COVID-19 has caused massive damage to businesses of every size, with many being forced to cut staff or shut down their doors.Employee Retention Bonus (ERB) is a way to keep businesses afloat.
It is a refundable credit that can be claimed by employers on certain wages paid to employees in the event of a pandemic.The ERC is intended to keep employees employed, even when businesses are unable operate normally.
If you own a small business and have been affected by the pandemic then the ERC will help you to keep your staff on board, as well as your business going.To find out more about ERC and to claim, you can either visit the IRS web site, speak with an advisor, or check below.
For a brief reading of what the Employee Retention Credit or ERC is, take a look at this video from the YouTube channel “ERC Specialists”. You can also continue below to read an in-depth explanation of ERC.
The Employee Retention CreditAre Tips Qualified Wages For Employee Retention Credit
Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a tax credit for businesses that can be claimed if they pay employees wages during the COVID-19 Pandemic.It was created as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, in March 2020, to help companies keep their employees, despite being unable operate normally.
ERC is open to businesses and organizations of all sizes.A business must be eligible if it has experienced a significant drop in gross receipts, or if they have been suspended or fully suspended because of a COVID-19 related government order.
ERCs can be a major financial boost for companies that have suffered from pandemic effects.It can assist businesses in retaining their employees, covering payroll costs, as well as investing in their future.
Why was ERC created
The COVID-19 outbreak caused an economic slump that led many businesses, including small and large ones, to either lay off staff or shut down.The ERC is designed to help keep businesses open and their employees working so that they can resume normal operations as soon as the pandemic subsides.
Benefits of the ERC
The ERC can provide a significant financial boost to businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.The ERC can help businesses retain employees, which is crucial for a rapid recovery.
The ERC is also a refundable credit. This means that businesses are able to claim it, even if there are no taxes due.Businesses can also claim the ERC for qualified wages paid to employees who are not working due to COVID-19, such as employees who are furloughed or quarantined. Are Tips Qualified Wages For Employee Retention Credit
Impact of ERC on Business and the Economy
The ERC has helped to keep millions of Americans employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.It also helped companies to weather the economic storm and remain afloat.
It is estimated that the ERC has saved more than 10 million jobs, and prevented hundreds of thousands of businesses from shutting their doors.It has also contributed towards the economic recovery through a boost in consumer spending and investment.
The decline in gross revenues test is the major difference between the ERC 2020 and ERC 2021 requirements.In 2020, a business must have experienced a significant decline in gross receipts of at least 50% compared to the same quarter in the previous year.In 2021 a business will have to experience a significant decrease in gross revenues of at least 20 percent compared with the same quarter last year.
Business can qualify in two ways for the ERC
- ERC for a business suspended fully or partly by a Government Order: An ERC can be awarded to a business that is suspended either completely or partially by an order of the government due COVID-19.Businesses ordered to close, reduce capacity or comply with certain restrictions are eligible for ERC.
- Significant decline in Gross Receipts: An eligible business who has suffered a significant decrease in gross receipts as a result of COVID-19 may also be eligible for ERC.Significant declines in revenue are defined as a decrease of at minimum 50% in 2020 quarters or at most 20% in 2021 quarters compared to same quarters the year before.
Examples and Scenarios
These examples and scenarios illustrate the criteria for each:
Orders from the government can be used to suspend or fully suspend your work.
- ERC can be claimed by a restaurant forced to shut down due to an order from the government.
- The ERC is available to gyms that are required to operate with a reduced capacity because of a COVID-19-related government order.
Significant decline in gross receipts:
- A retail store that experiences a 50% decline in sales due to COVID-19 is eligible for the ERC.
- ERCs are available for manufacturers that cannot operate at their full capacity as a result of disruptions in supply chains.
Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC), is a credit for businesses that can be claimed on qualified wages paid by employers to their employees during COVID-19.The amount of the credit varies depending on the quarter and the number of employees a business has.
In 2020, the credit will be equal to half of all wages that employees are entitled to receive up to $10,000.This could mean that an employer can get a credit up to $5,000 for 2020.
For the three first quarters of the year 2021, the credit is equal to 70% of the wages qualified to be paid. There is a limit of $10,000 per employee per quarter.This means a company could receive a credit for up to $7,000 for each employee per quarter in the first three months of 2021. The total for the entire year is up to $21,000.
Claim your Credit
How to Claim ERC in Federal Employment Taxreturn
For businesses to claim Employee Retention Credit on federal employment taxes, they must amend Form 941X – Adjusted Employer’s quarterly Federal Tax Return (or Claim for refund) – in order to do so, they will need to file Form 941X.This form can be filed for any quarter in which the business was eligible for the credit.
Claim the ERC in Advance
Businesses have three choices for claiming ERCs:
- Claim your credit in Advance: Businesses can take advantage of the credit by reducing deposits made quarterly for employment tax.Businesses must submit Form 7200 to the IRS, Advance Payments of Employer Taxes and Credits.
- Businesses may also reduce their quarterly tax deposits on employment by the credit amount they expect.To do so, businesses must fill out Form 941 at the IRS. They will need to indicate how much credit they intend to reduce.
- Businesses who have already paid employment taxes may request a credit refund by filing IRS Form 941X.
Calculating the Amount of the Credit and Avoiding Double-dipping with Other Relief Programs
Multiplying the amount of ERC by the credit rate is how the ERC amount is calculated.Credit rates are 50% in 2020 and 70% during the first three-quarters of 2021.
