On Wednesday night, the Senate passed unanimously (96-0) a $2 trillion emergency relief bill. The measure would constitute the largest economic stimulus package in U.S. history. Key provisions include:
- Relief by cash: The IRS would send checks of $1,200 and $2,400 to individuals and joint filers, respectively. The payments would be reduced for those making above $75,000/$150,000 and eliminated for those making above $99,000/$198,000.
- Relief by payroll tax: Employers would receive a payroll tax credit for half of wages where a company’s operation was at least partially prohibited during the coronavirus crisis.
- Relief by retirement account access: The 10% penalty on early withdrawal fees from retirement accounts would be waived up to $100,000 for the duration of 2020.
- Relief by tax-free student loan repayment: Employers would be able to provide tax-free student loan repayments up to $5,250 per year. These payments would not count as taxable income for the employee.
- Relief by expanded unemployment benefits: The bill would expand eligibility for unemployment benefits and offer recipients an additional $600 per week above what they already receive under state unemployment programs. These expanded benefits would last for four months.
The House of Representatives is expected to pass the legislation on Friday morning.
Assuming this relief package becomes law, it is likely the last federal economic stimulus we will see until late April, at the earliest. The Senate has adjourned until April 20, 2020 for an extended recess.
We will keep you updated with further developments and guidance concerning any COVID-19 measures.