The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses of all sizes, forcing many to lay off employees or close their doors altogether.There is one lifeline that can help businesses remain afloat – the Employee Retention credit (ERC).
The ERC is a refundable tax credit that businesses can claim on qualified wages paid to employees during the pandemic.It was designed to encourage businesses to continue to pay their employees even if normal operations are not possible.
If you are a business owner who has been impacted by the pandemic, the ERC can help you keep your employees on board and your business afloat.To learn more about the ERC and how to claim it, visit the IRS website, speak with a tax advisor, or read 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 CreditCan I Claim Employee Retention Credit And Ppp
Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC), also known as the Employee Retention Tax Credit, is a refundable tax credit that employers can claim for qualifying wages paid to their employees during COVID-19.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.
The ERC is available to businesses of all sizes, including tax-exempt organizations.To be eligible for the ERC, a company must have had a significant fall in gross receipts and/or have been fully or partial suspended as a result of an COVID-19 government order.
The ERC provides a financial boost for businesses that are affected by pandemic.It can help businesses to retain employees, pay for payroll, and invest in the future.
Why was the 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 was created to help businesses keep their employees on payroll so that they could quickly reopen and resume normal operations once the pandemic subsided.
ERCs can give businesses impacted by pandemics a financial boost.It can also be used to retain staff, which is important for a swift recovery.
Businesses can claim the ERC even if they don’t owe taxes.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. Can I Claim Employee Retention Credit And Ppp
Impact of ERC on Businesses and the Economy
The ERC helped keep millions of Americans in employment during the COVID-19 Pandemic.It also helped businesses weather the storm and stay 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.The ERC has also helped to boost consumer spending and investments, which have contributed to economic recovery.
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a tax credit available to businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To be eligible, a business must have experienced a significant decline in gross receipts or have been fully or partially suspended due to a COVID-19-related government order.
The only difference between ERC 2020 requirements and those of 2021 is the test for gross receipts.In 2020, an enterprise must have suffered a significant drop in gross receipts that is at least 50 percent less than the same period in the previous calendar year.In 2021 an enterprise must have seen a decline in gross revenue of atleast 20% in comparison to the same period in the previous year.
The ERC is available to businesses in two different ways.
- 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.The ERC is available to businesses that have been told to close or operate at reduced capacity.
- Significant decline of gross receipts. A business which has seen a significant fall in its gross receipts because of COVID-19, is also eligible to receive the ERC.A significant decline in gross receipts is defined as a decline of at least 50% in a quarter in 2020 or at least 20% in a quarter in 2021 compared to the same quarter in the previous year.
Examples and Scenarios
The following are some scenarios and examples that will help you understand each eligibility criteria.
Orders from the government can be used to suspend or fully suspend your work.
- ERC may be available for a restaurant that has to close because of a government directive.
- ERC may be available for a gym which is forced to operate at reduced capacity by a COVID-19 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.
- ERC is available to manufacturers who are unable to run at full capacity because of supply chain disruptions.
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a tax credit that businesses can claim for qualified wages paid to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.The credit amount varies according to the quarter and number of employees of a business.
The credit for 2020 is equal 50% of the wages qualified to be paid to employees. This maximum can reach $10,000 per employee.A business can receive up to $5,000 in credit per employee for the year 2020.
For the first quarters of 2021, the credit equals 70% of wages that are qualified. However, this is limited to $10,000 per quarter per employee.A business could receive credit up to $7000 per employee, per quarter for the three first quarters of the year 2021.
Claim the Credit
How to Claim ERC for Federal Employment Tax Returns
Businesses must amend Form 941X, Adjusted Employer’s Quarterly Federal Income Tax Return or Claim For Refund, to claim the Employee retention credit (ERC) in federal employment tax returns.This form is applicable to any quarter during which the business qualifies for the credit.
Claim the ERC in Advance
Businesses have three options to claim the ERC.
- Claim your credit in Advance: Businesses can take advantage of the credit by reducing deposits made quarterly for employment tax.For this to happen, businesses will need to submit IRS Form 7200 – Advance Payment of Taxes and Employer Credits.
- Reduce employment tax deposits: Businesses can also reduce their quarterly employment tax deposits by the amount of the credit they expect to receive.To reduce the deposits, businesses need to file IRS Form 941 and include the amount of credit that they expect to receive.
- Businesses who have already paid employment taxes may request a credit refund by filing IRS Form 941X.
Calculating the Credit Amount 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 rate is set at 50% for 2020 and 70% for the three first quarters of 2021.
Businesses must be cautious to not double dip with other relief programmes.For example, businesses cannot claim the ERC for wages that are also used to claim the Paid Family and Medical Leave Credit or the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Tips and Resources for Recordkeeping and Documentation
Businesses must keep detailed records on all wages paid during 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. Can I Claim Employee Retention Credit And Ppp
Here are a few tips for documenting and keeping records:
- Keep copies of all payroll records, including Forms 941 and W-2s.
