In light of the significant impact that the COVID-19 emergency is having on businesses, the State of New Jersey is providing some relief to companies that have been granted tax incentive awards pursuant to the Grow New Jersey Assistance Act ("GrowNJ").
On March 12th, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority ("Authority") issued guidance to its GrowNJ awardees informing them that it would waive the requirement that eligible employees spend at least 80% of their time at the qualified business facility if the company provides documentation from its Human Resources department that demonstrates the work from home policy directly relates to COVID-19. The documentation is to be submitted with the 2020 annual certification. The guidance was circulated prior to the issuance of the Governor's Executive Order No. 107 on Saturday that requires all nonessential businesses to close. In light of EO 107 we would expect the waiver would become more broadly available. Additional guidance on how companies will determine the number of eligible employees for their 2020 annual certification should be forthcoming.
On March 20th, the Governor signed A-3845/S-2284 which grants the Authority the discretion to provide two additional six-month extensions of time to file its project completion certification for GrowNJ projects. This extension applies only the the initial cost and job certification for the entire project prior to issuance of the aggregate tax credit certificate. The extensions are not automatic. A company must show (i) that the extension is due to the economic disruption caused by the emergency; (ii) that the project is delayed due to unforeseeable acts related to the project beyond the company's control; (iii) the company is using its best efforts, with all due diligence, to proceed with the completion of the project and submission of its certificate; and (iv) the company has made all reasonable efforts to prevent, avoid, mitigate and overcome the delay. At this point, the law does extend the time necessary to file the 2019 annual certification which must be filed by April 30, 2020.
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