On Friday, May 15, the Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, issued new guidelines on how employers who have received PPP loan proceeds can apply those loans and still be in compliance with the regulations that will be used to assess whether an employer has met the requirements to receive loan forgiveness.
Previously, the SBA made it clear that accounting for loan forgiveness would begin the moment funds were placed in an employer’s account, regardless of whether it was at the beginning or in the middle of a pay period. The SBA has now clarified that an employer has options if the employer pays on a bi-weekly basis or more frequently. The SBA will now allow calculations not just from the moment the funds appear in the account of an employer but also from the first day of the first pay period following the date that the loan proceeds were made available by being placed in the employer’s account.
Additionally, the SBA is now willing to consider and provide forgiveness for payroll expenses which were either paid or incurred before the last day of the eight-week period. In other words, if the payroll expenses were incurred, even if they were not paid, prior to the last day of the eight-week period during which the PPP funds were intended to be used, they can be forgiven under the forgiveness provisions of the CARES Act as long as they were paid not later than the date on which they were due.
Likewise, the SBA has provided that for non-payroll but covered expenses such as rent, mortgage interest and utilities, these expenses will continue to be subject to forgiveness. However, the SBA has provided that, like the payroll related changes, the non-payroll related payments can be subject to forgiveness if they are either paid during the eight-week period or paid after they were incurred but paid not later than the next billing due date which may be after the end date for the covered eight-week period.
This change in interpretation provides employers a more reasonable opportunity to apply payments in a manner that is consistent with their billing obligations and to obtain forgiveness.
Since many employers are rapidly approaching the end of the eight-weeks covered by the loan proceed, they should study the application for forgiveness. This application can be found by accessing the following link:
Stay tuned for additional guidance. If you have further questions, about these or other questions about the Paycheck Protection Plan loans click on this link to review the most recent Paycheck Protection Plan FAQ’s.
If you have additional questions, on this or other employment related issues arising in the context of COVID-19, feel free to contact Sheryl J. Willert at SWillert@williamskastner.com.