COVID-19/Coronavirus Tax Relief News

Taxpayers May Not Receive a Second Stimulus Check. Here’s What to Do.

Optima Tax Relief provides assistance to individuals struggling with unmanageable IRS tax burdens. To assess your tax situation and determine if you qualify for tax relief, contact us for a free consultation.

Discussions of a second stimulus check have been ramping up in order to provide additional relief for taxpayers during the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump has even voiced his support for another round of checks ever since the announcement of a recession and record high unemployment rates were released. 

Even if another stimulus check is passed, Americans will most likely not know until the end of July. In addition to this, the stimulus check will not cover most monthly household expenses meaning that you could be left to handle the rest of your bills on your own. It is important for taxpayers to avoid relying on receiving a stimulus check and to create a backup plan in order to avoid any financial struggles during the ongoing pandemic. 

  1. Review your spending habits. Most people tend to pay for services that could be considered a luxury rather than a necessity. Taxpayers should review their monthly expenses several times a year in order to ensure that they are not spending excessively on food, shopping, cable, or anything else that may be considered frivolous. It is also advised that you start reviewing what your necessary expenses are every month in order to determine what your disposable income is. 
  2. Reduce your debt. A lot of the time we may not realize how much we spend on a monthly and weekly basis. Make sure that you look at the amount of debt that you are accruing on a monthly basis as well as your total overall debt. Focus on lowering your overall debt and creating a budget for yourself in order to stay within your financial means.
  3. Look for ways to earn more. With such a high number of Americans going on unemployment, it may seem odd that there are companies that are still hiring. Luckily, there are tools available for people to use when looking to make some side cash, and many job websites offer job listings for temporary or remote work. Even places like Uber or Lyft are constantly hiring people, letting you choose your own hours and work when it’s convenient for you.
  4. Put extra money on the side. Although this may seem like an obvious solution, it can be difficult to do, especially during these difficult times. It’s never too late to start saving and putting money aside every paycheck. Ideally, you should have at least six months’ worth of living expenses saved up in order to have some cushion room just in case of an emergency. 

If you need tax help, contact us for a free consultation.

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Taxpayers Could Receive a Stimulus Check or a $4,000 Vacation Credit

Optima Tax Relief provides assistance to individuals struggling with unmanageable IRS tax burdens. To assess your tax situation and determine if you qualify for tax relief, contact us for a free consultation.

money pile

With the U.S. officially in a recession, more than 40 million Americans filing for unemployment, and the tourism industry taking a hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many are hoping for a second stimulus check. 

Multiple proposals have been made to distribute another stimulus check; however nothing has been set in stone and negotiations still continue. The proposed $3 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, or HEROS act, would authorize an additional round of stimulus checks to be distributed to households again. The bill passed the House in May and is now at the senate awaiting debate. 

The Trump administration has also made it known that they are open to including another round of stimulus checks in the next Covid-19 bill in order to offset the financial pain that the coronavirus pandemic has caused so many Americans.

President Donald Trump has also proposed the idea to give Americans a credit that can be used towards a vacation taken within the U.S. This credit will be used to help boost the economy and provide taxpayers perks when spending money towards travel expenses. 

The proposed credit would be called “Explore America” and could potentially give Americans up to $4,000 to use on vacation expenses as long as travel is within the U.S. The credit would be applied to hotels, theme parks, restaurants, and other tourism-related locations through the end of 2021.

We will continue to update you with new information as this story develops. 

If you need tax help, contact us for a free consultation.

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The IRS Extends dates on Notices Due to Covid-19

Optima Tax Relief provides assistance to individuals struggling with unmanageable IRS tax burdens. To assess your tax situation and determine if you qualify for tax relief, contact us for a free consultation.

Taxpayers who received a balance due notice from the IRS will have more time to respond now that the IRS has extended the due dates.  The IRS has allowed for this extension because they were unable to mail out preprinted notices due to office closures and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The IRS has been slowly opening up their facilities across the U.S. in order to accommodate those who are in need of assistance. Because it will take the IRS even more time to print out a recent version of balance due notices, some taxpayers can also expect to receive older notices in the mail since IRS offices were unable to mail them out prior to the pandemic. Each notice that is mailed out will come with an insert confirming that the due dates on the notice have been extended, and those seeking further information on how long they will have to respond can call the IRS directly.

