COVID-19 has caused massive damage to businesses of every size, with many being forced to cut staff or shut down their doors.Employee Retention Bonus (ERB) is a way to keep businesses afloat.
The ERC allows businesses to claim a tax credit on wages paid during a pandemic.It’s designed to help employers keep their employees, even if the business is unable to function normally.
The ERC may be able to help keep your employees and business afloat if your company has been impacted.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 Worksheet
Employee Retention (ERC) Credit is a refundable credit that businesses may claim on wages paid 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.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 can provide a significant financial boost to businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.It can assist businesses in retaining their employees, covering payroll costs, as well as investing in their future.
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.
The ERC is a great way to boost the finances of businesses affected by pandemics.It can also be used to retain staff, which is important for a swift 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 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 Worksheet
Impact of ERCs on the Economy and Businesses
The ERC is credited with keeping millions of Americans at work during the COVID-19 outbreak.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.It has also contributed towards the economic recovery through a boost in consumer spending and investment.
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, a business must have experienced a significant decline in gross receipts of at least 20% compared to the same quarter in the previous year.
Two ways exist for businesses to qualify for the ERC:
- Fully or partially suspended by a government order: A business that has been fully or partially suspended by a government order due to COVID-19 is eligible for the ERC.Businesses that are required to close down, operate with a reduced capacity or adhere to certain restrictions can be eligible for the ERC.
- 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.Significant decline in gross revenues is defined as at least a 50% decline in a quarterly in 2020, or at least a 20% decline in a quarterly in 2021 when compared with the same quarter the previous year.
Examples and Scenarios
The following are some scenarios and examples that will help you understand each eligibility criteria.
A government order can suspend a person’s rights in full or part
- ERC may be available for a restaurant that has to close because of a government directive.
- ERC can be awarded to a fitness center that has to operate on a reduced basis due to an order from the government based on COVID-19.
Significant decline in gross receipts:
- ERC may be available for a retailer that suffers a drop of 50% in sales caused by COVID-19.
- ERC eligibility is for a manufacturer who is not able to operate at maximum capacity due to disruptions in the supply chain.
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 the credit varies depending on the quarter and the number of employees a business has.
The credit for 2020 is equal 50% of the wages qualified to be paid to employees. This maximum can reach $10,000 per employee.For 2020, a business may receive a maximum credit of $5,000 per employee.
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
Businesses that wish to claim the Employee Retention credit (ERC), on their federal employment tax returns must use Form 941-X, Revised Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return, or Claim for Refund.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 options for claiming the ERC:
- Claim your credit in Advance: Businesses can take advantage of the credit by reducing deposits made quarterly for employment tax.To do this, business must file IRS Form 7220, Advance Payment for Employer Credits & Taxes.
- Businesses can reduce their quarterly deposits for employment tax by the amount they anticipate receiving.To reduce the deposits, businesses need to file IRS Form 941 and include the amount of credit that they expect to receive.
- Businesses who have already paid employment taxes may request a credit refund by filing IRS Form 941X.
Calculating the Amount of the Credit and Avoiding Double-dipping with Other Relief Programs
Multiplying the amount of ERC by the credit rate is how the ERC amount is calculated.The credit rate is 50% for 2020 and 70% for the first three quarters of 2021.
Businesses must be cautious to not double dip with other relief programmes.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 should keep detailed records detailing all qualified wages paid by employers to employees over the ERC.This will enable the business to calculate the credit amount accurately and provide evidence to support the claim, if audited. Employee Retention Credit Worksheet
Here are some tips on recordkeeping and documentation.
- Keep a copy of all payroll records, including W-2 forms and Form 941s.
- Keep track of all the hours worked by your employees including holidays, sick days, and vacations.
- Keep track of all wages paid to employees, including base wages, bonuses, and overtime pay.
- Track any government orders which may have an impact on the business.
The IRS offers many resources for businesses to claim the ERC. This includes FAQs and fact sheets.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).Below are some business examples that may be eligible for Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants closed due to government orders
- Retail stores who experienced a significant drop in sales
- Disruptions in the supply chains prevent manufacturers from working at full capacity
- Donations of nonprofit organizations declined
- Hotels and other hospitality business
- Travel and tourism businesses
- Entertainment and event business
- Personal care businesses
- Fitness studios and gyms
- Salons, spas
- Retail stores selling non essential goods
- Businesses that had to operate on a lower capacity
- Businesses forced to comply with new safety protocols
- Businesses that experienced increased costs due to COVID-19
Aside from these examples, businesses that have been fully or partly suspended by a government directive or who have experienced a significant drop in gross receipts as a result of COVID-19 are also eligible for ERC. Employee Retention Credit Worksheet
Here are some specific examples of how businesses have used the ERC:
- An employee of a restaurant forced to close down by government order for a few months was able to continue to be paid through the ERC.
- 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 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.
If you are a business owner and you are unsure whether or not you are eligible for the ERC, I encourage you to contact a tax professional.They can assist you in determining your eligibility, and claiming the credit, if you qualify.
Risks of ERC Scams and Aggressive Marketing
Unfortunately, some scammers take advantage of companies that qualify for the Employee Retention Credit.These scammers can use aggressive marketing strategies to convince companies to sign-up for their services even when they are not eligible to receive the ERC.
Red Flags and Warning Signs
These warning signs will help you identify possible ERC scammers.
- They guarantee to refund your money without looking into your records.
- They charge high upfront fees or a percentage of your refund.
- High-pressure sales tactics are used. Employee Retention Credit Worksheet
- They do not belong to an organization that is reputable.
- You will be asked to provide your personal information or financial details upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Actors and Protecting Your Personal Information
If you are contacted by an ERC fraudster, you must report this activity to the IRS.This can be done by calling 1-800-829-1040, or visiting the IRS’s website.
You should also be careful to protect your personal and financial information.Never give out personal information to someone who contacts you without your permission.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.
We have covered the Employees Retention (ERC) Credit in this article. This is a tax credit program that helps employers who qualify to retain their staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.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.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 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 Worksheet
What is ERC?
This is a tax credit that can be refunded to businesses who were affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
This credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages paid to employees in 2020 and 70% of qualified wages paid to employees in the first three quarters of 2021.
Who is eligible for ERC funding?
Eligible businesses for the ERC include those who experienced a significant decline in gross receipts or were fully or partially suspended due to government orders caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is qualified wage?
Included in qualifying wages are wages, salaries, and tips paid to employees.
Employer-paid health insurance premiums also qualify as 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 Form 941X must be filed no later than three years after the original Form 941.
Do I have to repay my 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?
Yes, businesses can claim the ERC even if they received a PPP loan (Paycheck Protection Program).
Businesses can’t claim ERC on wages they used for 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 organisations claim ERC?
Yes, nonprofits are eligible for ERC.
Nonprofits can claim ERC on Form 990 T.
Can companies that have a foreign subsidiary claim ERC benefits?Can companies who have a foreign branch claim ERC?
Yes, employers can claim ERC when they pay wages to foreign employees.
It is important to note that there are additional requirements for claiming the tax credit.
Are there any common mistakes made by businesses when claiming ERC that they should be on the lookout for?
When claiming your ERC; businesses must be aware of the following mistakes:
- Credit calculation error
- Inclusion of all eligible wages
- Failure to amend form 941 – X on time.