Tax News & Views $900 Billion In Relief Roundup

December 21, 2020

Highlights of $900 billion COVID-19 relief, wrapup bills – The Associated Press. “Congressional leaders have hashed out a massive, year-end catchall bill that combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill and reams of other unfinished legislation on taxes, energy, education and health care.”

The still unreleased bill is set to be voted on today. Here are some of the highlights of the Bill:

  • $286 billion in direct economic relief. This includes $120 billion in unemployment benefits of $300 per week and $166 billion in $600 of direct payments.
  • $325 billion in small business assistance which includes restarting the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • $69 billion for vaccine, testing, healthcare providers.
  • $82 billion for schools.
  • $25 billion in rental assistance.
  • $26 billion in food/farm aid.
  • $10 billion for childcare assistance.
  • $10 billion dollar in loan forgiveness to the postal service.

Congress Reaches Final Agreement on Pandemic ReliefAndrew Duehren and Kristina Peterson, The Wall Street Journal ($). “Lawmakers reached a final agreement on the roughly $900 billion coronavirus relief package, moving Congress closer to approval of a fresh infusion of aid to households, small businesses and schools after months of gridlock.”

“Congress passed a 24-hour extension of government funding Sunday evening, setting up votes on the relief agreement and a broader spending bill for Monday. The aid package is tied to a roughly $1.4 trillion annual spending package, and Congress has passed a series of temporary spending bills in recent days to keep the government funded while it finished the negotiations.”

Related: Congress reaches deal on COVID relief, PPP deductions – Eide Bailly.

Congress Reaches An Agreement On A Relief Package, Including New Stimulus Checks – Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes. “Congress has finally agreed on a COVID relief package. It is the first significant stimulus action from Congress since the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act was signed into law in March of 2020.”

“The bill would expand the PPP program to allow some businesses to receive an additional loan. Also included? Loan simplification for those borrowing $150,000 or less. However, it’s still not known whether business expenses paid for with the proceeds of PPP loans would be fully tax deductible - some deductibility was expected to be included but with safeguards (we’ll need to wait for the final text for the details).”

Treasury’s Position on PPP Loans Is ‘Poppycock,’ Says Grassley – Kristen A. Parillo, Tax Notes. “Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he is determined to reverse Treasury’s “misguided” decision disallowing deductions for expenses paid for with Paycheck Protection Program loans.”

“Increasing the tax burden on small businesses already hanging on by a thread to survive is poppycock,” Grassley said. “For example, a small business that used a $150,000 PPP loan to help pay wages and benefits for their employees might now be required to pay approximately $55,500 in federal income taxes due to denied deductions for necessary business expenses. This is bad timing, bad policy and very bad for small businesses.”


Brewers, Restaurants, Federal Workers Set for Tax Wins in Congressional Deal – Richard Rubin, The Wall Street Journal ($). “Beer, wine and spirits makers had been bracing for excise tax increases Jan. 1. Instead the lower tax rates they have had since 2018 will be extended indefinitely, as will a tax credit for maintaining short-line railroads.”


Lawmakers ask IRS if its systems were compromised in SolarWinds hack – Naomi Jagoda, The Hill. “Two key House lawmakers are seeking answers from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about whether any of the agency's systems were compromised as part of a massive cyberattack.”

Executive compensation regulations finalized – Sally P. Schreiber, J.D., Journal of Accountancy. “The IRS issued final regulations (T.D. 9932) on Sec. 162(m), which disallows a deduction by any publicly held corporation for employee remuneration paid to any covered employee to the extent that the employee’s remuneration for the tax year exceeds $1 million.”

Mayors To Congress: ‘You Have Abandoned American Cities’ – Liz Farmer, Forbes. “As the details of the $900 billion Covid-19 relief bill emerge, city and other local leaders are slamming Congress for not including direct financial aid to state and local governments.”

10 tax moves to make in December 2020 – Kay Bell, Don’t Mess With Taxes. “Some December tax moves will demand a little homework and financial calculations. Others will require you to dust off your crystal ball and make some political predictions.”

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