President Donald Trump signed a series of executive orders on Saturday, August 8, to provide temporary relief to Americans impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. The four executive orders include an additional $400 per week in unemployment benefits, suspension of some student loan payments through December 31, 2020, protection for renters from eviction, and deferral of certain payroll taxes for Americans who earn less than $104,000 annually through the end of the year.
Additional Unemployment Benefits
The additional $600 per week benefit to Americans filing unemployment expired on July 31, leaving many out-of-work Americans in a state of financial distress. President Trump’s order would allow states to provide a maximum of $400 per week in expanded benefits on top of what the unemployed already receive in state benefits. Per the order, 75% of this $400 would come from the federal government’s disaster relief fund, and the individual states would pay the remaining 25% of the cost. However, states may pay for their percentage of the benefits with the money provided to them under the Coronavirus relief package previously passed.
Student Loan Relief
Congress’ original provision to suspend payments on some student loans due to the Coronavirus pandemic is set to expire at the end of September. President Trump’s executive order will extend these deferments through December 31, 2020.
Payroll Tax Cut
The employee portion of the payroll tax will be deferred from September 1 through the end of the year for employees who earn less than $4,000 for any bi-weekly pay period, or $104,000 annually. Essentially, the deferral is an interest-free loan which would have to be repaid. The payroll tax funds Social Security and Medicare benefits, and it is unclear where those programs will receive funding from if the taxes are deferred. You can view the executive order for payroll tax cuts here.
If you have questions on how any of these provisions will affect you or your business, please reach out to one of our Trusted Advisors and we will be happy to assist you. Visit our COVID-19 Resources Page for further COVID-19 related information.