The COVID-19 epidemic has caused havoc in businesses of all sizes. Many have been forced to close or lay off their employees.But there is a lifeline available to help businesses stay afloat: the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).
The ERC is an refundable tax credit which businesses can claim for wages that were paid to their employees during the pandemic.It’s designed to help employers keep their employees, even if the business is unable to function normally.
If you are a business owner who has been impacted by the pandemic, the ERC can help you keep your employees on board and your business afloat.To learn more about the ERC and how to claim it, visit the IRS website, speak with a 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 CreditEtrc Employee Retention Credit Scam
Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a tax credit for businesses that can be claimed if they pay employees wages during the COVID-19 Pandemic.It was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in March 2020 to help businesses keep their employees on the payroll, even if they were unable to operate normally.
The ERC is available to businesses of all sizes, including tax-exempt organizations.To be eligible for the ERC, a company must have had a significant fall in gross receipts and/or have been fully or partial suspended as a result of an COVID-19 government order.
The ERC can provide a significant financial boost to businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.It can help businesses retain their employees, cover payroll costs, and invest in their future.
Why was the 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 is designed to help keep businesses open and their employees working so that they can resume normal operations as soon as the pandemic subsides.
ERC can offer a significant boost in financial support to businesses impacted negatively by the pandemic.It can also be used to retain staff, which is important for a swift recovery.
The ERC is a refundable tax credit, meaning that businesses can claim it even if they do not owe any taxes.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. Etrc Employee Retention Credit Scam
Impact of ERCs on the Economy and Businesses
The ERC was able to keep millions of Americans working during the COVID-19 pandemic.The ERC also helped to keep businesses afloat through 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.The ERC has also helped to boost consumer spending and investments, which have contributed to economic recovery.
The primary difference between ERC requirements for 2020 and 2021 is a test of gross receipts decline.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 organization must have suffered a significant drop in gross receipts by at least 20% from the same quarter the year before.
There are two ways that businesses can qualify for ERC:
- ERC for a business suspended fully or partly by a Government Order: An ERC can be awarded to a business that is suspended either completely or partially by an order of the government due COVID-19.Businesses ordered to close, reduce capacity or comply with certain restrictions are eligible for 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.
These examples and scenarios illustrate the criteria for each:
A government order can suspend a person’s rights in full or part
- ERC is available to restaurants that are forced to close by a government order.
- 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 eligibility is for a manufacturer who is not able to operate at maximum capacity due to disruptions in the supply chain.
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 varies depending on how many employees are employed and what quarter it is.
In 2020, the credit will be equal to half of all wages that employees are entitled to receive up to $10,000.This means that a business could receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee 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.This means that a business could receive a credit of up to $7,000 per employee per quarter for the first three quarters of 2021, for a total of up to $21,000 per employee for the year.
Claim the Credit
How to Claim ERC for 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 can be submitted for any quarter where the business was entitled to the credit.
Options for Claiming the ERC in Advance
There are three options available to businesses for claiming ERC:
- Claim the credit ahead of time: Businesses may claim the credit by reducing the quarterly employment tax deposit.To do this, businesses must file Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits and Taxes, with the IRS.
- Businesses can reduce their quarterly deposits for employment tax by the amount they anticipate receiving.To do so, businesses must fill out Form 941 at the IRS. They will need to indicate how much credit they intend to reduce.
- 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
The ERC is calculated as the product of the employee’s qualified wage multiplied by the applicable credit rates.The credit rate for 2020 is 50% and for the first quarter of 2021, it’s 70%.
Businesses should avoid double-dipping on other relief programs.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 Documenation
Businesses should maintain detailed records of the wages they paid to their employees during the ERC.This will assist businesses in accurately calculating the amount they are entitled for as well as supporting their claim if the IRS audits it. Etrc Employee Retention Credit Scam
Here are some helpful tips on documenting your records and documents:
- Keep a record of all your payroll documents, such as W-2 forms and 941s.
- Keep track of the hours that employees work, including sick leave, vacation time, and holidays.
- Keep track of every wage paid to an employee, including the base salary, bonuses, and overtime.
- Keep track of government orders affecting your business.
IRS provides various resources, such as fact sheets and videos, to help businesses claim the ERC.Businesses can also call 1-800-829-1040 to get help from the IRS.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
Businesses impacted by COVID-19 are eligible for the Employee retention credit (ERC).Below are some business examples that may be eligible for Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants are forced to close by government order
- Retail shops that have experienced a substantial decline in sales
- Supply chain disruptions prevent manufacturers from operating at full capacity
- Non-profit organizations who saw their donations decrease
- Hotels and other hospitality businesses
- Travel and Tourism Businesses
- Entertainment and event businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms, fitness studios
- Salons and spas
- Retail stores that sell non-essential products
- Businesses that had to operate on a lower capacity
- Businesses that were forced to implement new safety measures and protocols
- Costs incurred by businesses as a result of COVID-19
These examples are not the only ones that qualify. Any business that has been suspended in whole or part by an order of government or that has seen a decline in gross sales due to COVID-19 could also be eligible. Etrc Employee Retention Credit Scam
Below are some specific examples on how businesses have utilized the ERC.
- 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.
- 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.
- ERC can be used by a producer who is unable operate at maximum capacity due to disruptions of the supply chain. This allows them to keep their employees and continue producing essential products.
- 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.
ERC Scams, Aggressive Marketing and Other Risks
Unfortunately, scammers try to take advantage businesses who qualify for the Employee Retention Credit.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
There are warning signs that could indicate an ERC scammer.
- They promise you will get a refund even if they don’t review your records.
- You will be charged high fees upfront, or a percentage of your refund.
- High-pressure sales tactics are used. Etrc Employee Retention Credit Scam
- 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 Activity and Protecting Personal Data
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.
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, 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 discussed the ERC eligibility requirements, claim process and potential scams.
We also have some tips and materials for documenting your records.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.We encourage eligible employers to claim this credit and, if necessary, seek professional help.
Frequently Asked Questions about Employee Retention Credits
Etrc Employee Retention Credit Scam
What is ERC?
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses. A refundable tax credit is available.
This credit is equal to 50% the wages paid by employees to qualified employees in 2020. And 70% of the wages paid by employees to qualified employees in their first three quarters in 2021.
Who can apply for the ERC program?
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 are qualified wages?
The wages that qualify as wages include salaries, wages, tips, and bonuses.
Employer-paid health insurance premiums also qualify as wages.
How do you claim your ERC?
The IRS will accept amended Forms 941 and 941-X from businesses to claim the ERC.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, however, is a non-refundable tax credit.
Can I claim the ERC if I 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 ERC?
Yes, individuals who are self-employed can qualify for the ERC.
Schedule C forms can be claimed by individuals who are self-employed.
Can non-profit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for ERC.
Nonprofits can claim ERC on Form 990 T.
Can companies that own a foreign affiliate claim ERCs?
Businesses can claim ERC for the wages they pay to foreign-based employees.
That said, there are some additional requirements that must be met before they can claim it.
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
- Incorrect credit calculation
- Include all wages that qualify
- Failure to amend Form 941-X on time.