SMALL BUSINESS TIPS
FOR THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
After months of negotiations Congress has come to an agreement on another stimulus package which was signed into law on December 27th. Included in the many provisions in the bill is some welcome relief for small-business owners through enhancements to the Paycheck Protection Program.
Deduction for Expenses Paid with Loan Funds
When the first round of Paycheck Protection loans were approved by Congress earlier this year it was the intent of Congress that forgiveness of the loans would not create taxable income for the recipients. The IRS, however, had their own interpretation of the law and in May issued a notice stating that any expenses paid using funds from a forgiven PPP loan could not be used as deductions on the recipients tax returns. By disallowing the associated expenses, the IRS in effect made the forgiven loans taxable against the wishes of Congress.
This disparity between Congress’ intentions and the IRS’ interpretation of the law was corrected with this new bill which clearly states that no deductions will be denied due to the forgiveness of the PPP loans. By reinstating the deductions for expenses covered with PPP loans Congress has finally made the PPP forgiveness tax-free as originally intended.
Second Round of PPP Loans
The bill also provides for another round of PPP loans which means small-business owners who either didn’t receive a loan in the first round or have exhausted the funds from their first loan can now apply to receive another. The criteria to qualify for this second round are stricter than they were for the first:
Only businesses with 300 or fewer employees are eligible
Businesses who received a previous PPP loan must either have already used the full loan or demonstrate that they will use the full loan
To be eligible a business must have experienced a drop in revenue of at least 25% in any one quarter of 2020 when compared to that same quarter in 2019. You only need to demonstrate a 25% drop for a single quarter to qualify, but it must be compared to the same quarter of 2019. You cannot compare your third quarter of 2020 to your second quarter of 2019.
As with the first round of PPP loans a business must have been in operation as of February 15th 2020 to be eligible for a loan. The deadline to apply for the second round of loans is March 31, 2021.
If you received a PPP loan during the first round earlier this year you can now rest assured that your forgiven loan will be fully tax-free. If your business experienced a decline of at least 25% in any quarter in 2020 relative to that same quarter in 2019 you have until March 31st to apply for another PPP loan to cover your expenses.