Clarification of the Definition of Qualified Sick Leave Wages and Qualified Family Leave Wages

 

Qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages are wages (as defined in section 3121(a)) that an employer is required to pay under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act or the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, or voluntarily pays under the COVID-related Tax Relief ACT of 2020. Section 288 of the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 clarified that whether a payment is a qualified sick leave wage or qualified family leave wage is determined without regard to the exclusions from the definition of employment under section 3121(b).

However, for purposes of reporting qualified sick leave wages or qualified family leave wages on your employment tax return, the exclusions under section 3121(b) still apply. Accordingly, qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages that meet an exclusion under section 3121(b) are not subject to social security and Medicare Tax.

Therefore, when you calculate your credit for qualified sick and family leave wages on Worksheet 1, add the amount of those qualified sick or family leave wages that are eligible for the credit but not included in Step 2, line 2a, and/or Step 2, line 2e, because the qualified sick or family leave wages meet an exclusion under section 3121(b) before you figure your total credit in Step 2, line 2d (credit for qualified sick leave wages) or Step 2, line 2h (credit for qualified family leave wages).