SBA Issues PPP Forgiveness Application, Which Provides Guidance on Eligible Payouts, Utilities, and Payroll Time Periods – 21

On Friday, May 15, 2020, the SBA issued the much-anticipated PPP loan forgiveness application. A copy of the application is available here. If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

1. Qualifying Utilities

This application provides new guidance regarding how the PPP loan funds may be used. Notably, many questions have arisen as to which expenses qualify as “utilities.” The forgiveness application clarifies that covered utilities payments encompass “business payments for a service for the distribution of electricity, gas, water, transportation, telephone, or internet access for which service began before February 15, 2020.

2. Payroll

A. Covered Time Period

Also, many questions have arisen as to which payroll payments made during the 8-week (56 day) covered period qualify for forgiveness. To determine the covered period, the application explains that the first day of the Covered Period is the same as the PPP Loan Disbursement Date. For example, if the Borrower received its PPP loan proceeds on Monday, April 20, the first day of the Covered Period is April 20 and the last day of the Covered Period is Sunday, June 14.

However, borrowers may elect to use an Alternative Payroll Covered Period.  Borrowers with a biweekly (or more frequent) payroll schedule may elect to calculate eligible payroll costs using the eight-week (56-day) period that begins on the first day of their first pay period following their PPP Loan Disbursement Date (the “Alternative Payroll Covered Period”).

For example, if the Borrower received its PPP loan proceeds on Monday, April 20, and the first day of its first pay period following its PPP loan disbursement is Sunday, April 26, the first day of the Alternative Payroll Covered Period is April 26 and the last day of the Alternative Payroll Covered Period is Saturday, June 20. Borrowers who elect to use the Alternative Payroll Covered Period must apply the Alternative Payroll Covered Period wherever there is a reference in this application to “the Covered Period or the Alternative Payroll Covered Period.” However, Borrowers must apply the Covered Period (not the Alternative Payroll Covered Period) wherever there is a reference in this application to “the Covered Period” only.

B. Eligible Payroll Costs

Eligible payroll costs. Borrowers are generally eligible for forgiveness for the payroll costs paid and payroll costs incurred during the eight-week (56-day) Covered Period (or Alternative Payroll Covered Period) (“payroll costs”). Payroll costs are considered paid on the day that paychecks are distributed or the Borrower originates an ACH credit transaction. Payroll costs are considered incurred on the day that the employee’s pay is earned. Payroll costs incurred but not paid during the Borrower’s last pay period of the Covered Period (or Alternative Payroll Covered Period) are eligible for forgiveness if paid on or before the next regular payroll date. Otherwise, payroll costs must be paid during the Covered Period (or Alternative Payroll Covered Period). For each individual employee, the total amount of cash compensation eligible for forgiveness may not exceed an annual salary of $100,000, as prorated for the covered period. Count payroll costs that were both paid and incurred only once. For information on what qualifies as payroll costs, see Interim Final Rule on Paycheck Protection Program posted on April 2, 2020 (85 FR 20811).

3. Documentation

The forgiveness application also provides guidance on the documentation that must be submitted, and maintained, to qualify for forgiveness.

A. Payroll Documentation

Documentation verifying the eligible cash compensation and non-cash benefit payments from the Covered Period or the Alternative Payroll Covered Period consisting of each of the following:

  1. Bank account statements or third-party payroll service provider reports documenting the amount of cash compensation paid to employees.
  2. Tax forms (or equivalent third-party payroll service provider reports) for the periods that overlap with the Covered Period or the Alternative Payroll Covered Period:
    • Payroll tax filings reported, or that will be reported, to the IRS (typically, Form 941); and
    • State quarterly business and individual employee wage reporting and unemployment insurance tax filings reported, or that will be reported, to the relevant state.
  3. Payment receipts, cancelled checks, or account statements documenting the amount of any employer contributions to employee health insurance and retirement plans that the Borrower included in the forgiveness amount (PPP Schedule A, lines (6) and (7)).

FTE: Documentation showing (at the election of the Borrower):

  1. the average number of FTE employees on payroll per month employed by the Borrower between February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019;
  2. the average number of FTE employees on payroll per month employed by the Borrower between January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020; or c. in the case of a seasonal employer, the average number of FTE employees on payroll per month employed by the Borrower between February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019; between January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020; or any consecutive twelve week period between May 1, 2019 and September 15, 2019.

The selected time period must be the same time period selected for purposes of completing PPP Schedule A, line 11. Documents may include payroll tax filings reported, or that will be reported, to the IRS (typically, Form 941) and state quarterly business and individual employee wage reporting and unemployment insurance tax filings reported, or that will be reported, to the relevant state. Documents submitted may cover periods longer than the specific time period.

 B. Non-Payroll Expenses

Documentation verifying existence of the obligations/services prior to February 15, 2020 and eligible payments from the Covered Period.

  1. Business mortgage interest payments: Copy of lender amortization schedule and receipts or cancelled checks verifying eligible payments from the Covered Period; or lender account statements from February 2020 and the months of the Covered Period through one month after the end of the Covered Period verifying interest amounts and eligible payments.
  2. Business rent or lease payments: Copy of current lease agreement and receipts or cancelled checks verifying eligible payments from the Covered Period; or lessor account statements from February 2020 and from the Covered Period through one month after the end of the Covered Period verifying eligible payments.
  3. Business utility payments: Copy of invoices from February 2020 and those paid during the Covered Period and receipts, cancelled checks, or account statements verifying those eligible payments.

C. Documentation that Must Be Maintained by All Borrowers

            In addition to the above documentation that must be submitted to apply for forgiveness, the application provides that the following records must be maintained by all borrowers.

PPP Schedule A Worksheet or its equivalent and the following:

  1. Documentation supporting the listing of each individual employee in PPP Schedule A Worksheet Table 1, including the “Salary/Hourly Wage Reduction” calculation, if necessary.
  2. Documentation supporting the listing of each individual employee in PPP Schedule A Worksheet Table 2; specifically, that each listed employee received during any single pay period in 2019 compensation at an annualized rate of more than $100,000.
  3. Documentation regarding any employee job offers and refusals, firings for cause, voluntary resignations, and written requests by any employee for reductions in work schedule.
  4. Documentation supporting the PPP Schedule A Worksheet “FTE Reduction Safe Harbor.” This refers to the safe harbor under applicable law and regulation exempts certain borrowers from the loan forgiveness reduction based on FTE employee levels. Specifically, the Borrower is exempt from the reduction in loan forgiveness based on FTE employees described above if both of the following conditions are met: (1) the Borrower reduced its FTE employee levels in the period beginning February 15, 2020, and ending April 26, 2020; and (2) the Borrower then restored its FTE employee levels by not later than June 30, 2020 to its FTE employee levels in the Borrower’s pay period that included February 15, 2020.

All records relating to the Borrower’s PPP loan, including documentation submitted with its PPP loan application, documentation supporting the Borrower’s certifications as to the necessity of the loan request and its eligibility for a PPP loan, documentation necessary to support the Borrower’s loan forgiveness application, and documentation demonstrating the Borrower’s material compliance with PPP requirements. The Borrower must retain all such documentation in its files for six years after the date the loan is forgiven or repaid in full, and permit authorized representatives of SBA, including representatives of its Office of Inspector General, to access such files upon request.

Close Menu