Tax and financial advice from the Silicon Valley expert.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan relief passed by Congress

The Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (H.R. 7010), which was previously passed by the House of Representatives on June 3, 2020.  President Trump is expected to sign the legislation.

Here is a URL for the text of H.R. 7010.  https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/7010/text

The legislation relaxes the requirements to qualify for forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Here is a summary of key points:

  • The time in which businesses that receive a PPP loan may count their expenses that qualify for loan forgiveness is extended from 8 to 24 weeks, and the period ends no later than December 31, 2020.
  • Businesses that received a PPP loan before the date of enactment may elect to keep an eight-week period to count expenses that qualify for loan forgiveness.  (A borrower might want to make this election because it paid the required expenses and can apply for forgiveness sooner.)
  • The portion of the loan proceeds used to pay payroll costs is decreased from 75% to 60%.  Under the language in the Act, if the business doesn’t use at least 60% of the loan funds for payroll costs, the loan doesn’t qualify for forgiveness.  Congress is expected to pass a technical correction later to permit a sliding scale forgiveness if the 60% threshold isn’t met.  This means up to 40% of loan proceeds may be used to pay rent expenses, qualified mortgage interest and utilities and still qualify for full loan forgiveness.
  • Borrowers may use the earlier of the date 24-weeks after receiving the loan or December 31, 2020 to meet the requirement to restore their workforce and wages to pre-pandemic levels required for full forgiveness.
  • Two new exceptions allowing borrowers to achieve full PPP loan forgiveness even if they don’t fully restore their workforce were included in the legislation.  (1) The borrower was unable to find qualified employees.  (2) The borrower was unable to restore business operations to February 15, 2020 levels due to COVID-19 related operating restrictions.
  • New borrowers have five years to repay the unforgiven portion of the loan instead of two.  Those who received loans before the date of enactment may extend the repayment term of the unforgiven portion of their loans from two to five years, if the lender and borrower agree.  The interest rate remains 1%.
  • Under the CARES Act, businesses that received a PPP loan didn’t qualify for delayed payment of employer taxes.  That prohibition is repealed under the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act.

This legislation should enable many more PPP loan borrowers to qualify for loan forgiveness.  The Small Business Administration will have to update the forms that it just issued to apply for loan forgiveness.

Loan Forgiveness Application Form issued for Paycheck Protection Loans

If your business is one of the fortunate ones that received a PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan, now you need to deal with the next challenge:  qualifying for forgiveness of the loan.

The SBA (Small Business Administration) has issued Form 3508, Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application, and Schedule A, Worksheet.

Here is a URL to download the application.  https://www.sba.gov/document/sba-form–paycheck-protection-program-loan-forgiveness-application

The purpose of the form is to report the expenses actually incurred that qualify for loan forgiveness.

The form is submitted to the lender where you got the loan, NOT the SBA.

There is no due date listed to submit the form.  Since the rules relating to PPP loans may be amended based on developments for “opening up” the U.S. economy relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, I suggest not hurrying to submit the form.

For example, a Salary/Hourly Wage Reduction is computed on Schedule A for a reduction in full-time equivalent employees that isn’t restored by June 30, 2020.  I think there is a good chance the June 30, 2020 date will be extended if the reopening is slower than Congress initially expected.

An item that isn’t explained very well is self-employment income.  Self-employment income isn’t a normal “payroll” type item.  That information might not be available until the 2020 income tax return is prepared for the business or the business owner.

The “Covered Period” for covered expenses is the eight-week (56-day) period beginning on the PPP Loan Disbursement Date.  For example, if the borrower received its PPP loan proceeds on Monday, April 20, the Covered Period begins on April 20 and ends on June 14.

Generally, covered expenses are incurred and paid during the Covered Period.

Payroll costs must be paid during the covered period (or Alternative Payroll Covered Period) or paid on or before the next regular payroll date.  The Alternative Payroll Covered Period for borrowers with a biweekly (or more frequent) payroll schedule is the eight-week (56-day) period that begins on the first day for their first pay period following their loan disbursement date.

Remember payroll costs include wages, bonuses, tips, employer-paid health insurance, and employer-paid qualified retirement plan expenses.  (https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-04-15/pdf/2020-07672.pdf)

An eligible nonpayroll cost must be paid during the Covered Period or incurred during the Covered Period and paid on or before the next regular billing date, even if the the billing date is after the Covered Period.  Eligible nonpayroll costs include (1) covered mortgage obligations (interest payments on business mortgage obligations on real or personal property incurred before February 15, 2020); (2) business rent or lease payments pursuant to lease agreements for real or personal property in force before February 15, 2020; and (3) business payments for distribution of electricity, gas, water, transportation, telephone, or internet access for which service began before February 15, 2020.

The forgiveness for nonpayroll costs is limited to 25% of the total forgiven amount.

Consider having your CPA help you complete this form.

 

Tax and financial advice from the Silicon Valley expert.