The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a massive bill designed to provide assistance to individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. Here’s a break-down of the major provision that will affect you.
All U.S. residents with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for those married are will receive $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples who file joint. To be eligible, you must not be a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible social security number. There is also an additional $500 per child.
The rebate amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 that a taxpayer’s income exceeds the phase-out thresholds. The amount is completely phased-out for single filers with incomes exceeding $99,000, $146,500 for head of household filers with one child, and $198,000 for joint filers with no children.
To get your rebate: For the vast majority of Americans, no action will be required in order to receive a rebate check. The IRS will use your 2019 tax return if you’ve already filed it and if not, they will use your 2018 return.
Please note: This is an advance payment of your 2020 taxes. If don’t receive a check, and you fall within the thresholds, you can still claim it on your 2020 return to reduce liability and/or receive a refund.
There have been several measures and grants passed to encourage employers to re-hire laid-off workers. This is meant to offset the rising number of unemployed Americans and allow them to go back to work.
In the instance that your employer does not re-hire you, there is a new program called the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Under this program, unemployed Americans can receive Federal assistance of an additional $600 per week, if you qualify for your state’s unemployment insurance.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance also provides unemployment benefits to those who do not qualify for traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI), such as the self-employed and gig-workers.
The bill includes housing protections against foreclosures on mortgages for homeowners and protection against evictions for renters who are financially impacted by COVID-19.
Mortgage Loans: Those facing a financial hardship from coronavirus shall be given a forbearance on a federally backed mortgage loan of up to 60 days, which can be extended for four periods of 30 days each.
Delayed Foreclosure Process: Servicers of federally backed mortgage loans may not begin the foreclosure process for 60 days from March 18.
No Fees & Penalties: No fees, penalties or additional interest may be charged as a result of delayed payments. There are similar protections for those with multifamily federal mortgage loans, allowing them to receive a 30-day forbearance and up to two 30-day extensions.
Eviction: Those with federally backed mortgage loans who have tenants would also not be allowed to evict tenants solely for failure to pay rent for a 120-day period, and they may not charge fees or penalties to tenants for failing to pay rent.
Higher Education & Student-Debt Loans
Students who drop out of school as a result of a qualifying emergency can exclude the semester or term they were unable to complete from counting toward their federal academic requirements, lifetime subsidized loan eligibility, and/or their Pell Grant duration limit.
The Secretary will defer all loan payments, principal, and interest due on Direct and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) student loans for 6 months, through September 30, 2020, without penalty to the borrower.