The Cares Act

The COVID-19 virus sweeping throughout the nation has put many Americans’ finances in jeopardy. The government has passed the Cares Act to help individuals through this challenging time. Since most workplaces in Pennsylvania are closed, it is important to know the details of the relief plan.

How Much Individuals Will Receive

At its base, the act provides a $1,200 check for individuals who make up to $75,000 a year. The base amount of the check will be $2,400 for couples that make up to $150,000. Dependents will receive an additional $500. These payments will decrease for individuals making over $75,000, capping out at an income of $99,000 for an individual or $198,000 for couples, respectively.

Additional Unemployment Benefits

In addition, under the CARES Act, unemployment insurance benefits will rise for the next four months. It will also extend these benefits to gig economy workers and freelancers, people who normally do not qualify for unemployment insurance. The bill will increase unemployment benefits by a maximum of $600 a week.

The amount that the CARES Act provides through the check is dependent on the information from your most recent tax returns. If you haven’t yet filed for last year, 2018’s information will be substituted in. For those relying on Social Security benefits, your benefits information may be used.

Non-filer Implications

The IRS encourages anyone with a tax-filing obligation who hasn’t filed a tax return for 2018 or a previous year to act now. This includes certain potential credits and rebates for those who have filed a return for 2018 and/or 2019. Those without 2018 tax filings on record could potentially affect the mailing of stimulus checks. More than 1 million people who haven’t filed tax returns for Tax Year 2016 and are owed a refund still face an April 15, 2020, deadline to file their return. Current law requires the 2016 return to be filed by April 15, 2020.

The IRS is encouraging non-filers to consider contacting a tax professional. They can help you consider available options since the time to receive such refunds is limited by statute. Most taxpayers have the opportunity to resolve any outstanding liabilities, once delinquent returns have been filed. They can then enter into an Installment Agreement or an Offer in Compromise with the IRS to obtain a Fresh Start.

To learn more about the CARES Act, visit the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Website.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the CARES Act, we encourage you to reach out to us here. 

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