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The most recent update, as of April 8, for the virus shows some cases in Warren and Madison Counties. As of April 8, we have 13 cases in Warren County with 1 death of an elderly person, and 1 case in Madison County with 0 deaths. For the State of Iowa as a whole there have been 1,145 total cases, and 27 deaths. There are still a few Iowa counties with no reported cases.

CARES Payments

Most people know that the U.S. Congress has appropriated about $2 trillion to bolster the economy during the current crisis in a bill labeled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act of 2020. There are several different provisions in the bill. You probably know that most individuals will receive $1,200.00, or $2,400 per couple, and up to $500.00 per qualifying child. The amounts will be reduced for individuals with more than $75,000 in adjusted gross income, or couples with more than $150,000 in AGI. Single persons with AGIs above $99,000 and joint filers with AGIs above $198,000 are not eligible. The money will be sent to the account where you receive your income tax refund, or social security payments, if IRS has that information. Otherwise, the check will be sent to your mailing address as shown on your most recent income tax return. This will probably result in some problems because some people will have moved since then. The best estimate of when payments will go out is in May.

The treasury department says it will develop a web site where people can provide their banking information. That would be a good idea especially if your mailing address has changed. If you are not required to file a tax return, the IRS will use information from your Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099, to access banking information for social security recipients or railroad retirees, if you have one of those forms. If you have not yet filed your 2018 or 2019 income tax returns, IRS recommends that you do so as soon as possible, and include your bank information.

The new law also contains provisions for loans to small businesses defined as those with fewer than 500 employees. Eligible employers can receive a tax credit for sick leave or family leave wages paid from April 1 to the end of the year. Employers can in effect receive immediate reimbursement for these payments by withholding federal employment tax deposits.

Payments on federal student loans are suspended until September 30, with no interest accruing. Voluntary payments can be made.

More information is available at IRS.gov/coronavirus.

Something that has received very little attention is that since the federal government already had a deficit, all this new money will have to be either borrowed or printed. That does not seem to be much of a concern at present.

As always please feel free to contact me with your ideas or concerns

Author: Julian Garrett