The following article appears courtesy of Bankers Healthcare Group. To learn more about how BHG can help your practice meet its financial goals, visit apma.bhgchoice.com.
Successfully guiding your practice through a global pandemic and navigating the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan process is no small feat. You should be proud. But the hard work isn't over just yet. There's still the matter of forgiveness for your PPP loan.
There are timelines to be mindful of and an itemized list of forgiveness-eligible expenses. It can seem daunting, but Fund-Ex Solutions Group is here to help, even if you didn't get your loan from us.
First, let's start with timelines and fine print.
You should start the loan forgiveness process as soon as you spend the funds and before the loan's maturity date. Many PPP loans are coming due, so it's essential you don't delay. Acting soon may help you avoid the repayment process. You must start making payments on the total loan amount if a forgiveness application has not been filed within 10 months after the last day of the covered period, so it's best to start the process as quickly as possible. If your funds were disbursed before June 5, 2020, you had the option to use them in either eight weeks or 24 weeks. Funds disbursed after June 5 are required to use a 24-week period. To receive complete loan forgiveness, you must have maintained staffing and compensation levels during the covered period. And you should have spent at least 60 percent of the funds on payroll costs.
Let's look at what's covered by your PPP loan.
Payroll is the biggest one. After all, the program was designed to cover payroll-related costs. Beyond that, operating costs like mortgage or rent payments, utilities, and business software fall into this category. The costs of goods essential to running your practice are eligible for forgiveness as well as repairs for property damage or loss as a result of the public disturbances in 2020. And finally, protective equipment for the health and safety of your employees is covered. That's everything from masks to point-of-service barrier installation and even periodic health screenings for your staff.
Finally, there's the matter of the forms.
If your practice borrowed less than $150,000, you should use Form 3508S. It's a short application asking for information like the requested loan forgiveness amount and how much of the loan was spent on payroll costs. For PPP loans over $150,000, use either Form 3508EZ or Form 3508. Talk with your PPP lender about which form is best for your practice. Keep in mind whichever form you use, the SBA may request information and documents for a loan review or audit. So, make sure you file and organize all of the relevant documents.
Even if you've already begun paying back your PPP loan, maximizing your forgiveness is essential. Talk to your PPP lender as soon as possible to make sure you're following all the proper steps. Completing this process will let you get back to doing what you do best: ensuring your patients get the best care you can offer.