COVID19 Stimulus Package FAQ
President Donald Trump signed a $2.2trillion economic stimulus package into law Friday, after abipartisan action by Congress to support businesses, health care providers andstruggling families during the coronavirus epidemic.
The President thanked members ofcongress for reaching an agreement. “This will deliver urgently needed relief,”said Trump as he signed the bill in the Oval Office.
Here you can find answers to themost common questions about the plan and what’s in it.
How much will the payments be?
Adults will get $1,200, althoughsome would get less. For every qualifying child age 16 or under, the paymentwill be an additional $500.
How many payments will there be?
There will be one payment. Anyfuture bills could add additional payments.
Will everyone get the full amount?
It depends on income. Single adultswho have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will get the full amount.Married couples without children earning less than $150,000 will receive$2,400. And taxpayers filing as head of household will get the full payment ifthey earned $112,500 or less.
Payment decreases for taxpayers withincomes higher than the income figures mentioned above, until it stopsaltogether for single people earning $99,000 or married people with no childrenearning $198,000.
You can’t get a payment if someoneclaims you as a dependent, even if you’re an adult. In any given family and inmost instances, everyone must have a valid Social Security number in order tobe eligible. There is an exception for members of the military.
Do college students get anything?
It would depend on whether someoneclaims them as a dependent on a tax return. Usually, students under the age of24 are dependents in the eyes of the taxing authorities if a parent pays for atleast half of their expenses.
What year’s income should I belooking at?
2019. If you haven’t prepared a taxreturn yet, you can use your 2018 return. If you haven’t filed that yet, youcan use a 2019 Social Security statement showing your income to see what anemployer reported to the I.R.S.
What if my 2019 o 2018 income made me ineligible, but I would be eligible in 2020? Do I get a payment?
Since the payment is based on incomeand the IRS can only look at your past reported income, you wouldn't getimmediate payment. You may get the benefit once you file your 2020 taxes,that's because the payment is an advance credit for the entire fiscal year2020.
There are other provisions in thelegislation you may be eligible for, you could file for unemployment or for oneof the small business loans.
How can I apply to receive apayment?
You don’t have to. The IRS willtransfer the money to you via direct deposit based on the recent income-tax figuresit already has.
Not if someone claims them as a dependent on a tax return. Usually, students under the age of 24 are dependents in their parents income tax return, or it will send you a check if you didn’t choose direct deposit to receive your refuse eyes of the taxing authorities if a parent pays for at least half of their expenses.
Will I have to apply to receive apayment?
No. If the Internal Revenue Servicealready has your bank account information, it will transfer the money to youvia direct deposit based on the recent income-tax figures it already has.
When will we see payments arrive?
Payments are expected to begin arrivingwithin three weeks.
If my payment doesn’t come soon, howcan I be sure that it wasn’t misdirected?
According to the bill, you will geta paper notice in the mail no later than a few weeks after your payment hasbeen disbursed. That notice will contain information about where the paymentended up and in what form it was made. If you couldn’t locate the payment atthat point, it would be time to contact the I.R.S. using the information on thenotice.
I haven’t filed tax returns in a fewyears, will that affect my ability to receive a payment?
It's very possible. You should file a return as soon as possible, at least for 2018. Those who haven't file tax returns on 2018 or 2019 could potentially miss or delay their payment due to lack of data by the IRS.
People who owe money but cannot payimmediately are encouraged to consult a tax professional who can help requestalternative payment plans or some other resolutions.
Will people who are receiving SocialSecurity retirement and disability payments get a stimulus payment?
Do U.S. citizens living abroad get astimulus payment?
Yes, if they meet the incomerequirements.
Is the stimulus payment taxable?
If my income tax refunds arecurrently being garnished because of a student loan default, will this paymentbe garnished as well?
No. In fact, the bill suspendsnearly all efforts to garnish tax refunds to repay debts, including those tothe I.R.S. itself. But this waiver may not apply to people who are behind onchild support.
Who is eligible by the expandedprogram?
The plan includes more workers thanare usually eligible for unemployment benefits, including self-employed peopleand part-time workers.
How much will people receive?
It will vary from state to state.
The bill aims to replace the averageworker’s paycheck, which is roughly $1,000 week, therefore the IRS is adding on$600 per week to the average benefit pay of $400 to fill the gap. This amountwill vary from state to state since each state has its own benefits package.
Are freelancers and independentcontractors included?
Yes, self-employed people such asfreelancers and independent contractors are eligible for unemployment benefitsunder the plan. Self-employed workers will also be eligible for the additional$600 weekly benefit provided by the federal government.
Are part time workers eligible ifthey lost their job because of the coronavirus?
Yes. Part-time workers are eligiblefor the additional $600 weekly benefit. even if their state doesn’t offerunemployment benefits to part time workers.
What about people who have thecoronavirus, or, who are taking care for a family member who has it?
People diagnosed with COVID19 or whoare experiencing symptoms or are seeking a diagnosis, and, are unemployed,partly unemployed are unable to work because of it will be covered. The samegoes if you must care for a member of your family or household who has receiveda diagnosis.
What if I can’t work because mychild’s daycare closed?
If you had to stop working becauseyour child’s day care facility closed due to the coronavirus, you qualify. Thisrule applies even if you care for an elderly parent or another member of thehousehold.
What about people who were advisedto quarantine themselves by health care provider because of exposure tocoronavirus?
