SBA offers simplified application form for forgiveness on smaller loans
On Oct. 8, 2020, the U.S. Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA) issued new guidance streamlining the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and providing guidance to lenders issuing these loans. A new application form (Form 3508S) and rule were issued for borrowers with a PPP loan under $50,000, unless they and their affiliates received loans totaling more than $2,000,000, making it easier for companies to get their loans forgiven.
The new Form 3508S includes a few new exemptions, making it much less cumbersome to complete.
Borrowers with loans under $50,000 are now exempt from any reductions in forgiveness based on:
- Reduction in full-time-equivalents (FTE) employees; and
- Reductions in employee salary or wages.
The borrower must still certify that the loan was used for forgivable expenses such as for payroll costs, business mortgage interest, business related rents or utility costs. The items that qualify for forgiveness did not change.
Although this simplifies the computation, borrowers are still required to submit documentation to the lender showing that the qualifying payroll costs and other forgivable expenses meet the requirements to provide forgiveness.
The SBA has promulgated these new rules under its “de minimis” exemptions. The new rule reduces the lender’s responsibility to review the borrower’s documentation, thus relieving the lender of having to independently verify submitted documents.
This has been an anticipated update, however the original hope was that it would apply to loans up to $150,000. Congress has yet to agree on the higher loan amount, but at the time of the announcement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated, ”We continue to favor additional legislation to further simplify the forgiveness process,” offering a hint into further simplification to come for larger loans.
This is a step in the right direction for small businesses, allowing business owners to continue to focus on their business rather than complete complex applications.
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