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Dec. 23, 2020, 7:11 p.m. EST

The $900 billion COVID stimulus bill extends several tax write-offs and how to get the most college financial aid for your child

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By Jacob Passy

Hi there, MarketWatchers. Don’t miss these top stories:

Personal Finance

My aunt stole my mother’s Social Security, and persuaded my elderly father to sign over power of attorney

‘My father was recently very sick and in the hospital, and he was not in his right mind.’

My father moved his girlfriend, her cousin and two kids into his 2-bedroom condo. I struggle to pay rent. What about me?

‘Living in the condo will help ease a tremendous financial burden, as I am sometimes unable to muster two pennies to rub together.’

I didn’t receive a $1,200 stimulus check during the first surge of COVID-19. Will I get a $600 check this time around?

‘With a second round of stimulus checks of $600 announced by Congress on Sunday, will the Internal Revenue Service give me a check based on my 2019 return?’

Our building is tipping staff 25% extra due to COVID-19. My husband wants to maintain this in 2021. I disagree. What should we do?

‘I am an Upper East Side wife and mother with two children. I realize I am very fortunate.’

I earned $100,000 in 2019, but far less in 2020. Why did I not get a stimulus check? How is that fair?

‘I also know people who made over $100,000 in 2019, but can’t get a stimulus because of their 2019 tax return’

My boyfriend’s ex-wife claimed her 2 sons as dependents on her taxes, and received their stimulus checks, but they live with us

‘The mother of these 2 boys lost custody through the Department of Homeland Security, and has offered no support.’

To get the most college financial aid for your child, take these steps during sophomore year of high school

Five things to do now if your child will start college in 2023.

Your will is about more than money and cutting your child out could backfire

Carefully consider your last message to your family so it doesn’t leave a scar, writes psychologist Joshua Coleman.

The $900 billion COVID stimulus bill extends several tax write-offs, including for medical expenses and college tuition

The legislation would also extend credits for solar energy equipment and plug-in electric motorcycles.

The new stimulus bill didn’t extend the student-loan payment pause — but it has 8 provisions that will affect how families pay for college

The $900 billion COVID relief package provides emergency financial help for college students, simplifies the FAFSA form and repeals a ban on incarcerated students accessing the Pell grant.

Elsewhere on MarketWatch

‘America First’ puts the U.S. economy at risk while China, Europe and the rest of the world power forward

Here’s how the Biden administration can restore America’s standing as a trading partner and leader.

Biden’s pick to replace Betsy DeVos is a former public school teacher and first-generation college grad

Biden has vowed to re-open schools after his first 100 days in office and it appears his secretary of education nominee, Miguel Cardona, will be a willing partner in those efforts.

A second more contagious new strain of COVID-19 has been detected in the U.K. from South Africa

Another, even more contagious strain of coronavirus has been detected in two cases in the U.K, the British health secretary said in a news briefing on Wednesday.

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in U.K. ‘shortly after Christmas’ – top Oxford scientist says

Approval of AstraZeneca-Oxford University shot would come as the U.K. grapples with a new coronavirus strain that has triggered a wave of travel bans.

Jacob Passy is a personal-finance reporter for MarketWatch and is based in New York.

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