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SBA Releases Guidance for Paycheck Protection Program

On the evening before lenders could begin accepting applications, the SBA published its Interim Final Rule (“Rule”) announcing the Paycheck Protection Program.  The entire Rule is available online and this article will summarize the changes made by the Rule and set forth some of the key provisions.

 

Significant Differences between CARES Act (PPP) and the Interim Final Rule:

  • Term:  2 years instead of possible maximum term of 10 years;
  • Forgiveness:  75% of loan proceeds must be used for payroll costs;
  • Deferral:  6 months instead of possible 12 months;
  • Interest: 1% instead of maximum amount 4%;
  • Borrowers can only apply for one PPP loan; and
  • Potential liability for misuse of funds.

Loan Amount and Payroll Costs:

Payroll costs include:

Payroll costs consist of compensation to employees (whose principal place of residence is the United States) in the form of salary, wages, commissions, or similar compensation; cash tips or the equivalent (based on employer records of past tips or, in the absence of such records, a reasonable, good-faith employer estimate of such tips); payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payment for the provision of employee benefits consisting of group health care coverage, including insurance premiums, and retirement; payment of state and local taxes assessed on compensation of employees; and for an independent contractor or sole proprietor, wage, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment or similar compensation.

Payroll costs do not include:

  • Any compensation of an employee whose principal place of residence is outside of the United States;
  • The compensation of an individual employee in excess of an annual salary of $100,000, prorated as necessary;
  • Federal employment taxes imposed or withheld between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020, including the employee’s and employer’s share of FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) and Railroad Retirement Act taxes, and income taxes required to be withheld from employees;
  • Qualified sick and family leave wages for which a credit is allowed under sections 7001 and 7003 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Public Law 116–127); and
  • Payments to independent contractors (independent contractors do not count as employees).

Accordingly, to calculate loan amount:

Step 1: Aggregate payroll costs from the last twelve months for employees whose principal place of residence is the United States.

Step 2: Subtract any compensation paid to an employee in excess of an annual salary of $100,000 and/or any amounts paid to an independent contractor or sole proprietor in excess of $100,000 per year.

Step 3: Calculate average monthly payroll costs (divide the amount from Step 2 by 12). 

Step 4: Multiply the average monthly payroll costs from Step 3 by 2.5.

Step 5: Add the outstanding amount of an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) made between January 31, 2020 and April 3, 2020, less the 9 amount of any “advance” under an EIDL COVID-19 loan (because it does not have to be repaid).

The SBA provided some examples of calculating maximum loan amount, including the following:

Example 4 – Some employees make more than $100,000, outstanding EIDL loan of $10,000

Annual payroll: $1,500,000

Subtract compensation amounts in excess of an annual salary of $100,000: $1,200,000

Average monthly qualifying payroll: $100,000

Multiply by 2.5 = $250,000

Add EIDL loan of $10,000 = $260,000

Maximum loan amount is $260,000

Forgiveness:

The amount of loan forgiveness can be up to the full principal amount of the loan and any accrued interest. That is, the borrower will not be responsible for any loan payment if the borrower uses all of the loan proceeds for forgivable purposes described below and employee and compensation levels are maintained. The actual amount of loan forgiveness will depend, in part, on the total amount of payroll costs, payments of interest on mortgage obligations incurred before February 15, 2020, rent payments on leases dated before February 15, 2020, and utility payments under service agreements dated before February 15, 2020, over the eight-week period following the date of the loan.

However, not more than 25 percent of the loan forgiveness amount may be attributable to nonpayroll costs. While the Act provides that borrowers are eligible for forgiveness in an amount equal to the sum of payroll costs and any payments of mortgage interest, rent, and utilities, the Administrator has determined that the non-payroll portion of the forgivable loan amount should be limited to effectuate the core purpose of the statute and ensure finite program resources are devoted primarily to payroll. The Administrator has determined in consultation with the Secretary that 75 percent is an appropriate percentage in light of the Act’s overarching focus on keeping workers paid and employed.

The SBA will issue additional guidance on loan forgiveness.

Necessary Forms and Information to Submit an Application:

The applicant must submit SBA Form 2483 (Paycheck Protection Program Application Form) and payroll documentation, as described above. The lender must submit SBA Form 2484 (Paycheck Protection Program Lender’s Application for 7(a) Loan Guaranty) electronically in accordance with program requirements and maintain the forms and supporting documentation in its files.

