In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the federal government approved a third round of economic relief. There is plenty of media coverage, but after reading multiple articles I noticed that nearly all of them miss at least one thing that another covered. Here’s my own mixtape of highlights so that you can research further if it applies to your situation.

$1,200 for each adult + $500 per child under 16. You may want to wait to file. Individuals under $75,000 adjusted gross income get the full amount, and married filing joint under $150,000 get the full amount. Fully phased out at $99,000/$198,000. Remember, AGI after subtracting the standard deduction. Based on 2018 tax filing if you haven’t filed for 2019, and 2019 tax filing if you did file. So if got a big raise in 2019, you should delay filing. If your income went down in 2019 or you didn’t file before, you should file now. Finally, if you made a lot in 2019 and expect to make less in 2020, you may still be able to get the money eventually when filing your 2020 taxes.

There is no clawback provision on overpayments, so it doesn’t matter if you end up making more than the income limits in 2020. If you listed a bank account for direct deposit of tax refund, they will try to send your money that way. The target date is April 17th. Otherwise, you will likely have to wait longer for a check. The money is not taxable.

Unemployment benefits expanded again. The bill has expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits to self-employed and part-time workers. Eligibility also expanded to cover those unable to work due to the coronavirus outbreak. The eligible period is also extended by 13 weeks. There will also be an increased benefit amount (up to $600 per week) on top of your state benefits for up to 4 months.

401(k) and IRA early withdrawal penalties waived up to $100,000. You can now take up to $100,000 out of your IRAs and you have 3 years to put it back into your IRA again without penalty or tax. It’s kind of like a really long rollover window. However, you will owe income tax on whatever partial amount is not put back within 3 years. This is called a coronavirus-related distribution (CRD) and is limited to those affected by the coronavirus.

Instead of a hardship withdrawal, you may wish to take a 401k loan instead. The retirement plan loan limit is also raised to the smaller of $100,000 or up to the full amount vested. Anything that can permanently damage your retirement savings should all be avoided if possible, of course.

Required minimum distributions are waived for 2020. This applies to everyone, even if not affected by the coronavirus. If you don’t need to make the distribution, this can save you on taxes.

Extended student loan relief. All loan and interest payments would be deferred through September 30th without penalty for all federally owned student loans.

Expanded use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). Tele-medicine services can now be used before meeting the plan deductible. You can again buy over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. Certain menstrual care products, such as tampons and pads, are also now eligible medical expenses.

Sources: NYT, Tax Foundation, NPR, Accounting Today, SHRM, SGR Law



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CARES Act: Stimulus Checks, Unemployment, Student Loan, IRA/401k, HSA/FSA Changes from My Money Blog.


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