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SB Wednesday: answers to three common questions about stimulus payments

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BLUEFIELD, W.Va (WVVA) - WVVA is helping to answer your questions about small business and personal finance. The Executive Director of the Development Authority of Mercer County, John O'Neal, is helping answer questions every Wednesday at 5 p.m. on WVVA.

WVVA: Recently Congress passed a Second Stimulus Bill. What are some of the highlights of this bill for individuals and small business?

O'Neal: The stimulus bill contains several key pieces. Probably the most anticipated part is the $600 direct payment for individual adults. Eligible families with dependent children receive an additional $600 per child.

The agreement revived enhanced federal jobless benefits for 11 weeks, providing up to $300 per week until March 14, which may explain why the number of unemployment claims increased this week for the first time in months.

The agreement contains targeted aid for small businesses, with $285 billion for additional loans to small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program.

Additionally, the bill provides money for low income individuals for rental assistance, internet bills, childcare, and increased SNAP benefits. The legislation provides billions for school systems, as well as funds for COVID vaccine purchase, distribution, and testing. (

WVVA: John, there are a lot of rumors and myths surrounding this stimulus payments. What are some of the more common questions you are receiving?

O'Neal: So true. Let's talk about three of the most common questions about the stimulus payments. First, will my stimulus payment have to be repaid? Second, is my stimulus payment taxable income? And third, will my stimulus payment reduce my tax refund?

The answer to each question is no. The economic stimulus payment is not a loan, nor is it simply an advance on your income tax refund. It will not affect your tax liability or refund. The stimulus payment is not considered taxable income.

Some people have not received their stimulus payments yet. There are a variety of reasons why this may be the case. The most common reason is that the IRS simply hasn't gotten to you yet.

There are millions of Americans that are eligible, but only a limited number of IRS employees to process the payments. The IRS says that one way to speed things up is to submit your 2020 income tax return.

Viewers can check the status of their stimulus payments here.

Tune in every Wednesday at 5 p.m. for a new edition of SB Wednesday.

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Melinda Zosh

Evening Anchor and Producer

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