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Explore: Pandemic Relief Measures and Your Tax Return

Pandemic Relief Measures and Your Tax Return

Two emergency relief bills passed in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will make this an unusual tax season for many taxpayers. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed in March, and a second relief package was attached to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, in December.

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Financial Aid Changes on the Horizon

The U.S. Department of Education has designated February as Financial Aid Awareness Month, and this year there’s a  lot to talk about. On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, another relief package in response to the pandemic. Included in the bill were several provisions related to education, including many changes to financial aid. Here are some key highlights.

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Consolidated Appropriations Act Provides Relief to Individuals and Businesses

On Sunday, December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA 2021) was signed into law. A $900 billion emergency relief package is included as part of this omnibus spending bill. It is intended to assist individuals and businesses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and accompanying economic crisis.  Major relief provisions are summarized here, as well as some additional tax provisions.

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Selecting a Trustee

What is it?

In general

A trustee is a person (or institution) selected to administer a trust. A trustee’s role is to adhere to the terms of the trust document and fulfill its objectives. A trustee can be an individual (professional or nonprofessional) or a corporate trustee, such as a bank or trust company. You, as the grantor, should choose a trustee carefully because an inappropriate choice could invalidate the trust and have serious tax consequences. You must also weigh many other personal, family, business, investment, and nontax concerns. For a large or complicated trust, a combination of individual and corporate trustees may best provide the expertise needed to manage the trust with the flexibility to respond to beneficiaries’ changing needs.

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Government-Sponsored Disability Insurance Programs

Government-sponsored disability insurance programs are designed by federal, state, and local governments to provide basic income protection (and sometimes medical benefits) to disabled individuals. Although these programs may not offer the comprehensive protection you’d like, they can help you and your family if you can’t work.

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The Social Security Administration Announces 2021 COLA

On October 13, 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) officially announced that Social Security recipients will receive a 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2021. This adjustment will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2021. Additionally, increased payments to more than 8 million Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2020.1

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What Is a Stock Split?

When a company splits its stock, it takes each share and divides it into some larger number of shares. It can be a 2-for-1 stock split or any other combination. When the stock is split, more shares are available, but the total value of all the shares remains the same. Accordingly, if you owned one share worth $100, and the issuing company conducted a 2-for-1 stock split, you would own two shares worth $50 each. Companies can also do reverse splits, making one share from numerous shares, if they want to increase the per-share price of the stock.

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The Federal Reserve’s Unprecedented Moves

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost every state in America is under some sort of stay-at-home order. This unprecedented time has also led many businesses, large and small, to downsize or close up shop entirely. Because of the drastic impact that COVID-19 has had on global and domestic concerns, the Federal Reserve Board has taken a multitude of measures to buttress the American economy.

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