COVID-19 has caused massive damage to businesses of every size, with many being forced to cut staff or shut down their doors.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 was designed to encourage businesses to continue to pay their employees even if normal operations are not possible.
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.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 CreditErc Employee Retention Credit Application
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.
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.
Businesses that have been affected by this pandemic can receive a substantial financial boost from the ERC.It can assist businesses in retaining their employees, covering payroll costs, as well as investing in their future.
Why was ERC formed?
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a severe economic downturn, forcing many businesses to lay off employees or close their doors altogether.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 assist businesses in retaining their employees. This is vital for a fast recovery.
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. Erc Employee Retention Credit Application
Impact of ERC on Business and the Economy
The ERC has helped to keep millions of Americans employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.The ERC has helped many businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ERC may have prevented the closure of hundreds of thousands of businesses and saved over 10,000,000 jobs.It has also contributed to the economic recovery by boosting 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 decline in gross revenues test is the major difference between the ERC 2020 and ERC 2021 requirements.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.
There are two ways that businesses can qualify for ERC:
- ERC eligibility for businesses suspended or suspended partially by a government.This includes businesses who have been ordered closed, to operate at a lower capacity, or to follow certain restrictions.
- Significant drop in gross sales: A business experiencing a significant loss in gross sales due to COVID-19 can also apply for the 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:
Fully or partially suspended by a government order:
- 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:
- A retail store that experiences a 50% decline in sales due to COVID-19 is eligible for the ERC.
- ERC is available to manufacturers who are unable to run at full capacity because of supply chain disruptions.
Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC), is a credit for businesses that can be claimed on qualified wages paid by employers to their employees during COVID-19.The amount of the credit is dependent on the business’s quarter and employees.
For 2020, a credit equal to 50 percent of wages paid to qualified employees is available up to a limit of $10,000.A business can receive up to $5,000 in credit per employee for the year 2020.
The credit for the first three quarters of 2021 is 70% of the qualified wages paid by employees. This maximum amount per employee per quarter is $10,000.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 your Credit
How to Claim ERC for Federal Employment Tax Returns
To claim the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) on federal employment tax returns, businesses must file an amended Form 941-X, Adjusted Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund.This form can be filed for any quarter in which the business was eligible for the credit.
Options for Claiming the ERC in Advance
Businesses can claim the ERC in three ways:
- Claim credit in advance. Businesses can claim credit in advance by reducing their quarterly deposits for employment tax.To do so, businesses need to file IRS Form 7200, Advanced Payment of Employer credits and taxes.
- Businesses can also reduce the quarterly employment tax deposit by the amount that they expect to get.To reduce the deposits, businesses need to file IRS Form 941 and include the amount of credit that they expect to receive.
- Request a refund: Businesses that have already paid their employment taxes can request a refund of the credit by filing Form 941-X with the IRS.
Calculating the Amount of the Credit and Avoiding Double-dipping with Other Relief Programs
Multiplying qualified wages by the credit rate applicable, the ERC can be calculated.Credit rates are 50% in 2020 and 70% during the first three-quarters of 2021.
Businesses should be careful to avoid double-dipping with other relief programs.For example businesses cannot claim ERC for wages used to claim Paid Family and medical leave credit or the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Tips and Resources for Recordkeeping and Documentation
Businesses should keep detailed records of all qualified wages paid to employees during 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. Erc Employee Retention Credit Application
Here are a couple of tips to help you with your recordkeeping:
- All payroll records should be kept, including W-2s and Forms 941s.
- Keep track of all hours worked by employees, including vacation, sick, and holiday time.
- 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 offers many resources for businesses to claim the ERC. This includes FAQs and fact sheets.Businesses can also call 1-800-829-1040 to get help from the IRS.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
Businesses affected by the COVID-19 virus can claim an Employee Retention credit (ERC).Following are some of the businesses that might be eligible to receive the Employee Retention Credit.
- 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 to nonprofit organizations have declined
- Hotels and other hospitality business
- Travel and tourism businesses
- Entertainment and event businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms & fitness studios
- Salons & spas
- Retail stores that sell non-essential products
- Businesses who were forced to operate with a reduced capacity
- Businesses forced to comply with new safety protocols
- Costs incurred by businesses as a result of 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. Erc Employee Retention Credit Application
Here are some specific examples of how businesses have used the 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 which experienced a drop of 50% in sales due COVID-19 could offset its payroll expenses by using the ERC.
- 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.
- An organization that had seen its donations drop due to COVID-19 could use the ERC in order to keep their employees on the payroll and continue to offer 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, scammers try to take advantage businesses who qualify for the Employee Retention Credit.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
There are warning signs that could indicate an ERC scammer.
- The company promises to give you a full refund without reviewing any of your records.
- They charge high fees upfront or take a portion of your refund.
- These salespeople use high-pressure tactics. Erc Employee Retention Credit Application
- They are not affiliated with a reputable tax professional organization.
- You will be asked to provide your personal information or financial details upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Activities and Protecting Personal Information
You should contact the IRS if you receive a call from an ERC scammer.Call 1-800-829-1040 to report the scam or visit the IRS website.
Protecting personal information and financial data is equally important.Don’t give out your personal details to anyone who contacts without asking.You can find reviews of a company online, or you can contact the IRS if you’re unsure.
In this article, the Employee Retention credit (ERC) is discussed. It’s a tax relief program that helps eligible employers retain their employees during the COVID-19 outbreak.We have explained the eligibility requirements, the claiming process, and the potential scams related to the ERC.
We have also provided tips and resources on recordkeeping and documentation.The ERC is a valuable benefit that can help employers reduce their employment tax liability, improve their cash flow, and support their workforce.We encourage eligible employers to claim this credit and, if necessary, seek professional help.
Frequently Asked Questions about Employee Retention Credits
Erc Employee Retention Credit Application
What is ERC?
Businesses affected by COVID-19 can apply for a refundable income tax credit.
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 can apply for the ERC program?
Businesses that have experienced a significant drop in gross receipts or those that were suspended or fully suspended by government orders due to the COVID-19 epidemic are eligible for the ERC.
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 ERC?
Businesses can claim ERC by submitting an amended Form 941 to the IRS.The amended Form 941-X must be filed within three years of the date the original Form 941 was filed.
Do I need to repay the 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).
The ERC cannot be claimed for wages used to obtain a PPP loan.
Can self-employed individuals claim ERC?
Yes, self-employed individuals are eligible for the ERC.
Schedule C forms can be claimed by individuals who are self-employed.
Can nonprofit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for ERC.
Nonprofit organizations may claim the ERC by submitting Form 990-T.
Can companies with a foreign subsidiary claim ERC?
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 any common mistakes made by businesses when claiming ERC that they should be on the lookout for?
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
- Inclusion of all eligible wages
- Failure to amend form 941 – X on time.