Tax deadlines, federal checks, debt relief, paid sick leave and other coronavirus measures | COVID-19[feminine]

As new coronavirus patients multiply, job losses mount and economic losses continue, South Carolina and the federal government have made significant changes aimed at providing some relief.

Here is an overview of what has already happened, and some proposals that are still in the works:

Income taxes

the deadline for filing federal income tax returns will move to July 15 The reported Associated Press on Friday after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the change in a tweet. For those who owe money the payment deadline had already been extended April 15 through July 15—including estimated quarterly payments—as long as the amount owed is less than $1 million. To see irs.gov/coronavirus for more details.

the deadline for returns to South Carolina, and other taxes administered by the State Department of Revenue, is now June 1 for filing and payment. To see dor.sc.gov for more details.

So there’s more time to file and if you expect to owe money, you get an extra three months to pay the feds – or 2.5 months for SC filings. If you are expecting a refund, file it as soon as possible.

Credit cards, banks

Many credit card issuers and banks have responded to COVID-19 by relaxing terms.

If you need more time to pay, want a bigger line of credit, need a lower interest rate, or want to be waived of fees, pick up the phone and call the number toll on the back of your credit card or contact your bank.

More often than you think, all it takes is a call to get some relief.

Paid vacation

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed by President Donald Trump on Wednesday and effective April 2, provides paid sick and family leave for employees of businesses with up to 500 workers and the self-employed.







Coronavirus (copy) (copy)

A vendor had hand sanitizer on hand on a table in the Charleston City Market on Wednesday morning, March 18, 2020. Brad Nettles/Staff


The details are unfortunately too long to be given here. If you are in a company with less than 500 employees, find out from your employer. If you are self-employed, you may be able to get federal tax credits if COVID-19 takes you away from work because you are sick or caring for family members.

In a summary of the provisions The New York Times reported: “It grants skilled workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are sick, quarantined or seeking a diagnosis or preventive care for the coronavirus, or if they are caring for members of It provides 12 weeks of paid leave for people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus.”


SC Republican Senator Tim Scott votes against coronavirus stimulus package

Checks by mail

As of Thursday night, a $500 billion proposal to send money directly to taxpayers was under consideration in Washington. The plan requests that checks be mailed in early April and again in mid-May. Details are yet to be determined.

Putting money directly into people’s hands, rather than cutting taxes, would help some people with immediate needs, like paying rent. Ugly could rise to $1,200 per adult, and more for those with dependent children, under a Senate Republican plan introduced Thursday night.

Above certain income levels, the checks would be smaller or eliminated, and those with little or no tax payable would receive half the amount, under this plan. Low-tax adult retirees, for example, could get $600 each instead of $1,200.

Rent and mortgages

The SC Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a halt to foreclosures statewideincluding an indefinite moratorium on foreclosure hearings, sales of seized property and other court orders forcing people to leave their homes.

Chief Justice Donald Beatty’s edict follows a freeze on all evictions in South Carolina through May 1.

The federal government also announced on Wednesday a 60-day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions involving all single-family mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

Additionally, through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which underwrite about half of all home loans in the United States — federal regulators have ordered lenders to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for up to 12 months for borrowers who have lost income, NPR reported Thursday.

State and federal orders could give people who can’t pay their rent or mortgage some time to seek financial solutions. The time, for example, to wait for those checks that the government might send.

Unemployment assistance

Southern states have the least generous unemployment benefits in the country, and South Carolina is no exception, with a maximum weekly benefit of $326. This is pre-tax, for no more than 20 weeks – less if an employer claims the displaced worker is in any way responsible for their job loss.


SC unemployment claims skyrocket 400% with coronavirus job losses

The state unemployment system was designed for years to cut costs for employers, making it a weak safety net for employees. It’s better than nothing, and if you’re one of the many suddenly unemployed, apply as soon as possible at dew.sc.gov.

One bright spot is that the one-week waiting period to file unemployment claims in South Carolina has been removed. Additionally, businesses will get a break, with no unemployment tax due until June 1.


What restaurateurs and employees need to know about claiming unemployment

Under the Coronavirus Response Act, the federal government provide money to states who are seeing large increases in jobless claims. The money can be used by eligible states to provide extended benefits, paid for 100% with federal funding.

Student loans

Friday the US Department of Education announced“All borrowers with student loans held by the federal government will automatically have their interest rates set at 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option of suspending their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about the interest to be paid.”

For more details, visit StudentAid.gov/coronavirus.

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