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Executive Actions Issued in Attempt to Provide Economic Relief Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

On Saturday, August 8, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Actions in an attempt to provide additional economic relief to millions of Americans affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While these actions will likely face legal challenges, here is what the orders cover:

Delay in payroll tax collection for those making under $104,000

Trump has instructed the U.S. Treasury to halt collection of payroll taxes from September 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 for workers who earn less than $4,000 every two weeks (or $104,000 per year). While workers will end up with larger paychecks while the tax is not collected, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a tax deferral, which means the taxes will still be due at a later date.

Student loan payments are deferred until December 31, 2020

This action hopes to provide immediate relief to student loan borrowers by both suspending loan payments and temporarily setting interest rates to 0%. The announcement of this policy specified that it would continue for at least 60 days. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act (CARES) provided this same relief, but that program is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2020. It’s important to note that the debt is not canceled forever, and principal payments will be due on December 31 and full payments will restart January 1, 2021.

Unemployment aid extended to $400

Previously, unemployed workers had been receiving an extra $600 per week on top of their state aid. That funding expired at the end of July. This Executive Action calls for federal aid to restart at a level of $400 per week. The Federal government is only paying for $300 of that, while the individual states will provide the additional $100. There is still question of whether the individual State Governors will sign-on to do this.

Top officials can consider halting evictions

The freeze on evictions expired in July, but President Trump has instructed his administration to “take all lawful measures to prevent residential evictions and foreclosures related to the pandemic”. The specific steps on how to do that were not defined, but instead left to the Health and Human Services Department, the Treasury Department, and the Housing and Urban Development Department to find the funding and use existing programs to help keep people in their homes.

You can view the specifics on each Action below:

Executive Order
Unemployment
Evictions and Foreclosures
Student Loans

Posted August 2020 – Copyright 2020

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