The IRS recently released possible deadlines for balance due notices that will either fall on July 10, 2020 or July 15, 2020, depending on the type of tax return and original due date. It is important for taxpayers to read the insert that comes with their notice, as it will explain the delay as well as the corrected payment due dates. 

Taxpayers who want to know more about the extended due dates can go to the IRS website or contact the IRS directly. 

If you need tax help, contact us for a free consultation.

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Taxpayers Have Until May 13 to Submit Direct Deposit Information in Order to Receive Their Stimulus Check

Optima Tax Relief provides assistance to individuals struggling with unmanageable IRS tax burdens. To assess your tax situation and determine if you qualify for tax relief, contact us for a free consultation.

  • Millions of stimulus checks are still being sent out to taxpayers via direct deposit or ground mail.
  • Individuals will receive their checks much quicker if they fill out their information for direct deposit on the IRS website.
  • Taxpayers have until noon on May 13, to submit their direct deposit information in order to receive their check through their preferred bank account.

If you have yet to receive your stimulus check and would like to receive your money directly in your bank account, there is still time to do so. The IRS announced last Friday that taxpayers will have until noon on Wednesday, May 13, to submit their direct deposit information. 

For those that fail to set up direct deposit before the deadline, the government will send out paper checks that will arrive sometime in May and in June. 

Individuals who qualify for the stimulus check will receive up to $1,200, or a maximum of $2,400 for married couples, in addition to $500 for each child under the age of 17. The check is meant to assist taxpayers that are struggling financially due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The IRS has provided the Get My Payment tool that allows individuals to not only check the status of their payments, but to also request that their stimulus check be sent to them via direct deposit. 

For those who are not required to file their taxes, the IRS has also provided a non-filers tool that allows taxpayers to submit their basic tax information  such as their bank account number, in order to receive their check through their preferred bank account.

If you receive government benefits through Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement or Veteran Affairs, you will not need to fill out any information to receive your money. These individuals will have their stimulus check automatically sent out to them.

If you need tax help, contact us for a free consultation.

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5 Ways you can Protect Your Financial Future During Quarantine

Optima Tax Relief provides assistance to individuals struggling with unmanageable IRS tax burdens. To assess your tax situation and determine if you qualify for tax relief, contact us for a free consultation.

With so much uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, which has caused businesses to close their doors, leaving large numbers of people unemployed, and created a nationwide self-quarantine in efforts to prevent spreading the virus even more than it already has, many find themselves struggling to deal with the stress of the situation. You may be wondering how you can protect yourself financially during these difficult times, as well as learning how you can ensure that you are also protected in the future should a similar situation occur. 

Here are a few ways you can protect yourself financially during the coronavirus outbreak:

  1. Create a budget – Having a budget in place will prevent you from making short-sighted purchases and help you focus more on your necessary expenses that you will have throughout each month. Make a point to also go through your bank statements to see what expenses you typically accrue through the month and find any frivolous spending you can cut out of your budget completely. Having a budget in place will help you build a robust savings account that may come in handy during emergencies.
  2. Start an emergency fund – Having extra money on hand could help you avoid a disaster in the future like being unable to pay your bills or having to take on additional unexpected expenses. Most employees are able to request that a certain percentage of their pay is redirected to the account of their choice.  Try allocating a set amount every month to a saving account to allow the money to accrue overtime. 
  3. File your taxes – With the tax filing deadline being extended until July, taxpayers should take advantage of filing their returns now since any changes on your tax status won’t affect your 2019 taxes. If you’re still waiting to receive your stimulus check, filing your tax return will allow you to update your direct deposit information if you haven’t done so already.
  4. Consider investing your money – The market is currently falling, which means that stock prices are lower than they have been for a long time. Do your research and see what stocks are beneficial to buy, purchase them and wait out the downturn. Eventually, the market will go back up and you will see a return on your investments. 
  5. Pay off your high-interest debt – If you have a credit card that is accruing a large sum every month and you’re still paying the minimum amount every month, it may be time to consider paying a higher amount each month – or if possible, pay off the balance in full. Paying down your credit card debt will allow you to have even more additional income that you could potentially invest with or put into savings.

