11 Things You Need to Know About PPP Forgiveness

by Tracey Hrica, EA Jul 17, 2020 | Share


July is the time of year we begin doing mid-year reviews and tax planning. July is not usually the month we have a tax filing deadline! It’s been exhausting for us, as well as for taxpayers. But we got through it! 

So, now we switch gears from 2019 returns to tax planning for 2020 and PPP loan forgiveness.

Let’s recap the latest PPP changes and guidance.

Note: There are no banks accepting forgiveness applications yet.

  1. Only 60% of the funds need to be used for payroll costs, down from 75% in the original guidance. 
  2. You can pay rents and utilities with the remaining 40%.
  3. You can choose a 24- or 8-week covered period.
  4. You have until December 31st to rehire and get your FTE and salaries back up to pre-pandemic levels.
  5. If you received a loan before the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act on June 5th, you can negotiate with your bank to extend the term to 5 years instead of 2. Remember, it’s not an automatic adjustment.
  6. Safe harbors have been introduced for businesses who cannot return to prior levels due to health and safety guidelines for slowing the spread.
  7. Owner-employee’s forgivable amounts are capped at the lesser of 8/52 of their 2019 salary or $15,385 when using an 8-week covered period, or the lesser of the 2.5 month’s equivalent of their 2019 salary or $20,833 when using the 24-week covered period.
  8. A new EZ application was released for borrowers who are self-employed and have no employees, or small businesses who had no reduction in employees or wages, or had a decrease of business activity due to health directives, and did not reduce wages by more than 25%.
  9. The lender will deduct any SBA EIDL advance funds from your forgivable amount.
  10. A bipartisan bill called The Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act has been introduced into the Senate that would allow small businesses who received loans of $150,000 or less to obtain automatic forgiveness after submitting a one-page attestation form.
  11. The IRS ruled out tax deductions for expenses paid with forgiven funds. The Small Business Expense Protection Act of 2020 would reverse the IRS decision and make the expenses deductible after all. However, this bill still has not passed through Congress, even though the intention of the CARES Act was to make the PPP loans tax free.

#11 is a BIG DEAL. Disallowing deductions is the same thing as adding taxable income. As we do our tax planning this year, we will include your PPP loans in your income projections.

Between this and the taxability of any unemployment benefits you may have received, the amount of taxes to be paid in this year could be significantly impacted.

After mid-year reviews, we will be jumping into PPP Forgiveness applications, so don’t forget to get on our schedule. We have our fingers crossed, hoping that both The Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act and The Small Business Expense Protection Act of 2020 will be passed, but unfortunately, there are no guarantees.

If you would like to refresh your memory on some of these topics, you can find more here:

Don’t Forget! Unemployment Benefits are Taxable

Congress Approves PPP Changes

PPP Forgiveness Application and Related Concerns

Is There Really Such a Thing as Free Money?

About the Author

Tracey Hrica, EA

Tracey Hrica joined the firm in 1995 as a bookkeeper. In 2012, she earned the designation of Enrolled Agent(EA), which enables her to prepare personal and business tax returns and represent clients before the IRS. To maintain the designation of EA, she must complete yearly continuing education in the areas of personal and business taxation. Working closely with her clients, Tracey’s primary areas of concentration are new client onboarding, client communication, research, and QuickBooks support. As a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, she works closely with clients who rely on QuickBooks for the day to day running of their business. Tracey has expertise in both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online.

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