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The CARES Act

Now that the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) was passed by Congress and has been signed into law by the President, what does it mean to investors?


The following is a summary of some of the terms and how you may be affected:


Individuals

  • Individuals earning $75,000 or less, can expect a one-time cash payment of $1,200. Parents can also receive $500 per child. However, the one-time cash payment and the checks for children start to phase down for those earning more than $75,000 and completely disappear for those making more than $99,000. Payments are based on either 2018 or 2019 tax filings.

  • Unemployment benefits were increased, and eligibility was expanded. States will continue to pay unemployment, but the Federal government will increase the amount by $600 per week. That boost will last for up to four months. Unemployment benefits were also increased by 13 weeks.

  • A Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program was created through the end of this year to help the self-employed, freelancers, and contractors who can’t apply for unemployment.

  • The 2019 tax return deadline was extended until July 15.

  • Employers can provide up to $5,250 in tax-free student loan repayment benefits.

  • Student loan and interest payments are deferred through 9/30/2020.

  • All private insurance companies are required to cover COVID-19 treatments and vaccine and make all tests free.

Retirement Accounts & Benefits

  • Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) can be waived in 2020.

  • Up to $100,000 of penalty-free, coronavirus-related withdrawals during 2020.

  • Repayment of coronavirus-related withdrawals permitted within three years of taking the distributions.

  • Coronavirus-related withdrawals may be included in individuals’ taxable income over a three-year period.

  • Mandatory 20% withholding will not apply

  • Retirement plan loan dollar limits temporarily increased to the lesser of $100,000 or 100% of participant’s vested balance.

  • One-year delay for loan repayments due in 2020 with subsequent payments adjusted to take into account the delay.

  • Plan amendments for coronavirus-related distributions, RMD waivers, and increased loan limits will not be required until the last day of the plan year beginning on or after 1/1/2022.

Small Businesses

  • Grants are available for up to $10,000 to help small businesses cover immediate operating costs.

  • A small business can receive up to a $10 million loan, which can be forgiven if used to maintain payroll, keep workers on the books, pay for rent, mortgage, and other existing debt, if workers stay employed through the end of June.

  • Existing SBA loans are eligible for relief and forgiveness.

Application, implementation and oversight will be clarified with time. We look forward to strategizing on how this massive program can work for you.