Congress passes legislation to extend PPP loan deadlines
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Congress has passed legislation loosening the rules and extending the deadlines for the Paycheck Protection Program, which gives forgivable loans to small businesses to keep people on payrolls. It now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.
The legislation is designed to smooth out a number of kinks in the program that businesses complained about. Initially, Paycheck Protection loans would only be forgiven if a business spent 75% of the loan money on payroll. The new bill lowers that to 60%. Businesses also have more time to spend the money — six months instead of two. That’s in response to businesses that complained that they couldn’t spend their loan money in such a short time frame when their workers didn’t have much to do, because they were still closed.
Without the new bill, the first businesses to receive Paycheck Protection loans would have to start paying them back next week. The legislation also defers payroll taxes for businesses getting the loans, and it gives them more time to repay any part of a loan that isn’t forgiven.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
What do vaccines mean for economic recovery?
COVID-19 is not going anywhere anytime soon, according to expert witnesses who testified at a recent hearing held by the Joint Economic Committee. Put simply, we can’t eradicate the virus because it infects other species, and there will also be folks who choose not to get the vaccine or don’t mount an immune response, according to Dr. Céline Gounder at NYU School of Medicine & Bellevue Hospital. “That means we can’t only rely on vaccination,” Gounder said. She said the four phases of recovering from the pandemic are ending the emergency, relaxing mitigation measures, getting to herd immunity and having long-term control.
Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?
As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.
What do I need to know about tax season this year?
Glad you asked! We have a whole separate FAQ section on that. Some quick hits: The deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 17 for individuals. Also, millions of people received unemployment benefits in 2020 — up to $10,200 of which will now be tax-free for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. And, for those who filed before the American Rescue Plan passed, simply put, you do not need to file an amended return at the moment. Find answers to the rest of your questions here.
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