COVID-19 Response: CARES Act to Provide Billions of Relief Dollars

After extensive negotiations between the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the White House, an agreement has been reached on a massive stimulus bill to address the financial and health care crisis resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As of this writing, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has been passed by the Senate and is expected to be passed by the House, although the mechanics are still to be determined because most House members are currently in their home districts. The President has indicated that he will sign the legislation.

The CARES Act includes a “Marshall Plan” for the health care system to help provide needed treatment during the pandemic and financial assistance to state, local, tribal and territorial governments, as well as to private nonprofits providing critical and essential services. It also provides significant relief to individuals, businesses and other employers to help them weather the pandemic.

Key Provisions for Individuals, Businesses and Other Employers

Here’s a quick look at some of the CARES Act provisions that may affect you — keep in mind that it’s possible that some provisions could change before the act is signed into law:

Individuals
  • Recovery rebates of up to $1,200 for singles, $1,200 for heads of households and $2,400 for married couples filing jointly — plus $500 per qualifying child — subject to income-based phaseouts starting at $75,000, $122,500 and $150,000, respectively
  • Expansion of unemployment benefits, including for self-employed and gig-economy workers
  • Waiver of the 10% penalty on COVID-19-related early distributions from IRAs, 401(k)s and certain other retirement plans
  • Waiver of required minimum distribution rules for IRAs, 401(k)s and certain other retirement plans
  • Expansion of charitable contribution tax deductions
  • Exclusion for certain employer payments of student loans
Businesses and Other Employers
  • Retention tax credit for eligible employers that continue to pay employee wages while their operations are fully or partially suspended as a result of certain COVID-19-related government orders
  • Deferral of the employer portion of payments of certain payroll taxes
  • Modification of net operating loss (NOL) and limitation on losses rules
  • Modification of the deduction limitation on business interest
  • Qualified improvement property technical correction, allowing qualifying interior improvements of buildings to be immediately expensed rather than depreciated over 15 years
  • Expansion of the ways the Small Business Administration (SBA) can help small businesses

More Details to Come

This is a brief overview of the CARES Act. Our response team is currently completing more detailed summaries of the provisions that are relevant to our clients. These will be posted during the day today as they are completed and, as new information becomes available, over the next days, weeks and months.

Please check our website regularly or follow us on social media as we will post links to new information as it is published on our site. As always Miller Cooper’s professional team is available to answer questions and respond to your needs. We’d be pleased to help you during this challenging time.

© 2020

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