Back in mid-April, the most confusing part of the Paycheck Protection Program was navigating the process of getting a loan. Now business owners are faced with a potentially more complicated head-scratcher: getting the loan forgiven, which was a core selling-point of the program.
“In terms of frustration, on a scale of one to 10, this is a 14,” says William McDevitt, head of the tax practice at accounting firm WilkinGuttenplan, which serves clients in New Jersey and New York City.
Loan forgiveness sounds simple: Spend at least 75 percent of the proceeds on pay within an 8-week period, spend the remainder on expenses such as mortgage interest, rent, and utilities, and the government should forgive your loan.
But what if you get PPP money on May 10, and run your biweekly payroll on May 14? Is all of that payroll eligible for forgiveness? Or just four days’ worth? “Something as simple as this is not clear,” says McDevitt. The government said it would issue additional guidance on loan forgiveness within 30 days of the passage of the Cares act, which became law on March 27. That hasn’t happened.