The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses of all sizes, forcing many to lay off employees or close their doors altogether.But there is a lifeline available to help businesses stay afloat: the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).
It is a refundable credit that can be claimed by employers on certain wages paid to employees in the event of a pandemic.It was designed to encourage businesses to continue to pay their employees even if normal operations are not possible.
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.
The Employee Retention CreditEmployee Retention Credit Companies
Employee Retention (ERC) Credit is a refundable credit that businesses may claim on wages paid 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.
ERC is open to businesses and organizations of all sizes.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.The ERC can provide a significant financial boost to businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
Why was ERC formed?
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 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.
The ERC is a great way to boost the finances of businesses affected by pandemics.The ERC can help businesses retain employees, which is crucial for a rapid 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. Employee Retention Credit Companies
Impact of ERC on Business and the Economy
The ERC has helped to keep millions of Americans employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.The ERC also helped to keep businesses afloat through the economic storm.
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 Employee Retention Credit (ERC) can be claimed by businesses that have suffered a decline in gross sales or been suspended because of a COVID-19 government order.
The main difference between the 2020 and 2021 ERC requirements is the gross receipts decline test.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.
Two ways exist for businesses to qualify for the ERC:
- 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 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.
You can use the following examples to demonstrate each eligibility criterion.
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.
- 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 eligibility is for a manufacturer who is not able to operate at maximum capacity due to disruptions in the supply chain.
Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC), is a credit for businesses that can be claimed on qualified wages paid by employers to their employees during COVID-19.The amount of the credit varies depending on the quarter and the number of employees a business has.
Credits for 2020 are equal to 50% the qualified wages paid by employees, up to a maximum amount of $10,000 per employee.This means that a business could receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee for 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.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 the ERC on Federal Employment Tax Returns
For businesses to claim Employee Retention Credit on federal employment taxes, they must amend Form 941X – Adjusted Employer’s quarterly Federal Tax Return (or Claim for refund) – in order to do so, they will need to file Form 941X.This form can be submitted for any quarter where the business was entitled to the credit.
Options for Claiming the ERC in Advance
Businesses can claim the ERC in three ways:
- Claim credit in advance. Businesses can claim credit in advance by reducing their quarterly deposits for employment tax.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 employee wages with the applicable credit rate will give you the ERC.Credit rates are 50% in 2020 and 70% during the first three-quarters of 2021.
Businesses should avoid double-dipping on other relief programs.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 keep detailed records detailing all qualified wages paid by employers to employees over 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. Employee Retention Credit Companies
Here are a few tips for documenting and keeping records:
- Keep a copy of all payroll records, including W-2 forms and Form 941s.
- Keep track of the hours that employees work, including sick leave, vacation time, and holidays.
- Keep track of the wages you pay to your employees. This includes base wage, bonuses, and overtime pay.
- Track any government orders which may have an impact on the business.
IRS provides various resources, such as fact sheets and videos, to help businesses claim the ERC.Businesses can also call 1-800-829-1040 to get help from the IRS.
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 forced to shut down due to government order
- Retail stores which experienced a significant decrease in sales
- Disruptions in the supply chains prevent manufacturers from working at full capacity
- Non-profit organizations who saw their donations decrease
- Hotels and hospitality businesses
- Travel and tourism business
- Entertainment and event businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Fitness studios and gyms
- Salons, spas
- Retail stores selling non essential goods
- Businesses required to operate under reduced capacity
- Businesses forced to adopt new safety protocols and measures
- Businesses that experienced increased costs due to COVID-19
The ERC may also be available to businesses that were suspended or partially by government orders or experienced a substantial decline in gross revenues due to COVID-19. Employee Retention Credit Companies
Here are some examples that show how businesses have used ERCs:
- The ERC allowed a restaurant to retain its staff after it was forced to shut down for several months by government order.
- A retail store which experienced a drop of 50% in sales due COVID-19 could offset its payroll expenses by using the ERC.
- A manufacturer that was unable to operate at full capacity due to supply chain disruptions was able to use the ERC to keep its employees on payroll and continue to produce essential goods.
- An organization that had seen its donations drop due to COVID-19 could use the ERC in order to keep their employees on the payroll and continue to offer essential services.
If you own a company and are not sure if you are eligible, I recommend that you contact a qualified tax professional.They can help determine your eligibility as well as claim the credit for you if you’re eligible.
Risks of ERC Scams and Aggressive Marketing
Scammers are targeting businesses eligible for the Employee Retention Credit.Scammers will use aggressive marketing techniques to get businesses to sign up, even if they are not eligible for ERC.
Warning Signs and Red Flags
There are warning signs that could indicate an ERC scammer.
- They guarantee to refund your money without looking into your records.
- The fees are high, or they take a large percentage of the refund.
- High-pressure sales tactics are used. Employee Retention Credit Companies
- 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
If you are contacted by an ERC scammer, you should report the activity to the IRS.You can report this activity by calling 1-800-829-1040.
Also, you should be cautious about protecting your financial and personal data.Don’t give out your personal details to anyone who contacts without asking.If you’re not sure if a company is legit or not, you should check reviews online. You can also contact the IRS.
In this article, the Employee Retention credit (ERC) is discussed. It’s a tax relief program that helps eligible employers retain their employees during the COVID-19 outbreak.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 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 Bonus Frequently Answered Questions
Employee Retention Credit Companies
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 ERC funding?
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 do you claim your ERC?
The IRS allows businesses to claim ERCs if they file an amended Form 951, or Form 951,-X.The amended 941-X form must be filed in three years following the original 941 filing date.
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, businesses can claim the ERC even if they received a PPP loan (Paycheck Protection Program).
Businesses cannot claim ERC for salaries that are also used as collateral to borrow PPP loans.
Can self-employed individuals claim the ERC?
Yes, individuals who are self-employed can qualify for the ERC.
The Schedule C can be used by self-employed individuals to claim the ERC.
Can nonprofit 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 that own a foreign affiliate claim ERCs?
Yes, businesses can claim the ERC for wages paid to employees of foreign subsidiaries.
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?
The following are some common mistakes to avoid by businesses when claiming the ERC:
- Wrong calculation on credit
- Include all wages that qualify
- Failing to amend Forms 941-X within the specified timeframe.