If you need tax help, contact us for a free consultation.

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Companies Giving Back During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Optima Tax Relief provides assistance to individuals struggling with unmanageable IRS tax burdens. To assess your tax situation and determine if you qualify for tax relief, contact us for a free consultation.

During these difficult times, we as Americans are attempting to do our part by staying indoors and minimizing contact with the outside world. Although it seems that there may be no end in sight as virus
numbers continue to increase,   some companies have noticed that many Americans have been struggling to cope and have decided to give back in any way they can.

These are just some of the many ways that businesses have been giving back to their employees and communities:

  1. Starbucks has extended its mental health benefits by offering confidential mental health care, 20 free in-person or video sessions for therapists and coaches. 
  • LinkedIn is providing 16 free courses that provide tips on staying
    productive, building relationships, how to use virtual meeting tools, and many
    other courses. 
  • Mark Cuban announced that all his employees will be reimbursed for any lunch and coffee purchases from local and independent small businesses.
  • Adobe is providing higher education and K-12 institutional customers
    their Creative Cloud apps which have the ability to request temporary at-home
    access for both students and educators. 
  • Salesforce has created a $1.5 million dollar coronavirus fund for San
    Francisco citizens that have been affected. 
  • Shake Shack returned their $10 million federal loan they received from the Paycheck Protection Program so it could go to other small businesses that are currently struggling and have yet to receive financial assistance.

If you need tax help, contact us for a free consultation.


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You Could be Receiving a Monthly $2,000 Check and Canceled Rent or Mortgage Payments for 1 Year

Optima Tax Relief provides assistance to individuals struggling with unmanageable IRS tax burdens. To assess your tax situation and determine if you qualify for tax relief, contact us for a free consultation.

Stimulus Check:

Lawmakers are proposing a new economic plan to assist taxpayers during this ongoing crisis. The Emergency Money for the People Act would give Americans a $2,000 check every month for a year.  Those receiving the check must be 16 years and over and earn less than $130,000 and would continue until unemployment levels drop back down. 

Individuals who were left out of the initial act would be included, such as some high school students, college students and adults with disabilities who were previously ineligible to receive the prior stimulus check because they were claimed as a dependent on another tax return.

Additional eligibility requires:

  • Married couples earning less than $260,000 would receive $4,000 a month.
  • Qualifying families with children would receive $500 for up to 3 children.
  • Those who had no earnings, were unemployed, or currently unemployed will qualify for a stimulus check.
  • Taxpayers must have their 2019 or 2018 tax returns filed in order to receive their check. 

Canceled Rent/Mortgage Payments:

In addition to the stimulus check proposal, lawmakers also want to introduce an act that would help struggling Americans that are currently unable to pay their rent or mortgage due to the coronavirus. The Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, if approved, would call for a nationwide cancellation of mortgage and rent payments through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, or up to one year. 

The bill would additionally include:

  • Rent or mortgage forgiveness for the primary resident.
  • No negative impacts on your credit score.
  • A relief fund would be established for landlords and mortgage holders.
  • No accumulation of debt for renters or homeowners.

We will continue to update you with new information as this story develops. 

If you need tax help, contact us for a free consultation.

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What You Need to Know About the Economic Relief Small Business Loan

Optima Tax Relief provides assistance to individuals struggling with unmanageable IRS tax burdens. To assess your tax situation and determine if you qualify for tax relief, contact us for a free consultation.

  • New negotiations on Capitol Hill have been ongoing in an attempt to assist the small businesses that have yet to receive relief.
  • Early discussions included allocating more money for hospitals and state governments during this time of crisis.
  • $60 billion in loans and grants would go to a small business lending program.

More than 22 million people have lost their jobs within the last month and many businesses are struggling to stay open as the economy continues to get closer to an impending recession. Discussions have been surrounding a new small business loan on Capitol Hill that is expected to assist small businesses that have been affected by the economic fallout from the coronavirus. 

