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Sales Tax Update, SBA Webinars & More

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has extended the Sales and Use Tax grace period on sales and use tax payments to May 20. The state originally extended the deadline from March 20 to April 20. Businesses should still file their returns by the due dates but do not have to make payments until May 20, 2020. There is no grace period to make the sales and use tax payment for April sales and use tax—the payment and the return will remain due on May 20, 2020.

“While this is good news for cash strapped businesses, it also means that potentially three months of sales tax (albeit with reduced sales) will be due on the same date (May 20),” said Lou Armitage of Armitage Accounting.

In addition to giving impacted taxpayers more time to pay their taxes, businesses can also consider the various state and federal disaster assistance programs that are now available. More information about state and federal resources available to businesses can be found on the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development website.

Hospitality Minnesota reports that the Governor is considering delaying property tax collection as well. While delaying will help in the short run, taxes will still come due some day.


Two webinars to take advantage of this week:

SBA Webinar for SCORE Clients on Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Thursday, April 16 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM –Online Webinar

Business Development Essentials

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM – Online Webinar

SCORE: Through the Small Business Administration you can get free business advice via phone or Skype with retired executives who donate their time to help small businesses. The Service Corps Of Retired Executives matches the mentee with someone who was either in your same business and/or who has the skillset to answer your questions. https://minneapolis.score.org/content/find-mentor-220


Greater Twin Cities United Way has raised $3.25 million to date via its Greater Twin Cities COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, and $1.75 million directly will benefit the Twin Cities region. Several national corporations based in the Twin Cities are partnering with Greater Twin Cities United Way to distribute the remaining $1.5 million to other United Ways in markets where they have a presence.

In addition to the $200,000 United Way distributed in March, the organization announced it is distributing a total of $315,000 in its second grant round to support 56 of United Way’s nonprofit partners. This round of funding will address critical community needs, including:

  • Early childhood education;
  • Support for people most impacted by layoffs in the hospitality industry;
  • Support for organizations led by and predominately serving black, Indigenous and people of color: These organizations often operate as cultural centers.


The FDA is easing its regulations on menu labeling at restaurants to lift pressure off operators during the COVID-19 crisis. Restaurants that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name and offering substantially the same menu are required to provide nutrition information, including calories, for standard menu items. On request, these locations must be able to provide nutrition information on total calories, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, sugars, fiber, and protein.


Question of the day

Q. A lot of small independent restaurant employees consider themselves a family. If they are furloughed and taking unemployment payments, can they volunteer to work at the restaurant to do takeout or delivery meals? Are they violating the unemployment laws, and/or is the restaurant doing anything wrong to allow them to volunteer their time knowing they can’t pay them until they reopen?

A. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employees to receive at least minimum wage for all hours worked. There is not an exception for employees “volunteering” their time for a for-profit business. I admire the employees’ loyalty during these hard times, but there is legal risk of federal and state FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) claims if for-profit companies accept “volunteers.”

—Ashleigh Leitch, attorney with Best & Flanagan in Minneapolis

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