Today, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act” or the “Act”), which the Senate approved on the evening of March 25th, received House approval and was signed by the President into law. The Act will inject up to $2 trillion into the US economy, an historic legislative package that far exceeds the 2009 stimulus legislation adopted during the Great Recession.
The Act is 880 pages long and its application is far-reaching and, in many ways, currently unknown. The following is a high level summary of key provisions contained in the Act. For more comprehensive analyses of the Act’s provisions, please visit our COVID-19 Resource Center over the days and weeks ahead.
The Act authorizes the Treasury Department to make loans and loan guarantees totaling up to $500 billion, as described below. There are general prohibitions on share repurchases and the payment of dividends by businesses participating in this program while any loan is outstanding, plus one year, and there are limits on executive compensation for companies that accept loan assistance.
The Act also includes substantial investments in the healthcare system:
The Act provides assistance to employers and employees, such as the following:
The Act includes a number of benefits plan measures, including the following:
The Act includes numerous temporary tax provisions intended to provide liquidity for businesses by delaying tax payments and creating refund opportunities, such as the following: