Thursday, April 2, 2020

Coronavirus Tax Post - Stimulus Checks and MORE

I'm going to try to consolidate all the Coronavirus stuff that I think is important into one tax post...
A lot of this is very early interpretations of the laws and guidance, and is subject to changing at any time.

First: The IRS is currently not manning their live phone lines. So don't try to call.

Second: You don't have to take your 2020 Required Minimum Distribution from your Retirement Account. This applies to people over the age of 70 and a half who have to take annual withdrawals from their tax advantaged accounts and pay taxes on them. This is an under-reported and under-appreciated big deal. I highly recommend taking advantage of this if you don't need the money from your account. Pulling money out during a dramatic stock market downturn is painful.

Third: You don't have to pay your balance due for 2019 until 7/15/2020. Most states are following suit. You also don't have to make your first Estimated tax payment for 2020 until 7/15/2020, though, ironically, the 6/15/2020 payment is still due on time. If you scheduled a direct debit for 4/15/2020, you can cancel the payment by calling the IRS. Here is what they say about it: "Call IRS e-file Payment Services 24/7 at 1-888-353-4537 to inquire about or cancel your payment, but please wait 7 to 10 days after your return was accepted before calling. Cancellation requests must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. ET two business days prior to the scheduled payment date."

Fourth: If you suffered economic impact from the Coronavirus, specifically, you or a family member you care for contracted the disease, or you lost your job or lost business or were laid off, or lost business income due to the virus, you can withdraw up to $100,000 from your retirement accounts without penalty and with the ability to pay the taxes due over three years, or put the money back and pay no taxes. The connection and calculations between the economic impact and the withdrawal amounts are not clearly defined. There are also changes to loan requirements and costs associated with making a hardship withdrawal. I DO NOT recommend doing this unless ABSOLUTELY necessary and only withdraw the minimum amount possible to keep your family alive. In fact, there are so many programs available to defer rent, mortgages and student loan payments that this should not be necessary.

Fifth: Things I don't know jack about: There is greatly expanded ability to get unemployment benefits if you have reduced income vice full job loss, and for self-employed people. There are amazing small business loan opportunities, some of which don't require paying back (go to There are programs that limit the ability to evict people based on non-payment of rent, guaranteed deferment of mortgage payments for government backed loans, and deferment of student loan payments.

Sixth: There are a bunch of useful resources out there. I will have another post with these linked. See the Master Index Coronavirus section to find it.

Seventh: You might have heard that stimulus checks are coming. I'm writing a BIG post on that. See the Master Index Coronavirus section to find it.

Eighth: The IRS has suspended pulling back taxes, delinquent student loans and other debts from tax refunds and stimulus payments. Delinquent Child Support withdrawals are still happening on a state by state basis.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I will try to answer questions, though if they are complicated, email me at Consider buying one of my books to thank me for my answers. Spam comments will be deleted. No links unless they are pertinent to the question asked. If you want cross promotion - ask.