Executive Order - Assistance to Renters and Homeowners: The executive order along with stating that it is the policy of the US to minimize evictions and foreclosures, provides that the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the CDC should consider measures temporarily halting evictions to prevent further spread of COVID. The order also guides the Secretary of Treasury and HUD to identify funds available to provide assistance to renters and homeowners, and taking action to prevent evictions and foreclosures through means such as providing financial assistance to public housing, landlords, affordable housing owners and federal grant recipients.
Presidential Memo - Deferring Payroll Tax: The President's memo directed the Secretary of the Treasury to provide deferral of an employee's payroll tax between September 1st, 2020 and December 31, 2020. The Treasury and IRS issued guidance noting that the deferral is to be made available to employees who make less than $4,000 biweekly and will not be subject to penalties and interest until May 1, 2021. For an employee making $250 a week, the deferral would amount to approximately $325 over the 4 month period. The deferral applies to paychecks DATED between September 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. The memo continues on to direct the Treasury to explore avenues of forgiveness of the tax deferred. If forgiveness is not granted, The Treasury and IRS guidance noted employers would be required to withhold and deposit the deferred tax during the period of January 1, 2021 to April 30, 2021. Based on the language included in the Treasury and IRS guidance, the implementation of this directive is at the election of the employer, who is listed as the affected taxpayer. It is still unclear whether employees have the option to opt out of deferral if the employer elects to apply the directive. This could create some issues for employees who don't budget to repay the funds early in 2021.
Presidential Memo - Student Loan Payment Relief: The President's memo directs the Secretary of Education to take action to allow borrowers to defer payments and interest on all loans held by the Department of Education until December 31, 2020.
Presidential Memo - Authorizing Other Needs Assitance Programs: The President's memo provides for an additional payment to recipients of state unemployment of $400 per week through the week of December 27, 2020.