Small businesses facing new concerns over SBA loans – CBS Boston
ASHLAND (CBS) – At Julie’s Z Breads in Ashland, the little staff turn zucchini into all kinds of goodies. “We make about 40 different varieties of zucchini breads and muffins,” owner Julie Gross explained.
Gross has a small storefront in the brick building on the Main Street that houses his kitchen, but much of his business is brewing coffee shops and cafes. When these businesses were affected by the pandemic, so was it.
“It was a very scary time when this all started to happen,” she recalls those dark days in April when restaurants were closed.
But his mixers continued to beat, and the loaves were still shipped to supermarkets thanks to a Small Business Administration paycheck protection loan.
“It was like our lifeline in terms of being able to keep going and not having to tell my employees that they couldn’t come to work,” she said.
But as we approach the end of the tax year, Julie worries about a few unknowns surrounding the loan. “Is this a loan in progress? Is it a canceled loan? “
The SBA has said the loans should not be repaid until the money is used to cover approved expenses like payroll, but Julie has filled out all the paperwork and is still awaiting the SBA’s signature.
“It’s very disturbing,” she said.
Peabody’s small business tax expert Herb Harris said he was confident Julie wouldn’t have to repay the loan. “I would tell him not to worry too much, too much,” he told WBZ-TV.
But there’s another problem: she may owe more taxes.
The IRS issued guidelines in November stating that if loans are canceled, loan-related expenses are not deductible. This means Julie and thousands of other small businesses could face a higher than expected tax bill.
“Where are they going to get $ 20 to $ 30,000 at tax time because they can’t deduct the expenses?” Harris said.
Julie is worried about what the new spike in cases will do to her business and not knowing what her tax burden will be only compounds her concern. “It makes us very anxious not to know,” she said.
Harris told WBZ-TV he hopes Congress will address the issue and pass legislation that will make the expenses deductible. In the meantime, he advises his clients to put money aside to cover additional taxes, which is not easy during a pandemic.