Covid-19 Relief | CARES Relief Package
Updated April 23rd, 2020, 1:54pm
Relief for Individuals
Economic Impact Payments
For most individuals, no action is required in order to receive a stimulus payment. The IRS will base the rebate amounts on the most recent tax returns or Social Security data.
Each payment will be disbursed via direct deposit or a check mailed to the last address on file with the IRS. The IRS has already begun sending out stimulus payments. Additional rounds of payments will be disbursed in the coming weeks. If you filed a tax return for 2019 or 2018, no further steps are required to receive your economic impact payment.
Single filers and heads of household may receive up to $1,200 ($2,400 for joint filers) with an additional $500 per qualifying child (qualifying children must meet the eligibility requirements for the Child Tax Credit). The rebate begins phasing out when incomes exceed $75,000 ($150,000 for joint filers). Individuals without children whose income exceeds $99,000 ($198,000 for joint filers) will not receive any stimulus payment. A family of four will not receive a payment if their income exceeds $218,000.
Even if you aren’t normally required to file a tax return, you may still be able to receive a payment as long as you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and your 2019 gross income did not exceed $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples). In order to receive your stimulus payment, be sure to provide your information to the IRS using the online Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool.
Social Security recipients are not required to file a tax return in order to receive an Economic Impact Payment. For individuals who receive their Social Security benefits via direct deposit, stimulus payments will likewise be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. Those who receive their Social Security payments in the form of a paper check will receive their stimulus payments via check.
Payments will be disbursed via direct deposit or by paper check. If the IRS already has your banking information on file, no other steps are necessary to receive your payment as a direct deposit. If the IRS does not yet have your banking information but you would like to receive your payment by direct deposit, you can provide the required information online using the IRS’s Get My Payment tool. Otherwise, you will receive a paper check by mail.
How can I check the status of my stimulus payment?
Visit the IRS’s online Get My Payment tool to check on your payment status, payment type, and whether any additional information is required from you.
Visit our blog for more detailed information and answers to frequently asked questions regarding stimulus payments.
Expanded Unemployment Coverage
A new temporary federal program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, provides 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. Workers must meet the following qualifications:
The individual is ineligible for any other state or federal unemployment benefits.
They are unemployed, partially unemployed, or cannot work due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
They cannot telework or receive paid leave.
The CARES Act incentivizes states to end one-week waiting periods for filing for unemployment insurance (UI). Removing existing one-week waiting periods is left up to the discretion of individual states.
Relief for Business Owners
Employee Retention Credit
A fully refundable tax credit is available to eligible employers.for 50% of qualified wages paid to employees after March 12th, 2020, and before January 1st, 2021. Learn more.
Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides small and midsize businesses with a dollar-for-dollar tax credit to reimburse employers for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave wages for leave related to Covid-19. Learn more.
Small Business Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program provides forgivable loans to businesses for the use of payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Payments on these loans will be deferred for six months, and no collateral or personal guarantees are required. Fees will not be charged on these loans. Learn more.
Covid-19 Relief | Effects on Tax Deadlines
Updated March 25, 2020, 9:58 am ET
Federal Income Taxes
As of the morning of March 25th, 2020, the tax filing and payment deadlines for all federal income taxes (including self-employment tax) have been moved to July 15th, 2020. This supersedes the previously released IRS notice limiting postponed payment amounts to a maximum of $1,000,000 for individuals ($10,000,000 for businesses); there are no such limitations under the updated tax relief policy. As stated by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, “all taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”Learn more here.
According to a March 21st statement from the IRS, the first quarter estimated payment deadline has also been moved from April 15th to July 15th. Deadlines for subsequent quarters remain unchanged; second quarter estimated payments are still due June 15th.
This tax relief does not apply to state tax deadlines or any other type of federal tax. Estate and gift taxes are subject to normal filing and payment deadlines.
Due to the postponement of the federal tax filing deadline, the deadline for making contributions to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) for 2019 has also been extended to July 15th.
Health Savings Account (HSA) Contributions
The deadline for making contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Archer Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) for 2019 has also been extended to July 15th.
Visit www.IRS.gov/coronavirus for additional information on taxpayer assistance from the IRS.
