COVID-19 and Taxes: Understanding the Implications of a Natural Disaster

Jun 8, 2023 | Affiliates, Business Insurance


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions to businesses worldwide. This is leading many to question whether it qualifies as a natural disaster for tax purposes. Moreover, understanding the implications of such classification is crucial for business owners seeking financial relief and navigating the complexities of tax obligations. In this article, we delve into the topic. We will be exploring whether COVID-19 can be considered a natural disaster from a tax perspective and the potential benefits it may offer affected businesses. So, what is the relationship between COVID-19 and taxes?

Defining a Natural Disaster for Tax Purposes

In the realm of taxes, a natural disaster refers to an event caused by nature, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, or wildfires. This results in significant damage or loss. When recognized as a natural disaster by the government, it can lead to various tax benefits and relief measures for affected individuals and businesses.

COVID-19 as a Natural Disaster

While COVID-19 is not a traditional natural disaster in the sense of a physical event, its impact on businesses and the economy has been profound. The pandemic has resulted in widespread economic hardship. This is from forced closures and supply chain disruptions to revenue losses and increased operating costs. Although COVID-19 may not fit the conventional definition of a natural disaster, it has prompted the government to introduce relief measures akin to those provided in the aftermath of physical calamities.

Tax Benefits and Relief Measures in Covid-19 and Taxes

Business owners affected by COVID-19 may be eligible for certain tax benefits and relief measures, even if not classified as a natural disaster. 

Here are some key considerations:

  1. Employee Retention Credit (ERC): The ERC, established under the CARES Act and subsequent legislation, offers eligible businesses a refundable tax credit for retaining employees during the pandemic. Moreover, this credit can provide significant financial relief by reducing payroll tax liabilities.
  2. Net Operating Loss (NOL) Carrybacks: The CARES Act allows businesses to carry back NOLs arising in tax years 2018, 2019, and 2020 to offset taxable income in previous years. This provision provides immediate tax refunds to businesses with NOLs, helping to alleviate financial burdens caused by the pandemic.
  3. Business Interruption Insurance: Business owners with business interruption insurance policies may explore coverage for losses resulting from government-mandated closures or other COVID-19-related impacts. However, coverage will depend on the specific policy terms and conditions, so consulting with an insurance professional is essential.
  4. Disaster Loan Programs: The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and other loan programs to support businesses affected by COVID-19. These loans provide working capital to cover operating expenses and can offer favorable interest rates and repayment terms.
  5. State and Local Relief Measures: Many states and localities have implemented relief measures, such as tax deferrals, credits, and grants, to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19. Business owners must research and understand the specific relief programs available in their jurisdiction.

Consult with Tax Professionals

Navigating the complexities of COVID-19-related tax implications and relief measures can be challenging. To ensure you take full advantage of available benefits and comply with tax obligations, it is advisable to consult with experienced tax professionals. They can provide personalized guidance based on your business’s unique circumstances and help you maximize tax relief opportunities.

Conclusion Between Covid-19 and Taxes

While COVID-19 may not be considered a natural disaster in the traditional sense, the government has recognized its profound impact on businesses and the economy. As a result, various tax benefits and relief measures have been implemented to support affected companies. By staying informed, seeking professional advice, and taking advantage of available relief programs, business owners can mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic and pave the way for a more robust recovery. So, want to work with one of our ERC Specialists? Fill out the form today or click here to apply for your Employee Tax Credit.

Contact Team AIS for more information!

DISCLAIMER: Please note that some of Advantage Insurance Solutions’ articles may have affiliate links from the Amazon Associates Program, with no additional charge to the reader. Before we publish a review, we utilize and evaluate the products we recommend. In addition to the products we’ve personally tested, we’ve received recommendations from many of our readers. That said, we want to make sure it is clear that if you use our links to purchase something, we will receive a small compensation from it. Thank you.