The corona virus stimulus bill that was passed last week is hundreds of pages long. Here are the highlights that affect most Americans:
Direct payments: One-time payments of $1,200 per adult, $2,400 per couple, $500 per each child under age 17. Amounts begin to phase out at adjusted gross income of $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 per couple. Individuals with $99,000 and couples with $198,000 of adjusted gross income (or higher) will not receive direct payments.
Emergency unemployment insurance: Affected taxpayers will receive a weekly benefit increase of $600 for four months over and above the normal amount. It also includes an extra thirteen weeks of coverage for people who have exhausted their existing unemployment benefits. The benefits also cover part-time, self-employed, gig economy workers.
Tax breaks: Temporarily waives penalties for virus-related early retirement account withdrawals and eases required minimum distribution rules from some retirement accounts.
Small business: In addition to loans being made available, employers who pay workers furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic can get a tax credit of up to fifty percent on those payments. The bill also allows employers and self-employed individuals to defer the employer’s share of Social Security (FICA) payroll tax for up to two years.
Other benefits: Borrowers of student loans can have their employer pay up to $5,250 of their loans on a tax-free basis each year.