Withum COVID-19 Bill Update – 7/29/2020

July 29, 2020

Second Round of PPP Loans:  There has been a lot of news swirling online that new legislation will open the door for borrowers to get a second PPP loan.  Also there is more chatter that automatic forgiveness for certain loans is on the horizon. It appears as though early August may be the target for new legislation if it comes. Details on this are fluid to say the least, but it looks like both Republicans and Democrats are on the same page that the PPP is an effective tool that they want to use as part of upcoming stimulus programs.

SBA Issues Procedural Notice on Forgiveness Process:  The SBA released a notice that provides clarification to lenders on how they should submit applications to the SBA for “final approval” after the lender has reviewed and approved a borrower’s forgiveness application. The highlight in this document is that the SBA indicated it will be using a third party software vendor to develop its portal, which will not be up and running until August 10th, so lenders will need to hold any applications until that time.  

The SBA further clarified that it may delay the opening of its portal further if any new legislation impacts the forgiveness process.  Withum has long believed Congress or the SBA would choose a loan threshold (e.g., loans of $250,000 or less) and grant “automatic” forgiveness to those borrowers, requiring only a signed certification that the funds were used properly. This would drastically reduce the amount of applications that the SBA and lenders would need to review. 

Withum does not have any official guidance or information on the legislative proposals reported in the press in past day or two (as noted above), but they think it may be prudent to wait to submit your application to your lender until a legislative consensus emerges. As a reminder, lenders have 60 days to process your loan forgiveness application and submit their decision to the SBA, and the SBA has 90 days to authorize the forgiveness amount.

PPP and M&A:  Withum often gets questions regarding how the sale of a business or the acquisition of another entity may impact a borrowers PPP loan and ability to obtain forgiveness. Withum put together an article addressing some of the complexity that may arise from these transactions, as well as how they impact the employee retention tax credit.

Reminder Section:  (what should I be doing):

  • Talk to your payroll company about claiming the employer payroll tax deferral and employee retention credits (ERC) that were made available in the CARES Act.
  • Talk to your payroll company about claiming the qualified sick/family leave refundable tax credits (from FFCRA, passed prior to the CARES Act).
  • Consider speaking with your lender to discuss changes to terms of existing debt facilities.
  • If you have already received a PPP loan, start forecasting how you intend to spend the funds and how you can qualify for the highest amount of loan forgiveness possible.  If you are not forecasting 100% loan forgiveness, then most likely you should seek assistance regarding your particular situation.  Withum believes the vast majority of borrowers should expect and plan to receive 100% loan forgiveness.

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