Some may have plenty of time on their hands right now, but no one wants to spend it reading a 900-page Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) bill written by Washington lawyers. So, we are going to try to summarize the parts of the CARES Act that we believe is most crucial to our clients.
Paycheck Protection Program
- Small business loan - As an incentive for employees to bridge the gap during the economic slowdown, small businesses are being offered potentially forgivable loans up to 2-½ times their average monthly payroll cost in 2019. The amount of these funds used for payroll cost, rent, mortgage interest and utilities during the first eight weeks of the loan is forgivable. The amount not used for the mentioned costs, will be converted into a 4 percent loan with a term up to 10 years and has no prepayment penalty.
- Unemployment benefit supplement – There will be an additional $600 per week to each recipient of unemployment insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for up to four months.
- Unemployment benefits extension – Unemployment benefits have been extended by 13 weeks through the end of the year through federal assistance to help those are who still unemployed.
- Unemployment assistance is being provided to those who normally do not qualify. This includes self-employed and independent contractors.
- Employees whose hours have been cut are eligible for pro-rated unemployment assistance.
Recovery Rebates for Individuals
- Taxpayers with an adjusted gross income up to $75,000 ($150,000 married) with an eligible Social Security number and not a dependent of another taxpayer will be receiving $1,200 ($2,400 married) rebate. You will also receive $500 per child. These amounts may be reduced based off thresholds. It is based on your AGI on your 2019 tax returns. If your return has not yet been completed, then it will initially be based on your 2018 tax return. It will be adjusted if your 2019 income ends up being higher than the threshold.
- Any 2020 Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) have been waived. For those who have taken their RMD in the past 60 days, you can have these funds rolled back into your retirement to avoid the taxation. This is a huge tax savings for those who have other options to provide for daily living expenses.
- Up to $100,000 can be withdrawn from retirement accounts without the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty. This is to help families cover living expenses if they have been financially impacted by the Coronavirus. The funds will be taxed over three years and can be placed back into the account over three years. However, special consideration must be taken to not cause long-term financial harm to one’s retirement. (It’s wise to discuss your options with a financial advisor.)
- Charitable Contributions up to $300 can be deducted from income on the 2020 tax return whether you itemize or not.
- Up to 100 percent of income can be deducted for charitable contributions. For individuals, the 50 percent of AGI limitation is suspended for 2020.
- Federal Student Loan payments, principal and interest, can be deferred for six months (through Sept. 30, 2020). Forgiveness programs will still count the next six months as paid for qualification purposes. No interest will be acquired during this time. Principal balances will remain idol.
- Teachers who were not able to complete their full year of service will still be rewarded a full year of service toward TEACH grant obligations or Teacher Loan Forgiveness programs.
- Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can be used to cover telehealth services prior to the patient reaching his or her deductible on the plan during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Over-the-counter medicines and medical products can be purchased with HSA and FSA funds without a prescription.
- Medicare participants can receive COVID-19 vaccines under Medicare Part B with no cost sharing.
- Medicare participants must receive 90-day supply of prescription medications under Medicare Part D.
We believe the CARES Act will be beneficial in providing support for the economy, as well as relief for business owners and families. As stated above, this is only a brief summary. We will be glad to discuss with you in greater detail and to address your specific questions. Please feel free to reach out to one of our team members.
Our team at Global View has you and your family in our thoughts and prayers during this unusual time. We are here to support you and assist you any way we can.