Good News for Wallets, and Your Stress Levels

To help add a little optimism to people’s day, we’ve gathered recent good news on ways to conserve cash and time, relieve some of the stress some of us might be feeling right now, and possibly make it to the other side a little stronger than you were before.  Following are highlights with links to more information.

  • Tax filing and payment deadlines:
    • April 15, 2020, federal tax payment and filing deadlines have moved to July 15, 2020
    • States and municipalities are moving direct and indirect tax payment and filing deadlines
    • The deadline for 2019 IRA and HSA contributions has been moved to July 15, 2020
  • The stimulus payments to individuals (up to $1,200 per individual and $500 per child):
    • Based on the 2019 return if filed, 2018 return if not filed, or Social Security Administration data if neither were filed (the IRS has also indicated it will provide a way for you to be counted if you’re not required to file or haven’t filed your returns)
    • Estimate the size of your payment here.
  • Unemployment expansion under CARES Act:
    • High level, the new law allows states to provide:
      • Unemployment benefits to self-employed and 1099 workers.
      • An additional $600 / week through July 31, 2020,
      • An additional 13 weeks of benefits, and
      • Benefits for the first seven days of unemployment.
    • A lot of the details of the CARES Act, such as how the self-employed can apply for unemployment benefits, are still being worked out. Continue to check back with the appropriate state agencies for updates.
    • Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment has published a great chart on how to access benefits under the recent stimulus package
  • Paying personal debts:
    • Forbearance available for federally backed mortgages on single (up to 180 days x 2) and multifamily (up to 30 days x 3) residences – currently, how this amount is repaid, lump sum at the end of the period or tacked on to the end of your loan – is up to your lender
    • The CARES Act and some states have issued temporary moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions
    • Payments and interest accruals on student loans held by the federal government are suspended through September 30, 2020.
  • Paying business debts (subject to approval by the program administrator):
    • Emergency grants of up to $10,000 to SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applicants within three days of the EIDL application
    • Paycheck Protection Loans (PPLs) that may be forgiven to the extent used for payroll, interest on covered mortgages, rent, and utility payments by June 30, 2020, subject to a downward adjustment by formula for reductions in force or payroll as of that date
    • Expanded access to SBA EIDLs, reduced by PPL
    • $500B designated for loans, loan guarantees, and other investments for passenger air carriers, cargo air carriers, businesses critical to maintaining national security, and other large businesses meeting eligibility and other requirements
  • Other CARES Act tax-bits:
    • NOLS:
      • 2018-2020 NOLs may be carried back up to five years
      • NOLs may fully offset 2019 and 2020 taxable income
      • Noncorporate taxpayers may deduct certain excess business losses back to 2018
    • Interest deductible under IRC Sec. 163(j) has been increased to 50% in 2019 and 2020
    • Accelerates access to refundable AMT credit
    • QIP depreciable life reduced to 15 years back to 2018
    • Deferred tax and penalty free early “coronavirus-related distributions” from qualified retirement plans
    • Employer payroll and self-employment tax payments delayed
    • Refundable tax credit on retention of employees during COVID-19 closures
    • Charitable contributions:A limited ($300) above the line deduction
    • Raised the income cap, increasing the amount that may be deducted
    • Temporary exception from excise tax for distilled spirits used for hand sanitizer products
  • Paid sick leave (Families First Coronavirus Response Act):
    • Up to two weeks for COVID-19 care, capped at $511/day
    • Up to 12 weeks to care for children whose schools or childcare centers were closed due to COVID-19, capped at $200/day
    • Employer and employment exclusions apply
    • Includes part-time employees and contractors
  • If you can furlough an employee instead of laying them off, you might want to consider this as some of the stimulus is linked to employment
  • The details of “stay in place” or equivalent orders differ by jurisdiction – from covered business (such as hotel stays) to fines (as much as $5,000) – check before entering a new jurisdiction
  • Health Insurance:
    • If you’re looking for health insurance, here are tips from members of Lew’s List
    • Insurance companies are required to cover COVID-19 healthcare costs and provide testing free. Some states have more expansive coverage rules.
    • A special open enrollment period was not approved by the Trump Administration but, on March 31, it indicated it was considering alternatives
  • If you’re recently unemployed, contact us. We might be able to put you in touch with a hiring manager, recruiter, or contracting agency.
  • Opportunities: Remember, a lot of opportunities exist in this market