The COVID-19 epidemic has caused havoc in businesses of all sizes. Many have been forced to close or lay off their employees.Employee Retention Bonus (ERB) is a way to keep businesses afloat.
It is a refundable credit that can be claimed by employers on certain wages paid to employees in the event of a pandemic.The ERC was created to ensure that businesses can continue to pay employees during a pandemic, even if their normal business operations are disrupted.
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.For more information on the ERC and how to apply for it, you can visit the IRS site, talk with a professional 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 Legislation
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.It was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in March 2020 in order to help businesses retain their employees, even if it meant they could not operate normally.
Businesses of all sizes can apply for the ERC, even those that are tax-exempt.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.The ERC can provide a significant financial boost to businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
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 was created to help businesses keep their employees on payroll so that they could quickly reopen and resume normal operations once the pandemic subsided.
The ERC is a great way to boost the finances of businesses affected by pandemics.It can also assist businesses in retaining their employees. This is vital for a fast recovery.
The ERC, which is a tax credit that is claimed even by businesses who do not owe a dime in taxes, is refundable.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 Legislation
Impact of ERCs on the Economy and Businesses
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.
ERC may have prevented the closure of hundreds of thousands of businesses and saved over 10,000,000 jobs.It has also contributed towards the economic recovery through a boost in consumer spending and investment.
The primary difference between ERC requirements for 2020 and 2021 is a test of gross receipts decline.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.
There are two ways that businesses can qualify for 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: 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 gross receipts are defined as a drop of at least 50% or 20% from the same quarter last year.
These examples and scenarios illustrate the criteria for each:
Full or partial suspension by government order
- ERC may be available for a restaurant that has to close because of a government directive.
- ERC eligibility is granted to a gym that must operate at a lower capacity as a result of a government order relating to COVID-19.
Significant decline in gross receipts:
- ERC can be awarded to a retail store that has experienced a 50% decrease in sales because of COVID-19.
- ERCs are available for manufacturers that cannot operate at their full capacity as a result of disruptions in supply chains.
Employee Retention credit (ERC), a tax-credit that businesses can claim, is for wages paid to qualified employees during the COVID-19 epidemic.The amount of credit depends on the number of employees and the quarter.
Credits for 2020 are equal to 50% the qualified wages paid by employees, up to a maximum amount of $10,000 per employee.A business can receive up to $5,000 in credit per employee for the year 2020.
For the first three quarters of 2021, the credit is equal to 70% of qualified wages paid to employees, up to a maximum of $10,000 per quarter per employee.This means a company could receive a credit for up to $7,000 for each employee per quarter in the first three months of 2021. The total for the entire year is up to $21,000.
Claim the Credit
How to Claim the ERC on Federal Employment Tax Returns
Businesses must amend Form 941X, Adjusted Employer’s Quarterly Federal Income Tax Return or Claim For Refund, to claim the Employee retention credit (ERC) in federal employment tax returns.This form can also be filed for any other quarters in which a business may have been eligible for credit.
Options for Claiming the ERC in Advance
There are three options available to businesses for claiming ERC:
- Claim your credit in Advance: Businesses can take advantage of the credit by reducing deposits made quarterly 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 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 qualified wages by the credit rate applicable, the ERC can be calculated.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 Documenation
Keep detailed records for all wages that were paid to employees in 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. Employee Retention Credit Legislation
Here are some helpful tips on documenting your records and documents:
- Keep a record of all your payroll documents, such as W-2 forms and 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.
- 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 call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for assistance.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
Businesses affected by the COVID-19 virus can claim an Employee Retention credit (ERC).These are some examples of businesses who may qualify for the Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants forced to shut down due to government order
- Retail stores who experienced a significant drop 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 business
- Entertainment and Event Businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms, fitness studios
- Salons and spas
- Retail shops selling non-essential items
- Businesses that had to operate on a lower capacity
- Businesses forced to comply with new safety 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 Legislation
Here are some specific examples of how businesses have used the ERC:
- 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.
- The ERC was used by a retail store to offset payroll costs after it experienced a 50% drop in sales as a result of COVID-19.
- 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 organization whose donations declined due to COVID-19 used the ERC to retain its employees and continue providing 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.
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).Scammers will use aggressive marketing techniques to get businesses to sign up, even if they are not eligible for ERC.
Red Flags and Warning Signs
Here are some warnings and red flags for identifying potential ERC fraudsters:
- 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.
- Sales tactics are high-pressure. Employee Retention Credit Legislation
- 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 have been contacted by an ERC scammer , you should notify the IRS .You can call 1-800-829-1040 for more information or go to the IRS web site.
Also, you should be cautious about protecting your financial and personal data.Do not give your personal information to anyone who contacts you unsolicited.You can find reviews of a company online, or you can contact the IRS if you’re unsure.
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.
We also have some tips and materials for documenting your records.ERCs are a valuable tool that employers can use to lower their employment tax liability and improve their cash flow. They also help support their workforce.If you qualify as an employer, please claim the ERC and get professional assistance if you require it.
Frequently Asked Questions about Employee Retention Credits
Employee Retention Credit Legislation
What is 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 is eligible for ERC funding?
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 qualified wage?
The wages that qualify as wages include salaries, wages, tips, and bonuses.
Also, health insurance premiums that employers pay are considered wages.
How do I claim ERC?
The IRS allows businesses to claim ERCs if they file an amended Form 951, or Form 951,-X.The amended form 941-X is required to be filed within 3 years from the date that the original Form 941 has been filed.
Do I have to repay my ERC?
No, the ERC is a refundable tax credit, which means that businesses do not need to repay it.
Can I claim ERC if I received a loan from PPP?
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 ERC benefits?
Yes, self-employed individuals are eligible for the ERC.
Self-employed persons can claim ERC by completing Schedule C.
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?
You can claim ERC on wages paid to foreign subsidiaries.
There are a few additional requirements to meet before you can claim the benefit.
Are there common mistakes that businesses make when claiming ERC to watch out for?
The following are some common mistakes to avoid by businesses when claiming the ERC:
- Incorrect credit calculation
- Failure to include all qualified wages
- Failure to amend Form 941-X on time.