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COVID-19 Emergency Relief Package (5,593 pages) A brief review—a compilation from several source

Direct Economic Relief for Workers and Families

  • $600 stimulus check per person, includes adults and children under 17 years of age. A family of four (i.e., two adults and two children under 17) would receive $2,400.

Payment amount decreases for individuals who earned more than $75,000, head of household who earned more than $112,500, or couples who earned more than $150,000 in the 2019 tax year; no payments will be made to individuals who earned more than $87,000, heads of household who earned more than $146,500, and couples who earned more than $174,00 in the 2019 tax year (i.e., the stimulus payment is reduced $50 for every thousand dollars of income over initial limit to max income amount).

Taxpayers who do not qualify for a stimulus payment based on their 2019 income but qualify for a stimulus payment with their 2020 income (i.e., they had a pay cut or lost wages), can ask for their stimulus payment when they file their 2020 tax return. To obtain the stimulus payment (for the taxpayer[s] and qualifying dependents), inform the IRS on the tax return filed for 2020. The IRS will add the additional amount to the taxpayer’s refund.

Stimulus Payments (known as Direct Payments) are not subject to taxes.

Direct Payments sent through direct deposit will be received first; direct payments sent by other methods (e.g., checks), will be sent after direct deposit direct payments are sent (note: based on the original stimulus payments authorized by the CARES Act, “direct payments sent by other methods” were sent out about two weeks after “direct deposit” payments were sent).

December 29: the Internal Revenue Service announced it would immediately begin sending second round of Economic Impact Payments or $600 payments to qualified taxpayers. The initial direct deposit payments may begin arriving as early as Tuesday night for some and will continue into next week. Paper checks will begin to be mailed tomorrow, Wednesday, December 30.

Most recipients will receive their payments by direct deposit. For Social Security and other beneficiaries who received the first round of payments via Direct Express, they will receive this second payment the same way. Those who received the first round payment via check or debit card should expect to receive their payment in the same manner unless they set up direct deposit with the IRS.

If new legislation is enacted to provide for an additional amount, the additional amount will be sent out as quickly as possible.

  • Provides $300 per week in unemployment benefits through March 14 (11 weeks, see below); benefit also applies to contract and gig workers (as it did in the CARES Act). This benefit is in addition to any state unemployment benefit a claimant receives.

Lapse in these programs: December 26 is the last full week pandemic-related unemployment benefits are funded along with the aid program for self-employed, gig workers and others not typically eligible for unemployment aid.  The programs lapse because they were not extended by December 24. States cannot pay out benefits for any week that begin before the bill is signed. The bill was signed on December 27, thus benefits under these programs will not restart until the first week of January. But they still end March 11, effectively the extension is for 10 weeks, not 11 weeks.

However, the Labor Department said it does not believe claimants will lose a week of benefits; it expects those receiving this benefit will receive it for the full 11 weeks.

Some states may be able to immediately begin providing this additional benefit while it could take two to three weeks for other states to have this program up and running. States who take longer will make retroactive payments.

Those affected need to check with their state’s website for instruction about whether they are required to do anything to receive the aid, when they will begin to receive the aid, and how long (i.e., number of weeks) they will receive the aid.

  • Extends provision to help those with income from both self-employment and wages paid by other employers (i.e., freelancers with a wage paying job [e.g., restaurant job]).

Claimants receiving benefits under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance before January 31, including before the Legislation was signed into law (i.e., December 27), must submit wage documentation to their state unemployment agency within 90 days.

Claimants receiving benefits under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), will beginning January 3, have to provide wage records within 21 days of applying for benefits.

Legislation provides a federal benefit of $100 per week to individuals who have earned at least $5,000 a year in self-employment income, but are disqualified from receiving PAU because they are eligible for lower state unemployment benefits. The $100 weekly payment is added to the $300 weekly federal benefit. However, the Legislation does not require states to implement this provision; it is not known which states will or will not implement the provision.

Those affected need to check their state’s website for instruction about if they need to do anything to receive the extra aid (e.g., reapply, etc.).

  • Increases to 50 weeks the time workers can claim jobless benefits from state and federal programs.

