The last week was certainly not a good one for getting definite answers as to the direction the government is taking as we continue to weather the coronavirus pandemic. It went from Congress talking about a new stimulus package, Congress being unable to reach agreement on a deal, to the president passing some measures himself, and then some inevitable sniping against a background of two sides that still say they want to pass major legislation.
The biggest news out of this for many people is that there are no current plans for another stimulus payment check. This does not mean one will never come (both Democrats and Republicans say they want this to be part of a larger package) but it means it is not something you can currently count on.
For people then looking for a little extra bit of money elsewhere, the president’s executive order to delay collection of payroll taxes for those making less than approximately $100,000 a year could sound great. This may be a good temporary band-aid, but it must also be acknowledged that this does not mean those taxes will never come due. So sure, if someone needs money now to keep the lights on or put food on the table, that little bit of extra money can help. Just keep in mind that it will be owed at some point in the future, so save for that as soon as possible to try to keep the issues from snowballing.
This deferment of taxes could turn into complete forgiveness (and there is language in the executive order saying that doing this should be explored), but until that becomes official, one should not count on it happening.
The rules for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) have also not been good for definite answers, having changed many times since the program was first instituted, and there is certainly a chance that they will change again. The Small Business Administration has put out a recent series of FAQs concerning the program, though, (which you can access by clicking here), so this is the best place to go for the latest word on how forgiveness will be calculated.
Granted, some of this is not the easiest read and probably qualifies as legalese, but it is always good to have access to source information and not just utilize another’s interpretation of it. And to that end, the White House runs a web page where you can view the actual text of all executive orders.
All these issues point to how we have to live within the rules that are in operation at any given time. This can become very frustrating when they keep changing as often as they do, but it also prevents you from running into a tough situation at the end of the road. And when you commit to operating as well as you can during difficult times, that is when such moves as receiving stimulus money stand the best chance of really helping you move forward.
In closing, here is to hoping that you are doing the best you can in this current situation and may a combination of grace, common sense, and good policy carry us further forward.
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