Germany’s governing coalition agreed late on Tuesday to extend benefits for furloughed workers and otherwise prepare the country for additional months of economic pain caused by the pandemic.
The decision came amid signs that although the German economy is rebounding, a full recovery will take years. The number of infections is also rising as Germans return from vacations abroad.
Employees placed on furlough or working reduced hours will be able to receive partial reimbursement for lost income until the end of 2021, under the measures agreed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and their governing partners, the Social Democrats. Previously “short work” benefits were limited to one year.
The political parties also agreed that, until the end of the year, troubled businesses would be exempt from regulations requiring them to file for insolvency if they cannot pay their bills. The exemption was to have expired at the end of September.
Other measures extend financial aid to small and midsize businesses, provide basic income to artists and freelancers, and provide lunches for children whose schools or kindergartens are closed.
How did the talks between Microsoft and ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, turn into a soap opera? Mike Isaac and Andrew Ross Sorkin spoke with more than a dozen people to understand what happened as the Trump administration began scrutinizing popular app:
To reduce the U.S. pressure, Zhang Yiming, ByteDance’s chief executive, began consulting with a small group of investors in his internet company, including Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic. ByteDance, which is privately held, has been valued at about $100 billion.
Doug Leone, one of Sequoia’s partners, and Bill Ford, chief executive of General Atlantic, became Mr. Zhang’s bridge to the White House, the people with knowledge of the talks said. The firms needed a major U.S. tech partner to get the deal done, the people close to the talks said. Mr. Zhang and the investors figured that Facebook, Google and Amazon were under too much antitrust scrutiny. But Microsoft, with its cash hoard of $137 billion, cloud expertise and strong government relationships, could work.
By July, Microsoft joined the talks. At the time, the discussions centered on Microsoft making a minority investment in TikTok, the people said. Between the U.S.-China tensions and the pressures of operating a social media company, Microsoft executives were hesitant about a big deal, said people briefed on the conversations. ByteDance and Mr. Zhang also wanted to retain some ownership of TikTok, they said.
Yet as the talks progressed, Microsoft grew warmer on a potentially larger deal with TikTok. While Microsoft has lots of data about industries like gaming and workplace software, it has little information about people’s social media behavior. TikTok’s user interaction information could strengthen Microsoft’s data science operation, the people briefed on the talks said.
TikTok could also be linked to Microsoft’s $7 billion advertising business. Together, that could make a meaningful difference to Microsoft’s growth, they said.
President Trump’s plan to replace the $600-a-week emergency federal unemployment supplement originally called for unemployed workers to receive $400 each week, with $100 to be supplied by the states. Here’s what we know now about the supplement.
Most workers will receive just $300 per week — the administration ultimately said the states’ basic benefit payments could be counted toward their share. Montana is the only state so far to choose the $400 option, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. And there is only enough funding to last only four or five weeks. Mr. Trump set the program up to draw from federal disaster funds — a limited pool — and the administration said that no more than $44 billion would be spent.
The supplement will only be available to workers who are eligible for at least $100 per week in benefits, either through the regular state program or a federal pandemic assistance program. States must apply for the funds — 30 have already done so, and the rest have until Sept. 10 — and South Dakota has already opted out.
It could take some states up to six weeks to figure out how to get a program up and running, John P. Pallasch, assistant secretary for employment and training at the Labor Department, told reporters on Thursday. States must update and reprogram computer systems and train staff members while they keep existing benefits flow and process new claims.
If you decided to ride out the pandemic at your out-of-state vacation house or with your parents in the suburbs, you may be in for an unpleasant reality: a hefty tax bill.
Given the complexity of state tax laws, accountants are advising their clients to track the number of days they spend working out of state. Some states impose income tax on people who work there for as little as a single day.
Even before the pandemic, conflicting state tax rules were creating issues for the increasing number of people who were working remotely, said Edward Zelinsky, a tax professor at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law.
“In the last six months, this has gone from a big problem to a humongous problem,” Mr. Zelinsky said. He knows from personal experience: He lives in Connecticut but works in New York and has paid tax on his New York-based salary to both states.
Here are some answers to common questions about how moving to work remotely could affect your taxes.