The IRS Reinforces their Position on PPP Taxability.


On November 18, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Treasury Department issued additional guidance through Rev Rule 2020-27 clarifying the tax treatment of expenses where a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan has not been forgiven by the end of the year the loan was received. Ultimately, if a business reasonably believes that a PPP loan will be forgiven in the future, expenses related to the loan are not deductible in the current tax year, whether the business has filed for forgiveness or not.


The following examples were provided in the Ruling:

Situation:

In each of the following situations, the taxpayer computes taxable income on the basis of the calendar year for federal income tax purposes and received a covered loan from a private lender in 2020.


Situation 1. During the period beginning on February 15, 2020, and ending on December 31, 2020 (covered period), Taxpayer A (A) paid eligible expenses as described in section 161 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and section 1106(a) of the CARES Act. In November 2020, A applied to the lender for forgiveness of the covered loan on the basis of the eligible expenses it paid during the covered period. At that time, and based on A’s payment of the eligible expenses, A satisfied all requirements under section 1106 of the CARES Act for forgiveness of the covered loan. The lender does not inform A whether the loan will be forgiven before the end of 2020.


Situation 2. During the covered period, Taxpayer B (B) paid the same types of eligible expenses that A paid in Situation 1. B, unlike A, did not apply for forgiveness of the covered loan before the end of 2020, although, taking into account B’s payment of the eligible expenses during the covered period, B satisfied all other requirements under section 1106 of the CARES Act for forgiveness of the covered loan. B expects to apply to the lender for forgiveness of the covered loan in 2021.


Analysis:

In both Situation 1 and Situation 2, A and B each have a reasonable expectation of reimbursement. At the end of 2020, the reimbursement of A’s and B’s eligible expenses, in the form of covered loan forgiveness, is reasonably expected to occur – rather than being unforeseeable – such that a deduction is inappropriate.


When A completed its application for covered loan forgiveness, A knew the amount of its eligible expenses that qualified for reimbursement, in the form of covered loan forgiveness, and had a reasonable expectation of reimbursement. The reimbursement, in the form of covered loan forgiveness, was foreseeable. Therefore, pursuant to the foregoing authorities, A may not deduct A’s eligible expenses.


Although B did not complete an application for covered loan forgiveness in 2020, at the end of 2020, B satisfied all other requirements under section 1106 of the CARES Act for forgiveness of the covered loan and at the end of 2020 expected to apply to the lender for covered loan forgiveness of the covered loan in 2021. Thus, at the end of 2020 B both knew the amount of its eligible expenses that qualified for reimbursement, in the form of covered loan forgiveness, and had a reasonable expectation of reimbursement. The reimbursement in the form of covered loan forgiveness was foreseeable. Therefore, pursuant to the foregoing authorities, B may not deduct B’s eligible expenses.


What does this mean for you?

The IRS has continued to reinforce their position prohibiting the deductibility of these expenses. This latest released guidance doubled downs on their position that these adjustment needs to take place in 2020. That means, if you have not meet with your tax advisor yet, now is the time. You need to consider these adjustments when it comes to your year-end planning.