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.
The ERC may be able to help keep your employees and business afloat if your company has been impacted.Visit the IRS website to learn more about ERCs and how you can claim them. You can also speak with a tax adviser or read the following.
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 Lendio
Employee Retention (ERC) Credit is a refundable credit that businesses may claim on wages paid during the COVID-19 pandemic.It was created as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, in March 2020, to help companies keep their employees, despite being unable operate normally.
ERCs are available to all businesses, even tax-exempt ones.A business must be eligible if it has experienced a significant drop in gross receipts, or if they have been suspended or fully suspended because of a COVID-19 related government order.
The ERC provides a financial boost for businesses that are affected by pandemic.It can help businesses to retain employees, pay for payroll, and invest in the future.
Why was ERC formed?
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.
ERC can be a major financial boost for businesses who have been affected by the pandemic.It can assist in keeping employees on board, which will help the business recover quickly.
The ERC can be claimed by businesses even if no taxes are due.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. Employee Retention Credit Lendio
Impact of ERC on Business and the Economy
The ERC is credited with keeping millions of Americans at work during the COVID-19 outbreak.The ERC has helped many businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ERC saved 10 million jobs. Thousands of businesses were prevented from closing.It has also contributed towards the economic recovery through a boost in consumer spending and investment.
The only difference between ERC 2020 requirements and those of 2021 is the test for gross receipts.In 2020, an enterprise must have suffered a significant drop in gross receipts that is at least 50 percent less than the same period in the previous calendar 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.
Business can qualify in two ways for the ERC
- ERC eligibility is based on whether the business has been suspended completely or in part 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 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.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
Here are some examples and scenarios to illustrate each eligibility criterion:
A government order can suspend a person’s rights in full or part
- ERC can be claimed by a restaurant forced to shut down due to an order from the government.
- 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 is available to manufacturers who are unable to run at full capacity because of supply chain disruptions.
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a tax credit that businesses can claim for qualified wages paid to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.The amount of credit depends on the number of employees and the quarter.
For 2020, the credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages paid to employees up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee.For 2020, a business may receive a maximum credit of $5,000 per employee.
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.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 is applicable to any quarter during which the business qualifies for the credit.
Options for Claiming the ERC in Advance
Businesses have three choices for claiming ERCs:
- Claim it in advance. Businesses are able to claim the credit before the quarter’s end by reducing quarterly employment taxes.For this to happen, businesses will need to submit IRS Form 7200 – Advance Payment of Taxes and Employer Credits.
- Businesses may also reduce their quarterly tax deposits on employment by the credit amount they expect.To do this, businesses must file Form 941 with the IRS and indicate the amount of the credit they are reducing their deposits by.
- Request a Refund: Businesses who have already paid their Employment Taxes can request to receive a refund for the credit by submitting Form 941X to the IRS.
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 rates for 2020 are 50% and 70% in the first 3 quarters of 2021.
Avoid double-dipping when it comes to other relief programs.For example, businesses cannot claim the ERC for wages that are also used to claim the Paid Family and Medical Leave Credit or the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Tips and Resources for Recordkeeping and Documentation
Keep detailed records for all wages that were paid to employees in the ERC period.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 Lendio
Here are some tips for recordkeeping and documentation:
- All payroll records should be kept, including W-2s and Forms 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 any orders from the government that may affect your business.
IRS provides various resources, such as fact sheets and videos, to help businesses claim the ERC.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).The following are examples of businesses that may be eligible for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC):
- Restaurants closed due to government orders
- Retail stores which experienced a significant decrease 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 business
- Travel and tourism business
- Entertainment and event businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms, fitness studios
- Salons and spas
- Retail shops selling non-essential items
- Businesses who were forced to operate with a reduced 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 Lendio
Here are some examples of how companies have used the ERC in specific situations:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Contact a tax expert if you’re a business owner who is unsure if you qualify for the ERC.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
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.
Red Flags and Warning Signs
These warning signs will help you identify possible ERC scammers.
- The company promises to give you a full refund without reviewing any of your records.
- The fees are high, or they take a large percentage of the refund.
- They use high-pressure sales tactics. Employee Retention Credit Lendio
- 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’re contacted by an ERC con artist, then you should report their activity to IRS.This can be done by calling 1-800-829-1040, or visiting the IRS’s website.
Protecting personal information and financial data is equally important.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 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’ve also included some resources and advice on recordkeeping.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 are an eligible employer, we encourage you to claim the credit and seek professional assistance if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions about Employee Retention Credits
Employee Retention Credit Lendio
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 can receive the ERC?
Eligible companies for the ERC are those businesses that experienced a significant fall in gross sales or were partially or completely suspended because of government orders triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak.
What is a qualified wage?
Included in qualifying wages are wages, salaries, and tips paid to employees.
All wages that are qualified include health insurance premiums paid to the employer.
How do I claim the ERC?
The IRS allows businesses to claim ERCs if they file an amended Form 951, or Form 951,-X.The amended Form 941X must be filed no later than three years after the original Form 941.
Do I have to repay my ERC?
No, it is a refundable credit.
Can I claim ERC if I received a loan from PPP?
You can still claim an ERC even though you received a loan through the Paycheck Protection Programme (PPP).
Businesses cannot claim ERC for salaries that are also used as collateral to borrow PPP loans.
Can self-employed individuals claim the ERC?
Yes, the ERC is available to self-employed people.
The Schedule C can be used by self-employed individuals to claim the ERC.
Can non-profit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for ERC.
Nonprofits may claim ERCs on their Form 990T.
Can companies that own a foreign affiliate claim ERCs?
You can claim ERC on wages paid to foreign subsidiaries.
Before you can get it, however, you must meet some additional requirements.
Are there any common mistakes made by businesses when claiming ERC that they should be on the lookout for?
You should be on the lookout for these common mistakes when businesses claim their ERC.
- Wrong calculation on credit
- Failure to include all qualified wages
- Failure to amend Form 941-X on time.