The Possible Tax Consequences of PPP Loans

If your business got a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan taken out due to the COVID-19 crisis, there are potential tax implications. The PPP allows eligible businesses to receive loans that will be forgiven if they spend the proceeds on certain items within a certain period of time. In general, the reduction or cancellation of non-PPP debt results in cancellation of debt (COD) income to the debtor. However, forgiveness of PPP debt is excluded from gross income. The IRS has stated that expenses paid with PPP proceeds can’t be deducted, because the loans are forgiven without having taxable COD income and are tax-exempt income. Deducting the expenses would result in a double tax benefit.