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COVID-19: STATE RESOURCES

FOR BUSINESSES

GOVERNOR’S DAILY PRESS BRIEFINGS
Governor Bill Lee is holding daily press conferences at 3 p.m. CDT. Watch daily by clicking here.

TENNESSEE CHAMBER DAILY DASHBOARD FOR COVID-19
The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry is providing this daily resource center specifically to assist members in addressing COVID-19. Please subscribe to their newsletter by clicking here.

COVID-19 UNEMPLOYMENT FOR EMPLOYERS
If your business is reducing hours or closing due to COVID-19 you may expedite the unemployment claim process for your employees by submitting an Employer-Filed Mass Claim. This is the preferred method if your business has not yet closed and you believe you will reopen. If you are uncertain of a reopen date, enter 16 weeks from the date of filing. Employers provide a list of employee names and required information to file a claim on behalf of employees. Instruct employees not to file an individual claim and that they will need to certify each Sunday to be paid in a timely manner.
-If you do not submit an employer filed a mass claim, you will be required to respond to each individual employee’s claim, delaying the benefit payment process.
-You should encourage your employees to have an active email address to ensure this process works efficiently.
-Please tell your employees to look for an email so they can register at Jobs4TN.gov, where they will complete weekly certifications to notify the state they are still not working.
Download Employer-Filed Mass Claim Form Here
Detailed Information on Filing Mass ClaimsSeparation Notice Form
Employers can send partial layoffs to Partial.Claims@tn.gov

PRIVATE SECTOR PPE DONATIONS
Governor Lee has called for Tennessee manufacturers, distributors and businesses to help with critical health care supply needs. If you are a business that has personal protective equipment to donate, you can emailCovid.ppedonations@tn.gov. Donations are being accepted at armories throughout Tennessee. A map of locations can be found on TEMA’s website. For vendors, including manufacturers interested in making component parts, please contact: Covid.ppevendors@tn.gov

TAX FILING AND PAYMENT EXTENSION FOR FRANCHISE & EXCISE TAX
On March 20, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service announced a federal income tax extension. Under Tennessee law, the Commissioner is authorized to extend the deadline for filing a return whenever the IRS extends a federal filing date. The Tennessee Department of Revenue has extended the due date for filing and paying franchise and excise tax from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.  For more information, read important notice #20-05.

INFORMATION ON SALES AND USE TAX & OTHER MONTHLY FILINGS
The department has received several questions regarding extensions or abatements for sales and use tax and other monthly tax filings, such as liquor-by-the-drink tax. These are taxes that sellers collect on behalf of customers, and state law does not allow sellers to use collected taxes for business or other purposes. Like the State of Tennessee, local governments also rely on this revenue to fund their day-to-day and emergency services to local residents, and the department is committed to ensuring the consistent and efficient distribution of collected revenues during this difficult time.  As a result, these returns remain due each month in order for businesses to remit these taxes.

LIQUOR-BY-THE-DRINK TAX AND ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES FOR CONSUMPTION OFF PREMISES
Governor Lee’s Executive Order no. 17 authorizes the temporary sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption off of the premises by a restaurant. For further details and requirements surrounding such sales, please see the Executive Order. Because these sales are for consumption off the premises, the liquor-by-the-drink tax imposed by Tenn. Code Ann. § 57-4-301 does not apply. No liquor-by-the-drink tax should be charged on take-out or delivery sales while the Executive Order is in effect. Businesses should not collect the liquor-by-the-drink tax on these sales, either by adding tax to the menu price or including the tax in the menu price. Any liquor-by-the-drink taxes that are collected must be remitted to the department.  Please note that sales and use tax will continue to apply to these sales.

FOR CITIZENS

JOB SEEKERS: TENNESSEE TALENT EXCHANGE
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is working closely with the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association, Tennessee Retail Association, and Hospitality TN to try and match out-of-work Tennesseans with industries who need employees to fill current job openings.  Many grocers and retail employers in areas across the state are actively hiring and need to fill positions immediately.  This effort will quickly connect job-seekers to employers who need new workers right now. If you would like to be considered for an immediate position, please complete the survey by clicking here. Your contact information will be shared with employers in your specific area who have immediate hiring needs. 

COVID-19 UNEMPLOYMENT FOR EMPLOYEES
If your employer filed a claim on your behalf, do not file an individual claim. If you are uncertain if your employer has filed a claim, call your employer to confirm. The fastest and most efficient way to file an unemployment claim is to go to www.Jobs4TN.gov. Due to the high volume of claims because of the COVID-19 emergency, if you file with any other method you could significantly delay the processing of your claim.
– You are required to certify online each Sunday to notify the state you are still not working.
-You can check the status of your claim on your dashboard at Jobs4TN.gov
-If you are locked out of your Jobs4TN.gov account, you may submit a ticket to LWDSupport.tn.gov.
-If your place of employment is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, please indicate a return to work date. If you are unsure of the return to work date, use the date 16 weeks from the day of filing.
-The state can provide your weekly benefit payment through direct deposit or debit card. You can choose which method when you file your claim.
-Your unemployment benefit is considered taxable income. You can choose to have federal taxes deducted from your weekly payment.
-The maximum weekly benefit in Tennessee is $275 before federal taxes are deducted.
-The state determines your weekly benefit based on your earning over the past 18 months.
-When you receive your debit card, if there are issues you should contact Conduit at 855-462-5887.
-The COVID-19 emergency has created an enormous demand on the unemployment insurance system. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is doing everything possible to process claims.

FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE FOR CERTAIN FAMILIES THAT LOST EMPLOYMENT DUE TO COVID-19
Emergency cash assistance applications are being accepted online for qualifying families that lost a job as a result of the pandemic state of emergency. The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is making essential financial resources available to families that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.  Beginning 10 A.M. CST Thursday, March 26, families can begin applying, online, for up to two months of emergency cash assistance if they were employed as of March 11, 2020 and they’ve lost employment or at least 50% of their earned income as a result of the pandemic. The Emergency Cash Assistance provides two monthly cash payments to families that were employed as of March 11, 2020 and have lost a job or lost at least 50% of their earned income due to the COVID-19 emergency.  This money is funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and provides: $500 for a household of 1 to 2 persons; $750 for a household of 3 to 4 persons; $1000 for a household with 5 or more persons. This assistance is available in addition to any unemployment benefits individuals in the family may be receiving. During this time, the department is asking applicants to complete the application process for emergency cash assistance online at https://tdhs.service-now.com/relief?id=relief_registration.

TAX FILING AND PAYMENT EXTENSION FOR HALL INCOME TAX
The department has extended the due date for filing and paying the Hall income tax from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. For more information, read important notice #20-06 .

DEADLINE FOR MARCH & APRIL VEHICLE REGISTRATION RENEWALS EXTENDED TO JUNE 15
Through Executive Order No. 15, Governor Bill Lee extended the deadline for obtaining registration renewals that expire in March or April. The new deadline for obtaining these renewals is June 15, 2020. The Department of Revenue hopes this extension of time will alleviate concerns of motor vehicle registrants so they can focus on their health and safety amid the ongoing COVID-19 situation.