U.S.A Economic Relief CARES Act Stimulus Package FAQs and Resource Guide
CARES Act Stimulus FAQs & Resources
From online research and news reports, Americans are asking questions about the CARES act, how the package works, and what it will accommodate. To further help you understand the governance, we've highlighted a few in the FAQ below.
1. When does the package go into effect?
The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. Small business owners can begin applying for Economic Injury Disaster loans now and Paycheck Protection loans after April 3.
In a March 29 interview, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said individual's could see deposits within three weeks. If the IRS doesn't have an individuals direct deposit information, there will be measure in place to allow the person to submit it online rather than waiting for a check by mail.
2. Who is eligible for the package?
Each aspect of the stimulus act passed has different eligibility requirements. Here's a quick rundown:
- Low-Interest Loans, Tax Deferrals, Financial Exemptions
- U.S. small businesses under 500 employees -- or within SBA's Small Business Size Standards -- are eligible for low-interest loans.
- Sole-proprietors are also eligible for SBA loans.
- All U.S. corporations and small businesses can defer 2019 taxes until October 2020.
- All U.S.-based companies qualify for payroll tax deferment until December 2021.
Aid for Individuals and Employees
- Individuals with annual taxable income under $75,000 and married couples making under $150,000 are eligible. Those making over $75,000 (or $150,000 as a married couple) could still be eligible, but might not receive the full $1,200.
- Households making more than $75,000, or $150,000, that receive the payment might be asked to pay back some of the payment with the 2020 tax refund.
- Individuals or married couples with children qualify for an additional $500 for each child.
- The one time payments do not disqualify citizens from unemployment benefits.
Sick Leave and Unemployment Eligibility
- Some, but not all self-employed people, will be eligible for unemployment. Unemployment is decided on a case-by-case basis.
- Employees who've worked for a business for 30 days or more qualify for paid sick leave.
- Employees who are in isolation, suspected to have COVID-19, have tested positive, or stay home to aid a sick relative qualify for full or partial paid leave.
3. Will the stimulus acts help me if I'm self-employed?
If you identify as a sole-proprietor, you might qualify for a Small Business Administration loan.
Additionally, unemployment benefits have been expanded to allow self-employed citizens to apply. But, the government will approve this on a case-by-case basis. Aside from unemployment benefits, individuals and married with taxable income will receive a check as part of the CARES Act.
4. Are there other funding options aside from the stimulus package?
Yes. Aside from this stimulus package, many banks, credit providers, and lenders are offering private low-interest loans that are both related and unrelated to COVID-19. Many businesses, such as non-profits, health and wellness companies, or agricultural organizations, can even apply for small business grants which can be found on grants.gov.
You can also check with your state or the local chamber of commerce to see if your area offers any location-based small business funding.
5. Can I delay payroll tax?
Yes. This stimulus package provides aid to help small businesses and corporations pay business costs, including payroll. You may defer paying your payroll tax until December 2021 and December 2022.
6. Can I get a low-interest loans for business expenses like software covered by COVID-19-related acts?
Maybe. The CARES Act and the Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Acts provide more funding to the Small Business Administration to offer loans to small businesses impacted or at risk of financial troubles due to COVID-19. While these various acts and the SBA list that these loans can cover "business expenses," a specific expense list isn't provided.Because the Small Business Administration works with lenders who will provide the loans, small business owners should explain the need for the software expense to an SBA-approved lender to determine if this will be covered by a low-interest loan. If not, there are a number of grants.
Resources for Small Business Owners and Employees
We recognize that this is a difficult time for many small businesses that are facing extenuating circumstances.
Additionally, below are a few of the relief acts passed in the previous month.
- The CARES Act
- Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act
To learn more about the stimulus package and other small business governance related to the current financial climate, you can also bookmark these helpful websites:
- Small Business Association
- American Bankers Association
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- U.S. Department of Labor
This blog post is meant as a basic resource and not a comprehensive guide. We will regularly update it to add more information as it becomes available.