COVID-19 has caused massive damage to businesses of every size, with many being forced to cut staff or shut down their doors.The Employee Retention Credit can be a lifeline for businesses struggling to stay afloat.
The ERC allows businesses to claim a tax credit on wages paid during a pandemic.The ERC is intended to keep employees employed, even when businesses are unable 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.
The Employee Retention CreditDoes The Employee Retention Credit Apply To 2023
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.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.
ERCs can be obtained by businesses of any size, including those exempt from tax.To qualify, the business must have seen a significant reduction in gross sales or be suspended fully or partly due to an order from the government related to COVID-19.
The ERC can provide a significant financial boost to businesses that have been impacted by the 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’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.
Benefits of the ERC
The ERC is a great way to boost the finances of businesses affected by pandemics.It can also help businesses retain their employees, which is essential for a quick 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. Does The Employee Retention Credit Apply To 2023
Impact of ERC on Businesses and the Economy
The ERC kept millions of Americans employed throughout the COVID-19 epidemic.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.It also contributed to the recovery of the economy by increasing consumer spending, and investing.
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 a business will have to experience a significant decrease in gross revenues of at least 20 percent compared with the same quarter last year.
The ERC is available to businesses in two different ways.
- ERC is available to businesses that have been suspended in whole or part by government orders due to COVID-19.This includes businesses who have been ordered closed, to operate at a lower capacity, or to 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 gross receipts are defined as a drop of at least 50% or 20% from the same quarter last year.
Examples and Scenarios
These examples and scenarios illustrate the criteria for each:
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.
- 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 can be awarded to a manufacturer who cannot operate at full capability due to disruptions to the supply chain.
Employee Retention Credit is a tax deduction that businesses may claim on wages they paid employees in the COVID-19 pandemic.The amount varies depending on how many employees are employed and what quarter it is.
For 2020, a credit equal to 50 percent of wages paid to qualified employees is available up to a limit of $10,000.This means a company could receive up to a $5,000 credit per employee in 2020.
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 the Credit
How to Claim ERC on 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 may be used for any quarter that the business is eligible for the credit.
Claim the ERC in Advance
Businesses can claim the ERC in three ways:
- Claim the credit in advance: Businesses can claim the credit in advance by reducing their quarterly employment tax deposits.For this to happen, businesses will need to submit IRS Form 7200 – Advance Payment of Taxes and Employer Credits.
- 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 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 Credit Amount and Avoiding Double Dipping with Other Relief Programs
The amount of the ERC is calculated by multiplying the qualified wages paid to employees by the applicable credit rate.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 Documenation
Businesses should maintain detailed records of the wages they paid to their employees during the ERC.This will assist businesses in accurately calculating the amount they are entitled for as well as supporting their claim if the IRS audits it. Does The Employee Retention Credit Apply To 2023
Here are some tips for recordkeeping and documentation:
- Keep a copy of all payroll records, including W-2 forms and Form 941s.
- 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 government orders affecting your business.
The IRS offers a number of resources that can help businesses claim their ERC. These include FAQs, factsheets, and videos.Businesses can contact the IRS by calling 1-800-829-1040.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
Businesses affected by the COVID-19 virus can claim an Employee Retention credit (ERC).Following are some of the businesses that might be eligible to receive the Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants are forced to close by government order
- Retail shops that have experienced a substantial decline in sales
- Manufacturers unable to operate at full capacity due to supply chain disruptions
- Nonprofit organizations that saw their donations decline
- Hotels and other hospitality businesses
- Travel and tourism businesses
- Entertainment and event business
- Personal care businesses
- Fitness studios and gyms
- Salons and spas
- Retail stores selling non-essential goods
- Businesses required to operate under reduced capacity
- Businesses that are forced to implement 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. Does The Employee Retention Credit Apply To 2023
Here are some examples of how companies have used the ERC in specific situations:
- A restaurant that had to close its doors for several weeks due to government orders was able, with the ERC, to keep all of its employees employed.
- A retail store which experienced a drop of 50% in sales due COVID-19 could offset its payroll expenses by using the ERC.
- ERC allows a company to maintain its workforce and produce essential products despite being unable to run at full capacity.
- 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.
If you are a business owner and you are unsure whether or not you are eligible for the ERC, I encourage you to contact a tax professional.You can get help from a tax professional to determine your eligibility for the ERC and claim it if eligible.
ERC Scams, Aggressive Marketing and Other Risks
Unfortunately, there are scammers that try to take advantage business owners who are eligible for Employee Retention Credits (ERC).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. Does The Employee Retention Credit Apply To 2023
- They do not belong to an organization that is reputable.
- Your personal or financial data is requested upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Activities and Protecting Personal Information
You should contact the IRS if you receive a call from an ERC scammer.Call 1-800-829-1040 to report the scam or visit the IRS website.
It is important to safeguard your personal and financial data.Do not give your personal information to anyone who contacts you unsolicited.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.
In this article, we have discussed the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), a tax relief program that helps eligible employers keep their employees on payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic.We have outlined the ERC’s eligibility requirements, its claim process, as well as the possible scams.
Also, we have provided some resources and tips for documenting and keeping records.The ERC offers employers a valuable opportunity to reduce their tax liabilities, improve cash flow and support the workforce.We encourage eligible employers to claim this credit and, if necessary, seek professional help.
Employee Retention Credit: Frequently Asked Questions
Does The Employee Retention Credit Apply To 2023
What is ERC?
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses. A refundable tax credit is available.
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 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?
Qualified wages include wages, salaries, tips, and bonuses paid to employees.
Health insurance premiums paid by the employer are also considered qualified wages.
How can I claim my ERC?
The IRS allows businesses to claim ERCs if they file an amended Form 951, or Form 951,-X.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?
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 even if I have received a PPP Loan?
The ERC is available to businesses who have taken out a PPP (Paycheck protection Program) loan.
Businesses cannot claim the ERC for wages that were also used to claim the PPP loan.
Can self-employed individuals claim ERC?
Yes, individuals who are self-employed can qualify for the ERC.
Self-employed individuals can claim the ERC on their Schedule C form.
Can nonprofit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, nonprofits are eligible for ERC.
Nonprofit organizations may claim the ERC by submitting Form 990-T.
Can companies with a foreign subsidiary claim ERC?
You can claim ERC on wages paid to foreign subsidiaries.
That said, there are some additional requirements that must be met before they can claim it.
Are there any common mistakes made by businesses when claiming ERC that they should be on the lookout for?
The following are some common mistakes to avoid by businesses when claiming the ERC:
- The credit calculation is incorrect
- Inclusion of all eligible wages
- Failure to amend Form 941-X on time.