By Will Hall, Message Executive Editor
WASHINGTON, D.C. (LBM)—Congress has approved a $2.2 trillion coronavirus impact aid bill that provides economic relief to workers and businesses; and, because of the work of many concerned lawmakers, these provisions extend also to 501(c)(3) entities, which include churches, Christian schools and other religious bodies.
Importantly, evangelists are eligible for the payroll protection loans provided in the legislation, too.
Basically, churches and other Christian ministries may receive a loan equal to 2.5 times the 12-month average of all salary costs. Essentially, this means each nonprofit will receive a loan equal to 2.5 months of payroll costs.
Up to 100 percent of these loans may be forgiven, based on employee retention.
There are two timeframes (either Jan. 1, 2020, through Feb. 29, 2020; or, Feb. 15, 2019, through June 30, 2019) for calculating the baseline monthly average of employees and this figure will be compared to the average number of employees still employed during the month of June 2020. The percentage of retention will amount to the percentage of the loan that will be forgiven.
The U.S. Treasury has issued guidance that can be found using the URL, https://home.treasury. gov/policy-issues/toppriorities/cares-act/ assistance-for-small-businesses.
Church leaders seeking a loan should create a spreadsheet, totaling all annual payroll costs per employee, not to exceed $100,000 per employee, from March 2019 through February 2020. Costs may include:
— group health care benefits
— paid sick, medical, or family leave
— insurance premiums
— commissions, or similar compensations
— telephone reimbursement
— travel reimbursement
— housing allowance Divide the total annual cost by 12 and then multiply this number by 2.5 to determine the qualifying loan amount.
Also, nonprofits can include requests that the loan also cover:
— payments of interest on any mortgage obligation (which shall not include any prepayment of or payment of principal on a mortgage obligation) — rent (including rent under a lease agreement)
— interest on any other debt obligations that were incurred before the covered period
However, only up to 25 percent of the amount of the loan related to non-payroll costs will be forgiven. Evangelists qualify for the payroll protection loans and the other provisions for nonprofits if they have set up a 501(c) (3) for their respective ministries. Otherwise they qualify at least for payroll protection loans as self-employed individuals, and may apply under the same terms and conditions of other selfemployed applicants.
The loan form can be accessed with this link: https://home.treasury. gov/system/files/136/ Paycheck-ProtectionProgram-Application3-30-2020-v3.pdf.