Update: Hogan Signs $1 Billion RELIEF Act
House version approved last Friday modifies EITC payments
Introduced last month and incorporating adjustments made and passed by the General Assembly, Hogan has signed the $1 Billion RELIEF Act, delivering tax relief, grants and stimulus payments to aid Marylanders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The most significant update is a large expansion to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), with an impact on some Marylanders’ 2020 taxes.
Here’s an overview of the final relief package:
Direct stimulus payments–if you qualified for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in the 2019 tax year, the following applies to you:
- (i) $300 for an individual other than an individual described under items (ii) or (iii) of this item;
- (ii) $250 for an individual filing as married filing separately; or
- (iii) $500 for spouses filing a joint return or for a surviving spouse or head of household as defined in § 2 of the Internal Revenue Code.
- In addition, the EITC for eligible Marylanders would increase over the next three years. For example, a family with two or more more kids earning $25,000 a year would see the EITC amount received increase by approximately $1,100 each year – in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
More tax relief – the RELIEF Act also:
- Eliminates taxes for pandemic-related grants and forgiven loans
- Sets a cap on those who will be exempt from owing taxes on unemployment benefits
- Exempts hard-hit businesses from a drastic increase in their unemployment taxes as a result of COVID-related layoffs; allows employers to hold off on paying unemployment insurance taxes until Jan. 31, 2022.
Small business support includes $125 million to fund the following:
- $12,000 in sales tax credits and an emergency grant and loan program for nearly 3,000 businesses, prioritizing those that have not received prior assistance
- $25,000 grants for 400 hotels and hospitality venues; additional grants for entertainment venues
- $10 million for the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority, providing $25,000 grants for disadvantaged businesses
- Job training, grants for rural, agricultural, “main street” and distressed communitiesTourism marketing support