Five Answers to Spending the PPP Money on Your and Your Employees

Five Answers to Spending the PPP Money on Your and Your Employees

If you report your business income and expenses on Schedule
C of your Form 1040, your PPP loan forgiveness is straightforward, as you see
in the four answers below.

1. Paying Myself

Question. I know that I can achieve full forgiveness based
solely on my 2019 Schedule C income in 10.8 weeks under the 24-week program. Do
I have to pay myself every week for 10.8 weeks?

Answer. No. Let’s say your PPP loan is for $20,000.
You could, for example, take $20,000 out of your business account in one lump
sum and put that in your personal savings anytime during the 10.8-week period
and then apply for forgiveness in week 11.

Because both your loan and forgiveness are based on your
2019 Schedule C net profit (yes, last year), you simply need to use the loan
money for personal purposes. This is how you pay yourself and obtain loan
forgiveness the easy way.

Sure, you need to use only 60 percent of the proceeds for
yourself and could use 40 percent for interest, rent, and utilities. But think
about it:

  • Pay yourself only: simply paperwork.
  • Pay interest, rent, and utilities: more rules and

Keep it simple. Don’t make yourself suffer.

2. Waiting to Spend

Question. Can I wait a number of weeks before I spend
my loan proceeds?

Let’s say I receive the PPP proceeds on August 1, 2020. Can I
use the 24-week period and start on August 17, for 11 weeks? Would that be
okay? And would it be eligible for forgiveness?

Answer. Yes, no problem. But let’s be clear:

For PPP loans made on June 5 or later, the 24-week covered period
is the rule (there’s no “can” here—no eight-week possibility).

There’s no requirement that a Schedule C taxpayer spread out the

There’s no payroll or other impediment here.

3. Spending in Chunks

I am a Schedule C taxpayer with no employees. My PPP loan
amount was deposited into my business checking account on May 19, 2020. I am
not electing the eight-week covered period. Instead, I am choosing the 24-week
covered period, which ends on November 2, 2020.

I have two questions.

Question 1. Can I write one check for every four weeks
of payroll and deposit it in my personal checking account?

Answer 1. Yes—but this is not a payroll check. As a
Schedule C taxpayer with no employees, you have no payroll. Your PPP loan was
based on your 2019 net profit. And your forgiveness will be based on the same
amount. You don’t need to spread out your payments.

Question 2. Does this check have to be cashed within
that four-week period, or if it is written within that period, is that
sufficient to apply for forgiveness?

Answer 2. In general, your check is a payment on the
date it is written. Because you are dealing with yourself, you should ensure
that the check is cashed soon after it is written.

Also, we don’t see any wisdom (in fact, just the opposite)
in writing the check within the 24 weeks and then cashing it outside the 24

4. Got the PPP Money but
Had a Loss in 2019

Question. I am a Schedule C filer, ran at a loss in
2019, but withdrew $120,000 from the business as the business increased its debt

I used my draw amount to obtain a $120,000 PPP loan before
the guidance was issued on how sole proprietors should calculate their pay.

If the business now has two employees, can both of those
employees be used for the forgiveness application?

Answer. Yes, you can use the two employees on the
forgiveness application, and you can use 24 weeks of pay. In addition to
payroll, 40 percent of the forgiveness can come from interest, rent, and

Example. Say the two-employee payroll for the 24
weeks totals $60,000 and the interest, rent, and utilities total $30,000. You would
achieve $90,000 of forgiveness.

If you would like my assistance with your forgiveness
application, don’t hesitate to call me on my direct line at 408-778-9651.