The COVID-19 virus has wreaked havoc across all businesses, forcing some to shut their doors or layoff employees.Employee Retention (ERC) Credit is available to businesses that need it.
The ERC can be claimed by businesses on the wages they paid employees who qualified during pandemic.It is designed to help businesses keep their employees on payroll, even if they are unable to operate normally.
The ERC can be very helpful to business owners who have been impacted. It will keep employees motivated and help your business stay 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.
Employee Retention CreditCan I Track My Employee Retention Credit Refund?
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 by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in March 2020 to help businesses keep their employees on the payroll, even if they were unable to operate normally.
The ERC is available to businesses of all sizes, including tax-exempt organizations.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.
The ERC is able to provide significant financial support for businesses affected by the pandemic.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 epidemic caused a severe downturn in the economy, which forced many businesses to close or lay off their employees.The ERC was established to assist businesses in keeping their employees employed so they can quickly reopen, resume normal operations and regain control of the situation once the pandemic has subsided.
ERC can offer a significant boost in financial support to businesses impacted negatively by the pandemic.It can also help businesses retain their employees, which is essential for a quick recovery.
The ERC is a refundable tax credit, meaning that businesses can claim it even if they do not owe any taxes.Businesses can claim the ERC on wages paid to employees that are not working because of COVID-19. This includes employees who have been furloughed, quarantined, or are otherwise not allowed to work. Can I Track My Employee Retention Credit Refund?
Impact of ERCs on the Economy and Businesses
The ERC is credited with keeping millions of Americans at work during the COVID-19 outbreak.It has also helped businesses to stay afloat and weather the economic storm.
ERC was estimated to have saved 10 million jobs and prevented thousands of businesses from closing.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 order to qualify for the 2020 ERC, businesses must have had a substantial decline in gross revenues of at least half compared with the same quarter last year.In 2021, an organization must have suffered a significant drop in gross receipts by at least 20% from the same quarter the year before.
Two ways exist for businesses to qualify for the ERC:
- Fully or partially suspended by a government order: A business that has been fully or partially suspended by a government order due to COVID-19 is eligible for the ERC.The ERC is available to businesses that have been told to close or operate at reduced capacity.
- 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
Below are examples and scenarios that illustrate each of the eligibility criteria:
Full or partial suspension by government order
- A restaurant that is forced to close due to a government order is eligible for the ERC.
- A gym that is required to operate at a reduced capacity due to a COVID-19-related government order is eligible for the ERC.
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 eligibility is for a manufacturer who is not able to operate at maximum capacity due to disruptions in the supply chain.
Employee Retention credit (ERC), a tax-credit that businesses can claim, is for wages paid to qualified employees during the COVID-19 epidemic.The amount varies depending on how many employees are employed and what quarter it is.
For 2020, the credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages paid to employees up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee.For 2020, a business may receive a maximum credit of $5,000 per employee.
For the first three quarters of 2021, the credit is equal to 70% of qualified wages paid to employees, up to a maximum of $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
To claim the Employee-Retention Credit (ERC), businesses must file a Form 941-941-X, Adjusted Employer Quarterly Federal Tax return or Claim of Refund.This form can also be filed for any other quarters in which a business may have been eligible for credit.
Options for Claiming the ERC in Advance
Businesses have three options to claim the ERC.
- Claim the credit ahead of time: Businesses may claim the credit by reducing the quarterly employment tax deposit.To do so, businesses need to file IRS Form 7200, Advanced Payment of Employer credits and taxes.
- Reduce employment taxes deposits. Businesses are also able to reduce their quarterly employment tax deposits by the amount expected credit.To do this, businesses must file Form 941 with the IRS and indicate the amount of the credit they are reducing their deposits by.
- Businesses can ask for a refund if they have already paid the employment tax. They should file Form 941-X at the IRS.
Calculating the Amount of the Credit and Avoiding Double-dipping with Other Relief Programs
Multiplying qualified wages by the credit rate applicable, the ERC can be calculated.Credit rate is set at 50% for 2020 and 70% for the three first quarters of 2021.
Businesses should be aware of the dangers of double-dipping.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 Documentation
Businesses should maintain detailed records of the wages they paid to their employees during the ERC.This will allow businesses to calculate accurately the amount of credit they are entitled to and support their claim in the event that it is audited. Can I Track My Employee Retention Credit Refund?
