CARES Act: Accounting for the stimulus (updated January 14, 2021)

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In depth , PwC US Jan 14, 2021

Accounting for CARES Act program, including loans and tax changes, among other types of relief. Updated to address how a borrower should account for a loan through the PPP.

At a glance

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act became law on March 27, 2020. It was a response to the market volatility and instability resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, and includes provisions to support individuals and businesses in the form of loans, grants, and tax changes, among other types of relief.

On December 27, 2020, an additional $900 billion in stimulus was approved, extending or modifying some of the existing provisions and creating a few new ones. The new funding was part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act.

We have provided answers to questions regarding the accounting and disclosure implications of certain of the provisions in the original and updated stimulus packages. Provisions addressed include: relief from certain accounting guidance; tax code changes; below-market loans; and other programs that essentially provide government assistance to businesses.

Originally issued in April 2020, this In depth was previously updated through July 10, 2020. Questions with substantive changes since July have been marked as updated. Question numbers have also been updated to be sequential by section.

This In depth should be read in conjunction with the In depth, FAQ on accounting for COVID-19 and market volatility, and our other COVID-19 resources, including a podcast on the original CARES Act.

For a deeper discussion, please contact:

Heather Horn

US Strategic Thought Leader, National Professional Services Group, PwC US


Maria Constantinou

Director, National Professional Services Group, PwC US


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David Schmid

David Schmid

International Accounting Leader, National Professional Services Group, PwC US

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