They’re covered. The bill coversindividuals who are unable to get to work because of a quarantine imposed as aresult of the outbreak are eligible.
What about new hires or people who didn’tget to start a new job because of an outbreak.
They’re eligible for benefits evenif they did not have an enough work history to qualify for benefits undernormal circumstances.
If I quit my job because of thecoronavirus, am I be eligible for unemployment benefits?
Probably not, if your health careprovider didn’t advise you to quarantine yourself, and you didn’t get laid offas a direct result of the coronavirus, and you are not taking care of someonedue to closure of a school or daycare facility.
My place of work closed because ofcoronavirus. Am I eligible?
Yes. If you are unemployed, partlyunemployed or unable to work because your employer closed, you’re covered underthe bill.
What if the breadwinner of myhousehold died because of the coronavirus? Am I covered?
Whom does not qualify?
People who can work from home, thosereceiving paid sick or family leave are not covered. People who’ve never workedbefore are ineligible.
How long will the benefits last?
Up to 39 weeks depending on thestate, some states provide 26 weeks of benefits while others even less. Theadded $600 payment will last for up to four additional months.
How long would the entire programlast?
Coverage will be available workerseligible for unemployment benefits for weeks starting on Jan. 27, 2020, andthrough Dec. 31, 2020.
What if someone is already receivingunemployment benefits? Will they receive any help?
Yes. Even if they’re alreadyreceiving unemployment benefits for reasons unrelated to the coronavirus, theirstate-level benefits will still be extended by 13 weeks. They will also receivethe extra $600 weekly benefit from the federal government.
What if my unemployment has run out,can I still get benefits?
Yes. Anyone who meet the eligibilitycriteria would qualify for the benefits package gets at least another 13 weeks,along with the extra $600 payment through July 31, even if their unemploymentbenefits have already run out.
Are any unemployment benefitsretroactive?
Not for people who are already receivingunemployment. However, they’ll be eligible for the added 13 weeks ofstate-level benefits if you continue to meet the eligibility criteria, theadded $600 payment being paid by the federal government will not retroactive.
Will I lose any other benefits bytaking this income?
It’s probable the additional $600benefit counts as income when determining eligibility for other programs,except for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
How long will it take to getbenefits?
States are encouraged to waive theone-week waiting period, but it could take longer due to the number ofapplications flooding state offices nationwide.
Will there be aid for student loansin this bill?
The bill waives payments andinterests until Sept. 30, 2020 (that's a total of six months including the two-monthloan suspension announced earlier), there will be automatic payment suspensionsfor any student loan held by the federal government.
Which loans are eligible?
Any federal government loan issuedin the past 10 years. Older Federal Family Educational Loans not owned by theU.S. Department of Education are not eligible. Perkins loans, state ownedloans, or private loans.
Will my loan continue to accrueinterest during the loan suspension period?
Interest should not accrue on theloan during the suspension period.
What about wage garnishment as aresult to faulty loans?
Wage garnishment as the result offederal faulty loans will be suspended for six months, so is the seizure of taxrefunds, and the reduction of any other federal benefit payments.
What about retirement account rules?
People are not forced to makecontributions to their retirement accounts, saving accounts and 401(k)s for thecalendar year 2020. This way, people aren't forced to sell their investments becauseof fallen value, which locks in losses. This change would not affectold-fashioned pensions.
Can people make withdraws from theirI.R.A. or retirement plan early?
People can withdraw up to $100,000during 2020 without the usual 10 percent penalty, if it is due to the COVID19.
People can spread out any incometaxes that you owe over three years from the date they take the distribution.And they will be able to put the money back into the account before those threeyears are up. This exception applies only to coronavirus-related withdrawals.
Can people borrow from theirretirement plans?
People will be able to take outtwice the usual amount up to $100,000 for six months after the bill passes.People will need certification that they've been affected by the pandemic to qualify.
People who have already taken out aloan and were supposed to finish repaying it before Dec. 31 will get anadditional year.
I want to help people who aresuffering from the pandemic. Does the bill do anything about charitabledonations?
Yes. The bill encourages charitable donations,it makes a new deduction available for up to $300 in annual charitable contributions.To qualify, people must give the money to a qualified charity and not to adonor-advised fund. If you’ve already given money since Jan. 1, thatcontribution counts toward the $300 cap.
Can people make large Charitydonations?
People can deduct 100 percent oftheir gift against their 2020 adjusted gross income. The deduction is only forcash gifts made to public charities. individuals who make cash gifts greaterthan their annual income, can carry the excess over the following year.
Is there aid for small businesses?
Small businesses may be eligible forforgivable loans. The bill provides $350 billion through a new paycheck protectionprogram, $265 million in entrepreneurial assistance grants, emergency EIDLgrants and small business debt relief. Here's a summary of those provisions written by SenatorMarco Rubio.
Is there renter’s relief in thisbill?
There's renter’s relief for peoplewhose landlords have mortgages backed or owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac andother federal entities. Landlords can’t charge any fees or penalties fornonpayment of rent. This provision will last three months.
Getyour taxes done by a professional
If you haven't filed your income taxreturn, don't delay it any longer. Call one of our professional experts to helpyou, even if you owe money to the IRS. Our trustworthy tax professionals can helpyou set up a payment plan or find other resolutions if necessary.
Our tax experts have a thoroughunderstanding of the tax code, and how it can affect your tax return. Talk to usand let us help you get the maximum return available to you and be ready foryour stimulus package.
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