6 Ways The $2 Trillion Stimulus Package May Help You

Monday, April 6, 2020 - by Cody Sims

In response to the severe economic fallout stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, a record $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package was enacted at the end of March. The wide-ranging CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act is designed to help ease the financial hardships many Americans are facing. You may be wondering what, if any, economic relief is available to you. Here are some possible ways you may qualify for support.

#1 – Direct payments to many Americans 
The CARES Act includes a provision to send most Americans direct payments of $1,200, or $2,400 for joint filers, plus $500 for each child. The amount of the payments will be reduced for those with higher incomes. For individuals filing taxes as singles, the reduced amount begins at an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $75,000 per year and is completely phased out at $99,000. For joint filers, the reduced amount begins at $150,000 and payment is eliminated at $198,000. Your AGI will be determined by your 2019 tax filing (or 2018, if 2019 is unavailable). These payments will primarily come via direct deposit within weeks, but when you actually receive the rebate may vary depending on your circumstances.

#2 – Enhanced unemployment compensation
For those collecting unemployment benefits, the federal government will bump up your weekly benefit by $600 for up to four months. Laid off workers who file for unemployment would usually need to wait a week to receive benefits. However, the act now allows for that week to be funded by the federal government. Benefits are also extended to self-employed individuals who often don’t qualify for coverage.

#3 – Penalty-free distributions from retirement accounts 
If today’s circumstances require you to tap your workplace retirement plan or IRA to meet current financial needs, you may have more flexibility to do so. Affected, eligible participants in workplace retirement plans and IRA owners can take an aggregate distribution in 2020 of up to $100,000 from all retirement accounts without incurring the usual 10 percent early withdrawal penalty. The affected participant or IRA owner (including a spouse or dependent) would need to either be diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing adverse financial consequences that meet a broad-set of COVID-19-related criteria. 

Income taxes will still apply to the distribution but can be spread out over three years. You also have the option to refund your retirement accounts any or all of the distribution within three years of the initial withdrawal and adjust your tax liability accordingly.

#4 – No required minimum distributions in 2020 
Those who are required to take minimum distributions (RMDs), can ignore RMD rules this year. RMDs for 2020 are suspended for certain defined contribution plans and IRAs to help retirement accounts try to recover from stock market losses. Check with your tax advisor about other options you may have related to RMDs. 

#5 – Tax-deductible charitable contributions 
As a result of the 2017 tax reform, the vast majority of taxpayers lost their ability to choose itemized deductions due to a dramatic increase in standardized deductions. That eliminated the ability for many to write off charitable contributions on their taxes. The new CARES Act allows for a $300 above-the-line deduction for charitable contributions made to 501(c)(3) organizations for taxpayers who take the standard deduction or those who itemize. The deduction applies to cash contributions. The changes go into effect beginning in the 2020 tax year. The tax savings may be modest, but it helps.

#6 – A break for those with student loans
All federal student loan payments are deferred until September 30, 2020. However, you need to contact your loan provider and inform them that you plan to pause payments as allowed under the CARES Act. There are additional benefits for borrowers and grant recipients as well, so check with your loan provider or school administration for more information. 

This is a time when you want to be sure to balance decisions that address your short-term financial obstacles with your long-term financial plan. Touch base with your financial advisor to discuss your situation and best strategies to cope with this challenging time. 



Amazon Offering More Than 2,000 Full-Time Jobs To Seasonal Employees Across Tennessee

Georgia Reports Record Unemployment Rates Across State

FourBridges Expands Restructuring And Debt Financing Advisory Practice


In March, Amazon announced it would hire more than 175,000 temporary full- and part-time roles across its North American operations network to help provide for communities relying on Amazon’s ... (click for more)

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced on Thursday that April’s unemployment numbers for Georgia’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), regions, and counties are at a reported all-time ... (click for more)

FourBridges Capital Advisors announced Wednesday the expansion of the firm’s Restructuring and Debt Financing Advisory practice, adding five senior professionals with backgrounds in restructuring ... (click for more)



Business

Amazon Offering More Than 2,000 Full-Time Jobs To Seasonal Employees Across Tennessee

In March, Amazon announced it would hire more than 175,000 temporary full- and part-time roles across its North American operations network to help provide for communities relying on Amazon’s service and keep as many people working as possible during the coronavirus pandemic. This included more than 3,500 new employees hired in Tennessee. Like other companies, Amazon brought ... (click for more)

Georgia Reports Record Unemployment Rates Across State

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced on Thursday that April’s unemployment numbers for Georgia’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), regions, and counties are at a reported all-time high across all categories. Regional commissions reported unemployment rates at all-time highs in Atlanta, Coastal Georgia, Georgia Mountains, Northeast Georgia, Northwest Georgia, River ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Protestors Face Off With Law Enforcement At County Courthouse; Tear Gas Used After Incident On Balcony; Lee Mobilizes Guard And Seeks Further Investigation Into Nashville Unrest

A crowd of some 100 protestors did minor damage at the Hamilton County Courthouse on Sunday night, but left after tear gas was lobbed into a balcony area. Chattanooga Police said afterward the tear gas was thrown by the Sheriff's Office and not the city police. City Police also said they were not given warning that the tear gas was going to be used. In another tense night in ... (click for more)

Erlanger Nurse Fired After Social Media Post About Not Treating Protestors

An Erlanger employee was let go after a Facebook comment was brought to the hospital's attention. Tracy Davis said on Facebook that she was getting a good look at protesters faces and they shouldn't come to her hospital wanting help if they got hurt. Erlanger officials responded on Twitter by saying: "It is important to understand that her comments are her views as an individual. ... (click for more)

Opinion

The Court Of Public Opinion Has Ruled - And Response

Since the court of public opinion has already judged the officer in Minneapolis, the city should save money and not even have a trial. Let a volunteer, one of these tough guys who run around blindly shooting at people and setting fires, let that guy execute him. With all due respect to our police chief and I mean that sincerely, I disagree with your view. Chief, you should know ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden This June

On this, the first day of a new month, I pause during my monthly trip to the garden as I mourn for my country. The protests that morphed into ugly, race-fueled riots are worse than the COVID virus that continues to plague our nation. By this I mean we were helpless to the virus – there was no way to stop it and therefore we must endure. Criminal rioting is altogether different. ... (click for more)