The new loan program that is part of the CARES Act, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has provisions that allow for tax free forgiveness of some or all of this debt. There is no harm in getting the loan, there is a good chance you will get some or all of it forgiven (see rules below).
Most important – Call your bank right away and get started on the application process. Your first step is to contact your bank.
This loan program allows for loans up to 2.5x average monthly payroll costs. There are provisions that allow for loan forgiveness:
- The borrower is eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the amount spent by the borrower during an 8-week period after the origination date of the loan on eligible payroll costs, interest payments on any mortgage incurred prior to February 15, 2020 (excludes principal and prepayments), payment of rent on any lease in force prior to February 15, 2020, and payment on any utility for which service began before February 15, 2020. Amounts forgiven may not exceed the principal amount of the loan.
- Forgiveness on a covered loan is equal to the sum of the following: eligible payroll costs (excludes compensation above $100,000 in wages) incurred during the covered 8 week period compared to the previous year or time period, proportionate to maintaining employees and wages: eligible payroll costs plus any payment of interest on any covered mortgage obligation (excludes any prepayment of or payment of principal on a covered mortgage obligation) plus any payment on any covered rent obligation + and any covered utility payment. Borrowers will verify these payments through documentation required by lenders, such as (but not limited to) IRS Payroll Expense Forms 940 and 941, mortgage statements, lease statements and utility statements.
- The amount forgiven will be reduced proportionally by any reduction in employees retained compared to the prior year and reduced by the reduction in pay of any employee beyond 25 percent of their prior year compensation. To encourage employers to rehire any employees who have already been laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis, borrowers that re-hire workers previously laid off will not be penalized for having a reduced payroll at the beginning of the period.
- Canceled indebtedness resulting from this section will not be included in the borrower’s taxable income.
- Any loan amounts not forgiven at the end of one year are carried forward as an ongoing loan with terms of a max of 10 years at 4% interest. The 100% loan guarantee remains intact.