The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses of all sizes, forcing many to lay off employees or close their doors altogether.Employee Retention (ERC) Credit is available to businesses that need it.
The ERC is a refundable tax credit that businesses can claim on qualified wages paid to employees during the pandemic.It is designed to help businesses keep their employees on payroll, even if they are unable to 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.If you want to know more about the ERC or how to claim it visit the IRS’ website, consult a tax advisor or continue reading 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 CreditDeadline To Amend 941 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.
Businesses of all sizes can apply for the ERC, even those that are tax-exempt.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 ERC can provide a significant financial boost to businesses that have been impacted 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 Pandemic caused an economic downturn that forced many businesses either to layoff employees or shut their doors.The ERC’s purpose was to keep employees on the payroll so that businesses could quickly reopen their doors and resume normal operation once the COVID-19 pandemic had subsided.
ERCs can give businesses impacted by pandemics a financial boost.It can assist in keeping employees on board, which will help the business recover quickly.
Businesses can claim the ERC even if they don’t owe taxes.Businesses can claim ERC for qualified wages paid to employees not working as a result of COVID-19. For example, employees are furloughed from work or quarantined. Deadline To Amend 941 For Employee Retention Credit
Impact of ERCs on the Economy and Businesses
The ERC is credited with keeping millions of Americans at work during the COVID-19 outbreak.The ERC has helped many businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ERC was estimated to have saved 10 million jobs and prevented thousands of businesses from closing.It also contributed to the recovery of the economy by increasing consumer spending, and investing.
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 main difference between the 2020 and 2021 ERC requirements is the gross receipts decline test.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.
Two ways exist for businesses to qualify for the ERC:
- ERC eligibility is based on whether the business has been suspended completely or in part due to COVID-19.This includes businesses that have been ordered to close, operate at a reduced capacity, or follow certain restrictions.
- Significant decline in gross revenues: Businesses that have experienced a significant drop in gross revenue due to COVID-19 are also 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.
These examples and scenarios illustrate the criteria for each:
Fully or partially suspended by a government order:
- ERC is available to restaurants that are forced to close by a government order.
- 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:
- ERC eligibility is granted to retail stores who experience a sales decline of 50% due to COVID-19.
- ERC can be awarded to a manufacturer who cannot operate at full capability due to disruptions to the supply chain.
Employee Retention (ERC) Credit is an income tax credit which businesses can claim in relation to wages that were paid during the COVID-19 Pandemic.The amount of credit depends on the number of employees and the quarter.
For 2020, a credit equal to 50 percent of wages paid to qualified employees is available up to a limit of $10,000.For 2020, a business may receive a maximum credit of $5,000 per employee.
The credit for the first three quarters of 2021 is 70% of the qualified wages paid by employees. This maximum amount per employee per quarter is $10,000.For the first 3 quarters in 2021, an employer could receive up to $7,000 per employee each quarter. That’s up $21,000 per worker for the whole year.
Claim your Credit
How to Claim the ERC when Filing Federal Employment Tax Returns
To claim the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) on federal employment tax returns, businesses must file an amended Form 941-X, Adjusted Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund.This form can also be filed for any other quarters in which a business may have been eligible for credit.
Claim the ERC in Advance
Businesses have three options for claiming the ERC:
- Claim it in advance. Businesses are able to claim the credit before the quarter’s end by reducing quarterly employment taxes.To do so, businesses need to file IRS Form 7200, Advanced Payment of Employer credits and taxes.
- Reduce employment tax deposits: Businesses can also reduce their quarterly employment tax deposits by the amount of the credit they expect to receive.Businesses can do this by filing Form 941 and indicating how much they will reduce their quarterly employment tax deposits.
- Businesses that already pay their employment taxes to the IRS can request a reimbursement of the credit. To do this, they must file 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.Businesses cannot, for example, claim the ERC on wages they also claim as part of the Paid Family Medical Leave Credit and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Tips and Resources for Recordkeeping and Documentation
Businesses should keep detailed records of all qualified wages paid to employees during the ERC period.This will help businesses to accurately calculate the amount of the credit they are eligible for and to support their claim if it is audited by the IRS. Deadline To Amend 941 For Employee Retention Credit
Here are a few tips for documenting and keeping records:
- All payroll records should be kept, including W-2s and Forms 941s.
- Keep track of the hours that employees work, including sick leave, vacation time, and holidays.
- Track all employee wages, including bonuses, overtime, and base pay.
- Keep track of all government orders that affect your business.
