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).
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.
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 Tax Credit Usgovernmentrebates.Com
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 can be obtained by businesses of any size, including those exempt from tax.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.
ERCs can be a major financial boost for companies that have suffered from pandemic effects.It can help businesses retain their employees, cover payroll costs, and invest in their future.
Why was ERC formed?
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 is designed to help keep businesses open and their employees working so that they can resume normal operations as soon as the pandemic subsides.
The ERC can provide a significant financial boost to businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.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 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 Tax Credit Usgovernmentrebates.Com
Impact of the ERC on Businesses and the Economy
The ERC helped keep millions of Americans in employment during the COVID-19 Pandemic.The ERC also helped to keep businesses afloat through the economic storm.
It is estimated that the ERC has saved more than 10 million jobs, and prevented hundreds of thousands of businesses from shutting their doors.It has also contributed towards the economic recovery through a boost in consumer spending and 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.
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 who have been ordered closed, to operate at a lower capacity, or to 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 gross receipts are defined as a drop of at least 50% or 20% from the same quarter last year.
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 will cover a restaurant which is forced to close down by government orders.
- The ERC is available to gyms that are required to operate with a reduced capacity because of a COVID-19-related government order.
Significant decline in gross receipts:
- A retail store that experiences a 50% decline in sales due to COVID-19 is eligible for the ERC.
- ERC eligibility is for a manufacturer who is not able to operate at maximum capacity due to disruptions in the supply chain.
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.
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 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 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 for 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 filed for any quarter in which the business was eligible for the credit.
Claim the ERC in Advance
There are three options available to businesses for claiming ERC:
- Claim the credit in advance: Businesses can claim the credit in advance by reducing their quarterly employment tax deposits.Businesses must submit Form 7200 to the IRS, Advance Payments of Employer Taxes and Credits.
- 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 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.
Businesses should be careful to avoid double-dipping with other relief programs.Businesses cannot, for example, claim the ERC on wages they also claim as part of the Paid Family Medical Leave Credit and 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 Tax Credit Usgovernmentrebates.Com
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 at all times of employee hours, including vacation, sick and holiday leave.
- Track all employee wages, including bonuses, overtime, and base pay.
- Track any government orders which may have an impact on the 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 that are affected by COVID-19 can receive the Employee Retention (ERC).The following are examples of businesses that may be eligible for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC):
- Restaurants forced to close due to government orders
- Retail stores that saw a significant fall in sales
- Supply chain disruptions prevent manufacturers from operating at full capacity
- Donations for nonprofit organizations are down
- Hotels and other hospitality businesses
- Travel and tourism businesses
- Entertainment and event businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms, fitness studios
- Salons, spas
- Retail stores selling non essential goods
- Businesses that have been required to operate in a reduced capacity
- Businesses forced to comply with new safety protocols
- Costs increased for businesses due to COVID-19
In addition to these examples, any business that was fully or partially suspended by a government order or that experienced a significant decline in gross receipts due to COVID-19 may be eligible for the ERC. Employee Retention Tax Credit Usgovernmentrebates.Com
Here are some examples that show how businesses have used ERCs:
- A restaurant that had to close its doors for several weeks due to government orders was able, with the ERC, to keep all of its employees employed.
- 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.
- The ERC allowed a manufacturer who was not able to operate at its full capacity because of supply chain disruptions to continue producing essential goods and keep their employees on the payroll.
- 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, there are scammers that try to take advantage business owners who are eligible for Employee Retention Credits (ERC).These scammers use aggressive marketing to convince businesses to subscribe to their services even if that business isn’t eligible for the Employee Retention Credit (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 high upfront fees or a percentage of your refund.
- The salespeople are aggressive and use high-pressure tactics. Employee Retention Tax Credit Usgovernmentrebates.Com
- They are not members of a reputable professional tax organization.
- They ask for your personal or financial information 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.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.Never give out personal information to someone who contacts you without your permission.If you’re not sure if a company is legit or not, you should check reviews online. You can also contact 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.We have explained the eligibility requirements, the claiming process, and the potential scams related to the ERC.
We have also provided some tips and resources for recordkeeping and documentation.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 are eligible, we encourage to claim credit. Professional assistance may be needed if required.
Employee Retention Credit: Frequently Asked Questions
Employee Retention Tax Credit Usgovernmentrebates.Com
What is ERC?
Businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic can claim a refundable credit.
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 can apply for the ERC program?
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 a qualified wage?
Qualified wages include wages, salaries, tips, and bonuses paid to employees.
The employer’s health insurance premiums are also included in the calculation of wages.
How do you claim your ERC?
Businesses can claim ERC by submitting an amended Form 941 to the IRS.The amended Form 941 X must be submitted within three years from the original date of Form 941.
Do I have to pay back the ERC?
No, it is a refundable credit.
Can I claim ERC even if I have received a PPP Loan?
You can still claim an ERC even though you received a loan through the Paycheck Protection Programme (PPP).
Businesses cannot claim the ERC for wages that were also used to claim the PPP loan.
Can self-employed individuals claim the ERC?
Yes, self-employed individuals are eligible for the ERC.
The Schedule C can be used by self-employed individuals to claim the ERC.
Can non-profit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, nonprofit organizations are eligible for the ERC.
Nonprofit organizations are eligible to claim the ERC when filing their Forms 990-T.
Can companies with a foreign subsidiary claim ERC?
Yes, businesses can claim the ERC for wages paid to employees of foreign subsidiaries.
However, they must also meet certain additional requirements before they are eligible to claim the benefits.
Are there mistakes that companies make in claiming ERCs?
There are a few common mistakes that businesses should avoid when claiming an ERC. These include but are not restricted to
- Wrong calculation on credit
- The failure to include all qualifying wages
- Failure to amend Forms 901-X by deadline