LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
NEW STIMULUS PACKAGE SIGNED INTO LAW
President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act last week, which is the third major piece of legislation targeting the COVID-19 pandemic. It contains several tax provisions that impact businesses and individuals.
FFCRA credits extended
Paid sick and family leave credits are now extended through September 30, 2021. The program continues to be voluntary in 2021, however, the 80-hour limitation on paid sick leave hours resets on April 1, 2021. For purposes of the family leave credit, eligible wages increased to $12,000 from $10,000.
Employee retention credit (ERC) extended
The ERC is now extended through December 31, 2021. This credit can be substantial for employers who qualify. In 2021, a business may qualify if it either (1) demonstrates at least a 20% decline in a 2021 calendar quarter gross receipts compared to the same calendar quarter in 2019; or (2) experiences a business shutdown mandated by a government authority.
Recovery startup businesses, those that began after February 15, 2020 and had less than $1 million in gross receipts, could be eligible for an expanded credit of up to $50,000 per quarter for the third and fourth quarters of 2021.
Restaurant Revitalization Grants
The Small Business Administration has a new program specific to restaurants which aims to offset a “pandemic-related revenue loss” in 2020. Guidance is needed from the SBA to detail how this program operates.
Unemployment benefits tax-free
For taxpayers with less than $150,000 in 2020 adjusted gross income (AGI), the first $10,200 of 2020 unemployment benefits are tax-free.
A new round of stimulus checks provides up to $1,400 per individual, including college students and qualifying relatives. Phase-outs are modified: $75,000 to $80,000 for single filers; $112,500 to $120,000 for head of household; and $150,000 to $160,000 for married filing jointly.
The IRS will issue checks based on 2019 filings unless the 2020 return has already been filed.
Child Tax Credit expanded
The 2021 credit is increased to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for six years or younger), subject to phase-out limitations. An advance on the credit will be available with IRS guidance coming.
Please contact us if you have questions and continue to follow our updates as further guidance is released.
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