Another week, another time of not always knowing exactly where things lie.
First, although this isn’t really related to finances in any way, it does highlight how much uncertainty there is and how universal answers are difficult. There is a page on CNN.com that tracks Covid-19 cases in the United States. You can see cases decreasing in some areas, rising in others, and staying similar in still others. It is easy then to see how comfort levels will vary in different areas as most start to open up at least a little bit.
Then, there was the release Friday by the Small Business Administration of an application form for Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness. I don’t want to get too deep into that here, but here is an article from Forbes that gives the basics. But the form’s release was almost immediately followed by a plea from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants that urged the government to release more detailed guidance because it has not addressed all necessary issues. So again, stay tuned as we probably do not yet have final answers.
Also, there are people who paid for some education expenses out of a 529 plan, then received a refund of it after their spring semester was either canceled or altered to an online experience. Thankfully that money may not be taxed, but it must be recontributed back into a qualified program. This usually must done within 60 days of receiving the refund, but the IRS has extended that window to July 15 if the recontribution deadline would normally fall between April 1 and July 15. So take that final recontributing step in time to avoid being taxed on a potentially sizable chunk of money or a nice refund is going to then come with a nice future bill.
And finally, the last week has seen some serious moves being made toward another round of stimulus spending by the government. This started with a proposal from Democrats that really stood no chance of being a success, and it was not really intended to be one. It has the dialogue going, though, and has at least started to show the path the next round of government help will take (which very well may include more individual stimulus payouts).
I think that all these things point in one overall direction, though, and that is that it is time for everyone to get on top of things again. Even if you are in a situation where you have not been able to return to work, more and more people are. This can sound like a great thing, but it can also be difficult at times, for just imagine those who could return to work but have kids who aren’t returning to school. So it is time to figure out a plan, figure out what you can do that is best for you in your situation.
And for businesses, start taking real stock of where things stand for you. If you have one of those PPP loans, have a plan to get as much of it forgiven as possible. And even if you don’t, get a grip on what income and money you have, what that will allow you to do, and what you can do to restart growth.
And as always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need some help getting a handle on any of these things.