On Wednesday, March 18, Congress passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This act provides support to American workers, families, and businesses by expanding family and sick leave, refundable tax credit and more. This bill will help support small businesses and self-employed individuals during these uncertain times. Here are the sections that REALTORS® should know about:
- Family medical leave has been expanded to 12 weeks with guaranteed pay of at least 2/3 of regular pay through the end of 2020. This covers employees at businesses with less than 500 employees.
- Paid sick leave has been added to allow for two weeks (80-hours) per full-time employee, which covers employees at businesses with less than 500 employees.
- Insurance issuers including Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs will fully cover testing and related services for COVID-19, without cost-sharing. Increases to funding will also be made to Medicaid to help cover those who are uninsured.
- Refundable tax credits are considered especially generous since any amount above taxes due is paid in the form of a refund. The payroll tax credit provided to employers will provide cash to them relatively quickly as it is creditable against their portion of an employee’s Social Security tax liability, which is generally due monthly or semi-weekly. And since most self-employed persons are required to pay quarterly estimated tax payments, they will not have to wait until the end of the tax year to see the cash.