Loan Programs and other business funding programs

  • $284 billion for first and second forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, expanded PPP eligibility for nonprofit organizations and news outlets, and modify program to serve small businesses, nonprofits and independent restaurants.
  • $3.5 billion for SBA debt relief payments and $2 billion for enhancements to SBA lending
  • $20 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans program
  • $12 billion for CDFIs and creation of a new Neighborhood Capital Investment program

Emergency Programs

  • $25 billion in emergency assistance for renters provided the following conditions are met:
    • Household income (for 2020) cannot exceed more than 80% of the area median income;
    • At least one household member must be at risk of homelessness or housing instability;
    • Individuals must qualify for unemployment benefits or have directly or indirectly experienced a pandemic related financial hardship.

Assistance priority: families with lower incomes and unemployed for three or more months

Those affected should check their state’s website for instruction about what they need to do to receive assistance.

  • Extends until January 31, 2021 a moratorium on renter evictions based on an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Renters must meet conditions of the CDC order to qualify.
  • $13 billion for SNAP benefits
  • $13 billion for farmers/ranchers suffering pandemic related losses.

Money for vaccine, including distribution

  • $22 billion for testing, tracing and Covid-19 mitigation programs.
  • $20 billion for purchase of vaccines: “makes vaccine available at no charge for anyone who needs it”
  • $9 billion for vaccine distribution and includes $20 billion to assist states with testing
  • $3 billion for national stockpile

School funding

  • $82 billion for colleges and public and private K-12 schools to cover costs to reduce risk of infection and reopen classrooms
  • $10 billion in child care assistance to families, and help child care providers cover operating costs

Other Funding

  • Infrastructure: $10 billion for state highways, $2 billion for airports and airport concessionaires, $2 billion for the private motor coach, school bus, and ferry industries, and $1 billion for Amtrak
  • $15 billion to Airlines to cover salaries and benefits through the end of March (plus $1 billion for airline contractor payrolls) plus $1 billion for airline contractor payrolls
  • $15 billion for independent movie theaters, live entertainment venues and cultural institutions
  • $12 billion to crop farmers, cattle ranchers and rural communities
  • $10 billion to the US Postal Service
  • $7 billion to increase access to broadband
  • $1.4 billion in new funding for border wall with Mexico and new border security technology
  • $200 million for loggers and trucking companies moving goods to paper mills and other facilities.

Other Provisions

  • No extension of federal student loan forbearance (DOE: forbearance until January 31, 2021).
  • Business with forgiven PPP loan can deduct the costs covered by the loans on federal tax returns.
  • The lower excise taxes on beer, wine and spirits are permanently extended.
  • Provides a tax break for corporate meal expenses (see IRS regulations).
  • Accelerated and increased write off provisions for horses and other assets used in the horse business (referred to as the McConnel provision).
  • Accelerated cost write-down for complexes put up by motorsports industry (e.g., NASCAR).
  • Legislation to end surprise billing for emergency and scheduled care (requires health providers to work with insurers to settle on a fair price; change takes effect in 2022).
  • Legislation to allow Federal agencies to reimburse contractors for paid leave costs due to federal government facility closures due to or during the pandemic.
  • Employers offering paid sick leave will receive a tax credit for such support.
  • Workers who deferred Social Security taxes for the final four months of 2020 can pay back the deferred amount through December 2021 (i.e., removes the four month pay back requirement).
  • Requires the CIA report to Congress on activities of Eastern European oligarchs tied to Russian President Putin.
  • Requires the Federal Government to set up a program to eradicate the murder hornet.
  • Provides legislation that cracks down on online sales of e-cigarettes to minors.
  • Authorizes 93 acres of federal land for the Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota.
  • Creates an independent, self-regulatory commission to oversee horse racing.
  • Creates new museums honoring women and Latinos.
  • Forgives more than $1 billion in federal loans held by historically Black colleges and universities.
  • Extends a 10% of the cost tax credit (max $2,500) to 2025 for buyers of electric motorcycles.
  • Individuals can use their 2019 income levels in 2020, for the earned income tax credit and child tax credit claims.
  • Extends above-the-line tax deduction for charitable gifts/donations: all taxpayers, not just those who itemize, can write off up to $300 and married couples to $600.
  • Forbearance and Foreclosure Cares Act related rules were not changed
    • For mortgage loans owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or insured by the Federal Housing Administration, borrowers should see the respective websites for status of such programs. For mortgage loans owned by banks, credit unions, or other lenders, borrowers should contact the institution or lender directly or see their website for information.
    • Consumers who have filed for bankruptcy or who have already received a discharge cannot be denied a mortgage forbearance or eviction protection created under the CARES Act.
  • The Legislation provided no aid to state and local governments, no liability protections, no hazard pay for essential workers, and no stimulus checks to adult dependents.

