Thursday Three is Here!September 03, 2020
Photo by Alexander Mils, Unsplash.com
Before you get too excited…
By executive order, the employee’s share of the Social Security tax (6.2%) can be deferred from September 1st through December 31st for employees making less than $4,000 pretax biweekly.
While this might sound like free money, or at least an interest-free loan, it’s more complicated than that. The IRS has stated that employers will be responsible for collecting the deferred taxes from employees and paying them by April 30, 2021 or incurring additional expenses.
Your pay might briefly increase between now and the end of the year, but the beginning of next year would be a double whammy as social security tax is again pulled from your pay AND your employer (DFAS or otherwise) is deducting the monies you owe from your brief tax respite. For you old school Popeye fans, this is not much different than, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”
So, what should you do? Any adjustments or pay changes will be handled by DFAS for the service member in your family. If you are in crisis and the extra money is the difference between meeting your family’s basic needs or not – take advantage of this brief break knowing that you’ll have to plan for when those monies are pulled from a subsequent LES.
If you can manage without touching the extra pay? Put it somewhere safe – like a savings account – so that when it’s time to repay, it doesn’t negatively impact your bottom line.
Photo by Capt. J. Scott Detweiler, Joint Force Headquarters, Vermont National Guard Public Affairs
GAO to review Army’s sexual harassment program
The story of Spc. Vanessa Guillen’s death at Fort Hood rocked the military community. As internal reviews were conducted at the installation, and #IamVanessaGuillen trended with service members and veterans coming forth with their own experiences with sexual harassment in the Army – this became much more than a single devastating story.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has agreed to conduct a review of the Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program (SHARP). Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) requested the review in July. The GAO will assess the scope and timeline for its implementation in the next few months.
This is not the first review that’s been requested as a result of recent tragedies at Fort Hood. Last week lawmakers also asked GAO for a review of the Army’s missing persons policy They’ve requested that review be completed by GAO by December 2021.
Pandemic-friendly entertainment options
You likely know Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE) for morale-boosting high-quality performances for troops and their families around the world. Well a global pandemic isn’t going to stop AFE from delivering great resources and online entertainment.
Check out the newly released AFE Resource Guide for Active-Duty Military and Families – September 2020. From therapeutic craft kits, to healthy recipes, to sports/gaming tournaments, and much more – there’s something for everyone. And, don’t let the “active-duty” part of that resource guide deter you from checking out what’s being offered if your family isn’t an active-duty family. Lots of these resources are virtual and accessible to anyone who’s interested!