Businesses must be cautious to not double dip with other relief programmes.For example businesses cannot claim ERC for wages used to claim Paid Family and medical leave credit or the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Tips and Resources for Recordkeeping and Documenation
Businesses should keep detailed records detailing all qualified wages paid by employers to employees over the ERC.This will enable businesses to accurately determine the amount of credit that they are eligible for, and to back up their claim should it be audited. Are Tips Qualified Wages For Employee Retention Credit
Here are a couple of tips to help you with your recordkeeping:
- Keep a copy of all records of your payroll, including the W-2 and Form 941.
- Keep track of every employee’s hours, including sick time, holiday, and vacation.
- Keep track of every wage paid to an employee, including the base salary, bonuses, and overtime.
- Keep track of all government orders that affect your business.
The IRS provides a variety of resources to help businesses claim the ERC, including FAQs, fact sheets, and videos.Businesses can contact IRS for help by calling 1-800-829-1040.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
Businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic can apply for the Employee Retention Credit.Here are some businesses that could be eligible for Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants forced to close due to government orders
- Retail stores that saw a significant fall in sales
- Manufacturers unable to operate at full capacity due to supply chain disruptions
- Donations to nonprofit organizations have declined
- Hotels and other hospitality business
- Travel and tourism businesses
- Entertainment and event business
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms & fitness studios
- Salons, spas
- Retail stores selling non essential goods
- Businesses that have been required to operate in a reduced capacity
- Businesses forced to adopt new safety protocols and measures
- Costs incurred by businesses as a result of COVID-19
Aside from these examples, businesses that have been fully or partly suspended by a government directive or who have experienced a significant drop in gross receipts as a result of COVID-19 are also eligible for ERC. Are Tips Qualified Wages For Employee Retention Credit
Here are some examples of how companies have used the ERC in specific situations:
- The ERC allowed a restaurant to retain its staff after it was forced to shut down for several months by government order.
- A retail store that experienced a 50% decline in sales due to COVID-19 was able to use the ERC to offset its payroll costs.
- ERC can be used by a producer who is unable operate at maximum capacity due to disruptions of the supply chain. This allows them to keep their employees and continue producing essential products.
- A nonprofit organization whose donations declined due to COVID-19 used the ERC to retain its employees and continue providing essential services.
Contact a tax expert if you’re a business owner who is unsure if you qualify for the ERC.They can assist you in determining your eligibility, and claiming the credit, if you qualify.
ERC Scams, Aggressive Marketing and Other Risks
Unfortunately, there are scammers who are trying to take advantage of businesses that are eligible for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).These scammers can use aggressive marketing strategies to convince companies to sign-up for their services even when they are not eligible to receive the ERC.
Red Flags and Warning Signs
Here are some warning signals and red flags that can help you to identify ERC scammers.
- The company promises to give you a full refund without reviewing any of your records.
- They charge high upfront fees or a percentage of your refund.
- They use high-pressure sales tactics. Are Tips Qualified Wages For Employee Retention Credit
- They are not affiliated to a reputable organization of tax professionals.
- The first thing they ask you for is your personal and financial information.
Reporting Suspicious Actors and Protecting Your Personal Information
If you’re contacted by an ERC con artist, then you should report their activity to IRS.You can do this by calling 1-800-829-1040 or by visiting the IRS website.
Protecting personal information and financial data is equally important.Do not share your personal data with anyone who contacts uninvited.If you’re not sure if a company is legit or not, you should check reviews online. You can also contact the IRS.
This article has discussed the Employee retention credit (ERC), which is a tax relief that allows eligible employers to keep their employees employed during the COVID-19 Pandemic.We have outlined the ERC’s eligibility requirements, its claim process, as well as the possible scams.
We have also provided tips and resources on recordkeeping and documentation.ERCs are a valuable tool that employers can use to lower their employment tax liability and improve their cash flow. They also help support their workforce.We encourage eligible employers to claim this credit and, if necessary, seek professional help.
Employee Retention Credit Frequently Asked Questions:
Are Tips Qualified Wages For Employee Retention Credit
What is ERC?
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses. A refundable tax credit is available.
This credit is equal 50% of qualified wage paid to employees for 2020 and 70% qualified wage paid to employees during the first three-quarters of 2021.
Who is eligible for the ERC?
Eligible companies for the ERC are those businesses that experienced a significant fall in gross sales or were partially or completely suspended because of government orders triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak.
What are qualified wages?
Salary, wages, bonuses, and tips are all considered to be wages.
Employer-paid health insurance premiums also qualify as wages.
How do I claim ERC?
Businesses can claim ERC by submitting an amended Form 941 to the IRS.The amended Form 941 X must be submitted within three years from the original date of Form 941.
Do I have to pay back the ERC?
No, it is a refundable credit.
Can I claim ERC if I received a loan from PPP?
Businesses can still claim the ERC if they have received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.
Businesses can’t claim ERC on wages they used for PPP loans.
Can self-employed people claim the ERC?
Self-employed individuals can apply for the ERC.
Schedule C forms can be claimed by individuals who are self-employed.
Can non-profit organisations claim ERC?
Yes, nonprofits are eligible for ERC.
Nonprofits can claim ERC on Form 990 T.
Can companies that own a foreign affiliate claim ERCs?
Yes, businesses can claim the ERC for wages paid to employees of foreign subsidiaries.
That said, there are some additional requirements that must be met before they can claim it.
What are the common mistakes businesses make when they claim ERC?
There are a few common mistakes that businesses should avoid when claiming an ERC. These include but are not restricted to
- Calculation error on credit
- Include all wages that qualify
- Failure to amend form 941 – X on time.