With the recent passing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

We thought it was important to reach out to our clients and let you know of several provisions that can assist you or your business. Also, the tax and financial implications associated with this (CARES) Act.

The bill builds upon earlier versions of the CARES Act and is intended to be the third round of federal government support in the wake of the coronavirus public health crisis and associated economic fallout, succeeding the $8.3 billion in public health support.

Expanded unemployment insurance (UI) for workers.

Including a $600 per week increase in benefits for up to four months and federal funding of UI benefits provided to those not usually eligible for UI, such as the self-employed, independent contractors, and those with limited work history.

$350 billion allocated for the Paycheck Protection Program

Which is meant to help small businesses (fewer than 500 employees). Notably, small businesses may take out loans up to $10 million—limited to a formula tied to payroll costs—and can cover employees making up to $100,000 per year. Loans may be forgiven if a firm uses the loan for payroll, interest payments on mortgages, rent, and utilities and would be reduced proportionally by any reduction in employees retained compared to the prior year and a 25 percent or greater reduction in employee compensation.

Recovery Rebate for individual taxpayers.

The bill would provide a $1,200 refundable tax credit for individuals ($2,400 for joint taxpayers). Additionally, taxpayers with children will receive a flat $500 for each child. The rebates would not be counted as taxable income for recipients, as the rebate is a credit against tax liability and is refundable for taxpayers with no tax liability to offset. The rebate phases out at $75,000 for singles, $112,500 for heads of household, and $150,000 for joint taxpayers at 5 percent per dollar of qualified income, or $50 per $1,000 earned. It phases out entirely at $99,000 for single taxpayers with no children and $198,000 for joint taxpayers with no children. 2019 or 2018 tax returns will be used to calculate the rebate advanced to taxpayers, but taxpayers eligible for a larger rebate based on 2020 income will receive it in the 2020 tax season. Taxpayers with higher incomes in 2020 will see the overpayment associated with their rebate forgiven.

Retirement Accounts 401(k), IRA

Waives the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty on retirement account distributions for taxpayers facing virus-related challenges. Withdrawn amounts are taxable over three years, but taxpayers can recontribute the withdrawn funds into their retirement accounts for three years without affecting retirement account caps. Eligible retirement accounts include individual retirement accounts (IRAs), 401Ks and other qualified trusts, certain deferred compensation plans, and qualified annuities. The bill also waives required minimum distribution rules for certain retirement plans in calendar year 2020.

Adjusted Charitable Giving

Creates a $300 partial above-the-line charitable contribution for filers taking the standard deduction and expands the limit on charitable contributions for itemizers.

Your Student Loans

Certain employer payments of student loans on behalf of employees are excluded from taxable income. Employers may contribute up to $5,250 annually toward student loans, and the payments would be excluded from an employee’s income.

Payroll Tax Credit

Employers are eligible for a 50 percent refundable payroll tax credit on wages paid up to $10,000 during the crisis. It would be available to employers whose businesses were disrupted due to virus-related shutdowns and firms experiencing a decrease in gross receipts of 50 percent or more when compared to the same quarter last year. The credit is available for employees retained but not currently working due to the crisis for firms with more than 100 employees, and for all employee wages for firms with 100 or fewer employees.

Employer Social Security Payments

Social Security payroll tax payments may be delayed until January 1, 2021, with 50 percent owed on December 31, 2021 and the other half owed on December 31, 2022. The Social Security Trust Fund will be backfilled by general revenue in the interim period.

(NOL) Net-Operating Losses

Firms may take net operating losses (NOLs) earned in 2018, 2019, or 2020 and carry back those losses five years. The NOL limit of 80 percent of taxable income is also suspended, so firms may use NOLs they have to fully offset their taxable income. The bill also modifies loss limitations for non-corporate taxpayers, including rules governing excess farm losses, and makes a technical correction to the treatment of NOLs for the 2017 and 2018 tax years.

(ATM) Alternative Minimum Tax Liability

Firms with tax credit carryforwards and previous alternative minimum tax (AMT) liability can claim larger refundable tax credits than they otherwise could.

Net Interest Deductions

The net interest deduction limitation, which currently limits businesses’ ability to deduct interest paid on their tax returns to 30 percent of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), has been expanded to 50 percent of EBITDA for 2019 and 2020. This will help businesses increase liquidity if they have debt or must take on more debt during the crisis.

 

Useful Resources

The IRS Coronavirus and Economic Impact Payments: Resources and Guidance

CLICK HERE

CHECK THE STATUS OF YOUR STIMULUS CHECK

CLICK HERE