Expanded COVID-19 Aid Available to Individuals through New Presidential Executive Orders

Practice Areas

By: Pooja Srivastava

On August 8, 2020, President Donald Trump filed a series of executive orders to provide additional economic relief to Americans amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  1. Payroll Tax Deferral:
    • Certain individuals can defer the withholding, deposit, and payment of the 6.2% payroll tax. Deferral is available for employees whose bi-weekly pay is less than $4,000 pre-tax (approximately $104,000 a year).
    • The tax deferral is available for wages paid between September 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
    • Individuals can defer their payroll taxes without penalty or interest.
    • Payroll taxes generally include social security and Medicare. These taxes are split evenly between employers and employees.
    • The Secretary of the Treasury will “explore avenues,” including legislation, to forgive these deferred tax payments.
  1. Student Loan Relief:
    • The Secretary of Education will waive all interest due on Department of Education student loans through December 31, 2020.
    • The agency will also continue hardship deferment programs that allow certain individuals to temporarily stop making student loan payments through December 31, 2020.
  1. Relief from Rental Eviction & Foreclosure:
    • Of the 110 million Americans who live in rental housing, at least 30 millionare at risk for eviction by the end of September 2020.
    • The CARES Act temporarily blocked evictions of certain renters. That moratorium has expired, and there is now a significant risk of mass evictions. Landlords can now begin charging late fees, and they can file evictions on or after August 24, 2020.
    • This order directs the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to allocate federal funds to temporary financial assistance for renters and homeowners.
  1. Extended Federal and State Unemployment Benefits:
    • The CARES Act provided an additional $600 per week to individuals collecting unemployment benefits. These benefits recently expired.
    • Under this executive order, individuals can receive additional unemployment benefits of up to $400 per week from September 1 through December 6, 2020. Over $44 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding will cover 75% of this cost, while states must cover the remaining 25%.

Conclusion

For help understanding how these new COVID-19 relief measures impact you or your business, please contact your trusted Chugh CPAs, LLP professional.