Congress Passes COVID-19 Relief Bill, Waiting on the President’s Signature
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill Monday night. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, as it has been named, still needs to be signed by the President and is not law at this time.
A summary of the key terms of the proposed bill is as follows:
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- It clarifies that businesses can deduct expenses paid with forgiven PPP loans. This applies to the original round of PPP loans and now this new round of PPP loans.
- The bill provides an additional $284 billion in funding for round two of PPP loans.
- Who is eligible for round two?
- First-time qualified borrowers with 500 or fewer employees
- Businesses that previously received a PPP loan in round one who specifically have 300 or fewer employees; have used or will use the full amount of their first PPP loan; and can show a 25% gross revenue decline in certain 2020 quarters compared with the same quarter in 2019
- The bill expands eligibility for certain nonprofits (for example, Chamber of Commerce and Churches) and includes set-asides for very small businesses and community-based lenders.
- Maximum loan size for round two PPP loans is $2 million.
- The bill makes additional expenses eligible for loan forgiveness besides payroll, rent, mortgage interest and utilities. The bill changed the requirement to spend no less than 60% of the funds on payroll over the covered period. It also includes:
- Covered worker protection and facility modification expenditures, including PPE to comply with COVID-19 federal health and safety guidelines
- Expenditures to suppliers that are essential at the time of purchase
- Covered operating costs such as software and cloud computing services and accounting needs
- The bill creates a simplified forgiveness application process for loans of $150,000 or less. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) must create the application within 24 days of the bill’s enactment.
- Repeals the requirement that PPP borrowers deduct the amount of any Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) advance from their PPP forgiveness amount.
- Provides new Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) grants for business in low-income communities.
- Extends and expands the Employee Retention Tax Credit through July 1, 2021.
- Expands the deduction for business meals to 100% for 2021 and 2022.
- Extends the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid leave 100% tax credits through March 31, 2021. This does not extend the requirement, but it allows an employer to keep offering such leave.
- Economic impact payments of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year and $1,200 for married couples making $150,000 per year, as well as a $600 payment for each dependent child.
- Extended unemployment benefits $300 per week supplement from December 26 until March 14, 2021, an extra 11 weeks. It also extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program with expanded coverage to the self-employed, gig workers, and others in nontraditional employment.
- Adjustments to how the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit are calculated for 2020. The calculation may be able to use 2019 income to determine an individual’s credit eligibility for the 2020 tax year.
- The new above-the-line charitable contribution is extended through 2021 at $600 married filing jointly and $300 for all other filers.
- Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) balances can be rolled from the 2020 tax year into 2021. This could be helpful for any unused childcare expenses unable to be used in 2020.
- Payroll tax deferral repayment by employees as been extended from April 2021 to December 31, 2021.
Our team is closely monitoring this situation as updates are released. Please reach out to your trusted Scheffel Boyle team member with questions. We are here to help!