The American Rescue Plan, 2021 (ARPA, 2021) was signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021 to address the continuing economic impact on employers and employees the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has posed. The legislation extends and expands provisions found in the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA, 2021).
Paid Sick and Family Leave Credits
Changes under ARPA apply to amounts paid with respect to calendar quarters beginning after March 31, 2021. ARPA, 2021:
Employee Retention Credit
The new legislation:
The new legislation:
NOTE: Further temporary suspension on the accrual of interest on federal unemployment loans to states and a waiver of interest payments under the ARPA assists certain employers that otherwise would have to pay an unemployment tax assessment.
Paycheck Protection Program Modifications
The new legislation:
Other Relief-Related Provisions
Restaurant revitalization grants. ARPA appropriates $28,600,000,000 for fiscal year 2021 to struggling restaurants to be administered by the SBA. The money will be available until expended. Eligible entities include restaurants, or other specified food businesses, and includes businesses operating in an airport terminal. It does not include a state or local government operated business, or a company that as of March 13, 2020 operates in more than 20 locations, whether or not the locations do businesses under the same name. It also does not include any business that has a pending application for, or has received, and grant under the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits and Venues Act. The amount given to any business who fulfills the eligibility and certification requirements is $10,000,000 and limited to $5,000,000 per physical location of the business. Grants may be used for: (1) payroll costs; (2) mortgage payments; (3) rent; (4) utilities; (5) maintenance expenses; (6) supplies; (7) food and beverage expenses; (8) covered supplier costs; (9) operational expenses; (10) paid sick leave; and (11) any other expense determined to be essential to maintaining the business.
Shuttered venue operators. CAA, 2021 authorized grants to eligible live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators, or talent representatives who demonstrate a 25% reduction in revenues. ARPA appropriates $1,250,000,000, for fiscal year 2021, to help carry out these grants. The money will be available until expended. Governmental entities do not qualify.
Aviation manufacturing job protection. ARPA establishes a payroll support program for the continuation of employee wages, salaries and benefits for aviation manufacturing employers who have furloughed at least 10% of its workforce in 2020 compared to 2019, or experienced a 15% decline in revenues from 2019 to 2020 (although separate qualifications are set forth for companies that had no involuntary furloughs.
Additional relief provisions. ARPA establishes funds to assist the National Railroad Passenger Association and airports financially impacted by COVID-19.
Earned Income Credit
For tax years beginning after December 31, 2020, and before January 1, 2022, for taxpayers with no qualifying children:
NOTE: ARPA does not mention any change to the $5,000 amount for married taxpayers. Presumably, then, the phaseout amount for married taxpayers is $16,610 (using the unadjusted $5,000 amount).
Benefits Related Provisions
Dependent Care Assistance. The amount of taxable wage exclusion for dependent care benefits is increased from $5,000 to $10,500 for married couples filing jointly. The amount of excludable wages for married couples filing separately is $5,250. This increase applies to any taxable year beginning after December 31, 2020, and before January 1, 2022, effective December 31, 2020.
COBRA. Under ARPA, Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs) may receive an 85% subsidy for COBRA premiums paid during any period of COBRA coverage during the period beginning on April 1, 2021 (the first day of the first month beginning after enactment) and ending on September 30, 2021.
I hope the above clarifies the essential elements of the American Rescue Plan. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the subject further, please call.
Very truly yours,
Moats & Associates, CPAs