Mar 11, 2021
Today, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that allocates federal funding to a variety of matters, including aid for vaccinations and testing, state and local governments, schools, rental assistance, restaurants, and the airline industry. It also includes several tax-related provisions and additional business relief.
Here are some of the key individuals and businesses provisions:
Stimulus Checks – Funding has been allocated for a third round of stimulus checks. Notable changes include the income cutoff at which payments phase out from $100,000 to $80,000 for individuals and $200,000 to $160,000 for couples filing jointly. Those who qualify will receive the full direct payment of $1,400 per person. Individuals will also receive an additional $1,400 payment for each dependent claimed on their tax returns. Dependents over the age of 17 and qualifying relatives who are claimed as dependents also now qualify.
Unemployment Benefits – Unemployment benefits previously set to expire on March 14 have now been extended almost 6 months to September 6, 2021. In addition, recipients will receive an extra $300 per week through the fall deadline along with making the first $10,200 of benefit payment nontaxable for households with incomed below $150,000. The 10,200 exclusion only applies to benefits received last year, 2020.
Child Tax Credit – A temporary expansion of the existing child tax credit with significant adjustments including those noted below.
- 17-year-old- children are now able to qualify.
- Increase of the credit to $3,000 per child ages 6 to 17 or $3,600 per child under the age of 6
- Removal of the $2,500 earning floor
- Credit is now fully refundable
- A 50% credit advancement by the IRS paid in periodic payment from July 2021 to December 2021
Low-Income Support – In an effort to target low-income families afflicted by the pandemic, $4.5 billion has been set aside for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, to help families with home heating and cooling costs.
Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) – The expanded ERTC provisions under the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) were set to expire on July 1 which has now been extended through December 31, 2021, for eligible employers. In addition, eligibility has been expanded to include start-up businesses established after February 15, 2020, with annual gross receipts of up to $1 million.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – Provides an additional $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and expands eligibility to include nonprofit entities. Importantly, eligible nonprofit organizations would now qualify for a PPP loan as long as they employ not more than 500 employees per physical location (300 per physical location for Second Draw loans) and meet all other criteria.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) – The new law also includes an additional $15 billion in funding for targeted EIDL advances. One-third of this EIDL funding is earmarked for businesses that suffered a revenue loss of greater than 50 percent and employ fewer than 10 people.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Paid Leave Credits – The new law also extends these tax credit provisions through September 30, 2021. However, adjustments have been made for wages paid between April 1, 2021, and September 30, 2021, including increasing eligible wages to $12,000 per employee (up from $10,000 in 2020), expanding types of leave to include vaccination, and covering as many as 60 days of paid family leave for self-employed individuals (instead of 50 days under previous law).
- Restaurants – A $25 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund has been established for 2021. Grant amounts will be limited to a restaurant’s pandemic-related revenue loss (measured as the difference in gross receipts in 2020 compared to 2019) up to $10 million and limited to $5 million per physical location. For more details on this U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) administered program, check out our blog.
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