American Rescue Plan Act 2021
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law. The legislation extends and expands provisions found in the FFCRA, CARES and CAA 2021.

Highlights of the Act

I: Business/Payroll related Provisions:
Employee Retention Credit:
  • Extends from June 30, 2021 until December 31, 2021.
  • Continues the rate of credit at 70% up to $10,000 in qualified wages for any calendar quarter.
  • Continues the year-over-year gross receipts decline requirement at 20%.
  • Allows the credit to be claimed against Medicare taxes (1.45% HI) only.

Paid Sick and Family Leave Credit:
  • Extends the FFCRA paid sick time and paid family leave credits from March 31, 2021 until September 30, 2021.
  • Increases the limit on the credit for paid family leave from $10,000 to $12,000.
  • Permits credits for leave that is due to a COVID-19 vaccination or recover from an illness related to the immunization.
  • The number of days a self-employed individual can take into account in calculating the qualified family leave equivalent amount for self-employed individuals increases from 50 to 60.
  • Allows the credits to be structured as a refundable payroll tax credit against Medicare taxes (1.45% HI) only beginning after March 31, 2021.

COBRA Premium Subsidy:
  • Assistance-eligible individuals (AEIs) may receive a subsidy for COBRA premiums for any period of coverage during the period beginning on April 1, 2021 and ending on September 30, 2021.
  • Employers will be allowed a quarterly tax credit against the Medicare payroll tax equal to the premium amounts not paid by the AEIs. If the credit amount exceeds the quarterly Medicare payroll tax, the excess is fully refundable.

Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) under Code Sec. 125:
  • For 2021 only, the exclusion for dependent care plans is increased from $5,000 to $10,500 for MFJ.

Targeted EIDL Advances:
  • Amounts received are not included in the gross income.
  • No deduction or basis increase is denied. No tax attribute is reduced.

Restaurant Revitalization Grants:
  • $28.6 billion is appropriated by ARPA to struggling restaurants to be administered by the SBA, until it is full expended.
  • Amounts received from grants are not included in the gross income.
  • No deduction or basis increase is denied. No tax attribute is reduced.
  • Grants may be used for: (1) payroll costs; (2) mortgage payments; (3) rent; (4) utilities; (5) maintenance expenses; (6) supplies; (7) food and beverage expenses; (8) covered supplier costs; (9) operational expenses; (10) paid sick leave; and (11) any other expense determined to be essential to maintaining the business.

II: Individual Provisions:

Economic Impact Payment:
  • Provides round 3 of economic impact payments of $1,400 for individuals as recovery rebate credit ($2,800 for MFJ) pus $1,400 for each dependent including college students and qualifying relatives who are claimed as dependents. The third round payments will be based on taxpayers' income on their latest processed tax return from either 2020 or 2019. The credit will begin to phase out for single taxpayers at an adjusted gross income of $75,000 and $150,000 for MFJ.
Unemployment Provisions:
  • The first $10,200 in unemployment benefits is tax-free for taxpayers making less than $150,000 for 2020.
  • Extends the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payment of $300 per week through September 6, 2021.
Child Tax Credit:
  • It is fully refundable for 2021, qualifying child includes any dependent child who has not turned 18 by the end of 2021.
  • The credit is increased to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for children under age 6 as of the close of the year).
  • Phased out at modified AGI of over $75,000 for singles, $112,500 for heads-of-households, and $150,000 for MFJ and surviving spouses.
  • The IRS is directed to estimate taxpayers' child tax credit amounts and pay monthly advance payment (one-twelfth of the annual estimated amount). Payments will run from July through December 2021.
  • Taxpayers may elect out of the advance payments.

As always, we will keep you informed on all the important updates to the PPP as the SBA and the Treasury continue to release new rules and guidance. Please don't hesitate to contact one of us or reach out to our COVID-19 team at should you have any questions. Take care and stay safe.

Our 2020-2021 tax planning guide:

This newsletter is based on interpretation of the ARPA released on March 11, 2021. Your judgement and interpretations of the Act may be necessary. This alert is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute accounting and tax advice. Please contact your MGGGY LLP accountant for additional assistance

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