Paycheck Protection Program Update

At the end of 2020, Congress passed, and President Trump signed, a new law that provides for additional relief related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This law, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA, 2021), includes a second draw of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans (PPP Second Draw Loans). It also allows businesses to deduct ordinary and necessary expenses paid from the proceeds of PPP loans.  This resolved a question that tax advisors had regarding the tax impact of the PPP loan and forgiveness at least for federal purposes.

In addition, PPP loans will be available to businesses with 500 or fewer employees that have not previously received a PPP loan to help pay for payroll, rent, utilities, healthcare costs and more.

The CAA, 2021 permits certain smaller businesses who received a PPP loan and experienced a 25% reduction in gross to take a PPP Second Draw Loan of up to $2 million.

Eligible entities. Prior PPP borrowers must meet the following conditions to be eligible for the PPP Second Draw Loans:

  • Employ no more than 300 employees per physical location;
  • Have used or will use the full amount of their first PPP loan; and
  • Demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts in the first, second, or third quarter of 2020 relative to the same 2019 quarter. Applications submitted on or after Jan. 1, 2021 are eligible to utilize the gross receipts from the fourth quarter of 2020.  The amount of gross receipts is measured by the method of accounting used on the tax return.

Eligible entities include for-profit businesses, certain non-profit organizations, housing cooperatives, veterans’ organizations, tribal businesses, self-employed individuals, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and small agricultural co-operatives.

Loan terms. Borrowers may receive a PPP Second Draw Loan of up to 2.5 times the average monthly payroll costs in the one year prior to the loan or the calendar year. However, borrowers in the hospitality or food services industries (NAICS code 72) may receive PPP Second Draw Loans of up to 3.5 times average monthly payroll costs. Only a single PPP Second Draw Loan is permitted to an eligible entity.

Gross receipts and simplified certification of revenue test. PPP Second Draw Loans of no more than $150,000 may submit a certification, on or before the date the loan forgiveness application is submitted, attesting that the eligible entity meets the applicable revenue loss requirement. Non-profits and veterans’ organizations may use gross receipts to calculate their revenue loss standard.

Loan forgiveness. Like the first PPP loan, the PPP Second Draw Loan may be forgiven for payroll costs of up to 60% (with some exceptions) and nonpayroll costs such as such as rent, mortgage interest and utilities of 40%. Forgiveness of the loans is not included in income as cancellation of indebtedness income.  The actual calculation is choosing a period of your choice, beginning eight weeks from the origination date of the loan, and ending twenty-four weeks after the origination date.
Application of exemption based on employee availability. The CAA, 2021 extends current safe harbors on restoring full-time employees and salaries and wages. Specifically, it applies the rule of reducing loan forgiveness for the borrower reducing the number of employees retained and reducing employees’ salaries more than 25%.

Deductibility of expenses paid by PPP loans
The CARES Act was silent on whether expenses paid with the proceeds of PPP loans could be deducted. IRS took the position that these expenses were nondeductible. The CAA, 2021 provides that expenses paid both from the proceeds of loans under the original PPP and PPP Second Draw Loans are deductible.  However, California specifically does not conform.  Therefore, on the California return for 2020, you must reduce the expenses by what you expect to receive.  This, in effect, makes the loan forgiveness taxable for California purposes.

The SBA and various banks will be creating systems and forms to process the PPP loans and second draw loans. 

Keep these three thoughts in mind:

  1. Act fast, because this money goes in a hurry.
  2. The incoming PPP loan monies are tax-free.
  3. Expenses paid with PPP loan monies that are forgiven are tax-deductible for federal purposes.

You will not find a better bargain.

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