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Another Uncertainty Under the CARES Act Resolved

May 1, 2020
By Steven A. Holt

On Thursday, April 30, the IRS published Notice 2020-32, which clarifies that no deduction will be allowed for any otherwise deductible expense where the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a loan received pursuant to the CARES Act and where the income associated with the forgiveness is excluded from the loan recipient’s gross income for purposes of the Code pursuant to section 1106(i) of the CARES Act. The Notice provides in relevant part as follows.

“Section 1106(i) of the CARES Act addresses certain Federal income tax consequences resulting from covered loan forgiveness. Specifically, that subsection provides that, for purposes of the Code, any amount that (but for that subsection) would be includible in gross income of the recipient by reason of forgiveness described in section 1106(b) “shall be excluded from gross income.” Thus, section 1106(i) of the CARES Act operates to exclude from the gross income of a recipient any category of income that may arise from covered loan forgiveness, regardless of whether such income would be (1) properly characterized as income from the discharge of indebtedness under section 61(a)(11) of the Code, or (2) otherwise includible in gross income under section 61 of the Code.”

“To the extent that section 1106(i) of the CARES Act operates to exclude from gross income the amount of a covered loan forgiven under section 1106(b) of the CARES Act, the application of section 1106(i) results in a “class of exempt income” under §1.265-1(b)(1) of the Regulations. Accordingly, section 265(a)(1) of the Code disallows any otherwise allowable deduction under any provision of the Code .. for the amount of any payment of an eligible section 1106 expense to the extent of the resulting covered loan forgiveness (up to the aggregate amount forgiven).”

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