IRS releases guidance on loans received from Paycheck Protection Program
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

IRS releases guidance on loans received from Paycheck Protection Program

By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff

The IRS has issued a Notice that clarifies that no deduction is allowed under the Internal Revenue Code (Code) for an expense that is otherwise deductible if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a covered loan pursuant to section 1106(b) of the Corona virus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Public Law 116-136, 134 Stat. 281, 286-93 (March 27, 2020) and the income associated with the forgiveness is excluded from gross income for purposes of the Code pursuant to section 1106(i) of the CARES Act.

The Paycheck Protection Program was established by section 1102 of the CARES Act. Under the Paycheck Protection Program, a recipient of a covered loan may use the proceeds to pay (1) payroll costs, (2) certain employee benefits relating to healthcare, (3) interest on mortgage obligations, (4) rent, (5) utilities, and (6) interest on any other existing debt obligations.

Under section 1106 (b) of the Cares Act, a recipient of a covered loan can receive forgiveness of indebtedness on the loan (covered loan forgiveness) in an amount equal to the sum of payments made for the following expenses during the 8-week “covered period” beginning on the covered loan’s origination date (each, an eligible section 1106 expense): (1) payroll costs, (2) any payment of interest on any covered mortgage obligation, (3) any payment on any covered rent obligation, and (4) any covered utility payment.

Section 1106 (i) of the CARES Act provides that, for purposes of the Code, any amount that (but for that subsection) would be includible in gross income of the recipient by reason of forgiveness described in section 1106 (b) “shall be excluded from gross income.” Thus, section 1106 (i) of the CARES Act operates to exclude from the gross income of a recipient any category of income that may arise from covered loan forgiveness, regardless of whether such income would be (1) properly characterized as income from the discharge of indebtedness under section 61 (a) (11) of the Code, or (2) otherwise includible in gross income under section 61 of the Code. (IRS Notice 2020-32).

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