Friday, December 2News That Matters
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There are some snags in free COBRA health insurance for unemployed. Here’s what you need to know

Finance
HRAUNLinda, a lawyer from California who was laid off from her job in January, is like millions of others in the Covid pandemic who are living without health insurance.But she discovered that the government would fully subsidize her COBRA health insurance premiums from April until September, thanks to a provision in the latest stimulus package. She immediately contacted her insurer to sign up. Linda (she asked not to use her full name) was eager to go to the doctor after contracting a painful urinary tract infection this month, which she feared could spread to her kidneys.The rules in the $ 1.9 trillion relief bill passed in March seemed straightforward enough: The government would pay for people's COBRA premiums for six months beginning on April 1. COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budg...

What to know about tax credits in the American Rescue Plan

Finance
kate_sept2004 | E+ | Getty ImagesMany Americans will pocket some extra money this year and next courtesy of changes the American Rescue Plan made to a handful of tax credits.The $ 1.9 trillion Covid relief measure tweaked the child tax credit, earned income credit, and child and dependent care credit.The changes, especially those to the child tax credit, are aimed at lower earners. They're temporary and will only apply to tax season next year (for 2021 income), unless Congress extends the new rules or makes them permanent.More from Personal Finance:Biden's infrastructure plan won't raise individual taxes, for nowFourth stimulus checks are unlikely. What federal aid may be nextIRS refunds will start in May for $ 10,200 unemployment tax breakThe pandemic aid law also lets households claim ...
Line Of Duty returns: We didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble – here’s everything you need to know

Line Of Duty returns: We didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble – here’s everything you need to know

Entertainment
For the DIR, for the next few weeks we're only interested in one thing here and one thing only - and that's catching bent coppers.Line Of Duty fans, almost two years since we last visited AC-12, the wait is finally over. Not since Game Of Thrones' controversial swansong has there been such feverish anticipation around a TV series' return. Thanks to its tense and twisty scripts, stellar performances from core stars Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston, and a roster of brilliant guest actors - plus Superintendent Ted Hastings' knack for an incredibly quotable catchphrase, fella - it has become one of the biggest shows on British TV. Image: 'Can we go through those acronyms one more time?' Kelly Macdonald joins the cast as DCI Joanne Da...

The smallest businesses are getting extra PPP help. What to know before you apply

Finance
andresrThe smallest businesses that have had the most trouble accessing forgivable loans from the Paycheck Protection Program will soon get extra help.The Biden administration on Monday announced changes for the pandemic aid program focused on helping small and minority owned firms as well as sole proprietors.For two weeks, starting Wednesday, the Small Business Administration will only accept applications for PPP loans from firms with fewer than 20 employees.The administration is also making several changes to the program, including increasing loan amounts for sole proprietors and individual contractors, eliminating restrictions around delinquent student loan debt and non-fraud felony convictions as well as allowing some non-citizen business owners to apply.Goal is to expand accessThe cha...

This tax pitfall could affect millions due to Covid. Here’s what you need to know

Finance
ljubaphotoThe 2020 tax season is officially underway, and the millions of Americans who collected unemployment benefits last year due to the coronavirus pandemic may be in for a surprise.That unemployment income is taxable, and if you didn't have money set aside or withheld for those taxes, it could reduce your refund or even lead to a bill.This might be particularly unexpected for independent contractors and self-employed people who normally aren't eligible for state benefits but may have received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through the CARES Act."There are going to be a lot of people this year that have unemployment insurance and they do not normally receive unemployment insurance benefits," said Elaine Maag, a principal research associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. "...