Over one million businesses rushed to the bank on April 3rd to grab a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. The reason the PPP loan was so popular was not because these struggling businesses wanted more debt. Rather, the idea is that these PPP loans are loans in name only. Once a borrower receives the funds, the amount spent over the next 8 weeks on payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities is eligible to be completely forgiven. A cancellation of a borrower’s debt typically creates taxable income. However, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act provides that forgiveness of a PPP loan is completely tax free. That all sounds great. However, ambiguities in the PPP program could result in you needing to repay the money.
You’ll Have to Repay Some of Your PPP Money
An article on Forbes.com discusses some of the ambiguities in the PPP program. I won’t waste the space here repeating that information. Key points to keep in mind are:
- In all likelihood, a portion of the PPP money will not be forgivable
- It’s okay to end up with money that is not forgiven
- SPEND ONLY WHAT YOU NEED TO SPEND!
- If you end up with unspent PPP money you have 2 options: give the remaining amount back, or turn it into a low interest loan, you might need it
But what if you get it wrong?!? You could end up with a double whammy. Your employees could file legal claims against you for reducing their unemployment checks. And even if they don’t sue you (because there is talk of legislation to protect businesses from these sorts of claims), your employees could quit. And then you could end up owing the money back in 2 years. It would have been better to do nothing. But it’s too early to make any predictions about how this will all end up.
Just be aware of the risks you are taking. And don’t gamble with your life savings. A good asset protection plan will protect you from government actions, such as a federal claims that you need to repay PPP money. It will also protect you from legal claims by employees or customers.
Do you have an asset protection plan?
If you don’t have an asset protection plan, get one. A well crafted asset protection plan will protect you from lawsuits, bankruptcy, creditors, divorce, IRS audits and government actions. It will give you privacy (so the amount of your wealth can’t be discovered in a lawsuit). And it will be flexible, so you can make changes in the future.
If you do have an asset protection plan, review this checklist. It goes over a lot of the common mistakes that business owners (and others) make when it comes to protecting their personal wealth.
The information in this post was not intended to be legal advice. If you have a question, go here and schedule a Bulletproof Your Assets Discovery Session.