FILE - Cash register retail sales tax

As businesses weather the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus threat, some are faced with the tough choice of paying sales taxes due to the state or meeting payroll commitments.

After natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, the state has allowed for a delay in sales tax payments, which are due on the 20th of the month.

At Houston Jewelry, president Rex Solomon recently told KPRC that sales have dwindled since the outbreak, and that he would forgo his own paycheck in order to pay his employees and remit the sales tax due on the 20th of the month.

“We’re actually quite surprised that the comptroller, that this was not anticipated in the disaster declaration,” Solomon said. “That creates a giant cash flow crunch, especially for small family businesses, coupled with the fact the 20th is payroll day for most.”

On Tuesday, the Comptroller’s office posted a notice on its website saying help is available.

“These are challenging times for businesses all over the nation," the statement said. "The Texas Comptroller’s office knows that during periods of economic hardship, paying or remitting taxes and fees on time can feel like an extra burden when there’s so much uncertainty. We’re thankful to those businesses that were able to remit state and local sales taxes they collected from customers in February on the March 20, 2020, due date.

“We understand that virtually all of our taxpayers are doing their best to remain in compliance and be responsible in submitting the taxes they collected from their customers. With that in mind, our agency is here to offer assistance to those businesses that are struggling to pay the full amount of sales taxes they collected in February.”

“For businesses that find themselves in this situation, our agency is offering assistance in the form of short-term payment agreements and, in most instances, waivers of penalties and interest.”