On March 11th, 2021, President Joe Biden signed off on the American Rescue Plan of 2021,1 the third stimulus legislation passed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though it is arguably much needed at this point, there is a great deal of uncertainty among many Americans regarding its provisions and whether they apply to them. Moreover, in light of both former-President Trump’s and President Biden’s insufficient efforts to address the housing crisis and the pandemic’s impact on the real estate market, landlords and tenants alike are wondering if they will receive aid from the ARP.2
To that end, we will be covering the basics of the American Rescue Plan of 2021, what’s included in it, and how it applies to landlords and other stakeholders in the real estate industry.
Understanding the Context
The American Rescue Plan of 2021 (or “H.R. 1319”3) is a $1.9 trillion4 COVID-19 relief program that was recently signed by President Joe Biden. It follows the approximately $4 trillion in COVID-19 relief that was approved in 2020.5 It is projected to help expedite the recovery of the U.S. economy and reverse current negative market trends.6 Additionally, it is meant to help address the public health crisis still posed by COVID-19, providing an “ambitious anti-poverty program,” along with efforts to help schools reopen in safe yet expediated fashion.7
Among other things, the plan covers $1400 stimulus checks, regular unemployment of $300/week (along with extensions for the program lasting through early September), and a provision intended avert surprise tax bills for people who lost their jobs, waiving federal income taxes for the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits received in 2020 for households earning under $150,000.8 The ARP is also notable for being the first The first stimulus package to include direct aid to state, local, and tribal governments, designating $350 billion to alleviate pandemic-induced budget deficits.9 Of the 195.3 billion allocated to states, $500 million of aid will be distributed to each state and D.C., and $168.55 billion will be distributed based on each state’s share of total unemployed workers from October of 2020 through December of 2020.10
As with previous COVID-19 relief bills, the U.S. Department of Treasury is expected to communicate guidance and provide a timeline regarding the distribution of funds under the Act. There will also be efforts to expand federal assistance to renters, homeowners, restaurants, and small business owners, and to provide relief for individuals and businesses struggling due to the pandemic.11 Two other notable changes include in the ARP is the Child Tax Credit, which was been expanded, and Student Loans, with student loan forgiveness now being exempt from taxes through 2025.12
How to Track a Stimulus Check
While most of the stimulus checks should have been distributed by now, some people are still waiting for theirs. Not everyone is even sure if they qualify (their eligibility depends on their most recent filing).13 Locating your payment helps to ensure that it is scheduled. Thankfully, the IRS offers an online tool that can tell you when to expect to receive their stimulus check.
To do so, go to the IRS “Get My Payment app website,” click on the “Get My Payment” button to enter the portal, and click on “OK” on the authorized use notification page after reviewing the terms. From there, Fill out your SSN or Individual Tax ID (ITIN), date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY), street address, and zip code. Click “Continue” and you will then be able to view the status of your stimulus check. All stimulus checks are expected to arrive in Americans’ bank accounts via direct deposit, with paper checks and debit cards set to arrive by April.14
Third Time’s The Charm?
Given that this is the third major relief package that we have seen since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, some are curious as to how the American Rescue Plan will compare. Some are concerned that it will simply delay the issues brought on by the pandemic without addressing them. Yet there is still reason to be optimistic, as several aspects of the ARP seem poised to mitigate the damages done by the U.S. economy and the real estate market.
In our next blog, we will look into exactly how the $1.9 trillion of the American Rescue Plan is being used and it applies to various areas of interest for landlords and tenants.
1. Kozuch, K. (2021, April 8). Stimulus check update: Payments are still going out. Tom’s Guide. https://www.tomsguide.com/news/stimulus-check-update-find-your-dollar1400-payment.
2. Kozuch, K.
3. Hsu, E., &; Praw, D. A. (2021, March 16). Real estate relief in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Insights. Holland & Knight. https://www.hklaw.com/en/insights/publications/2021/03/real-estate-relief-in-the-american-rescue-plan-act-of-2021.
4. Kaplan, T. (2021, March 7). What’s in the stimulus bill? A guide to where the $1.9 trillion is going. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/07/us/politics/whats-in-the-stimulus-bill.html.
5. Hsu, E., &; Praw, D. A.
6. Luxon, B. (2021, March 22). Summary: 3 ways the American Rescue Plan (ARP) impacts landlords. Landlord Studio. https://www.landlordstudio.com/blog/landlords-and-the-american-rescue-plan/.
7. Kaplan, T.
8. Kaplan, T.
9. Hsu, E., &; Praw, D. A.
10. Hsu, E., &; Praw, D. A.
11. Hsu, E., &; Praw, D. A.
12. Kaplan, T.
13. Kozuch, K.
14. Kozuch, K.