With Congress back in session this past Monday, the AICPA has issued recommendations for the next relief package, which is expected to be hammered out shortly. The House has already approved a $3.5 trillion bill (the HEROES Act) to which the Senate has not yet responded. The Senate is preparing their own $1 trillion package, and President Trump has indicated that he wants liability protection for businesses and a payroll tax cut. The next few weeks will bring considerable discussion, and it is expected that it will take some time to reconcile the differences in the two versions. The AICPA recommendations, which were posted on the Journal of Accountancy website, are:
1. Allow Full Deductions for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Related Business Expenses: To uphold Congress’ intent that PPP recipients receive the full benefit of a PPP loan, the AICPA supports bipartisan legislation clarifying that receipt and forgiveness of coronavirus assistance through the PPP does not affect the deductibility of ordinary business expenses. (Read the AICPA’s letter of support.)
2. Provide Information and Tools to Further Simplify PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Process: It is critical that all PPP borrowers have access to key guidance from the SBA and Treasury, as well as tools to easily determine and apply for the forgiven amount. The AICPA supports bipartisan, bicameral legislation (H.R. 7413 / S. 4171, the Calculate PPP Forgiveness Act of 2020) that would require the SBA and Treasury to provide or certify free, publicly accessible PPP loan forgiveness calculators. (Read the AICPA’s press release.)
3. Remove Unnecessary and Unfair Tax Obstacles to Remote Work: The AICPA has long called for simplifying complex tax reporting rules employers and employees face as a result of numerous state income tax laws and varying de minimis exemptions when employees work outside their home states. The AICPA supports bipartisan legislation, S. 3995, the Remote and Mobile Worker Relief Act of 2020, which reaches a balance between states’ rights to tax income and the needs of individuals and businesses, especially small businesses, to operate efficiently in this economic climate. (Read the AICPA’s letter of support.)
4. Allow Section 501(c)(6) Associations and Organizations Access to PPP: Local 501(c)(6) organizations are currently ineligible for assistance through the PPP. Many AICPA members serve these organizations, which are suffering from event and meeting cancellations. The AICPA appreciates the strong bipartisan congressional support on this issue and urges Congress to include language allowing section 501(c)(6) organizations access to the PPP in the upcoming package.
5. Provide Additional Federal Fiscal Relief to State and Local Governments: Without appropriately targeted federal assistance, state budget shortfalls could trigger new state taxes on many already-struggling small businesses. CPAs have sounded the alarm on the urgent need for more direct federal aid to states and localities to keep our economic recovery on track. The AICPA urges Congress to include meaningful federal aid for state and local governments in the upcoming package.
6. Adopt New Coronavirus-Related Liability Provisions: The AICPA is concerned about a wave of meritless coronavirus-related lawsuits against employers trying their best to operate safely in an uncertain environment. Employers and employees must both feel safe and confident about returning to work, and new temporary and targeted liability protections that do not dampen key worker protections should be an important piece of the upcoming legislative package.
We will continue to keep you updated. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your tonneson + co representative.