- Keep track of all hours worked by employees, including vacation, sick, and holiday time.
- Track all employee wages, including bonuses, overtime, and base pay.
- Track any government orders which may have an impact on the business.
The IRS provides a variety of resources to help businesses claim the ERC, including FAQs, fact sheets, and videos.Businesses can contact the IRS by calling 1-800-829-1040.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is available to businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.Below are some business examples that may be eligible for Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants forced to shut down due to government order
- Retail stores who experienced a significant drop in sales
- Disruptions in the supply chains prevent manufacturers from working at full capacity
- Donations to nonprofit organizations have declined
- Hotels and other hospitality businesses
- Travel and tourism companies
- Entertainment and event business
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms, fitness studios
- Salons and spas
- Stores that sell non-essential merchandise
- Businesses who were forced to operate with a reduced capacity
- Businesses who are required to implement new safety standards and protocols
- Businesses that experienced increased costs due to COVID-19
ERCs may be awarded to any business, including those that were fully or partially closed by a government order and/or experienced a significant decrease in gross receipts because of COVID-19. Can I Claim Employee Retention Credit And Ppp
Here are some specific examples of how businesses have used the ERC:
- A restaurant that was forced to close for several months due to a government order was able to use the ERC to keep its employees on the payroll.
- A retail outlet that suffered a 50% sales decline due to COVID-19, was able to use ERC to offset their payroll costs.
- ERC was used by a manufacturer that could not operate at full capacity due to disruptions in the supply chain to keep employees employed and continue production of essential goods.
- A nonprofit organization that saw its donations decline due to COVID-19 was able to use the ERC to keep its employees on payroll and continue to provide essential services.
Contact a tax expert if you’re a business owner who is unsure if you qualify for the ERC.They can help you to determine your eligibility and to claim the credit if you are eligible.
Risks of ERC Scams and Aggressive Marketing
Unfortunately, some scammers take advantage of companies that qualify for the Employee Retention Credit.These scammers may use aggressive marketing tactics to try to convince businesses to sign up for their services, even if the business is not eligible for the ERC.
Red Flags and Warning Signs
These warning signs will help you identify possible ERC scammers.
- They promise to get you a refund without reviewing your records.
- You will be charged high fees upfront, or a percentage of your refund.
- Sales tactics are high-pressure. Can I Claim Employee Retention Credit And Ppp
- They are not members of a reputable professional tax organization.
- Some companies will ask for personal or financial details upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Activities and Protecting Personal Information
If you’re contacted by an ERC con artist, then you should report their activity to IRS.Call 1-800-829-1040 to report the scam or visit the IRS website.
Also, you should be cautious about protecting your financial and personal data.Never give out personal information to someone who contacts you without your permission.If you are unsure whether or not a business is legitimate, you can check their reviews online or contact the IRS for assistance.
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.The ERC has been explained in detail, including the eligibility requirements and the claim process.
We have also provided some tips and resources for 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.If you are an eligible employer, we encourage you to claim the credit and seek professional assistance if needed.
Employee Retention Credit: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Claim Employee Retention Credit And Ppp
What is ERC?
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses. A refundable tax credit is available.
This credit is equal to 50% the wages paid by employees to qualified employees in 2020. And 70% of the wages paid by employees to qualified employees in their first three quarters in 2021.
Who can apply for the ERC program?
Eligible business for the ERC includes those who suffered a significant reduction in gross receipts due to government order caused by COVID-19.
What is qualified wage?
The wages that qualify as wages include salaries, wages, tips, and bonuses.
All wages that are qualified include health insurance premiums paid to the employer.
How can I claim my ERC?
Businesses can claim the ERC by filing an amended Form 941 or Form 941-X with the IRS.The amended Form 941-X must be filed within three years of the date the original Form 941 was filed.
Do I have to pay back the ERC?
The ERC does not require repayment by businesses. It is a tax credit that can be used to offset future taxes.
Can I claim ERC if I received a loan from PPP?
Yes, businesses can claim the ERC even if they received a PPP loan (Paycheck Protection Program).
Businesses cannot claim ERCs for wages they also claimed as PPPs.
Can self-employed individuals claim ERC?
Yes, the ERC is available to self-employed people.
Schedule C forms can be claimed by individuals who are self-employed.
Can non-profit organisations claim ERC?
Yes, nonprofit organizations are eligible for the ERC.
Nonprofit organizations are eligible to claim the ERC when filing their Forms 990-T.
Can companies that own a foreign affiliate claim ERCs?
Businesses can claim ERC for the wages they pay to foreign-based employees.
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?
You should be on the lookout for these common mistakes when businesses claim their ERC.
- The credit calculation is incorrect
- Inclusion of all eligible wages
- Failure to amend form 941 – X on time.