139th News

Coping with Financial Issues of COVID-19 - Part 40

  • Published
  • By Randy Gerard, Personal Financial Counselor

Happy New Year, and good riddance, 2020! Hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Christmas as we look forward to getting ahead of this pandemic and returning to “normalcy” (whatever that will look like!). For this last week there will not be a briefing or drop-in session on Thursday again, but will still hold the drop-in session on Tuesday, December 29, from 1-3 p.m.

  • 31 December – No Thursday briefing

Congress Reaches a Deal on $900 Billion in Pandemic Relief
Leadership in the U.S. House and Senate came to an agreement in December over the details of a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill, (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021) to be attached to a broader $1.4 trillion omnibus which will fund the federal government for the 2021 fiscal year. The COVID-19 relief bill extends and modifies several provisions first enacted in the CARES Act, Congress’s $2.2 trillion pandemic relief law that was passed in March. Please access this link for more information and here’s a sampling of the various benefits in the bill.

Direct Payments to Individuals (Relief Rebates or “Stimulus Checks”)
A second round of direct payments to individuals, modeled after the Recovery Rebates sent out as part of the CARES Act, but with important changes. The direct payments would be up to $600 per individual and qualified child, with no cap on household size. Adult dependents are not eligible. The rebate would be designed similarly to the Recovery Rebates, as they will be advanced tax credits based on 2019 income and begin to phase out in value beginning at $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for heads of household, and $150,000 for those married filing jointly.

Extension of Unemployment Insurance Compensation Benefits
An 11-week extension of the unemployment insurance (UI) compensation benefits first provided in the CARES Act that are due to expire on December 26. This includes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that extends UI benefits to workers who traditionally are ineligible, such as gig economy workers and independent contractors, and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (FPUA), which will provide an additional $300 per week supplement to state UI compensation.

Charitable Contribution
The above-the-line charitable contribution is extended through 2021 at $600 for those married filing jointly and $300 for other filers. This means taxpayers will be able to take the standard deduction and deduct up to $600 in charitable giving when calculating their taxable income. For the 2020 tax year, taxpayers could deduct up to $300 above-the-line for charitable contributions.

Employee-side Payroll Tax Deferral
For those opting into the White House’s employee-side payroll tax deferral, the repayment deadline has been extended from April 2021 to December 31, 2021, lengthening the repayment period for those taxpayers. For additional information on the payroll tax deferral, access this site:

Don’t hesitate to reach out by phone, text, email or ask for a private Zoom session for you or your family members. Be Vigilant and STAY SAFE!

Randy Gerard, PFC
C (573) 415-6934
O (816) 236-3659

This week’s thought: “No one’s ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February.” ~ Suze Orman