There are a lot of government financial assistance programs available during Covid-19. Which ones can you take advantage of as an Uber driver, and is it ok to ‘double dip’ in more than one program?
It’s a question that has been asked a few times now over the past few weeks and I’ve been hearing mixed results, so I went to an expert. On a recent live stream, I spoke with Logan Allec, a CPA who is very familiar with rideshare issues. Below is a video of our conversation, and a transcript for those who prefer to read.
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Harry Campbell: I guess my question is: Can you get a PPP loan and unemployment insurance? Because at first there was no unemployment, right? Drivers and the independent contractor crew were waiting for these PUA websites to get set up. And then there’s all this buzz around the PPP loans. A lot of people are starting to get unemployment or PUA and now they’re getting their PPP loans back and saying they were either approved and they’re wondering what they should do. What have you seen there? Is there like specific guidance from the IRS or anything like that?
Logan Allec: I say you should be safe. Collect PUA you know, but then once you get that PPP money, that PPP money is supposed to be used for payroll and part of that would be to pay yourself. I think a conservative position would be, don’t really double dip there. When you’re going to do your unemployment reporting for your business, they’re gonna see that kind of disconnect.
Of course I’m speaking from like a business owner’s perspective that actually has to do that quarterly reporting. You have to submit it to your state and they’re going to notice that you have all this, you got the payroll from the PPP funds, but then you were also collecting PUA.
Will they have the protocols in place to catch that for everybody? I don’t know because there’s just such a high volume here, but I think the conservative position would be if you got that the PUA you know, probably best to put the pause on once you get those PPP funds. Which is supposed to be used to pay pay payroll and including yourself. So that’s my take on that.
Harry Campbell: Yeah. And I think that we just released a video this morning. So if you guys are wondering what the hell PPP is, maybe you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months or not watching the channel. We’ve been covering it extensively. But I think the thing a lot of times, you know, I think I really liked your explanation Logan, because there isn’t clear cut rules for a lot of these situations and a lot of these programs because they’re so new and they’re changing so quickly. And so I think you have to just think about it logically and understand what the potential risk is.
It’s to cover your payroll for two and a half months. So if you’re getting unemployment insurance and you’re now applying for a PPP loan to also cover your payroll, it seems like you’re sort of double dipping, right? So if you did that and got caught and got in trouble, you probably shouldn’t be shocked. You know, I don’t know your guests as good as mine.