The IRS released Notice 2020-32, which makes the portion of a PPP loan that is forgiven, not quite as attractive as it originally appeared. Typically, when debt is forgiven, the amount is included in the income of the borrower. The CARES Act specifically addressed this by including Section 1106(i) which states that “Any amount which (but for this subsection) would be includible in gross income… shall be excluded from gross income.”

On the surface, this appeared to be a terrific deal. The SBA lends you $1,000,000, you use it to pay your payroll and rent during your 8-week period, and the SBA forgives the debt. The “grant” made to you by the SBA is not included in income.

But there is a catch. The CARES Act specifically tells us that the debt forgiven will not result in income to the borrower. With the release of Notice 2020-32, the IRS makes this provision of the CARES Act less attractive. Citing IRC Sec. 265 and case law, the IRS announced its view that while the income is excluded, any expenses paid with the excluded income are non-deductible (effectively making the amount forgiven income to the borrower).

KROST Insight: While the move makes sense from a policy perspective, we question whether this was the intent of Congress. Why would the CARES Act address the income impact from debt forgiven but not address the deductibility of the expenses incurred? It is conceivable that Congress did not intend for PPP loans to have any negative impact on taxpayers.

Time will tell if taxpayers or Congress address the IRS position related to the deductibility of expenses paid with PPP debt that was forgiven.

Maximize Forgiveness with KROST’s PPP Budgeting and Forgiveness Maximization Tool

The PPP Budgeting and Forgiveness Maximization Tool allows you to budget and plan the use of PPP loan proceeds, on a week-by-week basis, to maximize forgiveness. This includes detailed staff planning, minimizing loan forgiveness reductions, and ensuring non-payroll related costs remain within the allotted 25%. Once you receive the loan, you can also enter the actual expenditure and the tool gives you a weekly actual vs budget report.

Current KROST clients may receive a free download of the resource. Please contact us for details. This product is also available for purchase on our website at:

See IRS Notice 2020-32 for more information

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