March 27, 2020
COVID-19 has affected each of our lives and businesses in very different ways. Several communities have now issued stay-at-home orders, including Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties. With the help of our technology, we will be available and our phone lines will remain open to continue meeting your needs even as we avoid personal contact. Please know that our team at Carolina Tax Resolutions is thinking about you and your family and friends, and please reach out to us if we can be helpful in any way.
With the recent passing of a sweeping, $2 trillion coronavirus relief package Friday that will provide immediate assistance to many Americans, small businesses and major industries on the brink of economic collapse, there will be a lot to unpack before each of us knows precisely how we will be affected. We have done our best to review all of the information currently available and provide a concise summary of the more valuable pieces of information. Things are evolving rapidly, but we hope you find this information valuable.
$2 Trillion Stimulus Package
Now that this historic bill has been signed by President Trump, what does it all mean? The $2 trillion stimulus package is intended to provide much-needed assistance to individuals, families, and businesses across our country. The COVID-19 crisis has burdened the lives of many with business closures, layoffs, and the scarcity of supplies and resources. Hospitals and clinics have been overwhelmed with COVID-19 testing and hospitalization of those infected by COVID-19. These circumstances have made government assistance necessary.
The bill covers an array of benefits and aid geared towards businesses, hospitals, and families. Click here to read more in-depth about the provisions in the bill. Regarding individuals and families, the provisions include direct payments, expanded unemployment benefits, protection from eviction/foreclosure, suspended student loan payments, and the ability to return to work if your employers are in need of a loan or grant as a result of this pandemic.
What's in it for you? Payments to Individuals
The bill will allow most single Americans to receive $1,200, married couples to receive $2,400, and parents to receive $500 for each child under age 17. Payments phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes (AGI) of more than $75,000, and those making more than $99,000 would not qualify at all. The thresholds are doubled for couples.
Payments are based on your most recent return filed for either 2018 or 2019. Click here for a detailed FAQ regarding the individual payments and unemployment benefits.
Note: The filing deadline has been extended to July 15.
Unemployment benefits have been wildly increased not only in the amount and length of time, but also who is eligible. As a result of the bill, gig workers and self-employed individuals are now eligible for these benefits. The amount of benefits has increased to an additional $600 per week in addition to the state weekly benefit payout. Also, the benefits may not be received for an additional 13 weeks beyond the state limit. You can use the North Carolina Employment Security Commission's website to make initial claims and find more information concerning employment separation due to COVID-19.
Foreclosure and Eviction
Individuals facing foreclosure or eviction will have expanded protections during this crisis. Extended time for forbearance and delayed action to start the eviction process. Foreclosures will not be allowed until 60 days from March 18, 2020.
Student Loan Payments
The Department of Education will suspend payments on student loan borrowers without penalty through September 30, 2020, according to the bill. As of now, protection does not extend to private loans or Perkins loans.
Small Business Loans, Grants, and Credits
Small businesses with under 500 employees that are paying sick leave or family leave can take credit by not paying the payroll taxes and using those funds to pay the sick and family leave benefits. The credit is limited to the amount of the actual benefits. Click this link to read more click here.
Small Business Administration (SBA) has loans and grants available.
In some cases, loans that are provided to meet payroll and re-hire employees will be forgiven after a certain period of time. In essence, these loans become grants. Your banker will be able to help you apply for the loans related to payroll and possible forgiveness. The low-interest disaster loans are to be applied for directly through the SBA (these are longer-term loans that will be repaid). To find out if you qualify or to get started with a loan or grant request click here.
What's Next? Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy
According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, most people should get their payments within three weeks. As more resources and information becomes available, you can keep up with the latest developments by accessing the links to the useful resources referenced above.
Please take care of yourself, your family, and everyone in your community as we come together in these challenging times, and remember that this will pass and together we will come out on the other side.