What Saturday’s executive order could mean for freelancers

On Saturday, August 8, President Trump signed an executive order and several memoranda to extend enhanced unemployment benefits, defer federal student loan payments through the end of the year, extend student loan interest forgiveness, defer payroll taxes, and decrease evictions.

The actions are likely to face legal challenges before they can be enacted, however, as they subvert the constitutional separation of powers that prevents the president from making any laws that control spending. That power is held only by Congress and the Senate. Because of this, there is still time for a comprehensive relief package to be passed through the proper channels, and the executive order could be overturned either by congressional bill or a challenge in the Supreme Court.

The extended unemployment benefits are not a blanket renewal of the $600 FPUC program, but a reduction to $400, one-quarter of which is required to be paid by states. The extension is intended to be retroactive to August 1.

Freelancers should also pay close attention to the payroll tax deferral. The order would reduce a freelancer’s obligation by 50 percent from August 1 through the end of the year if your freelance income is less than $104,000. This means instead of paying 15.30%

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