PHOENIX – Arizona residents are closer to getting the financial relief they need after Senators Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema voted in favor of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act. The bill now heads to the House for a vote on Friday.
The $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus compromise package was passed just before midnight.
The Senate just pivoted from one of the most divided periods in recent memory to passing the largest rescue package in American history. And we passed it unanimously.
Americans deserved this outcome. I am proud the Senate stepped up.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) March 26, 2020
|According to FOX News, “The legislation passed by the Senate will use 2019 tax returns, if available, or 2018 tax returns to assess income for determining how much direct financial aid individuals receive. Those who did not file tax returns can use a Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement or Form RRB-1099, a Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement, per Page 149 of the bill.”|
“Arizona, relief is finally on the way!” McSally said in a press release. “This package sends cash directly to Arizonans to support their basic needs while they stay at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This bill also expands unemployment benefits for those laid off due to this unprecedented pandemic. However, a main objective of this bill is to provide money to small businesses to keep employees connected to employers, so we provide 100% forgiven loans to small businesses to maintain employees on the payroll and pay overhead costs to keep their business afloat until we defeat this virus. Our frontline health care warriors and hospitals will also receive much-needed resources to protect themselves and save lives.”
“Today’s bipartisan agreement will immediately shore-up Arizona hospitals and health care workers on the frontlines, support everyday families and individuals out of work, and assist employers affected by temporary closures. I’ll continue working closely with local Arizona communities to ensure these resources go where they are needed while assisting Arizonans with individual casework needs,” said Sinema in a press release.
The bill includes:
Cash Relief to Americans
• Most individuals who made less than $75,000 on their 2018 tax returns will receive a $1,200 check, and couples who made less than $150,000 will receive a $2,400 check. Those with children will receive an additional $500 for each dependent child.
• Unemployment benefits will increase to $850 per week (currently $250 per week in Arizona) with expanded eligibility for those who are self-employed, independent contractors, part-time workers, and gig economy workers, like Uber and Lyft drivers.
Support for Small Businesses and other Employers
• Specialized small business loans will be available through local banks. The portion of these loans used for basic operations, including processing payroll and paying rent, will be converted into a grant and forgiven.
• Employee Retention Tax Credit: provision provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by employers to employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The credit is available to employers whose (1) operations were fully or partially suspended, due to a COVID-19related shut-down order, or (2) gross receipts declined by more than 50 percent when compared to the same quarter in the prior year.
• Modifications for Net Operating Losses: these changes will allow companies to utilize losses and amend prior year returns, which will provide critical cash flow and liquidity during the COVID-19 emergency.
• Investments in Qualified Improvement Property: enables businesses, especially in the hospitality industry, to write off immediately costs associated with improving facilities instead of having to depreciate those improvements over the life of the building.
• Relief from Financial Hardship for Small Businesses and Families: allows for Troubled Debt Restructuring (TDR) to make it easier for individuals and businesses currently experiencing financial hardship to work with their financial institution to address immediate financial hardship.
• Helping Institutions Serve their Communities: expedited guidance from the Small Business Administration to streamline the new small business Paycheck Protection Program grants and loans so small business have fast access to much needed cash.