How Do Self Employed Individuals Calculate Payroll Costs For PPP Forgiveness?

Harold Lichtenstein | June 23, 2022 | PPP | 3 minutes to read

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If you are an Independent Contractor, Self-Employed Individual, or Sole Proprietor with no employees, your payroll costs are calculated straight from your Schedule C.

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To properly calculate payroll costs, you must first determine the following:

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Was your PPP loan amount calculated based on 2019 earnings or 2020 earnings?

Payroll cost for Forgiveness would be calculated based on the same year used to calculate the loan amount. 

Was your loan amount calculated using the Net or Gross method?

If your loan was funded prior to March 3, 2021, the amount would have been calculated using the Net method (based on Line 31 of Form 1040 Schedule C).  If funded March 3 or later, it may have been funded using either the Net or Gross method (based on Line 7 of Form 1040 Schedule C).  You would calculate payroll costs for Forgiveness in the same manner as was used to calculate the loan amount. 

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How to calculate payroll

With the year and method used to calculate payroll, use the following equation to determine your payroll amount:

Line 31 (if Net method) or Line 7 (if Gross method) of 2019 or 2020* Form 1040 Schedule C (capped at $100,000) x Lesser of (2.5/12 or Number of Weeks in Covered Period/52) 

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If applying for full forgiveness based on payroll alone, make sure you elect a Covered Period of 11 weeks or more.   

* Use Schedule C from year used to calculate original loan amount 

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The PPP forgiveness timeline.

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The Covered Period is 8-24 weeks in length that reflects the period in which you spent the PPP funds on eligible expenses.