Updated April 28 2020.
Congress has enacted a number of financial relief initiatives to help Americans remain financially solvent during this public health emergency. Please see below for more information on loan forbearance, eviction moratoriums, and extended tax deadlines.
Direct Payments for Individuals and Families:
Congress has approved direct payments to help individuals and families deal with the COVID-19 outbreak during this difficult time. Payments are expected to be distributed in the coming weeks, but individuals and families are encouraged to visit the IRS’s website for more information about whether they are eligible for these payments and how to receive them here. More information is also available online here. Additionally, the IRS continues to provide updated information about payment eligibility, payment status, how to access payments, how to provide bank account information, error messages, and address changes online here.
VA, Social Security Beneficiaries:
Most eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 should automatically receive their payments in the coming weeks. However, certain individuals who are eligible for payments but not required to file returns, including lower income taxpayers (individuals whose incomes did not exceed $12,200 in 2019, or $24,400 for married couples) can submit their payment information online here.
Individuals who receive Social Security income (i.e. retiree or disability beneficiaries), Veterans Affairs beneficiaries, and Supplemental Security Income recipients do not need to submit their payment information online, and should automatically receive these payments. More information about how to track payments is available here.
Note: Those without internet access are encouraged to contact my office for assistance.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress recently approved loan forbearance and related assistance for homeowners with federally-backed mortgages through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
More information about available assistance can be found on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) website here.
Loan forbearance is also available for student borrowers. More information is available on the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Federal Student Aid (FSA) website here. Additional information about available assistance can also be found on CFPB’s website here.
The CARES Act also put in place protections for renters in federally-supported housing by putting in place a moratorium on evictions for up to 120 days beginning on March 27, 2020. In addition, landlords in federally-supported housing can seek loan forbearance in order to ease the burden of rent payments.
If you are a renter or homeowner with questions, the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii has produced a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document with answers to questions about the CARES Act’s provisions, as well as specific policies put in place by Hawaii State and local government. You can learn more about the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and the services they provide to renters, homeowners, and consumers on their website at: https://www.legalaidhawaii.org/
Borrowers concerned about their ability to pay their loans are encouraged to contact their lenders during this time. More information is available online here.
Extensions for Filing and Paying Federal and State Income Taxes
The U.S. Treasury Department announced that it would be extending the deadline to file federal taxes by three months: the deadlines to file and pay federal income taxes is now July 15, 2020. More information can be found online (here). You can also read more online here.
State of Hawaii:
Following Treasury’s announcement, the Hawaii State Department of Taxation announced that it would be extending the deadline to file and pay state income taxes to July 20, 2020, three months past the original April 20, 2020 deadline. More information can be found online here.