What Self-Employed Workers Need to Know About the Coronavirus Stimulus Package

What Self-Employed Workers Need to Know About the Coronavirus Stimulus Package

But the new rules allow these workers to avoid having to pay half of the Social Security portion now. They can wait and pay it in two installments, half at the end of 2021 and the remainder at the end of 2022.

Some people will be ineligible: If you received small-business loans to fund payroll costs that were forgiven as part of the new law, you can’t defer any tax payments.

Another deadline has also been pushed back: Self-employed people generally need to make estimated quarterly income tax payments, but the deadline for the first one has been postponed to July 15 from April 15.

Then there’s a tax rule change: The new law lets individual and corporate taxpayers who lose money this year (or have losses from 2018 or 2019) to use those losses to offset income over the five previous years, according to lawyers at Akin Gump, a law firm. This was allowed in years past, but reversed in 2017.

Self-employed people who can no longer afford the policies they already have or who want to buy coverage may now have some more options.

Eleven states and the District of Columbia have established special enrollment periods to allow people to obtain new insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. But the Trump administration recently decided against reopening the federal Healthcare.gov marketplaces to new customers. Those marketplaces are used in 38 states.

If your income has dwindled to almost nothing, you will most likely be eligible for the federal-state health insurance program known as Medicaid in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Because of the Affordable Care Act, most states now allow all residents to qualify for Medicaid if their household’s monthly income is below a certain threshold — around $1,400 a month for a single person or $2,950 for a family of four. That calculation should include any normal unemployment benefits you are receiving, but not the additional $600 a week being paid temporarily and not the direct stimulus payment authorized under the new relief legislation.

If your income is too high, and you live in a state where the marketplace remains open, you may qualify for a new plan with substantial subsidies. And if you already have a marketplace plan but your income has fallen, you can go back into the system — even outside an open enrollment period — and adjust your income, which may result in greater subsidies.

If you have questions or concerns about any self-employed benefits, contact Tara on Twitter: @tarasbernard.

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