Your questions about the Phase III Stimulus
April 3rd, 2020
What Families, Workers, And Small Businesses Need To Know
My top priority right now is doing everything I can to protect the physical and economic health of North Carolina as we all come together to get through this crisis. I worked across the aisle last week to pass the CARES Act, a historic $2 trillion relief package that will provide direct checks to hardworking North Carolinians as well as assistance to workers and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. After having many conversations with individuals and small business owners in recent days, I understand that there are numerous questions about how this legislation will impact your bottom line. Below is a list of answers to the most common questions I have been asked about the CARES Act.
DIRECT CASH PAYMENTS TO NORTH CAROLINIANS IN NEED
If I receive a check from the federal government, will I have to pay it back later, or will it be taxed?
No. These checks are designed to provide assistance for you and your family as you make the economic sacrifices required to help us flatten the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak by staying home and practicing social distancing. You will not need to pay the federal government back and these checks will not be taxed.
Will everyone receive a check?
All U.S. residents with gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married couples are eligible for the full $1,200 ($2,400 married) rebate. They are also eligible for an additional $500 per child. That means a family of four could receive up to $3,400. The amount is completely phased-out for single filers with incomes exceeding $99,000, $146,500 for the head of household filers with one child, and $198,000 for joint filers with no children.
Do I have to do anything to receive a check?
In most cases, you do not. The checks will be distributed based on your 2018 or 2019 tax return. If you already filed your 2018 or 2019 return, then you do not need anything else to receive your payment. The federal government will send your check through the direct deposit that you set up on your 2018 or 2019 return.
What happens if I haven’t filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019?
If you did not file taxes during the last two years, you’ll most likely need to complete a free tax return filing through the IRS. Information on how to do so will be provided at www.irs.gov/coronavirus.
What do I do if the IRS does not have my direct deposit information?
In the coming weeks, the Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.
Do people on social security and disability receive checks?
Yes. Checks are available to all U.S. residents regardless of income source. While they phase out with income made over the gross income threshold, they do not discriminate based on income source.
HELPING WORKERS BRIDGE THE GAP
Can part-time workers file for unemployment?
It varies state by state. Per the North Carolina Department of Commerce: If you work part-time, you must report the gross (before taxes) earnings for the weeks that you worked, and you must maintain your eligibility requirements. If your only employment was part-time and you have been separated, you may be eligible to receive benefits. Contact a DES claims representative at 1-888-737-0259 so that a determination can be made. More information is available here.
Can independent contractors or self-employed individuals file for unemployment?
The CARES Act provides $250 billion to expand unemployment benefits and cover more Americans during this crisis. Through the end of 2020, workers, including the self-employed and independent contractors, are made eligible for unemployment benefits, which are also temporarily increased by $600 per week from their typical benefit value. Additionally, the law increases the length of unemployment eligibility by an additional 13 weeks. Agencies are now formulating and finalizing rules and are providing guidance to the state of North Carolina, which will determine the ultimate unemployment benefits eligibility for our state.
ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
What is the Paycheck Protection Program?
The Paycheck Protection Program will assist small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible for the loans provided by this program if they also meet program size standards.
How much money can each small business receive from this program?
Businesses of under 500 employees per location are eligible to receive up to 8 weeks of cash flow assistance through federally guaranteed loans.
Do businesses have to pay the federal government back for these loans?
If the employer receiving the loan maintains payroll and does not terminate employees, the portion of the loan used to meet payroll, mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities will be completely forgiven. This is designed to ensure businesses can retain their workers and applies retroactively to February 15, 2020, to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto the payroll.
How do businesses apply for these loans?
Visit the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) website for details by clicking here.