CARES Act key elements

Mike Larriva highlights CARES Act key elements for individuals.

Late last month, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) written by Congress. It provides $2.2 trillion of relief in many forms for individuals, nonprofits, small businesses and large corporations. I can’t imagine you want to read the behemoth 900-page law. So, here’s a brief overview of CARES Act key elements that may apply to you.

Income tax deadline extension: The federal deadline has been delayed from April 15 to July 15. That includes money due for 2019 taxes and for 2020 first-quarter estimated payments (second-quarter estimated payments are still due June 15, 2020).

Recovery rebates: The IRS will determine rebate amounts based on 2018 or 2019 income tax returns. Individuals who made less than $75,000 in adjusted gross income (AGI) can expect $1,200 (or $2,400 for married people filing jointly); an additional $500 will also be rebated per child under 17 years of age. Rebates will be reduced by $5 for every $100 over the AGI limit. Individuals earning more than $99,000 (or $198,000 for joint filers) will not receive a rebate.

Rebates will be delivered via direct deposit if you received a refund that way in 2018 or 2019. Otherwise, checks will be issued and mailed.

Required Minimum Distribution waiver: RMDs from retirement accounts, for people older than 70.5 years, are being waived for 2020. Unfortunately, the waiver isn’t retroactive for RMDs already taken in 2020. (Learn more about RMDs in this informative video.)

IRA early-withdrawal penalty waiver: Loans and withdrawals from retirement plans for those under 59.5 years of age normally include a 10 percent penalty. That penalty will be waived (up to $100,000) for Coronavirus-related purposes. Withdrawals will still be taxable, though the taxes will be spread over three years versus just the current year. The contribution cap will also be removed for three years for the recontribution of funds withdrawn.