For more resources and updates regarding COVID-19, visit www.treasury.gov/coronavirus.
Georgia Income Taxes
In a statement made Monday, March 23rd, 2020, Governor Brian P. Kemp announced that Georgia’s tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15th, 2020. His statement did not address how this would affect payment deadlines. However, he alluded to mirroring the federal changes, suggesting that the extension applies to both the filing and payment deadlines. The statement did not address due dates for 2020 estimated payments.
We await clarification and will continue to provide updates as we receive more information.
Covid-19 | Relief Assistance
Updated March 26, 2020, 2:39 p.m. ET
Small Business Administration (SBA)
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
Small business owners and non-profit organizations in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest disaster loan of up to $2 million to help mitigate the financial impact of the Coronavirus. Apply here.
SBA Express Bridge Loans
The Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program provides expedited, SBA-guaranteed emergency financing of up to $25,000 to help small businesses overcome temporary loss of revenue resulting from Presidentially-declared disasters, including Covid-19. Applications for Express Bridge loans require less paperwork than Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications, providing a faster turnaround time. This can help bridge the gap for business owners waiting on approval and disbursement of SBA disaster loans. Learn more.
Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL)
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Georgia Department of Labor has temporarily suspended all in-person requirements for agency-provided services. All GDOL-related business should be conducted online.
Partial Claims | Mandatory Filing by Employers
Whenever it is necessary for a business to temporarily reduce work hours or no work is available for a short period, employers are required to file partial claims (also called “employer-filed claims”) on behalf of their employees; this rule applies to any employer who must temporarily lay off workers or reduce the hours of full-time or part-time employees due to Covid-19. Any employer who fails to file mandatory partial claims will be required to reimburse the Georgia Department of Labor for the full amount of UI benefits paid to each employee.
Partial claims expedite disbursement of unemployment benefits to eligible employees.
After an employer electronically files a partial claim, the employee typically receives unemployment insurance (UI) benefit payments within 48 hours. Employees for whom a partial claim has been filed are not required to file an unemployment insurance claim.
Employers are required to file partial claims online. Two submission methods are available:
Multi-Claims Upload: allows employers to upload an Excel spreadsheet using a GDOL template, eliminating the need to manually enter employees’ claims information each week; only employee earnings information needs to be updated on a weekly basis. The template is available online via the GDOL Employer Portal.
Single Claim Entry: allows employers to manually enter claims information for each individual employee. Because the claims information is not retained, employers must re-enter it each week.
Note that the employer-filed partial claims requirement does not apply to workers who voluntarily quit their jobs or choose to take a leave of absence in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. These individuals must file their own unemployment claims. For claims filed under these circumstances, eligibility for benefits is determined on a case-by-case basis upon review.
Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claims
Unemployment insurance (UI) provides income for workers who have recently become unemployed due to no fault of their own. Individuals experiencing job loss due to Covid-19 are eligible to file for unemployment benefits.
Employees experiencing a temporary lay off or reduction in hours due to the virus should not file their own claim; employers are required to file a partial unemployment claim on their behalf.
Unemployment claims must be submitted online; former requirements to meet in person with an agency official have been temporarily rescinded.
The recently-adopted emergency rule also waives previously-mandated work search requirements for all unemployment claims filed on or after March 14th, 2020. Individuals filing for unemployment benefits are also no longer required to report to a GDOL career center or register for employment services.
Student Loan Relief
The CARES Act, signed into law on March 27th, 2020, provides financial relief for federal student loan borrowers in the form of an automatic suspension of payments and interest on federally-held student loans through September 30th, 2020. This suspension is automatic and does not require any action on the part of the borrower.
Eligible loans for forbearance and the interest waiver include Direct Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans that are owned by the U.S. Education Department. Commercially-owned FFEL Program loans and Perkins Loans that are held by the institution attended by the borrower are not currently eligible for the interest waiver.
In addition to the interest waiver, the Department of Education has temporarily suspended collections activities on defaulted federal loans. Suspended activities include wage garnishment, withholding of funds from defaulted borrowers’ federal income tax refunds or Social Security benefits, and all proactive collection activities by private collections agencies, including phone calls, collections notices, and billing statements.