It's here. The new Stimulus Package, all $900B of it, has finally been passed by Congress and we've got all the details for you.
Here's what's included:
$600 direct payments to adults and dependent children
An extra $300/week in unemployment benefits through at least mid-March 2021
$325 billion in small business aid
Vaccine distribution funding
Food assistance for low-income households
Emergency rental relief
There are slightly different income limits than what was used for the CARES Act. Individuals who earned less than $75,000 in 2019, heads of household earning less than $112,500, and couples earning less than $150,000 are eligible for the full $600/person payment. The payment starts phasing out after $75,000 and disappears entirely for individuals earning more than $87,000 (or couples earning over $174,000).
Children / Dependents
While dependent children under 17 years of age will receive $600 each, apparently adult dependents (college students or elders) qualify for the payments.
You should note however that If your family added dependents in 2020 or you earned too much in 2019 to qualify (but would qualify in 2020), you may not receive full payments immediately but can request additional money once you file your 2020 taxes. If you qualified based on your 2019 income but your 2020 income would have reduced your payment, you won't have to pay it back; nor will it count as taxable income.
How do you get your money?
Theoretically, just like the CARES Act earlier this year, the new stimulus payment should make its way to your bank account or arrive in the mail. If you’ve moved or changed bank accounts since you filed your taxes, you can update your address with the IRS here. However, it appears you can’t update direct deposit information due to fraud risks.
There's been no confirmation of timeline on when the IRS will be sending out payments. It's entirely possible that payments could start before the end of 2020. When the last round of stimulus passed, the IRS began distributing payments two weeks later. But we all know there are still plenty of people who haven't even received those earlier payments yet.
Help for Small Businesses with the new stimulus package
Congress included another round of relief for small business owners by extending the Paycheck Protection Program. It includes another $284 billion in forgivable loans. Some of the funds will be set aside for very small businesses, and the PPP is now available to nonprofits and local media outlets which didn't exist in the CARES Act.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans
An extra $20 billion has also been allocated for Economic Injury Disaster Loans for businesses in low-income communities. In addition, $15 billion is earmarked for live venues, movie theaters, and cultural institutions hurt by the pandemic.
Taxes for PPP Borrowers
The deal also clarifies that PPP borrowers will be able to deduct expenses paid for with forgiven loans, clearing up a potentially nasty tax issue.
What about Unemployment benefits?
This package extends unemployment benefits of $300/week for another 11 weeks, beginning as early as December 27 and lasting at least until March 14, 2021. A benefits program specifically for contract and gig workers that was slated to expire at the end of the year is also extended through March.
Here at CH Insurance we're crossing our fingers and hoping this stimulus money is distributed as planned and on time. As you prepare to celebrate the New Year, let us appreciate the blessings we have in the here and now. We cautiously, yet optimistically face the future with renewed hope, joy, and conviction.
Let us brave new frontiers, strengthen our relationships, honor our community, and appreciate all of what Central New York has to offer us. Thank You for allowing us to be in your corner. It's truly an honor and one we do not take lightly. God Bless You and Yours, and Happy Holidays!