Here are a couple of tips to help you with your recordkeeping:
- All payroll records should be kept, including W-2s and Forms 941s.
- Keep track of all hours worked by employees, including vacation, sick, and holiday time.
- Keep track of the wages you pay to your employees. This includes base wage, bonuses, and overtime pay.
- 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 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.
- Government orders force restaurants to close
- Retail stores which experienced a significant decrease in sales
- Disruptions in the supply chains prevent manufacturers from working at full capacity
- Donations of nonprofit organizations declined
- Hotels and other hospitality businesses
- Travel and tourism business
- Entertainment and Event Businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms, fitness studios
- Salons & spas
- Retail stores selling non-essential goods
- Businesses that were required to operate at a reduced capacity
- Businesses forced to comply with new safety protocols
- Businesses who experienced higher costs due to 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. Can I Track My Employee Retention Credit Refund?
Here are some examples that show how businesses have used ERCs:
- 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.
- The ERC allowed a manufacturer who was not able to operate at its full capacity because of supply chain disruptions to continue producing essential goods and keep their employees on the payroll.
- A nonprofit that saw their donations decrease due to COVID-19, was able to utilize the ERC and keep its employees employed to continue to provide vital services.
If you are an owner of a business and are unsure as to whether you are eligible for ERC, then I would encourage you contact a tax specialist.They can assist you in determining your eligibility, and claiming the credit, if you qualify.
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
Here are some warnings and red flags for identifying potential ERC fraudsters:
- They promise to get you a refund without reviewing your records.
- They charge high fees upfront or take a portion of your refund.
- High-pressure sales tactics are used. Can I Track My Employee Retention Credit Refund?
- They aren’t affiliated with an established tax professional association.
- Your personal or financial data is requested upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Activities and Protecting Personal Information
If you have been contacted by an ERC scammer , you should notify the IRS .This can be done by calling 1-800-829-1040, or visiting the IRS’s website.
Protecting personal information and financial data is equally important.Never give out personal information to someone who contacts you without your permission.You can find reviews of a company online, or you can contact the IRS if you’re unsure.
We have covered the Employees Retention (ERC) Credit in this article. This is a tax credit program that helps employers who qualify to retain their staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.We have outlined the ERC’s eligibility requirements, its claim process, as well as the possible scams.
We also have some tips and materials for documenting your records.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’re an eligible employer, you should claim the credit. You can also seek professional advice if you need it.
Frequently Asked Questions about Employee Retention Credits
Can I Track My Employee Retention Credit Refund?
What is ERC?
It is a refundable tax credit available to businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This credit is equal in value to 50% of wages qualified to be paid in 2020. It is also equal in value to 70% of wages qualified to be paid in the first 3 quarters of 2021.
Who is eligible for the ERC?
Eligible businesses for the ERC include those who experienced a significant decline in gross receipts or were fully or partially suspended due to government orders caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is a qualified wage?
Qualified wages include wages, salaries, tips, and bonuses paid to employees.
Employer-paid health insurance premiums also qualify as wages.
How do you claim your ERC?
Businesses can claim ERC by submitting an amended Form 941 to the IRS.The amended 941-X form must be filed in three years following the original 941 filing date.
Do I have to repay my ERC?
The ERC is not a tax credit that needs to be repaid.
Can I claim the ERC if I received a PPP loan?
Businesses can still claim the ERC if they have received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.
Businesses cannot claim ERC for salaries that are also used as collateral to borrow PPP loans.
Can self-employed individuals claim ERC?
Yes, the ERC is available to self-employed people.
The Schedule C can be used by self-employed individuals to claim the ERC.
Can non-profit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for ERC.
Nonprofit organizations may claim the ERC by submitting Form 990-T.
Can companies with a foreign subsidiary claim ERC?
Yes, businesses can claim the ERC for wages paid to employees of foreign subsidiaries.
There are a few additional requirements to meet before you can claim the benefit.
Are there mistakes that companies make in claiming ERCs?
Some common mistakes businesses need to watch out for when claiming their ERC include but are not limited to
- Wrong calculation on credit
- Include all wages that qualify
- The failure to amend Form 941-X in time.