Zoomed in on Real Estate Recap: Unemployment and SBA Resources Available For REALTORS®

Watch the March 30th Zoomed in on Real Estate Member Update


Unemployment Insurance for Independent Contractors
On March 27, the Federal Government enacted the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES Act” which extends unemployment insurance benefits to individuals who are self-employed, independent contractors, or would otherwise not qualify for regular unemployment benefits.

The unemployment benefits program created by this bill will be administered by the state of Massachusetts. However, the state is waiting to receive guidance from the Federal Government before accepting applications for benefits under the program. We will provide further updates once this guidance is given.

Please understand that the federal Department of Labor needs to first issue additional guidance on how this program will be implemented. Once that occurs, DOL will enter into agreements with each willing state to provide these benefits and will reimburse states for 100% of the costs.

In the meantime, Governor Baker has requested that individuals who would qualify for unemployment benefits under this new program wait to apply until after the state has received this guidance in order to streamline the process.

SBA Loan Program for Businesses
The CARES Act includes over $350 billion dollars in small business relief (500 employees or less including independent contractors) through two main loan vehicles:

SBA 7(b)(2) loans – Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EDIL) – Grants available within 3 business days for immediate relief up to $10K
SBA 7(a) loans – Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – Forgivable loans available at 250% of an employers average monthly payroll up to $10M

These loans will be accessible through banks that offer Small Business Administration loans, and we will be providing more information as the regulations regarding these are written and are available from local banks.

Tax Filing Extensions, Including Quarterly Filings
To file 2019 federal and Massachusetts state income taxes, the deadline has been extended until July 15th. In addition, the quarterly filing deadline for the 1st quarter of 2020 has been extended to July 15th. For 2020, with the exception of the April 15 due date, the other dates still apply. In other words, your second estimated tax payment is due on June 15, even though it precedes the July 15 due date of the first estimated tax payment; however, we expect that the June 15 deadline for the 2nd quarter could be extended in the future.