SBA Opens Paycheck Protection Program Direct Forgiveness Portal
By Kelly Artz, CPA, Manager, Tax & Business Services
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) direct forgiveness portal now accepts loan forgiveness applications from borrowers. The new portal is available to borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $150,000 or less and will assist with streamlining the forgiveness process.Submit Your Application
The Paycheck Protection Program was created as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020. The program allowed the SBA to provide forgivable loans to qualified businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Up to 60% of a loan could be used for payroll costs and up to 40% towards non-payroll costs including utilities, rent, and mortgage interest. Currently, loans of $150,000 or less represent 93% of outstanding PPP loans.
In late 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 introduced the Economic Aid Act, which authorized additional funding to small borrowers and extended the loan program to March 31, 2021. The second PPP draw limits borrowers to businesses with no more than 300 employees and requires them to demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in revenues in at least one quarter in 2020 when compared to previous quarters. A COVID Revenue Reduction Score replaces the need for the borrower to provide documentation for the 25% revenue reduction, as the SBA recognized that small borrowers may not have the ability to produce a profit and loss statement.
Direct Forgiveness Portal
The new portal was designed to provide timely relief to more than 6.5 million small businesses by allowing borrowers to request forgiveness directly from the SBA. Below is how the direct forgiveness portal works:
- Borrower fills out the information normally required on Form 3508S (loans of $150,000 or less).
- If borrower used a second draw PPP loan, they can upload documentation for the 25% revenue reduction requirement if not using the COVID Revenue Reduction Score.
- After borrower submits application, lender may approve or reject it, or require additional or corrected information.
- Once the lender has approved, the SBA will review the forgiveness application.
Presently, more than 600 banks have opted into the direct forgiveness program. Lenders can opt into this program through the following website:https://directforgiveness.sba.gov.
A live customer service team is available to assist borrowers and answer questions. The customer service support line is open Monday-Friday from 8am-8pm ET at (877)-552-2692. A Direct Forgiveness Portal User Guide for borrowers is also available to borrowers at the SBA website.
For questions related to PPP forgiveness applications or the direct forgiveness portal, please contact your Marcum tax professional.