Stimulus Part 3: Still in the works. As of late yesterday, lawmakers still were struggling to reach agreement on a consensus financial rescue package designed to sustain companies and workers through the coronavirus shock. A key procedural vote needed to bring the bill to a vote failed Sunday evening on a 47-47 tie. Senate Democrats appeared to agree to many—but not all- provisions of a GOP version released yesterday. It would provide cash payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child that would begin to phase out at $75,000 for singles and $150,000 for joint filers. It also would include money for small business worker-retention loans, net operating loss changes, enhanced unemployment assistance, and would give firms the ability to delay their share of payroll tax payments.
One hitch. The GOP stimulus plan also provides up to $500 billion for Treasury to spend as it chooses to boost targeted businesses and industries. Democratic lawmakers objected, calling the money a “slush fund.” After senators failed to reach an agreement on the overall package, the House is drafting its own measure. Said Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “We’ll be introducing our own bill and hopefully it will be compatible with what they discuss on the Senate side.”
Meanwhile: The IRS may need months to put cash in people’s hands. Reuters explains that the IRS will likely soon have to put recession-fighting checks into the hands of millions of Americans with fewer workers, a smaller budget, and 1960s-era computer systems. Former National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said of the activity, “It is the one agency that can do this stuff well. But that’s at the harm of everything else it’s supposed to do.”
Yes, Tax Day really is delayed until July 15. After days of confusion, Treasury and the IRS announced that taxpayers will not have to file this year’s federal income tax returns until mid-July. And April tax payments, including balances due and estimated taxes, don’t have to be paid until July 15 either. Several states, though not all, have delayed their income tax filing deadlines as well.
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