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Donald Trump Signs Executive Order for New Relief Package but The Future for Relief Remains Unclear

An executive order to push forward a new relief package was signed by President Donald Trump on Saturday, August 8th. However, the next steps and enforceability of this order remains unclear. The order calls for extensions on payroll tax cuts, eviction protections for renters, pandemic unemployment benefits, and student loan payment deferrals.

 

Here are some of the details noted in the executive order:

 

Payroll Tax Cuts

The Treasury Department is directed to allow employers to defer withholding of employee’s Social Security & Medicare taxes through the end of 2020. Only those making less than $4,000, per bi-weekly pay period before taxes are eligible. The deferral does mean that these taxes still need to eventually be paid, though the repayment mechanism is unclear. However, interest and penalties would not be applied to the deferred payment.

 

Eviction Protections for Renters

The moratorium placed on evictions of renters is to be extended through 2020 as well, noting the continuous impact of COVID-19 on housing in general. However, it does not specify how this process would look. The original package detailed the process for halting evictions on properties backed by federal mortgage programs or those that receive federal funds. The current order also does not specify if it will provide any financial assistance to renters or what would happen if someone does get evicted.

 

Unemployment Benefits

A new benefit of $400 per week into December, was written in to go into effect immediately after the expiration date of the original pandemic benefit (previous package included an additional $600 per week through the end of July). The executive order states that each State is responsible for 25% of the costs or $100 per week, per individual. This would be in addition to whatever relief orders or packages that have already been established on the state and local level.

 

Student Loan Payment Deferrals

Interest payments on federal student loans are to be extended through the end of 2020, whereas the original package was only through the end of September. These payments are deferred in the same manner as the payroll taxes, which means that they will still need to be made-up later, and it does not apply to any loans issued by private institutions.

This order did not address the continuation of stimulus checks. Discussions have been extended and a decision is still pending as the next steps to enforce or reject the order, have not been decided.

For more information about COVID-related tax credits visit here. Or if you’re looking for other COVID-related information, visit here.

Payroll Systems’ highly scalable HR and payroll solutions can help you process and keep up to date with the current credits that are consistently changing with the times.

Contact us to learn more about our combination of software and human support for your business.

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.