Congress Passes New Coronavirus Relief Package

By Benjamin Trujillo, JD, LLM – Senior Advisor and Lauren Randazzo, CPA – Advisor

Lawmakers agreed on Monday, December 20, 2020 to the terms for additional economic stimulus after months of haggling.  Congress reached an accord on approximately $900 billion dollars of relief for struggling Americans, less than half the aid provided under the original CARES Act in March.  The full text of the as-yet unnamed legislation has not yet been released, but the highlights include:

Stimulus Checks

$600 stimulus checks for adults and dependents under the age of 17.  Stimulus checks begin phasing out for adjusted gross incomes in excess of $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Unemployment Benefits

Congress is adding $300 to weekly unemployment benefits for 11 weeks.  Lawmakers also extended the program expanding the pool of people eligible for unemployment benefits and the duration of the benefits.

PPP Loans

The government set aside roughly $284 billion of the package for additional forgivable Payroll Protection Loans.  Small businesses may receive a second PPP loan if they have fewer than 300 employees and can demonstrate that revenue has fallen by at least 25%.  The maximum loan for a second PPP loan is capped at $2,000,000.

Expense Deductibility

Expenses paid using PPP loan proceeds will now be fully deductible.  This overrules the Treasury Department’s position that such expenses would not be deductible, which largely obviated the benefit of the initial PPP loans.   It appears that deductibility will be retroactive to cover the initial round of PPP loans as well as the second round.

Other Benefits

Additional funds have been set aside for schools ($82 billion), COVID vaccination and testing ($31 billion), and transportation ($45 billion).  Qualified families who are not able to make rent or pay off past-due rent will be getting a boost with assistance to make rent and utility payments ($25 billion).  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is receiving funds as well ($13 billion).

The CWCJ Team at Moneta will provide updates to this developing story as they become available.

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