The COVID-19 epidemic has caused havoc in businesses of all sizes. Many have been forced to close or lay off their employees.But there is a lifeline available to help businesses stay afloat: the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).
The ERC is a refundable tax credit that businesses can claim on qualified wages paid to employees during the pandemic.It’s designed to help employers keep their employees, even if the business is unable to function normally.
If you are a business owner who has been impacted by the pandemic, the ERC can help you keep your employees on board and your business 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 CreditEmployee Retention Credit From Boardwalk Pipeline Partners K1
Employee Retention (ERC) Credit is a refundable credit that businesses may claim on wages paid during the COVID-19 pandemic.It was created in March of 2020 by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to help employers keep their workers on the payroll, despite the fact that they may not have been able to operate normally.
ERC is open to businesses and organizations of all sizes.To be eligible for the ERC, a company must have had a significant fall in gross receipts and/or have been fully or partial suspended as a result of an COVID-19 government order.
Businesses that have been affected by this pandemic can receive a substantial financial boost from the ERC.It can help businesses to retain employees, pay for payroll, and invest in the 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 aims to help companies keep their staff on the payroll in order to quickly reopen after the pandemic is over.
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.
The ERC is also a refundable credit. This means that businesses are able to claim it, even if there are no taxes due.Businesses may also claim ERCs on qualified wages for employees who cannot work because of COVID-19. These employees include those who are furloughed. Employee Retention Credit From Boardwalk Pipeline Partners K1
Impact of the ERC on Businesses and the Economy
The ERC kept millions of Americans employed throughout the COVID-19 epidemic.It has also helped businesses to stay afloat and weather the economic storm.
The ERC is estimated to have saved over 10 million jobs and prevented hundreds of thousands of businesses from closing their doors.The ERC also contributed positively to the recovery in terms of consumer spending as well as investment.
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 test for a decline in gross receipts is the main difference between 2020 and 2021 ERC.In 2020, the business must have seen a decline of gross receipts by at least 50% in comparison to the same quarter the year before.In 2021, the business must have suffered from a significant fall in gross sales of at least 20% when compared to same quarter in previous 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.The ERC is available to businesses that have been told to close or operate at reduced capacity.
- Significant decline in gross receipts: A business that has experienced a significant decline in gross receipts due to COVID-19 is also eligible for the ERC.A significant decline in gross receipts is defined as a decline of at least 50% in a quarter in 2020 or at least 20% in a quarter in 2021 compared to the same quarter in the previous year.
Examples and Scenarios
You can use the following examples to demonstrate each eligibility criterion.
An order of the government may suspend all or part of a program.
- 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 is available to retail stores that experience a 50% drop in sales as a result of COVID-19.
- ERC can be awarded to a manufacturer who cannot operate at full capability due to disruptions to 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 credit depends on the number of employees and the quarter.
The credit for 2020 is equal 50% of the wages qualified to be paid to employees. This maximum can reach $10,000 per employee.This means a company could receive up to a $5,000 credit per employee in 2020.
Credits are equal to 70% of qualified wages for the first 3 quarters of 2020, with a maximum per employee of $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.
How to Claim the 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 can be submitted for any quarter where the business was entitled to the credit.
Claim the ERC by Claiming it in Advance
Businesses have three choices for claiming ERCs:
- Claim the credit ahead of time: Businesses may claim the credit by reducing the quarterly employment tax deposit.To do this, businesses must file Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits and Taxes, with the IRS.
- Reduce employment tax deposits: Businesses can also reduce their quarterly employment tax deposits by the amount of the credit they expect to receive.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 Credit Amount 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 rate is set at 50% for 2020 and 70% for the three first quarters of 2021.
Avoid double-dipping when it comes to other relief programs.For example, businesses can’t claim the ERC if they are also claiming the Paid Family Leave Credit or Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Tips and Resources for Recordkeeping and Documentation
Businesses must keep detailed records on all wages paid during the ERC.This will enable businesses to accurately determine the amount of credit that they are eligible for, and to back up their claim should it be audited. Employee Retention Credit From Boardwalk Pipeline Partners K1
Here are a couple of tips to help you with your recordkeeping:
- Keep copies of all payroll records, including Forms 941 and W-2s.
