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    Senate Passes Its Version of Third Stimulus Bill
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    Senate Passes Its Version of Third Stimulus Bill

    March 2021
    Over the weekend, the Senate passed its version of another coronavirus relief package, slightly modifying the House package that passed last week.
    The Senate bill contains provisions for both businesses and individuals. Most notable are:

    • Stimulus checks

      A third round of stimulus payments is coming but will phase out faster than in previous rounds based on income.

      Individuals earning less than $75,000 annually and married couples earning less than $150,000 will receive $1,400 per person, including children. Payments will phase out completely for individuals who earn more than $80,000 a year and married couples earning more than $160,000 -- regardless of how many children they have. This is a change from the House bill that set income caps at $200,000 for couples and $100,000 for individuals.

      Unlike the previous two rounds, adult dependents -- including college students -- are expected to be eligible for the payments.
    • More money for small businesses

      Both bills would provide $15 billion to the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which provides long-term, low-interest loans from the SBA. Severely impacted small businesses with fewer than 10 workers will be given priority for some of the money.

      The bills also provide $25 billion for a new grant program specifically for bars and restaurants. Eligible businesses may receive up to $10 million and can use the money for a variety of expenses, including payroll, mortgage and rent, utilities and food and beverages.

      The PPP would get an additional $7 billion, and the bills would make more non-profit organizations eligible.
    • Child Tax Credit

      Both the House and Senate bills increase tax credits for families -- to $3,600 for each child under 6 and $3,000 for each child under age 18 (from the current $2,000 per child under age 17). The credit would also become fully refundable, and families would receive payments monthly, at least at first, rather than a lump sum once a year.
    • Optional paid sick and family leave

      While neither bill would reinstate mandatory paid family and sick leave approved in a previous COVID relief package, both continue to provide tax credits to employers who voluntarily choose to offer the benefit through October 1.
    • Federal Minimum Wage

      The Senate bill does not include an increase in the federal minimum wage. The House bill proposed raising it to $15 an hour.
    • Unemployment assistance

      The Senate version calls for providing a $300 federal boost to weekly jobless payments and make the first $10,200 worth of benefits payments tax-free for households with annual incomes less than $150,000.

      This is a significant change from the House bill, which would provide a $400 weekly and no tax provision.
    • Additional provisions
      • $170 billion for K-12 schools and higher education to speed up the return to the classroom and $39 billion to child care providers to pay employees and rent, help families struggling to pay the cost, and purchase personal protective equipment and other supplies.
      • Both the Senate and House bills would make federal premium subsidies for Affordable Care Act policies more generous and would eliminate the maximum income cap for two years.
      • The Senate and House bills provide $14 billion to research, develop, distribute, administer and strengthen confidence in vaccines.
      • The Senate bill would provide $350 billion to states, local governments, territories and tribes, the same amount as the House.
      • About $10 billion would be authorized to help struggling homeowners pay their mortgages, utilities and property taxes.
    As always, we’re here to help. Please reach out  if you have questions about this bill or anything affecting your business or personal finances during this time. And, be sure to tune into our weekly webinar this week as we tackle these most recent developments.

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