On May 17, 2019, the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (“PR Treasury”) issued Internal Revenue Informative Bulletin No. 19-07, granting an additional extension until June 30, 2019 for employers to request the Federal Employee Retention Benefit (“Benefit”) related to Hurricanes Irma and María. Consequently, the deadline to submit a Benefit claim (for employers that have requested the Benefit and have not yet received it) has also been extended until July 10, 2019.
As previously discussed, the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport Extension Act of 2017 was adopted to, among other goals, provide tax relief to those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The Act includes an employee retention benefit available to eligible employers. On June 8, 2018, the PR Treasury issued Internal Revenue Circular Letter No. 18-11 (“CL 18-11”) to establish the eligibility requirements for requesting the Benefit. The initial deadline for doing so was December 31, 2018. Subsequently, the PR Treasury issued Internal Revenue Circular Letter No. 18-20 (“CL 18-20”) to establish a procedure through which Puerto Rico employers could file with the PR Treasury a claim in connection with the Benefit, in the event they have requested the Benefit within the required deadline and have not received it in accordance with CC 18-11. Pursuant to CL 18-20, the deadline to submit such a claim was February 28, 2019. On January 11, 2019 and as previously discussed, the PR Treasury issued Internal Revenue Informative Bulletin No. 19-01 extending the deadline to request the Benefit until March 31, 2019 and the deadline to submit a Benefit Claim until April 30, 2019.
Taking into consideration that many employers were not able to request the Benefit due to difficulties gathering the necessary information, and acknowledging the fact that such federal funds are an essential part of the recovery process for businesses in Puerto Rico, the PR Treasury and the US Treasury have agreed to amend the Implementation Plan to extend once again the deadline to request the Benefit. The prior deadline of March 31, 2019 has been extended to June 30, 2019. The deadline to file a claim in connection with the Benefit (for employers that request the Benefit on or before June 30, 2019, and do not receive it in accordance with CC 18-11) is now extended (from April 30, 2019) to July 10, 2019.
Note that pursuant to CL 18-11 and CL 18-20, both the request and the claim for the Benefit can only be filed through the digital platform designed by the PR Treasury, available in its webpage www.hacienda.pr.gov, under Hacienda Virtual, Employer and Withholding Agents Section.