On September 29, the President signed into law the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017. This law was designed to provide tax relief to victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
One of the provisions is an employee retention credit of 40 percent of up to $6,000 in wages paid by an “eligible employer.” An eligible employer is defined as one which became inoperable anytime from the date of the hurricane to Jan. 1, 2018. The wages must be paid to “eligible employees,” which are defined as those whose place of work for such employer was in the disaster area.
“What many grocers have done to weather these storms is nothing short of heroic,” Chris Cooley, co-founder of MyHRConcierge and SMB Benefits Advisors, told The Shelby Report. “The employee retention tax credit can help lessen the economic burden for grocers, retailers and others in designated areas that have been impacted by these storms. It’s welcome relief for those who have struggled to keep paying employees as they rebuild their communities and businesses.”
The employee retention credit applies to parts of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and all municipalities in Puerto Rico, including:
- Hurricane Harvey:
- Counties in Texas (39): Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton
- Hurricane Irma:
- Counties in Florida (48): Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Union, Volusia
- Counties in GA (7): Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Coffee, Glynn, Liberty, McIntosh
- County-equivalents in US Virgin Islands (2): St. John (Island), St. Thomas (Island)
- Hurricane Maria:
- All of Puerto Rico: 78 municipalities
“I am so grateful for my colleagues support…and for President Trump’s swift action to sign my critical legislation into law,” said Texas Representative Kevin Brady, who sponsored the legislation. “Families in my district, and throughout Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have been ravaged by some of the most destructive hurricanes our nation has ever seen. They’ve lost their homes, their access to food and water, electricity—even their loved ones. This new law delivers relief they desperately need—relief that will help put them on the road to recovery. As the people in my district—and all of those who have been harmed by these recent hurricanes—work to regain their strength and rebuild their communities, I will continue taking steps to ensure they have the support they need.”