TCDLA C.A.R.E.S and the Act

One month ago today, I was in Lajitas (Big Bend), having just wrapped up the final CDLP “Champions” seminar, sitting on a porch, listening to Texas country, drinking wine and beer and solving the world’s problems with some of my dearest (TCDLA) friends. One month ago today, my biggest concern was how to fit seven days of work into three, so I could go to a seminar in Austin on Wednesday. COVID-19 was barely a blip on my radar.

Today, I am sitting in my empty office looking over the month’s receivables. Today, I am wondering how long this “shelter in place” is going to last. Today, I am cancelling every subscription I don’t need–just trying to save every little bit of money I can.

If you are like me today, I am worried about those for whom I am responsible. My staff. My family. My staff’s family. They rely on me to pay them so they can put food on the table–so they can have life’s necessities.  That can be overwhelmingly stressful at times, and in particular, right now.

I am here to tell you it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There is help, and it is called C.A.R.E.S. (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security). I have tried to break this down as simply as I can. It is by no means comprehensive, but I hope it is helpful, because I CARE about each of you.

STIMULUS PAYMENTS

  • Single taxpayers with adjusted gross income <$75k (2018 or 2019 tax return) or couples with AGI <$150K will receive a $1,200 payment.
  • That payment will decrease $5 for every $100 AGI up to $99K.
  • $500 per child.
  • You do not have to take any action–the checks will just be sent.

SHORT-TERM FORGIVENESS LOANS

  • $350B allocated to help small businesses (<500 employees).
  • These are “special” SBA loans.
  • May be partially forgiven.
  • You can receive up to 250% of your average monthly payroll.
  • Payroll includes wages/benefits plus rent/mortgage and utilities.
  • Loans may be forgiven if you use it for “payroll.”
  • Will not be treated as taxable income.
  • Loans come from SBA-approved banks, credit unions and lenders.

EMERGENCY GRANTS

  • Up to $10K.
  • Does not have to be repaid.
  • Paid out within three days of applying.
  • Intended for payroll, sick leave and other debt obligations.
  • Apply directly with SBA.
  • ***Can receive grant and forgiveness loans***

PAYROLL TAX CREDIT

  • May qualify for PTC up to $10K per employee.
  • Employees must be paid their wages/benefits during this time.
  • Qualify if you experience 50% decrease in gross receipts from same quarter last year.
  • CANNOT CLAIM PTC AND APPLY FOR SHORT-TERM FORGIVENESS LOAN

STUDENT LOANS

The C.A.R.E.S. Act does not address this; however, you can get up to three months deferred payments (some with and some without interest accrual) on your student loans. You must contact your lender. Let them know you want to defer payments. They cannot report this on your credit report. I contacted mine last Saturday by e-mail. I received notification this past Thursday that I will not owe any payments on my student loan until July.

I look forward to the day I get to go back to Lajitas and sit on that porch with those same TCDLA friends and listen to Hurley tell stories while Snodgrass plays his favorite Texas music, Jay Freeman chimes in with a really bad dad joke every once in a while, and Kerri and I open another bottle of wine.

TCDLA
TCDLA
Laurie Key
Laurie Key
Laurie Key has been a dedicated and successful trial lawyer in the field of criminal defense since 2002. She has extensive experience in handling criminal cases in both state and federal court, from simple misdemeanors to complex felonies. She devotes herself fully to every case, making sure it is handled with the highest degree of professionalism and respect.

Laurie works diligently on every aspect of a case from beginning to end, from pretrial negotiations and bond hearings throughout a jury trial when necessary. She conducts independent investigations of her cases, including interviewing potential witnesses. She will maintain communication with you as her client so that you understand what is going on with your case at every step in the process. That way, she can address any questions or concerns you have and help put your mind at ease during an otherwise stressful and frustrating time.

She was selected for the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 lists of Texas SuperLawyer’s Rising Stars, a Thomson Reuters service. No more than 2.5% of attorneys in the State are included on the list each year.

Because of her extensive experience and success, Laurie is frequently asked to speak at continuing legal education seminars across the state. She has also served as an adjunct professor at the Texas Tech University School of Law. Laurie is a past president of the Lubbock County Young Lawyer’s association and a current member and past president of the Lubbock Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association. She is also a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Lubbock County MAC (Private Defender’s Office), and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association. She can be reached at or at (806) 771-3933.
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