The temporary closing of non-essential businesses, shelter-in-place orders, and other changes that have come with efforts to keep COVID-19 from overwhelming hospital and healthcare facilities are creating economic challenges for many families. Here are four support and stimulus measures that may help.
- Financial support from banks and financial companies. Americans who find themselves without work or working fewer hours may want to contact their banks. CNBC reported some banks and financial companies are willing to provide support during this difficult time, including:
- Deferring payments on mortgage, auto, and other personal loans
- Deferring payments on small business loans
- Waiving customer overdraft, expedited check, and debit card fees
- Waiving customer fees on excessive savings account withdrawals
- Waiving penalties for early withdrawals from certificates of deposit
- Refunding overdraft, insufficient funds, and monthly maintenance fees for bank and small business customers
- Pausing foreclosures, evictions, and repossessions
- Offering economic disaster loans
Customers must contact their banks to request support.
- Tax Day postponement to July 15. The Internal Revenue Service pushed the 2019 tax filing deadline from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. The three-month delay is intended to help Americans cope with the financial effects of COVID-19, reported CNBC. If you expect a refund, you may want to file sooner.
The deadline for 2019 contributions to IRAs has also been extended to July 15, 2020.
- Stimulus checks from the government. President Trump has signed a bipartisan $2 trillion economic relief plan to offer assistance to tens of millions of American households affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Its components include stimulus payments to individuals, expanded unemployment coverage, student loan changes, different retirement account rules and more.
The legislation will send direct payments of $1,200 to millions of Americans filing single and earning up to $75,000 a year and $2,400 for couples filing joint return, earning up to $150,000 a year. In addition, qualifying households will receive an additional $500 per child. It will also substantially expand jobless aid, providing an additional 13 weeks and a four-month enhancement of unemployment benefits of $600 a week, and for the first time will extend the payments to freelancers and gig workers.
Tax credits for businesses that keep paying employees. Businesses of all sizes are eligible for a tax credit intended to keep workers on the payroll. The credit is up "to 50 percent of payroll on the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, for each employee," reported NPR.
- Paid and family sick leave. On March 18, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed. The new law requires employers with fewer than 500 workers to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees affected by COVID-19. You qualify to receive your full wages (up to $511 per day) while on paid leave if you are sick or quarantined.
If you are caring for someone who is ill with coronavirus, or you are home caring for children, then you qualify to receive two-thirds of wages (up to $200 a day).
Go to Kiplinger.com to see if any other assistance may apply to you.
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