The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses of all sizes, forcing many to lay off employees or close their doors altogether.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.The ERC was created to ensure that businesses can continue to pay employees during a pandemic, even if their normal business operations are disrupted.
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.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.
Employee Retention CreditHow To Calculate Refundable Portion Of Employee Retention Credit
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 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.
ERC is open to businesses and organizations of all sizes.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.
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 created?
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a severe economic recession, forcing many companies to layoff their employees or close 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.
Benefits of the ERC
ERCs can give businesses impacted by pandemics a financial boost.It can also help businesses retain their employees, which is essential for a quick 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 ERC for qualified wages paid to employees not working as a result of COVID-19. For example, employees are furloughed from work or quarantined. How To Calculate Refundable Portion Of Employee Retention Credit
Impact of the ERC on Businesses and the Economy
The ERC kept millions of Americans employed throughout the COVID-19 epidemic.It also helped companies to weather the economic storm and remain afloat.
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 to the economic recovery by boosting consumer spending and investment.
The main difference between the 2020 and 2021 ERC requirements is the gross receipts decline test.In 2020 a business’s gross receipts must have declined by at least 50% from the same quarterly period of the previous year.In 2021 a business will have to experience a significant decrease in gross revenues of at least 20 percent compared with the same quarter last year.
Businesses can qualify for the ERC in two ways:
- ERC is available to businesses that have been suspended in whole or part by government orders due to COVID-19.The ERC is available to businesses that have been told to close or operate at reduced capacity.
- 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 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
Here are some examples and scenarios to illustrate each eligibility criterion:
An order of the government may suspend all or part of a program.
- ERC may be available for a restaurant that has to close because of a government directive.
- 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:
- ERC can be awarded to a retail store that has experienced a 50% decrease in sales because of COVID-19.
- A manufacturer that is unable to operate at full capacity due to supply chain disruptions is eligible for the ERC.
Employee Retention Credit is a tax deduction that businesses may claim on wages they paid employees in the COVID-19 pandemic.The amount of the credit varies depending on the quarter and the number of employees a business has.
Credits for 2020 are equal to 50% the qualified wages paid by employees, up to a maximum amount of $10,000 per employee.This could mean that an employer can get a credit up to $5,000 for 2020.
Credits are equal to 70% of qualified wages for the first 3 quarters of 2020, with a maximum per employee of $10,000.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 in Federal Employment Taxreturn
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 is applicable to any quarter during which the business qualifies for the credit.
Claim the ERC in Advance
Businesses have three options for claiming the ERC:
- Claim the credit in advance: Businesses can claim the credit in advance by reducing their quarterly employment tax deposits.To do this, businesses must file Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits and Taxes, with the IRS.
- Reduce employment tax deposits: Businesses can also reduce their quarterly employment tax deposits by the amount of the credit they expect to receive.To do this, businesses must file Form 941 with the IRS and indicate the amount of the credit they are reducing their deposits by.
- Businesses that already pay their employment taxes to the IRS can request a reimbursement of the credit. To do this, they must file Form 941X.
Calculating the Amount of the Credit 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%.
Avoid double-dipping when it comes to 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
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. How To Calculate Refundable Portion Of Employee Retention Credit
Here are some tips on recordkeeping and documentation.
- All payroll records should be kept, including W-2s and Forms 941s.
- Keep track at all times of employee hours, including vacation, sick and holiday leave.
- Keep track of all wages paid to employees, including base wages, bonuses, and overtime pay.
- Keep track of any orders from the government that may affect your business.
The IRS provides many resources to assist businesses in claiming the ERC. They include fact sheets, videos, and FAQs.Businesses can also contact the IRS for assistance by calling 1-800-829-1040.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
Businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic can apply for the Employee Retention Credit.These are some examples of businesses who may qualify for the Employee Retention Credit.
- Government orders force restaurants to close
- Retail stores who experienced a significant drop in sales
- Disruptions in the supply chains prevent manufacturers from working at full capacity
- Nonprofit organizations that saw their donations decline
- Hotels and hospitality businesses
- Travel and Tourism Businesses
- Entertainment and event business
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms and fitness studios
- Salons and spas
- Retail shops selling non-essential items
- Businesses that have been required to operate in a reduced capacity
- Businesses forced to comply with new safety protocols
- Businesses that have experienced an increase in costs as a result 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. How To Calculate Refundable Portion Of Employee Retention Credit
Here are a few examples of specific ways businesses have used their ERC:
- The ERC allowed a restaurant to retain its staff after it was forced to shut down for several months by government order.
- 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.
- 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.
- A nonprofit organization whose donations declined due to COVID-19 used the ERC to retain its employees and continue providing 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.You can get help from a tax professional to determine your eligibility for the ERC and claim it if eligible.
ERC Scams, Aggressive Marketing and Other Risks
Unfortunately, some scammers take advantage of companies that 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).
Red Flags and Warning Signs
Here are some warnings and red flags for identifying potential ERC fraudsters:
- 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.
- They use high-pressure sales tactics. How To Calculate Refundable Portion Of Employee Retention Credit
- They do not belong to an organization that is reputable.
- Some companies will ask for personal or financial details upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Activities and Protecting Personal Information
If you have been contacted by an ERC scammer , you should notify the IRS .You can report this activity by calling 1-800-829-1040.
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.
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 have also provided some tips and resources for recordkeeping and documentation.The ERC can be a valuable benefit for employers, helping them reduce their employment taxes, improve their cashflow, and support their employees.If you are eligible, we encourage to claim credit. Professional assistance may be needed if required.
Employee Retention Credit: Frequently Asked Questions
How To Calculate Refundable Portion Of Employee Retention Credit
What is ERC?
This is a tax credit that can be refunded to businesses who were affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
This credit equals 50% of the qualified wages that employees received in 2020, and 70% of the qualified wages they receive in the first quarter of 2021.
Who is eligible for the 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 qualified wage?
Wages, salaries, tips, and bonuses are all included in the definition of a qualified wage.
Health insurance premiums paid by the employer are also considered qualified wages.
How can I claim my ERC?
Businesses can claim ERCs by filing amended Forms 941 or 941-X at the IRS.The amended 941-X form must be filed in three years following the original 941 filing date.
Do I need to repay the ERC?
The ERC, however, is a non-refundable tax credit.
Can I claim ERC even if I have received a PPP Loan?
Yes, even if you have received a Loan Protection Program (PPP) for your business.
Businesses cannot claim ERCs for wages they also claimed as PPPs.
Can self employed individuals claim ERC benefits?
Yes, individuals who are self-employed can qualify for the ERC.
Self-employed individuals can claim the ERC on their Schedule C form.
Can non-profit organisations claim ERC?
Nonprofit organizations can apply for the ERC.
Nonprofit organizations are eligible to claim the ERC when filing their Forms 990-T.
Can companies that own a foreign affiliate claim ERCs?
You can claim ERC on wages paid to foreign subsidiaries.
However, they must also meet certain additional requirements before they are eligible to claim the benefits.
Are there any common mistakes made by businesses when claiming ERC that they should be on the lookout for?
The following are some common mistakes to avoid by businesses when claiming the ERC:
- Incorrect credit calculation
- All wages are not included
- Failure to amend Forms 901-X by deadline