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).
The ERC can be claimed by businesses on the wages they paid employees who qualified during pandemic.It’s designed to help employers keep their employees, even if the business is unable to function normally.
The ERC is a great way to keep your employees engaged and your business running smoothly if you’re a business owner impacted by the pandemic.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 Phone Call Scam
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.
The ERC is available to businesses of all sizes, including tax-exempt organizations.For a business to be eligible, it must have suffered a significant decrease in gross revenues or been partially or completely suspended by a government order related to COVID-19.
The ERC provides a financial boost for businesses that are affected by pandemic.The ERC can provide a significant financial boost to businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
Why was 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 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, which is a tax credit that is claimed even by businesses who do not owe a dime in taxes, is refundable.Businesses can also claim ERC for wages paid by employers to employees who do not work due to COVID-19. Examples include employees who were furloughed and quarantined. Employee Retention Credit Phone Call Scam
Impact of ERC on Business 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.
ERC may have prevented the closure of hundreds of thousands of businesses and saved over 10,000,000 jobs.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 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 an enterprise must have seen a decline in gross revenue of atleast 20% in comparison to the same period in the previous year.
Businesses can qualify for the ERC in two ways:
- ERC eligibility is based on whether the business has been suspended completely or in part due to COVID-19.This includes businesses that have been ordered to close, operate at a reduced capacity, or 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.
Examples and Scenarios
Below are examples and scenarios that illustrate each of the eligibility criteria:
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 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.
- 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 credit amount varies according to the quarter and number of employees of a business.
For 2020, the credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages paid to employees up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee.This could mean that an employer can get a credit up to $5,000 for 2020.
For the three first quarters of the year 2021, the credit is equal to 70% of the wages qualified to be paid. There is a limit of $10,000 per employee per quarter.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 in Federal Employment Taxreturn
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 also be filed for any other quarters in which a business may have been eligible for credit.
Claim the ERC by Claiming it in Advance
Businesses have three choices for claiming ERCs:
- Claim credit in advance. Businesses can claim credit in advance by reducing their quarterly deposits for employment tax.To do this, businesses must file Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits and Taxes, with the IRS.
- Businesses may also reduce their quarterly tax deposits on employment by the credit amount they expect.Businesses must submit Form 941 to the IRS, indicating the amount they want to reduce their deposit by.
- 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 employee wages with the applicable credit rate will give you the ERC.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.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 Documentation
Keep detailed records for all wages that were paid to employees in the ERC period.This will allow businesses to calculate accurately the amount of credit they are entitled to and support their claim in the event that it is audited. Employee Retention Credit Phone Call Scam
Here are some tips on recordkeeping and documentation.
- Keep a copy of all records of your payroll, including the W-2 and Form 941.
- Keep track of the hours that employees work, including sick leave, vacation time, and holidays.
- Track all employee wages, including bonuses, overtime, and base pay.
- Keep track of any orders from the government that may affect your business.
The IRS provides a variety of resources to help businesses claim the ERC, including FAQs, fact sheets, and videos.Businesses can contact the IRS by calling 1-800-829-1040.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
Businesses that are affected by COVID-19 can receive the Employee Retention (ERC).These are some examples of businesses who may qualify for 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
- Donations to nonprofit organizations have declined
- Hotels and other hospitality businesses
- Travel and tourism companies
- Entertainment and event business
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms & fitness studios
- Salons & spas
- Stores that sell non-essential merchandise
- Businesses who were forced to operate with a reduced capacity
- Businesses that were forced to implement new safety measures and protocols
- Businesses that experienced increased costs due to COVID-19
ERCs may be awarded to any business, including those that were fully or partially closed by a government order and/or experienced a significant decrease in gross receipts because of COVID-19. Employee Retention Credit Phone Call Scam
Here are a few examples of specific ways businesses have used their ERC:
- 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.
- A retail store that experienced a 50% decline in sales due to COVID-19 was able to use the ERC to offset its payroll costs.
- 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.
- The ERC allowed a nonprofit organization to continue providing essential services despite a decline in donations due to COVID-19.
You should contact a professional tax advisor if, as a small business owner, you have any doubts about your eligibility for the ERC.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
Scammers are targeting businesses eligible for the Employee Retention Credit.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
Here are some warnings and red flags for identifying potential ERC fraudsters:
- They promise to get you a refund without reviewing your records.
- They charge high fees upfront or take a portion of your refund.
- High-pressure sales tactics are used. Employee Retention Credit Phone Call Scam
- They are not members of a reputable professional tax organization.
- The first thing they ask you for is your personal and financial information.
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.
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.
This article has discussed the Employee retention credit (ERC), which is a tax relief that allows eligible employers to keep their employees employed during the COVID-19 Pandemic.We have discussed the ERC eligibility requirements, claim process and potential scams.
We’ve also included some resources and advice on recordkeeping.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.If you’re an eligible employer, you should claim the credit. You can also seek professional advice if you need it.
Employee Retention Bonus Frequently Answered Questions
Employee Retention Credit Phone Call Scam
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 to apply for ERC?
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 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?
Businesses can claim ERC by submitting an amended Form 941 to the IRS.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?
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?
Yes, businesses can claim the ERC even if they received a PPP loan (Paycheck Protection Program).
Businesses cannot claim ERCs for wages they also claimed as PPPs.
Can self-employed people claim the ERC?
Self-employed individuals can apply for the ERC.
Self-employed individuals can claim the ERC on their Schedule C form.
Can non-profit organisations claim ERC?
Yes, nonprofit organizations are eligible for the ERC.
Nonprofits can claim ERC on Form 990 T.
Can companies that own a foreign affiliate claim ERCs?
Yes, employers can claim ERC when they pay wages to foreign employees.
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?
There are a few common mistakes that businesses should avoid when claiming an ERC. These include but are not restricted to
- Calculation error on credit
- Inclusion of all eligible wages
- Failure to amend Forms 901-X by deadline