April 2, 2020

As you know, our offices are closed and all North Star employees are working remotely. We have not encountered any interruption of services and we can still be reached at our normal phone numbers and email addresses. As a reminder, PLEASE DO NOT PLACE TRADE INSTRUCTIONS IN VOICEMAIL AS THEY WILL NOT BE EXECUTED.

Please keep us updated and informed about any changes regarding your personal situation. We are here to help.

These are difficult times for all of us and our thoughts are with those directly impacted by this pandemic.

Below is some new information about the CARES Act as well as updated instructions about depositing checks.

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CARES Act

The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act was signed into law late last week. This is a $2 trillion stimulus bill that is broad based: it covers various areas, industries, businesses, and individuals. The aim is to offer relief to those affected by the restrictions placed on all of us as we fight the spread of viral contagion. Very few areas of our society are unaffected.

Understanding all details of this total bill will take some time to analyze. However, we thought you would like to see the areas we think are important for individuals and families.

1. Stimulus Checks – also called recovery payments. All US residents with adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 ($150,000 for joint filers) are eligible for a payment of $1,200 per person, plus an additional $500 per child (under age 17).
– No minimum income requirements
– Based on either your 2018 or 2019 tax filings, payment not dependent on whether you have filed taxes for 2019
– As your adjusted gross income increases, your stimulus amount will go down and is phased out at $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers with no children

2. Tax Filing Delayed – deadline is moved from April 15th, 2020 to July 15th, 2020
– Check your state’s tax filing date to ensure that it also has been moved to July 15th, 2020
– Includes tax payment due – moved to July 15th

3. Unemployment – increases benefits and broadens who is eligible
– Adds $600 per week on top of what is being paid by the state, for four months
– Adds 13 weeks of unemployment insurance
– Gig workers – normally cannot apply for unemployment insurance, but now are able if work is lost as result of public health emergency

4. Student Loans
– Employers can contribute up to $5,250 to a student loan, and the employee does not have to report this as income
– Suspends payments due until Sept. 30, 2020 with no penalties or accrued interest
-Contains provisions for students sent home mid-semester like universities can pay students who were unable to complete work-study programs

5. Required Minimum Distributions
– Waived for 2020, (not delayed)
-Can stop taking distributions at any time
-Includes inherited Traditional IRAs and inherited Roth IRAs

6. Elimination of Early Withdrawal Penalty
– Waives the 10% penalty for those under the age of 59 ½ who take a withdrawal up 100,000 from their IRA and who qualify for COVID-19 relief
– Can reconstitute over 3 years without affecting their contribution limits

7. Increase in Retirement Plan Loan Amount
– Loans can be taken from qualified accounts up to $100,000 in 2020
– Amount increased to 100% of the account balance

8. Mortgages
– Requires servicers of federally-backed mortgages to postpone mortgage payments if the borrowed attests to financial hardship due to COVID-19. Postponement must be for 180 days, and then an additional 180 days at request of borrower.
– Foreclosure Moratorium – Prevents federally-backed mortgage loan servicers from foreclosing for at least 60 days starting on March 18
– Eviction Relief for Renters – For 120 days after CARES Act is made law, mortgages backed by Federal Agencies cannot pursue eviction, or charge fees or penalties

9. Charitable Gifts
– $300 deduction for a charitable contribution regardless of whether you itemize deduction
– For corporations, the 10% limit on charitable contribution is raised to 25% of taxable income

There are many additional details to these provisions, and we encourage you to work with your tax professional before making any decisions. If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything, please let us know, we are here to help.

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Important Information:

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IRA Contribution Information:

According to the IRS Code, contributions are considered to be made in a taxable year as long as they are made by the filing deadline. This would imply that contributions are OK until July 15th.

COVID-19 Information page:

We will continue to provide you updates such as these via email as warranted. Additionally, we have established a special page on our website with all notices posted, which can be viewed by clicking here.

Reminder of our safe practices for preventing Fraud:

– Be aware of suspicious phone calls, emails, and texts from persons you do not know asking you to send money or disclose personal information.
– Keep us informed regarding changes to your personal information.
– Expect us to call you to confirm email requests to move money, trade, or change account information.

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Check Deposits:

Please send your check deposits directly to the custodian of your brokerage account:

For Deposit to NFS Brokerage Account:

National Financial Services
Attention: Check Processing
Mail Code: KY10
100 Crosby Parkway
COVINGTON KY 41015-4325

You must indicate the NFS account number on the front of the check. (this is your NTR#)
For IRA, SEP contributions you must indicate the year on the front of the check by the acct number.

If your check is not payable to NFS but made payable to you, you must write the account number on the front of the check. And on the back of the check it must be endorsed by you and you must write on the back “payable to NFS”.

If you have a Wealthscape Investor Mobile App on your phone you can deposit checks easily thru the App.

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For Deposit to Fidelity Brokerage Account:

Overnight delivery:
Fidelity Investments
100 Crosby Parkway, Mailzone KC1H
Covington, KY 41015

US Mail:
Fidelity Investments
P.O. Box 770002
Cincinnati, OH 45277-0074

You must indicate the Fidelity account number on the front of the check. (This is a 9 digit account number)
For IRA, SEP contributions you must indicate the year on the front of the check by the acct number.

If you have a Wealthscape Investor Mobile App on your phone you can deposit checks easily thru the App.

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For Deposit to Charles Schwab Brokerage Account:

Charles Schwab & Co.,
Chicago Metro Team
1958 Summit Park Drive, Suite 500
ORLANDO, FL 32810-5936

You must indicate the Charles Schwab account number on the front of the check. (This is an 8 digit account number)
For IRA, SEP contributions you must indicate the year on the front of the check by the acct number.

If you have a Schwab Mobile App on your phone you can deposit checks easily thru the App.

The information provided in this commentary is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase any security, product, or brokerage service. The information is not intended to be used as the basis for investment decisions, nor should the information be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of any investor. This commentary is presented to illustrate examples of the securities that North Star Investment Management Corporation and/or its affiliates (“North Star”) may have bought for client accounts and the diversity of markets in which North Star Investments may invest, and may not be representative of current or future investments. You should not assume that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this commentary will be profitable or will be equal to any corresponding performance levels that might be indicated. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments in securities involve risks including the possible loss of the principal invested. North Star and others associated with it, including employees, may have positions in and effect transactions in securities of companies mentioned or indirectly referenced in this commentary. North Star may buy, sell or hold these securities in proprietary or client accounts. North Star will not be providing regular updates or advising you of any changes in the views expressed herein. Investors should consider their investment objectives, risk tolerance, and financial situation and needs before investing in any security. Tax considerations, commissions, fees and other costs should be carefully evaluated with one’s investment and/or tax advisors. Information provided is obtained from sources deemed to be reliable, but North Star cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information. This material may not be reproduced, distributed or transmitted to any other person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of North Star. A copy of North Star Investment Management Corporation’s Form ADV Brochure, Privacy Notice and Business Continuity Plan summary can be obtained by calling 312-580-0900.