Highlights of the American Rescue Plan Act

Preface: Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own.” – Charles Dickens.

Highlights of the American Rescue Plan Act

Credit: Donald J. Sauder, CPA | CVA

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into legislation on Thursday, March 11th, as a Covid-19 relief measure. This Act expands some key relief features for those tax persons needing funding program support for both businesses and individuals. 

While the minimum wage for employees of $15.00 per hour was not encapsulated in the legislation, we will highlight the following business and individual tax program provisions of the ARPA in this blog.

Individual Tax Program Highlights

Firstly, ARPA approves cash stimulus for eligible individuals and dependents. This one-time stimulus payment will be $1,400 or $2,800 per those filing taxes jointly, with an additional $1,400 for each qualifying dependent. This cash stimulus is subject to phase-out for tax-persons starting at $150,000 of AGI filing together and entirely phase-out above $160,000. For heads of household tax persons, phase-outs begin at $112,500, and for individual tax persons, $75,000. The calendar arrival of these program payments is in the process of scheduling.

Additionally, ARPA is committed to assist more financially disadvantaged children by providing legislated program expansion of the child tax credit (CTC). For 2021 tax-year, the CTC will increase to $3,000 per dependent and $3,600 for qualifying dependents below six. This CTC credit phase-out will begin at $150,000 for tax-persons filing jointly and $112,500 for heads of household tax persons. 

Unemployment Insurance Compensation the was set to expire March 14th has been extended to September 6th. This renews the $300 per week program assistance for tax persons and makes the first $10,200 not taxable for 2020 for those tax persons with an AGI below $150,000. 

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) will be scaling eligibility to tax persons from age 19 without caps for those from 64 years of age or older. EITC maximums will increase from $4,220 to $9,820, providing relief program assistance for qualifying tax-persons. 

Dependent Care Assistance (DCA) has a temporary program shift for 2021 to increase credits for qualifying dependent care from $3,000 to $8,000 for one dependent and $6,000 to $16,000 for two or more qualifying dependents.

Business Tax Program Highlights

The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans have received $7.25B in additional funds and broader eligibility for non-profits.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) provides $28B in funds for grants to restaurants and foodservice businesses in the industry of serving food and drinks. Specific eligibility rules apply. 

ARPA also includes housing-related assistance with an appropriated $21B for those tax persons who need program funds to pay rent or utilities, including funding to support rural renters, homeowners, and other at-risk tax persons.

March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic and it has a seeming similarity to spring we can learn from a Mark Twain quote. “In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.

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