The April 15th due date for filing Federal and California state income tax returns and making Federal estimated tax payments, is automatically postponed to July 15th. No extension is necessary. Any amount owed on April 15th will not incur any additional interest or penalties between April 15th and July 15th for failure to file or pay.
What Is in the $2 Trillion Relief Package?
The United States has more cases of the coronavirus than any other country, and in an attempt to stop the spread of this disease, states have closed schools and businesses throughout the country. These unprecedented shutdowns have pushed many people out of work, hurt businesses, and brought much of the economy to a screeching halt.
To ease the suffering, the government has rolled out a $2 trillion relief package, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, containing the following. There’s more info at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus
Help for Families
The relief package offers a one-time payment of up to $1200 for individuals, $2400 for couples, and $500 for each child. These benefits are reduced for individuals who earn more than $75,000 per year and for couples earning over $150,000. If you earn more than $99,000 as an individual or $198,000 as a couple, you do not receive this benefit. The government plans to make payments based on people’s 2019 or 2018 tax returns.
Federal student loan payments have also been suspended until Sept 30. No interest or late fees will accrue during that time.
The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?
In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.
I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?
Yes. People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.
How can I file the tax return needed to receive my economic impact payment?
IRS.gov/coronavirus will soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple, but necessary, information including their filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information.
I have not filed my tax return for 2018 or 2019. Can I still receive an economic impact payment?
Yes. The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.
People who file for unemployment can receive their regular payment plus an additional $600 per week for up to four months. The relief package also extends unemployment benefits to independent contractors and the self-employed.
Loans and Grants for Businesses
The bill creates a $500 billion fund for making loans and loan guarantees to businesses, municipalities, and states damaged by the coronavirus crisis. It also offers the following relief to businesses in specific industries.
- $25 billion grants and $25 billion loans to airlines
- $4 billion grants and $4 billion loans to cargo carriers
- $17 billion in loans for businesses that maintain national security
- $117 billion funding for hospitals and veteran’s health care
- $16 billion to stockpile pharmaceutical and medical supplies
Note that the grants, loans, and loan guarantees for the airline and cargo industries can only cover employee wages, salaries, and benefits. They cannot be used for other purposes.
Help for Small Businesses
The bill sets earmarks $350 billion for small business loans and loan guarantees. Businesses can borrow up to 250% of their monthly payroll, with a maximum amount of $10 million. Businesses that watched their gross receipts fall by 50% or more compared to last year, can get a tax credit if they retain their workers. The credit is worth up to half of the wages paid during the crisis. Employers don’t have to worry about making payroll tax payments, but rather than being eliminated, these taxes are deferred. Half is due by the end of 2021, and the other half in 2022. https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
Changes to Healthcare Rules
Additionally, people who receive preventative care related to the coronavirus do not have to worry about cost sharing. The bill requires health plans and insurance providers to cover these services.
Minimizing Conflicts of Interest
The relief bill contains a number of elements designed to eliminate conflicts of interest. In particular, companies that take government loans cannot buy back stock until a year after they repay the loans, and employees or executives who earned at least $425,000 last year cannot receive a raise this year.
Finally, businesses owned by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, the head of executive department, members of congress, and their family members cannot receive emergency relief related to this bill.