Uncertain Times: The Stimulus & the Arts
March 30, 2020 In: Sound Bits
On Friday afternoon, a historic stimulus packaged was signed into law, aimed to blunting the catastrophic economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a summary of support available for musicians and arts organizations.
Assistance for Individuals
- CARES Act: Recovery Checks
- Individuals receive a maximum of $1200. Married couples receive a maximum of $2400. There is an additional benefit of $500 per each dependent child.
- The benefit gradually phases on for individual with an adjusted gross income over $75,000 ($150,000 for couples). The amount decreases $5 for every additional $100 of adjusted gross income over $75,000, and those making more than $99,000 are not eligible for the benefit. The thresholds are doubled for married couples.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
- Provides assistance to freelancers, gig workers, and others not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits.
- Minimum benefit is one half the average unemployment benefit in one’s stage plus and additional $600 per week.
- A temporary 39-week program for those who are unable to work due to COVID-19.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
- The PEUC provides an additional 13-weeks of state unemployment benefits after other unemployment benefits have been exhausted.
Assistance for Arts Organizations
- $75 million in support for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
- $75 million in support for the National Endowment of the Humanities
- Note: the CARES Act dictates that 40% of funding shall be distributed to State arts agencies and regional arts organizations and 60% of such funds shall be for direct grants.” Additionally, matching requirements for grants are suspended and the requirement that grants to be project specific
- $75 million the the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) which supports PBS and NPR
- $25 million for the Kennedy Center
- $377 billion for small businesses with fewer than 500 employees
Charitable Giving Tax Deduction
- Enables non-itemizer taxpayers to deduct charitable contributions. Non-itemizer may take up to a $300 above-the-line charitable income tax deduction in 2020.
- Raises the existing cap on contributions from 60% of AGI to 100% of AGI in 2020.
Sources and More Information
- https://www.nelp.org/publication/unemployment-insurance-provisions-coronavirus-aid- relief-economic-security-cares-act/