United States Congress Passes $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan

On Wednesday, March 10, the United States House of Representatives passed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The legislation, which was approved earlier by the Senate, is expected to be signed by President Biden.

The American Rescue Plan includes an extension of unemployment benefits (set to expire on March 14), direct payment checks to qualifying individuals, $50 billion in additional relief funds to small businesses and $160 billion to support the swift distribution of vaccines across the country and build capacity to fight the virus, among other items.

Below is a snapshot of what is included in the bill:

Small Business Support

The bill provides $15 billion to the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan program, which provides long-term, low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration. Severely impacted small businesses with fewer than 10 workers will be given priority for some of those funds. It also provides $25 billion to fund a new grant program specifically for bars and restaurants and $1.25 billion for venue operators struggling from pandemic lockdowns and closures.

The Paycheck Protection Program, which is currently taking applications for second-round loans, receives an additional $7.25 billion in funds, with eligibility opening to more non-profit organizations across the country.

Stimulus Checks

The legislation sends a third round of stimulus payments to eligible individuals. Singles earning up to $75,000 will receive $1,400, with the payments phasing out completely by $80,000 in income. Couples making up to $150,000 will get $2,800 – $1,400 per person – with the payments declining at higher incomes and zeroing out entirely at $160,000. Children and adult dependents in those households are also eligible for $1,400 payments.

Unemployment Insurance, Tax Relief

The legislation extends supplemental unemployment benefits scheduled to run out Sunday, March 14. The bill extends the weekly federal benefit of $300 a week through Sept. 6.

It also includes tax relief on the first $10,200 in unemployment payments for workers in households earning up to $150,000 a year. The change will prevent many people from receiving surprise IRS bills this spring.

The package also extends benefits for self-employed individuals and gig workers, along with those who have exhausted their regular jobless benefits.

Tax Credits & Childcare Assistance

The bill expands tax credits for low- and middle- income families and makes them refundable for 2021. It also expands the child tax credit to $3,000 from $2,000 for each child aged six to 17. Children five and younger would be eligible for $3,600. The additional funding on top of the standard $2,000 credit phases out by $50 for every $1,000 of modified Adjusted Gross Income over $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head of household, and $150,000 for joint filers. Tax credits will be sent to households monthly starting in July.

The bill also includes $25 billion for a stabilization fund to help open childcare centers and $15 billion in grants to support essential workers in meeting childcare costs.

The Maner Costerisan team is in the process of pouring over the new legislation to ensure we provide the most timely and accurate insight on how it could impact your business.

If you have immediate questions, contact the team below.

 


Sarah Jennings, CPA, CAE
sjennings@manercpa.com


Shane Obi
sobi@manercpa.com


Dennis Theis, CPA, CVGA
dtheis@manercpa.com

Sources:
“American Rescue Plan,” U.S. Congress, March 10, 2020
“What’s in the 1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill Passed by the Senate,” Accounting Today, March 8, 2021
“Senate Stimulus Package What to Expect Guidelines,” CNN.com, March 4, 2021