Business highlights in the new American Rescue Plan Act

President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) on March 11. While the new law is best known for the provisions providing relief to individuals, there are also several tax breaks and financial benefits for businesses.

Here are some of the tax highlights of the ARPA.

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC). This valuable tax credit is extended from June 30 until December 31, 2021. The ARPA continues the ERC rate of credit at 70% for this extended period of time. It also continues to allow for up to $10,000 in qualified wages for any calendar quarter. Taking into account the Consolidated Appropriations Act extension and the ARPA extension, this means an employer can potentially have up to $40,000 in qualified wages per employee through 2021.

Employer-Provided Dependent Care Assistance. In general, an eligible employee’s gross income doesn’t include amounts paid or incurred by an employer for dependent care assistance provided to the employee under a qualified dependent care assistance program (DCAP).

Previously, the amount that could be excluded from an employee’s gross income under a DCAP during a tax year wasn’t more than $5,000 ($2,500 for married individuals filing separately), subject to certain limitations. However, any contribution made by an employer to a DCAP can’t exceed the employee’s earned income or, if married, the lesser of employee’s or spouse’s earned income.

Under the ARPA, for 2021 only, the exclusion for employer-provided dependent care assistance is increased from $5,000 to $10,500 (from $2,500 to $5,250 for married individuals filing separately).

This provision is effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2020.

Paid Sick and Family Leave Credits. Changes under the ARPA apply to amounts paid with respect to calendar quarters beginning after March 31, 2021. Among other changes, the law extends the paid sick time and paid family leave credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act from March 31, 2021, through September 30, 2021. It also provides that paid sick and paid family leave credits may each be increased by the employer’s share of Social Security tax (6.2%) and employer’s share of Medicare tax (1.45%) on qualified leave wages.

Grants to restaurants. Under the ARPA, eligible restaurants, food trucks, and similar businesses that provide food and drinks may receive restaurant revitalization grants from the Small Business Administration. For tax purposes, amounts received as restaurant revitalization grants aren’t included in the gross income of the person who receives the money.

Much more

These are only some of the provisions in the ARPA. There are many others that may be beneficial to your business. Contact us for more information about your situation.

© 2021

Home Ownership Comes With Tax Breaks

Your house can provide you with more than just shelter. It can provide you with some significant tax breaks if you itemize deductions. Learn more about the most common tax deductions your home can deliver.

MORTGAGE INTEREST

To be deductible, mortgage interest can be for your first and second home. However, only interest on $750,000 of indebtedness is deductible if your mortgage was taken out after December 15, 2017. There are similar limitations on older debt and if you rent your home out, there are use requirements that you must meet in order to deduct the interest.

MORTGAGE POINTS

You can pay “points” to lower your monthly mortgage payments. However, points are complicated, affect your taxes and too often, homeowners do not recoup their upfront investment. If you refinance, pay off or sell your home before you reach the break-even point, you will not regain your money. A good lender can help guide your decision.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE

For borrowers who pay mortgage insurance as part of their mortgage, the good news is that it can be deductible if the mortgage was obtained after 2006. And this deduction begins to phase out for adjusted gross incomes above $50,000 for single filers.

PROPERTY TAXES

Most homeowners who itemize deductions will be able to deduct property taxes paid to their state and local governments. But the maximum amount of property taxes that are deductible is $10,000. The taxes must have been due and paid by the end of the year to be deductible. So, unfortunately, any prepaid taxes will be deductible in the year it was due, not paid.