• IRS Backlog of Historical Proportions
• Protect Your Valuables BEFORE Thieves Arrive
• Make the Most of Your Vehicle Expense Deduction
• Help! I Just Got a Letter From the IRS
• Manage Your Business's Unemployment Taxes
• Common Tax Mistakes When Selling a Home
• The Hidden Tax Consequences of Cryptocurrency
• Building a Fortress Balance Sheet
• Taxes: These Basics are for Everyone
• Starting a Business Now Could Make a Lot of Sense
• What's New in 2021
• Organized Business Records Save Time and Money
• Your Identity is NOT Your Own!
• Seven Tips For Financial Wellness In 2021
• PPP Loan Expenses Are Now Tax Deductible
• Deductibility of Business Meals Provided by Restaurants in 2021 and 2022
• Ideas For Better Savings Rates
• Retirement Savings Tips for Small Business Owners
• Steer Clear of Money-Making Scams While You're Stuck at Home
• How to Build Your Emergency Fund - When You Have No Money
• Great Tips to Improve Your Credit Score
• What does the executive action deferring payroll taxes mean for employers and employees?
• Should You Incorporate Your Business?
• How to Eliminate a Tax Surprise
• New law provides relief for eligible taxpayers who need funds from IRAs and other retirement plans
• IRS guidance provides RMD rollover relief
• Financial Questions to Ask Mom and Dad
• The New Face of Banking
• PPP borrowers get concessions, additional guidance on forgiveness
• The IRS clarifies the deductibility of PPP-funded expenses
• SBA extends the PPP repayment deadline for self-certification
• Beware of Scams Tied to COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments
• Answers to Common COVID-19 Unemployment Questions
• CARES Act provides COVID-19 pandemic relief to businesses
• The IRS announces new COVID-19-related assistance for taxpayers
• 3 Major Charity Scam Red Flags
• 2020 Social Security Benefits
• Avoid These Common Tax Mistakes
• What Employers Need to Know About Assembly Bill 5
• Bill Collector Calling? Know Your Rights
• Tips to Protect Yourself From Tax Scams
• The IRS Is Not Always Right
• Select the Right Health Insurance for Your Business
• The IRS Loves Your Business...and That is NOT Good
• Help Older Adults Stand Up Against Scams
• Amazon and eBay Sales Tax ALERT!
• No Excuses. Time to Lower Your Tax Bill.
• How To Protect Your Social Security Number
• You Know You Need Tax Planning If...
• What You Need To Know About IRS Audits
• How to Correct Common Financial Mistakes
• Don't Leave Your Business Exposed
• Major Life Changes Ahead? Read This!
• 7 Tax-Free Ideas to Bolster Your Business Benefits Package
• Stay prepared to sell your business
• Great uses for your tax refund
• How to File Nonprofit Taxes
• 7 Common Missing Tax Return Items
• Is a Tax Surprise Waiting for You?
• School yourself on the student loan interest deduction
• The 6 Biggest Threats to Your Finances
• Last-Second Money-Saving Tax Moves
• Retirement Contributions Get a Boost in 2019
• 5 Estate Planning Myths
• Disaster Preparedness Tips for Taxpayers and Businesses
• Five Tax Breaks for New Parents
• Setting up Your Business Accounting System
• Ideas to Improve Your Financial Health
• It's tax-planning time
• Managing Money Tips for Couples
• 6 tax benefits of owning a home
• Five Great Finance Tips Everyone Should Know
• How to handle a gap in health care coverage
• Update on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
• When an extension makes sense
• Tax checklist for business startups
• Answers to commonly asked tax questions
• New FASB Standards for Nonprofit Accounting
• The best way to avoid an audit: Preparation
• Boost your retirement savings now
• IRS Urges Travelers Requiring Passports to Pay Their Back Taxes
• How to Get a Green Light for Commuting Expense Deductions
• Federal requirements for substantiating charitable contributions
• How to cut taxes under the new tax act
• FBI Warns of Online Dating Scams
• IRS issues 2018 standard mileage rates
• Year-end tax checklist
• The Equifax breach and you: be proactive
• Beware of Bogus Charities
• Planning A Wedding Over The Holidays?
Plan For Taxes Too
• Don't Include The IRS On Your Gift List
• Ready To Start Year-End Planning?
Focus On The Big Picture.
• Know When To Sell
• Put Your Tax and Financial House
• Are You Prepared For These Common
• Scams Against the Elderly:
Know the Danger Signs
• Tax Benefits of Corporate Retirement
• Maneuvering the Corporate
Retirement Plan Maze
• Documenting your Business Travel and
• Maximizing your Travel and
• Deducting Business Meals and
• Do Yourself a Favor by Filing
• Do I Need A CPA?
• How to Save Money on Your Tax
• What To Do If You Can't Pay
• What To Do If You Haven't Filed
The IRS has issued new guidance addressing a question that has lingered since the launch of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - whether expenses paid for with forgiven, tax-free PPP loan proceeds are deductible business expenses under Section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). The guidance in IRS Notice 2020-32 doesn't provide the answer borrowers hoped for, but that may yet come.
The root of the question
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act created the widely publicized PPP to help some employers cover their payrolls during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. PPP loans are subject to 100% forgiveness if certain criteria are met, and the amounts forgiven are excluded from the borrower's gross income. This is notable because forgiven debt generally is taxed as cancellation of debt income.
The program is open to U.S. businesses with fewer than 500 employees - including sole proprietors, self-employed individuals, independent contractors and nonprofits - affected by COVID-19. The loans may be used to cover payroll, certain employee healthcare benefits, mortgage interest, rent, utilities and interest on any other existing debt, for eight weeks after receipt of funds. Forgiveness is available for payments for payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities.
While the CARES Act explicitly states that forgiven PPP loan amounts aren't included in the borrower's gross income, it doesn't expressly state whether borrowers can claim business expense deductions for the expenditures the forgiven amounts cover. Notice 2020-32 comes in response to requests from the tax community for clarification on this point.
The IRS's position
Unfortunately, the guidance states that no deduction is allowed for an expense that's otherwise deductible if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a PPP loan. It explains that, to prevent a double tax benefit, IRC Sec. 265 disallows a deduction for any amount otherwise allowable as a deduction that's allocable to tax-exempt income (other than interest). The IRS asserts that forgiven PPP funds constitute such tax-exempt income.
In other words, the IRS maintains that a business shouldn't be allowed to avoid taxable cancellation of debt income on forgiven PPP loan amounts and also to deduct the payments made with those loan amounts. The result for borrowers essentially is an offset of the tax benefit - the forgiven amounts are excluded from gross income but the deduction(s) for those amounts are eliminated.
The IRS may not have the last word on the deduction issue, though. Members of Congress are signaling that the expenses paid by forgiven PPP loan proceeds should indeed be tax deductible.
For example, both Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, have indicated that the IRS interpretation runs contrary to the goal of the PPP. They've said they would like the discrepancy to be remedied legislatively in the near future.
It's also possible that a borrower will challenge the IRS stance in court. Or the IRS simply could succumb to pressure from the public, Congress and/or the administration and reverse its interpretation.
A juggling act
The tax consequences of obtaining PPP loan forgiveness and other federal relief options can prove complicated, especially with the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department regularly releasing new regulations and guidance. We can help you keep up with the latest developments and what they mean for you.