Is there anything in the $2 Trillion dollar stimulus package which provides help for real estate agents?
Here is a preliminary roundup & summary of information courtesy of Bob Bergeron at Crescent Title.
Point #1: Do Real Estate Agents DO Qualify
A concern among real estate agents has been their self-employed, independent contractor status. However, with the help of the National Association of REALTORS®, the package includes a provision that would allow independent contractors to apply for unemployment benefits. Gig-economy workers and freelancers will also be eligible, with payments increased by $600 weekly for four months.
Point #2: Is It Difficult To Participate?
According to the NAR advocacy team, these loans would not require much in terms of up-front certification, providing funding to the SBA to help expedite loans and giving the administration the authority to include more lenders into the SBA loan program, increasing options for businesses.
Point #3: What About Payroll Taxes?
The bill would also delay due dates for employer payroll taxes.
“All of the payroll taxes of an employer and one-half of the self-employment taxes of a self-employed individual, as well as one-half of the estimated taxes of the individual that arise between the effective date of the act and the end of 2020, would not be due to the Treasury Department until Dec. 31, 2021, with the other half due by Dec. 31, 2022, if passed,” according to the NAR advocacy team.
Point #4: What About Tax Credits?
In addition, the bill includes:
A tax credit for retaining employees for up to 50 percent of wages paid during the pandemic crisis; only businesses forced to pause operations or who experienced a 50 percent drop in gross receipts from the previous year are eligible.
For real estate agents, most of whom are independent contractors, it appears the stimulus package would extend unemployment benefits to gig workers and freelancers while increasing unemployment assistance to $600 per week for four months.
The bill is also expected to include roughly $350 billion in loans to small businesses, so companies can continue to pay their employees. Those loans could be crucial for smaller real estate brokerages operating in markets like New York State, where real estate activity has been essentially halted by executive order.
Data Sources Cited:
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