Last Thursday, the $349 billion emergency small business lending loan program ran dry and now new negotiations on Capitol Hill have been ongoing in an attempt to assist the small businesses that have yet to receive relief. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Democrats are attempting to reach an agreement for a package that will immediately increase funding for the program to assist additional businesses. Early discussions included allocating more money for hospitals and state governments
during this time of crisis with $75 million being directed to hospitals and $25 billion for testing. 

The package continues to be finalized, lawmakers are discussing an increase of $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, with $60 billion being reserved for smaller financial institutions to distribute while the other half would be for provisioned lenders with less than $10 billion in assets and for institutions and with assets between $10 billion and $50 billion. An additional $60 billion in loans and grants would go to a separate small business lending program.

We will continue to update you with new information as this story develops. 

If you need tax help, contact us for a free consultation.

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When will You Receive your Stimulus Check?

Optima Tax Relief provides assistance to individuals struggling with unmanageable IRS tax burdens. Our Covid-19 blogs will help taxpayers find valuable tax relief information during the Coronavirus pandemic. To assess your 2020 tax situation and determine if you qualify for tax relief, contact us for a  free consultation.

As of this week, the IRS has started to send out stimulus checks to taxpayers. An estimated 80 million people received the payment deposited into their bank accounts on April 15th, others will be waiting longer to receive their money. The stimulus check is part of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

What Date Will I Get My Stimulus Check?

The initial round of payments went to those who filed their 2018 and 2019 tax returns who requested directed deposits for their tax refunds. Those who had the lowest amount of income were distributed their checks first. In addition to this, Social Security recipients will automatically receive their tax payment even if they have not filed a tax return. 

For those who opted out of direct debit, the IRS will distribute checks, taxpayers could be waiting for weeks before they receive their money. If you have not been required to file a tax return for the past two years, the IRS will require you to submit some information before they send you a check. 

Can I Check When I will Get My Stimulus Check?

If you have yet to receive your stimulus check and want to find out further information on when you should expect it, the IRS created an online tool called Get My Payment that allows taxpayers to check on the status of their money. 

In order to track the status of your money, the IRS will require that you enter your Social Security number, date of birth, and mailing address. For those that attempted to use this tool on Wednesday, the Treasury Department recommends checking again since the tool updates once daily. 

Read more on whether taxpayers will receive more money in their next stimulus check? If you need tax help, contact us for a free consultation.

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Retirement Account Owners Able to Make Early Withdrawals for Covid-19 Costs

Optima Tax Relief provides assistance to individuals struggling with unmanageable IRS tax burdens. To assess your tax situation and determine if you qualify for tax relief, contact us for a free consultation.

  • The Relief and Economic Security Act allows taxpayers to pull from their retirement account and utilize the money specifically for coronavirus emergency expenses.
  • Taxpayers are required to put withdrawn funds back into your account within three years or face penalties.
  • If you withdraw from your retirement and are unable to pay back the amount within three years, it is recommended that you consult a tax professional.

Because of all the uncertainty our nation is currently facing, it may leave some people wondering how they’re going to pay their bills and how they will cope financially after this crisis is over. The government has just announced that in addition to the stimulus package, they will also be providing additional relief by allowing taxpayers to pull from their retirement accounts for Covid-19 emergency related expenses without penalty. It is important to understand the stipulations from pulling out of your retirement account and the possible repercussions you may face in the future for doing so. 

The Relief and Economic Security Act allows taxpayers to pull from their retirement account and utilize the money specifically for coronavirus emergency expenses. Retirement account owners will be able to withdraw up to $100,000 from their accounts and will be able to extend their repayment period for existing loans without facing any penalties.  

Although you are able to take out money from your retirement account, the government does require you to put withdrawn funds back into your account within three years. Should you not put the funds back after this period of time, the IRS will place penalties against you in addition to possibly owing a tax balance the next time you file your taxes. 

If you need to withdraw from your retirement account and know that there is a possibility that you may not be able to place the funds back within the three year period, it is recommended that you consult with a tax professional to see what your options moving forward and how you can possibly minimize your balance or see what payment plan options are available to you. 

If you need tax help, contact us for a free consultation. 

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