- Keep track of every employee’s hours, including sick time, holiday, and vacation.
- 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 also contact the IRS for assistance by calling 1-800-829-1040.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
Businesses impacted by COVID-19 are eligible for the Employee retention credit (ERC).Following are some of the businesses that might be eligible to receive the Employee Retention Credit.
- Government orders force restaurants to close
- Retail stores who experienced a significant drop in sales
- Disruptions in the supply chains prevent manufacturers from working at full capacity
- Nonprofit organizations that saw their donations decline
- Hotels and hospitality businesses
- Travel and tourism business
- Entertainment and event business
- Personal care businesses
- Fitness studios and gyms
- Salons and spas
- Retail stores selling non essential goods
- Businesses that have been required to operate in a reduced capacity
- Businesses that were forced to implement new safety measures and protocols
- Businesses who experienced higher 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 From Boardwalk Pipeline Partners K1
Here are some examples of how companies have used the ERC in specific situations:
- A restaurant, which was forced to close due to an order from the government for a period of several months, was able use the ERC in order to keep their employees on the payroll.
- An ERC offset the payroll costs of a retail shop that saw a 50% decrease in sales because of COVID-19.
- 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.
Contact a tax expert if you’re a business owner who is unsure if you qualify for the ERC.They can determine your qualification and help you claim the credit.
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 might use aggressive advertising tactics to convince businesses that they should sign up for their service, even though the business may not be eligible for ERC.
Warning Signs and Red Flags
Here are some warning signs and red flags to identify potential ERC scammers:
- They promise you will get a refund even if they don’t review your records.
- They charge you high upfront fees or a certain percentage of your refund.
- These salespeople use high-pressure tactics. Employee Retention Credit From Boardwalk Pipeline Partners K1
- They are not affiliated with a reputable tax professional organization.
- Some companies will ask for personal or financial details upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Activity and Protecting Personal Data
If you are contacted by an ERC scammer, you should report the activity to the IRS.Call 1-800-829-1040 to report the scam or visit the IRS website.
Also, you should be cautious about protecting your financial and personal data.You should not provide your personal information to anyone contacting you uninvited.If you are unsure whether or not a business is legitimate, you can check their reviews online or contact the IRS for assistance.
In this article we discussed the Employees Retention Credit, tax-relief program that assists eligible employers in keeping their employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 epidemic.The ERC has been explained in detail, including the eligibility requirements and the claim process.
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.If you are an eligible employer, we encourage you to claim the credit and seek professional assistance if needed.
Employee Retention Bonus Frequently Answered Questions
Employee Retention Credit From Boardwalk Pipeline Partners K1
What is ERC?
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses. A refundable tax credit is available.
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 is eligible for ERC funding?
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?
The wages that qualify as wages include salaries, wages, tips, and bonuses.
Employer-paid health insurance premiums also qualify as wages.
How can I claim my ERC?
Businesses can claim the ERC by filing an amended Form 941 or Form 941-X with the IRS.The amended Form 941 X must be submitted within three years from the original date of Form 941.
Do I need to repay the ERC?
The ERC is not a tax credit that needs to be repaid.
Can I claim ERC even if I have 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, self-employed individuals are eligible for the ERC.
Schedule C is the form that self-employed people can use to claim their ERC.
Can non-profit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, nonprofits are eligible for ERC.
Nonprofits can claim ERC on Form 990 T.
Can companies that own a foreign affiliate claim ERCs?
Businesses can claim ERC for wages paid by foreign subsidiaries to their employees.
It is important to note that there are additional requirements for claiming the tax credit.
What are the common mistakes businesses make when they claim ERC?
When claiming your ERC; businesses must be aware of the following mistakes:
- The credit calculation is incorrect
- Failure to include all qualified wages
- Failure to amend form 941 – X on time.