The IRS provides many resources to assist businesses in claiming the ERC. They include fact sheets, videos, and FAQs.Businesses can contact IRS for help by calling 1-800-829-1040.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
Businesses that are affected by COVID-19 can receive the Employee Retention (ERC).These are some examples of businesses who may qualify for the Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants forced to close due to government orders
- Retail stores who experienced a significant drop in sales
- Supply chain disruptions prevent manufacturers from operating at full capacity
- Nonprofit organizations that saw their donations decline
- Hotels and other hospitality businesses
- Travel and Tourism Businesses
- Entertainment and event businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Fitness studios and gyms
- Salons and spas
- Stores that sell non-essential merchandise
- Businesses required to operate under reduced capacity
- Businesses forced to comply with new safety protocols
- Businesses who experienced higher costs due to COVID-19
In addition to these examples, any business that was fully or partially suspended by a government order or that experienced a significant decline in gross receipts due to COVID-19 may be eligible for the ERC. Deadline To Amend 941 For Employee Retention Credit
Here are a few examples of specific ways businesses have used their 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 store that experienced a 50% decline in sales due to COVID-19 was able to use the ERC to offset its 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 organization whose donations declined due to COVID-19 used the ERC to retain its employees and continue providing essential 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.You can get help from a tax professional to determine your eligibility for the ERC and claim it if eligible.
Risks of ERC Scams and Aggressive Marketing
Unfortunately, there are scammers that try to take advantage business owners who are eligible for Employee Retention Credits (ERC).These scammers use aggressive marketing to convince businesses to subscribe to their services even if that business isn’t eligible for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).
Warning Signs and Red Flags
Here are some warning signals and red flags that can help you to identify ERC scammers.
- They promise you will get a refund even if they don’t review your records.
- They charge high upfront fees or a percentage of your refund.
- These salespeople use high-pressure tactics. Deadline To Amend 941 For Employee Retention Credit
- They aren’t affiliated with an established tax professional association.
- You will be asked to provide your personal information or financial details upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Activities and Protecting Personal Information
You should contact the IRS if you receive a call from an ERC scammer.You can report this activity by calling 1-800-829-1040.
It is important to safeguard your personal and financial data.Do not share your personal data with anyone who contacts uninvited.If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a business, you can look at their online reviews or ask for help from 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 discussed the ERC eligibility requirements, claim process and potential scams.
We have also provided tips and resources on recordkeeping and documentation.The ERC provides a valuable incentive that helps employers to reduce their payroll tax liability, improve the cash flow of their business, and provide support for their employees.We encourage eligible employers to claim this credit and, if necessary, seek professional help.
Employee Retention Credit: Frequently Asked Questions
Deadline To Amend 941 For Employee Retention Credit
What is ERC?
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses. A refundable tax credit is available.
This credit equals 50% of the qualified wages that employees received in 2020, and 70% of the qualified wages they receive in the first quarter of 2021.
Who is eligible to apply for ERC?
Businesses that have experienced a significant drop in gross receipts or those that were suspended or fully suspended by government orders due to the COVID-19 epidemic are eligible for the ERC.
What is a qualified wage?
Included in qualifying wages are wages, salaries, and tips paid to employees.
All wages that are qualified include health insurance premiums paid to the employer.
How do I claim the ERC?
Businesses can claim ERC by submitting an amended Form 941 to the IRS.The amended Form 941X must be filed no later than three years after the original Form 941.
Do I need to repay the ERC?
The ERC is not a tax credit that needs to be repaid.
Can I claim the ERC if I received a PPP loan?
Yes, even if you have received a Loan Protection Program (PPP) for your business.
Businesses cannot claim ERC for salaries that are also used as collateral to borrow PPP loans.
Can self-employed individuals claim ERC?
Self-employed individuals can apply for the ERC.
Self-employed individuals can claim the ERC on their Schedule C form.
Can nonprofit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, nonprofit organizations are eligible for the ERC.
Nonprofit organizations can claim the ERC on their Form 990-T form.
Can companies that own a foreign affiliate claim ERCs?
Businesses can claim ERC for the wages they pay to foreign-based employees.
However, they must also meet certain additional requirements before they are eligible to claim the benefits.
Are there any common mistakes made by businesses when claiming ERC that they should be on the lookout for?
You should be on the lookout for these common mistakes when businesses claim their ERC.
- The credit calculation is incorrect
- Failure to include all qualified wages
- Failure to amend Form 941-X on time.