The rules for converting PPP loans into grants are complex. Here is a guide.
Trying to figure out how you’re going to pay off your small business loan? Or better yet, be forgiven?
The Small Business Administration last week released a long-awaited application form for business owners who have signed up Paycheque Protection Program Loans and want the debt canceled.
Be aware that the rules for repayment and remission have continued to change since the launch of PPP loans. “It’s been an evolution, with provisional final rules released every two days,” said Nanette Heide, a lawyer at Duane Morris in New York.
Borrowers should submit the request to their bank or lender to request a loan forgiveness. But expect more updates in the coming weeks.
“The government is piloting this plane while building it,” noted Michael Ecker, lawyer with Eckert Seamans in Philadelphia.
He advises clients not to rush into submitting a pardon request.
Initially, the loan was to be spent on salaries and other costs over eight weeks. But, as Ecker noted, Congress is working to extend that period to 16 weeks, while business groups are pushing for 24 weeks.
“There seem to be consideration in Congress to provide borrowers, especially those in the hospitality industry, more flexibility to start the ‘spend’ period, and perhaps even extend the spending period from eight weeks to 12 weeks’ to benefit of forgiveness, Ecker said. Stay tuned.
As with any government program, the rules for canceling SBA loans are complex. The pardon form is a document that business owners will really need to work on.
First, the app asks for salary and non-salary costs spent in the eight-week period since you banked the PPP funds.
Then there is the calculation of full-time equivalents (FTEs). As a business owner, you are required to bring back the same number of employees as before the pandemic, to prevent your loan forgiveness from being reduced.
Finally, you need to identify who qualifies as a “full-time employee” – typically someone who works 40 hours per week. There’s a grace period, called a “safe harbor,” if you don’t bring in the same number of employees in eight weeks, but aim to do so before June 30, according to Heide.
What can be included as a waived cost:
Staff costs “incurred or paid” during the eight-week period starting from the date of the first disbursement.
Mortgage interest on property and commercial rents or rental payments for real or personal property, effective before February 15 of this year, and all commercial utility payments during the eight week period before February 15.
Now for the workforce.
For each employee, the total remuneration eligible for the pardon cannot exceed an annual salary of $ 100,000, prorated over the eight-week period. This does not include health insurance, pension contributions and other benefits.
The new PPP loan forgiveness request reiterates what has been dubbed the “75/25 rule”: 75% of the loan is supposed to be used for payroll; 25% for non-wage costs, such as mortgage interest, rent, and utility payments.
Only the relatively few PPP loans over $ 2 million will be audited by the SBA.
Applying for loan forgiveness requires business owners to certify that your loan was not for unauthorized purposes; otherwise, you are the target of civil and criminal penalties.
Reality TV Star Got $ 2 Million PPP Loan. He reportedly bought a luxury Rolls-Royce Wraith coupe, as well as $ 85,000 in jewelry, and was arrested on May 13. Uh, what?
Include payroll documents, accounting records and show that you have kept them in the ordinary course of business.
If you’ve done all of this, congratulations, you’ve accomplished a little miracle.
One catch: You can still run into the government if the SBA decides your loan wasn’t kosher in the first place. The SBA can order your bank or another lender to reject your loan forgiveness request if the agency finds that a borrower was not eligible for the PPP loan, according to Duane Morris. alert to clients.
Accountants who calculate these numbers for a living say there are still gaping holes in the forgiveness process.
“It is clear that the application form and the instructions provided… are not enough,” Erik Asgeirsson, President and CEO of CPA.com, the business and technology arm of the American Institute of CPA, said in a statement.
Things are changing so fast that the AICPA is running weekly online webinars to keep up with the entire PPP process and rules, available on its website.
And Congress could hold hearings on the lack of transparency of the ASB.
Last week another new exemption was made.
Borrowers who make a good faith written offer to rehire, but who have been refused by workers —- can still get that part of the loan payroll canceled, according to Mitch Gerstein, tax accountant at Isdaner and Co. in Bala Cynwyd.
Business owners have two years to pay off the remainder of the loan at 1% interest. Borrowers can defer payment for the first six months, with interest accruing during that time, Ecker said.
Now on to taxes.
Whatever part of your loan that is canceled will not be taxed, the IRS said. However, the the agency also recently ruled that you cannot deduct the business expenses that you paid with the canceled loan.
The problem is a middle ground at this point, but there is hope for a solution.
Lawmakers disagree with the IRS ruling on deductions. US Senators Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D., Oregon) sponsored a bill that would allow small businesses to amortize these expenses. Senators Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), Tom Carper (D., Del.) And John Cornyn (R., Texas) co-sponsored the legislation.
Repayment issues aside, the money available under the PPP has still not been used up. In fact, Congress is looking to expand the program. So if you want some help, apply before the June 30 deadline.
The first round of $ 349 billion in funding ended on April 16 after 13 days. More than $ 100 billion is still left in the second round of $ 320 billion, Bloomberg data showed, citing SBA figures as of May 16.
“The SBA now allows business owners who were previously unqualified to obtain loans,” Gerstein said.
“It’s a positive thing. So many people were afraid of the demands, which was a shame. The app clarifies some things and raises more questions. This should be released in the days and weeks to come.
Lendistry will be hosting a free information webinar with the SBA on Tuesday, May 26 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the PPP loan cancellation.
“For business owners who felt discouraged from applying earlier in the P3 process, now is the time to act to secure funding,” said Everett Sands, CEO of Lendistry.
To register, call 215-496-8020 or visit the website: http://www.pidcphila.com/events/paycheck-protection-program-lendistry-info-session.