ICBA Blog

Read What’s Hot Around the Web: April 2021

A roundup of independent contractor news and insights

We’ve curated some of the top topics circulating the web regarding independent contractors over the last month. Right now, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) is all over the media. The program provides $1.9 trillion in relief funds for individuals and businesses (yes, this includes independent contractors!) in response to the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve also got news about “plus-up” stimulus payments and extensions to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan deadlines. We’ve rounded up the details and provided links to more info.

Additional unemployment assistance

ARPA makes important changes to pandemic-fueled unemployment assistance programs, including programs targeted to independent contractors, freelancers, and gig economy workers such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC). Both programs have been extended through September 6, 2021. Contact your state’s unemployment insurance office to learn more about benefit availability.

Stimulus checks

If you are eligible, you may have already received funding in the form of a $1,400 third stimulus check. Some Americans may also receive a fourth stimulus check, known as a “plus-up” payment. These payments are for people whose income dropped in 2020 compared to 2019, those who had a new child or dependent on their 2020 tax return, and various other circumstances. You can check your status here to see if a payment has been scheduled.

PPP extension

We have good news about PPP loans, which have been a lifeline for many independent contractors since the start of the pandemic. The PPP Extension Act of 2021 has been signed into law, extending the loan application deadline to May 31 from March 31 and giving the Small Business Administration (SBA) an additional month to complete processing loans through June 30.

Moratorium on evictions

If you’re an independent contractor who’s lost out on work during the pandemic, you’ll be happy to know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has extended the eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021, further preventing the eviction of tenants who are unable to make rental payments.

Workplace COVID-19 guidance for those who are fully vaccinated

Current CDC guidance says you should still follow worker guidelines at your job if you’ve been fully vaccinated. You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people or with unvaccinated people from one other household, without wearing a mask or staying six feet apart, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe COVID-19. If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms. However, if you live in a group setting and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Quarterly taxes are still due April 15

Though the IRS has extended the deadlines to pay certain taxes to May 17, estimated quarterly taxes are still due on April 15 for most independent contractors and freelancers. Some states are an exception. View the complete list here.

 

The ICBA will keep you updated as more news unfolds about COVID-19 economic relief and future aid packages.