So just when we (barely) felt like we were getting a handle on all the legislation passed last year due to the COVID pandemic, the American Rescue Plan was passed earlier this month giving us a whole new batch of things to try to figure out.
There just might be some reason why the IRS pushed back the tax deadline by a month shortly following its passage after all.
The easy and headline-grabbing parts of the package were known immediately and by this point many have already received their economic impact payments. After those $1,400 payments, the next biggest news seemed to be the child tax credit because, hey, many people were now going to be looking forward to getting even more checks directly from the government starting later in the year. (Although now the IRS is starting to caution the timing of that beginning could be tricky.)
Beyond those two bits, I think most of the news I saw surrounding the package was partisan takes about whether it was a good idea on the whole. This is not to say that the debate is meaningless, but it does obscure just what else is included in the package.
For instance, were you aware of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund that will makes grants available? Did you know that many people now qualify to have the first $10,200 they received in unemployment benefits in 2020 be nontaxable?
So for those of you who may be interested in getting beyond the initial headlines and finding out more of what is involved to add up to the $1.9 trillion price tag, here is a fact sheet from the Treasury Department that gives you the basic rundown.
Even if you are not currently interested in knowing more, however, I would recommend not keeping your eyes and ears closed to future news of what the bill contains. Just how all these pieces will play in practice really is not known yet. This is going to be an evolving topic and if the past year is any indication, it will only evolve in a way that adds more benefits to more people. Even if you currently feel secure, why not take some added benefits if they are offered?
Trust us when we say that we understand how it can feel maddening when so many tax and financial rules keep changing. There truly have been many moments when we feel we have things figured out, then new guidance or laws say we were wrong. This is hopefully the end of the line when it comes to pandemic legislation, though, so keep your mind in the game a little longer and we will work together to figure out how to continue making it work to your best advantage.
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