I hope everyone is staying safe during these unprecedented times. Now more than ever I believe it is important for us all to stick together and truly do our best to make the most out of this situation. Maybe it’s something as simple as being able to be home for family dinner’s or the fact that family time is now available during the week and not just on weekends. Even in the worst situations, it is important to look for the bright spot. In a year or two I would like to think we could look back on this time and reflect and realize that we were able to grow together, and we were able to get through this together.

As I am sure you are aware, the new fiscal stimulus package designed to help combat the effects of the coronavirus on the economy has been making its way through congress. Thus far, we have held off on putting any information out on the bill to our clients. However, now that the package has been signed by the President and is going into effect, we wanted to write to you and highlight the policies that we believe are going to have the greatest impact on our clients.

When it comes to the details on the stimulus package, we feel the bill affects the vast majority, if not all our clients in one, if not two direct ways. The first is relief to individuals. The second is relief to small business owners. The bill also provides relief for many different industries such as airlines, banks, and healthcare. If you would like to review how those industries are affected, we have attached a much more in-depth summary of the bill.

Below are the key highlights for relief to individual and small businesses.

For Individuals

  • Payments of $1,200 per adult ($2,400 for joint filers), plus $500 per dependent for individuals with adjusted gross income under $75,000. For adjusted gross incomes between $75,000-$99,000 this amount is phased out $5 for every $100 over $75,000. For joint tax filers, these amounts are doubled to $150,000 and $198,000. The payments will be delivered via direct deposit for taxpayers who have used direct deposit in the past and by check for all others. The first payments are expected to be delivered in about 3 weeks.
  • Unemployment coverage for 4 months.
  • Additional $600 per week over state level assistance.
  • For federal student loan borrowers, payments have been suspended through September 30th, 2020 with no interest accrual during suspended period.
  • Federal loan repayment requirements waived for students that withdraw from institutions during this emergency situation.
  • 120-day moratorium on evictions.
  • Forbearance to be granted on federally backed mortgage loans for 60 days, extendable up to 120 days thereafter.
  • Withdrawals from retirement accounts up to $100,000 exempt from certain tax penalties. Must be deemed “coronavirus-related distribution.”
  • Loans up to $100,000 from qualified plans not treated as distribution, current loans extended by 1-year.
  • No required minimum distributions (RMD) in 2020.
  • Distributions may be repaid over 3-year period.
  • Covered period for distributions is 1/1/2020-12/31/2020
  • For Small Businesses (Defined as business with 500 employees of less)

  • Loans will be made available to small business to cover payroll from 2/15/2020 – 6/30/2020
  • Covers employees up to $100,000 in annual compensation
  • Allowable use of funds: group health care benefits, payroll, interest payments on mortgage interest obligations, rent, utilities, and interest on other debt obligations.
  • Maximum interest rates on loans is 4%. Minimum deferred repayments of 6 months but can be up to 1 year.
  • Loan Forgiveness: Borrowers will have any payroll costs, mortgage payments, rent payments, and utility cost payments reduced from principal amount of loan. Loan forgiveness is calculation of % of employees retained during covers period 2/15/2020 – 6/30/2020.
  • Delay of employer payroll taxes (50% due 12/31/2021 and 50% due 12/31/2022).
  • Return of use of net operation loss.
  • Changes Trump Tax Act minimum tax liability provisions.
  • Increases limits on business interest from 30% to 50% for tax year 2019 and 2020.
  • Establishment of worker-retention tax credit.
  • Property improvements for retail, hotels, and restaurants are deductible from taxes.
  • We expect over the coming days and weeks for more clarity to come out on this phase 3 fiscal stimulus package. It is also expected that over the coming weeks Congress will most likely provide additional fiscal stimulus should the effects of COVID-19 continue in the form of a phase 4 package.

    Should you have any questions about how exactly this bill affects you or anything else, please let us know. We have been reviewing this bill all weekend in an effort to educate ourselves and stay on top of any and all information that we feel is pertinent to you. More than anything it is important to us at this time that you feel taken care of and educated. As you know we have been checking in with all clients to make sure that they are doing ok and are healthy. David is also planning to follow up to this past Friday’s Webinar with weekly webinars to help educate clients and do whatever we can to support you during this time. However, in between emails, videos, webinars, and check ins if there is anything you need, do not hesitate to reach out. Our entire team is here for you during this time and look forward to working through this together!

    I hope everyone continues to stay safe and healthy!

    Any opinions are those of Myles Zueger and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Raymond James financial advisors do not render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.