The Department of Treasury has updated the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to expand Eligible Payroll Costs specifically to help fishermen access more relief funds. Fishing boat owners can now include compensation paid to crewmembers whose income is reported on a 1099-MISC. Read the Treasury Department’s clarifications below and talk to your lender now to proceed with, or update, an application
Here are some of the key takeaways from the update:
Calculation of Payroll Costs of Certain Fishing Boat Owners • May fishing boat owners include payroll costs in their PPP loan applications that are attributable to crewmembers described in Section 3121(b)(20) of the Internal Revenue Code? Yes. The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, has determined that the relationship of a crewmember described in Section 3121(b)(20) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and a fishing boat owner or operator (fishing boat owner) is analogous to a joint venture or partnership for purposes of the PPP. As a result, a fishing boat owner may include compensation reported on Box 5 of IRS Form 1099-MISC and paid to a crewmember described in Section 3121(b)(20) of the Code, up to $100,000 annualized, as a payroll cost in its PPP loan application. The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, has determined that this treatment is appropriate to effectuate the purposes of the CARES Act to provide assistance to eligible PPP borrowers, including business concerns that operate as partnerships, affected by the COVID-19 emergency.
Calculation of Certain Payroll Costs Eligible for Loan Forgiveness • May a fishing boat owner include as payroll costs in its application for loan forgiveness any compensation paid to a crewmember who received his or her own PPP loan and is seeking forgiveness for amounts of compensation the crewmember received for performing services described in Section 3121(b)(20) of the Code with respect to that owner’s fishing boat? No. If a fishing boat crewmember obtains his or her own PPP loan and seeks forgiveness of that loan based in part on compensation from a particular fishing boat owner, the fishing boat owner cannot also obtain PPP loan forgiveness based on compensation paid to that same crewmember. This restriction applies only if the crewmember is performing services described in Section 3121(b)(20) of the Code for the particular fishing boat owner. The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, has determined that this restriction is necessary to prevent fishing boat owners and crewmembers from claiming forgiveness for the same payroll costs (for the owner’s PPP loan, the compensation to a specific crewmember; for the crewmember’s PPP loan, the compensation from the owner to that crewmember). As a result, only the crewmember’s PPP loan is eligible for forgiveness, and the owner may not obtain forgiveness for any payroll costs paid to the crewmember. The fishing boat owner is responsible for determining whether any of its crewmembers during the covered period for loan forgiveness received their own PPP loans. Due to the increased risk of duplicate payroll costs, PPP loans to fishing boat owners are more likely to be subject to an SBA loan review.
Additional Information • SBA may provide further guidance, if needed, through SBA notices that will be posted on SBA’s website at www.sba.gov. Questions on the Paycheck Protection Program may be directed to the Lender Relations Specialist in the local SBA Field Office. The local SBA Field Office may be found at https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/districtoffices.
Applications are due August 8, 2020