are closely examining its implications and benefits in the short to medium term.

 

Mr. Robert Garverick referred to the present pandemic as the first of its kind the world has had and a concern never seen before. He said that the fallouts have been grim and have had to be addressed at a political level and hence the President and Congress discussed an economic package to overcome some of the challenges foreseen. At the national level, effort has been to find a balance between healthcare and economic stimulus resulting in the announcement of a massive package of $2 trillion, known as the U.S. CARES Act, the largest economic relief the U.S. has ever passed. Downturn in the economy and high unemployment have been key drivers. Mr. Garverick briefly touched upon the key features of the act and the benefits that accrue from it. He emphasized that this package was designed for American workers and the American economy. Mr. Garverick was appreciative of the remarkable speed at which this complex monumental Act has been achieved and is being administered.

 

Ms. Amy Matsuo provided the participants details regarding key provisions of the CARES Act and its funding support as enumerated therein. She also detailed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (CARES Act Amendment), some salient features, challenges and risks in the PPP, as well as the PPP Funding and Forgiveness Timeline prescribed in the Act. Mr. Steve Borman highlighted key tax provisions related to the CARES Act. He largely dwelled upon provision of hundreds of billion dollars and changes in the net operating loss provisions, employee retention credits for businesses and delay in employer payroll taxes.