The Attorneys and staff at The Rodman Law Group (“RLG”) have been carefully monitoring novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) and its effect on the economy in general and our clients in particular. The following is a non-exhaustive aggregation of information that may be of importance during this pandemic. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions regarding the information below.
Federal and Colorado Income Tax Filings and Payments
On March 21, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) extended federal income tax filing and payment deadlines for any person or entity whose returns and payments were due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalty or interest. This extension includes self-employment estimated income tax payments that are due April 15, 2020. No additional filings are required to take advantage of this extension – it is granted automatically.
You may also file the traditional IRS Form 4868 (for individuals) and IRS Form 7004 (for businesses) to extend your filing (but not payment) deadline until October 15, 2020. Keep in mind that failure to pay your total income tax liability by July 15, 2020, will cause penalties and interest to accrue, but only from July 16, 2020, and later. Please note that this only covers income tax liabilities and no other tax liabilities such as payroll taxes. Furthermore, the original limitation on deferment of $1 million in payments, for individuals, has been removed.
For more information, please see Notice 2020-17.
Gov. Polis announced a similar extension until July 15, 2020, for Colorado income tax filings and payments.
SBA Economic Assistance
Some small business owners are currently eligible to apply for low-interest loans due to economic loss from COVID-19. Applicants can request up to $2 million in relief funding and in some cases repayment can be made over a 30-year term; however, the SBA loan application can be complex and challenging. An applicant must be a defined “small” business, creditworthy, with financial information, tax returns, and collateral.
Currently, applications are available online, but due to overwhelming volume, the online response time (webpage availability) is demanding. It is recommended that you apply between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am. RLG can assist you in putting your application together and gathering necessary documents.
Visit the SBA site on COVID-19 relief here.
According to a mid-March announcement, Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan B. Coats entered an order on the operation of the state’s courts and COVID-19, suspending some court functions like jury calls – excluding those for criminal trials facing imminent speedy trial deadlines – until April 2020. For most other matters, Colorado courts will remain open for the time being.
More information on the revised COVID-19 court appearance protocol is provided by the Colorado Judicial Branch here.
Outside of Colorado? Check with your jurisdiction’s court system for updates on court operations.
Denver Economic Development and Opportunity has set up an emergency relief program to provide cash grants of up to $7,500 to qualifying small businesses. The highest priority businesses under this program are those most impacted by COVID-19—restaurants, salons, etc.
Denver’s Department of Finance is waiving the 15% penalty for late payment of February and March sales, use, and occupational taxes due March 20, 2020, and April 20, 2020. Please see the complete announcement provided by the City of Denver for further details.
Furthermore, Denver’s Mayor Hancock issued a “stay-at-home” order (the “Order”) that applies to the entire City and County of Denver. The Order is effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at 5:00 pm, and ends at 5:00 pm on Friday, April 10, 2020, unless extended, rescinded, or amended.
All individuals are ordered to remain at their place of residence. To the extent outdoor spaces are utilized, social distancing must be adhered to. No individual may leave their residence except for “Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses” as defined in the Order. Individuals may leave to seek health care, to go grocery shopping, and for Essential Business. Other allowable activities are in line with the federal “critical infrastructure industries” as discussed above.
Do not rely on our notice for full details as updates are likely to develop. Please visit the City of Denver’s site for the latest news related to COVID-19.
We encourage you to reach out if you have any questions about the Order and how it might impact you and your business.
As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (the “MED”) has closed its doors to the public. However, the MED will still continue operating as investigators work remotely. To submit business applications and payment to the agency, a large blue dropbox has been placed in front of the MED’s office in Lakewood.
Dropbox contents will be processed daily from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, but cash will not be accepted. For the time being, all applications will include a credit card authorization form to process payment – processing fees apply. The MED will shred authorization forms with credit card information after payment is processed. Mail-in applications are also permitted. The submission date for all mail-in applications will be determined by the post-marked date.
Renewal options for occupational licenses are available online and payable by credit card.
If you’d like to pay your application fees with a credit card but are hesitant to put card information on the application, you may include a statement of intent to pay by credit card with your application. Upon receipt, the MED will send a secure link to a payment portal. Applications will not be processed until the payment clears.
Many of these policies are likely to change in the upcoming weeks. The MED has adopted Emergency Rules in Response to COVID-19. The following is a summary of the important changes:
Licensees may make temporary modifications to its Licensed Premises to effectuate social distancing measures, without having to go through modification of premises processes.
Licensees may accept orders for regulated marijuana and hemp over the phone and online. When taking orders over the phone, licensees must be sure to confirm the full name and birthdate of the customer, the desired time of pick-up, and any applicable medical marijuana patient registry information. Telephone and online orders must be entered into the point of sale and METRC systems.
Medical Marijuana Centers may provide patients the opportunity for “curbside pick-up” orders outside the Restricted Access Area, so long as the pick-up occurs on the Licensed Premises.
Retail Marijuana Stores must implement “curbside pick-up.”
Business owners will not have to undergo fingerprinting for the time being.
The MED will also allow businesses who need to transfer samples of marijuana to a testing facility to utilize any property adjacent to the Licensed Premise, provided that such property is under the control of the business.
These exemptions will expire July 18, 2020, or when Governor Polis’s declaration of a state of emergency is rescinded, or withdrawn, whichever occurs first. For more information, please see the MED’s recent publication
Finally, according to agency sources, the MED’s executive officials have had meetings with the Attorneys General and various jurisdictions to discuss implementing delivery options sooner than expected. We will continue to track these new developments as they arise.
In the early afternoon of March 23, 2020, Mayor Hancock issued the Order, which provided that medical marijuana stores are included in the list of “Essential Businesses.” The Order did not make an exception for recreational marijuana establishments, effectively shutting recreational marijuana businesses’ doors until at least April 10. However, after the immediate public panic that resulted in thousands of people lining up in front of liquor stores and dispensaries, Denver relaxed its stance and updated the Order with the following changes:
Liquor stores with extreme physical distancing in place will be exempt.
All marijuana stores with extreme physical distancing in place will be exempt.
All construction operations and projects will be exempt.
RLG is closely monitoring these developments. If you have any questions about Denver’s Order, please contact us.