Paycheck Protection Program FAQ's
May 11, 2020
Below is a list of some of the most commonly questions asked about the Paycheck Protection Program and guidance from the Small Business Administration
What constitutes “Payroll Costs”
Question (FAQ 7): The CARES Act excludes from the definition of payroll costs any employee compensation in excess of annual salary of $100,000. Does that exclusion apply to all employee benefits of monetary value?
Answer: No. The exclusion of compensation in excess of $100,000 annually applies only to cash compensation, not to non-cash benefits, including:
- Employer contributions to defined-benefit or defined-contribution retirement plans;
- Payment for the provision of employee benefits consisting of group health care coverage, including insurance premiums; and
- Payment of state and local taxes assess on compensation of employees.
Question (FAQ 32): Does the cost of a housing stipend on allowance provided to an employee as part of compensation count toward payroll costs?
Answer: Yes. Payroll costs includes all cash compensation paid to employees, subject to the $100,000 annual compensation per employee limitation.
Interplay between Paycheck Protection Program and the
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Question (FAQ 8): Do PPP loans cover paid sick leave?
Answer: Yes. PPP loans cover payroll costs, including costs for employee vacation, parental, family, medical, and sick leave. However, the CARES Act excludes 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 110-127).
Question (FAQ 20): The amount of forgiveness of a PPP loan depends on the borrower’s payroll costs over an eight-week period; when does that eight-week period begin?
Answer: The eight-week period begins on the date the lender makes the first disbursement of the PPP loan to the borrower. The lender must make the first disbursement of the loan no later than ten calendar days from the date of loan approval.
Question (FAQ 36): To determine borrower eligibility under the 500-employee or other applicable threshold established by the CARES Act, must a borrower count all employees or only full-time equivalent employees?
Answer: For purposes of loan eligibility, the CARES Act defines the term employee to include “individuals employed on a fulltime, part-time, or other basis.” A borrower must therefore calculate the total number of employees, including part-time employees when determining their employee headcount for purposes of the eligibility threshold. For example if a borrower has 200 full-time employees and 50 part-time employees each working 10 hours per week, the borrower has a total of 250 employees.
By contrast, for purposes of loan forgiveness, the CARES Act uses the standard of “full-time equivalent employees” to determine the extent to which the loan forgiveness amount will be reduced in the vent of workforce reductions.
Question (FAQ 40): Will a borrower’s PPP loan forgiveness amount (pursuant to section 1106 of the CARES Act and SBA’s implementing rules and guidance) be reduced if the borrower laid off an employee, offered to rehire the same employee, but the employee declined the offer?
Answer: No. As an exercise of the Administrator’s and the Secretary’s authority under Section 1106(d)(6) of the CARES Act to prescribe regulations granting de minimis exemptions from the Act’s limits on loan forgiveness, SBA and Treasury intend to issue an interim final rule excluding laid-off employees whom the borrower offered to rehire (for the same salary/wages and same number of hours) from the CARES Act’s loan forgiveness reduction calculation. The interim final rule will specify that, to qualify for this exception, the borrower must have made a good faith, written offer of rehire, and the employee’s rejection of that offer must be documented by the borrower. Employees and employers should be aware that employees who reject offers of re-employment may forfeit eligibility for continued unemployment compensation.
Certification: “Current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Application”
Question (FAQ 31): Do businesses owned by large companies with adequate sources of liquidity to support the business’s ongoing operations qualify for a PPP loan?
Answer: In addition to reviewing applicable affiliation rules to determine eligibility, all borrowers must assess their economic need for a PPP loan under the standard established by the CARES Act and PPP regulations at the time of the loan application. Although the CARES Act suspends the ordinary requirement that borrowers must be unable to obtain credit elsewhere (as defined n section 3(h) of the Small Business Act), borrowers still must certify in good faith that their PPP loan request is necessary. Specifically, before submitting a PPP application, all borrowers should review carefully the required certification that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Application.” Borrowers must make this certification in good faith, taking into account their business activity and their ability to access other sources of liquidity sufficient to support their ongoing operations in a manner that is not significantly detrimental to the business. For example, it is unlikely that a public company with substantial market value and access to capital markets will be able to make the required certification in good faith, and such a company should be prepared to demonstrate to SBA, upon request, the basis for its certification.
Lender’s may rely on a borrower’s certification regarding the necessity of the loan request. Any borrower that applied for a PPP loan prior to the issuance of this guidance and repays the loan in full by May 7, 2020 will be deemed by SBA to have made the required certification in good faith.
Question (FAQ 37): Do businesses owned by private companies with adequate sources of liquidity to support the business’s ongoing operations qualify for a PPP loan?
Answer: See response to FAQ #31.
Question (FAQ 43): FAQ #31 reminded borrowers to review carefully the required certification on the Borrower Application Form that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” SBA guidance and regulations provide that any borrower who applied for a PPP loan prior to April 24, 202 and repays the loan in full by May 7, 202 will be deemed by SBA to have made the required certification in good faith. Is it possible for a borrower to obtain an extension of the May 7, 2020 repayment date?
Answer: SBA is extending the repayment date for this safe harbor to May 14, 2020. Borrowers do not need to apply for this extension. This extension will be promptly implemented through a revision to the SBA’s interim final rule providing the safe harbor. SBA intends to provide additional guidance on how it will review the certification prior to May 14, 2020.
See the full list of the SBA's PPP FAQ's here.