Late into the day on December 21st, Congress finally passed a much anticipated new stimulus package, which was signed by President Trump on December 27th. Spreading $900 billion amongst businesses, hospitals, families and individuals, this economic stimulus package is designed to bring relief to those experiencing the financial hardships caused by the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below are some highlights of the bill’s coronavirus-related relief efforts that could affect you, your family and your business in the near future.
Similar to the CARES Act, eligible American taxpayers will be receiving direct stimulus payments. Individuals with AGI (adjusted gross incomes) up to $75,000 will receive $600 payments, while those married filing jointly with AGI under $112,500 qualify for a $1,200 payment.
If you exceed the income requirements, you may still receive a reduced stimulus payment, but the payments phase out at $87,000 AGI for individuals and $174,000 AGI for couples filing jointly.
People with qualifying children will receive an additional $600 per child. However, if your children were claimed as dependents and are 17 and older, they will not be eligible for the child payment.
Paycheck Protection Program & Small Business Loans
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will get the boost it needs to continue operating in 2021 - to the tune of around $284 billion. The PPP offers businesses that employ under 500 people assistance in the form of forgivable loans that help cover payroll and other necessary operating expenses.
The new stimulus bill has extended the CDC’s moratorium on rent evictions through the end of January, and includes $25 billion in rental assistance for qualified families and individuals.
Unemployment benefits as established in the original CARES Act were due to expire on December 31st. With the newly passed act, those on unemployment can continue receiving an additional $300 in federal unemployment benefits for an additional 11 weeks.
The CARES Act also established a pandemic unemployment assistance program to offer unemployment benefits to those who have previously not been eligible - including those who have been furloughed by their employer, freelancers and gig workers (such as Uber or Lyft drivers). This new act is set to extend the program for an additional 11 weeks.
Of note, President-elect Biden will take office on January 20th and has already made it clear this will not be the end of government assistance amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
On December 22nd, he tweeted, “I applaud this relief package, but our work is far from over. Starting in the new year, Congress will need to immediately get to work on support for our COVID-19 plan.”
While we won’t know what additional relief may be coming, it’s possible the newly passed legislation could bring at least some good news to you, your family and your business.
David Rappaport, CFP®
David is the Co-Founder of Rappaport Reiches Capital Management. He acts as personal CFO to entrepreneurs and corporate executives, providing organization and clarity in their finances. Please connect with David below. He loves to talk about investing, financial planning, and Aspiritech, a non-profit hiring individuals on the autism spectrum.
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