On April 24, 2020, President Trump signed into law a $484 billion bill that will add more than $320 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act.
The CARES Act, originally signed into law in late March 2020, ran out of money quickly because of high demand. The original $2.3 trillion rescue package was designed to provide economic relief to workers, businesses, government agencies, hospitals and American families who may face financial hardship resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The $484 billion bill passed April 24 replenishes the PPP with $320 billion and also has about $75 billion for hospitals, $25 billion for coronavirus testing and $60 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
There are a number of provisions within the CARES Act that you should be familiar with not only as an agent so you can advise your clients, but also as a small-business owner. There are provisions within the CARES Act, most notably the Paycheck Protection Program, designed to help small businesses survive this difficult time.
The PPP provides billions in forgivable loans to help small businesses retain their workforce during the coronavirus crisis. Loans are primarily to help pay payroll costs (including benefits), but can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. On June 5, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, which extends the loan forgiveness period beyond the initial eight-week covered period to 24 weeks. The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act also reduces the share of funding that must be directed toward payroll costs to 60% and pushes back a June 30 deadline to rehire laid-off workers to Dec. 31.
Small businesses that have been in operation since Feb. 15, 2020, and have fewer than 500 employees are eligible. This includes sole proprietorships, independent contractors, and self-employed persons.
Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Small-businesses and sole proprietorships could apply as of April 3, 2020. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply April 10, 2020.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured bank, credit union and farm credit system that is participating. Other regulated lenders may be able to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. A list of approved lenders can be found at www.SBA.gov.
Under the CARES Act, loans were to be fully forgiven if they were used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities if 75% of the forgiven amount is used for payroll. But the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act signed into law June 5 reduces the share of funding that must be directed toward payroll costs to 60% -- thus, allowing 40% of the loan to be directed toward nonpayroll costs.
The lender will verify the number of employees, pay rates and will require payment records. You will be required to certify that the loan was used in accordance with the guidelines. So it is recommended that you open a separate account to manage these funds. Any loan amounts that are not forgiven will be treated as a regular loan.
There are a number of provisions within the CARES Act that you and your clients should be aware of because of their impact on taxes, qualified plans, mortgage payments and student loans. Here is a quick summary of some of the more notable ones.
Any individual with a valid Social Security number and within certain income thresholds (see chart below) will receive a one-time payment of $1,200 ($2,400 if married). In addition, eligible families with children will receive payments of $500 per child. Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to take action and will receive their payment directly to their bank account.
|Rebate Amount||Single||Married Couple|
|Entire Amount||Less than $75,000||Less than $150,000|
|Reduced Amount||$75,000 – $99,000||$150,000 – $198,000|
|Rebate Amount||Above $99,000||Above $198,000|
This material is for informational purposes only and should not be regarded as tax advice. Clients should consult with an attorney or tax advisor for information regarding a particular situation. Retirement plan participants should refer to their plan document or contact their plan administrator.