It’s no question that America is suffering greatly from the effects of COVID-19. Infection and economical impacts are at large. Until a vaccine is created, America is likely to continue a health and financial impact. Fortunately, the CARES Act was created to offer relief to Americans including businesses. If your business has been impacted, we’ve summarized how the CARES Act can help protect your investment. Read more below and contact Ash CPA for further guidance.
What is the CARES Act?
The CARES Act stands for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security. In brief, it is a $2 trillion dollar aid to help individuals and businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus. The aid is designed to stimulate the economy by relieving some of the financial hardship that many Americans are experiencing. More information is found below.
Individuals and Families
In this package, individuals making $75,000 or less are eligible to receive a stimulus payment up to $1200. Those with children can also receive an additional $500 per child. However, those who make more than $75,000 will receive less and those who make $99,000 will not receive the payment. In addition, married couples making $198,000 or more are also not eligible.
Federal student loans are also included in the relief package. From now until the end of September 2020, federal student loans are suspended. This includes garnishments. Borrowers can still make payments. However, interest will not accrue during this period.
Unemployment is also included in the CARES Act. Individuals who are eligible for regular unemployment benefits can earn an additional $600 per week and extend the payments up to 13 weeks. Also, independent contractors, gig workers, and freelancers are eligible for unemployment benefits. Ultimately, the amounts and total weeks will vary between states.
Business Protection with SBA Loans
Businesses can apply for payroll tax relief. This option helps keep businesses operating and pay their employees. Essentially, the relief offers tax credits and defers payroll taxes until the end of the year. It is important to note that businesses that apply for SBA loans will not qualify for the payroll tax relief. Also, business owners will have to repay the payroll taxes over the next two years.
Another option for businesses are Small Business Association (SBA) loans. SBA loans can assist businesses with 500 or less employees. They are meant to prevent layoffs and pay working employees. In summary, the loan will cover up to 6 weeks of payroll. This includes a weekly maximum of $1540 per employee. The total amount of the loan is calculated using last year’s total payroll cost and then multiplying that number by 2.5. Businesses that were not established in 2019, will need to represent 2020’s total payroll cost for January and February.
The SBA will require verification of payroll before and after receiving the loan. Specific details regarding the application and loan terms vary between applicants. Therefore, we highly recommend assuring that your financial documents are up to date to avoid delay.
Owners can also apply for an SBA loan to cover other business expenses. This includes rent, equipment, utilities, etc. In addition, the loan can be fully or partially forgiven if the owner only uses it for business purposes and at least ¾ is used for payroll. For businesses that have laid off workers, you may still be eligible as long as the employees are rehired by June 30th. More information regarding criteria can be found here.
Protect your business by learning more about the CARES Act and SBA loans. At Ash CPA, we can guide you through the SBA application process and make sure your financial records are up to date and accurate. Our team has over 20 years of experience providing accounting and bookkeeping services. Call (617) 462-6651 or book a consultation online. New clients are always welcome.