IRS Clarifies Tax Implications of PPP Funds
November 23, 2020
On November 18, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Ruling 2020-27 (Ruling) which provides needed clarity on a taxpayers’ ability to deduct eligible expenses for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness.
The Ruling notes that a taxpayer that received a covered loan guaranteed under the PPP and paid or incurred certain otherwise deductible expenses listed in section 1106(b) of the CARES Act may not deduct those expenses in the taxable year in which the expenses were paid or incurred if, at the end of such taxable year, the taxpayer reasonably expects to receive forgiveness of the covered loan on the basis of the expenses it paid or accrued during the covered period, even if the taxpayer has not submitted an application for forgiveness of the covered loan by the end of such taxable year.
What if forgiveness is denied, in whole or in part, or not requested?
In conjunction with the Ruling, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2020-51 (Rev Proc) to outline the steps for when:
(1) The eligible expenses are paid or incurred during the taxpayer’s 2020 taxable year,
(2) The taxpayer receives a covered loan guaranteed under the PPP, which at the end of the taxpayer’s 2020 taxable year the taxpayer expects to be forgiven in a subsequent taxable year, and
(3) In a subsequent taxable year, the taxpayer’s request for forgiveness of the covered loan is denied, in whole or in part, or the taxpayer decides never to request forgiveness of the covered loan.
The Rev Proc provides for two safe harbors for taxpayers in the event forgiveness is denied, in whole or in part, or otherwise not requested that would allow for the deduction of expenses in either the 2020 or a subsequent tax year.
Questions we still have
While the Ruling and Rev Proc provide information on the deductibility of expenses and the tactical approach for borrowers whose forgiveness is denied or not requested, additional clarification is still needed. This guidance does not address the order in which the eligible expenses (payroll, rent, utilities and mortgage interest) lose the ability to be deducted.
Further, the guidance does not address other matters that could have significant tax implications including, but not limited to, the impact on the following:
- Qualified business income deduction (Section 199A)
- Research and development credits
- Interest deduction limitation (Section 163(j))
Let Aprio Help
Aprio has established a dedicated PPP loan forgiveness team that is continuously monitoring new guidance from the SBA, as well as the Treasury, Congress and the IRS, to ensure we have the latest information when advising our clients.
To discuss your tax situation, contact your Aprio advisor or Aprio’s dedicated PPP loan forgiveness team.
Disclaimer for services provided relative to SBA programs and the CARES Act
Aprio’s goal is to provide the most up to date information, along with our insights and current understanding of these programs and regulations to help you navigate your business response to COVID-19.
The rules regarding SBA programs are constantly being refined and clarified by the SBA and other agencies In certain instances, the guidance being provided by the agencies and/or the financial institutions is in direct conflict with other competing guidance, regulations and/or existing laws.
Due to the evolving nature of the situation and the lack of final published rules, Aprio cannot guarantee that additional changes or updates won’t be needed or forthcoming and the original advice given by Aprio may be affected by the evolving nature of the situation.
You need to evaluate and draw your own conclusions and determine your Company’s best approach relative to participation within these programs based on your Company’s specific circumstances, cash flow forecast and business strategy.
In situations where resources are provided by third parties, those services should be covered under a separate agreement directly with that service provider. Aprio is not responsible for the actions of any other third party.
Aprio encourages you to contact your legal counsel to address the legal implications of the impact of the CARES Act and specifically your participation in any of the SBA programs.
About the Author
Justin Elanjian, CPA, is the Partner-in-Charge of Aprio’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) & Employee Retention Credit (ERC) Services. As a national PPP expert, prominent speaker and strategic business advisor, Justin helps both lenders and borrowers navigate the complexities of the PPP. He also helps his clients realize benefits from other stimulus package programs, such as the ERC, and is committed to strengthening his clients’ balance sheets and helping them achieve what’s next. Justin also leads a team of more than 50 professionals who share his passion for helping businesses maximize the federal COVID relief programs.