The General Assembly has so far failed to find middle ground for tax breaks on forgiven Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loans, and will now form a committee of three senators and three delegates to reconcile differences between the two chambers.
While a Senate bill calls for a $100,000 cap on income deductions claimed under PPP expenditures, the House of Delegates bill calls for only a $25,000 cap. When the two chambers considered each other’s bills, the House modified SB 1146 to a $25,000 cap, while the Senate amended HB 1935 to a $100,000 cap. After passing the modified versions, both chambers then rejected the modified versions of their original bills. On Friday, the two chambers agreed to form a conference committee to work together to create a bill that can pass both chambers.
Despite a double-digit percentage drop in payroll taxes in January and a dip in overall General Fund collections, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said the state’s revenue remains stable.
The state’s January 2021 revenue report showed payroll withholding taxes down 12.6% for the month compared with last January, but the state said the decrease was expected because of one less deposit day compared with a year ago. The report said collections of the sales and use taxes, showing December sales, rose 5.6% in January, and the combined December and January receipts rose 5.4% over the same time from a year ago.
The Virginia General Assembly is moving forward with legislation that would effectively make employers who received Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loans liable for state taxes. Bills that would practically exempt all income from the forgiven loans have been replaced with legislation that caps how much of the loan is exempt. Business advocates warn that the taxes could surprise the struggling businesses that the PPP loans were meant to help.
The bills bring Virginia’s tax code into conformity with the IRS; Virginia’s tax law doesn’t automatically change to match federal law, so state legislators pass tax conformity bills.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s administration has recommended to the General Assembly that the state not conform its tax code to specific provisions included in the recently-signed federal emergency relief bill that gives businesses who received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans a significant tax benefit.
Under the provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), signed into law by President Donald Trump in late December, businesses in the Commonwealth that got forgivable PPP loans would not be taxed on that income and could deduct their business expenses covered by the federal payment.