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COVID-19 RELIEF

April 06, 2020

 

FINANCIAL RELIEF AVAILABLE FOR COVID-19 UNDER

CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY (CARES) ACT

There are seven main groups that are helped by this law: individuals, small businesses, big corporations, hospitals and public health, federal safety net, state and local governments, and education.

The law includes several elements aimed at helping keep people engaged in the economy. That means direct cash for many, plus expanded unemployment benefits and new rules for filing  taxes and making retirement contributions.

Cash payments: 

  • Most individuals earning less than $75,000 can expect a one-time cash payment of $1,200. Married couples would each receive a check and families would get $500 per child. That means a family of four earning less than $150,000 can expect $3,400.
  • The checks start to phase down after that and disappear completely for people making more than $99,000 and couples making more than $198,000.
  • The cash payments are based on either your 2018 or 2019 tax filings. People who receive Social Security benefits but don't file tax return are still eligible, as well. They don't need to file taxes; their checks will be based on information provided by the Social Security Administration.  For individuals who don’t receive SS benefits and have not filed taxes, they will need to file taxes for 2019.

 

Extra unemployment payments: 

  • This law adds $600 per week from the federal government on top of whatever base amount a worker receives from the State. That boosted payment will last for four months.  For example, if an out-of-work person is receiving the national average of about $340 per week, under the new federal program their take-home pay will be $940.
  • The range of unemployment insurance shall not exceed 39 weeks. People nearing the maximum number of weeks allowed by their state may get an extension. New filers would also be allowed to collect the benefits for the longer period.

Emergency Grants: “Economic Injury Disaster Loans” aka EIDL: Up to $2M loan

  • Loan advance of $10K, paid out within 3days after SBA receives application.

    • NO REPAYMENT, NO PERSONAL GUARANTEE, NO INTEREST, even if the overall loan is denied.  However, if applicant is subsequently receiving any other SBA loan, this amount shall be reduced from the other loan. 

  • Interest rate at 3.75% on max term of 30yrs, with the first payment due 12 months after funds are issued.
  • Covered period is from January 31, 2020 – December 31, 2020, for:

    •  any business with less than 500 employees, sole proprietorship, with or without employees, independent contractor, etc.
    • Business must have been in operation as of January 31, 2020, all other requirements are waived. 

  • Approval is based solely on credit score or alternative appropriate methods to determine applicant’s ability to pay, like collateral. 
  • Funds must be used for payroll, sick leave, rent, mortgage payments (does not include principal).
  • This loan is not forgivable, only the first $10K is a grant with no payment due.

“Paycheck Protection Program”:  

  • This will cover period from February 15, 2020 – June 30, 2020 and up to $10M.
  • The business must have less than 500ppl or the size number of employees established by the SBA for that industry. 
  • This loan is a NON-Recourse loan, No Guarantee, so the SBA shall have no recourse against any individual, member or partner of an eligible recipient for nonpayment of any covered loan, except to the extent that they used the covered loan proceeds for a purpose not authorized under this bill.
  • The loan may be used for payroll, group healthcare benefits during paid sick, medical, or family leave, insurance premiums, mortgage interest (NOT PRINCIPAL), rent, and utilities would be converted to a grant and discharged.
  • Sole proprietors, independent contractors and eligible self-employed individuals also qualify with specific documentation for “payroll.”
  • Interest on the loan must be less than 4%, with 10yr maturity.  If an SBA loan was issued between January 31, 2020 and February 15, 2020, the borrower may refinance to be under this covered loan program.
  • The maximum amount of the loan is equal to 2.5 times of the companies average monthly payroll of the prior year up to a $10M loan amount.  If business has been around for less than 1yr, use payroll between January – March of 2020.
  • In addition to employee salary, not to exceed $100K, the loan can include payments made to 1099 contractors of less than $100K.
  • Borrower requirement:  Eligible recipient shall make a good faith certification that:

    • 1. The current economic conditions make necessary the loan request to support ongoing operations;
    • 2. Acknowledging that funds will be used to retain workers, maintain payroll, etc.;
    • 3. Has not applied for same assistance or received loan for the covered period.

  •  The SBA will charge no fee and will not ask for a personal guarantee.
  • Loan Forgiveness:  Eligible for forgiveness of indebtedness in an amount equal to the sum of costs incurred and payments made during the covered period for authorized uses.  Amount forgiven is for principal amount of the loan, not interest.  The loan shall have a maturity for 10yrs.

Tax returns: Some people have not filed their 2019 tax returns, but that's OK. The filing deadline has been extended to July 15. The IRS also says that people who have filed or plan can still expect to receive a refund if they are owed one.

Student loans: Employers can provide up to $5,250 in tax-free student loan repayment benefits. That means an employer could contribute to loan payments and workers wouldn't have to include that money as income.

Insurance coverage: The law requires all private insurance plans to cover COVID-19 treatments and vaccine and makes all coronavirus tests free.  The main features for small businesses are emergency grants and a forgivable loan program for companies with 500 or fewer employees. There are also changes to rules for expenses and deductions meant to make it easier for companies to keep employees on the payroll and stay open in the near-term.

All businesses: The law establishes a fully refundable tax credit for businesses of all size that are closed or distressed to help them keep workers on the payroll. The goal is to get those employees hired back or put on paid furlough to make sure they have jobs to return to. The credit covers to 50 percent of payroll on the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, for each employee. 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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. All information posted is general advice only, based upon the rules of NYS, and is not intended to be a substitute for personal legal advice. Although information provided here was accurate as of the date of posting, laws change frequently and rules in other jurisdictions may differ. Therefore, readers should not rely upon these postings but should consult an attorney to discuss their specific factual situation.

175 East Shore Road, Suite 270,  Great Neck, NY 11023  Phone: (516) 482-1186