Necessary Certifications on an Application:

  • The applicant was in operation on February 15, 2020 and had employees for whom it paid salaries and payroll taxes or paid independent contractors, as reported on a Form 1099-MISC.
  • Current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant.
  • The funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage interest payments, lease payments, and utility payments;
  • If the funds are knowingly used for unauthorized purposes, the federal government may hold me legally liable such as for charges of fraud. As explained above, not more than 25 percent of loan proceeds may be used for non-payroll costs.
  • Documentation verifying the number of full-time equivalent employees on payroll as well as the dollar amounts of payroll costs, covered mortgage interest payments, covered rent payments, and covered utilities for the eight week period following this loan will be provided to the lender
  • Loan forgiveness will be provided for the sum of documented payroll costs, covered mortgage interest payments, covered rent payments, and covered utilities. As explained above, not more than 25 percent of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.
  • During the period beginning on February 15, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020, the applicant has not and will not receive another loan under this program.
  • The information provided in this application and the information provided in all supporting documents and forms is true and accurate in all material respects. I understand that knowingly making a false statement to obtain a guaranteed loan from SBA is punishable under the law, including under 18 USC 1001 and 3571 by imprisonment of not more than five years and/or a fine of up to $250,000; under 15 USC 645 by imprisonment of not more than two years and/or a fine of not more than $5,000; and, if submitted to a federally insured institution, under 18 USC 1014 by imprisonment of not more than thirty years and/or a fine of not more than $1,000,000.
  • The lender will confirm the eligible loan amount using tax documents submitted.
  • These tax documents (provided to the lender) are identical to those submitted to the Internal Revenue Service.
  • The Lender can share the tax information with SBA’s authorized representatives, including authorized representatives of the SBA Office of Inspector General, for the purpose of compliance with SBA Loan Program Requirements and all SBA reviews.

Permitted Uses of PPP loans:

  • Payroll costs (as defined in the Act and in 2.f.);
  • Costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums;
  • Mortgage interest payments (but not mortgage prepayments or principal payments);
  • Rent payments;
  • Utility payments;
  • Interest payments on any other debt obligations that were incurred before February 15, 2020; and/or
  • Refinancing an SBA EIDL loan made between January 31, 2020 and April 3, 2020. If you received an SBA EIDL loan from January 31, 2020 through April 3, 2020, you can apply for a PPP loan. If your EIDL loan was not used for payroll costs, it does not affect your eligibility for a PPP loan. If your EIDL loan was used for payroll costs, your PPP loan must be used to refinance your EIDL loan. Proceeds from any advance up to $10,000 on the EIDL loan will be deducted from the loan forgiveness amount on the PPP loan.

However, at least 75 percent of the PPP loan proceeds shall be used for payroll costs. For purposes of determining the percentage of use of proceeds for payroll costs, the amount of any EIDL refinanced will be included. For purposes of loan forgiveness, however, the borrower will have to document the proceeds used for payroll costs in order to determine the amount of forgiveness.

Other Important Information:

  • Interest Rate: 1%
  • Maturity Date on a PPP Loan is 2 years (Compare to Act which provides for maximum maturity date of 10 years)
  • Borrowers can only apply for one PPP loan;
  • E-signatures are permissible;
  • Interest payments for 6 months following disbursement of the loan, but it will accrue during the 6-month deferment (Act authorized deferment for up to one year);

Borrower’s Agent Fees:

Agent fees will be paid by the lender out of the fees the lender receives from SBA. Agents may not collect fees from the borrower or be paid out of the PPP loan proceeds. The total amount that an agent may collect from the lender for assistance in preparing an application for a PPP loan (including referral to the lender) may not exceed:

  • One (1) percent for loans of not more than $350,000;
  • 0.50 percent for loans of more than $350,000 and less than $2 million; and
  • 0.25 percent for loans of at least $2 million.

Purchasing a Loan in Advance:

A lender may request that the SBA purchase the expected forgiveness amount of a PPP loan or pool of PPP loans at the end of week seven of the covered period. The expected forgiveness amount is the amount of loan principal the lender reasonably expects the borrower to expend on payroll costs, covered mortgage interest, covered rent, and covered utility payments during the eight week period after loan disbursement. At least 75 percent of the expected forgiveness amount shall be for payroll costs.

To submit a PPP loan or pool of PPP loans for advance purchase, a lender shall submit a report requesting advance purchase with the expected forgiveness amount to the SBA. The report shall include: the Paycheck Protection Program Application Form (SBA Form 2483) and any supporting documentation submitted with such application; the Paycheck Protection Program Lender’s Application for 7(a) Loan Guaranty (SBA Form 2484) and any supporting documentation; a detailed narrative explaining the assumptions used in determining the expected forgiveness amount, the basis for those assumptions, alternative assumptions considered, and why alternative assumptions were not used; any information obtained from the borrower since the loan was disbursed that the lender used to determine the expected forgiveness amount, which should include the same documentation required to apply for loan forgiveness such as payroll tax filings, cancelled checks, and other payment documentation; and any additional information the Administrator may require to determine whether the expected forgiveness amount is reasonable.

For additional information contact Christopher L. Voltz by phone (412-594-5580) or email .

Just a note:  Tucker Arensberg, P.C. is open for business and available to address your business needs.  Our lawyers are working from home to comply with the Governor’s directives.  Check the website for a listing of our attorneys and to stay current with our News and Insights around the coronavirus. You can access all the recent articles at https://www.tuckerlaw.com/category/covid-19-answers-to-business-challenges

April 03, 2020

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