In Notice 2020-32, issued yesterday, the IRS emphatically pronounced that taxpayers receiving Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans do not get to have their cake and eat it too!
As we discussed in a recent blog post, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), signed into law on March 27, 2020, created the PPP under which the Small Business Administration is authorized to make up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to enable them to meet payroll costs, benefits, rent and utility payments. On April 24, 2020, Congress increased the amount of available funds under the PPP to $659 billion when the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act was signed into law.
The CARES Act expressly excludes from gross income any amount forgiven under the PPP. The question left unanswered by the CARES Act is whether the amounts forgiven that were spent by borrowers on otherwise allowable business expenses (i.e., payroll costs, rent, utilities, transportation and interest) are deductible under Code Section 162.
Notice 2020-32 quickly points out to taxpayers and tax advisers – not so fast – there are no free lunches. In essence, if the loan is forgiven and, as a result of the CARES Act, a taxpayer has no cancellation of debt income as he/she/it would otherwise have under Code Section 61(a)(11), the taxpayer certainly does not get to deduct the business expenses for which it used the forgiven loan proceeds.
As previously reported, the new Oregon Corporate Activity Tax (the “CAT”) went into effect on January 1, 2020. The new law is quite complex and arguably not very well thought out by lawmakers. Although the Oregon Department of Revenue (the “DOR”) has worked hard to bring clarity to the CAT through rulemaking, many questions remain, including application of the many exemptions and computation of the required tax estimates. Despite pleas by small businesses to repeal or at least put the CAT in hibernation until the uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have been alleviated, both Oregon’s Governor and the state’s lawmakers have proclaimed in so many words that the show must go on – the CAT will remain in place, even during these horrific times.
Like other commentators, we have been writing extensively about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), the historic $2.2 trillion relief package enacted last month by lawmakers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a prior post, we provided a summary and analysis of numerous tax provisions of the CARES Act.
In this post, we expand on our previous coverage of the CARES Act relative to net operating losses (“NOLs”), and provide an overview of new guidance issued by the IRS.
On April 9, 2020, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury issued Notice 2020-23. It greatly expands the tax compliance relief previously granted to taxpayers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 13, 2020, President Trump issued an emergency declaration, instructing the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury to relieve taxpayers from certain tax compliance deadlines during these horrific times.
Code Section 7508A grants Treasury authority to postpone the time to perform certain acts required under the Code for taxpayers affected by a federally declared disaster (as defined in Code Section 165(i)(5)(A)).
The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued, effective April 6, 2020, temporary rules (“Rules”) relative to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”). The Rules focus on the “Small Employer Exemption” (defined below). Importantly, the DOL’s guidance answers several questions that have been the topic of debate among many business owners, tax advisors and commentators.
As discussed in prior posts, the FFCRA went into effect on April 1, 2020. The legislation contains a number of tax provisions that fund the FFCRA’s mandatory paid leave provisions.
A Succinct Summary of the Key Tax Provisions
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (colloquially, the “CARES Act” or the “Act”). The CARES Act is a historic $2.2 trillion relief package enacted by lawmakers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act is more than 880 pages in length and contains a multitude of provisions, all of which are intended to support individuals and businesses during these horrific times.
We have attempted to provide our readers with a broad overview of the most significant tax provisions of the Act. If a provision is potentially applicable to a given situation, please read the entire provision of the Act to affirm its application.
On March 13, 2020, President Trump issued an emergency declaration that, in part, instructed the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) to provide taxpayers with “relief from tax deadlines” due to the impact of the Coronavirus.
Code Section 7508A gives Treasury authority to postpone the time to perform certain acts required under the Code for taxpayers affected by a federally declared disaster (as defined in Code Section 165(i)(5)(A)).
The Secretary of the Treasury determined that any person with a federal income tax return and income tax payment due on April 15, 2020 is affected by the COVID-19 emergency. Accordingly, as previously reported in our blog posts covering Notice 2020-17 and Notice 2020-18, Treasury postponed the due date for the filing of federal income tax returns and the payment of federal income taxes due on April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.
Treasury has expanded taxpayer relief with the announcement of Notice 2020-20.
Yesterday, like other commentators, we reported that, in accordance with its terms, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Act”) is effective on April 2, 2020. Please be aware, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) posted on its website a statement that the Act is effective on April 1, 2020. We assume this is not a premature April Fool’s joke. Accordingly, since DOL is the agency enforcing the non-tax aspects of the Act, we advise employers to ready themselves for the new law one day earlier than expected. It is better to be safe than sorry!
Today, in the wake of the recent decision by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) to extend the income tax filing and payment deadlines to July 15, 2020, it announced a new taxpayer-friendly program called the “People First Initiative” (the “PFI”). The PFI is designed to provide taxpayers with additional relief from the havoc wreaked by COVID-19.
IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig stated that the PFI is part of the Service’s “extraordinary steps to help the people of our country.” It is a temporary initiative. Unless extended, the PFI will be available to taxpayers from April 1, 2020 to July 15, 2020 (“Program Period”).
The temporary relief offered by the PFI includes postponing Installment Agreement and Offer in Compromise payments, and halting many collection and enforcement actions. During the Program Period, the IRS will provide needed guidance.
In accordance with ORS 305.157, the director of the Oregon Department of Revenue (“DOR”) ordered an automatic extension of the 2019 tax year income tax filing and payment due dates. Oregon now joins several other states and the U.S. Department of the Treasury in this regard.
For Oregon personal income taxpayers, the order means:
- The Oregon income tax return filing due date for tax year 2019 is automatically extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.
- The Oregon income tax payment deadline for payments due with the 2019 tax year return is automatically extended to July 15, 2020.
- The time for making estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 is not extended.
- The tax year 2019 six-month extension to file, if requested, continues to extend only the filing deadline until October 15, 2020.
- Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or notify the DOR to qualify for this Oregon tax filing and payment extension.
Larry J. Brant
Larry J. Brant is a Shareholder in Foster Garvey, a law firm based out of the Pacific Northwest, with offices in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; New York, New York, Spokane, Washington; and Beijing, China. Mr. Brant practices in the Portland office. His practice focuses on tax, tax controversy and transactions. Mr. Brant is a past Chair of the Oregon State Bar Taxation Section. He was the long-term Chair of the Oregon Tax Institute, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Portland Tax Forum. Mr. Brant has served as an adjunct professor, teaching corporate taxation, at Northwestern School of Law, Lewis and Clark College. He is an Expert Contributor to Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Catalyst. Mr. Brant is a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel. He publishes articles on numerous income tax issues, including Taxation of S Corporations, Reasonable Compensation, Circular 230, Worker Classification, IRC § 1031 Exchanges, Choice of Entity, Entity Tax Classification, and State and Local Taxation. Mr. Brant is a frequent lecturer at local, regional and national tax and business conferences for CPAs and attorneys. He was the 2015 Recipient of the Oregon State Bar Tax Section Award of Merit.
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
- "A Good Look At The Limitations to Code Section 1031 and Other Possible Deferral Alternatives," OSCPA 2021 Annual Real Estate ConferenceVirtual Event, 6.9.21
- To be rescheduled