Daily Life May 18, 2020

It has been a few weeks since I sat down to write everyone. As you are well aware, because of the epic event we have invading our lives, we remain in a stay at home mode—except for essential workers (which in some places and on some days, at least based on news stories, looks like everyone).

I hope that all of you are well, sate, and not too stir-crazy (mostly restless or frantic from something most never had to do—stay in one place for a prolonged period of time). Certainly, pre-March 16, no one could have imagined that ST. Patrick’s Day, Easter, May Day, Mother’s Day, and soon Memorial Day (and perhaps even Independence Day) would be spent inside looking out instead of outside, waiting to get in (somewhere). What a monumental turn of events. And, one that most of us were not prepared for.

Today, as I am composing this newsletter—and often do when I’m working, look up from my desk in my home office, stare at the wall, and wonder, when will this all end. Sometimes, it seems to me, the wall responds: soon, I hope (the wall if as tired of me as I am of the wall or walls); other times, it seems that wall just stares at me—saying, why are you asking me. More than once I wondered what the wall is really thinking: is this guy nuts, or help, somebody help, or even, yeah, this fellow is out, we just don’t know where!

The one thing this epic event has allowed one (or, for some, forced) to do: think about the future: what will it bring, will we ever return to what we once considered a normal way of life, or as we hear so often, we will have to adapt to or adopt a new normal (and no one even knows what that is). And, what will this new normal mean to the economy, jobs, shopping, social gatherings, sports events, weddings, concerts, education, the Olympics, the Super Bowl, July 4 celebrations…and, much more.

Will we be able to ride the subway, go to an ice cream shoppe, ride a roller coaster, stand in a line next to each other, stroll down 42nd street (New York city) with the rest of humanity, attend a class reunion, or enjoy a family picnic: the answer for me, yes…yes…yes...yes…yes…yes. The real question is when will we be able to do these things without wondering about those around us (or worse, avoiding those things because we do not know those around us).

Indiscriminate, indifferent, and inconsiderate, this epic event wreaks havoc; it brings untold grief to some, misery and suffering to others. Comforting those affected is difficult: no hugs, no touching, and no gathering. As a result, we have had to learn a new way to grieve, to say goodbye, to honor those who have been lost, and to support each other.

This is how we are, as a nation, resilient, persistent, selfless, stubborn, and driven. Nothing defeats us. In particular no virus, simple or complex, can beat us. We will, as a nation, overcome this epic event. Our grit and determination will prevail.


Your Stimulus Payment or Economic Impact Payment

A brief review—a compilation from several sources, including the IRS

Click here for full article

The following is a review where tax payer stimulus payments stand. This will be a periodic review; as more information becomes available, the Credit Union will provide it to you.

Many people began receiving their Economic Impact Payment last week. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began distributing $290 billion in direct cash payments to tens of millions of Americans on April 15. The Treasury Department said that the first payments would be made to Americans who received their 2018 and 2019 tax return refunds via direct deposit. If you filed a federal income tax return for 2018 or 2019 and provided the IRS with your direct deposit information, the IRS will use the information from your tax return to calculate your payment amount and send you check via banking information.

As of April 17, more than 80 million payments had gone out. The total number of payments that will be made is estimated at 171 million. More Economic Impact Payments will be issued via direct deposit in the weeks ahead; they will go to social security recipients, those receiving disability (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), survivor benefits, or Railroad Retirement benefits and to other taxpayers who provide their banking information to the IRS.

If you filed a federal income tax return for 2018 or 2019 and did not provide the IRS with your direct deposit information and have not yet received your payment, you can go to:

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

and use the Get My Payment to let the IRS know where to send your payment by direct deposit (i.e., provide the IRS your direct deposit information).


 

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