You've probably already heard a bit about the CARES Act, but it can be tough to wade through all the information already out there on it! Here is a quick breakdown of what is included in the stimulus package and what it might mean for you.
To begin, it is important to know that the CARES Act is a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus and relief package that was signed into law by President Trump on March 27th. If approved, this will be the largest stimulus package in American history.
This package includes:
$1,200 will be sent to single Americans and $2,400 to married couples, as well as an additional $500 per child, for those individuals earning up to $75,000. At $75,000, the payments will begin to decrease and they will phase out at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for couples. Payments will be based on 2018 or 2019 tax returns. These are expected to be paid out to almost 90% of Americans.
The act increases unemployment benefits and also extends eligibility. The bill adds $600/week from the federal government on top of whatever base amount a worker receives from their state. This increase in payment will last for four months. The package provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits for individuals. This bill also extends unemployment benefits to gig workers such as Airbnb hosts, Uber drivers, etc.
Small Business Loans
The CARES Act adds $350 billion in federally guaranteed loans through new and existing Small Business Administration programs. We are working on a follow up blog post that expands on the SBA Relief Loans and their different elements (e.g. forgivable expenses, eligible expenses, etc.).
Treasury Lending Facility
This creates a $500 billion loan fund, administered by the U.S. Treasury, to lend money to distressed U.S. companies. The loans would not be forgiven, although the terms can be extended. The federal government can use the fund to take equity stakes in firms in particularly hurt industries, such as the airlines. The programs will have numerous mechanisms to limit the actions that receive this aid.
The package adds temporary and permanent changes to deductions, charitable contributions, withdrawals from retirement accounts, and net operating loss provisions for firms.
The bill establishes a fully refundable tax credit for businesses of all sizes that are closed or distressed to help them keep workers on the payroll. For employers with more than 100 full-time employees, the credit is for wages paid to employees when they are not providing services because of the coronavirus. Eligible employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees could use the deduction even if they aren't closed.
The bill is expansive and includes many other pieces! Of note are appropriations for hospitals and healthcare, allocations for veterans' healthcare, and funds to increase the availability of medical equipment. There are other pieces that may provide changes for both small businesses and large corporations that are worth looking into if applicable to you.
What does this mean for me?
The goal of the stimulus package is largely to help keep businesses and individuals afloat as we weather the current environment with COVID-19 and the corresponding economic impact. Hopefully this bill helps you navigate this crazy season and hopefully this post helps you find answers to your questions on the topic! If there are any additional resources we can provide, please let us know.
Like so many other things we have been talking about this week, this topic is continuing to evolve. We will continue updating this post as we know more.