Money Checkup Podcast

Episode 52: Year-End Wrap-Up for 2020

As 2020 draws to a close, it may be difficult to remember every event that affected your finances. In this episode, we’ll cover at least a few of those things — Paycheck Protection Program loans, student loans, and mortgage refinancing. I’ll also discuss a few things to keep in mind for your 2020 tax planning, including charitable contributions and retirement plan contributions.

KEY RESOURCES REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Early PPP recipients may be asked to begin making payments soon if they do not file forgiveness applications. If you received a PPP loan in 2020, make sure to submit your loan forgiveness application within 10 months of the end of your loan forgiveness period.
  • If you received a PPP loan of $50,000 or less, the Small Business Administration has released a simplified PPP loan forgiveness application that exempts borrowers from any reductions in loan forgiveness amount based on reductions in full-time equivalent employees or reductions in salary or wages.
  • Lenders no longer need to replicate a borrower’s calculations, only to perform a good-faith review of the calculations and the supporting documentation.
  • PPP forgiveness itself is not taxable, but the expenses attributable to the forgiven loan are not eligible for deduction. 
  • Taxes have been very messy this year, since spring and summer tax deadlines were pushed back. Double-check your withholding or ask your CPA to run a projection to see whether you are paid in full for the year, especially if you make quarterly estimated tax payments.
  • The CARES Act allows an above-the-line tax deduction for charitable donations of up to $300.
  • If you have federal student loan debt and are considering refinancing to a private loan, consider holding off to see whether the federal government pursues any kind of student debt relief in 2021.
  • I believe mortgage rates will stay low, at least for a little while longer. If, like me, you tried to refinance your mortgage and weren’t able to, you may not yet be out of luck. Underwriting constraints should ease up as the pandemic ends, but only time will tell if rates stay low.
  • If you feel like you neglected your finances in 2020, don’t worry too much. This year was hard on everyone. Take some time to review your goals this month so you can start 2021 on the right foot.

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