Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

This page is rapidly changing and being updated. Please continue to check back for up-to-date information. 

Congress passed and the President signed the CARE’s Act on Friday, March 27, 2020 and Thursday, March 28, 2020, the House passed new legislation, extending the forgiveness period and relaxing the guidelines.  Participants are encouraged to wait to file for forgiveness until after the Senate passes their version of the bill in the first week of June.

Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis.   Below are relevant links and files to guide you through this process.  Please note that if you received a PPP loan and you have later determined that your entity did not meet the certification requirements, you have until May 14th to repay the PPP loan and still be eligible to receive the Employee Retention Credit as if you had never obtained the PPP loan.  See below for details on the payroll tax credits.

Paycheck Protection Program Loans FAQ

PPP Checklist

Paycheck Protection Application

Paycheck Protection Application Form with Guidance Notations

US Small Business Association FAQ related to Religious Organizations

PPP Loan Forgiveness

If your church acquired funds from the Payroll Protection Program, there are important documentation steps you need to take. Click here for a checklist of steps to take to prepare to ensure your loan is forgiven. Click here for an updated document from Wespath


Local Church Internal Controls

During this time, you may question what changes must be made to your handling of funds to accommodate social distancing.  We must still maintain good internal controls to ensure integrity in our counting process and monitoring of funds received but given the absence of the normal Sunday offering plate, there are few additional steps to consider.  Please reference this document


Taking Advantage of the New Employer Tax Credits

The IRS has made available to eligible employers impacted by COVID-19 a payroll tax credit of 50% of up to $10,000 in wages per employee.  The credit is capped at $5,000 per employee. The important thing to note though, is that you cannot get both a small business loan under the PPP and claim a tax credit, so even if you did not qualify for the PPP, you WILL be able to benefit from this credit because local churches were prohibited from convening by government order and for this period of time, those wages qualify for the credit.  Additionally, you may have wages that qualify until January 2021 if your gross receipts are less than 50% in the same quarter of 2019.  Make sure you do the calculation to see how much you may qualify to take in credit.  Click here for IRS information on this.

Wespath Article Regarding this topic


Below are some helpful links that will be continually updated in the next days and weeks as we discern how to apply this legislation to obtain assistance.


IRS New Employer Tax Credits

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

GCFA Response and Guidance on the CARES Act

US Chamber of Commerce

Wespath Resources for COVID-19

Church Law and Tax Resources