Puerto Rico Treasury Extends Deadlines to Request Federal Employee Retention Benefit After Hurricanes Irma And María

The Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (“PR Treasury”) has issued Internal Revenue Informative Bulletin No. 19-01, extending until March 31, 2019 the deadline to request the Federal Employee Retention Benefit (“Benefit”) related to Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  Consequently, the deadline to submit a Benefit claim (for those employers who have requested the Benefit and have not yet received it) has also been extended until April 30, 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.

Because many employers were unable to meet the deadline, and taking into consideration many employers' ongoing operational challenges as a result of the hurricanes, the US Treasury and the PR Treasury agreed to amend the Implementation Plan to extend the deadline to request the Benefit to March 31, 2019 (previously, December 31, 2018).  Consequently, the deadline to file a claim in connection with the Benefit (for those employers that request the Benefit on or before March 31, 2019, and do not receive it in accordance with CC 18-11) is extended until April 30, 2019 (previously, February 28, 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’s Section.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.