The COVID-19 virus has wreaked havoc across all businesses, forcing some to shut their doors or layoff employees.But there is a lifeline available to help businesses stay afloat: the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).
The ERC can be claimed by businesses on the wages they paid employees who qualified during 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 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 CreditDo Public Schools Qualify For Employee Retention Credit
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a refundable tax credit that businesses can claim for qualified wages paid to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act created the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) in March 2020. Its purpose is to assist businesses to keep their employees, even if the business is unable to function normally.
The ERC is available to businesses of all sizes, including tax-exempt organizations.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 is able to provide significant financial support for businesses affected by the pandemic.It can be used to help businesses keep their employees, cover their payroll costs and invest for the future.
Why was ERC formed?
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a severe economic recession, forcing many companies to layoff their employees or close down.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.
ERC can be a major financial boost for businesses who have been affected by the pandemic.It can also assist businesses in retaining their employees. This is vital for a fast 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 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. Do Public Schools Qualify For Employee Retention Credit
Impact of ERC on Businesses and the Economy
The ERC was able to keep millions of Americans working during the COVID-19 pandemic.It also helped companies to weather the economic storm and remain afloat.
The ERC is estimated to have saved over 10 million jobs and prevented hundreds of thousands of businesses from closing their doors.It also contributed to the recovery of the economy by increasing consumer spending, and investing.
For businesses affected by COVID-19, the Employee Retention Credit can help them retain their employees.
The decline in gross revenues test is the major difference between the ERC 2020 and ERC 2021 requirements.In 2020 a business’s gross receipts must have declined by at least 50% from the same quarterly period of the previous 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 eligibility for businesses suspended or suspended partially by a government.Businesses ordered to close, reduce capacity or comply with certain restrictions are eligible for ERC.
- 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.Significant decline in gross revenues is defined as at least a 50% decline in a quarterly in 2020, or at least a 20% decline in a quarterly in 2021 when compared with the same quarter the previous year.
Examples and Scenarios
The following are some scenarios and examples that will help you understand each eligibility criteria.
A government order can suspend a person’s rights in full or part
- A restaurant that is forced to close due to a government order is eligible for the ERC.
- 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:
- ERC may be available for a retailer that suffers a drop of 50% in sales caused by COVID-19.
- ERC is available to manufacturers who are unable to run at full capacity because of supply chain disruptions.
Employee Retention credit (ERC), a tax-credit that businesses can claim, is for wages paid to qualified employees during the COVID-19 epidemic.The credit amount varies according to the quarter and number of employees of a business.
Credits for 2020 are equal to 50% the qualified wages paid by employees, up to a maximum amount of $10,000 per employee.For 2020, a business may receive a maximum credit of $5,000 per employee.
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.For the first three-quarters of 2021, a business can receive up to $7,000 in credit per employee. This could amount to up to $21,000 for each employee.
How to Claim ERC on Federal Employment Tax Returns
Businesses that wish to claim the Employee Retention credit (ERC), on their federal employment tax returns must use Form 941-X, Revised Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return, or Claim for Refund.This form is applicable to any quarter during which the business qualifies for the credit.
Options for Claiming the ERC in Advance
There are three options available to businesses for claiming 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.
- Businesses can reduce their quarterly deposits for employment tax by the amount they anticipate receiving.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 Credit Amount and Avoiding Double-dipping with Other Relief Programs
Multiplying employee wages with the applicable credit rate will give you the ERC.The credit rate for 2020 is 50% and for the first quarter of 2021, it’s 70%.
Businesses should avoid double-dipping on other relief programs.Businesses can’t, for instance, claim ERC wages if they also claim Paid Family Leave Credit (PFML) or 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 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. Do Public Schools Qualify For Employee Retention Credit
Here are some tips on recordkeeping and documentation.
- Keep a copy of all records of your payroll, including the W-2 and Form 941.
- 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 any government orders that affected the business’s operations.
The IRS offers many resources for businesses to claim the ERC. This includes FAQs and fact sheets.Businesses can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for assistance.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is available to businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.Here are some businesses that could be eligible for Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants are forced to close by government order
- Retail stores that saw a significant fall in sales
- Due to disruptions in the supply chain, manufacturers are not able to operate at their full capacity
- Nonprofit organizations that saw their donations decline
- Hotels and other hospitality businesses
- Travel and Tourism Businesses
- Entertainment and event business
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms and fitness studios
- Salons and spas
- Retail shops selling non-essential items
- Businesses that had to operate on a lower capacity
- Businesses who are required to implement new safety standards and protocols
- Costs incurred by businesses as a result of 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. Do Public Schools Qualify For Employee Retention Credit
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 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 help you to determine your eligibility and to claim the credit if you are eligible.
ERC Scams, Aggressive Marketing and Other Risks
Scammers are targeting businesses eligible 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.
Warning Signs and Red Flags
Here are some warning signs and red flags to identify potential ERC scammers:
- They will refund you without looking at your records.
- You will be charged high fees upfront, or a percentage of your refund.
- Sales tactics are high-pressure. Do Public Schools Qualify For Employee Retention Credit
- They are not affiliated with a reputable tax professional organization.
- Some companies will ask for personal or financial details upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Activities and Protecting Personal Information
If you have been contacted by an ERC scammer , you should notify the IRS .You can do this by calling 1-800-829-1040 or by visiting the IRS website.
Protecting your financial and personal information is also important.Don’t give out your personal details to anyone who contacts without asking.You can find reviews of a company online, or you can contact the IRS if you’re unsure.
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 some tips and resources for recordkeeping and documentation.The ERC offers employers a valuable opportunity to reduce their tax liabilities, improve cash flow and support the workforce.If you’re an eligible employer, you should claim the credit. You can also seek professional advice if you need it.
Employee Retention Credit Frequently Asked Questions:
Do Public Schools Qualify For Employee Retention Credit
What is the ERC?
Businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic can claim a refundable credit.
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 can receive the ERC?
Eligible businesses include those who have seen a significant decrease in gross revenues or have been suspended fully or partly due to government orders resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
What is a qualified wage?
Qualified wages include wages, salaries, tips, and bonuses paid to employees.
Also, health insurance premiums that employers pay are considered 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 filed within three years of the date the original Form 941 was filed.
Do I need to repay the ERC?
The ERC, however, is a non-refundable tax credit.
Can I claim the ERC if I received a PPP loan?
You can still claim an ERC even though you received a loan through the Paycheck Protection Programme (PPP).
Businesses cannot claim the ERC for wages that were also used to claim the PPP loan.
Can self employed individuals claim ERC benefits?
Yes, the ERC is available to self-employed people.
Schedule C is the form that self-employed people can use to claim their ERC.
Can nonprofit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, nonprofit organizations are eligible for the ERC.
Nonprofit organizations may claim the ERC by submitting Form 990-T.
Can companies that own a foreign affiliate claim ERCs?
Businesses can claim ERC for the wages they pay to foreign-based employees.
It is important to note that there are additional requirements for claiming the tax credit.
Are there any common mistakes made by businesses when claiming ERC that they should be on the lookout for?
Some common mistakes businesses need to watch out for when claiming their ERC include but are not limited to
- The credit calculation is incorrect
- Failure to include all qualified wages
- The failure to amend Form 941-X in time.