Hey Karl (and any other PTG Members who might find this beneficial). It's Shawn from the PTG Home Office
Please note that the benefits in question have passed the Senate but not yet the House (which should hopefully happen on Friday) and also require the President's signature. That's expected to happen
What you're referring to is the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which would provide jobless benefits to those who are unemployed, partially unemployed or unable to work because of the virus and don't qualify for traditional benefits. This includes independent contractors and the self-employed, who typically aren't eligible to file for unemployment, and so-called gig workers, who aren't eligible in many states. These benefits would mirror what's available in an individuals state (plus it looks like their might be some additional benefits provided by the state
It's important to note that (at least at this point), the program is designed to be administered through each states individual system. That means the application process will be conducted through whatever state you currently live in. At this point it's hard to predict how each state is going to handle applications and eligibility within the guidelines that the Federal legislation might set up.
We're doing our best to keep up and keep members informed. I'm also going to encourage everyone to follow developments within their individual states to see how this Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program will be implemented.
In the meantime, you can learn more (and see links to all the states agencies) here https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/unemployment-insurance
As I understand it, you use last year's income as a guide, but you pay quarterly estimated tax based on your present income. That's what I've always done. I have never gotten fined for any discrepancy. Here is a bit from the IRS website:
To figure your estimated tax, you must figure your expected adjusted gross income, taxable income, taxes, deductions, and credits for the year.
When figuring your estimated tax for the current year, it may be helpful to use your income, deductions, and credits for the prior year as a starting point.
The key word is "expected." It makes no sense at all to send quarterly payments based on last year's income. If there's a tax expert out there who knows otherwise I'd like to hear it, or someone who has gotten explicit direction on this straight from their accountant.