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Focus Area: Coronavirus/COVID-19

Overview of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: the CARES Act

On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act”. The law provides broad relief to individuals and businesses to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. This article gives a brief overview of the many items covered in the CARES Act. There are links to other of our articles that focus on specific portions of the CARES Act.

With respect to businesses, the CARES Act: 

  • establishes and provides funding for forgivable bridge loans. 
  • authorizes other emergency loans. 
  • provides additional funding for grants and technical assistance. 
  • establishes limits on requirements for employers to provide paid leave.

With respect to taxes, the CARES Act 

  • delays due dates for employer payroll taxes and estimated tax payments for corporations. 
  • revises various tax provisions, including those related to losses, charitable deductions, and business interest. 
  • establishes special rules for certain tax-favored withdrawals from retirement plans. 
  • provides funding for $1,200 tax rebates to individuals, with additional $500 payments per qualifying child. The rebate begins phasing out when incomes exceed $75,000 (or $150,000 for joint filers).

With respect to health care, the CARES Act 

  • provides additional funding for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19
  • limits liability for volunteer health care professionals. 
  • prioritizes Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review of certain drugs. 
  • allows emergency use of certain diagnostic tests that are not approved by the FDA
  • expands health-insurance coverage for diagnostic testing and requires coverage for preventative services and vaccines. 
  • revises other provisions, including those regarding the medical supply chain, the national stockpile, the health care workforce, the Healthy Start program, telehealth services, nutrition services, Medicare, and Medicaid.

With respect to education, the CARES Act 

  • temporarily suspends payments for federal student loans. 
  • otherwise revises provisions related to campus-based aid, supplemental educational-opportunity grants, federal work-study, subsidized loans, Pell grants, and foreign institutions.

Again, this is only a brief overview of an expansive law. Please see our COVID-19 Focus Page for links to our other articles on the CARES Act and other COVID-19 matters. 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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