A lifesaver being thrown into the water to save someone swimming around COVID-19 virus

A coalition of 30 trade associations representing millions of employees and many more millions of customers is urging Congress to include a tax credit in the next federal stimulus package to protect the safety of workers, customers, and the public, announced ISSA in a press release. Such a tax credit should be targeted, temporary, and available to business entities and nonprofits, according to the coalition.

In a letter to congressional leaders, the organizations noted that there are several bipartisan bills (HR 7079, HR 7222, HR 7216, HR 7615, S 4178) in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate to create such a tax credit. While these bills differ in structure, scope, and size, they all recognize the “enormous unexpected costs of creating and maintaining healthy spaces for workers and customers due to the COVID-19 pandemic," says the press release.

“This tax credit helps offset a portion of the unexpected expenses related to maintaining a healthy environment,” says John Nothdurft, ISSA director of government affairs. “The credit is necessary to help protect against further COVID-19 infections, as well as to help with other conditions such as asthma, MRSA, and influenza. Now is the time for the cleaning industry to speak up and help change the way the world views cleaning. I encourage everyone to contact their members of Congress and urge them to support a reopening safely tax credit.”

Specifically, the signatories requested that Congress include the following qualified expenses with any “reopening safely” tax credit as part of the next stimulus bill:

- Cleaning and workplace safety-related costs, including staff training; applicable building certifications; purchasing necessary cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection-related products and equipment; as well as the hiring of a professional services company to clean, sanitize, and disinfect

- Personal protective equipment

- Other expenditures associated with maintaining a healthy physical workplace, including those necessary to comply with federal, state, and local guidelines, as well as industry best practices

The structure of the tax credit should be:

- Neutral in terms of business type

- Based on estimated average increased costs — at least $25,000 per location 

- Applied against qualified expenses incurred over at least the next nine months 

- Eligible for carryover (if a general business credit) to the next year, where the taxpayer has a tax liability or refundability (if a payroll tax credit).

ISSA requests that its members and industry constituents email or call their federal elected officials using ISSA’s Action Center and request their support for this tax credit as part of the next federal stimulus package.