Understanding CARES bill and advantage of stimulus money

Coronavirus

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – A $2 trillion stimulus bill was signed last week to spark the economy and help businesses stay open.

You’ve likely been hearing the buzzwords: stimulus checks, payroll protection, small business loans. But how does that translate into dollars and cents for you or your favorite business?

“Is this going to be beneficial for me?” Mark June of June CPA explains what people are asking. “My short answer is what got passed on Friday, which is the CARES act, is absolutely yes.”

The CARES act is $2 trillion for people and businesses large and small throughout America. June says it starts with a check you will be getting soon.

“It’s roughly $1200 per person, about $2400 for a married filing joint couple,” he said. “$500 per dependent, and then they put caps for income. So a married filing jointly at $150,000 or less you will get the full $2400. $198,000 is the phase-out where you get nothing.”

The government will determine that salary by looking at your latest tax return. If you hadn’t filed in 2019, then they will turn to 2018 taxes, or if you are older and getting Social Security, the numbers will be based on that.

June says it’s free money. As of now, you won’t have to pay it back; the government hopes instead you will spend it.

“I can’t imagine why any business won’t apply for this payroll protection plan. it is just that good,” said June.

That’s the other part of the bill — the money to help businesses survive the pandemic, giving them a low-interest loan to help pay their bills, their rent and their employees.

“The plan was enacted to keep people employed,” explains June. “It is to compensate the employer to cover payroll. The fact is that if we have people on the payroll even if they aren’t working, they are going to get paid and the employer is going to get reimbursed by this program.”

He said it forces people to rehire those who were laid off.

“I think a lot of them jumped the gun and went through the unemployment process and that probably was the right move so they could get money into the hands of those employees,” June said. “But they will through this program that one of the key parts is actually rehiring people.”

The idea is to give them businesses money through the end of June that they can pay back “much” later, as long as 10 years at just 4% interest.

June believes there is a possibility the initial plan may not be a loan but a payment to help the U.S economy and business.

That means any money spent to hire employees or keep the doors open in the first three months may not have to be repaid with interest.

June has some advice for anyone looking to benefit from this stimulus: “Make yourself aware of what the program is. Look at the specifics, and try to get your data prepared. So when it does come out we can just work through that particular item and get it filed for that business.”

It is an expensive plan to bring businesses back to life and bring a positive not just to the economy, but to the American people.

“It looks like the federal government has stepped up to the plate and they are going to fund this as much as they need to so that we have success moving forward,” June said. “And some of that success is so people say I have my job, I have my pay, the hospitals are working, this thing is under control.”

For more information, June CPA has a link with daily updates on the bills and COVID-19 at junecpa.com.

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