President Donald Trump signs one of four executive orders addressing the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020. Trump signed the executive orders and bypassed the nation's lawmakers as he claimed the authority to defer payroll taxes and replace an expired unemployment benefit with a lower amount after negotiations with Congress on a new coronavirus rescue package collapsed. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Employers have the option to defer withholding the employee portion of social security tax payments from September 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Any deferred taxes, must be repaid, though, and that bill is due beginning January 1, 2021, through April 30, 2021.
The devil in this plan is indeed in the details. The deferral is optional for private employers to implement, but not for federal employees.
The Presidential directive allows for a tax payment deferment, but does not currently allow for tax forgiveness.