That’s the answer we, as CPAs, have to give many times when responding to questions on a forums board or chat groups on many types of questions, whether its income tax-related, practice transition, paying an associate, or staffing issues. It’s no different from PPP loan questions.
Sure, there are some one-size-fits-all answers to questions like “when does my 8 week period begin”, although it wasn’t an easy question to answer initially and there were varying opinions. However, there are so many more PPP loan questions that truly deserve the “it depends” answer, especially when the one asking the question is a complete stranger to everyone reading their post on a dental forums board or chat group. Yet many people will reply with a definitive answer to these “it depends” questions and those definitive replies are usually based on THAT person-specific situation and goals as it relates to their PPP loans and\or advice they’ve been given by their advisors based on THEIR specific situation facts and circumstances.
When it comes to these loans many dentists have similar goals, that is to make sure they can get as much of the loan forgiven as possible, however, their individual circumstances may be quite different than other dentists. Maybe their practices were able to open up at different times, maybe their PPP loans hit at different times, maybe there’s a difference in the number of employees they have and how they were treated when the practice first closed. Then there are individual dentist issues like the health concerns of that dentist and their employees.
When I see a doctor post on one of these forums or boards asking a question that deserves an answer that I can’t give because I don’t know their specific situation, I don’t know them & I don’t know all the facts and circumstances, I have to remain quiet. What I’d like to reply with is “you really need to have a discussion with your advisor for what’s in the best interest for you based on your specific situation, facts and circumstances and goals as it relates to the PPP loan”, however, that reply begins to appear self-serving to some degree and its not the answer the doctor is looking for. I also know many of the questions I see are being asked by multiple doctors, meaning, everyone has similar questions and many times there’s not ONE answer that will satisfy everyone.
My point to this blog is simple….some of these PPP loans are quite large and the benefit of tax-free forgiveness of a portion or all of the loan can be quite valuable…as in the tens of thousands of dollars valuable. So please, make the effort to discuss your specific situation with an advisor you trust whether that’s your CPA, attorney, coach, consultant, etc, assuming they’re familiar with the ins and outs of these loans and all the nuances surrounding these loans. Yes, you will likely have to pay for the advice as you should, these folks are providing a valuable service specifically to you which depending on your goals for the PPP loan can save you tens of thousands of dollars. Don’t rely on answers from a complete stranger on a forums board or group chat that’s based on that stranger’s facts and circumstances.
About Tim Lott
Tim Lott, CPA, CVA, has decades of experience working with dentists at all stages of their careers. He is a regular speaker at study clubs, societies, and dental schools. Tim is a frequent participant and a moderator of Dentaltown.com. You can reach Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the other dental partners/principals at (800)772-1065 or email@example.com